Starting an internet business can be a great idea for those looking to earn some extra money. There are many benefits to this endeavour, because, as opposed to traditional businesses your clientele is not limited geographically. Before you start your internet business consider the following to ensure that it is in fact a success.
Mind your money: You do not need a degree in commercial finance to help to get your business off the ground. That being said, you need to ensure to have a viable business plan, and keep your business and personal cash flow separate. Things such as factoring can really help your cash flow.
The power of a great website: A well designed and easy to use website can have a huge impact on your business. If your potential clients cannot read or navigate your website, they are unlikely to stick around. Make sure not the clutter your page and to make it simple and user friendly.
Use social media to your advantage: With any new business the power of networking is very important. With an internet based business it is especially vital to utilize social media to your advantage. You want to be able to respond to request quickly and to establish a rapport with your clients. You can also use social networks to advertise your services to others. The more you use social media the more you will gain you will gain from it in the end.
Remember it takes time: Success in any business in 99% perspiration and 1% inspiration. You will have to work hard, especially in the beginning to success. Do not despair if things do not go smoothly right away. Give yourself time to figure things out and gain confidence. Keep your eye on the prize and you will get there in no time.
Purchasing appropriate business software is often one of the best investments a business can make. Software can streamline certain business functions; reducing staff costs, cutting down on paperwork and helping to free up time so that managers can concentrate on more profitable business activities.
Most businesses use office suites such as Microsoft office, but there are many other applications available to suit a wide range of business functions. Some software is designed for specific industries such as insurance or law, while others are generic. Examples of these include; accounting, payroll, personnel, marketing and business intelligence dashboards.
Common Business Software Applications
1. Business Intelligence
Business intelligence dashboards enable businesses to collate, store and analyse data, visually, on a central dashboard. The software tracks information and will give an at-a-glance view of how your business is performing with tables, charts and graphs.
Business intelligence dashboards deliver a complete overview of what your business or department is doing, which areas are successful and where improvements need to be made. They also identify potential problems and highlight areas of concern.
2. Database Software
Database software is useful for small businesses that need to store and share information, such as names and addresses of contacts. Users can search for information and have instant access to the records they require.
3. Accounting software
Accounting software is a convenient way to automate and speed up the entire accounting process. Keeping track of money going in and out and completing and submitting VAT returns to HMRC in addition to generating invoices. Accounting software provides a way to measure and record profits, sales and costs and show performance trends and patterns.
4. Personnel software
Personnel Software provides a system to manage the entire HR function. Employee records are stored in a central location, including CVs and information relating to salaries, sick pay, holidays and absences. Recruitment software will draw up a list of potential candidates to interview, while payroll software will calculate wages and deductions and file information electronically to HRMC.
5. Asset Management
This software is used by organisations that wish to automate the task of managing valuable assets such as IT equipment, vehicles, machinery and tools. Information such as depreciation value, repair costs and dates for replacement can be tracked.
6. CRM software
Customer Relationship Management (CRM) software enables businesses to develop a database of information about current and potential customers. Information such as purchasing habits can be stored, which can then be used as a basis for sales and marketing campaigns.
Businesses can improve their efficiency by installing business software. Routine business tasks that are time consuming and involve a great deal of paperwork can be fully automated and undertaken in an instant. Business software will often pay for itself by offsetting the purchase price against the savings made in time and money.
There is a software application suitable for all kinds of business, regardless of size. Small businesses will often start with a simple accounting system and progress to a CRM system once they have developed a customer base. Larger organisations may like to explore business intelligence dashboards where data from multiple sources can be analysed.
James Lomas is a software developer who has contributed to a number of websites. He has a specialist knowledge of how to explore business intelligence dashboards.