Having a Website for any business is a neccessity these days. Here is a good guide to how to get started in the Website development process. It also includes a good deal of valuable information on how to integrate online shopping with your Website.
Many businesses have problems managing sales leads and customer information, which often leads to operational issues such as:
- Low repeat sales
- Lost sales leads
- Unorganized client information and account documents
- Slow operations after sales
- Low level of data security
- Disorganized scheduling system
- High-cost inventory/vendor management
- Tedious invoice/account tracking
One of the most effective solutions to these problems is to use Customer Relationship Management (CRM) software to manage leads, sales and customer information.
What is CRM and how can it streamline my business?
CRM software is a Web-based application that helps you keep track of customer activity through well-documented client communication. It supports your efforts to improve sales effectiveness, provide superior customer service and build stable customer relationships. Using CRM software gives you access to automatic reports that will help you analyze business trends in your market. Having easy access to reliable industry information saves you time when researching products and your target market. CRM software is an effective way to streamline your business processes in order to increase productivity and performance.
Solutions to Problems
- Lost sales opportunities: Predict when customers will need your services and products again based on their purchase history, which will help you increase repeat sales from existing customers.
- Neglected sales leads: Store general lead information, contact info, referral source and request or inquiry notes in one place. Organized leads will help you keep track of potential clients to effectively increase your sales.
- Accounts in disarray: Store clients’ general information, staff contacts, invoices, orders, quotes, project descriptions and contracts together. You will be able to view and browse an entire account with ease.
- Slow response time: Eradicate order confusion with up-to-date contact, shipping, billing and previous order information on file. Being able to provide accurate information in response to customer’s questions will alleviate their concerns and reduce errors.
- Insecure Data: Secure login authentication allows your employees, managers and customers to view account specific information without accessing someone else’s confidential information. A company administrator can add, edit, view or delete any account.
- Chaotic scheduling: Manage your important meetings, deadlines and shipments in one place, while having others’ scheduled events viewable at a glance.
- Disordered inventory: Know precisely what stock you buy, how many products have been sold, and how much inventory is on hand. Smart product management eliminates back-ordering or over-ordering, and lowers the cost of doing business.
- Substandard accounting: Easily access accounting information to better oversee accounts receivable and accounts payable. Computer-generated business reports all add up to less of your time being spent crunching numbers.
Many companies store all their data in one central location. The problem is, if something were to happen to that server, all your data could be lost – forever. Imagine the devastation that would do to your business. Backup options such as using a remote database can keep you running – even when the original server isn’t.
Remote data backup actually has several advantages over other, more traditional methods of backing up data. One advantage to using remote data backup is that the user doesn’t have to do anything. Data is backed up automatically. The data is maintained offsite, so that any natural disaster or other event that damages your main server will not affect the integrity of your information on the remote backup server.
Most remote backup servers use high levels of encryption in order to safely transmit data and offer unlimited preservation of your data. One of the most effective types of remote data backup servers are those that continuously back up files – even as they are being changed.
The drastic rise in phishing (online account theft) over the last year is an unfortunate reminder that it’s all too easy for thieves to steal your identity on the Internet – gaining access to your bank, email and other personal accounts.
Unfortunately, hackers have become extremely clever at creating fake Websites that look just like real sites, but record and steal your username and password once you enter them.
Online thieves are heavily targeting social networking sites as well, creating unpleasant messes for anyone whose account they hack into. Access to those accounts allows hackers to send a flurry of annoying spam advertisements – some of which could be vulgar – to your friends, family and coworkers.
There are some simple steps though that you can take to protect yourself.
- Always type the URL of a Website containing personal information into your browser bar directly.
- Never respond to emailed requests for your account usernames, passwords, and credit card, bank account or social security number.
- Ensure your Internet browser is kept up to date with the latest security patches.
- Regularly log into your Internet accounts to make sure no suspicious activity has taken place.
- Use technology to protect yourself. There are several free programs from highly respected companies that will warn you before you visit a potentially dangerous Website.
6. Ignore emails that sound too good to be true. If you ever happen to win the lottery, no one is going to tell you you’re won via email. Never respond to suspicious emails.
7. Know that most banks (especially banks you don’t have an account with) will never send emails asking you to login to your account. If you get an email that looks like it’s from your bank and you want to review your account, don’t click any link in the email body. See step number one.
Try to remember that you have another valuable weapon on your side – the ability to fight back. The more often people take action when they see suspicious emails, the greater the chances a potentially devastating mass hacking event can be prevented. Forward the entire body and header of suspicious emails to: