It seems like there's no rest for a small business owner. Whether you're keeping up with day to day things, or rushing to put out fires, there's always something to be done. It's easy to get overwhelmed by all the different aspects of running your own business, and that's why everyone is not an entrepreneur.
For many business owners, useful mobile apps have been a major benefit - apps aren't just for social media and ordering takeout. There are quite a few apps on the market that can make a big difference in your daily productivity, helping you streamline cumbersome tasks so you can focus on what matters. From financials to client communication, these 7 apps can help make your life as a small business owner a whole lot easier.
1) QuickBooks Online
Millions of small businesses worldwide rely on Intuit's QuickBooks software to accept payments, manage invoices, and handle payroll functions. Designed especially for small to midsize businesses, there's a reason why QuickBooks is the most popular choice for bookkeeping. Chances are, your business is already using it.
QuickBooks Online is a cloud service for QuickBooks that allows you to conveniently access your financials from anywhere. With apps available for Windows, iOS, and Android phones and tablets, keeping an eye on your checkbook has never been easier. Plus, with your data backed up in the cloud, you won't have to worry about losing any important files.
While QuickBooks Online is a paid service, it's worth the money. Plans range from $10-24 for the first six months, depending on your needs. If you're not sure, the service offers a 30-day free trial.[quickbooks.intuit.com]
Trello is a simple, streamlined collaborative task management software. With over ten million users worldwide, it's one of the most popular apps for project management. Trello’s design is based on the Kanban task management system, originally developed by Toyota in the 1980s for efficient supply chain management.
On Trello, each project is represented by a "Board", which contains multiple "Lists". On each list, you can create cards representing projects and tasks. Cards can be dragged and dropped from one list to the next as the project progresses through different stages of completion. This project management system works well for many different industries, from content creation to warehousing and logistics. [trello.com][click to continue...]
Unlike professional sports, where more money is the primary objective, high school athletes have different goals when choosing their college. The sports program you offer is important to them, but so are the academic strengths, social structure and location.
Who Are You Pitching To?
Recruiters can get so caught up in the athletic ability of an athlete that they forget these are still kids. Minors, who are still reliant on mom and dad. The parents will encourage input from their kid when it comes to choosing a college, but never forget that they may have the final word. This means you should be pitching to the parents just as aggressively as you sell your program to the kids. Except with a different focus.
Selling Your Collegiate Program to Parents
When you are talking to parents about their kids, and the college they are thinking about going to, the focus should be on the future. A parent wants to know how your school is going to help their son or daughter be better prepared for adulthood. The athletic program is a starting point, but you also have to be ready to answer questions about the type of academic education their children are going to have access to.
It helps if you already know a little about the student, and what their aspirations are. This way you can talk specifically about the classes your school offers that help them to meet their goals. If they have an interest in engineering, talk about the individual achievements of the professors and prior students who have graduated from that program. Parents typically think in the long term when it comes to their children, and they want to make sure that theirs will have an abundance of available opportunities once college is over or sports are no longer an option.[click to continue...]
If you attend church on a regular basis, then you’ve probably noticed that many churches are modernizing their approach to worship and congregational gatherings. While most churches still hold physical worship services, many are also dabbling in online media, podcasts, and live streaming services. But what does this mean for the future?
Top 5 Types of Church Technology
When you think about church, technology probably isn't the first thing that comes to mind. But take a look around and you’ll see that technology is making major moves in this industry. And despite some friction and pushback from certain individuals and groups, it appears that the technological disruption is largely positive. Here are a few current tech trends for churches:
1) Online Media
In an age where a lot of small and local businesses have yet to fully realize the potential of online media, churches – by and large – are strategically allocating resources to this important area of visibility. This includes website development, social media, and video production.[click to continue...]
DialMyCalls is an easy, convenient way to send out mass phone calls. In just a few clicks, you can record your message and send it to hundreds or even thousands of people. This guide will walk you through the basics of sending out a voice broadcast with DialMyCalls.
Sending Voice Broadcasts with the DialMyCalls Web App
DialMyCalls makes sending out a mass voice message surprisingly easy. Rather than painstakingly calling people one at a time -- a tall order when you have hundreds or even thousands of numbers -- you can call all of your contacts at once. It's fast, cost-effective, and capable of reaching thousands of contacts per minute. Whether you're sending out reminders to middle school students' parents, or contacting customers who've provided their phone numbers, voice broadcasting can be a very powerful communication tool.
In just a few simple steps, you can send out your very first voice broadcast.
Send Your Voice Broadcast
Sending a message with DialMyCalls is quite simple. First, you'll need to record your voice message. You can also store pre-recorded messages in your account, which you can use any time. After you've recorded the message, it's time to choose which contacts it will be sent to. Your contact list can be imported from a CSV or Excel file in just a few clicks, so you won't have to manually re-enter the information.
You can also edit your Caller ID info, as well as designate a future time at which the voice broadcast will be sent. Then, you're ready for DialMyCalls to send out your phone call.[click to continue...]
It's often said that children can be cruel, and bullying has been around since time immemorial. But just because it's common doesn't mean it should be normalized. Historically, bullying has been written off as "kids being kids," or conceptualized as a necessary hardship that helps build character. In reality, it can cause serious damage. Victims of bullying can develop depression and anxiety, begin engaging in self-harming behaviors, and are at greater risk of substance abuse. It can take years for people to overcome the damage that childhood bullying can cause.
A school-wide bullying awareness program is a great way to draw attention to the problem, helping educate students about what to do if they're bullied or if they witness someone else being bullied. This can include an anonymous tip line, educational resources, and other measures to strongly discourage bullying and encourage kids to speak up.
1) Make Sure Children Understand What Constitutes Bullying
"Bullying" can be broadly defined as unwarranted aggressive behavior between children or teenagers, reflecting a real or perceived power imbalance. This behavior is generally repeated over time, and can be physical, verbal, or relational. The repetition, aggression, and power issues are central to bullying. Sometimes victims are singled out because they’re different, or because they're perceived as weak. At other times, it's essentially "random" from an outsider's perspective.
2) Acknowledge The Different Kinds of Bullying
Bullying isn't just about physical violence, which is often how it's characterized in media. Some children do bully others by hitting, punching, or otherwise attacking them, but this isn't the only way that aggression can manifest.
Today, with the rise of "zero tolerance policies" and greater general awareness of physically violent bullying, it's probably less common than it was thirty years ago. But verbal aggression is also a form of bullying. Children that tease, name-call, taunt, or threaten other children are engaging in bullying behavior.
There's also "social bullying." This is often called “relational aggression” when it’s observed in girls, especially preteens and teenagers. This includes passive-aggressive and indirect things like leaving someone out, telling other people not to be friends with the victim, embarrassing or humiliating someone in public, and spreading malicious rumors. This isn't always immediately recognized as bullying, either by authority figures or by the victims. It’s quite subtle, and it's very difficult for adults to catch on.
Cyberbullying is arguably a subset of social and verbal bullying, but today, it's more common than ever. It’s been around since at least the early to mid-2000s, when instant messaging was popular and youth began to use the internet regularly. Today, it's still rampant, and because it happens off of school property, it can be difficult to address. This kind of bullying offers no respite to the victim. They can be exposed to it 24/7, and it's difficult to escape. Cyberbullying messages and social media posts can be created anonymously, complicating the issue of culpability. Sometimes it may be impossible to tell who's actually doing it. Studies have shown that victims of cyberbullying are more likely to abuse drugs, skip school, get poor grades, and develop mental and physical health problems.
3) Encourage Children to Empathize with Victims
Bullying is primarily a relationship issue. Children often engage in teasing, name-calling, and other minor bullying without quite realizing the harm they’re causing. It can be important to emphasize the way that bullying makes the victim feel.[click to continue...]
If you work remotely, staying in touch with your coworkers and supervisors is key to your success. With all the awesome online tools available today, it's easier than ever to work full time from the comfort of your own home. Here are some of the apps we like the best for remote workers. You'll find social networks for companies, collaboration software, chat apps, and more that can help you move into the future of working remotely.
Yammer is a full social network, designed specifically for internal use by companies. It's like your own employees-only Facebook, making it easy for employees to communicate and connect. The service is entirely cloud-based, and can be accessed by employees from anywhere - making it a great way for remote teams to stay in touch with distant coworkers.
Yammer lets employees create public and private groups, which facilitates communication between members of small teams. It's easy to use, especially if you're already familiar with Facebook, and its interface isn't cluttered up by unnecessary features. It's currently included with Microsoft Office 365 making it quite accessible for businesses of all sizes.
The basic tier of Yammer is free, and the Enterprise tier runs a modest $3 per user per month. It's designed to be equally useful for both small businesses and large enterprises, meaning it can scale easily along with your business. If your remote teams need to stay connected, Yammer is a great choice.
The only real downside to Yammer is that it's a social network, that's essentially all that it is. This keeps the program lightweight and streamlined, but it lacks project management and scheduling features. [yammer.com]
Podio is a cloud-based team collaboration software-as-a-service (SaaS) solution. This web-based platform empowers teams to communicate, manage projects, and share data and content through the cloud. It has a modular design, and users can select "apps" to add to the program to accommodate their project needs.
Unlike Yammer, which is almost exclusively a communication tool, Podio blends communication with project management features. Pricing is set at $9, $14, and $24 per user per month, depending on which tier you need. There is a free version available, but it doesn't have the user management features that you get with the paid tiers.
Podio is best described as a "collaboration platform." It works like a social network, and users can create customizable "workspaces" where they can collaborate together. It has both a direct messaging feature and a built-in chat app, making it easy to communicate.
By visiting Podio's apps marketplace, you can purchase further modular features, including CRM tools, business development tools, and software development tools. Apps are available for all kinds of industries and business functions, so you can customize Podio for your particular company. [podio.com][click to continue...]
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