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10 Best Salesforce Apps for Small Businesses

Salesforce is a CRM platform that allows small businesses to manage all of their sales, marketing and customer service communications in one place. Launched back in 1999, it has become one of the most popular platforms of its kind. Part of the reason that Salesforce has become so widely used is the ability to completely customize the experience through the use of third party apps. The marketplace features apps for managing marketing processes, accessing analytical data, scheduling and more. To access these apps, you can browse or search within the AppExchange marketplace and then purchase or download the ones you want to use right from the site. If you’re looking to add some new apps to your Salesforce experience, here are some top choices to consider. Best Salesforce Apps Campaign Monitor for Salesforce The top email marketing and mass emails tool in Salesforce, Campaign Monitor lets you quickly add your customer records and keep an eye on subscriber activity, from opens and clicks to opt-outs. The free tool is fully integrate with Salesforce and gives you one of the easiest ways to manage mass communication with customers via email. 10 Simple & Useful Reports to Know Your Customers Better From Salesforce Labs, this free tool gives you the answers to 10 of the most common and helpful questions you might have about your customers, including where they’re located and which customers have been updated within the past week. Essentially, it gives you a free and easy way to access insights that could help you shape your sales and marketing tactics. Formstack Formstack is an app that allows you to build forms without coding. It’s a Salesforce-native program that lets you collect data online or on mobile with just a few clicks, so you can easily find out more about your customers and then use that data to better serve them or shape your new products, services or marketing initiatives. It costs $79 per user per month. Eventable Calendar Marketing A free app, Eventable offers a simple interface for custom calendar notifications. You can send events to contacts, manage events in…

Essential Office Supplies You May Need to Start Your Business

No matter what type of business you plan on starting, you’ll need some basic office supplies to support your operations. The exact items you invest in will depend on your own needs and processes. However, there are some items that can be helpful for businesses in a huge array of industries. Here are some of the office supplies that you might consider purchasing to get your own venture off the ground. List of Basic Office Supplies Printer Paper This is necessary for any important documents that you want to print out or copy. Notebooks These can be used for handwritten notes or personal reminders. Graph Paper If your business does any design work or even certain types of math, graph paper is a must. Planner Separate from a regular notebook, a paper planner can help you keep all of your appointments and to-dos organized. Sticky Notes These are perfect for all of those quick thoughts or reminders you want to keep near your workspace. Sticky Tabs If you’re making notes on a document or in a notebook, these can help you keep track of the important spots of note. Scissors From opening boxes to cutting sheets of paper, scissors have a seemingly endless amount of uses. Tape Again, tape is one of those supplies that can come in handy in a number of different situations. Pens An absolute must, you’ll need pens to make any handwritten notes. Pencils For the times when you want to make less permanent notations, pencils are a must. Erasers Then you’ll also need erasers to be able to get rid of those mistakes. Markers For the times when you want to make bigger notes or write on rough surfaces, invest in some markers. Staplers Anytime you need to group a set of documents or papers together, a stapler can really come in handy. Staples Of course, the actual staples themselves are also essential. Staple Remover And if you ever find yourself wanting to separate those pages again, you’ll need a staple remover. Paper Clips For the times when you want to group some documents together…

Best Mobile Point of Sale Systems for Small Businesses

Choosing the right point of sale (POS) system is an important part of streamlining your processes and increasing sales. The right mobile POS system also makes paying easier for clients. Here’s some of the best mobile point of sale systems for small business owners. Best Mobile Point of Sale Systems Lightspeed Flexibility is one of the options you want to find in one of these POS systems. Lightspeed offers just that with variations for e-commerce, restaurant and retail stores. One of the interesting things here is the ability to write product descriptions for e-commerce that can double as meta descriptions for SEO. An excellent time saving feature when you’re running an e-commerce store with tons of product. The annual on-site plan for small shops starts at $99 a month. Vend This POS software works with PC, Mac and iPad like a lot of the others. Vend is America’s leading retail software. One of the things that makes it an industry leader is it works off-line. It holds sales until you’re back up online and then re-syncs them so you never leave any money on the table. A starter package starts at $69 monthly. Bindo Bindo has a reputation for being the best choice for iPads. It’s great for both retail and restaurants and boasts 300 features to choose from. The PIN-based staff management system allows you to track employees time on the job to improve efficiency. They offer a free 14-day trial to get you started. Revel Making sales and payments easier and more convenient is just one thing Revel does. This software actually helps to simplify the accounting process with QuickBooks integration, a secure cash drawer and even a POS printer. PCI-compliant cloud technology is another bonus in these times of constant cybersecurity worries. ShopKeep ShopKeep offers a variety of interesting features including sales by the hour, analytics and real-time inventory reports so you can cull the products that don’t sell. They also offer a mobile option you can keep an eye on your business no matter where you are. The mobile app is great for shop owners who…

10 Gelato and Shaved Ice Franchises to Compete with Rita’s

In 2016, gelato accounted for approximately 5% of the $14.3 billion U.S. ice cream market. So, opening a gelato and shaved ice business can prove lucrative for entrepreneurs. Still, like any business, starting from scratch can be challenging, particularly when it comes to competing with large gelato chains. One option is to become a gelato and shaved ice franchisee and open a store with an established brand. Gelato and ice cream franchises have experienced massive growth over past five years leading up to 2017, according to one published report. Starting from a humble porch in Philly Rita’s Italian Ice went on to become an international phenomenon with more than 600 locations across the U.S. and around the world. The brand remains a testament to the huge demand for gelato and shaved ice and the potential success of franchising within this industry. Gelato Franchises to Consider Of course you could always choose from a number of other franchises besides Rita’s when seeking a successful gelato or shaved ice opportunity with an established brand. Gelato Go An established gelateria brand throughout America, Gelato Go, offers franchising opportunities for proactive and determined entrepreneurs looking for a share of the profitable gelato market. A total investment of $183,500 to $400,100 is required to open a Gelato Go store. And franchisees will receive comprehensive training. Papalani Gelato Papalani Gelato serves gelato, frozen yoghurt, sorbetto and many more iced goodies across the U.S. The company offers franchise opportunities in the U.S., encouraging people to start their own fun and rewarding business. Depending on where you open a Papalani Gelato business, the costs can range from $152,475 to $478,550. Amorino Amorino provides Italian gelato available in a whole host of flavors, with customers being able to create their own Amorino rose gelato. Amorino gelaterias are available to franchise across America. The company looks for impassioned self-starters who are keen to contribute to the success of Amorino. Details about franchise costs are available upon application. Shaved Ice Franchises to Consider Mustache Mike’s Italian Ice Mustache Mike’s Italian Ice manufactures Italian ice in California and then distributes it throughout the U.S.…

Best 10 Online Tools to Create GIFS for your Small Business

GIFs, short bite-sized animated image files, are everywhere these days, dominating social media and the internet, in general. These fun, short files are animated by combining a series of images into an encoded graphics interchange format (GIF). GIFs are used widely online as a means of conveying a reaction, illustrating a point or explaining a concept. Reaction GIFs on social chats are one area where these files are proving to be particularly popular. GIFs are being used by businesses to help them stay up-to-date, fun and relevant online. These entertaining animated pictures can be an effective way of getting attention on social media, engaging with followers and increasing brand appeal. They are also used by many businesses to create eye-catching and memorable how-tos. Animated GIF Maker List If you’re determined to get creative with GIFs  for your small business, here are 10 online tools not requiring too much of your time or technical know-how. BlogGIF With a suite of effects and editing tools, BlogGIF is a great tool for producing stand-out GIFs with ease. You can add animated effects, text, glitter, splash color and much more with the BlogGIF creator. It is also possible to add music to a GIF, decompose an animated GIF and create a GIF slideshow with this free GIF creating tool. Giphy If you want to create basic GIFs for your business, simply and quickly, Giphy might be the right GIF creating tool for you.  You can add multiple images to create a GIF slideshow or trim your video into a GIF and then add captions or stickers to create a fun animated GIF for your business. Giphy also supports YouTube, Vimeo and Giphy links. GIMP GIMP is a free to use, open-source image editor that allows you to make GIFs. On GIMP you can extract video clips and when the images are imported, you can have fun using the tools available on the GIMP editing suite. To make animated GIFs, you will need the GIMP Animation Package. Imgflip With the Imgflip GIF maker you can make high-quality animated GIFs for your business from video files, YouTube,…

10 CAD Tools for Your Small Manufacturing Business

Computer-aided design, or CAD, is an essential tool for any manufacturing or product design business. There are plenty of different software programs out there that can help you with this function, but knowing which ones to choose can be a bit tricky. Dan Taylor, content analyst at software review and research platform Capterra said in an email to Small Business Trends, “You have to be careful choosing CAD software, because while CAD is used in manufacturing it is also used in construction, and some software may be suited more for one than the other. This is why it’s important to try out software first.” CAD Tools If you’re looking for a new CAD software to try out for your manufacturing business, here are a few different options to consider. AutoCAD AutoCAD is a 3D CAD program that Taylor says is popular with a lot of manufacturing and product design companies. It’s available for Mac and Windows on a subscription basis, with different rates depending on the length of your subscription. Features include 3D modeling and visualization, customization options and a mobile app for working on the go. DesignCAD From TurboCAD, DesignCAD is a software suite that offers both 2D and 3D design options. The 3D CAD program includes features for rendering, animation, modeling and more. The program costs $99.99 with optional upgrades also available. Solidworks 3D CAD Solidworks offers three different versions of its CAD software. The standard edition includes 3D design features for creating parts, assemblies and drawings. The premium and professional versions then include some advanced collaboration and simulation options to take those designs to the next level. Pricing is customized based on each company’s needs, so you need to contact the team directly to determine the cost and features you need. A free trial period is also available. Vectorworks Vectorworks offers a number of different software options for different types of design and products, ranging from architecture to structural design. So you can check out the different options and find the one that best fits with your business’s niche. The company also offers mobile solutions and a…

Best 11 Parking Apps for Entrepreneurs who Travel for Business

For small business travelers, it’s imperative to arrive at meetings and destinations on time. By locating parking spaces and allowing you to reserve and pay for spaces in advance, parking apps can make business travel significantly easier, quicker and stress-free. If you regularly travel for your business and have yet to jump on the parking app phenomenon, check out the following 11 best parking apps for small business travelers. Select the Best Parking App ParkWhiz For small business travelers wanting to keep the costs of their trip to a minimum, ParkWhiz promises to offer parking rates that are up to 50% cheaper than what you would pay on location. ParkWhiz allows you to search thousands of parking locations across the country, compare pricing, book instantly and park with your mobile pass. ParkWhiz is free to download on iOS and Android devices. PayByPhone PayByPhone helps you avoid wasting time paying for parking whilst on a business trip as you can pay for parking spots remotely and in advance. The app also allows you to extend parking time remotely and enter a new user registration. PayByPhone is available on Android and iOS. Parking Panda Parking Panda spaces are available at airports, stadiums, garages, lots and carparks in 40-plus cities around the country, helping you locate and book a parking space whatever type of business trip you are going on. You can also save extra money with exclusive Parking Panda discounts. Parking Panda is free to download on iOS and Android mobile devices. SpotHero For small business travelers on tight budgets, SpotHero helps you save almost 50% compared to what you’d pay on drive-up costs. You have to pay upfront to reserve your parking spot with SpotHero. For users with a business account, you can split parking expenses on different accounts. SpotHero is available on iOS devices. Parkopedia Parking Parkpoedia is easy to sign up to and offers lists and maps of carparks, with spaces color-coded by price. The app provides capacity for each carpark, though for live information about availability, you’ll need to upgrade. Parkopedia Parking is available on iOS and Android.…

What Posters Are Required in the Workplace? Small Businesses MUST be Aware

Many businesses are required by law to display health and safety and employment law information posters on the premises. Failing to display up-to-date employment law and health and safety information puts businesses at risk of non-compliance. What Posters Are Required in the Workplace? Knowing which posters must be displayed at your business is critical. See the list below of posters you are required to display in the work areas at your small business. OSHA Job Safety and Health: It’s the Law The OSHA Job Safety and Health: It’s the Law poster informs workers of their rights under the Occupational Safety and Health Act. All employers that are covered by the OSH Act regardless of their industry or which state they are in, are required to display this poster in their workplace. The poster must be located in a conspicuous place where workers can see it. The OSHA Job Safety and Health: It’s the Law poster can be ordered for free from the OSHA Publications web page. Employee Rights Under the Fair Labor Standards Act The Employee Rights Under the Fair Labor Standards Act poster provides descriptions of employee rights under the law. Every private, federal, state and local government employer subject to the Fair Labor Standards Act, 29 USC 211, 29 CFR 516.4, must post this workplace poster. Information about how to order this poster can be found at the United States Depart of Labor (DOP). Employee Rights and Responsibilities Under the Family and Medical Leave Act The Employee Rights and Responsibilities Under the Family and Medical Leave Act poster informs employees of their leave entitlements. It is a legal requirement for public agencies, private sector employers with 50 or more employees in 20 or more work weeks, who are involved in commerce or in any industry affecting commerce, as well as public and private elementary and secondary schools, to display this poster. Refusal to display the Employee Rights and Responsibilities Under the Family and Medical Leave Act poster may result in a $100 penalty imposed by the Department of Labor’s  Wage and Hour Division for each individual violation. This…

10 Best Call Blocker Apps to Prevent Nuisance Calls to Your Small Business

The number of spam calls being made to mobile phones and landlines is on the rise around the world. A study by Truecaller shows the U.S. is the second most affected country by spam calls, with users, on average, receiving 20.7 nuisance calls each month. For small businesses, frequently being interrupted by spam calls to mobile phones wastes valuable time. Fortunately, apps are available to block nuisance calls to your mobile phone. Take a look at the following 10 best call blocker app options for a small business user. Best Call Blocker App Options Call Blocker The Call Blocker app puts you in control of your iPhone by allowing you to identify, block and report suspicious phone numbers. By joining Call Blocker’s growing community, this app helps you avoid spams and pesky telemarketers, which waste your time. You can download this simple-to-use call blocking app for free on Google Play and the App Store. Sync.ME What’s different about this call blocker app is that as well as identifying unknown phone calls and warning you of annoying spam calls, its adds a caller picture to your contacts from Twitter, Facebook and Google+, meaning you can identify calls made by your contacts in an instant. With the Sync.ME Widget, you can quickly identify unknown phone numbers without even having to open the app. Sync.ME is free for both Android and iOS. Call Control Call Control is a free community-based blacklist and call blocker app, which automatically blacklists and blocks thousands of spam callers and robocalls in an instant. You can also block calls from unknown and private callers, filter SMS texts and place a Do Not Disturb mode on calls. Furthermore, calls are blocked silently so you won’ be interrupted from business tasks. Call Control can be downloaded from the Play Store and the App Store. Mr. Number As well as blocking unwanted calls, Mr. Number identifies and stops scam, spam and fraud. The app can block calls and SMS texts from an individual person, an area code or the whole world. Mr. Number can also intercept calls from unknown/private numbers and…

7 Amazing Projectors for Small Businesses

If your business involves giving presentations, projectors can make such meetings more interactive and engaging. These essential meeting features can go a long way in enhancing the professional image of your small business, helping you win important contracts and clients. Projectors come with a range of features and for different prices, so it’s not difficult to find one to cater for your own business needs and budget. Best Business Projector List Take a look at the following 8 best business projectors for a small business. Philips Pico PPX4010 When traveling around going to meetings and presentations, small business owners need their equipment to be light and portable. With dimensions of just 70 x 70 x20mm, the Philips Pico PPX4010 certainly ticks the light and portable box. This projector draws power via a USB, making it convenient and easy to use. The only drawback of the Philips Pic PPX4010 is that, with a brightness of just 100 lumens, it is not as bright as many full-size projectors. It’s affordable though, costing $249. Moto Insta-Share Projector Super convenient for business owners and sales teams who travel is the Moto Insta-Share Projector, a nifty device that transforms your phone into a projector, in an instant. The Moto Insta-Share Projector is compatible with the Moto Z family of phones. Simply snap the device onto your phone and you can instantly turn any flat surface into a 70” big screen. This highly portable projector is affordable for small businesses on a tight budget, costing $199.99 ViewSonic PA503S 3600 Lumens SVGA HDMI Projector This versatile projector is packed with advanced features that makes it perfect for small business environments. The ViewSonic PA503S boasts a big screen projection, projecting 120 inches from 15-feet 8-inches in an incredibly bright 3600 lumen. Connectivity is made simple for those mobile presentations, as the ViewSonic PA503S supports most media players, Macs, PCs and mobile devices with input options such as VGA and HDMI. On the downside, the ViewSonic PA503S is a loud projector, which some business owners may find distracting. It’s affordable though, priced at $299.99. HDMI Pocket Projector Mobile If…

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