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Zoho Inventory Goes Mobile with Benefits for Small Businesses

A little over three years after its launch, Zoho Inventory becomes available on your mobile device with an all-new Android App. The 28th product release under the Zoho umbrella, Zoho Inventory was launched in 2015 and is a boon for small businesses. Zoho Inventory App According to Zoho, the new app will handle the order and warehouse management of your business on your device no matter where you are. Inventory management has become a challenge for small businesses as they integrate their brick and mortar stores with their eCommerce platform. Being able to keep track of your inventory in and out of the office means you can manage your supply more effectively and with greater accuracy. For small business owners who don’t have the resources to hire inventory managers or expensive applications, Zoho Inventory for Android offers an affordable option. The app makes all of your data available on your device so you can have a comprehensive view of your inventory. ? App Functionality Whether you are in the office or out and about, the Zoho Inventory app allows you to order goods and services instantly while looking into the stock level of your inventory. When you are ready to talk, the app gives you access to the contact information of your customers and vendors. The integration with Zoho CRM and Zoho Books automatically syncs all your contacts and orders while helping you manage your financial data. This allows you to respond to your customers more effectively because you have full access to their history, which also applies to your vendors if you want to make a purchase. The app also tracks online and offline orders. For online sales from your eCommerce platform, it automatically gets the sales orders for you. When it is an offline sale over the counter, you can create sales orders, download it and email it to your customers. Some of the other functionalities include tax compliance, multi-warehouse management, order fulfillment, invoice payments, multicurrency transactions, and more. Automation Being able to make payments while you are on the go and tracking those transactions while keeping tabs on your…

The New Dell Vostro 5000 Addresses the Needs of Small Businesses

When it comes to computing, small businesses have a wide range of needs. The new Dell Vostro 5000 line of laptops have been designed to address these many different needs while taking into consideration the budget of said small businesses. The new Vostro 5000 is available in a 15” (5581) or 14” (5481) variants with seven configurations all between $599 to $949 (prices may change with different promotions). And these configurations come with the latest 8th generation Intel processors along with multiple storage options including SSD, memory and more. For small businesses, these configurations offer options which address the functionality and budgetary constraints of small companies. This includes mobile computing which is more important than ever as the workplace can be anywhere these days. On the company blog, Erik Day wrote what the company had in mind when creating the new Vostro line, as well as the unique needs of small businesses. Day said, “Dell recognizes that small businesses have unique needs when it comes to their technology. With businesses recognizing that technology is no longer just PART of their strategy but central to their business model, those businesses have begun to identify exactly which PC features will lend to their most success while being mindful of a price point that is feasible for their budgets.” The 15” Dell Vostro 5000 (5581) The 15” model is available in four different configurations. Some of the specs which all four models share are the following: Display – 15.6-inch FHD (1920 x 1080) Anti-glare LED Backlight Non-touch Narrow Border IPS Display Graphics – Intel UHD Graphics 620 with shared graphics memory Ports – 1 HDMI v1.4a; 1 USB 3.1 Gen 1 Type-C™ (DP/PowerDelivery); 2 USB 3.1 Gen 1 Type-A; 1 USB 2.0 Operating System – Windows 10 Pro 64-bit English Connectivity – 802.11ac 1×1 WiFi and Bluetooth Battery – Integrated 3-Cell 42WHr battery Security – Fingerprint reader When it comes to the processor, they all have 8th generation Intel with Core i3-8145U (4M Cache, up to 3.9 GHz, 2 cores) or Core i5-8265U (6M Cache, up to 3.9 GHz, 4 cores). You can…

How to Build an iOS App for Your Business

It’s always a good idea to build an iOS app for your small business. With 1.3 billion iOS devices in active use worldwide, you could be leaving money on the table by ignoring this subset of users in the market. However, building an iOS app can be tricky. For starters, you need to hire the right iOS developer who understands your business to build the app—if you are not a developer yourself. The developer will provide crucial feedback on your concept, storyboard, and user experience. Moreover, you’ll need a solid marketing strategy to get your iOS app downloaded and used by your target customers. Over 5 million iOS apps are predicted will be available for download on the app store by 2020. It can be challenging getting people to find your app and download it from the app store. Although it can be challenging to build and market your iOS app, it is not impossible if you know how to do it right. And getting people to install and use your app is surely well worth the effort. How to Build an iOS App for Your Small Business According to freelance marketplace Upwork, which created a neat inforgraphic highlighting crucial steps for building an iOS app, you can easily build your app with the help of freelancers. Upwork identifies five crucial phases of iOS app development you need to know: Idea to concept Prototyping Front and backend coding Testing Submitting for review Freelancers come in handy when executing each of these phases, says the Mountain View, California-based freelance marketplace. Freelancers will also help you address any bugs and patches, and security holes in the app so you create a great user experience once your app is available in the app store. Detailed Steps for Building an iOS App With Freelancers- Infographic Check out Upwork’s full infographic below to learn more about the steps for iOS app development, and the type of talent to look for during each of the aforementioned phases of building your app. Photo via Shutterstock This article, “How to Build an iOS App for Your Business” was…

15 Examples of Augmented Reality to Inspire Small Business Owners

Incorporating augmented reality (AR), whereby an interactive experience of a real-world environment is created by computer-generated perceptual information, into business operations, marketing and functions, isn’t confined to big businesses with big budgets to play around with. On the contrary, many small businesses are jumping on the burgeoning AR bandwagon, as a means of attracting new customers, retaining existing ones, and ultimately becoming more competitive and profitable. Augmented Reality Examples Take a look at the following examples of AR being inaugurated by businesses of all sizes and sectors, proving that this highly immersive and interactive technology is not inaccessible. Aecomis Helps Architects Visualize Models The engineering firm Aecomis is using AR technology to help architects and engineers around the world visualize models of large building projects to help overcome potential problems. The company is using Microsoft HoloLens technology to project 3D engineering models as holograms in remote places. AR Hard Hat Transform Building Sites There’s more to a builder’s hard hat than meets the eye. Thanks to the French firm known as GA Smart Buildings, an AR-centered hard hat has been introduced, designed to help builders maintain higher levels of quality control over the operations on building sites. The innovative AR system displays a projection of the models directly onto the building environments, making it much clearer to builders where everything belongs. Home Improvement Start Uses AR to Connect Contractors with Home Owners The astute home improvement startup Porch has teamed up with AR provider Streem to offer an AR experience that connects a vast network of 250,000 home improvement contractors with homeowners looking to make appliance repairs and upgrades. The AR app enables contractors like plumbers and electricians to take measurements and capture video information of the problem to offer a quote for the repair before taking on the job. AR Transforms Commercial Real Estate Real estate is another industry starting to embrace and play around with AR technology. Commercial Real Estate and Macquarie University’s Virtual Reality Lab have developed the Commercial Real Estate AR app, in which users scan commercial property in their area to immediately access listing information…

Business Intelligence Helps This Sustainable Energy Company Take on Industry Giants — and Win

Sponsored Post The energy industry has been dominated by handful of big companies for a long time now who’ve long been dominant in their markets. Small, new players need more than great ideas to compete in the space. They need to offer better, faster, and more personalized service as their key differentiator. For New York-based Atlantic Energy, that meant finding a way to turn every day record-keeping into real and actionable business intelligence that could effectively drive bottom line results. Partnering with the right technology provider was the company’s key to success, resulting in a whopping 326% ROI in just four months. Complete visibility into operations gives this small business a big advantage Atlantic Energy is a small-to-medium sized business (SMB) focused on providing renewably-sourced energy to residential and enterprise customers in the northeastern United States. A key component of their business is the LED Lighting program, which provides customers with complimentary LEDs to replace older, less efficient bulbs. Atlantic Energy manages the logistics of the program, including staff, transportation, and warehouses. Up until recently the company had maintained all of their records manually using pen and paper. The team knew this was slowing them down — everything from warehouse operations to customer engagement — and that better information flow would give dispatchers complete visibility into field operations to inform better real-time decisions. Not to mention, going digital would also reduce paper consumption and the company’s environmental footprint. Atlantic Energy was already using Sales Cloud, and so familiar with the Salesforce platform and customer community. When they reviewed Field Service Lightning, the Atlantic Energy team felt confident they’d get the new functionality they needed while also gaining end-to-end visibility across sales, customer support, and field service. Adding on to their existing Salesforce install also stood to reduce Atlantic’s IT support, since they wouldn’t have to integrate a new vendor’s technology. Quick deployment leads to big results Working with an outsourced team of developers, Atlantic Energy took roughly three months to complete the deployment. Rollout was quick and easy, thanks to in-house familiarity with the Salesforce platform and the user interface. The benefits became clear right away: • Achieved 326%…

Flickr Updates to Pro and Free Accounts May Simplify Business Use

Changes to the iconic Flickr photo sharing community make the site more useful to businesses using it as a resource for images used in marketing and communication. Flickr Account Changes The change getting the biggest reaction is the elimination of the one free terabyte of space originally offered to all free Flickr users. Instead, they will be limited to 1,000 photos or videos. In April of this year, SmugMug purchased Flickr, and it was only a matter of time before changes would be implemented by the new owner. Fast forward seven months, and we now know what those changes are. The company attributes this change to people outside of the platform who were not members of the photo sharing community using the free storage. By changing the storage limit to the number of files free users can store, Flicker is looking to stop the abuse. The company says the majority of legitimate free users have less than 1,000 images, which will not affect how they use the platform. If you happen to have more than 1,000 images or videos, Flickr has set some deadlines for retrieving your content. You have until January 8, 2019 to upgrade to Pro or you must download anything over the 1,000 limit. After this date, you will not be able to upload any new content over the limit. But come February 5, 2019, any content over the limit will be actively deleted starting from oldest to newest date until it is down to 1,000. For all free members who want to keep their images on the site and upgrade to Flickr Pro, there is a limited 30% discount which will be valid through November 30. The Pro service still has unlimited storage for photos and videos at full resolution along with ad-free browsing for $49.99 per year. The advanced stat feature is also available so you can see how your images are performing on the site through the life of your Pro account. Changes to Flickr Pro A change likely to make new Flicker Pro members happy is the elimination of a requirement to use a…

Final Cut Pro Integrates Third Party Apps Perfect for Small Business Use

The 28th update to Final Cut Pro X (FCPX) since 2011 was announced as the FCPX Creative Summit was being held. Upgrades also include upgrades to Motion 5.4.2 and Compressor 4.4.2 perfect for small businesses. The new functionalities in FCPX 10.4.4 will give video editors more tools for workflow extensions with third-party apps along with better integration. Apple also listened to its customers and a number of requested features will be part of the latest iteration of this software. Although Apple users have access to other video editing software, Final Cut Pro is optimized to work more efficiently within the Apple ecosystem. This has made the software highly popular in the creative field where Apple laptops and desktops are used. Final Cut Pro is used by everyone from YouTubers to small businesses and large movie studios. Final Cut Pro X Updates The biggest update is the workflow extensions which will allow third-party companies to be part of the FCPX ecosystem for the first time. Apple is notoriously protective when it comes to who it lets in. This this is a sign the company is finally letting its guard down so its customers can use resources they need within its ecosystem. As part of FCPX, users can now access extensions from Shutterstock, Frame.io, and CatDV within the app. This means not having to open another app or window to make them work. When it comes to Shutterstock, you will be able to browse photos, videos, and music while you are editing and use them as needed with the free or licensed images. The Frame.io extension adds a collaborative tool by allowing you to review comments and annotations in real-time. This includes dragging clips and projects into the FCPX library and jumping between markers for better editing. The CatDV extension will integrate the video editing tool tightly by matching the appearance of Final Cut Pro. You can also synchronize playbacks between extensions and the timeline, add clip markers, and drag media into Final Cut Pro libraries. Some of the features which were requested by users and are now part of FCPX are…

What is UX Design and How Can it Help Your Small Business?

User Experience (UX) Design is the term used to describe the process of enhancing user satisfaction by creating products that provide relevant and meaningful experiences. By improving the accessibility and usability of a product, the satisfaction of interacting with the product is enhanced. What is UX Design? Whether it’s a website, software or any product for an end-user, the objective of UX Design is to generate an enjoyable, seamless experience for the user. How Can UX Design Help a Small Business? Such frictionless, satisfying experiences are important for small businesses, as they help boost customer satisfaction by providing enhanced accessibility, usability and enjoyable interaction with a product. The increased customer satisfaction generated through UX design means small businesses help attract and retain customers, sell a greater number of products and remain more competitive and profitable. Users expectations on their experience of products are on the rise. Consequently, to remain competitive, businesses need to implement UX design into their products to ensure their customers have the seamless, pleasurable experience they have come to expect. UX and Website Design UX is an important component of website design, with users expecting an easy-to-navigate, seamless and pleasurable journey as they browse through a site, whether on a PC, laptop or mobile phone. A poor UX on websites, such as delays to loading times, can quickly result in a potential customer navigating away from the site. Neil Patel, co-founder of Neil Patel Digital, and leading influencer in digital marketing, notes the importance of website loading times in the user experience., with something as short as a one second delay in page response, resulting in a 16% decease in customer satisfaction. “Page loading time is obviously an important part of any website’s user experience. And many times, we’ll let it slide to accommodate better aesthetic design, new nifty functionality or to add more content to web pages. Unfortunately, website visitors tend to care more about speed than all the bells and whistles we want to add to our websites,” says Patel in his blog. Frooition, specialists in professional eBay designs for ecommerce sites, is familiar with…

6 Ways to Keep Your Company and Employees Cyber Secure This Holiday Season

According to recent numbers from Cybersecurity firm Proofpoint, there has been a 4,671% increase in gift card related email scams this year. These fraudulent emails have even caught the  FBI’s eye and they peg losses to small businesses and customers at $1,021,919 since January of 2017. Small Business Trends contacted Rob Holmes, VP of email security at Proofpoint, for his take on 6 ways to keep your company and employees cyber secure this holiday season. We started by asking him what these scams were all about. “Cybercriminals are sending unsuspecting victims customized business email compromise (BEC) emails that attempt to lure them into purchasing gift cards for business or personal reasons,” he wrote in an email. “While we cannot attribute these attacks to a particular individual or group, this activity underscores the ongoing shift in the threat landscape, with cybercriminals continually finding new ways to manipulate people rather than target infrastructure.” Holiday Season Cybersecurity Tips Here’s how to protect your small business and employees. Spot Fake Display Names Holmes reports the scammers have learned to impersonate executives or managers and lure employees into purchasing gift cards under false pretenses. They often use a Gmail account and phoney display name to match an individual’s name. Once gift cards have been purchased this way, they’re used for illegitimate purposes. Checking the email address in the footer will help you to spot these fakes. Most of the ones that are scams won’t look legitimate. Adopt A Policy It doesn’t matter whether you’re a sole proprietor or a business with 50 employees, cyber criminals are targeting you. If you’re a smaller business, you might not have controls, processes and policies in place. Taking the time to fashion a policy for employees to read and memorize about what to look for can save you trouble in the long run. The Small Business Administration stresses your policy should include social media best practices. Designate an Employee “Smaller businesses are targeted because they don’t have designated employee engagement positions, which often handle bulk gift card purchases,” Holmes writes. “This increases the pool of potential small business victims…

Small Businesses Lose $80K on Average to Cybercrime Annually, Better Business Bureau Says

The growth of cybercrime will cost the global economy more than $2 trillion by 2019, according to the Better Business Bureau’s 2017 State of Cybersecurity Among Small Businesses in North America report. Cost of a Cyber Attack When it comes to small businesses, the report said the overall annual loss was estimated at almost $80K or $79,841 on average. And as more small businesses become equal parts digital and brick-and-mortar, securing both aspects of their company is more important than ever. The risks small business owners face in the digital world has increased their awareness of the dangers of this ecosystem. A survey conducted by GetApp in 2017 revealed security concerns ranked second as the challenges small businesses were facing. In its report GetApp says, small businesses have to implement a multipronged approach with defense mechanism designed to “Ward off attacks from different fronts.” However, the company doesn’t forget to address the challenges small business owners face when it comes to tackling cybersecurity with limited budgets and IT expertise while at the same time running their business. Adopting a Small Business Cybersecurity Strategy Why is adopting a cybersecurity strategy important for small businesses? Because according to eMarketer, in 2017 retail e-commerce sales globally reached $2.304 trillion, which was a 24.8% increase over the previous year. Of this total, mCommerce accounted for 58.9% of digital sales and overall eCommerce made up 10.2% of total retail sales worldwide in 2017, an increase of 8.6% for the year. What this means for small businesses is they can’t afford not to be part of this growing trend in digital commerce. They have to ensure the digital platform they have protects their organization and customers whether they are on a desktop, laptop or mobile device. Have Clear Goals and Objectives When it comes to cybersecurity, having clear goals and objectives will greatly determine the success of the tools, processes, and governance you put in place to combat cybercriminals. According to GetApp, with the right cybersecurity solution in place, your small business will be able to detect and prevent a cyber-attack before it takes place. It…

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