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May 23, 2014 Headlines

Three Valuable Data Points Pinterest Can Give You
The Basic Building Blocks of a Web Site, and Their Costs
Accounting Tools for the Digital Age
A Modern Guide to Small Business Accounting Software
Avoid Common Mistakes With Virtualization
Five Ways to Gain Control in the Cloud
Five Easy Ways to Write Better Emails
How to Find the Right SEM Vendor

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Three Valuable Data Points Pinterest Can Give You

Inc.com (05/14/14); Pieri, Jules

The Grommet CEO Jules Pieri says there are three data points businesses can leverage from Pinterest. Pieri says the first data point is to review the language pinners use do describe a business' offerings. Through analyzing this language, Pieri says businesses will be able to determine the best marketing strategies for their products and services. Pieri also advises businesses to use trending images as a marketing opportunity. Publishing images is a simple technique that has major potential for viral sharing and cross-platform marketing. Collecting pin-to-sales data is another strategy Pieri says is useful for analyzing conversions and for deploying smarter marketing efforts. Read More


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The Basic Building Blocks of a Web Site, and Their Costs

Entrepreneur (05/12/14); Alvarado, Ana R.

Small businesses considering creating a Web site should not be deterred by the seemingly gargantuan feat. Web sites are composed of a few basic components and SMBs can adopt the do-it-yourself approach to Web site creation. Purchasing a domain name (i.e. YourBusiness.com) is the first step; domain names generally costs about $10 to $20 annually, which is affordable on an SMB budget. The next step is selecting a host, which is responsible for storing a business' files online; hosts costs anywhere between $4 and $30 per month, but will cost more if a business is impacted by heavy Web traffic. Special features like optimizing a site for multiple devices will cost more while creating a site, and SMBs have the option to create a responsive design for multiple devices or create different versions of a Web site for different devices. Web site builders such as Wix and Wordpress allow SMBs to create professional sites with pre-designed templates, with prices varying according to the features desired by a business. Read More


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Accounting Tools for the Digital Age

Accounting Today (05/07/2014); Cohn, Michael

Creative Signals has released an infographic outlining tools accountants should consider leveraging for improving success in the digital age. The infographic cites two-thirds of firms conducting business via the cloud, with tools like FreshBooks and Accounter offering comprehensive accounting solutions. Cloud computing is the primary platform for conducting employee trainings and cloud storage providers also ranked as popular tools among firms. The overwhelming majority of accounting professionals also use mobile devices. Inputting data manually is cited as the greatest challenge encountered by firms, but 40 percent of accounting professionals cite tools like QuickBooks as a significant time-saver. Creative Signal advises firms evaluating apps and cloud-based services to select a solution based on the following criteria: ease of usage, time-saving capabilities, and budget-appropriate. Read More


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A Modern Guide to Small Business Accounting Software

Small Business Computing (04/30/14); Baker, Pam

Small businesses investing in accounting software should evaluate a few considerations prior to their purchase. One of the first decisions firms must finalize is investing in a cloud-based or on-premise software. Cloud-based services generally cost less and update automatically. On-premise software is a one-time investment but risks growing outdated. A few robust accounting software options exist, including Adminsoft Accounts which includes a sales and purchase ledger, as well as a general ledger. Adminsoft Accounts includes support for inventory, human resources, and payroll processing. TurboCASH 5 is an open source option and boasts a user-friendly interface. xTuple PostBooks features enterprise resource planning (ERP) functions and customer relationship management (CRM), while Wave allows businesses to link their accounts through portals like Paypal. Read More


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Avoid Common Mistakes With Virtualization

Processor.com (05/02/14)Vol. 36, No. 9, P. 26

Virtualization has been hailed as a strategic deployment for businesses, but there are a few common pitfalls associated with this technology. If businesses have deployed virtualized machines but have yet to reap considerable returns, these specific applications might not be best suited for virtualization. Applications that need to be taken offline to conduct maintenance are prime candidates for virtualization. Businesses consolidating servers should be aware of the potential bottlenecks of this process, which could reverse the benefits of the deployment. Prior to rolling out virtualization, businesses should test the process in steps. As businesses begin to virtualize machines, they should remember to include mobile devices as part of the virtualization process. Businesses must also remember to monitor software licensing and associated costs during all phases of the virtualization process. Read More


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Five Ways to Gain Control in the Cloud

Accounting Today (04/29/2014); Lubetkin, Julie

There are five ways accounting firms can gain greater control over their businesses in the cloud. The first way is through security, whereby cloud computing has allowed firms higher levels of security through firewalls that prevent unauthorized access to servers and through advanced encryption technology. The cloud also controls employees' work environments, particularly by adding greater flexibility to locations from which employees work. Mobile devices support this trend toward remote working which is a direct result of cloud technology. Cloud computing additionally reduces costs and time for employees. Through eliminating paper, firms save enormous amounts of money while gaining more time to focus on business processes rather than IT. Lastly, the cloud allows firms to control their growth by providing opportunities for more collaboration and expand the reach of a firm. Read More


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Five Easy Ways to Write Better Emails

Inc.com (04/23/14); Murphy Jr., Bill

Writing concise and direct email is often challenging for businesses that rely heavily on this form of digital communication. There are five steps businesses can follow to improve responses to email that are action-oriented. The first recommendations is writing shorter email; using less words warrants immediate attention and shorter email is less likely to go unnoticed. Being direct is another important strategy in writing effective email. Eliminating adverbs and adjectives, writing a brief summary, and stating a desired action will prompt a reader to respond more quickly. Equally important is the ability of senders to respond to email timely. Prior to sending an email, users should always re-read it at least twice. The last recommendation is to add the recipient's email last, which could lead to disastrous consequences if the sender accidentally types the wrong address. Read More


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How to Find the Right SEM Vendor

Small Business Computing (04/22/14); Doberentz, Mike

Search engine marketing (SEM) campaigns are useful for growing a firm's client base and increasing a firm's exposure in search engine rankings. Vendors specializing in SEM campaigns generally deploy a few key strategies. The first is focusing on keyword analysis, which will direct users to a firm's Web site through tactics that target specific keywords. Backlink generation is another strategy which drives traffic to a firm's site through other links from related Web sites. Targeted content is a technique that SEM campaigns implement to generate on-site content that indicates users have selected the correct page, while campaigns can be adjusted to optimize click-through rates and generate conversions. Firms should also review Google's Webmaster Guidelines to optimize their search ranking in online queries. Read More


LAST UPDATED 5/23/2014