With technology increasingly intertwined with all aspects of business, [email protected] can help you -- prosumers to small businesses with fewer than five employees -- get started.Amid the frenzy and excitement of starting your own small business, the need to evaluate and procure technology systems is probably the least interesting task on your to-do list.But choosing the right technology arsenal for your growing small business is a critical process, even if it's hard to imagine how certain systems will fit into your operations both now and in the future.For small businesses, customer relationship management (CRM) software is one of those potential head-scratchers. CRM is technically nonessential, but it's designed to help you build and maintain better relationships with your customers and drive higher customer satisfaction and loyalty.At its simplest, CRM software is a database of customer interactions that businesses use to help their sales teams and service reps increase sales and improve … [Read more...] about Is CRM essential for your small business? Probably
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When it comes to cloud services and software-as-a-service (SaaS), we're all familiar with the usual cloud providers. But for small businesses and larger enterprises, there's a huge world of opportunity and available resources beyond those best-known cloud storage and cloud computing services: Google, Dropbox, Salesforce, Amazon and Microsoft. In this guide to services for business, we're looking at 24 incredibly valuable services that solve real-world business problems. A few of you may have heard about before. Many may be new to you. All are capable of providing nearly instant benefit -- without you having to make any infrastructure investment whatsoever. CNET may get a share of revenue from the sale of these products and services featured on this page.With that, let's get started with our first cloud-based service... 1. Approval DonkeyCloud-based approval workflows Free version: Up to three workflowsPlus program: $13 per monthHow many times has a project come to … [Read more...] about Best cloud services for small businesses
Cloud-based storage solutions have advantages for many small business owners (even if they don't look like actual clouds). Anthony Harvie/Getty Images For many years the owners of Brandshake Creative, an online graphic and web design company in Atlanta, believed that a dedicated business server was a necessity. "Until the late 2000s," Rama Roy says, "There was no question we had to have our own server. Our server was one of our company's biggest depreciable assets, and our IT guy was probably one of our bigger expenses. We practically had him on speed dial for things like upgrading the operating system, setting up new users and dealing with inevitable glitches." Several years ago, however, Brandshake — along with many other like-minded small businesses — replaced its server with a cloud-based storage solution. Cloud solutions have advantages for many small business owners. They're cost-effective. Data is retrievable instantly from anywhere. Backups are regular and … [Read more...] about Do you need your own servers for your small business?
Running your own jewelry business is fun but challenging; fortunately, the IRS allows you to take some credits to lower your tax burden. © Kevin Dodge/Corbis Small businesses play a huge role in the United States economy. According to Census Bureau data, 98 percent of the more than 28 million businesses in America have fewer than 20 employees [source: SBE Council]. Small businesses produce 46 percent of the U.S. Gross Domestic Product and accounted for 63 percent of net new job creation between 1993 and 2013 [sources: SBA, SBA]. Small businesses must pay taxes just like individual workers or large corporations. The simple story is that small businesses pay taxes on their net profit; that's the sum of all business earnings minus normal businesses expenses. Depending on the size and nature of the small business, figuring taxes can be straightforward or highly complex. This article will give you a strong foundation for understanding the types of taxes that small businesses pay … [Read more...] about Tax Guide for Small Businesses
Shaquille O'Neal visits with Friedman's Shoes owner Bruce Teilhaber in Atlanta at a video shoot for Small Business Saturday on Oct. 24, 2017. Daniel Shirey/Getty Images for American Express The Great Recession of 2008-2009 was the worst downturn in the U.S. economy since the Great Depression of the 1930s, causing unemployment to spike to nearly 10 percent and slashing more than 4 percent from the gross domestic product. Consumer spending tanked and small businesses suffered, as 60 percent of job cuts in the U.S. occurred at companies that could least afford it — those with 50 or fewer employees. About 200,000 small businesses called it quits during that period. In 2010, American Express (AmEx) saw the bloodbath as a chance to launch an initiative called Small Business Saturday. Hot on the heels of Black Friday, Small Business Saturday is meant to emphasize spending not at big box stores, but instead at local shops and vendors who rely on an influx of revenue around the … [Read more...] about Is Small Business Saturday Good for Small Businesses?