AboutJack Brandt is a leading expert in channel development for organizations addressing the SMB. He has helped numerous organizations develop online sales channels for their Internet/cloud based services as an advisor and an individual contributor in domains, web hosting, cloud services, and local & hyperlocal search. He as worked directly with hosters, telcos, cablecos, YP’s and drectories, both on and offline to help achieve their goals. Jack Brandt is currently President of Mixed Media Ventures, LLC, and continues to help channel organizations better serve and market to their customers and clients.
My favorite free or almost free small business tools.
Here is a list of my favorite small business tools that are free or almost free for use:
- DimDim.com – Like Webex, but free for up to 20 users.
- LogMeIn.com – Like GoToMyPC, but completely free, and works like a charm.
- Zoho.com (Particularly ZoHoCRM.com) Free CRM for up to three users, and it is dirt cheap for additional users or to upgrade to additional functionality. There are a ton of other tools there as well.
- Google Apps Standard (http://www.google.com/apps/intl/en/group/index.html) – 50 Email addresses at your domain, shared calendaring, shared documents, etc. I use the word processor and spreadsheet more and more every day. It gives me access from any PC. With their offline tool, I can even work on the plane, and sync when I get back to an Internet connection.
- Google Calendar Sync – Sync your Outlook with Google Calendar so that your Google Calendar syncs with your Iphone…
- Nuevasync.com – Gets your your Google Calendar to actually sync with your Iphone. And it’s free.
- Skype.com – Invaluable for communicating from hotel rooms, my IPhone, etc. and calls are free to other Skype users. Want to call overseas to a land-line or to your buddy across the country, long distance rates are inexpensive, and I have been on the same $20.00 prefund of my account for a year. Cannot beat that.
- WordPress – I am going to use this more and more for testing of other projects as there are so many plug-ins for it and new tools being released every week.
- QuickBooks Online Basic – Basic online bookkeeping for $9.95 a month
- RingCentral.com – Get an 800#, Voicemail, Extentions, an IVR and forward calls to cellphones, home phones, etc. in the 20.00+ dollar per month range.
- Idrive.com – Backup and restore your hard drive or multiple computers from anywhere. I backup three computers, and then use it to sync certain folders so that I always have all my up to date files on each PC no matter which one I take with me anywhere. 500GB of storage space is only $14.95 a month.
Have more of your own, feel free to comment below…View comments →
Getting Juiced Up, and Get Selling
I am at HostingCon 2009 this week. There is a resounding theme. Sales! Yes Sales. Not only the the kind of sales you are thinking of. i.e. Sell more Web Hosting services, sell more Value Added Services, and make more money. No, no. Sales of a much more important kind. The type of sales that I have been preaching about for years as an attendee at shows like this as well as a speaker. To preface this, I have never spoken at HostingCon. However, the mantra I am hearing above the “cloud” buzz is Sales, and it is about time. So, what kind of sales a are we discussing? It’s simple really, and that is; helping your small business customers sell more of their services. I say it is about time. There are companies out there that I have known for years that have had this mantra. But this year, this time, it is coming across in droves from sources I have not heard it from in the past.View comments →
Going into Business for yourself? Create a Self-Marketing Plan.
The economy is tough right now. There are a lot of people out of work. If you have been searching for a new job, have been discouraged, and are looking to do some consulting or start a new business then you need to create a self marketing plan. This applies to existing businesses as well.
How do you promote yourself? How do you get the word out that you are in business. Here are a few tips to help you beyond the idea that you need business cards, stationary, a website, professionally branded email, etc.View comments →
The repurposing of dead companies
Several box box brands are trying to make a comeback, it seems. They may not be brick & mortar, but looks like they will be online brands only. That isn’t such a bad thing, given their brick & mortar model failed. It looks like stronger online brands or private equity organizations are trying to pick up the peices and take advantage of names such as Linens and Things, and Circuit City. To me this makes sense. Even though Circuit City, for instance, went out of business recently, their trademark and domain name were just acquired by Systemax, Inc. a direct seller of PCs and other equipment. I did a quick search on compete.com for any of the latest circuitcity.com traffic, and found that Circuit City received over 800,000 unique visitors last month. Not too shabby for a company that is no longer in business. If Systemax, Inc. can capitalize on this, they may be able to build a seven or eight figure business out of the defunct brand. An article on CNN Money has a little more on this subject… Take a look here: http://tinyurl.com/cy3tex
As an FYI, Systemax has also acquired the domain and trademarks for CompUSA, and is reopening stores and reinvigorating the brand as we speak.View comments →
What you need to do to market more effectively in a recession
If you are any size business, I am sure you have been hit is some way by our recession. Well, in this artcle by the Ecommerce Times, they have outlined a few ways that you can market more effectively and follow your marketing smarter. Check out the article titled: Recessionary Times Call for Recessionary Marketing.View comments →
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