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 →
What’s the Lifetime Value of Your Customer?
I was going to write a a blog article on the benefits of knowing the lifetime value of your customer, but my friend Peter, seems to have written one a couple of weeks ago, so I thought, why be redundant.? You can check it out here. The blog post is short and sweet, links out to a few resources, and should give you a good idea how to gauge the real value of a customer pretty quickly.View comments →
Never completely abandon your core product or service
While traveling this week, I had lunch with a prospect, an employee peer of his (who is VP of product with their company), and someone I also consider a friend. We spoke about where our industry is going, what services may or may not be next on the horizon, what might appeal to discount brands, mid market brands, etc. It was a good conversation. When I asked about their process for evaluating new Value Added Services (VAS), I got an answer that started me thinking. This company is shying away from adding new VAS because they are not sure the executed and deployed those services successfully. We didn’t get into how they measure the success of product release, but the explanation was one that, in the end, made perfect sense to me. The synopsis, was that they focused on a certain area selling through their channel, that we will call “identity.” Identity was the word they used for the ‘core services’ that had made them successful in the past and continue to make them successful today. So, many of the ancillary services they offered, they may still offer, but know they may not have executed on well.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 →
- Name: Jack Brandt
- Address: PA, NY, and NJ
- E-mail: firstname.lastname@example.org
- Phone: 917.740.0010