Posts Tagged ‘legal invoicing software’

Converting Your Billing Software

Friday, November 6th, 2009

stockvault_2999_20070301It’s a rare person indeed who likes to learn new business software.   As a software development company we know that training is a major component to the successful adoption of new software.   For enteryourhours.com we created tours, tutorials, and probably most importantly, we put the full system reference guide on our public website so even if you haven’t signed up for the free trial, you can start reviewing how to use the system. 

When choosing a new software system, you’re up against more than just learning how to use it.   Firstly, if you are a young company, you might find that truly good software can sometimes teach you a better way to run your business.   Secondly, and this one applies more to the seasoned business, often you have old data that you don’t want to lose once you start using your new software.   A lot of software systems have import and export capabilities that account for this, but even still, getting everything mapped perfectly can be difficult.   There is no magic solution in these situations.  Often it’s a matter of tedium and attention to details.   

There are ways you can make the transition happen more smoothly.   One thing you should always keep in mind is that shouldn’t try to hard to automate the process.  If there is no easy, clean way to import your old data into the new system, consider the cost of hiring a temporary worker to enter it manually.  You’ll often be surprised to find that the cost of the resources it would take to enter it manually are cheaper than the IT resources it would take to automate it perfectly.    Another thing to consider is finding a good spot on the calendar to make the transition.  If you can make the switch at the beginning of a quarter, or at the beginning of a new fiscal year, you might find that you can simply keep the old system running in tandem for a few months and instruct your staff to use the old system for older records.  

Just make sure to compare the short term with the long term.  Sure, it’s difficult to convert your billing system, or in fact, any software system.   Just keep in mind that a little pain in the beginning can convert into a whole lot of pain saving in the long run.

Immediate Action

Sunday, September 27th, 2009

small business ownerTaking immediate action when problems arise is very important for those in management positions. When a person is running a business, there is no time for procrastination. Whether it may be a working on a new deal between the company and a client, updating inventory, or hiring new staff, there is always something that needs to be done. However, quick but careless decisions may have harmful consequences. That is why thoughtful immediate action is so important.

Recognizing the root of a problem is the first step to taking immediate action. The 5 W’s are very handy when discerning the cause of a problem. Who keeps racking up long distance and internet usage fees  on the company cell plan? Where are the new reports? Why hasn’t our shipment arrived? When is the client expecting his product?  By asking these type of questions, businessmen can discover and mitigate inefficiencies within company infrastructure.

Creating a realistic plan on how to deal with the problem will help prevent rash decisions. Brainstorm for possible solutions to the problem, then carefully consider the consequences of each action. This type of thought process helps not only in dealing with problems, but also planning for the future.

The most important and last step in taking immediate action is the action step. Some managers do extremely well in recognizing problems and planning but fail miserably in execution. The action step is what gets real results. A correct decision, even if it is made by mistake, is better than no decision at all.  Without the action step, nothing is accomplished.

Preventing Malware from Wreaking Havoc

Thursday, September 10th, 2009

software businessBy taking the proper precautionary steps to secure their computer network, businessmen can avoid computer virus outbreaks.  Although the first known computer viruses started out as harmless but annoying pranks, modern day malware causes millions of dollars of damage each year. In the year 2000, the ILOVEYOU virus was released. In less than one day, this virus spread from one end of the globe to the other. Within one week, the virus caused several million dollars worth of damage as email and web servers across the globe shutdown because of the overwhelming amount of traffic they were receiving. Have no doubt, the threat of viruses is very real. Through the adoption of a few simple techniques, businesses can avoid  network downtime, inconveniences caused by data loss, and most importantly long-term revenue loss.

Backing up important information can not only save you the grief of data loss, but also money. Schedule a time each day, week, or month to regularly backup information stored on your business computers. EYH allows customers to backup and export payroll batches for use with Quickbooks. In the event of a viral outbreak, having backup data will ensure a expeditious recovery.

Use reliable and trusted anti-virus software to protect your computers. Anti-virus programs scan for, protect from, and eliminate viruses attempting to gain access of your computer. Although not perfect, anti-virus software takes a lot of the worrying and guesswork out of preventing and eliminating viruses.

Most importantly, ensure that your employees regularly educate themselves about how viruses work. One of the best defenses against viruses is knowing how they operate. Avoid shady email attachments and executables. By staying vigilant and educated about viruses and other harmful executables, computer users can avoid most if not all malware that they encounter.

Engineering Profits

Saturday, August 15th, 2009
eyh
eyhEvery November thousands of eager shoppers begin to gather outside retail stores in anticipation for Black Friday — the nationwide sales event that economists herald as one of the most largest revenue generating days of the year. What exactly drives teenagers, parents, and grandparents to camp around stores and weather the cool November chill? Some say its the whole “experience”. Others say its the good deals. Regardless, the orchestrated event generates revenues that exceed all of the other sales each year. So, how exactly can a company engineer profits like those made during Black Friday?
Sales are one method that many businesses use to move inventory. For the most part, anything that looks convincing while being glanced over in the local newspaper will lure customers and potentially increase sales. Weekends are usually preferable when holding a sale because most income earners have the days off. However, if the sale is rather lackluster and does not appear to have any good deals prepare for disappointment.
Loss leaders are another way of engineering profits. A loss leader, more commonly known as a Door Buster, is an item that is offered at a reduced price (usually at cost or below cost) in efforts to stimulate profitable sales. Loss leaders effectively draw customers to stores.
Above all, the single most important factor in generating profits is making customers feel as if they are getting a good deal. If customers are happy and satisfied with a product, they will often overlook flaws and continue to buy from that business.

eyhEvery November thousands of eager shoppers begin to gather outside retail stores in anticipation for Black Friday — the nationwide sales event that economists herald as one of the largest revenue generating days of the year. What exactly drives teenagers, parents, and grandparents to camp around stores and weather the cool November chill? Some say its the whole “experience”. Others say its the good deals. Regardless, the orchestrated event generates revenues that exceed all of the other sales each year. So, how exactly can a company engineer profits like those made during Black Friday?

Sales are one method that many businesses use to move inventory. For the most part, anything that looks convincing while being glanced over in the local newspaper will lure customers and potentially increase sales. Weekends are usually preferable when holding a sale because most income earners have the days off. However, if the sale is rather lackluster and does not appear to have any good deals, then prepare for disappointment.

Loss leaders are another way of engineering profits. A loss leader, more commonly known as a Door Buster, is an item that is offered at a reduced price (usually at cost or below cost) in efforts to stimulate profitable sales. Loss leaders effectively draw customers to stores. Just take a look at your local retailers during the after thanksgiving mania.

Above all, the single most important factor in generating profits is making customers feel as if they are getting a good deal. If customers are happy and satisfied with a product, they will often overlook flaws and continue to buy from that business.

Files, Records, and Databases, Oh My!

Saturday, August 8th, 2009
In today’s dog eat dog lawsuit filled business world, keeping records has the potential to save millions of dollars. While some may think filing paperwork is a major pain in the rear, even those who do not enjoy it can all agree that the extra work pays off. At one point in the lifetime of every business, there will be a mix up. Another business may try overcharging for its service. An employee may claim he was never paid. Regardless of what the dispute may be over, the paperwork never lies.
Keeping several records of important information and data reduces the chances of error in business.  Lets face it, as human beings, we forget things. Whether an employee is working on the schematics of a project for a high priority client, or a secretary is returning a phone call, records offer a reliable method for employees to double check important data. If an employee, businessman, or secretary is unsure, they can easily look up the information they need to know. Nowadays, most businesses use computer databases to store their records. Although computer-based records are fairly convenient for most, they are vulnerable to data loss, power outages, and a plethora of other digit disasters. That is why it is important to regularly backup important files and maintain network-wide data redundancy.

531970_million_buck_cheque_1In today’s dog eat dog lawsuit filled world, keeping records has the potential to save millions of dollars. While some may think filing paperwork is a major pain in the rear, even those who do not enjoy it can all agree that the extra work pays off. At one point in the lifetime of every business, there will be a mix up. Another business may try overcharging for its service. An employee may claim he was never paid. Regardless of what the dispute may be over, the paperwork never lies.

Keeping several records of important information and data reduces the chances of error in business.  Lets face it, as human beings, we forget things. Whether an employee is working on the schematics of a project for a high priority client, a secretary is stumbling over a difficult question regarding the pricing of a product, records offer a reliable method for employees to double check important data. If an employee, businessman, or secretary is unsure, they can easily look up the information they need to know. Nowadays, most businesses use computer databases to store their records. Although computer-based records are fairly convenient for most, they are vulnerable to data loss, power outages, and a plethora of other digit disasters. That is why it is important to regularly backup important files and maintain network-wide data redundancy.

Building Positive Connections

Monday, July 27th, 2009

employee satisfactionNetworking is one of the most powerful tools a business owner possesses. As cliché as it sounds, many times the determining factor to success isn’t what you know, but who you know. Whether it is a new job opportunity, a recruit for business or finding investors who will support your ideas, having connections really opens up doors for future business opportunities.

Showing genuine curiosity in others is the first step to becoming a networking master. Relating and connecting with individuals is a skill that is acquired over time. If the thought of conversing with a complete stranger frightens you, start small by talking with family and friends. As you become more comfortable with yourself and other individuals, conversation will flow more freely. In due time, striking up and engaging in conversation with complete strangers will be as routine as brushing your teeth.

People like a good listener. Listening is an integral part of the communication process. Many people spend time polishing their speaking skills, but put little to no effort in becoming a good listener. Give the person you are talking to your full attention. Don’t do any activity that will make it difficult to understand the other person’s point of view. While listening skills aren’t as widely publicized as speaking skills, they are just as important in conversation.

Everybody likes someone who makes them feel important. I recently contacted my attorney for legal assistance in dealing with a rude and unresponsive Ebay seller. The man showed genuine curiosity in my case, and did not interrupt a single word I said. We carried on a somewhat lengthy conversation, and at the end of it he pronounced my name incorrectly! Before I even had time to dismiss the thought, the phone rang. It was the attorney, and he was apologizing profusely for saying my name incorrectly. “Man…no wonder this Attorney is rated #1 in the all of the western United States” I thought to myself while flashing a big toothy grin.

Keeping Business and Personal Life Seperate

Saturday, July 18th, 2009

time moneyEveryone, at one point or another, has trouble keeping their personal and business lives separate. Despite our best efforts, sometimes our professional and home lives become indistinguishable from each other. However, this does not change the fact that home life can greatly affect the work performance of an employee. By keeping personal and work life separate, workers can avoid scandals, slipups, and drops in work performance.

Always maintain a professional demeanor while at work. A close business partner of mine, whose name shall remain unknown, lost several hundred thousand dollars in a sexual harassment suit all because of a very unprofessional employee. Apparently, one of his workers propositioned two female customers for sex. Both of which turned around and sued my friend’s business for all that they could. Rude and unprofessional employees are huge liabilities for business owners. One rude remark, one sarcastic comment, is all it takes to lose a potential customer, a job, or even worse.

Most employers are concerned with how well a job is done, not what type of person you are. Although you may have just broke up with your significant other, crying at your desk all day isn’t very productive. You may luck out by having a sympathetic boss, but not all supervisors are compassionate and understanding. By carefully managing time for projects and activities, workers can maintain satisfactory work.

Product Branding

Monday, July 13th, 2009

organizationWith thousands of competitors all offering the best value, what can distinguish your business from the rubble? The answer is product branding.

Choosing a unique name for your business and its products is the first step in separating your company from the competition. There is no set rulebook for naming a business. However, rude or hard to remember names can lose sales.

Investing in a professional looking logo can help improve your brand identity. A picture may say a thousand words, but a clever logo strikes a long lasting impression. Every time a customer sees your logo they will recognize your business and what it stands for. Poorly designed logos can hurt your company for a variety of reasons. By having an unpolished look and feel, some customers may get the idea that your company does not care about the way it presents itself. But most importantly, poorly designed logos make your company look unstable.

Creating a recognizable environment for your customers can help establish your brand’s identity. In anything memorization related, repetition is key; product branding is no different.   When customers walk into any McDonalds, they know what to expect. From the golden arches to a happy meal, the McDonalds experience is relatively the same at every store location. A consistent environment creates security, and increases confidence in your business as a brand.

A free trial is one way to provide customers a risk-free way of familiarizing themselves with your product.

Customer Satisfaction

Thursday, July 9th, 2009

employee satisfactionCustomer Satisfaction  is a key component in building and maintaining a successful business. Although it may be frustrating to maintain a calm composure when dealing with angry, rude, and cranky customers, it is imperative that your employees treat everyone with the utmost respect. In the long run, your due diligence will pay off.

A content customer is more likely to refer his family, friends, and business partners over to your company. How many times have you been at a cocktail party, luncheon, or family gathering, when someone mentions how they bought something for a good price, or how the people over at “so and so’s” are so friendly? Believe it or not, word quickly spreads about how well or poorly your customers are treated.

One way you can improve your customers’ experience is by offering specialized services. For example, Enter Your Hours provides detailed billing information and custom invoices at the request of it’s clients.

Satisfaction in your services provides an extra leading edge that your product may not be able to provide. A friend of mine recently consulted me before buying a computer. After looking around the internet for the best deals available, I gave him several options that would meet his needs. One was a $645 Hewlett Packard from the Best Buy, the other was a $720 nearly identical Acer laptop from Costco. After considering the options for a few minutes, he said “I’ll buy that one” whilst guiding his index finger over the Costco circular.  He explained his previous experiences with Costco and Bestbuy, and said that he was willing to pay the extra money upfront because he was more satisfied with Costco’s service. He paid nearly $80 more for a practically identical product, because he felt Costco treats its customers better.

Likewise, satisfied business clients are more likely to become reoccurring customers. When you receive service above and beyond your expectations, you take notice. Similarly, your customers will also do the same.