Posts Tagged

business

Today, the Internet is alive with new web apps: some totally unique, others a different twist on an already successful app, others just plain copies of another great service. This is great to see, as it gives users choice, helps fuel competition, and inspire new ideas for the next set of web apps. After all, everything is a remix. We often do interviews with developers from popular, new apps, but we often don’t look back at older apps and see what happened to them. Older apps that stuck around can have quite an interesting story, though.

Today I’m going to talk about HitTail and the revival it received when it was acquired by Rob Walling, a self-proclaimed serial entrepreneur. I usually have a low opinion of most acquisitions these days. The acquired products or services are usually outstanding, and acquired by even bigger companies – Google and Facebook are the usual top hitters. These apps more often than not are either shut down, or changed totally, much to the dismay of its users. Lucky this isn’t the case with HitTail; in fact, quite the opposite is true.

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The downfall of many new business and products is that the creators loved their idea too much. A quick search for failed tech products will reveal thousands of cool gadgets and gizmos that while awesome, clever and unique, never made enough sales to break even. The inventors loved their pride and joy so much that they assumed the rest of the world would care. But products can be like first-time parents showing off a snotty, crying bundle of burden.

Google has developed Google Consumer Surveys to help anyone decide whether or not to go ahead with an idea. By simply asking their target market “Hey, what do you think of this?”, business and individuals can act on information instead of blind ambition.

The name, however, makes Google Surveys seem like a half baked web app already replicated a hundred times over around the web. Maybe it’s something cooked up on an off-day at the Googleplex in California?

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This time last year, I discovered an unknown web application for time tracking, invoicing and accounting named CronSync. My original review, which can be found here, was a positive one scoring an impressive 9/10.

Unlike some apps however, CronSync hasn’t been lying idle for the past twelve months. The team, based in Germany, has been hard at work upgrading and adding new features. For the past twelve months, I’ve watched CronSync slowly get better and better, and over the last two months several fantastic updates have convinced me that a second review was necessary.

If run a business, hate doing the books and are fed up with Excel, read on.

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Any business looking to ensure that they offer a good customer service to their consumers is going to want some way of providing help to their users online. In today’s competitive market, being the best is crucial and if your customers think that you’re going to do your best at making sure their issues are rectified, there’s no doubt you’ll probably get repeat business. There are plenty of high-quality support ticket apps out there, but these can often come with a matching price tag. Luckily, there are some free options, too.

The app I’ll be looking at today is Trellis Desk and it certainly fits within the free and high quality category. All you need is a web server to install it on with some basic requirements and you’re away!

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Way back in 1989, when the idea of using computers to manage customer relationships was still in its infancy, a guy by the name of John Ferrara founded Goldmine Software which would spend the next decade pioneering CRM software solutions. In 1999 he sold Goldmine to a South African firm. But that wasn’t the end of John. He’s back with Nimble, a CRM web app for today’s world where social media is king.

Nimble promises to integrate a salesperson’s efforts on Twitter, Facebook, LinkedIn, email, and a plethora of other avenues one might use today to keep in touch with their customers. Keeping your existing customers happy is increasingly important, since, according to some, it can cost fourteen times as much to get a new customer as it does to retain an existing one. Anything to help you keep in touch with your existing customers and network is a plus, so let’s check Nimble out and see if it really can.

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Centuries ago, you might have traded a load of wood for some grain you needed. Paper money and coins solved that hassle, and for years, receiving payments was as simple as exchanging money. Then, credit cards came, and messed it all up again. Now it was expensive and difficult to get started accepting payments for your business.

Square has been working to make credit card payments even simpler than paying with cash. I recently had a chance to play with Square’s new iPad app Square Register, which promised to provide a more POS-like experience on the iPad than the original app had. I even wrote a review of the app, within which I mentioned the new and improved web interface. But since writing that review, I’ve spent more time playing around with the web app, and I’ve realized that it’s a fully featured beast of it’s own.

If you’re not familiar with Square, check out our sister site iPad.AppStorm’s in-depth review of it. Basically, signing up for a free account gets you a free card reader that will interface with your iPhone or iPad (or even Android device) via the headphone jack. It lets you take credit card payments through these devices and have the funds processed and deposited into a bank account, which is especially handy for small businesses as well as on-site contractors, booth vendors, or other similar enterprises.

Today, though, I’ve decided to walk you through the new Square web app, and talk about how the Square service is now more viable than ever as a financial solution for your small business. So run and get some coffee, and that “more” button will be waiting for you when you get back.

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Quick Look posts are paid submissions offering only a brief overview of an app. Vote in the polls below if you think this app is worth an in-depth AppStorm review!

In this Quick Look, we’re highlighting MYCO Suite. The developer describes MYCO Suite as CRM, Project management, Sales, HR and Finance in one compact system. Having all your CRM information, projects, sales leads and financial reporting together in one secured system. MYCO Suite helps management by creating transparency and reduces complexity. You are now able to say goodbye to multiple spreadsheets and systems.

Read on for more information and screenshots!

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Efficient accounting is the backbone of any successful business – only when money is flowing in and out of the system smoothly can you rest assured that your hard work is actually paying off. A large part of this is invoicing, which typically refers to sending estimates and quotes, billing clients and customers and keeping track of their approval/payment status. Whether you’re a freelancer, small business owner or CFO of a large enterprise, you need your company’s billing and book-keeping mechanisms to work well and that’s why it’s important to choose an invoicing system carefully.

There are a number of invoicing apps available online, with different feature sets and price points. TradeShift takes a different approach and aims to bring together your business network and invoicing all in one place, while offering options for customization and expansion of features. It’s also completely free. Sound like something you’d be interested in? Let’s sign up and find out.

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Given the explosive rise in Internet usage over the past few years, businesses are now turning to the virtual world of the Internet to advertise their products and services. Sites such as Twitter and Facebook are now commonplace for advertising as they offer a number of advantages over traditional forms of advertising such as newspaper or magazine adverts. Internet-based advertising is often a whole lot cheaper than print advertising and it can reach a much larger catchment area, often outside the traditional catchment area of the business.

The key question for businesses now is: how can they harness this increase in internet-based advertising and, most importantly, can it create revenue for the business? The whole area can be a bit of a minefield to businesses who have never ventured into the world of online advertising before but luckily there are some helpful tools on the Net designed to guide businesses through this minefield.

Raven Tools is one of these. It has a wide range of tools depending on whether you use SEO (search engine optimisation), social media networks or Google products such as Analytics and AdWords. This could be a real advantage to any online business looking to broaden its horizons.

Let’s take a look at Raven Tools in a bit more detail.

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Since the explosion of cloud computing, small businesses are now turning to Internet-based software to help collaborate internet processes and help with the daily grind of tasks, meetings and memos. Internet-based software is much more appealing to businesses as it avoids the needs for expensive software licence fees and complicated computer systems. Internet-based systems also make the process of working from home a far easier and much more cost-effective solution for businesses.

I recently looked at Pivotal Tracker and yaM, two internet-based utilities that can help businesses collaborate easier (in the case of Pivotal Tracker) or organize meetings easier (in the case of yaM). But, what happens if you want to collaborate every aspect of your business, yet want to avoid spending hundreds of thousands of dollars on an ERM system such as SAP?

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