The Gateway to Collecting More Money

Processing payments for customers is an important step in launching a live, thriving sales web site. Payment Gateways and Shopping Carts do a great deal of the work for you, not only freeing up time but allowing you to process payments faster and get your orders filled all the sooner. These systems retain records, orders, customer information, and provide a safe, secure place for your customers to feel confident while shopping.

With Payment Gateways, there are no paper transactions and you get your receivables very quickly. These companies protect your business from fraud, increase revenue through ease of use, and provide an overall sense of security for customers to return again and again.

Here are a few Payment Gateway options:

PayPal
Authorize.net
Google Checkout
PowerPay

Check out the Business Resource Library at Office Solutions ME, where all the information you need to bring your business to the next level is available. Anytime you need further help, ask us about Virtual Assistance!

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Get Your Cart Ready!

Shopping CartThis week is Thanksgiving, which means Friday is BLACK FRIDAY and Monday is CYBER MONDAY. So, are you ready? Is your Shopping Cart set-up and your products updated? Just in case your not quite there yet, we put together some thoughts to help you out.

You want your customers to be able to buy items from your web site smoothly and easily, feeling comfortable, confident, and familiar with their sensitive purchasing information. Shopping Carts allow for a universally known experience by letting customers track what they are purchasing, edit their orders, and “Check Out” when they are ready.

Beginning or increasing your sales by adding Shopping Cart ability to your web site has never been easier. Consumers are more and more comfortable with Shopping Carts and when paired with Payment Gateways they make it a breeze to keep sensitive banking information safe and secure. Whether you are selling hard goods or soft (downloadable) goods, Shopping Carts truly bring your business to the next level.

Here are a few of the Shopping Cart options:

Shopify
Volusion
1ShoppingCart
E-Junkie

Visit the Office Solutions ME Business Resource Library page for more great ideas to increase your sales and manage your business. And as always, if you need further help, ask about our Virtual Assistance and Business Development services.

Happy Thanksgiving!

Accounting Options

Accounting software helps business owners easily navigate all aspects of accounts payable and receivable, from payments and invoicing to tax data and quarterly statements. Downloadable programs are still available, but now online options – which store your data on the internet rather than your computer – allow you to access your business accounting from anywhere in the world, at very reasonable prices.

Easier than tracking paper ledgers, printing and mailing invoices, staff can email invoices directly from the programs themselves. You can produce myriad reports from these programs, providing an overview of your business at your fingertips. Accounting software can save time and money, paying for itself within just a few weeks. Best of all, if you use an online tool, there is no concern about equipment failure and loss of data.

Some Accounting Software options are:

Quickbooks
Quickbooks Online
Freshbooks
Sage

Visit the Office Solutions ME Business Resource Library page for more useful links to save your business time and money. And as always, if you require more information or need help, consider Virtual Assistance!

Project Management Tools

In this day and age, business owners are handling more than ever, multitasking and wearing a variety of hats. Project Management tools are available to help you and your staff access, utilize, and control projects either from a single user perspective or more intricate programs that allow for collaborative projects. They can be used to oversee everything from a simple marketing or sales plan to an elaborate construction project. These tools allow for scheduling, coordination, tracking issues and bugs, specified task lists, calendars, and messaging between staff and management, all in one meeting place accessible from anywhere in the world.

Businesses have long used integrated software for project management, such as Microsoft Office, a suite of programs each designated for one aspect of a project, including presentations in Powerpoint, spreadsheets in Excel, documents and mailings in Word, and email through Outlook. Another option is Google Docs – a free, online based office suite that allows users to create documents, collaborate with other users, and store data online.

There are also online and downloadable software options, some free with payable upgrades when you’re ready. These programs make project management far more seamless, typically with a simple setup process:

Trello
Podlio
Basecamp
Teamlab
Ace Project
Zoho Project
Huddle

See Office Solutions ME’s Business Resource Library page for more tools to help your business thrive today!

iOS 6

iOS 6If you have an iPhone, iPad or iPod touch, you’ve probably have heard that an Operating System update is available, known as iOS 6. What does this mean? It means that apple has developed some improvements to the technology that runs your devices. All you have to do is download this update to get the new features.

What are some of the biggest changes?

  1. Sharing OptionsFacebook Integrations – Facebook is now a lot more connected to your device, and not just through the app. Events and birthdays are now added to your calendar, you can share pictures right from your camera roll, post websites directly from Safari, and contact information will include Facebook data as well.
  2. Panoramic Photos – you can now take panoramic pictures, using the camera and selecting Panoramic under options.
  3. New Maps – the maps have changed, there’s now a 3D view and the content is supposed to be improved  However, this change may still have a way to go.
  4. PassbookPassbook Introduced – Apple has introduced a digital way to keep tack of boarding passes, movie tickets, store loyalty cards, and coupons. This is a brilliant idea, although it may take a while for merchants to get up to speed. For now, PassSource is a site where you can create digital versions of cards in your wallet.
  5. Better FaceTime – FaceTime now works over a cellular connection as well as a wifi connection.

Some other less glamorous updates include; a new display for the app store and during app updates, new sharing options for images, the loss of YouTube (don’t worry you can get it back by downloading the app), the ability to do more than just answer or ignore an incoming call, and a VIP mail box. Plus everything syncs over iCloud for a rather seamless experience from one device to another.

For more details on all the updates that you get with the new iOS 6, check out with Apple has to say.

Choosing and Registering Your Domain Name

There are many steps involved in setting up a website for your business; hosting, domain registration, development, copy writing, shopping cart integration, and search engine optimization just to name a few. So, let’s start by looking at one of the most important parts, your domain. Having a custom domain is essential in creating a professional image that will attract new customers, help people find you on the web, and help you build your business.

A domain name is a custom website address, such as www.OfficeSolutionsME.com. Purchasing a custom website name or address for your business is known as registering a domain.

Here are a few important tips to consider when purchasing or registering a custom domain name;

Make it Memorable – One of the best ways to make your website address memorable is to make it your business name. This can also be a key consideration in naming your business.

Make it Easy – It helps to have your custom website address also match your custom email address, and for that you want it to be short, sweet, and easy to type.

Use Keywords – Consider using words that directly describe what you do and what people will search for when looking for your services. This can be true both in naming your business and your website.

Buy it from a reputable source – Be cautious of where you buy your domain, sometimes you get what you pay for. Use a well-known company that has been around for a while and is registered with ICANN.

Here’s a short list of some reputable domain registration options;

Register.com
Network Solutions
Domain.com
GoDaddy

Many registration companies also offer other services such as hosting, shopping carts, and templates for building your website. While it can be convenient to have all of your services in one place, it’s not always recommended. Lack of support and infrastructure can occur when these services are not the primary function of the provider. There’s also a potential risk that the company may cancel these secondary services.

See our resources page for more suggested services and tools.

If you need further help with the process of choosing or registering a domain, consider the services of a Virtual Assistant. Contact us for more information.

Keyword Tools

In the world of Search Engine Optimization (SEO), Keywords are pretty important. Keywords are the individual words and terms that your potential customers will use when trying to search for you online. As a business owner it’s important to know how your customers are finding you and make it as easy as possible. The better your position in search engine results, the better chance you have of being found. Determining your keywords and then using them as frequently as (naturally) possible will only help!

So here are a few tools to help get you started;

Google Keyword Tool
Keyword Envy
SearchBliss
Wordpot
Wordtracker

Please feel free to share your experiences and any other tools that you have found useful.

Check out our website for more tips, tools and resources.

And if you need help with this or any other administrative tasks, consider partnering with Office Solutions ME as your Virtual Assistant.