18 10 13

Tools for the Freelancer

The Small Business & Entrepreneurship Council estimates from the current U.S. Census data that there are more than 22 million solely-owned businesses in the U.S. That’s a lot of individuals responsible for every aspect of their business. Save some time doing those mundane tasks with these tools. You’ll have more time for the creative endeavors that drew you to freelancing in the first place.

Office Time

This application lets you track your time and break it down however you want for billing purposes. The Office Time data can then be downloaded to a spreadsheet for analysis. You can create client project folders and sort the time by category. Timers record the actual time you worked on a task, which is useful for tracking time on business correspondence or email. Know where all of your time is going so you will have a record of all the time to be billed.

Office Time is available on the PC and Mac. It is also available as an app for the iPhone or iPad for $7.99. Record your time worked while on the road and sync it up with your desktop or laptop version when back in your office.

Zoho Invoice

Simple invoices can be created with this cloud-based application or on its Apple or Android app from your smartphone or tablet. Zoho supports online invoicing and works with many of the online payment processors such as PayPal and Google Checkout. It integrates with other Zoho products such as project management and CRM applications.

You can also customize your invoices with Google Apps integration and use Gmail to send them. You can use Zoho for free for up to five customers. Your invoices will display the Zoho logo. For $15 a month, you can support up to 500 customers and you can customize the invoice and remove their logo.

Mint

Mint.com is a company owned by Intuit, the makers of Quicken. Mint is an online tool to review all of your financial accounts in one place. The home screen gives you a summary of all of your balances. Click to drill down into individual accounts and transactions. It will give you alerts when balances are below budget targets and when bills are due. It will help you with some simple business budgeting, too.

Mint is free for use from any browser, so you can work with it from your PC or Mac. It also has a free Apple and Android app version for those times you need to check balances while on the road or at a client site.

Mozy

This is a cloud-based backup service that enables you to automatically backup any type of files you use in your business. Photos, audio, video, text and proprietary file formats can all be backed up on Mozy servers. You can easily restore lost or damaged files from your backups with the browser or mobile tools.

All of the data is encrypted. Automated backups can be set up from multiple devices. With the right Internet service for your business, you can set up automated backups for all of your critical files to Mozy. You’ll never again need to worry about losing data.

Mozy is available for Windows and Mac computers. For $5.99/month, you get 50 GB of space in which to backup your files, and $9.99/month gets you 125 GB. You get one month free for signing up for one year.

Author’s Bio

Blanche Burns

When she is not reporting on the latest mobile technology, Blanche keeps busy on social media.

18 09 13

If you’ve spent more than five seconds on any tech website recently, you’ve seen mention of the cloud before. With the amount of praise that gets lavished upon it, you might assume it’s some mystical creature that cures all of your IT ills. In a way, this is completely accurate, as Gartner predicts that 60 percent of the current workforce will be in the cloud within the next year, due to the advantages offered, according to OpenLogic.com. Cloud computing technology goes far behind cloud file storage. Learning the ins and outs of each type of cloud computing allows you to create the perfect mix for your situation.

Software as a Service (SaaS)

SaaS cloud services are those you are most likely familiar with. Gmail, Basecamp and Dropbox are all examples of an SaaS cloud model. The application provider handles everything involved with a single, cloud-based application. TechTarget points out a few of the many advantages SaaS has for a small business owner. You have a fully developed and supported application that is available from any device that has access to the Internet. You don’t have to buy the servers, the network operators, or anyone else to maintain the script. The most complicated thing you have to do is remember to save your password on the service’s web page or app. You’ll find cloud-based apps in many industries, such as the financial field, evidenced by Brian Ferdinand Liquid Holdings, which uses the cloud in its asset management product.

Platform as a Service (PaaS)

PaaS takes cloud computing to a completely different level. Instead of only accessing applications that are cloud-based, you can outsource part of your own computing platform to the cloud. This type of cloud service allows you to set up development frameworks, operating systems and other essential tools for your needs, according to Salesforce. This type of cloud computing environment is excellent for application development, since you have a range of operating systems to choose from, and you can create OS instances without having to requisition a completely new server box. It also cuts down on the amount of equipment you need to create your own applications and software.

Infrastructure as a Service (IaaS)

When you end up really liking what the cloud can do for you, you can choose to offload your entire IT infrastructure to the cloud. This type of set-up uses the cloud-based resources as you would your own local network. If you’re working with a limited budget, and you want a scalable cloud solution, IaaS gives you a great deal of room for flexibility and growth. The saving of costs is also significant, as you need less network professionals to look over your shoulder since many of their normal tasks are getting off-loaded to the cloud. You can go through a public cloud provider, or opt to build your own hybrid or private cloud for your business. Public cloud offerings are completely provided by the cloud service, as you use their on-site equipment for your servers. Private cloud consolidates and virtualizes resources you’re already using, making it convenient if you have a lot of equipment laying around, and you don’t know what to do with all of it.

Author’s Bio

Tracey Thomson
Tracey is a blogger who covers the tech industry.

12 09 13

One of my primary goals in life is to help others. Today I am adding a graphic for a new friend. He is a dad working extra time to help put his daughter through college.

There are many who support AAA. But looking at this graphic, MCA has more to offer for as low as $40 per month.

MCA: Motor Club of America
Compare Motor Club of America to AAA.

Please email Ismael Rodriguez directly, Subject line: Motor Club of America Information, you can tell him Connie sent you. 🙂 But it is not necessary. Or visit Ismael’s website for MCA by clicking here.

More updates to come.

10 09 13

customizable trading pins to reward employees
Reward employees for a job well done
It’s about 3:00 PM and you look around in your office and everyone just has a “burnt out” look, and production starts going down. It’s perfectly normal to see the office dragging a bit during certain hours of the day or later in the week. That’s why so many companies do incentives or have commission based programs to keep their employees working hard all day every day.

Many companies have monthly goals for their employees to work towards with some kind of incentive like extra money or a gift card to a place. Or sometimes an office competition is the right amount of office motivation to get your employees working hard. You need to be careful though to make the incentive worthwhile to make your employees excited about it. No one wants to work hard for something cheesy.

Throughout this article you will get some ideas of what to do to help your employees have fun and work harder in the office.

Candy Bars

This is a very simple and inexpensive incentive that you can offer your employees. You obviously want to make this something for a afternoons worth of work or something simple like that. Odds are if you use a candy bar to try and encourage people for a months’ worth of work it’s not going to get the results you’re looking for. However, this is a perfect little thing to give your employees during a afternoon competition. You could also use soda or something else like that, just swing by a gas station during your lunch break and grab something for your office.

Gift Cards

This is a great goal that you can set for your entire office for a monthly incentive. If you have an office that thrives off of numbers or new clients you can set goals for individual employees. For example let your employees know that if they get 100 new clients then you will give them a gift card to their favorite restaurant good for a dinner of two. Its not much but it is something that will get your employees to work harder. Plus incentives like this gain steam in the office when people talk around the water cooler. Your employees will want to work harder because they are not going to be out done by their coworkers or seem less valuable to the boss. .

Business Apparel

This could be a way to promote company loyalty and make people. If you offer to get some people some company jackets, shirts or some customizable trading pins then your employees can get some company gear they will wear outside of the office and then that turns into free advertising and could even get you a couple new customers.

Money

Who doesn’t love a little bit of cash? This one is about as simple as it gets and can be what most people in the office wants. That is the reason why they are working in the first place. You can offer to stick and extra 200 dollars in their paycheck if they reach their goals. You want to make sure that it is enough to encourage your employees to work harder to make sure they are getting their numbers and an extra handful of cash.

Make sure you talk to all your employees to get an idea of what each one wants and what would be the best possible ideas for your employees. If you listen to them then they will feel like you value their opinion and then you can build better relationships with your office and that in turn gets your office to work harder.

Author Bio

Annabelle is currently a loving and caring mother of two children. She lives outside of Milwaukee, WI and loves cheering for the Bucks and Badgers. She is a blog enthusiast and loves writing, if she is not writing she is cleaning up after her two lovely angels.

Email- [email protected]

27 08 13

I am a follower of Lynn Serafinn, one of a very few marketers I take time out to follow and read blog posts. She is always informative and instructional. Someone to aspire to imitate.

I have commented about spammers, spam comments and spam followers. I have included plugins to help alleviate the tedious task of reviewing comments and new members.

Rather than rewrite the educational information for you, my wonderful readers, I have decided to share a link to Lynn’s blog post here. The following link opens in a new tab or window depending on how you have set up your browser.

This topic of Spammers is multi part.

Invasion of the Blog Snatchers

I appreciate the work of those who I feel are excellent mentors in their fields. I am an avid reader, listener, teacher, and guide.

Thank you for sharing your comments and getting involved in the discussion. I believe marketing should be ethical.