Tag Archive: Square


Small Business ToolsTablet, smartphone, laptop, POS terminal, Windows, iOS, Linux. What to choose, what is a business owner to do? The array of technology tools for business grows and changes everyday. But the needs of your business have to be addressed with stability and profitability.

Go for Tried and True

As a small business owner you may be tempted to get the latest, shiniest, gizmo. But small businesses have less room to respond if the latest technology fails or is discontinued. Better to stay with tested and stable technology in both software and hardware.

The must haves

Every business needs to capture information, retrieve it and back it up. In addition, small businesses must accept a minimum of credit and debit cards. Checks are optional but a good idea. What items can meet these needs?

Website with Branded business Email
Smartphone
Desktop or laptop
External back up
Cloud service
Card processing

Balance the Budget

Website/email: Your website connects you to the world of customers. A professional, mobile ready site and branded email says you are a trusted resource. Face it, no one wants to contact “janedoe7987@anyoldemail.com”, they want to see “customerservice@yourbusinessname.com”.

Back up: When deciding where to cut corners, consider what equipment will be used most and what services are most critical. In an emergency or equipment failure, backups can be the difference between closing or operating as usual. Keep critical information backed up on an external drive and a cloud service. Zip files to conserve space.

Cloud service: Yes, you need a cloud service for sharing files, extra back up and convenience. Start small with Google Drive or Dropbox, then consider a paid service depending on your needs.

Smartphone: A tablet is nice to have and convenient, but your smartphone gets more use. This is not the place to pinch pennies. Get the best phone you can afford with a big and bright screen. In the age of app driven productivity, a large screen phone with maximum RAM can substitute for a tablet or even a laptop in a jam. Check this review for guidance.

Desktop or laptop? Desktop PCs are great, but if security is an issue, using laptops in the office allows you to take your information home. In the event of damage or vandalism, your business is secure. Laptops also allow you to work seamlessly from home, a big issue for entrepreneurs who typically work 12+ hour days.

Card Processing: Using a service such as Square allows you to take payments on your laptop or smartphone and send invoices. Fees are low and the smartphone card reader is free.

DKemp Designs is happy to offer your business a free 15 minute phone consultation on any area of tech needs.

Social Media graph

Credit: Custora

Everyone knows you can’t be in business without a social media presence.  Facebook, Twitter, Google+ and LinkedIn are absolute musts to engage your audience and expand business presence.

But did you know that good ol’ e-mail marketing still beats the crap out of all platforms in actually making sales?

According to CNN Tech “Custora found that customers who came to retailers from search were more than 50 percent more valuable than average” and, more importantly, “E-mail customers were nearly 11 percent more valuable than average

Why?

Possible reasons; people want to be active purchasers, not sheep being force-fed useless stuff.  Social engagement creates closeness with current and past customers.  Trackable purchasers are more likely to be new customers.  Engagement is about conversation, the brick and mortar equivalent of “I’m just looking“.  It becomes a way to turn browsers into buyers, but is a slower process.  And finally, social engagement is about awareness and learning.  Social media platforms let followers know about you and your business reputation and expertise.  These things all lead to sales eventually, but it is almost impossible to track this behavior.  Click and buy behaviors track directly.

Customers may use a search engine to find your site after following you on Twitter for 6 months.  But now Google search gets the credit for making the sale that you have “massaged” for months.  So don’t drop or neglect your social media.  Redirect social marketing energy.

Action Plan

So, what does this mean for the small business owner?  First, put your social media specialists’ hours into cultivating and maintaining a robust email list.  Right now.  Craft and execute regular e-blasts to your list and post to other platforms on the benefits of subscribing to your e-blast.

Next, keep your social media posts focused on your goals.  If it is to drive traffic to your website, post links to interesting information on your site.  (You do have interesting information on your site, don’t you?  If not, contact DKemp Designs right now for help).

Finally, SEO is king.  Work on your search rankings to get them and maintain them.  Ironically, social media is good for this.  So have your social media person work on making your company a household word with posts and web content.

Social Fights Back

Don’t think social media is taking this sitting down.  Twitter and Square have joined to create product cards that essentially act as instant ways to purchase products posted on Twitter feeds.  The product cards can also be posted to other platforms such as Pinterest.

This new model of selling directly through social media platforms will not only create opportunities for entrepreneurs, but allow business owners to track their sales better.

Let us know in the comments what tools you use to track sales.