In an industry where technology is updated all the time, it's easy for your business to become less efficient if the software you rely on doesn't keep up with current trends.
Whether it's supporting the latest database servers or being able to run on the latest Microsoft Windows® operating systems; a piece of software that hasn't been updated for quite some time could be surprisingly detrimental to your bottom line.
Here are some things you can do to make sure your business isn't left in the dust:
Stay on top of updates released by your software provider
Don't let them pass too long, not only could you get a fix for a defect you've been working around for the last few weeks or months, but you might also pick up some new functionality which could make you more efficient in your day-to-day processes.
Make sure you have a support plan
These may seem like an unnecessary expense; what could go wrong - right? But find yourself in a jam just once and you'll wish you hadn't held-off on buying some peace of mind. Support plans also ensure you'll receive continued updates and product enhancements over the coming year(s).
Really learn the software
You rely on software to make your business profitable, yet how often have you watched someone else use the same product only to discover some functionality you never knew existed? Most line of business applications offer training options, whether through enhanced how-to documentation, online webinars or on/off-site training sessions - utilize the knowledge of the professionals, learn all those tips and tricks for getting the most out of your software.
In this day of supersized technology, marketers and business owners might be starting to second guess their direct mail marketing. It is easy to see why direct mail is under the microscope, with e-mail campaigns, blogs, and Web sites with links to and from all areas of the Web, direct mail just looks so … yesterday.
Or is it? The goal of marketing has always been to reach prospects and customers alike, with campaigns that resonate with them and their needs, as well as to enforce the message or brand the marketer is trying to convey. A well thought out marketing campaign, may or may not include various forms of media, i.e. radio, TV, billboard ads, mass transit advertising, direct mail, and now E-mail campaigns, blogging and Web marketing. The point is good marketers have always layered their plans with multiple forms of marketing, with the goal of reaching many different prospects and customers, over a wide cross-section of demographics. Isolating marketing plans to just E-mail or Web marketing campaigns may not reach all of the intended audiences. Remember, there are still many prospects and customers who have not yet embraced all that technology has brought forth, and direct mail is still an excellent tool to reach out to this group.
I guess when all is said and done, I will continue to create a marketing plan that incorporates all that technology affords me, but direct mail will still hold a spot in that plan!!
Maybe you’ve finally decided to take the plunge and start to do e-mail marketing, but you’ve heard about regulations and wonder where to learn more? E-mail marketing is a great way to stay in touch with customers or prospects when done correctly, but there are definitely rules and regulations a business must follow! Read all about the Federal Trade Commission’s CAN-SPAM Act and its requirements by clicking the link below.
Be sure to read the details and regulations about e-mailing marketing before starting your first campaign. If you do not comply with these rules, you might just be sorry later on.
The task of managing payroll benefits can quickly become difficult once your number of employees starts to grow. What may have previously been handled in a starter or free payroll software application can often be easily handled in advanced payroll software. Here are some ways payroll software can help you track payroll benefits and be more confident in your data.
Predefined Benefit Deduction Codes
Some payroll systems come with a variety of standard predefined codes for tracking benefits. These ‘deduction codes’ make it easy for you to set up new employees and keep track of important information without reinventing the wheel, in order to simply track the right payroll benefits for your employees. Most payroll systems will include deduction codes for widely used benefits such as 401K, vacation pay, sick pay, and so on.
Benefit Deduction Code Customization
As your company grows, you may find that the standard predefined codes included in your payroll software are not able to handle every need when tracking payroll benefits. In this case, it is crucial to have a system that allows you to customize and use your own deduction codes. Not all payroll systems allow for this; however if you anticipate growth and unique benefit tracking, be sure your system does offer custom code setup.
Scheduled Benefit Deductions
Some benefit deductions may not be taken out of every single employee check. In these cases, it is useful to schedule benefit deductions, for example, on the first and third payroll of each month, and so on. By scheduling these benefit deductions; you can be confident that the correct amount is deducted at the correct time.
Retirement Plan Limits
Eliminate guesswork and worry when tracking retirement pay! As an employer, you may have a limit for your 401K contribution, your employee may have a limit, and of course the government has a limit as to how much can be contributed. The ability to set up plan limits within your software can tame the nightmare associated with 401K tracking. Once the limits you set up are reached, the amount will no longer be deducted, keeping all the involved parties happy.
Are you worried that you will forget to activate an employee’s benefits after a probationary period or some other type of waiting period? Set up effective dates in your payroll system, so that benefits will automatically take effect on the specified date. This can take away the constant worry about forgetting to start an employee’s benefits from taking effect.
Take advantage of every tool at your disposal in your payroll system to ensure your payroll benefits are managed properly, and take the worry that payroll benefits are being missed or calculated incorrectly.
Here are some staggering facts about the impact of paper on the environment, taken directly from www.payitgreen.org:
In one year, by switching from paper to electronic billing, statements, and payments, the average American household would...
- Save 6.6 pounds of paper
- Avoid producing 171 pounds of greenhouse gas emissions—the equivalent of:
- The emissions avoided by not driving 169 miles
- The emissions avoided by not consuming 8.8 gallons of gasoline
- Planting 2 tree seedlings and allowing them to grow for 10 years
- Preserving 24 square feet of forestland
- Avoid releasing 63 gallons of wastewater into the environment
- Avoid using 4.5 gallons of gasoline to mail paper items
Many people and businesses making small changes add up to a big difference!
Here are some things your business can do to help cut down on the use of paper:
- Send invoices electronically via e-mail.
- Provide your customers the option of electronic billing and payment options.
- Sign up your own business to receive and pay bills electronically.
- Send financial and other reports via e-mail instead of printing them.
- Use direct deposit to pay employees, and use electronic tax filing.