Lessons from a Coffee Mill for All Small Business Owners

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Processed with VSCOcam with g3 presetCoffee touches everyone differently. For some, coffee is essential to functioning the way motor oil is essential to a combustion engine or oxygen to fire.

Some drink coffee because it’s become part of their daily routine alongside showering and getting dressed. It’s a habit.

Others — my roommate for example — drink coffee through their nostrils and are perfectly content with never letting it touch their lips. It is an aroma of comfort. An aroma of home.

Coffee has a sense of nostalgia and urgency. Of past memories and of days ahead. John Steinbeck may have said it best when he wrote, “coffee has a special taste of a frosty morning, and the third cup is as good as the first.”

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Introducing the New Zoho Books: Smart Accounting for Growing Businesses

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If you think accounting for your business is complicated, then you haven’t been using Zoho Books. Today we’re pleased to release the latest version of our online accounting software. Of course it makes accounting for your business so much easier, even enjoyable, but that’s not all there is to it. With Zoho Books you can invoice customers and get paid online quickly, track time and expenses you incur for your business while on the go, and it even helps you prepare and submit your year end forms.

Automating and Simplifying Accounting

Revamped Banking in Zoho Books

One of the biggest changes you’ll notice when trying out the new Zoho Books is the beautiful new UI. But it is much more than just a cosmetic change. We’ve re-worked the most common workflows to make sure they are not only easy to understand, but also easy to do. For example, we completely revamped the banking module. Bank reconciliation is typically one of the most tedious things to do, and Zoho Books not only makes it now simple, but it also does most of the work for you. It automatically categorizes marks the transactions it finds in your bank’s feed so you don’t have to.

Mobile Accounting

Mobile Accounting

Modern business professionals are always on the go. And now you can take your accounting, and all the relevant financial information about your business with you too. Our brand new mobile apps for iOS and Android will help you track expenses, and send quotes and invoices. In addition, we are introducing our first Windows Mobile app, which helps you keep track of your expenses while on the go.

Easier Customer Interactions

Client Portal For Customers

The new edition of Zoho Books sports a new client portal. Using the portal makes it easy for your clients to approve or comment on the quotes and invoices you’ve sent them, view their recent transactions and most importantly, they can also pay you for any outstanding invoices, thus shortening the time it takes for you to get your money.

File 1099s with ease

We know that year end is always a busy time for you as you file the 1099s for your vendors. Our recent integrations with Track1099.com and Tax1099.com will help you prepare and e-file the 1099s quickly in a painless manner.

Beyond Time Tracking

Time-tracking made easy

If you’re a freelancer or a business that charges customers based on time, you’ll be delighted by the new features that help you go faster from time tracking all the way to getting paid. Our new calendar and weekly time sheet views help you ensure you don’t forget to invoice for any hours you’ve already worked. You can also quickly log the time and expenses you incur on behalf of your customers on our mobile apps.

APIs, and a lot more under the hood

If you’re reading this we know you can’t be bothered with the technicalities of accounting – all you want to do is run your business. So we’re not going to bore you with every single feature that is new and every technical detail that make this such a big release. In a separate post by our engineering team we‘ll explain, for example, how our app is built 100% on REST APIs, and how we have no hidden APIs for ourselves. Does that sound like technical gibberish to you? Well, all you need to know for now is that all that under-the-hood work means that there will be many interesting collaborations with third parties coming up soon.

Rodrigo

LiveDesk + Zoho Support = Instant Customer Happiness

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It’s getting late, and you’re tired, dare I even say cranky. I can call you that, because if I miss a meal, ney, even have to wait a few minutes for one, I morph into captain cranky–so I definitely feel your pain.

Yet, you can’t pack it in and call it a day because business being business, it must be taken care of, and it must be taken care of today. You have to get your boss added to the system, and you need to be able to export that report for a presentation on Monday. The problem is today is Friday, and today is quickly expiring.

Step one, you’ve got to track down your vendor’s contact information. What is that guy’s email? You just asked him a question… Quick search through your inbox, scan of your contacts, still can’t find it. You remember you called their support team a few weeks back, but you don’t have that number handy either. Hop on over to their site, check out their contact us page, but before you can start dialing the most enticing thing you’ve seen all day catches your eye. The little icon beckoning you to chat and get an instant answer.

And BOOM, within five minutes Patricia has added your boss to your company’s portal, exported your report, and smoothed over some configuration issues you were having–something you had forgot you had emailed about earlier in the week.

Thankfully for you, your sanity, and your weekend plans–your software vendor, Zillium, is using Zoho LiveDesk completely integrated with their help desk software, Zoho Support. So from the moment you initiated the chat, Patricia had the complete details of you, your company’s account and your recent support requests handy within her chat window. With instant access to the information she needed, she was able to answer your questions faster, provide you support exactly tailored to your needs, and even resolve multiple issues in one, pain-free interaction. Read more

Announcing Happiness Ratings for Zoho Support

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The ultimate goal for any business is to acquire more customers and serve them in the best way possible. Sounds simple and straightforward, doesn’t it?

Yes, it does. But that’s only when all customers are alike. In reality, customers come in as many varieties as you can think of: different behavior, different tastes, different levels of understanding, different degrees of need and so many more.

Suddenly, your simple and straightforward goal becomes tricky and complicated. But, all’s not over.

Professionals in the customer service function, over the last decade or so, have managed to develop methods to measure customer satisfaction. Customer service itself has evolved so much in the last few years, to the extent that customer ‘satisfaction’ is no longer good enough. At Zoho, we’ve always believed that Customer Happiness should be our goal. With Zoho Support, we believe it should be our customers’ goal too!

Happiness Ratings for Zoho Support

With that firm belief, we’ve built Happiness Ratings for Zoho SupportRead more

Comments, Content and Conversations: Zoho Campaigns has a new feature!

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Darrell is really excited. She just sent out her bimonthly newsletter and she can’t wait for the results of the campaign to come in. This email newsletter is very different from the newsletters that she usually sends out. The current edition speaks about the new menu and the weekend chef’s specials that she introduced at her restaurant a few days back. Her mailing list includes not just her regular customers but also those one-time visitors who left their email addresses in her Guest Book.

This is also the first time that Darrell is trying out Recipient Comments in her email template. She is eager to see how this turns out.

Shortly after the campaign is sent out, she is pleasantly surprised to see the comments pouring in directly to her Zoho Campaigns account. Most people seemed to love the menu, many wanted more dishes and some of them were already asking her to book a table for them. The feedback was quick and almost instant.

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10 Smart Moves For Early Tax Planning

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Planning your tax early can save you a lot of heartburn and money. Invest time in early tax planning and be freed from the stress of filing the taxes altogether in April.

To make this easier for you, we’ve put together ten smart moves that will help you get started on your tax planning.

Early tax planning tips

9 Nifty Tips to Optimize your Web Forms for Lead Generation

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web formIn the marketing department of the Zillum Furniture and Furnishing company…

Bob, the product marketer – “Lisa, I’ve got this idea! How about we build a landing page and put up a web form? Visitors can sign–up to receive notifications on the great deals and discounts we offer on furniture and furnishings.”

Lisa, another marketer – “That’s great but why would people want to give you their information? We need to offer some incentives.”

Bob – “I’ve a solution for that too. We can offer interior design advice, free of cost!”

Lisa – “Cool… interested people would definitely leave their contact details and we can follow up to get a deal with them.”

Do you have such conversations at your workplace too? Are you trying to figure out a way to convert the traffic to your web page into quality leads? Lead generation, as we all know is simply about attracting people to your business. You could start a campaign, advertise, participate in trade shows, or conduct webinars. All this to get people interested in your product, just enough to persuade them to know more about it!

You can take these efforts a step further by using a good web form builder. And if the form builder has a WYSIWYG editor, you can just drag and drop and create web forms in minutes!

Take a look at some tips on setting up a good web form. Along with them are hints on how to implement them using Zoho CRM. Read more