The New JOBS Act and Crowdfunding Opportunities for Entrepreneurs

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If you own a private company, chances are you have considered going public or plan on doing so after you have accrued enough resources. And if this is your vision for your small or medium-sized business, a new legislative act put in place last week may be the impetus needed to turn that vision into reality.

Known as the Jumpstart Our Business Startups, or JOBS Act, this bipartisan legislative package aims at helping the growth of startups and small or medium-sized businesses, ultimately creating more jobs and boosting the overall economy. The bill consists of measures that reduce SEC restrictions on small and medium-sized companies and create new investment opportunities.

Specifically, the JOBS Act:

  • Eases certain rules and restrictions the SEC imposes on small companies, allowing them to go public with less resources and in less time.
  • Allows entrepreneurs (many of whom were previously banned from “crowdfunding”) to solicit and gather money from smaller investors.
  • Raises the shareholder registration requirement threshold for small companies, thereby providing more flexibility to grow.

For some companies, going public is essential to creating job opportunities and acquiring more capital resources. And for those who believe start-ups are a critical element of the overall market, then the JOBS Act is a step in the right direction. Only time will tell if this legislation profoundly affects job growth and whether it will favor medium-sized companies over smaller start-ups, but the new measures may help expand your business’ window of opportunities.

If you would like to learn more about the new business measures provided by the JOBS Act, you can refer to the following links:

Please provide us with feedback below, as we want to know your opinion on these new provisions and how you think they will affect your business.

And when the time comes for your business to start growing, the team here at Zoho is right here to help – with tools to mange your pipeline, manage your finances and help you hire the people you need.

Customer Spotlight : Graeme sends invoices while sailing

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Scotsail logoWhether you are on a yacht or sailing on a powerboat, invoicing is just a breeze through. You can stay connected with your business even while you’re sailing. Our customer Graeme, who runs one of Scotland’s premier RYA recognized sailing schools does exactly that. His company 1st Scotsail Training trains hundreds of its customers on its dedicated training yachts. Our invoice software has helped Graeme save enormous amount of time on his bookkeeping related activities.

I now get a lot of time to concentrate on my business. Zoho Invoice has helped us achieve more scalability. – Graeme Kerr, Co-founder – Scotsail

Our invoice program is so simple to use that most of Scotsail’s employees create and send invoices on their own to their clients.Thus it helps increase efficiency and saves lot of time.

RYA ScotlandThe most important things that his business demands are to send PDF invoices to his clients and track/receive faster payments. As Zoho Invoice is integrated with popular online payment gateways, Scotsail now receives instant payments from its customers thus improving its cash flow.

Graeme also uses Zoho Invoice’s iPhone app which enables him to send invoices on the go. He also plans to migrate to our accounting software soon. Also, Graeme would be trying our iPhone app in iPad3 which is going to be launched soon. Click here to read Scotsail’s complete success story…

Advice for New Entrepreneurs: #1 Don’t Rush

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“What is one piece of advice you’d give to a new entrepreneur?”

We asked our Facebook fans. And here are some cool responses we got, sorted by order of popularity / number of likes:

#1 Don’t Rush

Elnur D. Penahaliyev says:

Not to rush; to collect enough money before he starts to implement his business plan. And to collect the whole team of people who will work for this business, himself / herself should only work on how to increase efficiency and develop business, not to take part in daily work. This is important guys. 
Don’t start with insufficient money! Collect at least money so that your business can survive 4 months without any sales.

#2 Sell

One word of advice that says a lot. From Michael J. Hajduk.

#3 Have your product ready

Devin Kent Bryce says: Have a product or service ready to be sold before you start trying to sell it.

#4 Don’t be afraid

Mik Walker says: Don’t be afraid of being the one that steps out on your own. New ideas are just that!

Moshe Soffer says: Do not be afraid to make mistakes. Think different. And do at least 3 tasks a day.

Thanks to our fans for reaching out with these key pieces of Business advice.

And to our blog readers, we’d love it if you can share your personal favorite piece of advice in the comments below!

Checking in – Zoho Invoice Android App V 1.3

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A while ago the Zoho Invoice iPhone app V1.7 was released in the iTunes. And now, our android app development team has something fascinating to share as well – Release of Version 1.3.

Dim says – (Zoho Invoice android app user) ​

“Tried a lot of alternatives. This is EASILY the best of the lot. Made my life several magnitudes easier, and if you can believe it, has already saved me a few hundred dollars.”

What’s new in V 1.3 -

Contacts as customers in Zoho Invoice : Just like in the iPhone app, importing contacts from your android smartphone address book as customers in Zoho Invoice is possible in just a few taps. This little feature will directly import fields like email and mobile number etc., and map it to customer data in the app. You can even call or send a mail to your customer directly from customer detail page in the android app.

Add contacts to Zoho Invoice android app

Easily add contacts from android phone address book to your Zoho Invoice customer list

Edit Organization Details : Apart from accessing multiple organizations on your android phone, you can now have the power to edit your organization details like ‘Organization Name’, ‘Time Zone’, ‘Address’ and ‘Fiscal year’

The other update in V 1.3 includes a  fax number field for customer billing and shipping address and some bug fixes (thanks for all your feedback!)  that we did for smoother mobile invoicing from your Android phone. Read more about it in the play store.

And a big ‘Thank You’ to all our android app users, especially to those who’ve reviewed it on the market. Go ahead and try the new V 1.3 and leave us your feedback right here…

Integrate CRM with Your Custom Front End Application

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Pawan_Jaiswal_small

In an effort to integrate a custom application with a database, a software developer struggles with one CRM application, but finds solace in Zoho CRM.

Business

Pawan Jaiswal is a senior software developer that contracts on many different application integration projects. A few years ago he was working on a project for Laitkor Infosolutions Pvt. Ltd., a software development consulting company that builds custom web applications, mobile applications, and Windows applications.

Situation

Jaiswal was working on a project that required him to build a CRM backend interface for a custom application that was being used by a medical practice. He and his team started using Free CRM, but it quickly turned into a horrible experience.

The front end application that was supposed to be sending data to the CRM, wasn’t properly inserting the data into the database. To make matters worse they weren’t getting any proper reports as to what was going on, therefore making it impossible to debug, explained Jaiswal.

When Jaiswal called Free CRM for technical support they weren’t helpful and they took very long time to respond.

Tried Zoho CRM to solve their application integration problems

After lots of frustration, Laitkor’s client said to try using Zoho CRM.

Everything they wanted Free CRM to do was now happening with Zoho CRM. They were able to pass the values from the custom application to Zoho CRM and back again, plus they were getting reports from Zoho as to what was happening between the application and the CRM database.

Lastly, Jaiswal was very happy with Zoho’s support. Whenever he got stuck on a problem he just wrote up a query and got a response a few minutes later.

Advice for others

Jaiswal has become a fan of Zoho, and recommends it for other developers. He said it’s quite easy to use and if you don’t know how to program, the tutorials will help you develop your application.

Zoho Recruit: Custom Email Signatures

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Now with Zoho Recruit you can add a personalized touch to your emails. Announcing the availability of Zoho Recruit’s new Email Signature feature, which allows you to create your own personalized signatures.

The rich signature editor,  lets you to customize your signatures by adding images and links, as well as change text’s format, font and color to make them look professional.

Along with this, there’s another useful feature – that you can now create unique signatures for each email address associated with your account. So, if you’re handling multiple email accounts associated with your Zoho Recruit account, then you’ll be now able to choose a different signature for each custom “From” address you use.

We hope you like this new feature. Do share your feedback and stay tuned as we continue to launch more exciting features in the weeks to come.

Introducing: One button to merge them all

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Title alone is a giveaway. You have two or more customers with duplicate records in your Zoho Invoice or Zoho Books customer list. Reason for their existence could be :

1. You recently imported accounts and contacts from Zoho CRM and there are duplicate customer names staring at you.

2. You and your colleague unknowingly created the same contact under two different names. One as ‘Jane’ and another as ‘Jane Thomas’.

End Result : There are two sets of data (invoices, estimates,expenses..etc.,) running parallel for the same customer. You are annoyed and want to delete everything and start fresh… Pause .. Take a deep breath.

A little while ago we introduced ‘Merge Customer’. This tiny, yet powerful feature in Zoho Invoice and Zoho Books lets you merge your customer data so you won’t have to worry about twin records anymore. What it essentially does is, maps the duplicate record to the master record (customer which you wish to keep) and transfers all the data like invoices,estimates,etc., to the master record. Read more about  ‘Merge Customers‘ in our Help section

Also, as a time saver, we’ve introduced the ‘Merge’ button right on top of the customer list page. You can check all the duplicates and merge them all at once.

Merge customer recordsGo ahead and start merging. Let us know what you think.​