About Meera Sapra

Senior Marketing Manager at Zoho. I live in New Delhi, India. When I'm not working, I spend my time reading, creating comics or art.

Celebrating the Big Stories behind Small Businesses: Share Yours and Win!

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mybizstory announcementWe love small businesses – they’re the reason why we build apps and host events aimed at helping small business owners all-year-around. But special days call for a little more!

And that’s why we’re celebrating Small Business Saturday, with a special contest for small businesses this month.

It’s called the #MyBizStory contest and it’s really fun and simple. All you need to do is, tell us a story. Tell us what makes your business unique – it could be a different way of doing things, something you’ve created or something you’ve believed in and followed for your business – anything that you think makes your business stand out. Read more

When Invoicing becomes child’s play. Literally.

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At Zoho, we’re constantly trying to build and rebuild our apps to make them easy for our customers to use.

That’s why we LOVE tweets like these, that make us feel like we’re closer to our goal:

Thanks to @zoyrosa for sharing this video of her kids using Zoho Invoice. It sure made our day :)

Tricks, Treats and Halloween: A time to let go of fear!

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Gearing up your business for Halloween? Most business-owners use this time to carve out pumpkins, stock up on holiday goodies and treats, create Halloween deals and offers to lure customers – all in the ‘spirit’ of the season.

But Halloween can be more than just that.

It can be about learning to overcome fears – especially those that keep us from building a better business. If you’re living with such fears: Halloween is a good time to treat yourself, by tricking the worst fears out of your mind.

1.1

Networking and connecting with people. Businesses are about people doing business with other people. If you’re afraid to go out and meet new people or to talk to existing customers and get to know them better, you might be losing out on opportunities to build and nurture business relationships.

We now live in a connected age where in-person meetings are only one of the ways to connect with people. There’s also email, chat, blogs, Twitter, Facebook, Linkedin and… well, you get the drift. Communicating online can be much less intimidating, so don’t be afraid to connect and interact with everyone who matters for your business. Unless of course, you happen to be afraid of such communication tools. In which case, my next point is for you.

1.2Trying new tools and technology. Because we fear drastic changes that may come with new tools, some of us continue to stick to archaic methods that may have long outlived their utility. However, if you’re already a Zoho customer, then you probably don’t live with such a fear or may have overcome it already. Congratulations, and you may skip the next two paragraphs!

It’s time to break out of that safety net and try some new business tools. You really have nothing to lose. Except maybe, the inefficiencies that come from resisting new tech. So, Once you get used to these tools and their benefits, you’ll wonder how you managed without them in the first place.

And hey, shameless plug: If you’re wondering where to begin, check out some of our apps: business emailCRM, online invoicingemail marketing and an online office suite are the basics to start with!

1.3Managing business finances. Managing the accounting process for your business can give you a lot of control over your finances and help you in making informed business decisions. If lack of accounting knowledge or fear of dealing with numbers sends shivers down your spine, try overcoming this fear by using an online accounting tool that simplifies the process and lets you learn as you go along. (shameless plug #2: Zoho Books!)

1.4

Competition. Some of us live in perpetual fear of the competition, constantly worrying about what their next move might be. We end up spending so much time worrying that we forget to focus on the one thing that can help us stay ahead of them – building a better product or service for customers. The best way to get this fear out of your head is by channelizing your energies back to areas that can help improve your product or service offering.

Now, If you’re still reading this post, it’s likely that you can identify with at least one of the fears I listed. Remember, it’s up to you to choose not to be haunted by them any more. All you have to do is understand your fears better and then you can fight them.

Oh and Happy trick-or-treating!

We’re Moving – Zoho California office gets a new address!

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Moving!

Our California office is moving to a new address:
Zoho Corporation
4141 Hacienda Drive
Pleasanton, CA 94588

During the move, there might be some disruption on our existing phone line (+1 925 924 9500) for the Pleasanton office.

Here’s an alternate number where you can reach us, just in case : +1 408 916 9876

Our toll-free support numbers will continue to work, without any disruption.

Have a great weekend!

Celebrating Small Businesses, All Year Around!

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At Zoho, we’re committed to helping small businesses, all year around.

smallbusinessweek (1)

But this week is special, because it marks the 50th Anniversary of the National Small Business Week, and we’d like to take a moment to thank all our small business users.

Thank you, not just for being our customers, but for having the passion and conviction that it takes to build and run a small business. Thank you, each one of you, for being part of a major force that fuels the economy. And most of all, thank you for pushing us to do even better at what we do best – building apps that help you focus on your business.

More power to you!

Sales Prospecting: Why you should LOVE your CRM

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Mark Hunter over at thesaleshunter.com has an interesting post titled “Why I hate CRM systems for Sales Prospecting

The reason is simple — far too many salespeople either blame their CRM system for being so complicated that it prevents them from doing what they need to be doing. Or they use the lack of a CRM system as an excuse for not doing anything.

At Zoho, we’ve always understood this challenge. As a sales rep, your CRM system should work for you and not against you.

Which is why we’ve redesigned our CRM with a focus on simplicity and ease of use. Our main aim is to create a CRM that helps sales reps minimize the time that they spend within the CRM system. So that they can maximize the time they spend on actual selling.

Of course, we’re constantly evolving the CRM interface towards achieving this aim.  And it really helps when we get feedback from our customers, telling us whether we’re on the right track.

 

 

Adam Stone, CEO of D-Tools talks about how Zoho CRM helped him automate the entire sales process at his company.

And yet, of course, there’s more to CRM than just software. While we’re happy to take care of the software aspect of it, trying to ensure simplicity and ease of use, there’s a lot more that you can do at your end, to make CRM work for you.

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!