Return on Investment (ROI) is a rather nebulous term, a sort of catch-all that is really asking what the return will be for money that is going to be spent, i.e. what this commodity is really worth in the final analysis.
Nature of benefits
In the past, investment in something like a new IT system would entail the top management and IT professionals discussing ROI with financial benefits primarily in mind. Nowadays, however, technologists and business leaders are just as likely to talk about the possible non-financial benefits of the new acquisition.
Financial benefits will include the impact on the finances and budget of an organisation, such as a reduction in costs or an increase in revenue.
Non-financial benefits, on the other hand, are things like possible impact on mission performance and operations, such as a net improvement in overall customer satisfaction, shorter cycle-time or enhanced information flow.
A small company’s decision makers will arrive at their selection of new kit based on its perceived value to the business in these terms. Many of the technologies outlined here will improve a small business’s chances of getting off the ground and implemented by making many common business tasks easier, quicker and often considerably cheaper than they maybe currently are, thereby freeing up valuable time and resources for meeting other priorities.
Who’s dropping by?
Demandbase allows the owner of a website to see who has been visiting it. it uses a real-time ticker to analyse the IP addresses of visitors to the site and will compare these with various other sources of information to come up with the names of the companies they are currently employed by. You can simply click on the name of a company for the application to sell you contact information for a lead there. It’s not for nothing that Demandbase has been dubbed the iTunes of CRM.
LuckyCal makes it a simple and easy matter to link up with business contacts. It’s completely free, and integrates personal and professional calendars with those of friends, employees and business associates, with their permission of course. It will also scan Outlook and Facebook profiles and send contacts an email when they are close by to tell them to drop in for a chat. A more powerful enterprise version will also soon be available.
Simplify payment processing
Intuit Pay represents an innovative new approach to payment processing, making it easier to deal with credit card payments in particular. Card payments can be processed via mobile devices such as tablets, iPhone and Android phones and also through a company’s existing QuickBooks software.
Card and banking transactions are easily downloaded to ease accounts synchronization, and a particularly handy feature is the fee calculator for transactions. This lets you know in advance exactly what the use of a particular card for making payments will cost you in terms of fees.
Small businesses just starting out will greatly benefit from this software, which compensates for having a typically small number of staff in the bookkeeping department.