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Archive for the ‘Technology’ Category

The amount of free resources available to entrepreneurs is truly remarkable when compared to the business world of the 90s. The growing popularity of web apps – and in particular free web apps – is allowing small business owners to benefit from tools and technology which used to come with a hefty price tag.

Some of the most useful web apps available today are those concerning search and networking. Regardless of your industry, finding quality leads or prospects is one of the most important elements in growing your business.

In this video, we’ve searched the internet for the top web apps around. These six businesses tell us how they’ve used web applications and online networking to get in touch with the right type of prospect for their business.

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Start up business owners absolutely can’t ignore the opportunities that are available online to market their small business. As great an opportunity as there is, it’s also a pretty daunting task for a new business – especially if you’re not an expert in getting attention on the web.

The good news is, keeping it simple is one of the best ways you can ensure that your website is ticking all of the boxes and serving the purpose it needs to for potential customers or business partners.

Stefan Tornquist, Research Director of Marketing Sherpa, talks about improving your search rankings organically through relevant website content. As a small business owner, how easy do you find it to write copy and articles for your business? Is it something you can do yourself, or do you prefer to outsource this job?
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I love the internet; in the last 50 years has there been a more important development in the history of business? People compare the net to other important media developments, such as the printing press, the TV or radio. Wrong. The internet is bigger than all of those put together.

For business the internet is the ultimate leveller. For the first time we have a platform that allows the small guys, the spare room businesses and entrepreneurial spirits to compete with the big goliaths. And competition generally has intensified. As a software and services provider I can tell you it has forced the entire industry to up our game radically.

The internet makes it much easier to find all of the products and services you need to start a business. Much of your business can be run online and you can even access cheap but talented resources from across the world. When your product or service is ready, you can let the world know too.

Ten years ago I recall working for a mammoth international TV and media company that invested millions of both time and money into its billing and subscription platform. All it wanted to do was ensure no matter how or where you subscribed, it all came into a single system. This wasn’t rocket science, but at the time it was complex to stitch disparate software and web systems together, and it came with a suitably horrible price tag.

The internet has turned this problem on its head; you don’t need a million bucks any more. There are hundreds of free or low cost solutions available to help you run a startup professionally.

My own company, Actinic provides functionality out of the box for controlling multiple retail channels (e.g. web, shop, phone, mail). Ten years ago this concept wasn’t even around. Today you can buy standard applications and services at a commodity price.

So, this is a very exciting time to be starting a business. The tools are out there for you to create both great products and services. For once you don’t need an IPO to afford them.

What are you waiting for?

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In the recession, entrepreneurs and businesspeople are in search of business ideas to help them boost sales revenue and reduce overheads.  If you are thinking of starting a business, then you should be even MORE focussed on technology which can give you a competitive advantage.

Find out what some of the UK’s leading entrepreneurs have to say about technology, and how it can help you be successful with your existing or new business …

The business experts in this series include: Tim Smit (Chief Executive and Co-founder, Eden Project), Doug Richard (BBC2’s Dragons’ Den), Luke Johnson (Chairman, Channel 4 Television Corporation), Chey Garland (Chief Executive, Garlands Call Centres), and Miles Templeman (Director General, Institute of Directors).

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