Small Business Software Blog

First Rule of Marketing: Show Up

Marketing products and marketing services each require two very different approaches. In the former, your customers get something tangible that they can hold in their hands and evaluate quantitatively. The latter is more subjective and your customers must rely on qualitative criteria to determine if they will give you a good or bad review. When it comes to services, people buy from people they like. Seeing your face plastered on a billboard or in an ad on a Web site, email, or newspaper isn't going to have as much sway with them. Which brings me to this headline and the fact that the first rule is to just show up.

Customer Relationship Management for the Solopreneur

I've been getting a lot of questions about CRM (Customer Relationship Management) applications lately and, not having found the right solution for myself just yet, I wanted to pass on some ways to make it easier to keep up with projects and opportunities. It seems like most of the CRMs that are available are are cost-prohibitive for small businesses. It is possible to bring together a number of different services and keep the costs down, but my goal here is to find a CRM which is both easy to use and offers the tools available to enterprise users, but is still affordable to the solo consultant or small business.

Anatomy 101: What Do You Do?

Since founding Sol Minion Development, I've been to dozens of networking events. Each time, the same question came up: "So, what do you do?" There's plenty of ways to answer this question and plenty of techniques. I've tried several of them, but it's hard to define what we do succinctly. After a little over two years and using the "Twitter Approach", I whittled it down: We solve business challenges using software. The challenges could be just about anything, from marketing to operations to customer service, but it's all solved in some way by software. So, what do you do?

Marketing Made Easy(ier)

As someone in the industry, I know that content is king. I hear it daily. I also know that I don't have an enterprise-level marketing budget, but need to routinely take care of some menial marketing tasks - tasks which take time, but really don't have to. Email newsletters and social media are two marketing channels which integrate well with your Web site, drive traffic, and keeps your business in front of your customers.

3 Questions Clingy Customers Want Answered

What's the first thing people see when they look you or your business up online? Your Web site's home page should seek out and grab hold of clingy customers, not repel them like Bounce does static. If Google is saying you bounce too much, there are some ways to reduce it. When someone lands on your site and can't find some compelling reasons to stick around right away, they're gone (or they "bounce") and you probably won't see them again. When it comes to landing pages, it's vital to immediately answer three questions: "who are you", "what do you do", and "who says so".

Why Does Open Source Software Matter to You?

I've talked about development projects and how we create customized, proprietary software for our clients. We do that by leveraging the open source software community which lets us build great software faster and with widely-used libraries that are designed to be reused and, as such, are tested quite thoroughly. Open source benefits our clients in three very important ways: better quality, shorter timelines, and lower costs.

Joomla Security Update Released

The Joomla project, an open-source content management system, released a security update which addresses two medium priority vulnerabilities. Sol Minion Development will be conducting updates on all compatible sites. If you have any questions or concerns, please contact our support team.

3 Great Tools to Research Keywords

When it comes to SEO and marketing online, we're all subject to the whim of the search engines. One of the biggest struggles for any marketer is knowing what keywords to use, where their site ranks, and what similar keywords might also be useful. Here are three tools available that can give any marketer some extra insight.

3 Common Misconceptions About Web Development

Let's face it, when it comes to Web design and development, most business owners just know they need it. It's all a big mystery what their designers and/or developers do every day to market and build a client's brand identity online. There are often misconceptions about the benefits we provide to businesses and, as a business owner, it's important to understand them so you get the best outcome for your project.

The Key to Social Media Marketing

When I'm out networking, people always tell me they aren't sure how to use social media for marketing. It can be intimidating and involves a great deal of experimentation to find the right mix of content, not to mention the fact that every business is different. I've found two questions need to be answered to point marketers in the right direction. First, what is important to you? Second, who are you trying to reach?

Bugs and Enhancements and Features! Oh My!

With this article, I'll continue a series on the lexicon of app development. In this post, I'll cover something that comes up during many stages of a project, particularly Web applications. When we talk about Web sites, software, and apps, developers often reference "bugs" in the code or mention "enhancements" or "features". If you'd like to know more about the difference, you should keep reading.

3 Easy Ways to Help Secure Your Web Site

There's been a lot happening in the news recently about stolen passwords, breaking into sites, and other illicit activity. It's important to understand that it's not if you get targeted, it's when. Unfortunately, this is the simple truth of living and doing business in the Internet age. While you may not be able to stop every attempt, it is possible to protect your Web site with some simple steps and easy to install software.