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Table of Contents

Lead Story

Fostering a payments culture of giving


Industry Update

EMVCo to improve standard for e- and m-commerce

New payments player teams with Dallas Cowboys

Google the latest billion-dollar settlement denier to sue Visa, MasterCard

Softcard hits another snag, lays off staff


The IoT - fact or fiction?

Education key to mobile adoption

Data breaches across America


Risk worth the reward High-risk: A macro perspective

Jeffrey I. Shavitz
Alternative Merchant Processing Inc.

Retail, why bite the brand that feeds you?

Dale S. Laszig
DSL Direct LLC.


Street SmartsSM:
Pushing the limits of sales seasonality

Tom Waters and Ben Abel
Bank Associates Merchant Services

ISO goes to court: What to expect

Adam Atlas
Attorney at Law

Techology tools and tips to grow your business

Vicki M. Daughdrill
Small Business Resouces LLC

Company Profile

Expansion Capital Group LLC

New Products

Intelligent choice for connected,upscale dining

OMNI Brain Lab

Portfolio management to protect revenue, prevent chargebacks

Cardholder Dispute Resolution Network


The Internet of people


Readers Speak

Resource Guide


Skyscraper Ad

The Green Sheet Online Edition

January 26, 2015  •  Issue 15:01:02

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Techology tools and tips to grow your business

By Vicki M. Daughdrill

Ah, technology. It's either the bane of your existence or the best thing since sliced bread. Depending on your viewpoint, today's technological advances provide great opportunities or serious challenges for your business. It is certain, however, that in our increasingly technological world, it is essential to understand and embrace new and existing business technologies.

Here are some tools and tips to help you utilize technology to efficiently manage and grow your business.

Sales tools

Microsoft Corp.'s PowerPoint software is a highly effective sales tool. It can make extremely compelling, professional sales presentations. Following are 10 tips on how to properly use this software.

  1. The simpler the slide, the better. Keep your slides clean and free of junk or frivolity. Customize them to your individual customer. This easy-to-follow tip leads to a terrific first impression.
  2. Keep it short and sweet. Do not overfill slides with words. Slides should support your oral presentation and not duplicate your comments.
  3. Use animation such as "fly ins" sparingly, and do not use them on each slide.
  4. Use high quality graphics that do not pixilate when enlarged. Be cautious when using clip art; much of it is cartoonish or juvenile. Also, be aware of copyright issues concerning images available on the Internet.
  5. Be sure to use a theme in keeping with your company's brand. You can insert logos, color bands and other identifying markers. Don't use templates available in PowerPoint; they are overused, common and already too familiar to most people.
  6. Charts are always useful on a slide. They add visual interest and can compel
  7. Use color carefully. Select a color theme, perhaps in keeping with your logo or other branding materials, and stick with no more than three colors. Be sure the colors complement each other and are not too close in shade.
  8. Select a sans-serif font such as Helvetica or Arial for your slides. Use the same font throughout the slides and add visual interest by bolding some words or putting some words in italics.
  9. If possible, insert sound or video. These elements can provide just the punch you need, but remember, less is more.
  10. Once you've completed your slides, use the slide sorter to be sure they are in the best order.

Survey Monkey, another outstanding tool, can help you measure how your clients think you are doing. A simple, easy-to-prepare survey will allow customers to tell you whether they are satisfied with your performance and your products. Also, this type of knowledge can provide the opportunity to correct situations before you attempt to close sales.

Today's new reality is online advertising and marketing. If you are going to market your company and your products and services online, you must follow stringent rules. The Controlling the Assault of Non-Solicited Pornography and Marketing Act of 2003 describes penalties for companies that violate the law. Among other things, the law requires that each email marketing message include a notice informing recipients that it is an advertisement or solicitation, an opt-out feature, and a valid postal address for the sender.

The Federal Trade Commission pursues individuals and companies that violate this very specific law. If you plan to advertise your business through online marketing, be sure to seek legal advice to assure that you are following both the letter and the spirit of the law.

Communication tools

A number of communication methods can make keeping in touch with your clients easier and more frequent. Here are several actions you can take to keep your name and business in front of your customers.

Fully employ all of your smartphone's features. A phone is no longer just a phone. Your phone can become your greatest business assistant. A brief follow-up email sent via your smartphone after a sales call may win you the client.

Management tools

With increasing demands on your time, it is vital that you use advanced technologies to manage your business effectively. If you are not using them already, the following business management resources can help you achieve the success you desire. If a particular software program requires a purchase, ask for a 30-day free trial or another type of complimentary demonstration to ensure the software meets your needs.

Former Microsoft Chief Executive Officer Steven Ballmer said, "The number one benefit of information technology is that it empowers people to do what they want to do. It lets people be creative. It lets people be productive. It lets people learn things they didn't think they could learn before, and so in a sense it is all about potential."

Technology is here to stay. Don't be left behind.

Vicki M. Daughdrill is the Managing Member of Small Business Resources LLC, a management consulting company. E-mail her at or call her at 601-310-3594.

Notice to readers: These are archived articles. Contact names or information may be out of date. We regret any inconvenience.

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