The new year has officially started, and for most businesses it's a chance to try something new. Business owners need to find new ways to hit the ground running and get ready to grow. Here in Barrie, summer is our time to make an impact, and it's going to come faster than we'd think (hopefully), and right now is the time to evolve. We know how fast technology moves here at Thain Creative, it's our obsession and it's our job to keep up. We have a few incredible online tools that we use to streamline our day to day activities, and we want to share them with you.
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01 - Square Payments made easy for everyone
Square is a next-generation solution for accepting payments from credit cards to your smartphone. For businesses looking to kick the clunky sales terminal out the door for a new engaging way to accept payments, Square is the best of the best.
On top of that, Square is designed for return customers, giving Barrie locals a tailored service, and allowing you to give rewards, discounts. You also get some really useful analytics to keep track of your transactions, and a free card reader that snaps right into your iPhone or Android's headphone jack.
Barrie will have more local customers in 2014
A few days ago on our Mayor's blog, Jeff wrote about issues with parking in the city, and how to decrease losses, and gain revenue from our waterfront parking lots in particular. He mentions that a solid plan would be to charge visitors for parking, but give local Barrie residents a free pass. This could mean an increase of local traffic to your downtown store-fronts this summer, and with Square, you'll be better equipped to create a relationship with your local regulars.
02 - Buffer Social Sharing
Social media is a powerful tool to keep customers informed, and gain exposure. A difficult task is managing all of your social media accounts (like Facebook, Twitter or Google+) because of the time and attention required. Buffer is a really smart way to send out updates to multiple accounts, all at once.
Buffer also allows you to schedule updates for the future, and queue content for later. It's fast and easy and it's free. They also have some really useful apps and other goodies to help you stay connected, and keep focused on running your business.
03 - Flow Effective Task Management
A lot of businesses are looking for a proper task management solution, and there are a lot to choose from. We think the best is Flow, a polished, feature filled task management marvel that helps make sure tasks are being completed. You can create task lists, delegate them and be notified when they are complete, from anywhere.
Members can also discuss a particular tasks, and supply updates, share ideas and provide helpful info. With apps for your mobile device, email integration and desktop apps for Mac & PC, you'll find it easier to stay on task and ensure things get done quickly.
04 - Dribbble Show and Tell for Designers
Here at Thain Creative, we spend our day designing and creating things. A big part of our process is Dribbble where designers can share their work and get feedback from the online community.
How it works is you upload a small "shot" of your work (400px by 300px) to show off. People can provide feedback, share your work, and you can provide updates on new revisions. You can also follow other people and companies for great inspiration and conversation.
Dribbble is also a great place to host your portfolio, and make yourself available for hire for freelance projects.
05 - SumAll Analytics for Your Business
Many businesses are creating an online presence, using social media to connect with customers and provide updates. Some businesses are also selling their merchandise online, and SumAll allows you to stay on top of your online progress in every way, taking raw statistics and giving you the tools to understand them and act upon sudden opportunities.
You can connect all of your online accounts to SumAll and use their intuitive platform to digest the information. Want to compare Twitter followers to return customers? How about comparing your recent boxing week sale against Facebook likes? The possibilities are endless and SumAll makes it simple and easy. Also it's free!