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7 Networking Tips for Shy People

It’s guest post day here at Duct Tape Marketing and today’s guest post is from Ethan Robinson – Enjoy! 

networking 5

Photo credit: istock photo

Networking is a challenge for shy people. If only they possessed that self-confidence to impress a crowd or charm people at “hello.” Whether you call yourself “shy,” “introverted,” or merely “quiet,” it is still possible for you to master the art of networking. Networking is not based on being outgoing: it’s about building sincere relationships based on trust, sincerity, and generosity. If you’re struggling to meet new people, here’s a few things you could try to improve your network.

1. Don’t sweat the meet and greet

If there’s someone you want to meet for the first time, try to find a common connection and request an introduction. If you’re in a networking event, approach the host or an event organizer to help you with the introduction. Getting introduced will make it easier for you to make a new contact than having to approach someone from out of the blue. Can’t find anyone to introduce you? Take a few deep breaths and take a leap of faith.  It’s always better to try than miss that chance altogether.

2. Write down your questions

It’s a two-way street so you can’t let the other person carry the conversation for you. If you’re not confident about your spontaneity, then try writing down a few questions like:

“What does your typical day look like?”

“What got you into this career path?”

“What hobbies are you into?”

“What do you wish you had more time to do?”

Cliché, overused conversation starters may seem like a drag. But they can be a good way to start a conversation.

3. Your listening skills are your assets

Introverts are often empathic listeners. Being a better listener than most people may not make you stand out in the crowd. But it does leave strong, lasting impressions on people once you engage them in a conversation. Listening attentively and asking a few thoughtful questions can help fast-track your way into a meaningful relationship.

4. Throw in some compliments

From small compliments to sheer flattery, entrepreneurs are always keen to hear something good about themselves. Just be sure to be earnest about your compliments and not to dish out too many flatteries in a conversation. Think about it and if you don’t feel like saying it, don’t.

5. Don’t give unsolicited advice

You can talk about many things but avoid unsolicited advice as much as possible. Giving unsolicited advice like:

“You shouldn’t work too much”

“You should be on TV”

“If I were you, I would…”

This kind of advice is often easier said than done. You’re just starting a relationship, you don’t need to be on their board of directors just yet.

6. Tag a buddy along

A huge business networking event or even a small dinner can be less intimidating if you have a buddy. That way, you’ll have someone to sit with or introduce you to others. If you have to go alone, reach out and make at least one solid connection. It’s always much easier to have a partner than to be lost in a crowd of complete strangers.

7. Remember you’re not the only “shy” guy or girl in the conference

You are more than likely not the only introvert at your table. The guy next to you or the girl from across the table may just be as nervous. Instead of sitting around being scared to death, go ahead and start the conversation. You may be ignored or it may not end up as planned, but it might also lead to a great conversation you would otherwise miss if you remained silent.

If none of these tips has encouraged you to open up to other people, you might want to see a professional business coach or attend a marketing lecture. When you have someone to discuss and explain your specific business challenges, you will find them much easier to overcome with new solutions.

 

IMG_1311Ethan Robinson is an Australia-based digital marketer who splits his time between Sydney and New York. He currently leads the digital marketing team for NY-based The Small Business Expo, US’ largest business trade show.

Why Online Reviews Are Almost As Good As Actual Referrals

It’s guest post day here at Duct Tape Marketing and today’s guest post is from Jason Keeler – Enjoy!

image 2 online business reviewsAs a business owner, there isn’t much better than a good referral. It shows that you’re doing something right, and that your customers think highly enough of you as a partner to tell other people in their circle about their great experience. Referral leads have a tremendously high closing percentage as well versus other cultivated leads. The implied trust factor allows you to skip a lot of the relationship building and get right down to business. Unfortunately, even your most vocal brand advocates will likely only influence a handful of prospective customers at most, and more than likely just one or two. But what if your happy customers were able to influence hundreds or even thousands of prospects?

The Power Of Faceless People

In the absence of a trusted business contact steering a prospect to your door, an online review can be almost as powerful. Never mind that there’s no connection between the reviewer and the prospect reading their review. According to Forrester data from a 2012 study, nearly one third of online consumers trust a stranger as opposed to a brand. That data speaks specifically to consumers buying an online product, but the sentiment holds true for prospects researching brick and mortar businesses on the web. A 20123 study by Bright Local showed that nearly 85% of customers read online reviews before trying a new restaurant, hiring a local contractor or making a major in-home purchase. The impact of positive reviews from total strangers is incredibly powerful, even if their testimonial fails to put a face with a name.

The Impact On Local Search

The value of search engine optimization to any specific business varies, but local SEO – impacting where your business falls in Google’s local search returns – can be a huge driver for both foot traffic and online visits. The online reviews of your business are a big driver for where (or if) your business appears in the pecking order. There are quite a few other factors as well, but total reviews, quality/length of reviews, having variety in the sites where you are reviewed and of course the sentiment of your reviews will play a big role in determining your place. Aside from helping you manipulate local search results, reviews on popular portals like Yelp! can be a source of referral traffic to your website as well.

Ask And You Shall Receive

As is often the case, some things can be acquired simply by asking. Ensuring that your company actively seeks both referrals and reviews will most certainly pay dividends. And for those who need more than a simple ask? There’s certainly nothing wrong with establishing a review reward similar to a referral bonus, as a consideration for their time. Smart companies may even tie it in to a discount on a future order, not only ensuring a good review but also improving the chance that there’s a repeat order from a current customer. Another unique way to improve your review rate is to use surveys. The bonus here is that you can also find out a few interesting things about your business – areas that you’re surprisingly weak or strong in – and either reward those responsible or start making improvements.

As previously noted, referrals are like gold…but good online reviews are at least like silver, or a high-grade copper. There’s real value there. Make sure you spend time focusing on reviews as well as referrals, and you’ll put more prospects in your funnel with relative ease.

Jason Keeler imageJason Keeler is the Director of Digital Marketing at EAG Advertising & Marketing, Kansas City’s small business ad agency. He’s an avid Royals fan and a lover of all things related to internet marketing.

Why This SEO Veteran Is Joining the Duct Tape Marketing Consultant Network

It’s guest post day here at Duct Tape Marketing and today’s guest post is from Phil Singleton – Enjoy!

Certified-ConsultantI recently enrolled in John Jantsch’s Duct Tape Marketing Certified Consultant program.  A couple of my fellow SEO and web design friends asked me why, which almost made my head explode.  The new Duct Tape Marketing Consulting Network is not just for traditional marketing consultants anymore.

There are so many reasons for professional service providers such as web designers and especially SEO and Internet marketing professionals to join:

1.  Staying Ahead Of The SEO Curve

In terms of search engine optimization, volume-based link building is dead and unnatural link building is dying.  For years, Google preached about content being king, while all the while rewarding volume-based link building.  Thankfully, with advanced web spam fighting algorithm updates such as Penguin and Panda, back-room link building is gone and now content really is king.  In order to create and execute an effective content-driven SEO strategy and to succeed in the new age of search engine optimization, we SEOs need a better, more comprehensive understanding of small business marketing.  It’s just that simple.

2. Trust

John Jantsch and Duct Tape Marketing are two of the most trusted names (if not THE most trusted names) in small business marketing.  Yet my niches, specifically search engine optimization and online marketing, suffer from reputational issues.   Years of hard-sell cold-calling and deceptive marketing practices by thousands of domestic and offshore service providers promising SEO gold have tarnished our industry.  So many small businesses have been burned by Internet marketing companies that SEO is perceived as snake-oil.  While I think my own firm’s history, track-record, online visibility and client references help to overcome industry reputation issues, becoming a Duct Tape Marketing Certified SEO and web development professional will inspire confidence and trust.

3. A Killer Sales Pitch

When we walk into a prospective client sales presentation, we are already able to show compelling reasons to choose us through our track record, approach and case studies.  But a Duct Tape Marketing certification will really help elevate our sales pitch.   Would you rather have a hollow design-driven website, or an SEO-driven website developed from the ground up by formally trained and certified Internet marketing professionals?  Yeah, I thought so.

4.  Personal Development

The program isn’t just about leveraging brand power.  There is a formal training program.  John’s Duct Tape Marketing books have already made me better at what I do, but I know the program and network will take my game to another level.  I am also looking forward to learning the system and applying it to my own business.

5. Building Authority & My Own SEO

John has a huge, targeted following in all of the major social media channels.  Additionally, he has several website properties with very strong traffic and search engine authority.  Even without all the other benefits, this is almost enough of a reason by itself to join the network.  I now have access to one of the most powerful content distribution networks in my niche – which gives me the opportunity on occasion to present worthy, high-quality content and get that content posted, promoted and amplified throughout this channel.

6. Differentiation

Check out the Duct Tape Marketing™ badges on my websites: http://kcwebdesigner.com  and http://kcseopro.com.  See what I mean? Our SEO and web design clients immediately see the value of having a web development and SEO services provider that is also certified by the most trusted name in small business marketing.  From a marketing and sales perspective, our Duct Tape Marketing certification will enable us to really ‘stack the deck’ in terms of value-proposition.

7. Network Power

Becoming part of the Duct Tape team not only gets me more personal access to a small business marketing guru, but John is also literally a handshake away from most of the leading influencers in my niche…perhaps giving me the opportunity to see one of these leaders in person at a Duct Tape Marketing event, and dare I say maybe even meet one of them someday.

8. Practical Tools, Online Resources, Events & Discounts

I was lucky enough to get a sneak peek at some of the new tools and systems available to certified consultants.  I also learned that network members will also get meaningful discounts to business services and subscriptions that are relevant to my business.

9. Duct Tape Referral Network

Yes, this is the gift that keeps on giving.  On top of all the other benefits listed above (and probably more I don’t even know about yet), I get to be a member of an exclusive referral network of trusted Duct Tape Marketing consultants.  I kind of view this as one of the many cherries on top, but this could potentially lead to a lot of new business for my company.

10. Great Investment

I am very happy that there is a financial investment associated with joining the Duct Tape Marketing Consulting Network and becoming certified.  Given the massive amount of value, the licensing and certification fees are an absolute no-brainer for serious SEO and web development professionals.  I am very happy that the privilege of joining the network requires you to put a skin in the game and complete a formal training process.  If it were cheap and easy, everybody would do it and it would have a lot less value.

Editor’s Note: Want to learn more about joining the Network – Join John Jantsch for a live Discovery Webinar – enroll here

psPhil Singleton is the owner of Kansas City Web Design®, a web development firm specializing in SEO-friendly WordPress websites and custom website applications, and Kansas City SEO®, a full-service Internet marketing services company that provides organic search engine optimization and other online marketing services.  Contact Phil on his Google+ page or LinkedIn page.

 

The Top Google Analytics Reports for Assessing Mobile Activity

It’s guest post day here at Duct Tape Marketing and today’s guest post is from Mark Hansen – Enjoy!

As the use of mobile devices continues to increase, understanding the needs and behaviors of our mobile visitors is increasingly important. Instinctively, we know that mobile users are on the go, so they’re more likely to lose patience with a slow mobile site or poor user experience (UX). But what we need to learn is how they’re finding our site, what their goals are, and what content engages them. Take a read below to learn how Google Analytics can best help you do just that.

Mobile Overview Report

DTM1The first report to review is the Mobile Overview report (Audience > Mobile > Overview), as this will provide an idea of the kind of impact mobile visitors are currently having on your website. Within this report, click the box next to “mobile” in the device row of the table, and then click “Plot Rows.” You’ll now have a chart that shows sessions from mobile users vs. all sessions. This graph shows how your percentage of mobile traffic has changed over time.

Within the table of this report, you can also compare the Bounce Rate, Pages/Sessions and Average Session Duration across desktop, mobile and tablet users. You’ll immediately be able to tell whether your mobile visitors are engaged, by comparing them to your desktop visitors.

If you have embedded videos or blog posts that aren’t formatted for mobile use, then a high Bounce Rate percentage may be an indication you should investigate further and consider redesigning those pages to improve UX.

Channels Report

DTM2Another useful report is Channels (Acquisition > Channels) with the “Mobile Traffic” segment applied.  This tells you where your mobile users are coming from, which can influence how you design campaigns to attract more visitors.

For example, if you learn that a large percentage of your mobile traffic comes from Twitter, strategically promote landing pages designed for mobile in your Twitter ads.

Within the Channels report, you apply the segment named “Mobile Traffic” by clicking “+Add Segment” at the top right corner of the report. To view only the information relevant to mobile, unselect “All Sessions.”

In the table below the chart, you will see a list showing whether Social, Email or another channel is the primary source for your traffic. You can delve deeper by clicking these terms, like “Social,” to learn what specific websites and networks are driving the most traffic to your site.

For example, you may learn 70% of mobile traffic is from Twitter but that the conversion rate is 0% from this platform. Perhaps then, you need to evaluate your site’s mobile conversion experience. You may also test tweeting links to different pages across your site to see which content performs best for mobile users.

Universal Analytics – User ID

DTM3Google’s Universal Analytics introduced a new tool called User ID that can be essential in understanding your mobile users and tracking conversions. The User ID lets you track a user across multiple devices and browsing sessions. It will give you a better idea of a user’s behavior leading up to their conversion point, helping you adjust your funnel to create more conversions. This functionality requires custom development to set up, which you can read more about here.

For example, you can learn that John Doe first visited your site from a Facebook promotion while on his phone. He scrolls through a couple of pages and provides his email for your newsletter but drops off. Then, a couple of days later you can see that John has revisited your website on his desktop computer by clicking a link within an email you’ve sent him. Universal Analytics will associate the same User ID to both visits. Finally, John goes to your site from his iPad and watches a video on how to start a free trial of your service and signs up.

Knowing that these three visits were all from the same person can help you better understand your leads and make website improvements. You may notice other users like John, who sign up for your newsletter but don’t begin experimenting with your service until they’ve received more information in the form of an email. Perhaps the incentive you included in the newsletter will serve you better on the website, when visitors first begin learning about your business – ultimately shortening the conversion cycle.

Conclusion

It’s imperative to understand how mobile users find your site, how their conversion path differ from desktop users, and how to adjust the mobile experience on your website to encourage these visitors to become customers. When doing this analysis, you may want to put together a full report on mobile traffic, and review it regularly with your team. But as a first step, get familiar with the mobile analytics data in the reports discussed here.

Mark Hansen-headshot-150-x-150Mark Hansen is the Founder and President of Megalytic, the leading tool for building web analytics marketing reports. Megalytic is used by digital agencies, marketers and business owners for faster, more insightful and better looking analytics reports.  Mark writes a regular blog about Google Analytics best practices for marketers and small business owners.

How to Get More Customers for Free This Week Through Google

It’s guest post day here at Duct Tape Marketing and today’s guest post is from Erik Larson – Enjoy! 

You’re getting frustrated.

You see neighboring businesses, competitors, and everyone else get customers through their door, and you’re getting nothing.

So you ask around, trying to figure out what’s going on.

You keep hearing your friends tell you “My customers keep telling me they ‘saw me on Google’ or they ‘found me through their smartphone’”.

You have a website! That one guy you paid way too much money to put up your website said you would be found on Google! What gives?

So you type your name into Google, and sure enough, there’s your website, right where it was. And you remember that supposedly, you were going to be on the first page of Google for [whatever your industry is, let’s say plumbing]. So you type in plumbing, and you’re nowhere to be found. But you do see this:

PlumbingMaine1Large

‘Wait, how come I’m not on that map?’ You ask. ‘This must be why the other plumbers are crushing me!’

Welcome to Google My Business, a free service provided by Google.

I know it can be frustrating to see your competitors looking really good on Google, and you’re nowhere to be found, I understand that. I also understand the idea of getting your business up on Google can be intimidating, the idea of going through a huge elaborate process, jumping through hoops, and not understanding any of it is scary.

But guess what, it’s surprisingly easy.

Using the built-in Google My Business tutorial, you will usually be able to get setup and going in an hour or less. Anyone that has a basic understanding of how to use the Internet can do this, so by the sole reason that you are reading this blog post, I believe in you.

Let’s get started so we can  get you some more customers, shall we?

First off, there are some important things you need ready and at your fingertips:

  • A Google or Gmail account
  • A nice picture of the front of your building
  • Your address
  • Your logo

Once you have these things ready, go to http://www.google.com/business/, and click on the “Get on Google” button. Follow all the directions exactly, make sure to fill out as much as possible. Once you’ve got your account setup and verified, it could take a couple days to get your business in the results.

Getting the HUGE boost in traffic we talked about

Alright, so now that your account is setup and verified, here’s the tricky part, making your business stand out on the search page.

I typed “Plumbing in Portland, Maine” and I got these results.

PlumbingMaine2Large

Which result do you think gets the most clicks?

As you might have guessed by the lack of reviews on the front page, getting a Google Review can be kind of tough. I’ve seen a lot of companies with Google profiles that have been up for a long time, and still don’t have any reviews.

So, how do we go about getting these elusive reviews?

Here are three really easy steps to getting a Google review:

  1. Type your company name and city into Google. [For example: “Joe’s Plumbing, Baltimore”
  2. Find the “Write a review” link, right click it and copy the link.
  3. Send that link to 30 of your best and favorite customers, and ask them to write a review.

In the email, make sure you thank them for being an amazing customer, and make sure to thank them again after they wrote the review. If you are a customer of theirs as well, you can offer to do the same thing for them.

Once those reviews start rolling in, you’ll likely notice a bump in traffic to your site, your Google+ page, and your business.

Getting even MORE customers

Wait, you want even more customers?

Well, if you have the money, there’s a way to boost the amount of people coming to your website dramatically. If you’re a brick-and-mortar business, Google Adwords Express let’s you show up in Google Maps results, and you’ll show up in the yellow bar in Google search. It’s pretty easy to setup, and it’ll run automatically.

If you want to go more in-depth, you could run a campaign in Google AdWords, there are tons of great tutorials out there to help you out.

Now, the next step is to get your business set up in Bing Places, to take advantage of all of the Siri and Windows Phone users out there.

How many of you have used Google My Business? How has it helped your company?

150portraitErik Larson is the founder of RunTheMarket, a small business marketing blog. He is also the SEO specialist for Lendio, a free online tool to find business loans, and writes on small business topics on the Lendio Blog. He can also be found on Google+ and Twitter.

 

5 Simple Acts to Take Right Now

Summer

photo credit: UGArdener via photopin cc

The months of July and August can be slower ones for many small businesses in the U.S. While we’ve got a thing or two to learn from some other cultures about taking a “real” holiday, many business owners and their clients take vacations and spend less time thinking about business during the summer months.

You may still feel just as busy doing busy kind of things, but the key to making this mini breather pay is to look at the summer months as a launching pad for growth and improvement into next year. Many times we keep our head down doing the work and can’t seem to find the right amount of time to dedicate to the needs of the business.

Below are five things that I try to do each summer as a way to make the rest of the year more fruitful.

1) Find some new inspiration It’s pretty easy to get in the habit of reading the same blogs, following the same people, and picking up the same magazines. You may have developed your go to list and that’s great, but in doing so, it’s easy to miss fresh new voices with lots to say unless you get outside of your bubble.

Take one hour and reshuffle your RSS Reader. Think about some new categories of information you should be consuming and search around and find some lists of “who to read” in that category or industry. Clean out those newsletter subscriptions you never seem to read and make room for some new inspiration.

2) Start planning 2015 now Sometimes it feels like it’s hard to plan the week ahead much less dream about the vision for the future. The problem with this trap, however, is that where you want to go in 2015 and beyond should inform how you plan next week and maybe even tomorrow.

Take a day, or half of a day, and think about the big picture for 2015. Don’t wait until December to do it or you’ll find that it’s March before you actually start to think it’s 2015. (And then March Madness starts and you’re really in trouble.) Break the rest of this year into 90-day blocks and map the big projects you need to accomplish to make the big vision for next year happen right now!

3) Deepen a relationship When’s the last time your reached out to someone you hadn’t spoken with for a while just to say “hey let’s get coffee this week.” It’s probably been a while, right? We’re all so darn busy “building relationships” we don’t have the time to do what it actually takes to build relationships.

Whether you’ve slowed down a bit or not during this time of year, it’s a perfect time to identify a handful of relationships you’ve neglected and put some very mindful energy into renewing them. You pick – a couple of key customers, a strategic partner, a college friend, your brother, or maybe, even your spouse!

4) Learn a new skill I like to use the summer months each year to tackle something hard and confusing and valuable as a way to remain relevant and useful to my clients and my business. This year I’m diving deeper into analytics. It’s a bit like math to me, but may be the single most important gap I have in my ability to apply both experience and process to help make sense of marketing for my clients and readers.

I’ve subscribed to relevant blogs, picked up some books and tracked down an online course or two to create my curriculum. Of course, then I’ll immediately apply what I can in the real world.

5) Create a new habit Good habits are awesome because they do two things. If chosen wisely they can bring the benefit of doing something good for you on a consistent basis and they can help push another, not so good, habit out of the way. In fact, it’s been proven that the best way to break a bad habit is to replace it with a better one.

This summer I’m getting back into yoga. I’ve been a long time practicer but somewhere in the stress and chaos created from my last book I lost it. My knees and my blood pressure tell me it’s time to get back to it.

There you have it – an entire plan for how to wisely use your August this year. Of course taking a little time off wouldn’t kill you either!

And finally – this sounds so ridiculous to say, but I’m just going to say it anyway – I’ve started turning my phone off for extended periods and I can’t believe how much less stress I feel. Give it a try!

The Secret to Getting Much More Done

Manage EnergyMostly I write about marketing and running a business, but I’ve sometimes strayed into writing about the fact that running a business takes figuring out how to get lots done every single day. Time seems to be the most precious resource of all when it comes to get things done, but I contend it’s managing energy is more important that trying to manage time.

See, the thing about time is that you can’t control it any way really – you can’t make stop it and you can’t make more. Energy, on the other hand, is something much more dynamic and much more in your control. Manage your physical and mental energy each day and you can get a lot more done.

Realizing this fact has led me to invest a great deal of “time” and “energy” in finding ways to develop more physical and mental stamina in an effort to get more done.

I’ve written about many of these ideas over the years, but decided to compile them in a handy eBook I’ve called Manage Energy Not Time: The Secret to Getting Much More Done.

In this compilation I talk about:

  • How thoughts influence your actions
  • The importance of intentional breathing
  • The role of exercise and nutrition
  • The myth of goal setting
  • How to unplug to gain energy
  • And my personal favorite – naps

You can grab your free copy here

This is a fun project and hope you gain some valuable new ideas from reading it.

Please share some of your personal favorite tips for getting more out of each day.

 

Can Accounting Reports Really Be Beautiful?

It’s guest post day here at Duct Tape Marketing and today’s guest post is from Tyler Nay – Enjoy!

AccountingAs a small business owner, what is more rewarding than focusing on the area of your business that you are most passionate about?  To invest your uninterrupted attention in doing the things that pushed you to start your own business in the first place?  Closing a big sale, writing a book, designing a new product, understanding expenses . . .

Did I lose you with the last one?

What about controlling cash flow or understanding which products generate the most profit? Accounting is frequently an overlooked area in small business as it does not hold the flash and appeal that some other areas of owning a business hold.

The good news is that the days of simply relying on old, stuffy, boring spreadsheets with confusing terms and data have come to end. Software app makers have given accounting reporting and analytics a whole new face making understanding the numbers that drive your business a powerful competitive advantage. (Oh, and they keep the accounting, payables, receivables, banking and tax folks happy too!)

Below are examples of 4 tools that any small business can employ to help stay on top of its bookkeeping and better understand its financial position.

Xero

Billed as the company that makes “Beautiful Accounting Software”, Xero is standing at the forefront of the cloud based accounting software revolution. After playing around with the software, it’s easy to understand why people refer to it as “beautiful”. The easy-to-navigate user interface removes a lot of the pain out of finding different tools, booking entries, and negotiating through the site. In fact, its overall design has been credited by some with making accounting “fun”. Another major benefit is the ability to sync your business bank accounts and credit cards with Xero. It saves loads of time, removes some of the redundant data entry from the accounting process, and reduces the likelihood of key strike error.

Zoho Invoice

The speed at which a small business gets paid for services rendered is vital to health of that company. Zoho Invoice strives to improve cash flow by making invoicing easy and payment receipt faster. I really enjoy the entire invoice conversion feature offered by Zoho. You can issue an estimate to a customer and once approved, turn that estimate into an invoice and email it directly to them. The invoice design is also highly customizable which allows you to add company logos and your own unique style to the layout.

QuickBooks for PC

A mainstay in small business accounting software, QuickBooks still offers a PC version of its small business accounting solution that is ideal for a small business that wants an on-premise accounting solution with few users who need access to it. The array of features offered by this product and how it can conform to almost any small business is an important element. As a past QuickBooks user, I would recommend purchasing additional reading material to help navigate all the features. The software offers a lot of reporting capabilities that can be difficult to navigate.

Square

Producer of the little white reader box that sits atop your Apple or Android device to complete credit card transactions, Square’s point of sales system allows users to complete payment for service transaction anywhere, anytime. Square allows users the ability to integrate with their small business accounting software programs like Xero or QuickBooks – a highly attractive feature.  Through this integration, your accounting software automatically creates the accounting entries necessary to record your daily Square sales, in turn, leaving a small business owner more time to focus on the more enjoyable aspects of his or her business.

By implementing any of these four products, small business owners will see immediate dividends paid in their accounting and bookkeeping department. I personally enjoy the direction in which Xero is moving. Its cloud-based accounting software seems to be the direction that small business accounting is moving and the simple, easy-t0-use interface is attractive for users who may not have a lot of accounting experience.

Tyler NayTyler Nay is presently a senior operations accountant at Watco Companies, LLC, a transportation company based in Pittsburg, Kansas. Over the course of his career, he has spent time in both the public and private accounting sector, where he developed the passion for streamlining accounting information systems for any business, regardless of size. If you would like to connect with Tyler, please do so on LinkedIn.