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Investing on training & education of your team

Posted by : Sanmaya Kumar Dhal

Categories : ProductivityProfitability tipsTeam

Tags : ProductivityStart-up tips small businesstraining

Training and education are important part of a healthy organization. You need to help employees improve their skills. Also you need to take business coaching continuously. That way you always remain more knowledgeable, advanced and well functioning organization.

What all you need training at:

1. Technical & job oriented : New coding language, new form of marketing, sales and customer support. 2. Communications & behavioral : You can reduce 30% work load just by communicating better amongst your teammates and to customers. 3. Cultural & team-coordination : If you have all people share same cultural philosophy for your organization, you’ll attract more customers and good staffs to your organization. And team-coordination trainings make your team to work to achieve the same goal. 4. Customer Induction : This is not a training but an education. Monthly once you need to invite one of your customer to your place for 3-4 hours, or may be on a dinner. Gather all of your team. Let the customer tell their story. How they do shopping and how they use your product or service. And make all the employees, be it marketing person, sales person, accountant, managers, HR person, product people or your office staff, to understand how they can improve the experience for your customer. 5. Listening & questioning methodologies : Although it’s a part of communications training, I want to highlight it as a regular exercise. Every week, your employees should learn to question and then listen to the other person. This exercise will gradually boost the performance, understanding, confidence and ultimately the creativeness and innovativeness of each person.

Now here’s multiple methods to do this:

1. Have a small library. Else here an eLibrary with Kindle. 2. Subscribe to Udemy etc annual plan for your team. 3. Invite expert speakers or trainers to your organization. 4. Sponsor your employees to workshop events. Now what are the other training that should be included? What are other sources of training?
SlickAccount: A simple online accounting software for your small business
Hundreds of small businesses from USA, UK, India, Austrailia, Philipines are using everyday.
Obtain a 14day free trial.

Small business website best practices

Posted by : Sanmaya Kumar Dhal

Categories : Marketing

Tags : small businessbest practiceswebsite conversionwebsite design

At 8i Creations we were helping businesses and design firms to bring more conversions/orders/inquiries from their websites. Here’s what I’ll sum up as the best practices. (Please don’t inquire 8i creations, we are no more accepting projects)

1. Define your business in 5 words. Headline it on your home page.

2. Solve 3 questions that customer would be asking when coming to a page & follow it up with a contact number/email id/form for further discussion.

3. Navigation text is important. Name links as customer would like to search it, not what your product name is. Eg. “SEO may be defined as “Increase website visitors. Similarly ‘Machine for tamarind processing’ is more suitable navigation text that ‘HP terminator 500’. Dharma Agrotech, one of our clients, has a multipurpose machine that can process Peeper as well as Groundnuts. But their customers may not search that way. See how we created different links to the same product. And the conversion was wonderful.

4. Be definitive about who your customers are and who are not.

5. Use videos & photos to describe your products and how it’ll benefit customers. Real photos can make you more authentic than stock images.

6. Customer testimonials are powerful. Use their photos or videos.

7. Clear and simple looking websites convert in an average 5 times more visitors than a website that looks very flashy & complex.

8. Give yourself a face. Put your pictures, pictures of where from you work and a complete address.

9. Invest money in SEO & Blogging if you can afford the money and time. It worths it. The more people come to your site, more you can convert.

10. And most importantly, make contact methods clear, visible and within quick reach. If your phone number is only at “contact us page, you’ll loose 50% of possible leads. Wit says, convert them as soon as they make their decision. The low touch the contacts will be the better. Phone number or a form is better than only email id.

11. Did I forget to mention about content? Spend on a good content writer. Clear and conversational content are your best investment. Else ask the person-in-charge of your marketing or sales, if he/she’s good at content writing.

It works in this order:

1. More people know about your site: SEO & Blog
2. More people found the solution they were looking for: Site content & Navigation
3. More people contacted you: Clear and instant contact methods.

Hope you would like this post. What are the other best practices do you think?
SlickAccount: A simple online accounting software for your small business
Hundreds of small businesses from USA, UK, India, Austrailia, Philipines are using everyday.
Obtain a 14day free trial.

Do you know your customers are different?

Posted by : Sanmaya Kumar Dhal

Categories : Profitability tips Start-upMarketing

Tags : Customer segment small businessStart-up tips

Customers are different even though they purchase the same products or services from you. They all require different treatment, isn’t it? And you are responsible for building an organization that can better serve the kind of customers that gives you more value.

Once you have some customers, profitable businesses figure out the customer segment worth focusing at and weed out customer segment that don’t bring them any value or profit. All good managers and entrepreneurs know the power of this kind of data. They separate their customer base and continuously segment it. They continuously understand who their customers are and how they are changing.

Now let's see how different and unique your customers are. Use a spreadsheet (or a CRM software). Add the following columns to your spreadsheet against all your customers name.

1. Channels they came from

2. The geography they belong to

3. The business they are in

4. The older or younger the organization is

5. The older or younger the decision maker was

6. The size of the company

7. The revenue of the company

8. Who in the organization contacted you

9. Who authorized you the money

10. Who got benefited directly from your service in the company (eg: the marketing team or the CEO or COO etc.)

11. The sales they gave you

14. The services they got from you

15. The quality & support they demanded

16. The profit you got from this customer

17. The effort you needed to market/sell them

18. The effort you needed to service them

Now apply 80-20 rule to this. Focus 80% of your energy and staff on serving the most valuable customer segment and 20% serving less valuable. Both things are equally important. While most valuable customers will give you most of the cash, less valuable customers may show you a different future. They can show you if there’s a new market segment emerging or a new kinds of product you can launch to capture a big potential.

Focus your marketing, sales, copy of your website, the product, the contract, the investments accordingly. 

As a small business want to grow big this will make you focus your energy and resources in building more value and wealth. You save time, become more knowledgeable about the outcomes and bring more profit.

What else? What more can you do with this customer data?

Do this and comeback and comment how this helped you understand your business better.
SlickAccount: A simple online accounting software for your small business
Hundreds of small businesses from USA, UK, India, Austrailia, Philipines are using everyday.
Obtain a 14day free trial.

Don’t shy away asking for a favor

Posted by : Sanmaya Kumar Dhal

Categories : Life at SlickAccountEntrepreneurshipLife of Entrepreneur

Tags : Start-up tips small business

Asking a favor/help is not a bad thing at all if it doesn’t cost them more time and money. You will so so many people love you and share a helping hand.

During building our Accounting Software, for promotion, for advice, for understanding the foreign markets and small businesses there and for making things possible we asked all possible help we could ask for to everyone (even to a complete stranger sitting in USA or UK whom we never knew few hours back) and really can see the amount of help and love it is creating for us.

Be it to Rackspace, Twitter, several small businesses, lots of investors, market experts, accounting firms, local Bank officials; we got help-love form nearly everyone.

It really helped us getting insights, minimize our costs, being on our budget and grow. Thanks you all.

And my friends “Don’t shy away from asking a favor if and only if it’s not taking a lot of their time and money.
SlickAccount: A simple online accounting software for your small business
Hundreds of small businesses from USA, UK, India, Austrailia, Philipines are using everyday.
Obtain a 14day free trial.

Preparing your to-do-list for work. The late night vs the morning prior to office

Posted by : Sanmaya Kumar Dhal

Categories : Life at SlickAccountEntrepreneurshipLife of Entrepreneur Productivity

Tags : The Office small businessStart-up tipsProductivity

For the first time I did a to do work list in the morning before coming to office; as quite a few successful entrepreneurs I know do. I used to do it after coming to office or else at night before sleeping.

The difference I feel is quite drastic.

Night is best for creative thinking, long term strategies and so milestones. But morning ones before office is best for very short-term planning. Just Today.

Wow! It feels like you'll get more work done during the day and rapidly move forward.

What's your experience and how do you make yourself check the boxes out?
SlickAccount: A simple online accounting software for your small business
Hundreds of small businesses from USA, UK, India, Austrailia, Philipines are using everyday.
Obtain a 14day free trial.

How much should you raise or take loan after basic investments?

Posted by : Sanmaya Kumar Dhal

Categories : Funding Investment

Tags : small business

Small businesses and startups (mostly service-oriented) ask me for how much should we raise or take loan after basic investments? Here's a simple math that works fine:

  1. Base money: Get expenditure for the next 6 months covers (this is min. Better is 12 months)
  2. Wastage: Get additional 20% for wasting charges (all company waste money in additional stuffs not needed)
  3. Loan installments: Make sure you don't have installments from day one. Else include them too.

What to do in these 6 months?

  1. Do enormous tests: assign 10 customer/sales to each test depending on your product or service. each test shouldn't go beyond 2-3 weeks. take a note of everything you learnt from these tests.
  2. Prepare a plan: now take a list of approaches you are going to follow from your observation of your test.
  3. Define target market: Keep only 1-2 in mind and washout everything else.

What to do in next 6 months?

  1. , focus, focus: Scale up on that target market and on that approach, while experimenting narrowly on side.
  2. Do scaleup investments: hire, productivity tools etc.
  3. If needed take another funding for 6-12 months: Make sure you are doing good in that.
Hope it helps. Please if it was helpful signup and make other small businesses signup at: https://www.slickaccount.com Recommended by startups and small business as one of the most simple and helpful software ever built. NB: Now we are issuing accounts within 2-3days of signup. And all who didn't get an account in past should expect it in next 5 days. Else we might not have been been helpful to businesses in your domain or of your size or are completely not intent to serve to the specific domain. If you forgot your account or couldn't use it in trial period, please do write back to me at sanmaya@slickaccount.com However please make sure you search for it in your inbox. The email would be from noreply@slickaccount.com We've many users who we already sent their accounts but didn't opened the email yet. So please make sure of it. Search in both inbox and junk or spam folder. Photo Credit: HowardLake via Compfight cc
SlickAccount: A simple online accounting software for your small business
Hundreds of small businesses from USA, UK, India, Austrailia, Philipines are using everyday.
Obtain a 14day free trial.

Profitability tools, books & blog links

Posted by : Sanmaya Kumar Dhal

Categories : EntrepreneurshipProfitability tipsLife at SlickAccount

Tags : small business

Why most small business owners are unprofitable?

1. They don't know at which price point to sell.
2. They don't know who to sell and why.
3. They don't understand marketing is more strategy, positioning, messaging and customer segment than tools to reach more people.
4. Good books on Sells are lesser read. They read more books on marketing.
5. Most are fearful when approaching to a client. They fear about if they'll lose the sells, even before understanding whether they are his target or not. They don't know how to say NO.
6. Basically most are not confident about their business.
7. They never really keep a track of their progress and goals.
8. They don't give importance to the relationship between finance and their organisation.

So if any of the above defines you. You're most likely doomed to fail.

If you are one of these then ping me with your email id to sanmaya@slickaccount.com and in one line what your business does. SlickAccount is going to send you a list of tools, books, blog links that can make you better in all the above areas on the 1st birthday of SlickAccount on 19th July, 2014. Plus you will get a free subscription to Profitability University Newsletter starting from September.
SlickAccount: A simple online accounting software for your small business
Hundreds of small businesses from USA, UK, India, Austrailia, Philipines are using everyday.
Obtain a 14day free trial.

The most common reason for business failure

Posted by : Sanmaya Kumar Dhal

Categories : Start-upProfitability tips

Tags : We love youStart-up tips small business User Experiencereal-accountingaccounting software

The most common reason for business failure is people don't invest in stuffs they should. And that's called not taking risk.

Can this tool make me more efficient and I can get more out of what I'm investing and can get success done quicker. 

They just continuously look into their wallet and tells oh scrap I shouldn't invest in it. Else I'll not have money for tomorrow. And that's why they just keep having the money on their wallet and they never could increase it.

And it's not just about monetary investment, but more often it is the case.

And don't laugh, you might be in that state too. I know, I was there too.

And thank God we didn't built SlickAccount software on that rule. We always hated to show something that deters people from investing. And that's the common thing accounting softwares do. We instead focus on incomes and cash in hand. It's OK to invest. But can you get this much in this amount of time?

This thing is so subtle. But you can see it everywhere around SlickAccount. And it's a biggest secrete in making SlickAccount work for a lot of small businesses.

So invest on stuffs that can make it easy for you to reach your goal fast and buy you time. But don't spend on stuffs that's independent of this relationship. You can do that later.
SlickAccount: A simple online accounting software for your small business
Hundreds of small businesses from USA, UK, India, Austrailia, Philipines are using everyday.
Obtain a 14day free trial.

How to use SlickAccount to be profitable really easy

Posted by : Sanmaya Kumar Dhal

Categories : SlickAccount features & newsProfitability MetricsProfitability tips

Tags : accountingaccounting softwarereal-accounting

To be profitable, you must understand your numbers first. Like how much sells I should make. How much I should have in my pocket at the end of the month and how good I'm doing at it at any given time. You should also understand how much you need to price?

SlickAccount always focus on these numbers. We have made it simple. 

So what you need to do?

You need to enter your monthly expenses and incomes for at least one month and then proceed to Insights > Periodic Profitability Graph.

You would be getting your numbers like Safe-to-earn™, Safe-in-hand™ and Profit-index™ above your profitability graph.

Let's understand what these numbers tell us.

Profit-index™ : quite understandable, it tells you how profitable you are at any given point of time in a month. A 30% profitability is minimum desired ratio to be termed as safe business. Below that your business is in danger.

Safe-in-hand™ : This is the minimum cash you should have in hand in any given point of time in term to be really profitable. Keeping your cash reserve above this all the times makes you stay profitable. So keep an close eye on this. 

Safe-to-earn™ : This number tells you how much you can earn each month to be profitable. If you can make that much in sales each month you can easily grow your profits multiple times.

These depends on your expenses and rate of income so it may fluctuate quite a bit. So better you keep an eye on these numbers each week.

You need to provide all the transactions of at least one month, to make this chart and calculations show close to real value.

 

So what to do next?

Now that you knows how much sells you need to do to be profitable (Safe-to-earn™) relative to current spending rates, you can go to "Plan" and enter that value as the sells target. Now you can check how close you are approaching to that target each month.

Getting as close to that every month ultimately make you stay profitable.

If you are a pro customer and selected in the Beta program to Core Profitability Advice, you would also be able to look at whether your pricing is correct and what should be the minimum desirable price for your services on any given month. Just go to Insights > Price Adviser and rest is quite understandable.

Hope it helps. Write back to us if you don't understand something, we'll help you understand it. Use SlickAccount regularly so that we can help you better.

Let's cheer up to your profitability :)
SlickAccount: A simple online accounting software for your small business
Hundreds of small businesses from USA, UK, India, Austrailia, Philipines are using everyday.
Obtain a 14day free trial.

Are we an Accounting company?

Posted by : Sanmaya Kumar Dhal

Categories : Entrepreneurship Start-upLife at SlickAccount

Tags : home

We discussed again last night, "Are we an Accounting company?".

And answered, "Hell NO! We are a Profitability company."

Then resound, "Then, we'll behave so!"

Enthusiasm instilled again. Tough fight :)
SlickAccount: A simple online accounting software for your small business
Hundreds of small businesses from USA, UK, India, Austrailia, Philipines are using everyday.
Obtain a 14day free trial.

Profitable Charity

Posted by : Sanmaya Kumar Dhal

Categories : 8i Creations secretesLife at SlickAccount

Tags : Charity

I always believed in the term "Profitable Charity" ( may be I coined it ;) )

Instead of creating non-profits I created more for-profit organisations and then I like to give works to small-but-innovative organisations/people.

That way I think I'm justifying my inner charitable self. I believe I should help people who are earning by creating good values in the world. 

Sometimes it's far from charitable, people do say. But I believe in it. Sometimes we pay more in a competitive bid to support someone that way, but I feel the same kind of satisfaction that you feel when you help a blind man cross the road who came out of house in a belief that he can travel.

At times people did that profitable charity to me, and that's how I could start a journey of my dream. We rarely paid less to our suppliers (except at times when we must had to in a do-or-die situation), but drawn quality work.

Do you do "profitable charity"?
SlickAccount: A simple online accounting software for your small business
Hundreds of small businesses from USA, UK, India, Austrailia, Philipines are using everyday.
Obtain a 14day free trial.

Bringing smiles to small businesses is what make us work here.

Posted by : Sanmaya Kumar Dhal

Categories : Life at SlickAccountHome

Tags : We love youhome small business

When you strongly believe something is possible, you just make it. At SlickAccount we work hard to make small businesses profitable. When we started it looked almost impossible, but we are making.

Every day we work on stuffs very few software builders ever think necessary. What makes the main difference to a software lies in questions like why something will come somewhere instead of whether it can be built.

Some features are so ground shaking, that we get scolded when it doesn't work the way customers expect it. We sometimes feel like doctors in emergency ward. You save small businesses from dying and a little mistake there, you may have let one die. It's so nostalgic when we make small businesses become profitable. It's a wonderful feeling.

One small business profitable > one or two founder and their family earn a vacation > couple of employees get their pay check and buy sweets to house. Sometimes I think we should start sending "dairy milks" chocolates to everyone who achieved profitability. (Kyun ki meetha to banta he boss :) ).

But frankly, everyday we code, design, tweak the product, push us hard to believe some impossible is possible  we feel we are making a difference.
SlickAccount: A simple online accounting software for your small business
Hundreds of small businesses from USA, UK, India, Austrailia, Philipines are using everyday.
Obtain a 14day free trial.

5 steps to earn good profit

Posted by : Sanmaya Kumar Dhal

Categories : Start-upEntrepreneurshipProfitability tips

Tags : Start-up tips small business

Profitable small businesses follow this trend nearly in all cases.

1. Know the numbers:

This is always the first step. Profitable small businesses know what's the right price. They set there price well above their cost. They take time to include all the cost incur (both fixed and variable) in delivering the service or product and then put a handsome profit on top of it. Most profitable businesses rarely give discounts. They definitely don't discount beyond the point it hurts.

2. Market well:

Profitable small businesses market themselves really well. They know what it takes to make a layman come to them. Be it referral or ads or website or social media or networking, they know where their customer resides. While many good businesses deliver great value that makes so many referrals for them, they hardly become profitable. Profitable businesses push the reference. They incentivize it by personal thank you letter or a flower or sending some customer to the referrer. The best thing they do to stimulate the referral is they ask for it. Also they make their clients understand which kinds of leads they want. But as we all know good marketing starts by defining the target market. Profitable businesses watch their cost and decide to target a market that can pay the price and not the one who can't. While other businesses think all who come to them as their desired customers and make deals accordingly, which often time make them go in loss. We lost our more than half a million dollar or so by such thing :P before my baby SlickAccount woke us up.

3. Close good deals:

Profitable businesses close better deals. Sales conversion is one of the best area where good businesses invest. They take this process to educate, filter, evaluate and understand expectations. This is the first step where you ensure the customer will refer more leads in. As I told earlier rarely profitable businesses give discounts. They understand discounts are either just marketing gimmicks or just an excuse for bad value. Even if they discount, it hardly go beyond 30% of the profit, as they understand a lesser profit means they need to serve few more customers to fulfill same cash situation.

4. Deliver great product or service:

Most profitable small businesses are just value creators. You hardly go not noticing the value beyond what you expected. They respect timely delivery (again saving good amount of delay costs). In most cases client refer such services as what Steve Jobs would have defined "Insanely Great!" Most profitable businesses build products with passion. You can hardly go farther with just normal value.

5. Create good organizations:

Especially these days you will not frequently find any profitable business with bad culture. Most successful bosses I met treat their employees really well. When you treat your employees well, they treat your customers well and take responsibility and feel like a family. And that's what your customers feel. One of our client send flowers to her employees early morning on every weekdays. Her employees go well beyond their expected responsibility to treat her customer like a real king. It's so infectious. You can even see what big companies like Zappos do. So to sum up, here is the secrete sauce to continuous profit. Understand who you can serve and make them get most value you can deliver. So till next time be profitable and stay happy :) And don't forget to use SlickAccount to plan/budget, achieve it and understand how much to earn to be profitable enough. And don't forget to write back to me if in any need at: sanmaya@slickaccount.com
SlickAccount: A simple online accounting software for your small business
Hundreds of small businesses from USA, UK, India, Austrailia, Philipines are using everyday.
Obtain a 14day free trial.

My business achieved profitability recommended by PPG. Now what to do?

Posted by : Sanmaya Kumar Dhal

Categories : EntrepreneurshipProfitability tips

Tags : Start-up tips small business

Once your company or small business get to a good profitability level as recommended by PPG in SlickAccount, one should spend 10-20% of the time reducing the costs. Here what I'm actually talking about is reducing the cost of production of unit product or services. You need to keep the CIH at the recommended point at any given point of time and should try to invest some from the extra leftover on developing tools or processes that can make the production (both service or product) quicker and less costly. Mechanizing few non-creative processes would be great in achieving both.

Remaining in a profitable position may become hard or sometimes make companies create baggage of old processes. This hampers when you scale up or run in a long run.

So by only spending 2-4 days every month you can create processes that would be easier for next several months or a year to come.

Many successful businesses fail due to not putting some energies in this. At good times profitable companies do two things:

1. They try to cash in as much of the opportunity as possible
2. At the same time innovating and making the processes better and leaner and reducing cost of production.

Another personal suggestion would be it's a good time to revisit all your customers to say a thank you and also to discuss future opportunities. So give time to strategy.

Congrats to all who achieved the stage. I would try to meet or Skype as many of you as I personally can do :) over a period of time. 

Till then have a good time. Love your businesses :)

NB: You can write back to me at sanmaya@slickaccount.com for suggestions or for sharing your journey
SlickAccount: A simple online accounting software for your small business
Hundreds of small businesses from USA, UK, India, Austrailia, Philipines are using everyday.
Obtain a 14day free trial.

How to create most converting websites for your client

Posted by : Sanmaya Kumar Dhal

Categories : 8i Creations secretes

Tags : website conversion

At 8i Creations, we never created wonderful looking sites. We created just good looking sites. But still we could manage to help our clients grow at unimaginable rate.

When I tell those stories to some who come for my advice or other ‪#‎designagencies‬ they just go "WOW! How do you manage to do so?"

I always told those methods on our blog, and in my FB feed. But once again I'm putting few here:

1. Our customers know their businesses much more than we possibly do. But the problem is they often think by only having a website of their own, they would get leads from online. We all know that's not correct. But when web designing companies meet their clients, they think that client looks for a website to be designed and a website for design firms is majorly the look, color graphics etc, but client think I would get 500 clients online, by either a design or redesign. So what we do first is break the hypothesis from both end and put a bridge. We ask clients "what question your clients ask when they come to you for a service or product?" We tell them, the site visitors would be the similar people like their customers. They would have similar questions. They would throw the website like they throw the brochures. We make them understand your website should act like your part marketing - part sales agent.

2. After listening to them we just make a 5 or 10 point list of questions that a customer asks on first meeting. Then we tell them to give importance to all. They rank them in the order their customers ask it or according to the importance for them. On site we keep answers to 3 -5 most important questions and make them easily reachable. Then we make them convert to discuss more in person. Often a form or telephone number to sells staff do this job.

3. Then we study the kind of tone and feel the site need. Be it cool, trendy or gentle or caring. Then we ask them to send content in that tone or ask a copywriter to do justice to the script. Some times we produced them ourselves. Often I see both client companies and design agencies don't emphasize on the contents. Do you know the right content convert more users than the site design. Client companies think by following their competitor's content style they would be successful. And you can see their competitors never use website as one of their key weapon and they took it from their competitor's site. And so you never could differentiate yourselves even if you write so. People should feel the difference not just read. So setting tone is hugely important. We failed to produce great converting sites where client was not agreeing on content point. In many cases we had to write on our own as we couldn't let a bad site go out of our doors. But we can not always produce great content for all audiences. I remember for one client I just wrote 100 pages of content myself.

4. Now we go on sketching the flow and navigation. I'm often told we make some of the easily navigable sites. (We fail at some too) The idea here is simple. Who will be the users for the site and what and when they search when they want to get some info. We just put the contents of the navigation likewise (again content of navigation is really important) and at right places. In UX projects we use methods like card sorting to see the effectiveness of the navigation. Else we check via google analytics.

5. We then design the site for all the above. We emphasize hugely on differentiating factors. That would just make their kinds of customers to convert right in. We use "3 ultimate desire rule" (read it on this post at 3rd point https://www.facebook.com/8icreations/posts/10203074622414109). The action we often choose is a converting one, either a contact form or a phone number.

6. Also we emphasize on having real pictures of executives, founders, (of marketing exec, they would talk to is a good idea), offices, products and clients. We often hate when our customer give or ask us to collect photos from other sites. For me it never feel genuine. So I never could connect to those educational/training sites who use stock photos of foreigners who never would study in those colleges. So having real photos of our client company, bring an instant genuineness, and trust of their customers on them. Often if client is small, they fear to show them. It's a bad thing. We were called by companies like Nokia when we had the pic of our home office on our website.

7. We use analytics and heatmaps by default at our end to look at the way visitors are using our client websites. We refine our understandings this way. We often take a first hand experience by inviting same profile users to our designed site without letting our customers know it. This give us confidence that we delivered the right thing.

That way we listen "Wow!"s from customers of our clients. In one incident the bankers of one of our client appraised the website of our client. We know all such incidents make customers continue with us for long enough, sending us checks in right time and with smile.

So here are some secretes to help you create highly converting websites. Most of our high growing customers had website visitors of 150 to 500 per month only. But the high conversion rates made them grow at an unimaginable rate. And a lot of those sites don't need a single change as they are still the most converting ones. So customers just continue renewing our deals. We generate a good part of our investment in future projects from renewals. Hope it would be helpful for you guys.

This article was originally posted on my FB wall.
SlickAccount: A simple online accounting software for your small business
Hundreds of small businesses from USA, UK, India, Austrailia, Philipines are using everyday.
Obtain a 14day free trial.

2 must to do for CEOs

Posted by : Sanmaya Kumar Dhal

Categories : Start-upEntrepreneurship

Tags : Start-up tips

The two most important thing you need to spend most time on in your company as a CEO:

1. Strategy : 

Understand your business, market, product more deeply than anyone out there. Plan or draw it so people can relate to it and execute. See big picture. Don't focus on today.

2. People :
 
Hire best people, give them hard enough problem, inspire and serve them with passion.

The best you become at two of these you would create the best company of your imagination.
SlickAccount: A simple online accounting software for your small business
Hundreds of small businesses from USA, UK, India, Austrailia, Philipines are using everyday.
Obtain a 14day free trial.

Where is your Salary?

Posted by : Sanmaya Kumar Dhal

Categories : Profitability tips small business accountingProfitability MetricsProfitability tips

Tags : Start-up tips small business accounting

It's 27th March. Our metrics and my survey are again out.
 
A lot of small businesses don't have a fixed salary for their owners. They think the profit should be their salary so they don't include that in pricing etc. 

But most businesses are not profitable or don't make profit for nearly 4 to 8 months in any given year! Hence they have to pay themselves less or even none for a large part of a year. Also when they earn good profits (2 - 4 months in a year), owners spend most of it on their personal expenses and couldn't keep it for any investment in marketing etc needed in other times.

What we suggest and implemented is start including a fixed salary for owners in your cost. And then try to earn them. And then the extra left should be considered as profits and should be kept for future expenses and investments. That'll help you become profitable easier and will make your life simple. 

The small businesses who could invest in tough time on marketing etc are the ones who earn highest profit and never had to take much of a loan. 

But at the same time who couldn't invest in tough times are the ones who gradually grow their losses.

So work intelligently and earn a salary for your betterment.

(NB: From nearly 1200 small businesses around the world)
SlickAccount: A simple online accounting software for your small business
Hundreds of small businesses from USA, UK, India, Austrailia, Philipines are using everyday.
Obtain a 14day free trial.

Discuss with me your profitability, pricing and marketing issues

Posted by : Sanmaya Kumar Dhal

Categories : Profitability tipsLife at SlickAccount

Tags : We love youStart-up tips

Recently I'm talking to many small businesses to understand their issues where I can help them. I shared my observations and knowledge on issues like profitability, pricing, marketing, hiring, culture and prioritization. And many businesses found it's helpful.

So I'm now opening up a bit and scheduling one day every week to talk to small businesses and freelancers across the globe.

If you are interested to meet me for couple of hours "at your place" please let me know. I'll see how I can schedule it. You can send me an email at sanmaya@slickaccount.com
SlickAccount: A simple online accounting software for your small business
Hundreds of small businesses from USA, UK, India, Austrailia, Philipines are using everyday.
Obtain a 14day free trial.

The economics of discounts

Posted by : Sanmaya Kumar Dhal

Categories : Profitability tips

Tags : discount economy

As I was editing my upcoming book "3 Ways to Price - Riding the cost bus" I went into something that really hampers small business life a lot. That is called a discount.

Discount makes customers happy and brings you more customers. That's perfectly true but services businesses often don't know what their cost is and when they give a discount on top of that, they often make a deal with loss and as they repeat this for most of their clients, the amount of their losses pile up and eat their investments and savings.

One of my partner recently said, "Service based businesses have to give discounts. That's the rule!" and on that deal if we would have got it, it would incur a loss of 30%. Without the discount the client went with a lower service with just few thousand rupees below what we would have got but now we were profitable. The client never thought any thing wrong about our approach.

But often we saw discounts make clients happy. So if you want to give a discount be certain about all of your costs and then cut a very small percentage from the profit. Some businesses charge a little higher and then discount to not get low profit. And that's absolutely wonderful. Because less profits means you are decreasing your savings and decreasing your chances to fulfill your plans.

For example if you want to buy a new PC and thought you would need 2 months to get it. But when you reduced your profits you now need a month or two more to get the money for a new PC.

And who are eager to learn ways to price, so that you can fulfill your dreams, then tune in. I'll announce the release of my book soon. Till then be profitable. 

Follow me on twitter @Sanmaya
SlickAccount: A simple online accounting software for your small business
Hundreds of small businesses from USA, UK, India, Austrailia, Philipines are using everyday.
Obtain a 14day free trial.

Early SaaS marketing. Relationships matter

Posted by : Sanmaya Kumar Dhal

Categories : Entrepreneurship Start-upLife at SlickAccountSaaS Marketing

Tags : We love youStart-up tipsSaaS

Today I'm going to change the topic to marketing as most of our users want to know what's my advice about startup marketing.

Let me tell you, truthfully, I'm not really good at marketing. I'm a learner like you. But I quickly recognize patterns that becomes success tactics. So here are few that I applied to new business

When we started SlickAccount (It was a project in 8i Creations then), we used our Twitter profile and blog extensively to work. Facebook profile and Quora took the second place. But one should understand, these are just tools to reach potential market and not make them listen you or come to you. It's that you can just see them.

So what really made it work for us? Here is the story:

1. Understand your target market and where do they live:

We knew our customers would be small businesses all over the world. In particular we would reach small service based firms and bookkeepers. But how could we find them and easily connect to them? On Facebook it's really hard. Checking Yellowpages and sending mass mails would feel like spam. LinkedIn too was not really suitable until lately when we realized how groups can play wonderful roles in it. So we conclude at two. One was our own blog which had few thousands active visitors and the other one was Twitter. Twitter search was amazing way to discover profiles and what they are writing about. 

2. Connect to them and understand them personally:

You shout. And people listen you when they listen a shout that react with their heart. So we began with personal connection. At 8i Creations we were often praised for being personal on Twitter which often others don't do and they use it as just a broadcasting medium. 

So along with putting quite a few posts on our blog we used Twitter search to discover small businesses, bookkeepers, small business adviser and newsrooms that were frequented by small businesses. Now we had to build connections. A typical 1st touch Tweet would look like this: "Hi @thebusiness ! I visited your website. Great service. Liked. Wishing you success from India :)" or something like "Hi @theherobusinessman ! Howz it going at @businessofthehero ! Liked your profile." or like "Hey @wondefulbusiness! I was looking at your profile. I couldn't understand what do you sell! Can you explain?" and also we used our website strategy expertise to advice them on how to make their websites better. But keep in mind, we connected to businesses that we truly liked and sent them messages true to our heart. It's not some template and spam. We really wanted to connect with them and help them in ways we could do. The follow up tweets like "how's the winter at Poland? here it's just 13C now" sparked the personal sentiments and relationship. They asked us about what we do and reciprocated the help we expected. Some of them even connect to us in all: Twitter, FB, LinkedIn and even subscribed our blog posts. Also we kept liking the posts and tweets of medias who write for small businesses and re-tweeted good articles for our followers. Some of them provided insights to different countries and the market their.

We got some really good friends outside of our geographical reach and we just love them all. Hope I'd invite them all over to Odisha next year to our proposed fest.

So make sure build friends and not spam them. 

But at the same time we made sure the friend circle know each other too, so we kept all our communication via status messages and not inside DM. Many told me they got some fantastic customers from our follower base. 

But note all of it never built big enough audience. We just made sure we have the bestest ;) of few friends with us, whom we can share our pain in a very personal level.

This paid a lot. We got few of them signed up and others referred us. Now we were the topic of personal discussion at their dinner table and Sunday buddy meets. I personally never expected this. 

People are people. They could be won at a very personal level, a philosophy that we inherited from our firm 8i Creations which had an exemplary 98% CHI.

There are many New Year invites to me from various countries. I wish I'd join them one day at family dinners. 

3. Understand their pain points and collect use cases you can write upon:

I sent many mails to all of them on how SlickAccount can help them solve those pains after identifying them. And in turn made them signup and use. Now we had a lot of issues that were the same as ours without SlickAccount. So we got scripts too for our launch website. And lastly we received some wonderful reviews to put on our website that came from those usages :)

There are many more methods you can find in other blogs. But these are our favorite ones. It just made us better, caring and lovable

Comment me what were yours.

NB: please ignore if any grammatical errors or spelling errors occurred here :)

See you around being successful. Bye
SlickAccount: A simple online accounting software for your small business
Hundreds of small businesses from USA, UK, India, Austrailia, Philipines are using everyday.
Obtain a 14day free trial.

Profitability Metrics 1: CIH >= 3*AEPM

Posted by : Sanmaya Kumar Dhal

Categories : small business accountingProfitability tipsProfitability Metrics

Tags : accounting small businessStart-up tips

Wish you a very happy, prosperous and profitable New Year. Today I want to start a series of articles we'll call as Profitability Metrics. These are the simple metrics, that'll help you answer the question: "Is my business really financially healthy?" Then you can work on making those metrics right if it's not so. Hope this series will be helpful. Do comment what do you feel or tweet me @sanmaya. So let's start

The first easy way to overlook and tell if your business is really profitable in the current situation is to use this formula CIH >= 3xAEPM.

It means Cash in Hand (here I'm telling about all cash available in all accounts. Bank or Cash) should be three times or more than the Average Expense per Month on any given month. 

What it means? It means you can spend some extra on any given month and still will be able to get back the result without going down. It helps you invest in stuffs like marketing or a hiring and could see the result as increase in sales or projects without going down.

It may look simple and many may think all small businesses have it, but you'll be surprised to know many small businesses fail this criteria. And as such can't hire a new employee when it's needed. Also can't  spend on some advertisement or on creating some new channels that'll give results down the line. Also if they spend on that they were already facing loss before seeing the result. We ourselves in our previous business failed due to that without a clue before understanding this metrics.

It also gives a safety cushion to any new increase in regular spending and price hikes.

What I can do if I'm not meeting this criteria:

My advice would be to get a small loan from friend or family or bank (which can be quicker and less fuzzy) on low interest rates that's at least this amount. And then try to get the CIH to satisfy this metrics before the cushion ends. Also include the interest fees to the expenses.

How can I use SlickAccount for the purpose?

Please enter all your transactions to get a Periodic Profitability Graph of your own. Now see if your business is meeting the criteria for each month? And then use the Plan Helper to reach to the stage. Hope this will be helpful. Be profitable. And if you are not an SlickAccount customer then please signup for a 14days free trial. Also you can request me a discount by tweeting this link and sending us me a tweet at: @SlickAccount
SlickAccount: A simple online accounting software for your small business
Hundreds of small businesses from USA, UK, India, Austrailia, Philipines are using everyday.
Obtain a 14day free trial.

Plan helper. Your monthly planning will help you grow

Posted by : Sanmaya Kumar Dhal

Categories : SlickAccount features & news small business accounting Start-up

Tags : accounting small businessStart-up tips

Many of our customers who do monthly planning with our plan helper feature has increased their Cash reserve. You just need to plan once in the beginning of a month by setting your targets for each heads of business be it income or expense. And it'll help you achieve your goal by showing your present status against the plan. The wonderful encouragement message in the side will boost your confidence in the run. Just look at it once in very few days to keep yourself updated.

As periodic profitability graph suggests you should have your minimum Cash reserve of 3times of your average expense at any given month. So according to it you can set your sales target and expense checks. Hope this will help more of you to lead towards profitability. Love you all
SlickAccount: A simple online accounting software for your small business
Hundreds of small businesses from USA, UK, India, Austrailia, Philipines are using everyday.
Obtain a 14day free trial.

A cyclone is heading towards us. Service might be interrupted

Posted by : Sanmaya Kumar Dhal

Categories : Life at SlickAccount

Tags : We love you

Hi friends,

There is a little bit of bad news. We are getting weather forecast that there is a severe storm heading towards Puri and BBSR where we are basically located. Wind will be 110 miles per hours. We experienced a little higher storm in 1999 and saw a real devastation. That time the sea water reached 2kms inland. So this time we made our preparations.

As per the prediction it will reach coast by 12th. As our prior experience tells us, there will be problems of electricity, internet, telephone and water supply for next 7-8 days. So our support may get hampered. Our employees are on leave but will be on support from their home. Critical support team is in deep mainland and elsewhere to keep providing critical support in case. Our servers are in USA, Austrailia and synced to multiple redundant and fault tolerant Indian locations. Servers are auto backedup and encrypted to higher standards as always to safe Rackspace locations. So your data stays safe even if some catastrophe affect our servers. Our computers are perfectly backed up in safe cloud servers. So as soon as we get the internet back, we can start working right from where we left even if some misshapen occur with our computers. All of our operating apps are on cloud. So there was never an issue to serve you all. 

We stopped giving new accounts in the period as we may not be able to give support that a new account holder requires. We will not introduce any new dev stuffs to the software in the period. We are ensuring to keep providing support to existing clients. But it might hamper due to communication problems. 

But being said that let's hope for good. May the storm don't reach land or weaken before touching the land. We will continue to support till it hampers us.

We are all prepared. We understand you have deep faith in us and we need to stay responsible for keeping that intact. We need all of your support in this hard time. Please be with us. We'll be back with full speed. We small businesses have always been together to achieve greater goal. We'll eventually do it this time too :)

If all goes well I'll share good snap with you guys :P (Why the hell we will forget our laughs to these storms.)

But still pray for us and all the people, animals, houses, schools, hospitals and all the happiness that resides here in this belt of Odisha, Andhra Pradesh and West Bengal.

If you have any questions I'll love to answer them all. Shoot me an email at sanmaya@slickaccount.com Else you may contact Jyoti at jd@slickaccount.com or Bibhu at bibhu@slickaccount.com Else just tweet @SlickAccount

With lots of love
Sanmaya & lovely SlickAccount team
SlickAccount: A simple online accounting software for your small business
Hundreds of small businesses from USA, UK, India, Austrailia, Philipines are using everyday.
Obtain a 14day free trial.

New young entrepreneurs should follow these.

Posted by : Bibhu Datta Dash

Categories : Entrepreneurship Start-up

Tags : Start-up tips

Focus on one:

In most cases the new entrepreneurs want to jump at every opportunity they come across. First-time entrepreneurs should avoid getting distract from the initial determination. Juggling multiple ventures will make your involvement limit as well as decrease your effectiveness and productivity. Manage one thing perfectly not 10 things poorly.

Do what you love:

Do not start a business simply because it will give you a high profitability and return. Built your start-up on what you love to do. Set up a business on your strengths and talents will have a greater chance of success. It is not important that create a profitable business, it also important that you are happy to managing and growing every day.
 
Find a best person:

No one knows everything about business in the early days. Find an adviser or mentor who will nurture you to become a good leader and businessman. And share with them your interests, your view and how you understand a particular business opportunity.
 
Learn always:

The most important thing you can do is learn from your mistakes and never make the same mistake twice.

Be healthy always:

Entrepreneurs would be more productive when they take better care of themselves. Do not make a habit of 9 to 5 like a profession, otherwise in some point of working time you will feel uneasy and it will make you less productive. Take care of yourself, eat right, do some work out and give time for yourself.

Act like a start-up:

Do not scratch your head about fancy office and fat expense accounts. Your motto should be long life of your business. Deal with expenses economically. Maintain a low overhead and manage your cash flow effectively. 
SlickAccount: A simple online accounting software for your small business
Hundreds of small businesses from USA, UK, India, Austrailia, Philipines are using everyday.
Obtain a 14day free trial.

Now look for profitability advice below your graphs

Posted by : Sanmaya Kumar Dhal

Categories : small business accountingProfitability tipsSlickAccount features & news

Tags : small businessaccounting software

We are adding few tips on how you can use the graphs like Periodic Profitability Graph from last few days. The testers used it to achieve profitability within one, two months. You too can be benefited following these. 

Please do look below the graphs for these advices and tips and use Plan Helper to plan you profitability attainment. 

Hope you will like the stuffs as we are making the process more smooth like butter ;)

Best wishes buddies. Be a proud Profitable Small Business.
SlickAccount: A simple online accounting software for your small business
Hundreds of small businesses from USA, UK, India, Austrailia, Philipines are using everyday.
Obtain a 14day free trial.

Introducing Periodic Profitability Graph

Posted by : Sanmaya Kumar Dhal

Categories : SlickAccount features & news

Tags : small business accountingaccounting software

Small business often make wise decisions looking at which month gave them a profit and which taken away the money from them. Then you can deeply analyse what exactly went wrong or right that made such stuff happen.

Today we are introducing The Periodic Profitability Graph. Find it under your "Reports & Taxes" Tab. Enjoy and don't forget to give us your feedback. Take a look below.
SlickAccount: A simple online accounting software for your small business
Hundreds of small businesses from USA, UK, India, Austrailia, Philipines are using everyday.
Obtain a 14day free trial.

We are :(

Posted by : Sanmaya Kumar Dhal

Categories : Life at SlickAccount

Tags : Environment Green

Don't know if we ever understand the value of a tree

Source Lars Hilse on FB
SlickAccount: A simple online accounting software for your small business
Hundreds of small businesses from USA, UK, India, Austrailia, Philipines are using everyday.
Obtain a 14day free trial.

6 things to keep in mind for small businesses success

Posted by : Sanmaya Kumar Dhal

Categories : small business accountingProfitability tips

Tags : accounting software small business

I read a really great article today. 

6 things to keep in mind for all small businesses:
 
1- Prepare to market, don't leave any chance for marketing

2- Convert leads into customers quickly

3- Price it correct. Check if you are loosing money anywhere. If you didn't consider even the cost of the stationary or the cost of inventory stays at a given point of time while preparing the pricing you may loose a lot of money. It's a good idea to include a minimum of 20% cost of delay in sales and 20% delay cost in supplies in the price and a 10% of miscellaneous cost that you didn't encounter during pricing. It's the most crucial point many smallbiz forget to do and thus obtain more financial problem even when their sales are up. 

4- Great customer experience is free marketing and more sales for you. 

5- Supply to inventory to market should be as fast as possible. Keep an eye on stocks.

6- Use an accounting software like SlickAccount that helps you in budgeting, planning and make you easily identify the financial problems in your business and its causes with less work.

Best of luck for your ventures :)

I'll put up a detailed article on pricing soon.
SlickAccount: A simple online accounting software for your small business
Hundreds of small businesses from USA, UK, India, Austrailia, Philipines are using everyday.
Obtain a 14day free trial.

Are you monitoring your sales through a marketing channel and the quality of leads?

Posted by : Sanmaya Kumar Dhal

Categories : SlickAccount features & news small business accounting

Tags : small business accountingaccounting software

Often businesses forget to analyse the effectiveness of their marketing channel via accounting software. Or use an accounting software that don't care for this. Here is what, Why and How to look.

In past I was running a small web design house and UX consultancy that caters to small & medium businesses in India. We used to have multiple sales/marketing channel like many other businesses. We got listed in country's two top online directories. We also used to write blogs and get continuous inquiries from our website. We also used social media.

The two top directories used to give us a lot of leads and we were happy with that. But a year back we experienced a tight budget. As if some mystery man in taking away our money from our bank. So we went on to investigate what happened.

By that time we were creating an accounting software for our own needs. When we entered all our past transactions to it we saw we could hardly manage for 6 months before we will have to file for a bankruptcy. We wanted to further investigate the problem and root cause of the loss. We found that recently many clients used to make slight delays in payments, which was costing us money of switching over to other projects etc. For a better understanding we even went further. We built a feature of tagging. We tagged each of our transactions to the marketing channels and what we found? We found that these were the clients that were coming from a particular directory. Most of who came from that directory obtained our low priced service where our profit margin was really less. But the volume was so high that we were seeing it as a good channel and made quite a few investments there in past 1 year. But as those clients were delaying in payments and stretching projects unnecessarily, we couldn't handle time & resources effectively to get the envisioned profit.

So what we did after that?

After recognizing the fact we decreased our investment on that portal, focused more on our own website where we were getting good clients. We de-facto included 20% delay charge to our pricing from that channel. We assigned highly effective routine and devised processes and tools that can effectively help us move from one project to the other without taking a lot of hangout time. 

This eventually increased our profits and we could close that year with a loss of only Rs. 30,000 ( $600 ). And within 8 months we were making a all-time high in profit.

So neither mis-understand nor forget to analyse the effectiveness and quality of leads from your marketing channels.

And if your accounting software doesn't have a facility of tagging you can definitely switch over to the accounting software we built.

Please share with me any similar situation you ever had ? What you did ? And whether your accounting software could help you with it ?

Take care and have a successful business :)
SlickAccount: A simple online accounting software for your small business
Hundreds of small businesses from USA, UK, India, Austrailia, Philipines are using everyday.
Obtain a 14day free trial.

What makes your startup succeed with YOU

Posted by : Sanmaya Kumar Dhal

Categories : Profitability tips

Tags : small business accounting

You start walking on the road that leads to success for your startup once you decide:

"If these are the stuffs that 'll make my startup succeed, so be it and I'll do whatever it takes to fulfill all those criteria in my desired period of time, though it may sometimes piss me off. I'm ready."

It's this realization that makes a entrepreneur succeed or fail. It's never hugely your product or customer or revenue, it's this.

Best way to approach: "Figure out what are the experiences you don't have. You can take advisers for that to bring in the requisite understanding.  Then figure out what else you don't have. People, money and customer. Then start hiring continuously. Set aside one day in a week for hiring. One day in a week for pitching investors or any other funding stuffs. And start recruiting customers. If customers say the product is not good, then don't think you are a failure. Just understand what they need and take that feedback and continue making the product better for your customers day in and day out. Remember customers are the ones who will make sure your company get revenue in the long run, so continuously figure out that. Don't sit in your office to see if the customer signs up on your website. Understand where your customers are offline. Start going out to them and start meeting in person as long as possible. Make sure one of your founder meet at least few customers in a given area every week. Be continuous, talk about your product, test different pitch to figure out what suits. Work with your customers day in and day out. Tell them to pay. Remember you are here to see your company succeed and help a problem get solved and nothing else. So keep working. Make sure you stay at least enough in health to make your company succeed. Every week is your battle field."

Keep in mind: Marketing, Planning, Hiring, customer acquisition and support, product, culture, funding and health are continuous process and should be done every week.

And so see you meet your criteria every week or month and make your start-up financially profitable and to understand what constitute the unit dollar/rupee you receive or spend use SlickAccount  ( https://www.slickaccount.com ) (As I said marketing is continuous effort and we make sure we seriously promote ourselves).

And one last thing: make sure to survive enough to see the fruits of your works as Mukund correctly referred in his article Survival is my UVP  
( http://bestengagingcommunities.com/2012/10/22/survival-is-my-unique-value-proposition/ )
SlickAccount: A simple online accounting software for your small business
Hundreds of small businesses from USA, UK, India, Austrailia, Philipines are using everyday.
Obtain a 14day free trial.

Friends of your small business

Posted by : Sanmaya Kumar Dhal

Categories : Life at SlickAccountHome

Tags : The Office

It had always been the core principles for us at 8i Creations since our inception in 2007 is to be the friend of small businesses around the world.

We in return found our friends were there helping us in so many problematic situation. You stood with us when we had no money for few months. You helped us introducing us to new businesses. You helped us building our network. You stood with us when we took time figuring out how to handle creative failures. You made us know so many stuffs about the market. You almost were with us in our nervous breakdown like a family. You made us succeed. You made us a brand. 

And you literally fought with your accountants and partners and trusted us that we can make SlickAccount possible.

We love you all friends. We will always stay as your friend and will help you in bringing financial intelligence.

Happy Friendship Day buddies :)

From SlickAccount & 8i Creations team
Love from Puri, Odisha, India
SlickAccount: A simple online accounting software for your small business
Hundreds of small businesses from USA, UK, India, Austrailia, Philipines are using everyday.
Obtain a 14day free trial.

Now add your own reminders

Posted by : Sanmaya Kumar Dhal

Categories : SlickAccount features & news

Tags : small business accountingaccounting software

Introduced "Reminders" in SlickAccount. It was felt it's a necessity to be get reminded what is needed to be done in days that's related to accounting or customer payments etc.

This is just the skeleton version out there. All posts are company wide (means all user can see the stuffs in there). More kind of assignment to particular users etc will come later. Widgets, emails too are coming soon. SMSes may come later this year.

So friends enjoy the stuff.

And once again to the friends who were in 3rd batch of 28th and didn't received the accounts and couldn't receive the email postponement we couldn't make it on 28th due to the shortage of team members to guide you. We'll let you know about the next date soon.
SlickAccount: A simple online accounting software for your small business
Hundreds of small businesses from USA, UK, India, Austrailia, Philipines are using everyday.
Obtain a 14day free trial.

When we launched on 19th July 2013

Posted by : Sanmaya Kumar Dhal

Categories : Life at SlickAccount

Tags : The OfficeLaunch party

I want to share the pics during our launch. We were really busy in letting customers in and hardly did party :)
SlickAccount: A simple online accounting software for your small business
Hundreds of small businesses from USA, UK, India, Austrailia, Philipines are using everyday.
Obtain a 14day free trial.

I want to start a company

Posted by : Sanmaya Kumar Dhal
I often get questions from aspiring entrepreneurs about “I want to start a company, but there might be this problem and I don’t have X, Y, Z " and such that And I always tell: You can’t predict what will happen exactly after you have those X, Y, Z. It’s always better to start right now. Trust me in the path you will find how you can get those X, Y, Z and those A, B, C you never though about. And when you will start the second or third company you will definitely plan according to your learning. So what’s required to start a company? Ans is: You. Have a product idea or get a product idea by interviewing people, their problems and see whether you can create any solution for that and whether the idea excites you every day? This advice can go long long and long. So don’t listen and just start. Failure is another great thing to have. So did you started or are still reading this status?
SlickAccount: A simple online accounting software for your small business
Hundreds of small businesses from USA, UK, India, Austrailia, Philipines are using everyday.
Obtain a 14day free trial.

Doubts take our precious time & reduces productivity. Is your software solving the issue?

Posted by : Sanmaya Kumar Dhal

Categories : SlickAccount features & news

Tags : small business accountingaccounting softwareSaaS User Experience

As an accounting software product guy and an entrepreneur, I had to deal with a very critical issue. That’s Doubt and Fear of not knowing certain thing. When the user of our software don’t know the exact head to what the entry should go to, he will feel as if he can’t operate the software. In this kind of occasion, often user call to an accountant or his peer to know where to put it. And this process can be time consuming. He may not get his accountant on phone. This can be really frustrating so he often decide to devote time on his business and keep that stuff on a paper to ask it later to his accountant. And often he forget and find trouble at the year end. That happened to me and my partner in past. So I had to solve that issue first hand.

What we did in @SlickAccount: (https://www.slickaccount.com)

We created a option (a checkbox) to choose which is called InDoubt. If you are not sure about the heads, just choose this option and save the transaction. All that are marked InDoubt can later be seen under a separate tab for your accountant to see and rectify it for you. And we made sure nothing goes wrong ever.

This reduces the fear of using the software to near 80% in our private Beta users. And they just loved the software more.

So the question remains for you “Are you treating the fear effectively?"

If you guys are interested in finding how beneficial it is you may signup for accounting software here
SlickAccount: A simple online accounting software for your small business
Hundreds of small businesses from USA, UK, India, Austrailia, Philipines are using everyday.
Obtain a 14day free trial.

Low pricing businesses. Here is rule no 1 to stay profitable

Posted by : Sanmaya Kumar Dhal

Categories : Profitability tips small business accounting

Tags : low price small business

We see many businesses trying to get lot of income in a highly competitive market by providing their services and product really cheap. While this is not a bad thing to be known as Low Price King if you did your maths on pricing and how to deliver in budget, many among you file losses due to avoidance of Rule No1 of this market. i.e. “Be Lean & Stick to the plan"

You could be able to provide products because you figured out the volume to sell, maintaining the operation etc. Like in case of WallMart or BigBazaar in India, they have a very great supply chain to make them be able to do it.

So it’s important for your business not to be slightly over budget in any field.  The major problem comes in Operations. You need to be lean and should use perfect tools and checks (bound by time & budget) in place to do so.

Let me give you an example:
If a small shop will sell 500 pieces of AwesomeCheapThing at $1 eachday with a profit margin of just 5cents, he gets (5x500)/100 = $25 in profit eachday. Let’s see if one day its supply truck came late by just 1 hour which reduced its sell to mere 450 pieces for that day. He lost 5x50 = $2.5 on direct sell. But if we analyze what he actually lost, we got to know he pays his sells man for that 1 hour without selling anything + electricity cost etc + he spent little extra for inventory of that 50 pieces which made his loss to little more higher making that product price to sell at $1.5. But we guys have a tendency to neglect such minor stuffs and we just think that we lost only $2.5 for that day.

But the guy who is selling it at $10 and sell only 3 pieces may not have that much of trouble and all extras can be adjusted to his profit.

So if you guys operate in a low profit environment, being lean and on time makes sense else you might be doing just another business that’s losing the only issue here is that you don’t know where you lost it. You can to stick as some high strength glue to your operation plans. Losing is not a bad thing but knowing where exactly you lost is real crucial for you.
SlickAccount: A simple online accounting software for your small business
Hundreds of small businesses from USA, UK, India, Austrailia, Philipines are using everyday.
Obtain a 14day free trial.

5 years of projected cashflow, balance sheet and account statement in 3hours!

Posted by : Sanmaya Kumar Dhal

Tags : accounting software accounting

How cool it is to finish up the tidy bit projected accounting for 5 years in just 3 hours??? We made cahflow, balancesheet, P&L for next 5 years in just 3 hours yesterday. Although the actual process of planning took 2 days. But if I’ll say we just could enter nearly 6500 transactions for these 5 years with our lovely accounting software https://www.slickaccount.com/ within this time you will be surprised.

Though you need to be little familiar with few accounting stuffs to do it this faster. The actual number of transaction for us would have been nearly 3.45crore (i.e. 34.5million). It was drastically programmed to few transactions per day.

But this is really amazing. We are really surprised of what we could be able to do. We never imagined we could prepare a this detailed projected account in this amount of time.

It again justifies our say: “You require only 5 minutes a day to do your accounting."

And accounting & bookeeping firms can be benefited a lot as they could be able to serve nearly 700 clients per employee in any given year.

Let’s see how better we could be able to make it in months and years to come.
SlickAccount: A simple online accounting software for your small business
Hundreds of small businesses from USA, UK, India, Austrailia, Philipines are using everyday.
Obtain a 14day free trial.

What happened in late 2008, 2009-2010 and early 2011 in Bangalore ??? (Our experience)

Posted by : Sanmaya Kumar Dhal
NB: This is what made us to start SlickAccount

1. Market collapsed in late 2008 but Indian IT sector had an impact during the 1st quarter of 2009 Fiscal.

2. By 2009 2nd Quarter many thousands of posts were evacuated or continued with cost cutting. Lots of employees had jobs (Indian IT sector never wanted to waste the money they already had put on them in training etc) but they had to sit at their home and take half of salary and wait for the economy to be strong again.

3. Many spent the most of their life at home for almost a year. They were frustrated and thought IT is gone (As IT is one of the major sector for Indian aspiration).

4. Then they had nothing, market was not coming up even as slow as tortoise so they started creating websites (I think that were the market still had opportunity for these guys). Many webdesign firms and individual designers sprung. We never expected this could hit us hard this way.

5. The number of entrant players to this market was really like Gogol. There was not enough projects in the market as no one was thinking to spend a pie. Many don’t know that website design was still a seasonal business with only four flooding month in a year. This hit really hard. Though the players were not good, but still they could manage to take project on super cool price point.

6. We were still not hit hard enough until the end of 2010, as our market was well defined and we were thought as the great crafters of success (you know our websites brought customers for our clients). 

7. Suddenly many of those entrants understood webdesign is not going to workout, though 20% of them took enough money from the clients and still not designed a website for 2% of those clients. There was a sense of great frustration among both vendors as well as buyers. We were benefited after a couple of months with those projects, but then customers had neither money nor the patience. 

8. And now many of those companies took the money, closed the shop and started new software development firms. And many who couldn’t got enough projects and frustrated started other cool ventures in other fields. Many started small boutiques, art houses, internet shops for anything, . I think we rejected enormous number of web dev projects of those newly born internet startups as we saw they can’t make good enough companies. We never wanted to take money from those who were mad and had no plan even to have a customer support exec, they thought everything will be automatic ( :P ). I don’t know if we could have taken those projects we would have been multi-crore rupees in profit company given to the brand visibility that we had. I’m here just talking about our webdesign and web dev business. We have other verticals.

9. Now the market had enough of new kinds of firms and companies (many added by the 10-12 lac engineers that passed out that year and had no chance of recruitment to MNCs). 

10. We never saw how the Bangalore was packed out not ever seen before. Now nearly 60% of the new houses owned or rented had a home office or a office outlet add-just. 

11. In the meanwhile we reduced the prices of our design packages to meet the volume that were seeing coming through, they were starting out and hadn’t enough money in hand to spend and everyone knew Internet/website is key. But we mis-calculated few stuffs here and there in the urgency and we lost mullahs which would have taken us to a big cash crunch which ultimately would have taken our business down. [ One good player out of the market. The said competition would have been happy :P ]

12. Just now during early 2011, those MNCs started hiring even at large numbers. They had to recover from the loss soon as the market was again growing and the great talent pool they can see in front of them. 

13. But many of those talents figured it out in their 3rd or 4th ventures what will work and stocked to it. Many co-founders joined a company just to get enough cash in hand to invest in their new ventures. They quitted after a year from those MNCs. I think those MNCs hadn’t had any idea about this (again :P)

14. Now a new thing happened which was never seen before. The still students of engineering, MBA schools knew it well that they will not get placements when they are out, so they started figuring it out in their colleges about what the new coolest venture they can create. They could feel the smell of positive vibes of entrepreneurship world. 

15. We started mentoring a lot of those who came for advice and market insights and tech discussions. 

16. And about our business??? We knew it’s a hard time and will pass. We need to stick to our business. We had good amount of overseas projects, UX projects (we are renowned for) that were paying us high. But at home-ground in web designing and dev we knew we were dying. Enormous number of projects. But not enough profit as we expected. Some months in between when we didn’t had big paying projects, we couldn’t see if we were going to sustain. We wanted to hire talents but not enough cash to pay them in the hard months. We had no idea of what’s going on.

17. And then a miracle happened in late 2011. We were building a web-based accounting tool for ourselves, which we founders can operate given the small amount of time we get for it. I started putting up cool new features to show us some coolest insights of our business. We knew money is not related to just one thing. I built up tags. 

18. And then one fine morning I pushed all our accounting data to the software. And I found the mystery solved. In front of me was the reason why we don’t have enough cash. It also showed me a hell. We were approaching a black hole of cash crunch and going negative in six to eight months !!

19. Everything stopped. We sat cool, though heavily intense d we were. We re-planned , re-invented our pricing, put up great tools in place and devised or you can say invented processes to reduce our time & resources of design and dev. 

20. In between our clients saw our accounting software and wanted one for them. And to our own gut, we realized this is the one big helpful thing for small businesses we created. This is the thing which going to lead us to future and can help millions of small businesses around the world. We wanted to launch it to public in March 2012 as our clients were pushing us, I can see they were happier than us.

21. But things started falling apart more. We knew we had an issue we need to solve first. We need enough money to pay us and make us able to support our initial clients for the software till it breaks even. We never wanted to go VC way, we refused so many offers at hand. We wanted to make sure and knew a small business can go to make profitable business in traditional path too, though we never denied a good angel investment if he can advise us in areas we are not strong enough.

22. We stopped the work on it hoping to launch it in 2013. We started focusing strengthening our roots.

23. Fast forward now at early 2013, we are here to launch it very soon.
SlickAccount: A simple online accounting software for your small business
Hundreds of small businesses from USA, UK, India, Austrailia, Philipines are using everyday.
Obtain a 14day free trial.

What is SlickAccount?

Posted by : Sanmaya Kumar Dhal
Small businesses are really in a mess. They fail due to less information about how their accounts are performing at any given time. SlickAccount makes it simpler for them to understand what brings them profit and where they might suffer, ahead of time while working as an quick accounting software. So they stay insightful and profitable while doing 48% less work. Made by people who ran small businesses for 5 years now and served small businesses in 20 countries. We already hold 100s of paying accounts since day one since Alfa stage. Just remember our url to look more. It’s slickaccount.com
SlickAccount: A simple online accounting software for your small business
Hundreds of small businesses from USA, UK, India, Austrailia, Philipines are using everyday.
Obtain a 14day free trial.
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