If you have recently started using QuarkXPress, you may find yourself making some of the errors outlined in this article. Take a second to read through our top ten beginner pitfalls and spare yourself a little frustration in getting to grips with your new software.1. Not setting document properties for new projectsBeginners will often create a new project and click OK without paying much attention to the settings in the New Project dialogue.Quark keeps the settings from the last project you created. If these are inappropriate for the document you are about to create, change the page size, orientation, margin and column guides as necessary.2. Mistaking margins for the edge of the pageHaving set margins when creating a new project, many new QuarkXPress users will still feel inclined to position their text and picture boxes inside the margin guides, leaving an extra space. Remember, the blue lines represent the margin guides not the edges of the page. Normally, the edges of your text boxes will need to be positioned on the margin rather then inside them.3. Overuse of ruler guidesRuler guides are created by dragging the vertical or horizontal ruler onto the page. As well as providing a visual reference, guides can be used to align elements vertically and horizontally by snapping elements to them like a magnet. For example, if the tops of two "text box" es are snapped to the same guide, both boxes will be the same distance from the top of the page.Guides are extremely useful aids but, if over-used (as often happens with new users), you end up with a page covered in confusing green lines. Consider using the measurements palette as well: entering the same x measurement for two boxes will align their left edges and the same y measurement will align their tops.4. Not snapping objects to guidesA classic error beginners make when using guides to align objects is as follows. They drag a guide and align it (by eye) with one of the edges of a box then they snap a second box onto the guide. This means that only the second box is actually snapped to the guide.Remember that both boxes need to be snapped to the guide to get the full benefit from them. Since one of the edges of the original box was used as a reference point for the guide, it will be almost aligned but not quite: it just needs to be moved slightly until it actually snaps to the guide. Position the mouse pointer over the appropriate middle handle of the box until the cursor changes to a pointing finger. Click and drag the handle so that it snaps to the guide. (If necessary, move the handle away from the guide and then back onto it to feel the magnetic snap.)5. Misuse of automatic text boxThe automatic text box feature in QuarkXPress can be activated when creating a new project: you just click on the check-box marked "Automatic Text Box". It allows us to go into something approaching word processing mode. It should be used when creating multi-page documents consisting mainly of text such as a report or book.Many new users assume that all this feature does is to automatically create a text box on the page for you, saving you the trouble of doing so yourself, not realising that the text box created in this way has one other special property. When it becomes filled with text, QuarkXPress automatically creates a new page containing another automatic text box linked to the box on the first page.So if you are creating a single page brochure or advert, an automatic text box is a liability since, if it becomes filled with text for any reason (for example, when you are experimenting with typefaces and font sizes), you end up with an extra page being created.6. Clicking on the text box tool when editing textAnother simple error new QuarkXPress users tend to make, is clicking on the [*_*] tool then trying to edit text. This one is not so serious since it's a non-starter: the only thing you can do with the [*_*] tool is create [*_*]es. The correct tool for editing text is the Content tool, the second tool on the QuarkXPress toolbar.7. Attempting to edit text when the Item tool is highlightedAnother popular type of confusion with the QuarkXPress tools is when to use the Item tool and when to use the Content tool. One often sees beginners trying to edit or import text while the Item tool is selected. Like the previous error, it's not such a biggie since sooner or later you will remember that you have to select the Content tool before you access the text inside the box.8. Highlighting the Item tool when resizing boxesAnother common Item/Content tool error is that new users will often insist on selecting the Item tool when resizing a box: in fact, resizing works fine regardless of whether the Content or Item tool is selected.9. Creating too many [*_*]esQuarkXPress newbies will often create more [*_*]es than they need to (This box is for my heading, this one is for my subheading, and so on...), forgetting that the format of text can be changed as many times as necessary within the same box.Separate [*_*]es need to be created only where the attributes of different blocks of text cannot be accommodated within the same box: for example, a heading spanning two columns above a two column story.10. Focusing on the box rather than the contentBeginners in QuarkXPress will often spend a lot of time aligning headings within a [*_*], for example vertically centring, forgetting that, since the box will not print, all that matters is the position of the text itself on the page.A good way of curing this one is to get into the habit of pressing F7 (a shortcut for View - Guides). This keystroke toggles the visibility of the QuarkXPress margin and ruler guides as well as the edges of boxes that have no frames. This means that you are always reminded of which elements will actually be visible when the document prints.
Every year, without fail, the GoldMine CRM (customer relationship management) software solution has managed to grab an award or two from various organizations in the field of CRM and computing.In the business software category of VARBusiness magazine by CMP Media, GoldMine software was one of only five products recognized by the magazine. The magazine conducted a survey to figure out what products where relevant to mid-market business establishments that employed between 100 and 999 employees. Out of the 350 nominations that were cast, only 45 products were selected to represent several categories. In comparison to the previous year where GoldMine was way behind in the top 100, jumping to the top 45 is a big leap indeed.GoldMine was also cited by ISM Inc., as one of the top 15 CRM Small & Medium Business Software Award for 2006. Coincidentally, this is also the fourth consecutive year that GoldMine has been given the honor of being included in the awards list.In the year 2005, GoldMine software was given the CRM Market Leader Awards for Small Business by CRM magazine. The CRM Market Leader recognizes those vendors who have excelled in eight industry categories. Recognition is based on weighted criteria that include revenue, growth, market share, reputation for customer satisfaction, depth of functionality, and company direction.Also in 2005, GoldMine received the CRM Excellence Award from Customer Interaction Magazine. According to the magazine, GoldMine software was given the award to show recognition for the way GoldMine products and services have substantially improved the processes of their clients businesses by streamlining and facilitating the flow of information needed for companies to retain their most precious asset...their customers.GodlMine software is a recipient of numerous accolades and awards from various publications and organizations involved in the CRM industry. This fact reflects the dedication of the countless numbers of people who have contributed to the evolution of GoldMine software at one time or another. The results of their dedication to service and product excellence can be seen not only from the awards received, but also from the thousands of success stories of businesses from around the world.The successes of these businesses prove, more than the awards do, that GoldMine does indeed know what it is doing by increasing customer retention and satisfaction rates of their numerous client companies; and that is the bottom line.
Any business needs to be clear about their transactions to ensure smooth functioning. But often, it is found that the off invoice has gone missing or that there is no record of it. Most of the times, it is a simple case of the record aligning itself in the wrong place. Not much you think, but identifying this itself can be quite a headache eating into precious man-hours and not to mention the anxiety it can cause.A full-fledged billing software suite can save you from these and many other hassles. Billing software that is rich in features can often help you ensure that you do not miss out on any details in invoicing. Take taxes for instance you did not intentionally leave out one of the tax charges for your client, but whos going to explain that to the taxman? What it also means is that you have to fork out this money from your pocket for the time being at least! Not a nice scenario, eh?While the above processes may be streamlined in case of a large corporations where they have full-time finance departments that are paid to ensure all billings are done correctly, in case of smaller companies and more so in the case of a start-up, this could be a troublesome area. Why burden yourself with something that is not your job? Find a good package and just enter all the right data. The rest will take care of itself.Another advantage most time tracking software offer is the ability to configure and make repeat invoicing easier. So for your long-term jobs, you dont need to remember to make a new invoice every time. Come the time and your invoice will be ready. Whats more is the invoice can also be a custom made one that satisfies your and your clients needs.But even before you reach the billing stage, there is the need to know how much to bill. Even if you are working on a project that does not need you to charge by the hour, it would be worthwhile keeping track of how much time you have spent on what just to make sure you are working optimally. Using a proper time tracking software can help you do just that. In fact, there is some software that sits in your Outlook and can help you optimize the time spent on a particular client by syncing up with your appointments. So by the end of the month, you know exactly how much time you have spent on which client and how much to charge them.Remember that your time is valuable and also your only tool to prove to your client the effort you have put in. No matter how passionate you are about your work, there is satisfaction in knowing that you have been compensated correctly and there is peace of mind in knowing that your books are up to scratch.
When creating an affordable Web site for your small business, there are certain things to keep in mind from a design perspective that can make or break your site. Even if you do not plan to spend a fortune on your site, paying attention to each of these items you will ensure that the final product is something of which you can be proud.Here are 5 tips for designing your small business Web site, even on a budget:Tip #1: Make sure your Web site loads in 5 seconds or less: Have you ever tried to view a Web site only to find that it takes 10 or 20 seconds to come up on your screen? Unless it has been recommended by a friend or you have some other burning desire to visit the site, you probably likely gave up and moved on. The first 5 seconds is very important in terms of the attention span of your visitor. During that period, you need your site to load and for the visitor to be able to "get" what your site is about. If it takes longer than this, your visitors will run out of patience and leave. Tip: if you want to show off a long flash presentation, try featuring it on a page other than the home page.Tip #2: Limit the menu bar to 5 options: Your Web site needs to be singular in purpose and focused in appearance. If your site is trying to be all things to all people, it will end up being of value to almost nobody. The simplicity and focus of your site design is reflected in your navigation and symbolized on your home page by your menu options. If you believe your site requires more than five menu options, make some of them sub-menus that are available only after the user selects one of the five main options.Tip #3: Make clearly visible a call to action: Ever shopped at an IKEA? Their stores have a non-traditional layout that allows you to look around freely and yet literally leads you from one section to another, right on through to the multiple cash registers and food goodies waiting for you at the end of your path. Let this serve as a model for how to set up your Web site: on every page, you need to make it abundantly clear to your site visitors just exactly what it is you want them to do. Do you want them to contact you? Order your product or service? Add a comment to your Web site? Whatever it is, make this call to action very easy to spot both textually and graphically from anywhere on the site.Tip #4: Provide free and clear access to additional help options: You do not want to lose sales (or visits, or whatever your goal for your visitors maybe be) just because you failed to give someone the chance to ask a question. Just as with your call to action, make it clear to visitors that no matter where they are on your site they can easily locate help via phone, e-mail, live chat, call back, user forum, or knowledge database. Hint: present the various options in a prioritized manner depending upon anticipated user needs.Tip #5: Show consistency among other design elements: The look-and-feel of your site as a whole is really just a combination of all of its individual components. Pay close attention to every detailed component of your new site. Use appropriate colors and graphics, pay attention to font size, make sure your messaging is readable and makes sense, and make sure images look crisp and appealing. Items that you think are minor might form the basis for whether someone chooses to stay on your site or find that of a competitor.Whether you are designing your own site or hiring a professional designer, pay attention to these items and you will have a winning site for your small business, even on a budget.
There are four fundamental pillars that are recognized in building a successful CRM strategy Identify Distinguish Interact Customize a concept that was developed back in the 1990s and adapted by the CRM community.Interact An interaction strategy that was thoroughly envisioned allows a company to see each customer as an individual and over time learn their behavior which means when a change occurs staff will be able to quickly respond and when the response is positive it will have a positive impact.Interactive management gets harder as the customer relationship gets more complex. You deal with outbound channels which may include catalogues, email, mail outs, and telephone calls out. As well you deal with inbound channels which include tracking your customers and responding to them. This occurs whether you have a brick and mortar store or a web store, whether you sell products or service. Communication is key to the success of any business.Distinguish - When it comes to interaction with your customer there is no one size fits all so you must take the time to distinguish between your customers. You need to be able to group like customers so that you can send them relevant information at any time. You need to be able to tailor different elements of your building to the correct customer base.When you combine your historical data with your real time data you can do a great job of predicting customer behavior before they ever happen. This gives you the ability to warn sales teams of pending changes to the market. It also makes it easier to establish a successful cross sell program.Interact - Once you distinguish your clientele you also save money and you do a better job of targeting your market and interacting with the appropriate market. So rather than sending the same communication to everyone you break your customers into groups by distinguishing where they belong. That means the customer also gets better information.Customize CRM is a positive way enhance your customer interaction using technology. But the most powerful part of CRM software is the ability to customize it so that it fits your unique business. You can configure it for your own business rules, your modeling, business platform, and a host of other abilities.The same goes for retrieving that information. With just a click of a mouse you can easily retrieve data in the format you want. Once you customize the software to work with your business you will quickly see the benefits to CRM software.Its a hi-tech generation which means most of your customers will be very computer savvy and even involved in some degree with customer software in the workplace whether its a full CRM system or a smaller type database. That means theyll be that much more impressed when you over them top notch CRM software.So although not everyone agrees with the fundamental pillars most would agree that a good CRM strategy will Identify Distinguish Interact Customize. In fact its a way to stay ahead of the competition.