BusinessRX Blog

Record Keeping through Access

May 13, 2011

As an Accounting major at Miami University I was required to take a business computing course that covered the Microsoft Excel and Microsoft Access programs. Many of us are familiar with Excel and have a broad understanding of what we are able to do with the program, but the same cannot be said about Access.

I would highly recommend Access database software to all start-up businesses who are looking to keep detailed records. By using Access users can create a database that allows them to create queries that can lookup very specific information. Access allows the user to create forms and buttons which will run queries to lookup information such as email addresses, phone numbers, names, prices, etc. With the use of a Switchboard, Access allows you to connect to multiple data tables in a more professional setting than Excel. Access is affordable for any small start-up business and yet still has the capabilities as larger database programs like ACT! by Sage.

As a student it is important to keep organized and stay current with what I need to do for class. Access has allowed me to create a database in which I am able to view my current and past courses as well as update it with new ones. It has also allowed me to enter assignments for all of my classes into one data table and then run a query for assignments by class. In my database I was able to eliminate the typical grid styled data entry layout and fashion it so that all of my information is now projected with a colorful background and user friendly controls. For start-ups looking to manage clients, projects, employees, timecards, and other records under one roof Access is the program for you.

Through my business computing course I was shown that if I want to create a shipping order or an invoice I was able to create fields that will multiply the product cost by the quantity the buyer would like to get the total order very similar to excel. In addition to the sales order it is important to also charge sales tax, with Access I was able to write this into my program within seconds. Normally Excel requires the copying of a formula so that it can be used for future data entries, but with Access there is none of that. The formula is built into the field and copied throughout all records. If seeing empty fields is unattractive to how you want to view the form you can easily add a setting to that datasheet that shows only records that have values within all the fields.

As a student and an employee I have found Access to be very helpful. It’s allowed me to reduce the number of hours it takes to lookup company information from previous years. I have also been able to print off appealing reports and keep track of multiple projects all from within Access.

By:  Gabriel Kimble

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The Power of Assessment Tests

September 24, 2009



Case Study


The Situation:


We have a client that sells advertising. The economy changed and sales have been off 20% for the past six months. Most of the sales people said it was the economy. Training and incentives produced sporadic results. It was time for a new approach.


The Plan:


We worked with our client to develop a sales team that can get results in today’s market place. By using assessment tests, we evaluated the traits of the current sales team, identified the key traits of the top producers and developed a sales profile. The profile indicated that people with outstanding communication skills would be the most successful sales people. Using the profile as one of the selection criteria in hiring new people our client was able to hire three additional sales people. Training was based on their individual results from the assessment tests. The owners used the information to hire, train and give ongoing coaching.


The Results:


Sales increased 30% during the first full month of sales with the new hires in place. Sales from new hires accounted for 27% of the total sales. The new hires had the highest average dollar sale. The low producers began to resign. Using assessment test gave the owners the information to hire and train based on what is needed to sell in the current market place.


The Cost:


It cost 3% of the incremental sales to achieve a 30% increase in sales. Adapting the hiring process to include assessment tests made a critical difference.

 

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Re-Thinking Your Business - Case Study

August 07, 2009

Learning to Fly

Learning to Fly

A couple years back, our client Innersync Studio was cranking out high-end websites for major universities, Fortune 100 companies and small businesses. These websites were very pricy and hunting for new customers was a time consuming process. Their monthly revenue vacillated wildly depending upon whether they were in production mode or sales mode. As we looked closer we saw that they had built an extremely good platform, by which new web-sites could be designed and launched with ease. Innersync worked hard to refine this platform and streamline their business practice. Today, Innersync produces the same quality of websites at a fraction of their previous cost. With our help, Innersync changed their pricing model from a one-time fixed fee (say $50,000) to a monthly hosting fee under $1,000 that includes up-front design and set-up costs.  These changes have allowed Innersync to be more nimble in this economy, as well quadruple their “recurring monthly revenue”. Check out Innersync at www.innersync.com

These changes were initiated by BusinessRx deploying one of our proprietary tools BizMap™. BizMap™ is an intense business review that diagnoses business misalignment and offers practical solutions that heal what ails the business. Next we developed key metrics that track the performance of the business so that business misalignment can be identified and corrected earlier. The owners of Innersync worked diligently to implement our advice. Today, despite this economy, their business is more stable.

In talking with Steve Williams, one of the owners, he said this about BusinessRx. “The process changes we made with the assistance of BusinessRx have transformed our business and greatly reduced web design time. We have standardized everything. Combined with leveraging campusuite®, our content management tool developed for education markets and developing a sister product innersuite™ for businesses, we were able to reduce our prices to our customers and cut our sales cycle by over fifty percent. Today, when we make an enhancement to our common platform - campusuite® or innersuite™ - all of customers’ websites have that enhancement - immediately and automatically.”
 

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Impact of Auto Industry on US Economy

June 02, 2009

Overall we are seeing signs of recovery in the US economy as production increases in many sectors. Art Laffer, economist, was right, the US can not spend its way out of a recession, it needs to produce its way out of a recession. While the short term news is encouraging, our largest concern for the recovery is the impact of the changes in the auto industry. GM and Chrysler in bankruptcy, dealership closures, plant closures, extended plant shutdowns, extremely high new car inventories and the eventual bankruptcy of many auto suppliers.

In general, new car sales represent about five percent of our GDP and directly or indirectly employ about 7 to 10 million people. As we progress through the above anticipated changes we believe that in general unemployment will increase from 8.9% currently to about 12% by year end. New job creation in the short-term will not keep pace with the job loss primarily related to the auto industry.

The obvious that we are not focused on:
• The recovery will be a jobless recovery for the next couple of years.
• Auto suppliers will suffer more than the auto makers due to government bailouts and volume reductions by auto makers.
• With high unemployment and more manufacturing jobs will going overseas, it is imperative that we need to re-train the US workforce.
• Cities / towns with a high dependence on jobs linked to the auto industry will see restaurants and retail store go under.
• All levels of government will continue to experience lower tax revenues.
• The best car salespersons will make more money.
• Regions with dependence on the auto industry will take a decade for housing markets to recover.
• It is a great time to buy a new car. The bargains will never be better due to high inventory and warranty uncertainties.
• The jobs that eventually replace these jobs that are lost forever will be related to alternative energy sources.
 

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Re-Think Your Marketing Plans for 2009

April 07, 2009

Yes we are in a recession and no matter how hard we try to cut expenses we can not save our way to prosperity. Many cut advertising and marketing costs first. The man who stops advertising to save money is like the man who stops the clock to save time. In this challenging economy, companies need to be more visible, not less visible. We suggest conducting a brain storming session to re-think your marketing plan and budget. Invite people without marketing experience to sit in on the brain storming session to give fresh perspective.

Below are a few topics to start your brain storming session.

Social Networking: Is your company using LinkedIn to its advantage? Not only do they have 30 million individual profiles they now profile 160,000 companies. How can this information build sales? Businesses are starting to use other social networking sites such as Plaxo, MySpace, Facebook and Flickr to name a few.

Target Industries and Trade Organizations: Which ones are right for your firm in this recession? Explore public, private, non-profit and government agencies. Begin by researching local, state and national chapters of trade organizations. Be a presenter, be a sponsor, or attend an event. How can your company be involved without the cost of a trade show booth?

E-Zine: Do you have one? What is the message/offer? Does it have the right frequency and reach? Is the data base up to date?

Competitors: This is a great time to team up with strong players and take over weak players. Which competitors are hiving trouble with service? Can your company approach them to take over their accounts? Who is growing and why?

Customers: This is about maximizing current customer relationships. How you can expand products and services to existing customers? Ask for referrals and introductions. Does your company have customers that are money losers? Or you are not getting paid? It may be time to eliminate certain customers.

Current Marketing Plan: What is working? What should we stop doing? What should we test? Is your company getting a return on your marketing investment?

Web-Site: Is your web-site current? Is it fresh? Does it accurately present your company? Who is visiting? Has it been optimized?

Once you complete the marketing brain storming session, prioritize the top three to five ideas and get to work.
 

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