The Business Center apps available with an Office 365 Business Premium subscription can help to transform the way your small business does business.
If you own a business, you should never forget that although your business may be small, you still need to run it like any other business.
And that takes a lot of time.
Whether you work alone, with a partner or even employ a small team, I know that you probably don’t have any time to waste.
That is why I always share with my clients every time-saving software solution I come across which I think real value for the majority of small business owners.
The importance of business management software.
Listen. If you are trying to operate your small business without business management software, you are just wasting your time. Management software helps you run your business and prevents your business from running you. It will help you complete tasks quicker and easier while doing more business than you ever thought possible.
These days, one of my favorite business packages for small businesses is Microsoft’s Office 365 Business Premium. Office 365 Business Premium provides small businesses with everything they need to get work done better, faster, and from anywhere there is an internet connection. Office 365 Business Premium is an affordable online service giving subscribers access to Microsoft’s popular suite of business applications including Outlook, Word, Excel PowerPoint, and Access (on PCs only).
But the best feature of Office 365 Business Premium is not the unlimited access to the top business applications. It is is the ability to access the exclusive Business Center which is only available for Office 365 Business Premium subscribers.
What is the Business Center and why should I want it?
The Office 365 Business Center is an online hub where you are able to manage a collection of unique applications which give you the ability to build better relationships with your customers, close more sales with less effort. increase your online presence, and most importantly run your business quicker and easier than ever.
Which applications are available in the Business Center?
The Business Center offers several unique business applications to handle the needs of your business. These applications include:
- Listings. This application increases your company’s online presence by helping you to create and maintain your business’ listing information on popular social media platforms like Facebook, Google, Yelp, and Bing. Once you set up your basic information, Listings will walk you through the set-up procedures to make sure your customers can find you online. The great thing about Listings is that when your business’ information changes, you don’t have to change your information manually on every site. Instead, all you need to do is update your business’ information once at the Business Center, and then let Listings handle the rest.
- Invoicing. Do you want to get paid on time and in full? Of course, you do. That is why it is a great idea to use Invoicing to create, edit, and send professional-looking invoices for your customers which let them pay directly from their invoice through PayPal. Invoicing also allows you to keep track of which customers have already paid you, and which ones still need to pay. Make your bookkeeping as stress-free as possible by generating yearly and monthly reports and by importing payment records directly into QuickBooks Online.
- Bookings. Any small business which uses appointments will love Bookings. This application allows your customers to schedule an appointment without the need to speak with anyone from your company. This saves both time and money. You can place your booking page directly on Facebook or on your company’s website. Bookings is flexible enough to handle the needs of almost any business. You can edit operating hours, your list of services and their prices, and current availability. Bookings even provides business owners and their employees with a mobile app which will alert them to new appointments and provide customer information.
- Connections. Stay connected to your customers with Connections. Connections allows you to create a variety of marketing campaigns to build the loyalty of your current customers and to expand your business through the use of referrals. Offer customers valuable new offers and encourage them to refer their friends. It is easy to keep track of the success rate of each individual campaign by using the metrics which Connections provides. You
How to use the new applications to drive business.
You now have a better understanding of the power of the Business Center from Office 365 Business Premium. But you still want to know how you can use all of these applications to save time and make more money, right? No problem.
Imagine you own a local small-town barber shop. It is a classic, old-time kind of place complete with a straight-edge hot foam shave. A potential customer who has just seen an old movie which featured a straight-edge hot foam shave and is intrigued. Surely, no one offers such a shave now, especially in this small town, he thinks. Without expecting to find anything, the potential customer searches on Bing for “hot shaves near me”. Amazingly, there is one result. It is the one you placed on online using Listings. The potential customer clicks on your business’ listing and he winds up at your Bookings form. He schedules an appointment for the next day. After getting an amazing shave, he takes a photo and posts it on Yelp along with a five-star review. Then he refers all his friends to you through Connections.
Now, your customer is happy, his friends are happy, and most importantly you are happy.