Improve Your Zoho Skills Inside Zoho’s: The Workflow Academy

You may sit blankly staring out a window most days pondering, ‘If only there was a way to streamline my business operations and experience joy again.’ The reality is, your business doesn’t have to merely survive day-to-day. You can put systems in place that allow you to run your company more efficiently and finally feel like the boss you are (both literally and in the 80s lingo).

Workflow Academy

Enter Zoho, the one-stop shop for business automation goodness.

As official Zoho Partners, we are obviously huge fans of the platform and we see how its integrations improve business operations big and small.

We’ll also show no shame in admitting that Zoho is (beautifully) complex. It’s a platform that takes time to learn and ultimately, conquer.

Enter The Workflow Academy–where Zoho One begins to make a little more sense to the everyday user!

Afterall, every time a bell rings, a Zoho user becomes a Zoho Master (or something like that). 

What is Zoho’s The Workflow Academy?

In a nutshell, The Workflow Academy is the superior spot for Zoho training. Whether you’re the team’s Zoho Admin or are all-in hanging out in the deep end of the platform, The Workflow Academy has a course with your name on it.

Have you been on the fence about getting Zoho for your business?

Here’s your sign to go for it!

Oh, and a helpful statistic to drive the benefits home–92% of employees say having technology that helps them do their job efficiently affects their work satisfaction, according to a study by Ultimate Software.

Now that you know you can have an amazing platform to help run your business and learn how to master, what is there to lose?

Go ahead and make your free Zoho One account here.

We’ll wait for you!

[cheesy elevator music]

Congrats! You’re officially in the game with Zoho One now. 

Workflow Academy

Let’s continue to walk through the perks of TWA and get you enrolled in their free course.

Perks of The Workflow Academy 

At Woggle, we see clients that don’t realize the areas they’re losing valuable leads, revenue, or customer satisfaction until they start using Zoho and see the data roll in.

Spoiler alert: sometimes it’s areas they least expect or think they’re excelling in. 

Not only does your business thrive when problem areas are identified and remedied; employees are able to focus on what they do best with a little help from their friend (automation).

So, what does The Workflow Academy help Zoho users perfect?

Here’s what we love about the courses over at The Workflow Academy:

✅Their online courses are free to Zoho users (yes, please!).

✅Learning is made easy to access across all devices.

✅There are so many courses to choose from! (Zoho One, Zoho Books, Zoho Projects, oh my!)

✅Empowering your staff to understand Zoho on a deeper advanced level

✅Get a better understanding of how Zoho works on the backend

✅Learn how to properly architect a solution that will work for your company

✅Diagnose needs and find a partner that will work well with you to create a customized solution

Pro Tip: Read our  blog post on why hiring a Zoho consultant is the right move (objectively, of course).

Workflow Academy

As we mentioned, The Workflow Academy allows your business to pinpoint issues in your workflow that may be damaging customer satisfaction results. All businesses aren’t created equally and learning how to use Zoho will guide you to championing the unique nuances of each aspect of your business.

For example, your ideal client or customer may not need an extensive onboarding process, but setting it on autopilot can still save your company time (and time is money).

Still eager to learn more about how Zoho is an all-inclusive super machine for automation?

Read more about how Zoho SalesIQ’s Customer-First Approach Can Boost Your Business here.

The Workflow Academy for B2B and B2C

We’ve mentioned (obsessively) how Zoho integrations can skyrocket revenue, customer satisfaction, and daily operations. The real beauty of Zoho is the compatibility it has with both B2B and B2C models. 

The Workflow Academy equips your Zoho agency to know every small nuance of the platform as well as how to troubleshoot and personalize it for your unique business needs.

This means you become an expert on all things Zoho including:

The list goes on!

Zoho can feel like a complex beast, but really, it can be tamed! Investing in your knowledge of how your chosen CRM platform works is the best thing you can do for your business!

Read more about Zoho’s magical features like Zoho Surveys and Zoho Social in our other blog post.

Zoho training

Key Takeaways

The main gist? 

Your business can run as efficiently as you’re willing to invest in automation.

The Workflow Academy takes you from out of the loop to expert. Don’t be the person who invests in a phenomenal tool, but doesn’t learn how to use it.

Eager to learn more about The Workflow Academy? Check them out here!

Jump in head-first by opening a free Zoho account.

Zoho CRM vs Salesforce

Now that you’re convinced CRMs are more than worth it for your business, you’ve probably consulted the almighty Google and encountered your worst nightmare: options.  

Okay, okay- options are good to have (most of the time). However, when deciding what’s worth paying for and what’s not worth the risk, multiple options can get a bit overwhelming. 

Yummy options at the Thanksgiving table? Good. Many restaurant options when deciding where to go for dinner with your partner? Bad (very bad). 

Lucky for you, we are here to make one choice a little easier! Recently we took a look at Zoho CRM vs Hubspot’s CRM, and today we are diving into Zoho vs Salesforce Sales Cloud. Who will come out on top? Let’s see!

sales cloud

A Difference in Focus

Salesforce and Zoho have both created CRMs that help your business continuously grow and run smoothly. With that said, their focus over the years has been a little different. Zoho has placed more of an emphasis (and more of their budget) on research and development, while Salesforce focuses more on marketing and promotion. 

Zoho has found it important to develop a CRM fit for small/medium businesses all the way to enterprise level. Salesforce has focused more on the enterprise level and gradually worked their way to more mid-market ventures. 

While both approaches are absolutely fine, choosing between the two will depend on the size of your business and your goals!

User-friendliness and Customization

In terms of user-friendliness and how much experience you would need to operate the platform, Zoho CRM seems to be easier. Not that Salesforce is difficult to utilize, but Zoho truly caters to users of all experience levels. We noticed that Salesforce would probably be optimal if operated by a dedicated team. 

Both CRMs include a high level of customization capabilities (and you know we like that!) Salesforce’s Lightning App Builder seems to be top notch, allowing users to create custom layouts and records. A similar feature in Zoho would be Canvas. One customizable feature that is exclusive to Zoho CRM would be custom buttons, which is seemingly unavailable in Salesforce.

It’s worthwhile to note that with Salesforce, many of the customization features seem to only be available for higher packages. Customization for Zoho is much more accessible to all user levels.

Lead Approach

Lead gathering and nurturing is a huge component behind CRM usage, so both Zoho and Salesforce have solid process building and lead scoring features. In an all out feature battle between Zoho and Salesforce, Zoho seems to have a more comprehensive set of lead tools in their toolbox. Salesforce’s lead tools seem to be more basic, but there’s certainly nothing wrong with perfecting the basics! Again, choosing between the two will largely depend on what you and your business are looking for.

One cool feature to mention? Sales representatives can scan a business card and Zoho CRM will easily convert the information into a contact! Zoho CRM can also create leads from social media platforms, which you cannot do with Salesforce unless you pay for the Social Studio plugin.

 Although a little weaker with the social media  integrations, Salesforce can generate solid leads by integrating with Outlook and Gmail, which is definitely a convenient tool. 

CRM

Integrations

It’s no mystery that Zoho has some excellent integration capabilities (we talk about it constantly)! Unfortunately, this is where Salesforce really fell short for us.

With Zoho CRM, you can seamlessly integrate with over 40 other Zoho products like Zoho Books, Zoho Desk, and Zoho Sign; Salesforce doesn’t have that perk.

 One thing that really suffers from this lack of integration power? Team collaboration. Zoho CRM has Workplace, a convenient way to effectively communicate with coworkers and employees. Through apps like Cliq, Meeting, and Workdrive, you can share documents and updates with the click of a button. With Zoho CRM you can also incorporate third party applications like Microsoft Teams and Slack for ultimate team collaboration!

While Zoho users can integrate with third-party applications no matter the CRM edition, Salesforce only allows this in the top packages. You can’t utilize popular applications like ZenDesk, MailChimp or Quickbooks until you pay for the Professional or higher Salesforce Sales Cloud packages. 

What’s the Cost?

Ah, the inevitable price discussion. In a side by side comparison, Zoho is indeed cheaper than Salesforce Sales Cloud. Zoho also offers a free version of their CRM (with limited users), whereas Salesforce only has the free trial. Both offer a 30 day free trial.

Both pricing models are centered around standard (essentials), professional, enterprise, and ultimate packages. Each CRM bills you per user, offering monthly or annual subscriptions. So, again, depending on the size of your company and your ultimate goals, either could be the better fit- you’ll just have to decide which one is worth the investment! 

sales cloud

Wrapping Up

So, as an epic entrepreneur, what is your CRM focus? Leads? Integrations? Customization? Don’t worry, we’ll quit asking you questions (eventually)!

Whether you are just starting out or you’re a well-established business, there’s a CRM out there for you. It’s all about finding the one that suits your needs the best! Even though it requires a little bit of research, we are confident one will be a perfect fit. 

Let us know if you end up choosing Zoho CRM or Salesforce Sales Cloud- we’d love to hear your opinions on the topic!

Integration Spotlight: Zoho Books and Avalara

Annnd we are back with yet another great episode of Zoho Books: Accounting Software Extraordinaire! Boy is this a series we could easily binge-watch… Ok, maybe Zoho Books and chill doesn’t seem all that appealing- we get that. Something that does seem appealing? Another great Zoho Books integration that makes the tax side of your small business seem like less of an obstacle: Avalara! 

With this handy integration, Zoho Books not only has your accounting under control, but you’ll be able to rest easy knowing you are sales tax-compliant! 

Growing your business takes a lot of time and energy; why not focus on what’s important while Zoho Books and Avalara take care of the nitty gritty money details? Makes perfect “cents” to us! (Don’t worry, that’s it for the puns for today.)

Cutest Couple 2022

If the accounting world had high school superlatives, Zoho Books and Avalara would 100% win the cutest couple title. Now you may think that’s a bit extreme, but hear us out!

First of all, Zoho books allows you to automate all your business’ accounting needs for a very fair rate. Invoices, reports, inventory-tracking– Zoho Books has a feature that covers just about anything you can think of.

However, one thing we are missing from this accounting equation: the expansive and mysterious world of sales and use taxes. (Does reading the word ‘taxes’ make you cringe? Because it sure did make us cringe as we wrote that.)

That’s where Avalara fits in perfectly: they offer cloud-based software that can help just about any size business remain tax-compliant. Whether small, midsize, or enterprise– your business doesn’t have to continually battle the confusion and overwhelm that taxes can cause. Struggling with keeping track of all the new regulations? Confused about the categories your business falls under? Avalara is built for businesses with questions just like these!

tax

Automation Is Always Your Friend

Sick of manually entering everything and doing the math yourself? Does it make you nervous to count on free applications and websites to take care of such an important task? Avalara is a great way to automate your sales tax situation while you focus on everything else that’s important! 

Plus, Avalara can truly be a ‘set it and forget it’ scenario, because they will add updates and automatically keep everything compliant no matter the random changes.

Avalara Has You Covered

Do resources on taxes often create more questions, rather than answering the ones you came there for? Don’t worry, it happens to us all the time. (It may have even happened to us as we wrote this very blog post…)

So, we’ve accumulated a list of things that we wanted more clarity on, and that Avalara just so happens to take care of for you:

Tax registration:

Did you know you have to register your business before collecting sales tax? Any state where you make sales, you have to register your business with that state. If it sounds like a hassle (and too much paperwork), that’s where Avalara steps in and not only simplifies the process, but makes sure you have registered in all the right states.

Exemptions:

Does your state offer tax exemption holidays? Do you know who qualifies as exempt? Does your product/service qualify for exemption? If you’re like us and don’t have time to worry about details like this, Avalara knows all the answers to these questions and more.

Updates and Changes:

Like we mentioned before, you won’t have to worry about any new laws or changes with Avalara around. They do all the research for you!

Jurisdiction:

Location is important when it comes to sales and use taxes. Do you understand your jurisdiction? Are you charging the right amount of taxes for your jurisdiction? Turns out your jurisdiction is way more than a zip code! Avalara can determine all of this for you (or confirm you have been doing it correctly).

Nexus:

If you conduct a certain type or amount of business in a given state, you have possibly created a nexus in that state. This means you must collect sales taxes and pay them what you collect. Even better, every state has different rules (yes, we’re serious). Sounds like we’ll let Avalara handle that potential nexus chaos! 

Industry Categories:

Does your business involve more than just straightforward retail? Are you unsure of how to proceed with sales taxes? Are you unsure if you even need to collect sales taxes? With things like short-term rentals, you may be missing some tax items, whereas you don’t have to worry about it under a marketplace facilitator like Etsy. Avalara will look at all these factors and determine what you need to consider!

Ecommerce:

If you run sales through your site and use an ecommerce solution like Shopify or Squarespace, you have to collect your own sales tax. Thankfully Avalara can seamlessly integrate with your ecommerce platform and make that way easier!

Avalara

The Perks Are Endless

Avalara is just one giant confidence boost for business owners, and that’s something we can get behind! Put your mind at ease and walk away feeling:

Avalara

Honestly, we keep thinking of more and more great things about the Zoho Books and Avalara duo, but we want to keep this short and sweet. Head on over and check out what options are a great fit for you and your business!

Brand Integrity and Why It’s Important 

Brand integrity: phew, what a complex and layered topic! We don’t blame you if a million things come to mind when you hear the word “brand”-- the same thing happens to us!

When it comes to developing a brand, there’s certainly some information overload. What does it mean? What should be focused on first? What are the rules? 

There’s no official handbook, but a kazillion blogs are trying to tell you the best approach. That’s why we aren’t here with a step-by-step how-to guide– we decided it would be much better to just let you know why brand integrity is so important. 

After all, you won’t be motivated to do the best you can if you don’t understand why you are doing it!

brand integrity

What is Brand Integrity?

Don’t worry, we aren’t giving you a boring textbook definition! In our opinion, brand integrity is something that happens when you stick with your values and authenticity– no matter the situation. It’s the basis of your reputation and the impression you leave initially (and going forward). 

Brand integrity shows up through how you face adversity. It shows within your reaction when your business doesn’t live up to expectations or promises. No business is perfect, and there’s no way every single customer will be pleased. However, it’s how you handle these bumps in the road that maintain your brand integrity.

In developing brand integrity, a business hones in on the target audience and sticks with a consistent message. If you lose track of your brand integrity, you risk losing a customer (or two). 

Brand Integrity Goes A Long Way

Let’s break down a few ways brand integrity impacts your business in the long run:

Customer Attraction

Even if customers are newly exposed to your brand, a lack of brand integrity will be obvious. 

Brand integrity will show up through a mission-focused, value-based approach. You will be able to easily relate to customers new and old. With a solid brand, it will be clear that you have identified what problems you can solve and what pain points you can address. 

Consistency is always going to be key. You won’t have to explain your brand or show your integrity– customers will easily be able to see it for themselves. 

Differentiating from the Competition

Brand integrity will make it a lot easier to differentiate yourself from others in your niche. It will naturally demonstrate your experience and what you’ve learned throughout your time in the business. 

It won’t always be the perfect picture, but imperfections display the strength of your brand integrity and how well you overcome challenges. 

Your unique story will also contribute to the strength of your brand integrity and seamlessly weave in and out of what your customers see. This will set you apart from other businesses that haven’t taken the time to establish a brand or emphasize their story. It will set you apart from those who don’t have a clear focus or consistently try to relate to their audience. 

Customer Retention 

Clearly, customer acquisition is important, as companies spend tons of money each year on this very thing. However, retention is just as important. It’s a lot cheaper and easier to keep customers coming back versus only focusing on new ones!

Your product/service will accomplish the main goal (hopefully), but ultimately the brand integrity is what creates the relationship with your customers. This relationship is what keeps them coming back and recommending you to their friends and family. The relationship built through your brand integrity is what cultivates trust and expectations. 

If you don’t focus on your brand and its integrity, you can lose out on many valuable relationships—which could lead to a loss of business!

brand integrity

The Building Blocks Of Brand Integrity

We’ve talked about what it is and why it’s important, but let's discuss the basics behind brand integrity:

Authenticity- Be upfront and honest. Show that your business sticks to its values and the commitment to its customers. Show the ups and the downs in running a business. Let your audience see the full picture and truly relate. Make it obvious that you aren’t hiding anything behind a facade.

Confidence-  Be transparent about limitations, but show confidence in your abilities and experience. Don’t hide adversities- put them on full display and show your audience how you handle issues. Persuade your audience that you know their pain points and are confident you can help. 

Customer-centered approach- You have to show that your business looks at the big picture and fixes the entire problem. You're not just out there to present a quick fix and make some cash. Your focus is on the customer experience and the promises you have made.

brand integrity

The Takeaway

We hope this leaves you with a better understanding of brand integrity and why it’s so important to the success of your business. It’s a different type of long-term investment that you might not have considered much before– an investment in your reputation and your customer relationships.

Spend the time and effort learning how to strengthen your brand integrity now and the outcomes will be more than worth it!

Want to find out how we can help you? Let’s chat.

What is the Aggregation of Marginal Gains?

Why Should it Matter to You?

You didn’t quit your 9-5 to start a business that is “just fine”. Let’s face it, you started up a business to serve a mission. To follow your passions, to make an impact, to set impressive goals and attain those goals.  

There’s a bit of fantasy behind every entrepreneurial venture, and the last thing we want to think about are the challenges and hard work between us and that dream. 

But what if we took a different look at the process? The pathway to success? What if instead of getting discouraged because we aren't seeing instant success or profit, we reanalyze the factors that got us here?

The Aggregation of Marginal Gains concept is not only a great concept to apply to our business mindsets, but also a great addition to our personal mindsets. It emphasizes the journey more than the end result. 

Time to take a deeper dive into this inspiring notion!

What’s the story behind Aggregation of Marginal Gains?

This may come as a surprise, but the Aggregation of Marginal Gains concept did not come from an entrepreneur, inventor, or economist. It did not come from an author or a professor. Nope– it came from a man named Dave Brailsford, the Performance Director/Cycling Coach for British cycling!

Aggregation of Marginal Gains
David Brailsford. Image: road.cc

After years of discouraging losses, David Brailsford stepped up for the British cycling team and started to dissect all the elements that may affect performance. Diets, bed pillows, van cleanliness– you name it, he analyzed it!

Brailsford then improved every one of these elements by 1%. His theory was that every small change can compound into long-term improvements and that incremental change would slowly lead to significant outcomes. 

Even though this may seem a bit meticulous, his theory proved valid: The team went on to win 7 Tours de France within 8 years and won 16 Olympic gold medals. (Pretty noteworthy results if you ask us!) 

Where does this concept fit into your life?

Basically, the Aggregation of Marginal Gains means it pays to focus on the smaller picture versus the big picture/end goal. Sometimes we can get distracted by the big picture and multiple ideas. Not only can this mentality be overwhelming, but it can be a huge time-waster. 

It makes sense to implement small, gradual changes instead of huge, quick changes. Continuous process improvement will pay off in the long run! This mindset is a lot more likely to keep you on track and headed toward an important achievement.

Aggregation of Marginal Gains

We have now seen this concept in a cycling example, but what about an example that pertains to more people? Don’t worry– there are a lot of ways marginal gains can be incorporated in your life, both personally and professionally!

Physical exercise is a great application of this concept, since a few minutes a day over a long period of time can bring great results.  Another application is journaling daily to improve mindfulness or listening to an educational podcast a few times a week. In terms of your business, you could try to automate an additional process each month or slowly change the structure of sales conversations or marketing approaches. The options are endless!

A few additional points to remember

In our research on this topic, there seemed to be a few additional points that deserve mentioning. After all, no concept can be blindly applied to absolutely every situation!

Be practical- The idea behind the Aggregation of Marginal Gains is the buildup of change over time. But guess what? If you run into obstacles or lose motivation, it can destroy any progress and delay the ultimate goal. 

It’s important to be able to stick with elements that you change or adapt. If you commit to running 5 miles a day when you don’t currently run, you are likely to lose momentum early on. If you set a more realistic goal, like running/walking for 30 minutes every other day, you are much more likely to see success. 

Consider marginal losses- Although this may sound negative, it really doesn’t have to be. Incorporating marginal losses means gradually cutting out habits that detract from your goals. For instance, eat out less or eliminate one unnecessary business expense each week. By losing one habit, you can gain momentum in a positive direction!

Define your focus- The Brailsford story makes it seem like you have to slowly improve everything, but that’s not exactly the case. If you try to focus on everything, it may end up being counterproductive! It’s totally okay to define factors that have a heavier impact and concentrate your focus on those things.

Business Goals

Let’s look at some more benefits behind this concept

Sure, the initial focus may have been on those gold medals, but what else can the Aggregation of Marginal Gains concept bring us (and our businesses)?

You may see a better team dynamic. Sometimes troubleshooting and working together on continuous improvements can be motivating for a team! 

You may see less of a focus on an end goal and more of a focus on the process. Attention may shift towards the impact of individual changes and valuable lessons learned along the way. 

You may discover a new definition of success. Rather than instant gratification or quick results, you achieved something that took long-term motivation and refining details/skill sets. 

The Takeaway

Small changes, major impacts! The Aggregation of Marginal Gains concept may initially serve a direct purpose, but it can also indirectly affect a myriad of other things. Where do you see this concept fitting into your life and business?

Contact us for a consultation!

4 Solid Reasons Zoho Books is Necessary for Your Business

It’s no mystery that the business world has moved more and more into the digital space. What is the point of having physical files and mile-long contact lists when you can access anything you need with one click? Companies like Zoho cater to this uptick in online solutions, supplying everything you could possibly need to run your business all in one place. With everything from website design to marketing support, Zoho places customizable and easy-to-use applications at your fingertips. 

As we head into the most wonderful time of the year (tax season), there’s no better time to talk about a Zoho solution that makes it all a little less painful: Zoho Books. Forget about your tax specialists, endless paper receipts, and financial paperwork– Zoho Books is your one-stop-shop for all things accounting. 

We’re All About Convenience 

Let’s face it. We live in a world where convenience is king. Lines, leaving the house, locating our keys - it all takes up time– and whatever allows us to spend more time on the couch binging Netflix is our friend! (Just know, if you would rather spend your free time working on your business, that’s okay with us, too.)

Online business solutions

Either way, there are a lot of great things about Zoho Books. In our opinion, the best thing is that it makes running your business so much easier. All the accounting aspects are handled, from inventory to banking. Zoho Books even has a convenient time-tracking feature that you would probably just use a separate application for!

Stay organized and virtually paperless. Save time on minor details and tasks that you can otherwise spend on growing your business. Allow Zoho Books to step in and take some inconvenient and time-sucking tasks off your plate! 

Take Communication to the Next Level

Zoho Books has a client portal that allows you to keep all client communication within one application. Send quotes, discuss estimates, and exchange feedback all in one place. Not only will this be a better experience for your clients, but it will keep your business running much more efficiently.

Even better, the client portal allows your clients to manage their own experiences. They can make payments, access invoices, and change personal details all without assistance from you. Not only is this incredibly convenient for them, but it saves multiple steps and mishaps on your end of things. It sounds like a great bargain to us!

Zoho Books

Eliminate the Stress of Tax Season

Avoid the pile of forms and the last-minute panic when you can’t find the paperwork you mysteriously misplaced three months ago. 

Zoho Books makes tax season a breeze, keeping up-to-date with IRS guidelines and ensuring your sales tax liability is in check. Access all the transactional documents you could possibly need with the click of a button. 

Zoho Books even takes the work out of hiring contractors and the tax season headaches that come with it. Soon you’ll be talking about a 1099 form like it was your college major! 

Before you know it, taxes will be taken care of and you might even be ready for the year ahead! 

Bigger Bang for Your Buck

Online business solutions

As we mentioned before, Zoho Books doesn’t come alone- it is a part of Zoho One, a group of over 40 other customizable applications that help out your business. On top of Zoho Books, you can utilize a wide range of marketing tools, collaboration-boosting applications, all your online business solutions and so much more. Why pay multiple other companies for the same services you can get under Zoho? 

Zoho applications and services are intended to fit your needs. They understand the importance of customized business solutions and don’t force you to purchase a one-size-fits-all package. Find everything you need in one place without overpaying for things you won't use.

Not only does Zoho One supply tons of online business solutions and tools, Zoho products (like Zoho Books)  have forums and other great resources where you can easily find the answers you need. Zoho has a great customer support system ready to answer any questions you may have, but you can also easily access experiences and tips from other users! 

Have We Convinced You Yet?

If the idea of creating accounting appointments or hunting down 7-month old documents puts a knot in your stomach, Zoho Books would be an excellent solution for you. Take the stress (and endless hours of wasted time) out of your accounting tasks– we know you have a million other important things on your to-do list! Let Zoho Books do the work for you. 

Book your free initial consultation today and we can tell you more about the wonders of Zoho Books! We’d also love to help you with anything else that could make your life as a business owner just a little easier.

Why Use the Leads Module at All?

Sure, it’s easier to focus on customers we have already acquired. We have them hooked; now, how do we keep them loyal and continuously coming back for more? 

However, customer retention is just one piece of the puzzle, and it’s beneficial to keep an eye on the whole process. Where did these customers come from? What piqued their interest in the first place? 

Leads

If companies don’t have any interest in leads and where they come from, they’re missing out on a whole wealth of information and opportunities. Not to mention, a company without a lead focus is severely squandering marketing potential!

So what are some more specific reasons you should be placing a more significant emphasis on leads? Well, it’s your lucky day– We have conveniently compiled some goodies for you!

What are Leads, Anyway?

Companies have to define who is interested in their product or service and then tailor their approach to cater to these people effectively. These people are considered leads and are then classified as potential customers. 

Leads are a way to hone in on what will most likely bring you business while allowing you to use resources more strategically. Sure, conversion is arguably the most crucial part of any business, but we can’t forget the beginning stages of lead generation!

If you’re looking for some more information, we happen to have a handy-dandy blog post all about leads right here!

Why Should We Focus on Leads?

Better Analyze Marketing ROI

lead generation

Once a lead converts into a sale, it integrates with the sales team and their process. A conversion will then hopefully become a consistent customer, and that is, of course, the main goal for a company! 

However, what came before the conversion? The many efforts from the marketing team! Every company invests in a certain level of marketing, and how do you know if it’s money and time well spent if there’s no analysis of this process? 

Applications like Zoho’s Page Sense can measure website metrics, better understand site visitors, and create a more personalized experience for these visitors. It takes a look at CTA clicks, heatmaps, and overall engagement on the website. From these metrics, companies can get a better handle on leads and understand where conversions are originating. 

Page Sense also integrates with other applications that analyze site performance, like Google Analytics. This way, companies have an even more thorough perspective on website metrics! 

The bottom line? An application like Page Sense can help your company analyze its lead process and areas that need more focus. With this comes a better understanding of marketing ROI– and it may even highlight areas where marketing budgets can save some cash!

Optimize What You Already Have

Again, there’s a lot of lead-up to a sales conversion. (See what we did there?) Marketing approaches like email, social media, and landing pages are all elements that prompt a potential customer to engage and seek more information. 

lead generation

A leading player in the lead generation process is, of course, your landing page. An excellent landing page provides direction for a potential customer and hopefully entices them to sign-up for something/volunteer information. Zoho’s LandingPage feature is a great way to optimize your landing page by taking a look at page and visitor statistics and allowing you to A/B test different content.

Zoho also has other marketing applications that can help optimize your email and social media campaigns. What better way to generate leads than consistently showing up in inboxes and on social feeds? Zoho can help you be just persistent enough to intrigue potential leads without making them want to chuck their phones at you.

Build a More Efficient Process

A great way to save time and money in our marketing ventures? Automating what can be automated. Zoho’s Marketing Automation option does just that, giving you a 360 view of your marketing process. Take a step back and analyze aspects like the planning stage and marketing ROI, along with every detail in between.

Marketing Automation emphasizes complete lead management and the best way to approach it. It analyzes lead nurturing paths, allowing companies to tailor different lead process elements. 

Upfront, it will take some time and energy to get it right. Once you gain some momentum, however, applications like this will be saving you a reasonable amount of time and money. Spending some extra time on leads and process automation now can mean more time to spend on everything else later!

Wrapping Up

Have we convinced you yet? Leads are not precisely something a successful company can skip!

The good news is that if you are overwhelmed by lead generation and where exactly to start, there are many resources out there to help make the process a little easier. Not to mention, Woggle is always here to help get you started with Zoho and the applications that will suit your specific needs!

5 Reasons to Hire a Zoho Consultant

Let’s take a journey back in time. Before wifi and social media. Before YouTube tutorials and the “there’s an app for that” mantra. How did businesses cope? How did they troubleshoot problems? Well, since they couldn’t always Google the solution, they had to rely on professional connections and resources. They had to seek help outside the company or hire staff that could handle these problems. Much like today, no single business could do it all themselves!

Who’s Going to Help Me?!

Zoho Consultant

That’s where services like Zoho step in. Zoho is more than a CRM- they have an application for anything you could possibly need. They have created more than 45 apps for your business to utilize! Need help with recruiting new employees or scheduling current ones? They have an application for that. Need help building forms or managing social media? Zoho has an application for that!

Imagine you are a business owner. You look down at your phone one day and among Candy Crush Saga and your weather application, you suddenly notice 45 additional Zoho apps. Where would you begin? Would you be overwhelmed? Personally, we would probably panic-delete everything.

Zoho is a perfect all-in-one solution for any business, but where’s the best place to start? This exact question is why Zoho consultants exist: to assist businesses with effectively using the services they purchase. Consultants take the overwhelm out of the process, while allowing business owners the chance to focus on whatever else they need to. 

Although taking away some stress and overwhelm is a great reason on it’s own, we’ve compiled 5 more reasons to consider a Zoho consultant!

Valuable Expertise

Zoho Consultant

Consider your company and the amount of people who have been hired. How many of them walk in and get straight to work? Skip the training, they’ve got it! Probably doesn’t happen much (if at all) does it? 

Zoho consultants are no different. They aren’t your run of the mill helpline- they have been specially trained to handle your situation and identify what your business needs from Zoho. Consultants have the expertise to tell you what software you need and what you can skip. They have the capability to guide your business in the right direction, while saving you from getting bogged down with small details.

Experience and Insight

Zoho Consultant

Zoho consultants have worked with many businesses. On top of being trained, they have the experience to back-up their suggestions. It is entirely possible that they have worked with a business similar to your’s in the past- whether it was the same size, same industry or encountered the same types of challenges. 

They can guide you away from making mistakes other companies have made and give you valuable insight into what they’ve seen work! You’re paying for Zoho, why not invest in someone who truly understands how to use it?

True Customization

As you may know, Zoho is not just a one-time, one-package deal. You don’t get stuck with software you’ll never use or services that don’t make sense for your business. You can truly customize what you get and tailor your experience to your business needs. Consultants cater to this- they get to know your business and evaluate what pieces of Zoho would work best for you. 

On your own, you may have a general idea about what you need, but you might forget about a few details or not realize all the types of applications available. A consultant can help you make the best customization decisions!

Efficient and Effective

Alas, the question that always shows its ugly head: Who has time for this? And honestly, no one in your company (especially you) has the time to sit down and thoroughly research anything, let alone research 45+ Zoho applications. Plus, there’s rarely (especially in the current workforce climate) a person within your company to delegate this task to! So, who does have time for this? A Zoho consultant, of course!

Zoho Consultant

Consultants can get to know your business and then put together a plan without you having to stress over it. This gives the opportunity to focus on whatever else you need to focus on. After all, when running a small business, there’s no shortage of problems to fix and issues to consider, right? Fitting Zoho into your business should be a helpful advantage, not another item on your to-do list. 

There When You Need Them

At what stage do you need a Zoho consultant? There’s no right or wrong answer here! It would be helpful to have their expertise from the beginning, but they will join you mid-process as well. Consultants don’t dictate when they can help- you have the ultimate say! 

They also stick with you through your business journey. There’s no time constraints, which means one less thing to worry about. If you have questions months after they get you set-up with Zoho, your consultant will still be willing to find answers for you! 

Wrapping Up

Choosing where to spend your time and money is a daunting task. There’s no completely straightforward or risk-free business plan in existence But the one thing that’s alway beneficial? Some solid, old-fashioned expertise. Consider hiring a consultant so you can get the most out of the wonderful things Zoho has to offer! After all, one less thing on your plate is never a bad thing!

How to Implement Some Snazzy Philosophy to Make Your Work Team Stronger

Hanlon’s Razor

When you’ve heard the term “Hanlon’s Razor” in the past, have you ever wondered what it means? Did you think beyond the definition and consider how it could apply to your life? Ever wonder why on earth an old adage would involve the word razor? Did you think it was the name of an actual razor product? (We promise not to tell anyone your answers to these questions!)

Throughout philosophical history, the word razor has been utilized to convey “shaving off” details and “cutting down” convoluted logic. Philosophical razors “shave” things down to the essentials to better understand the issue at hand. It doesn’t stop with Hanlon’s Razor- other adages like Hume’s Razor and Grice’s Razor use the word razor in the same fashion. 

What Exactly is Hanlon’s Razor?

Hanlon’s Razor is an adage telling us to “never attribute to malice, that which can be adequately explained by stupidity”. So basically, don’t jump to conclusions about why a person did something. Consider what other factors could have contributed to their actions and assume they didn’t do it to be hateful or vindictive. 

The adage is a reminder to take a step back and view experiences through an objective lens. You won’t always have an explanation for why things happen, and the assumption that you can explain the why behind everything is a waste of time. Not only is it a waste of time, but it’s a negative mindset to keep. 

Humans are quick to be cynical and make an occurrence all about them. When, in reality, people do things all the time that have no malicious intent. Instead, there may be a little ignorance or incompetence behind their actions.

Some Quick Examples of Hanlon’s Razor

Carla’s Perspective: Carla doesn’t receive a birthday gift or birthday phone call from her co-worker, Jessica. Clearly, Jessica is mad at Carla for not bringing cookies to the team potluck. 

Hanlon’s Razor Reality: Jessica is not mad at Carla. Jessica’s child became sick and had to be picked up from school and taken to the doctor. Jessica simply forgot about Carla’s birthday because of the crazy events that day. 

Gary’s Perspective: Gary has sent three emails to his client with no reply. Clearly, they have moved on to another company and don’t want to say anything to him.

Hanlon’s Razor Reality: Gary’s client is not betraying him. The client’s partner is out on maternity leave, and their administrative assistant just resigned, so things have been more hectic than usual. Gary has been inadvertently pushed further down on the priority list. 

The main point of Hanlon’s Razor is that we can’t always assume people are out to get us. The reason something happens may not involve us at all! It pays to consider the less harmful possibilities for why something happened. Just remember to think:  Did it really happen to us? Or did it just happen to affect us?

So How Can Hanlon’s Razor Improve a Team?

Ok, we’ll stop taking you down the philosophical rabbit hole. Instead, we’d love to chat about how Hanlon’s Razor can ultimately be applied in everyday life- particularly to improve work relationships and team dynamics. 

Hanlon’s Razor

Although Hanlon’s Razor is not a physical product or step-by-step guide, the concept can help build a better and more supportive work team. Application of this concept can:

Cut down on internal conflict- In this case, when we say internal, we mean within a team. There would be no automatic assumption that our co-workers or superiors are out to get us. Instead, we would assume the best. There would be no made-up problems causing teammates not to get along. Less conflict within the team = more time to be productive.

Shift the team dynamic (in a positive direction)- Not assuming the worst in people can build trust. Changing your outlook on your teammates will help develop a more positive work relationship, leading to a more productive environment. Trust leads to better teamwork and ultimately better collaboration.

Normalize a more objective lens- How often do we hear someone say to look at the big picture or focus on the long-term goal? It doesn’t pay to get caught up in small, momentary details. Achieving goals does not entail creating unnecessary obstacles along the way. Using an objective lens in life (and more specifically at work) can eliminate overly emotional decisions. Instead of focusing on hurt feelings or malicious intentions, Hanlon’s Razor encourages us to focus on the facts and relevant information.  Making a decision from a level-headed mindset and a clear perspective will create much better team outcomes. 

The Takeaway

Hanlon’s Razor

It’s safe to say we are all guilty of assuming the worst at one point or another. There are very few humans (if any) capable of living their lives without negative assumptions or worrying about small things. 

Just remember to stop and think: Is this situation truly all about me? What other factors could be contributing to the actions of my co-worker? Does my boss have other things (maybe outside of work) causing her stress right now?

Don’t get caught in the crosshairs of a negative mindset and dramatic assumptions! Shave down the details and simplify your life (and work life)!  Cut back on jumping to conclusions and contribute to a better team dynamic! If you do this, we’ll promise to stop with the hair/razor puns.

Tips on How to Take Your Idea and Put It Into Action (Part 2)

Furthering the transition from idea to startup

The entrepreneurial journey can be a bit of a rollercoaster: you can go from inspired and excited to overwhelmed and tired within a matter of seconds. Hopefully, part one was able to help you narrow down your ideas and give you a feel for the next steps. If you get overwhelmed and confused, it may be a sign to step back and take a deep breath- maybe you just need to work out a slight kink in the plan!

entrepreneurial idea

What is your worst fear with bringing your great entrepreneurial idea forward? For many, that fear is failure. The best way to avoid failure is to take your time and doing your research. 30% of startup failures involve selecting the wrong entrepreneurial idea! But thankfully, this doesn’t just mean your idea is terrible- it just means you need to think things completely through and avoid skipping steps. If one angle doesn’t seem ideal after some market research, pivot and try a different angle!

So, we have decided on an entrepreneurial idea and researched it thoroughly. Now we need to work on making the vision a reality!

Start to build the business model

Business location- Time to consider where you will be operating your startup!

✓Do you need a physical space to run your business? Or can it be conducted virtually? If you require a physical space, is it a storefront or office? How big of a space would be optimal? 

✓ Where are you planning to locate your business? If you do everything online, there’s no need to worry about this aspect. But if you have a physical store or office, do you want it in a downtown area? An area with less traffic? Do you need a location with room to expand eventually? 

Basic needs- Let’s consider some of the things your business won’t be able to start without having.

✓ Are you a product or service? How will customers buy from you? Will you need an eCommerce site? Shopify is an easy eCommerce solution- they guide you through everything and make it incredibly simple for customers to buy from your shop. It’s okay if you don’t know where to begin because they have themes and built-in tools to help create the site of your business dreams! Otherwise, you may need a custom-built website or build your own on services like Wix or Squarespace. 

✓ Can you do everything by yourself? Will you need to hire employees? If you need more people, how many would be reasonable at first? Where will you look to find and hire these employees? What would be their role/title? 

Consider your marketing approach

entrepreneurial idea

You need to think about how to communicate with customers and how to spread the word about your business:

 ✓ Establish your target audience. We hit on this in our previous blog post, but it’s a key element to successfully implementing your entrepreneurial idea.  Who are you trying to reach? Consider age, sex, interests, location, and income. Who is looking to buy your product or service? Where do they go online, or do they even frequently use a computer? Narrowing down a target audience is essential for deciding what tools you use and spend money and time on. 

✓Will your product/service translate on Instagram? Is a Facebook page necessary? Is your primary audience more likely to be on LinkedIn? Consider where social media fits into your marketing strategy. This is one aspect where identifying a target audience comes into play- LinkedIn and Facebook generally attract an older demographic. At the same time, Pinterest users tend to be predominantly women in their 30’s or older.  Will all the platforms be beneficial to include in your strategy? Will you start with one platform and eventually build to 3 or 4?

✓Do you need to allocate money for advertising? Maybe you will consider a mainly free marketing route, like social media. At what point might you start paying for ads, and what will you use to run ads? 

✓ Email is a great way to communicate with customers- whether it be a newsletter or an order follow-up. Interesting fact: Shopify will email shoppers reminders about returning to abandoned carts and completing their order (one less thing you have to worry about)! No matter the approach, an email marketing campaign is a popular and super effective way to stay in touch with customers!

Let’s talk money

business market research

Costs- Ok, we’re starting this business to make some cash, right? Unfortunately, you do have to spend some money to make money. What do you think it will cost to implement your idea and get your startup, well, started? List out all the possible costs you can think of- both upfront costs and costs to maintain the business. Will you have to put money into manufacturing or research and development? Use this post (and part 1) to consider other potential costs you may not have considered! 

Financing- How will you pay for your new business? There are a few options, like crowdfunding or small business loans. Fun fact- small banks approve roughly 48.7% of small business loans, compared to only 23.7% being approved by big banks! For a loan, you’ll have to have good personal credit and a solid business plan. Shopify has a helpful article about creating an ideal business plan https://www.shopify.com/blog/business-plan. 

You have learned well, baby entrepreneur.

We hope this series gets your creative juices flowing and helps you start making your idea a reality. And just remember that Woggle will always be available to lend you some business advice, some needed guidance, or a hug…(Ok, maybe forget that last part)