Make Filing Taxes Simple This Year With BenchTax

My Post - 2020-02-17T173557.428.pngWant to hand off the heavy lifting this tax season? Our bookkeeping partners at Bench have a solution: BenchTax. It’ll take care of your taxes, from start to finish.

Tax season is the most dreaded time of the year for many small business owners. In addition to managing a full load of work that you actually love to do, you’ve got to find time to untangle, organize and manage financial documents—and figure out how and what to do with them.

Do you ever wish a fairy godmother would swoop in and take care of tax time?

Our partners at Bench are here to help with BenchTax. It’s a tool that handles tax filing for you, from start to finish.

What is BenchTax?

Available to existing Bench bookkeeping clients, BenchTax is a new way to file taxes that’s streamlined, affordable and fast. A tax expert will take your Bench books, any additional financial documents, make sense of them, prepare them and file them using TaxFyle, an on-demand tax filing service.

BenchTax is only available to U.S. Bench clients already working with a Bench Bookkeeper.

How Does It Work?

There are 3 steps to getting your taxes sorted out and filed, easily and painlessly:

  1. Bench collects a few tax documents from you to set up a BenchTax account.
  2. Once your books are complete come tax time, your Bench bookkeeper will connect you with a TaxFyle expert who will work on your return.
  3. When the return is complete, Bench will reach out to you to get an “all clear” and then file taxes on your behalf through TaxFyle. Funds can also be pulled directly from your account to pay for any applicable taxes, so you don’t even have to worry about paying Uncle Sam.

Just like FreshBooks makes life easy for your day-to-day accounting, BenchTax provides a simple and efficient way to take the weight of tax time off your shoulders.

Wait, What if My Books Aren’t Up to Date?

Don’t panic if you’ve been neglecting your books! Bench also offers catch up bookkeeping services. They’ll pair you with an expert bookkeeper to get everything current and organized so you can file fast.

As part of the process, Bench will send a financial package for each year of catch up. It’ll include every document you need to get organized and ready to file.

If you’re worried that you left it to the last minute, that’s not necessarily a deal-breaker! You can always file an extension to avoid penalties, while Bench quickly completes months of overdue bookkeeping for your business. They can even help you out if you have missing documents or messy records. Their bookkeeping wizards are not intimidated by months (or years!) of tough bookkeeping.

How Does BenchTax Work with FreshBooks?

You can still do everything you love in FreshBooks (like invoicing, collecting payments, tracking time and expenses, etc.) but you have the option to add a virtual bookkeeper from Bench to your team. They can keep your books in order all year round and you have the option to add BenchTax to your toolbox to help you with tax filing. – Read more

5 Ways Cloud ERP Cures Furniture Retailers’ Biggest Headaches

My Post - 2020-02-17T172430.547.pngWith annual revenues of about $114 billion, the U.S. retail furniture market has been on a steady growth curve over the past few years. Driven by a strong national economy, the industry is seeing healthy growth in its ecommerce sales as furniture shopping becomes increasingly popular among millennials.

The furniture industry is also facing its fair share of challenges. For example, delivering an omnichannel experience has become an imperative and online furniture retailers are eating away at brick-and-mortar profits. Historically focused on getting a certain number of people through their front doors, and then converting about 25% of them into paying customers, retail furniture stores have also watched that foot traffic dwindle over the past two decades.

“Closing percentages have gone up,” said Rich Rotman, Senior Solutions Consultant at 5-Star NetSuite Provider Centium Consulting, Inc., “but traffic has plummeted.”

These realities have created both concern and panic for furniture retailers, many of which are beginning to develop their first ecommerce storefronts.

Making the Move to the Cloud 

Working with furniture retailers whose annual revenues range from $20 million to $500 million, the Centium team sees firsthand the obstacles these organizations face in the race to digitize their operations and serve their online customers. Exacerbating the challenges is a workforce where salespeople aren’t generally tech-savvy, and where customer databases are both outdated and stored in on-premises, legacy systems.

To overcome these obstacles, furniture retailers not only need robust, engaging ecommerce storefronts, they also need unified cloud technology systems that integrate well with other applications. Learn more by downloading the Centium kit.

“The industry as a whole has been dogged by legacy applications,” said

Brian Denham, Centium’s President. “It’s also using applications with industry-specific functionalities, with the end result being a lot of information silos and systems that don’t ‘talk’ to one another.”

These siloed systems can create major bottlenecks for furniture retailers. For example, Centium recently worked with one company that couldn’t even extract simple cashflow statements from its stores.

“They can’t even figure out their cash position, which is pretty unbelievable in this day and age,” said Denham. “The company’s applications are so siloed that even getting this very basic level of information is impossible.”

5 Ways Cloud ERP Supports Furniture Retailers 

An industry where everything from purchasing to ordering to managing salesperson commissions is handled manually, the furniture industry is ripe for automation. Here are some of the biggest advantages that retailers gain by implementing NetSuite’s cloud ERP:

  1. Effectively manage stackable promotions. With NetSuite’s built-in functionality, the retail furniture industry can more effectively manage stackable promotions—those that include a certain product, a financing deal and free shipping, for example—which are extremely popular among furniture buyers. “Most software platforms can’t handle two promotions at the same time,” said Rotman, “let alone three or four.” NetSuite can easily work with multiple offers being applied to the same customer order.
  2. Take off the legacy system handcuffs. “We’re at a point where these companies really need to evolve, and their legacy systems are keeping them stuck in a box,” Rotman said. “The great thing about NetSuite is it allows you to evolve your business without being handcuffed. If you want to change your business model, alter the way you do things, or move from being a special-order retailer to one that holds more inventory, NetSuite can handle it all for you.”
  3. Manage multiple commission structures. Centium recently worked with a furniture retailer that used roughly 25 different commissions across multiple sales forces. All of those allocations and distributions were handled manually—a process that ate up time, money and valuable human resources. That company has since automated the process using the standard version of NetSuite, versus a customized solution that might have cost tens of thousands of dollars.
  4. Print and change merchandise tags on the fly. The cloud ERP system also features saved searches, customized templates and scheduling capabilities that allow furniture retailers to more readily print up merchandise tags for its showroom products. It also enables quick switching up of those tags when, say, a holiday promotion kicks in. “This is a feature that many retailers don’t catch onto until after the ERP has been implemented,” said Rotman, “and it’s a nice surprise for anyone who was handling the process manually.”
  5. Provide a better customer experience. Operating in an industry where a good customer experience is paramount—and where the nearest competitor is now just a single screen tap or mouse click away—furniture retailers also need good customer case management capabilities. “With NetSuite,” said Rotman, “retailers can customize their customer support to provide a much better experience than they ever could with a legacy system.”

– Read more

Learn More About Netsuite Here

Top 6 SaaS marketing strategies to improve lead generation

My Post - 2020-02-13T163643.839.pngGenerate More Leads with these 6 SaaS Marketing Strategies

Learn how SaaS marketing strategies including, email marketing, content marketing, online quizzes, referrals, influencers and free premiums can boost lead generation.

Modern SaaS businesses are facing a real challenge when it comes to generating more leads. It’s more affordable to reach new audiences than to invest in retaining old ones.

While this may be so for well-organized businesses, startups have little to no benefit to gain from this strategy.

Startups have to make things work in a fiercely competitive SaaS environment.

Improving lead generation becomes a top priority, especially if your consumer pool includes only your closest collaborators, partners, and friends.

This article outlines 6 SaaS marketing strategies that put together growth-hacking and cost-efficient digital marketing to help organizations grow their consumer base.

Some of the most successful SaaS brands used these strategies to become what they are today.

1. Email marketing campaigns

Email is one of the best ways to distribute content.

In fact, it’s so effective that 93% of marketers use it, while 59% say that email marketing campaigns are one of the best ways to increase ROI.

Selling software as a service is quite a challenge when your main consumers aren’t software professionals.

Email is a very effective way to cater to the average consumer as your ideal buyer persona. It’s a fantastic customer retention tool businesses can use to retarget and nurture the consumers.

The fact that it’s mostly automatic and inexpensive makes it even more promising.

Businesses use email marketing campaigns for many purposes, such as:

  • To introduce a brand
  • Promote products and services
  • To improve communication
  • To know what’s working and what’s not
  • Get qualified leads

Email marketing campaigns target both new and old consumers in a personalized way. It’s a sign of appreciation of consumer loyalty, and it shows how a business treats customers daily.

Companies should also pay special attention to click-through rates to see how well consumers respond to email campaigns.

2. Content marketing

Content caters to the most critical aspects of a business’ operations – customer interaction.

That’s why lead generation and modern marketing depend on engaging content to drive sales.

It also introduces convincing CTAs, making content marketing one of the most effective ways of attracting new consumers.

Interactive technologies are getting better all the time, and this makes the expectations of modern consumers increase.

Content marketing provides one of the ways to cope with these expectations.

Aside from being effective at generating leads, this SaaS strategy also offers lots of other benefits:

  • Content can be used to improve customer retention,
  • Content can always be repurposed to convey how a business can meet the needs of its consumers
  • It can also help them identify their needs in the first place if the consumer is facing a problem.

All of these reasons should be enough to make your content marketing ten times better than any other that can currently be found online.

The main goal of content marketing is to provide real value to your customers. It has to be reusable, shareable, and instantly engaging.

That requires creativity, effort, and time which should go towards making content marketing effective enough to turn visitors into leads, leads into customers and customers into loyalists.

Now effective content marketing is all about:

  • your writing style,
  • choice of topic, and
  • form of content.

To get an idea about these elements, a business has to know

  • who the ideal buyer is,
  • what their interests and preferences are,
  • how they want their content consumed (video/audio/text)
  • where they seek information

3. Create an Online Quiz

To generate a lead means to capture consumer’s attention the moment they decide to subscribe to a drip or email newsletter campaign.

Now, this has to be done convincingly and to produce engagement.

SaaS brands can effectively grab the attention of all online visitors and push them in the right direction by using lead quizzes.

Marketing executives can quickly create an online quiz using a quiz generator to boost the initial excitement and engagement of online visitors and convince them to subscribe to their email list.

Lead quizzes are a great way to make meaningful content offers.

Such quizzes are much more engaging than any other ordinary subscription form. They are also a great lead generation tool that reveals consumer behavior, intent, and personal info.

4. Referrals

Referrals generate more qualified leads than any other marketing channel. They help increase conversion rates and offer more value to SaaS brands.

They are also an extremely effective way to attract new audiences as most people tend to buy more from brands they trust.

Word of mouth is still the most effective way to promote a brand, even in this digital age. The best way to use referrals to generate leads is to combine them with your SaaS marketing.

In fact, most well-established brands such as Google, Uber and Tesla use this strategy to acquire new leads without investing a dime.

5. Influencers

Including influencers in your SaaS marketing strategy is an excellent way to reach wider audiences and extend your reach beyond your usual market.

Influencer marketing has become a very popular way of marketing your business as this strategy excels at recommending your brand, products, and services to a new pair of ears.

In the world of blogs, websites, and social media platforms, influencers are called that because they have the power to influence internet users.

People trust other people when it comes to brand recommendations.

Influencers have millions of followers who trust them. These numbers give them huge credibility that businesses can use to influence the buying decisions of their target audiences.

6. Free premiums

SaaS brands build their businesses on offering free software premiums.

It’s a very popular marketing model that has proven to be one of the most effective lead generation strategies for SaaS startups.

The trick is to find a middle ground, not to offer too much or too little.

It’s also important to make sure that your products are of the highest quality so that your consumers really want to buy them.

And that’s despite the fact that people can use these products for free for a limited trial period. Limit your free trial periods to capture your potential prospects and grab their attention.

A good thing about free premiums is that you’ll get plenty of reviews and subscriptions.

You can use this feedback to improve your offer and expand it so that your subscribers become your loyal customers.

Conclusion

Know your audience well, and never be afraid of expanding your creative potential.

Take your time to devise the most effective SaaS marketing approach that will work according to your exact business needs.

The right combination of strategies will help you attract more consumers while keeping the old ones happy.

Make sure that you put in the extra effort to keep your audience engaged and up to date with all the latest news about your brand, business, and industry.

Finally, convince them that you’re an expert in your business niche to gain their trust.

Author Bio
Angela White is an ed-tech enthusiast with a passion for writing for the consumer market in the areas of product research and marketing using quizzes and surveys. Having a knack for writing and an editorial mindset, she is an expert researcher at a brand that’s known for creating delightfully smart tools such as ProProfs Quiz Maker.

Learn More About ProProfs Here