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6 Best CRM Software For Small Business in 2022

best CRM software
best CRM software

If you are a business owner of a small firm and you’re attempting to replicate Customer Relationship Management (CRM) capabilities on a large spreadsheet, you’ve undoubtedly already noticed how unmanageable this is. CRM software solutions are more user-friendly, and they accomplish much more than simply storing customer and contact details.

Business growth during the Covid-19 pandemic has been a challenge for some. However, the global outbreak had contributed to CRM software expansion. With more people working at home, running business and projects from home offices, or completing purchases online, communication between staff and customers become more critical. CRM software solutions addressed this issue by providing structured record-keeping services and efficient product tracking systems.

According to ResearchAndMarkets.com’s Customer Relationship Management Market Size, Share, and Trends Analysis Report, the global CRM market will reach USD 157.6 billion by 2030. The ongoing desire for creative solutions to analyze customer data, collate vital customer data, and translate it into a more personalized client experience strategy drives CRM solutions across all business sizes.

CRM software is quickly becoming a thing across businesses around the world. The growth of this sector of digital business tools has grown rapidly, making the case for becoming the next staple in any company operation.

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What is a CRM?

What is a CRM and what does it do? A CRM software, or customer relationship management tool, organizes contacts and facilitates communication with prospective buyers and consumers.. If you’re working with a client, you’ll know how often companies drop the ball on prospects and leads. A CRM does a great job of tracking these leads, nurturing them, and turning them into long-term customers.

Additionally, the top small business CRM software solutions provide a unified platform for managing and collaborating on sales, marketing, and administrative activities, while enabling teams to automate specific processes to boost efficiency.

CRM software usage is increasing. According to Fortune Business Insights, CRM technology is expected to achieve a value of $128.97 billion by 2028, reflecting a 12.1% CAGR over the next seven years. As the field matures, more small firms are considering whether they should invest in CRM software solutions.

Why Use a CRM?

Currently, 91% of companies with more than 10 staff use a CRM. But why do companies use them in the first place? There are various benefits to using a CRM tool in your operation. These are some of the standout ones.

Efficiency

An efficient business is always better performing, whether that’s in sales, marketing, customer service, or others. A CRM platform provides all the tools necessary to run a sales funnel and drive more business growth while cutting on lead time and expenses. CRMs are truly an investment if implemented well in an organization. One study shows that every dollar invested into a CRM could result in up to $8.71 in returns.

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Follow-through

So let’s say you have an ecommerce website that gets tons of traffic. Chances are that only a small fraction of those visitors will become clients. Conversion rates in online sales can go anywhere between 2 to 3% average. Imagine if you could increase that rate by just one percent. It would help improve revenue drastically. One way to improve conversion rates is to improve follow-through—ensuring no lead gets ignored. CRMs help build better follow-through by tracking conversations with clients, setting automations, and building task management systems, ensuring that sales staff take care of every lead that comes in.

Collaboration

The best CRM isn’t only a great tool for the individual. It helps improve collaboration amongst teams.

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Most CRM software solutions are cloud-based, meaning anyone can access it anytime and anywhere. With an online CRM, sales reps can collaborate on customers or leads that come through their system. Moreover, sales teams can coordinate with onboarding staff, customer service representatives, and marketing teams to improve campaigns that a company might run to generate more prospects and turn them into loyal clients.

There are many other benefits to using CRM tools, of course, but these are the popular ones that have convinced organizations that they are worth the effort.

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Best CRM Systems Today

When selecting the best CRM software for small business, there are numerous facets to consider, including pricing and features your business needs.

While each business has unique needs, the best CRM software solutions should assist you in managing your existing and prospective clients and enable actual growth.

Here are the five of the best CRM software for small business in 2022 that you can consider helping you achieve your business goals.

Hubspot

HubSpot is the best CRM software for companies seeking an affordable entry point. The company has become synonymous with digital marketing and business. Hubspot has a wide range of CRM capabilities, including a contact management solution, a deals pipeline, and various integrations to social media channels, websites, and email accounts to handle any inbound marketing.

HubSpot is quite simple to use and offers sales, marketing, and service hubs. This gives you a plethora of tools for managing the client journey effectively.

HubSpot includes a mobile app for Android and iPhone, contact management, real-time notifications, email templates, phone calls, scheduling, and email tracking, among other things.

Integrating small business CRM software with other business applications is critical. HubSpot integrates with over 300 applications and services, including Mailchimp, the industry’s leading email marketing provider and lead-generating tool.

Hubspot is also a great solution for customer service as it has an efficient ticketing system. There’s also a social media scheduling tool, email marketing service, and landing page builder for marketing teams that want to drive more traffic into their funnels.

HubSpot provides a free basic version and has complimentary plans for its CRM software solutions, sales, marketing, and customer service centers. To access additional capabilities, you can upgrade your subscription plan, which starts from $45 per month for one user.

Pricing: There is a free account on Hubspot. Various plans are available for teams, starting at $45 a month.

Salesforce

Salesforce is a renowned name in the CRM industry, and for a solid reason. It’s a great option for growing small enterprises that require CRM software solutions that scale with them. Salesforce is brimming with features, yet its straightforward interface makes it accessible to users of any technical ability.

Customizable reports and live dashboard updates guarantee sales specialists always have the most updated data, and case management forwarding enables team members to escalate or move matters to other teams quickly.

Contact management is the top feature business executives look for in a CRM, with 94% saying it’s a need in their system of choice. So it’s natural that Salesforce, just like Hubspot and virtually every option on this list, will excel in that area too.

Salesforce is great for teams that want a full suite for maximum staff collaboration. The contact manager tracks all potential client information, including past discussions, communications, social mentions, and activity history.

As your business expands, you may upgrade your plan to gain additional capabilities, such as automated lead scoring and collective prediction for cross-team strategy improvement. Easily handle a growing client base or product range with tools for creating product catalogs, estimates, agreements, and sales orders.

Salesforce cost varies significantly depending on the purpose of its use. Plans range in price from $25 per user a month for basic sales and customer service plans.

Pricing: There’s a free trial, then you pay $25 a month and up for a full suite for up to ten users.

Pipedrive

Pipedrive is another option that has been excelling in the CRM space over the past few years. One of its top selling points is the simplicity of the system. It has less clutter than the former options above. But that does not mean that it doesn’t have as many features.

This CRM tool assists small firms with managing the sales process following lead generation. It’s been developed to increase sales without being overly hard to use, making it extremely simple to set up and master.

The tool clearly provides an overview of sales performance and helps teams focus on important deals. Some of Pipedrive’s key features include timeline views, simple data importing, sales reports, a contact history, integrations to your email provider, and so on. There has also been an email blasting service in the works.

Pipedrive provides 24/7 email and chat support to all tiers and a collection of articles and a searchable FAQs section, community forum, and training school (a compilation of demos, videos, and courses). The Enterprise tier upgrade adds phone support to the active email and chat assistance.

A small business owner can try Pipedrive for free to determine its compatibility. Following that, rates begin at $12.50 per user per month for the Essential plan.

Pricing: 30-day free trial, then $10 a month per user after that

monday.com

monday.com might be one of the newest names on the list. It’s not primarily marketed as a CRM tool, but a project management solution. But it does give companies an efficient way to track, automate, and streamline the sales process. One great thing about monday.com is how easy it is to customize dashboards and workflows.

Because monday.com is also a great project management tool, it has an edge in terms of internal operations, such as assigning deals to staff within operations. The platform has a wide range of automations that users can easily create and manage to ensure sales funnels run like clockwork.

Pricing: Individual plan for 2 people is free; then it goes to $8/seat and higher.

Freshworks

Freshworks is an excellent option for sales specialist who receives and makes a high volume of calls and want CRM software solutions to capture the data produced by those calls. You can link your current phone number to the CRM system or buy another toll-free number from over 90 countries with a single click.

Call recording, conference calling, call transfer, and a widget that lets you make calls directly from Freshworks’ sales page are built-in phone attributes. To enhance the client experience, you can arrange extensions for fast call forwarding and personalize ringtones that callers will hear before answering the phone.

Phone-tree messages and customized welcomes complete the customization and branding opportunities that help make doing business with you a pleasurable experience for your clients.

Freshworks provides extensive assistance for sales conversations and customer touchpoints, including deal and account administration, email synchronization, and list segmentation. Site visitor activity monitoring is also included so clients can evaluate how to use their sites as a customer magnet and improve conversion.

Pricing: Available for a monthly fee ranging from free to $83 a month. Additionally, you can save up to 17% if you purchase a yearly subscription. Freshworks CRM offers a free 21-day trial of every package.

NetSuite

Developed by software mogul Oracle, Netsuite is another reliable CRM tool provider. It is one of the best in terms of providing organized and structured updates on contact activity and progress. Netsuite also has a great partnership management component that allows a company to manage affiliates, vendors, resellers, suppliers, and any other business that it might be working hand-in-hand with.

Netsuite is great for a company looking for an easy way to track marketing activity daily. This solution has a lot more to offer too, including a sales automation suite, sales forecasting reports, and an employee workflow tracker.

Pricing: Free product tour then $129.00 per month.

Other Honorable Mentions

Here are other CRM platforms that might not have made it in our top five list, but have great value to offer to companies still.
Copper.ai — One of the best CRM for small business because of the ease of use and affordable pricing.
Zendesk Sell — Another great small business CRM software. Zendesk is a brand synonymous with customer support, so its CRM platform meshes great with its support software and dashboard.
Streak — Another bare bones but easy-to-use CRM platform that’s a great option for solopreneurs and sole salesmen.

Starting Your CRM Tool Adoption Process

The terminology CRM might not be as popular as many of the other business suite systems out there, but it’s quickly catching up. Accordingly, it would be beneficial for your company to start actively seeking out the solution that will work best in your company’s context.

According to the Market Analysis Report of Grand View Research, approximately 91% of businesses with more than ten employees already utilize CRF software solutions. These companies understand that effective CRM is necessary for corporate growth.

While selecting the best CRM software solutions for small businesses is not always straightforward, it is a critical decision that will affect your sales and efficiency. Before making a final purchase, you should examine your needs and compare alternative CRM software. You may sign up for a free trial of these CRM software solutions to get a feel for their work before purchasing the full version.

If your sales process is unique and these CRM software solutions don’t meet your requirements, our team can build a custom CRM software for your company that is unique to your requirements.
Contact us today at (437)223-1771 OR info@telkoware.com for a free consultation.

5 Reasons To Migrate your eCommerce Website To Magento Platform Today

magento-ecommerce
magento-ecommerce

Every eCommerce platform evolves with the everyday changes in the business needs. For some businesses, the eCommerce website is another channel for sales, while for others, it might be a way to provide product information and connect with a larger audience.

Keeping pace with the rapid evolution of eCommerce technology by keeping your website up-to-date as well as visually attractive is important to ensure a steady and growing flow of visitors. So deciding on which eCommerce platform to go with needs to be evaluated carefully. A more complex decision is when you already have an eCommerce website, but has limited features and would like to migrate to a more powerful, user-friendly eCommerce platform.

 

Should You Migrate?

So you are experiencing the pain points of your current eCommerce platform daily; be it technological debt, the incapacity to innovate swiftly, or its rigidity. But the thought of migrating from one platform to another can be a scary one. With the time-consuming and expensive process of not designing and developing the new website, but also migrating existing content, web pages, and products information makes you wonder if it is really worth the effort.

 

Impact of Changing an Ecommerce Platform

Having your website built on the right eCommerce platform will have a significant impact on your online sales. The speed and performance of the website, user experience, navigation, seamless checkout process, account creation for future purchases, etc play an important role in helping the customer decide whether to buy the product from your website, or move on to your competitor’s website.

When it comes to eCommerce platforms, there are numerous options available for you to choose from. We are here to make things easy for you!

You might have heard about the Magento eCommerce platform. If you haven’t, the Magento eCommerce platform is an eCommerce platform established on open-source technology. The platform provides online retailers with a docile eCommerce and shopping cart system. It is very popular among medium to large-sized organizations due to its features.

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If you are wondering whether to pursue Magento development for your eCommerce website, then we have listed below 5 reasons why migrating to the Magento eCommerce platform is a good idea.

 

1. Customization for Future Growth

Like other eCommerce platforms, Magento eCommerce platform not only provides a wide variety of themes, but also offers tools to customize it to match it with your business’s unique identity and brand. It even lets you maintain customization, even when platform patches or upgrades are installed.

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Along with easier customization, the platform offers content staging and preview functionality, so you can see how it will look when it goes LIVE. Your operations team can easily update content without the need to connect with IT team.

Be it the checkout process or sales campaigns, the Magento eCommerce platform lets you decide whether your business needs custom features or module development. The decision is yours!

The platform’s built-in native functionality follows the best practices of Search Engine Optimization (SEO), thus allowing you to improve your search engine ranking when someone searches for keywords that are relevant to your business. So the Magento eCommerce marketplace enhances SEO capabilities even further.

When it comes to inventory management and online store management through Magento eCommerce, it brings a manageable timeline dashboard with a user-friendly preview option. With the Magento eCommerce, you can even schedule the updates to ensure that it gets deployed automatically in a timely manner.

 

2. Rich experience

Magento development facilitates the delivery of personalized and rich experiences for customers. The platform enables which items should be displayed as product recommendations through meaningful promotions.

It also has a nice feature to convert visitors into customers. With the Magento eCommerce’s intelligence capabilities, the products are pushed towards the visitors based on key factors like location, search history, preferences, purchase history, wishlist, etc.

For specific customer segments or products, the platform allows the user to set promotional pricing. Another nice feature to entice customers to make a purchase is the ability to create coupons for specific customer segments, product categories, or time segments.

The automated reminders for customers, who either abandoned their shopping carts or added products in wish lists but didn’t purchase the product, helps immensely in improving sales.
The platform makes the search and filter experiences easier for the customers in order to find the right product quickly, which also improves the chances of a sale.

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3. Integrated Functionality for B2B

Do you run a wholesale business? Are you in search of a trade portal that offers your retail customers a 24/7 shopping experience to purchase in bulk? If yes, then the Magento eCommerce platform is the one for you. It allows you to offer your retail customers the ability to create company profiles, set up multiple buyers, and take benefit of an easy to use online buying experience.

With integrated functionality for B2B, take benefit of quick order forms, requisition lists, enhanced quote requests processes, etc. to setup an end to end supply chain process.

 

4. Omnichannel Experience

To provide the best-possible customer experience, a business requires a smooth Omni channel system.

The Omni channel structure is specifically designed to extract all enterprise data into one implicit provision for administration and make it evident both internally and publicly across diverse sales channels. That means no matter which sales channel does the customer interact with, he/she has the same pleasant experience.

Eventually, when a business grows, it gets more complicated. As a result, the system needs to be scalable.

Imagine, you wish to expand your e-Commerce business, but find out that the eCommerce platform you have chosen doesn’t have the capabilities you want. It doesn’t allow you to “customize” according to the scaling structure of the business. After all the invested time, effort and money put into that eCommerce platform, now you have to switch to another one.

The Magento eCommerce platform provides support for the creation of an omnichannel experience due to its ability to integrate. The platform includes numerous popular marketplaces, including Amazon, eBay, etc. in order to help retailers provide a better experience to prospective customers.

Through this ability of integration, it will allow exposure to the wider audience, and it is very easy to manage all through Magento eCommerce.

 

5. Faster checkout process

The Magento eCommerce platform comes with an instant purchase functionality. Through this function, the process of checking out the product becomes very efficient.
For instance, if you are a first-time user, you will need to provide your contact details, but for any future purchases, there isn’t any need for it.

Magento developers have made sure to optimize the online platform experience with these steps:

• Build seamless payment checkout for prospective customers.
• Offer the most flexible payment options and terms, for instance, invoicing, instant financing, etc.
• Simple ways to verify and capture shipping and billing details.
• Protect retailers against deceitful activities like fraud, chargebacks, etc.
• Ability to scale up and move towards cloud hosting option.
• Effective and efficient internal processes by assuring accurate pricing system and tax compliance.

Just like every business has its own unique opportunities and challenges, in the same way every business has its unique eCommerce needs which can be fulfilled by one specific eCommerce platform and not others. Just because other businesses are heading after one specific platform does not mean it is the right one for your business.

 

Conclusion

We have only covered 5 major advantages of Magento eCommerce platform, but there are many more. Careful analysis needs to be done to find the right eCommerce platform for your business. Every business has unique requirements with respect to products, structure of the business, internal processes, and objectives. For some, Shopify make more sense, while for others, WooCommerce may give them the best return on their investment. It is a long-term commitment and needs to be carefully vetted. If you are not sure which one to choose, then our experts would be happy to provide FREE consultation to help you make the right decision. Just give us a call at (437)223-1771 OR info@telkoware.com

 

Author Bio
Alice Scott is a passionate writer and blogger who specializes in topics related to digital branding, blogging, and online business. She loves having Churros with her cat Chubby and morning walks.

5 Best Mobile App Development Platforms to build your dream app

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mobile-app-development-platforms-1

In today’s fast-paced world, we’re surrounded by technology in everything we do. We use mobile applications for daily tasks like waking up with an alarm app, reaching our workplace using Uber, and even entertaining ourselves with OTT apps.

The rising dependence on mobile applications has inspired companies to develop custom apps. Today, you’re able to create apps for almost every type of business or venture, including logo making app, appointment calendar, productivity app, etc. However, as user-friendly as these apps seem, mobile app development is anything but a cakewalk!

There are several mobile app development platforms that can be used to create a mobile app. These platforms allow mobile app developers to design and build custom mobile apps to give users a valuable service and fulfilling customer experience.

Are you interested in developing an app for your business? Then you have come to the right place. You can get started with any of these five mobile app development platforms to create your very own mobile app – whether you are looking to develop an app for social media, food ordering, appointment at a salon, or even an eCommerce app!

1. React Native

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React Native is one of the most well-known mobile app development platforms. It was developed by Facebook and launched in 2015. The Facebook Community strongly backs this cross-platform software that is used to create apps for iOS and Android.
The React Native software is built on ReactJs that works through Javascript. The JavaScript base allows the applications made through this software to work at a faster speed. The platform thus creates reliable, secure, and stable applications.
You can use React Native to create simple, engaging as well as high-quality UIs. This mobile app development platform features regular updates, libraries, and new functions to help you with the app development process. This software also ensures that changes made to the original program code are reflected quickly. It receives support from IDES such as Visual Studio Code, XCode, etc.

Top Features:

●   Stability
●   Security
●   High-Speed
●   Cross-Platform Software

Pros:

●   Identical UI for Android and iOS
●   Solid Community Support
●   Budget-efficient
●   Easy to find an experienced developer

Cons:

●   Absence of native developer
●   Random app issues
●   Not tested by many expert software developers.

 

2. Flutter 1.0

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Flutter is a Google-developed framework. It was introduced in 2017 and offers cross-platform mobile app development services. This software can be used to create innovative and interactive apps.
Flutter uses Dart as its programming language, which requires a single codebase for app development. It backs plugins for Visual Studio Code, IntelliJ, etc., making it a stable software for creating rich UIs. It also offers quick bug fixes for mobile apps.
Although Flutter is comparatively new in the industry, it promises great quality. It has helped create many high-performance mobile apps. It offers a smooth user experience for both iOS and Android users. Within just a few years of its launch, it has become quite popular with mobile app developers.

Top Features:

● Native support
● Fast bug-fixing
● Smart and Innovative UI
● Widgets

Pros:

● Fast coding
● Interactive UI
● Fast performance
● Compatible software

Cons:

● Limited Library
● Not Web-Browser Compatible
● Heavy App Size
● Custom Coding

 

3. PhoneGap

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PhoneGap is an efficient cross-platform mobile app development software that was launched by Nitobi in 2009. This framework was earlier called ‘Apache Cordova’ and is open-source software.
You can use CSS, JavaScript, and HTML5 to create apps through this platform. Developers need to write the program code just once and launch it across different devices. It is a very simple software that doesn’t involve any complex coding procedures.
PhoneGap promotes high-performance interfaces as well as quality mobile app design.
It also supports additional features like GPS, Storage, Camera, etc. There is also a feature to divide tasks among several developers who can work simultaneously on a single app.
It is a quick mobile app development software that saves time as well as effort. It promotes high-quality design and a smooth UX.

Top Features:

● Compatible with cross-platform development
● Native Support
● Robust Security
● Web-Browser Compatible

Pros:

● Single Code
● Easy-to-use
● Fast Testing

Cons:

● Slightly weaker graphics
● No widget support

 

4. Ionic

mobile-app-development-platform-5
Ionic is a mobile app development platform that was launched in 2013. It was coded using JavaScript, HTML, and CSS. This software requires a single code for cross-platform mobile app development. It is a secure and reliable software, and quite popular with app developers.
Ionic is mostly used for front-end applications. It provides API options to access native support with a JS Code, using which you can create Android and iOS compatible apps. This software also uses native UI rules and SDKs so that you can get greater accessibility while developing the app.
Apps made on Ionic have engaging as well as interactive designs. It offers a rich app user-interface as well as a wide range of features to promote high-quality performance. It is a very popular software that is known to build aesthetic app designs.

Top Features:

● Cordova supported plugins
● Cross-Platform Application Development
● JavaScript Compatibility
● Core Libraries

Pros:

● Low Development Cost
● Desktop Compatible
● Fast bug-fixes
● Stability

Cons:

● No hot reloading
● Highly dependent on plugins
● Heavy App
● Not very secure

 

5. Mobile Angular UI

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Are you looking for a software that develops highly responsive apps? Mobile Angular UI is an effective mobile app development platform for you. It is an open-source framework that operates free of cost.
Mobile Angular UI is also ideal for developing HTML5 compatible hybrid mobile apps. It is supported by Twitter Bootstrap and the Angular software that produces a high-quality app. It consists of several UI features for apps like sidebars, switches, scrollable places, overlays, navigation bars, etc.
Mobile Angular UI is used to build attractive as well as AI-powered UIs for mobile applications. Several core libraries also support this framework making this a highly scalable software for developers.
It is thus a consistent software that builds smooth-functioning apps.

Top Features:

● Small App Size
● Responsive Apps
● AI support
● Attractive UI

Pros:

● Twitter Bootstrap Support
● Angular Software
● JavaScript Compatible

Cons:

● Learning issues

 

Things to consider when selecting a mobile app development platform

With quite a few reliable mobile app development platforms are available, it can get a little challenging to choose the most suitable one. The decision is dependent on your business requirements and type of mobile app. Here are some key factors to consider:

Target audience

The target audience of your business determines the best platform for mobile app development. You should have an idea about geography, demographics, likes, and dislikes before creating a mobile app. This could be country-specific or interest-specific too. This helps in narrowing down the options you are considering for mobile app development.

The user behavior

Having a clear idea about the user’s behavior is crucial. For instance, you need to know how much your target audience would be willing to spend while using the application. This factor again can be categorized as per location as well as the age-group of the users. The mobile app development cost should ideally get covered well, and there should be additional profit margins too.

Features of the application

This is another essential consideration when looking for valuable mobile app development. A platform for development might be at the #1 position on the list. However, this does not guarantee that it will help you create the features you are planning to, without much hassle.

Compatibility with the devices

You need to do research about the types of devices your consumers generally use to access the apps. Some mobile app development platforms are better than their counterparts when it comes to supporting the devices. Some requirements also demand the development of hybrid applications. Thus, it becomes even more necessary to look into the support aspect of the devices when designing or developing an application.

The expectation of users

When you develop any mobile application, your target audience will have certain expectations from the application. For instance, they might expect their compatibility to be excellent, or they might want it to be compatible with both phones and tablets.

 

Final takeaways

A decade ago, there weren’t much mobile app development platforms available. The ones that were available had performance, speed, quality, and UI/UX issues and were not up to the mark. The last 5 to 10 years has seen a boom of incredible mobile app development platforms.
Technology has made it possible to develop cross-platform mobile applications using a single code. You can develop quality apps with rich graphics and AI-compatible features. Most apps are also interactive and provide live customer support.
Mobile applications have bridged many geographical gaps. They have improved logistical support in almost all industries. From medical support to a last-minute get-together, everything can be managed through apps.
So, as technology evolves and new mobile app developments are introduced everyday, you can rely on these 5 platforms to help you build your dream app today.

Our team has vast experience in developing high performance, digitally transformational and fully packed native, hybrid, and cross-platform mobile app on iOS and Android.
Please contact us today for a free consultation at +1(437)223-1771 or info@telkoware.com

 

Author Bio
Alice Scott is a passionate writer and blogger who specializes in topics related to digital branding, blogging, and online business. She loves having Churros with her cat, Chubby, and morning walks.

8 Tips to drive business growth during Covid-19 pandemic

During these challenging times of Covid-19 pandemic, businesses are looking for creative ideas to not only recover, but grow during this crisis. Every business is unique, which means it has specific challenges and has to overcome the crisis in its own ways.
In order to ease the financial strain, small business owners are cutting costs, seeking government and other external funding, but most importantly, looking to generate revenue.
But as we all know, maintaining or increasing revenue during this health crisis is not easy. So here are 8 useful tips to help you generate revenue and drive growth for a speedy business recovery:

 

1. Generate revenue online

In this new all-digital era, we need to think about how to adapt our products / services to be sold online. Whether you are a brick-and-mortar retail store or personal services provider like massage or yoga, now is the time to set up an e-Commerce store, offer your classes online, or create related products or services to sell in the virtual storefront.

For example:
– A massage therapist can offer self-massage tutorials and tools.
– A yoga instructor can offer classes online or sell yoga gear and clothes.
– A restaurant can offer home delivery through their website, or sell a cookbook with their recipes.

Think creatively to come up with ideas, but most importantly, identify your target market’s pain points and address them creatively, while maintaining social distancing.

 

2. Offer gift cards for future use

If you don’t offer gift cards today, well now is the perfect time to do it. Online gift cards are a great way to increase your short-term revenue while retaining your customers. They work especially well if you’re unable to digitize your services. But please keep in mind that this is accrued revenue for the products or services yet to be provided; it is truly earned once the product has been delivered or services have been rendered.

 

3. Adjust, not abandon, your marketing strategies

During these financially difficult times, you might be inclined to cut marketing and advertising budget. While analyzing its effectiveness is a good idea, completely demolishing your marketing budget might not be a great idea, because you are cutting off future leads, eventually drying your sales pipeline and suffocating your business.
Instead, think about how you can adjust your marketing strategy to continue to sell and bring in more revenue.
Shift your marketing focus to your online store, rather than brick-and-mortar one, by offering free shipping, exclusive sales, and discounts. You may want to switch from traditional marketing methods like flyers, banners, to Digital Marketing, by focusing on Social Media Marketing, Search Engine Optimization (SEO), Search Engine Marketing (SEM), content marketing, etc. Explore and experiment with different marketing strategies to see which one works for your business and gives you the biggest bang for your buck.

Digital Marketing

 

4. Ask your staff about new ways to generate revenue

Instead of letting your employees go, think about ways you might shift their responsibilities to focus on marketing and finding new leads in new target markets. Rather than dictating how this works, get everyone together to share ideas and solve problems in new and creative ways. You never know what new idea can turn out to be a gold mine. On top of that, involving your employees in business direction will not only result in more sales, but more invested staff with a high morale.

 

5. Consider price adjustments

If it’s been awhile since you reviewed or adjusted your pricing strategies, take a look at them now. Take some time to not only review your competitors’ pricing, but also how the economic impact has changed the market dynamics. It might make sense to reduce price to increase sales volume and reduce business overheads through economies of scale, or it might make sense to increase price to provide a premium, white-glove service to a niche market. If a special sales event is coming up, adjust your prices and offer discounts to attract lots of customers.

 

6. Take your Networking Online

If you enjoy connecting with other business owners and professionals frequently via different networking meetups, seminars, and exhibitions, then you will notice that Covid-19 crisis has migrated most of those events online. If you host any in-person meetings or would like to attend one, then it is time to explore popular video conferencing solutions like Zoom, Webex, Teams, Google Hangouts, etc. I know it will initially a bit awkward, but you will get used to it very quickly.

 

7. Increase your social media presence

What better way to spend time than promoting your business on social media? By posting regularly, you not only keep your existing customer up-to-date on latest business updates, but also generate interest in new potential customers.

 

8. Spend time enhancing and optimizing your website

As mentioned earlier in this post, this is the best time to build your online presence with an e-Commerce website. But if you already have one, then spend some time to review and update the content that has become outdated. Optimize the content to improve your search engine ranking for specific keywords that are relevant to your business and industry. Significant jump in ranking will only happen with long-term efforts on a consistent basis. The rewards of an optimized website are definitely worth the investment. There is tons of content on the internet for you to read and apply it on your website.

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I am sure there are many more tips and tricks to help your business during this crisis, but the ones explained above will give the biggest bang for your buck, in a short period of time.

We know the financial pressure of the coronavirus outbreak is intense, and we want to do everything we can to support small businesses like yours. Feel free to reach out to us at anytime at info@telkoware.com or (437)223-1771 for a free consultation on how to implement any of the strategies explained above. We are all isolated and socially distanced, but we are not alone. We will win this battle together.

13 Key Traits to look for in a Web Development Company before hiring them

web development company
web development company

Website is a vital component of your marketing and business strategy. It is an extension of your physical business presence, thus providing a virtual experience for your consumers to purchase your products or services. To partner with the right web development company for such a critical part of your business is not an easy decision.
Gone are the days when a business website was designed using a cookie cutter template on GoDaddy, Wix, Weebly, or other drag-and-drop website building platforms. These days, if you don’t use web development professionals to help build your website, you will have a hard time standing out from the competitors in your niche. Therefore, it is essential to know the key traits to look for in a web development company, as well as knowing what to expect once you find the right partner. Here’s a comprehensive list of 13 key traits:

 

1. Close Collaboration on Web Design

You are an expert at what you do and understand your products and services better than anyone else. In the same way, a web development company is an expert in developing websites. So feel free to share your ideas on how your business website should look and feel, but rely on the ideas of the web developer. He/she will use his years of experience, latest design trends, and creativity to build a custom website, tailored to your unique business needs. You will be amazed to see the end result; it will turn out to be much better than what you had in mind.

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2. Expecting the Unexpected

We all know that running a business is not easy these days, when you have to compete with others offering similar products and services. That’s why, there needs to be more emphasis on your business’ unique value proposition; i.e. the unique qualities that makes you stand out from your competition. Also, you need a unique marketing and sales strategy, which you can brainstorm with web development company. With more focus and better ROI on Digital Marketing, website plays a critical role in the development of marketing and sales strategy.

Digital Marketing

 

3. Search Engine Optimization

There is a common misconception that if the website is up, people will somehow find it. The truth is that the website has to be promoted via different channels to drive internet traffic towards it. The most popular channel everyone uses to find stuff on internet is search engines. The challenge is that there are millions of websites, with billions of products, competing to get to the top of search engine results for the popular keywords. What you need is a keyword targeted, search engine optimized website, with lots of valuable content and inbound links from other websites.
Please make sure that your web development company is an expert in search engine optimization, and knows how to target keywords, and more importantly, what keywords to target for your particular product or service. A website that is not optimized for Google’s ranking doesn’t stand a chance in ranking at the top, which means no new visitors from Google.

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4. Professional Web Content

If you signed for web content copywriting services along with web development service, then you should expect professional, informative, well-written content, with marketing-oriented language. Content should be well-researched, keyword targeted, with the correct density, and should flow nicely throughout all web pages. Visitors will think highly of your company if your website copy is well written, concise, and grammatically correct and provides them with the information they are seeking.

Digital Marketing

 

5. Long-Term Strategy

Setting up a website is not a one-time project, which you just create and then forget about. In order to maintain and improve search engine ranking, website needs to be constantly updated with fresh content, latest design trends, and layout. You also need to continuously audit and re-audit the keywords you are targeting, to make sure that you are as high in the rankings as possible and that your website is optimized for all the keywords that potential customers use to look for your products and services.
Your web development company should be able to provide the long-term strategy to help you compete in your industry and improve your website ranking gradually over time.

 

6. Internal Processes

A well-organized web development company is like a well-maintained car; it will continue to run smoothly without any surprises. Therefore, a well-organized web development company should have strong internal processes in place. It includes project management, task distribution, resource allocation and resource management, communication, and reporting. You can sleep peacefully knowing that you will get the best-quality website on time, on budget, as per your expectations, irrespective of an earthquake or a COVID-19 pandemic.

 

7. Latest Standards

One of the most important trait is to ensure that the web development company is aware of the various industry standards and follows them. Many of these standards ensure that the website being built will perform well under pressure while also ensuring they meet different security standards and expectations. Not only that, but international web standards also ensure that your website is accessible for people with disabilities. Web Content Accessibility Guidelines (WCAG) 2.0 is the latest international standard for web content accessibility.

 

8. Easy to Scale Websites

It is vital for a website to be developed not only with the current scope of project in mind, but to also take into consideration possible updates and enhancements in the future. Many businesses have long-term goals and projects. It is important for the web development company to take into consideration the company’s growth plan, new services they are planning to offer, and future expansion of their existing website. Based on that information, web development company should develop website on a platform, in which it can be easily scaled with more web pages and more features. Not only that, but web development company should also suggest enhancements and latest features, as web development technologies evolve.

 

9. Security Taken Seriously

The web development company you decide to work with, needs to take security very seriously. Considering the no. of malwares and viruses being launched by hackers, security needs to be no. 1 priority, specially, if customers’ data privacy is at risk. A seasoned hacker should not be able to find holes in security or to take advantage of the functions of a website to infect the web visitor.

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10. Simple Maintenance

Website should be designed in such a way that it is easy to maintain on a long-term basis. A professional web development company would have automation strategies and features that are made available to the client to reduce manual interventions. Whether you are looking to do a routine website backup or upgrade it to latest version of plugins, it should be fairly simple, whether it is done by the web development company or by yourself.

web development company

 

11. Take on any Challenge

A web development company that is truly an expert in their domain will take on any challenge that you throw at them. No matter how complex the business requirement is, they should be able to tackle it with a positive attitude and be able to deliver, as per your expectations, within the budget and before the project completion deadline. Also, they should be able to handle all aspects, including CMS, customer login portal, e-Commerce, etc. If you hear excuses of technology or system constraints, that is a red flag for you to re-consider your choice.

 

12. Customized Solution

Since your website is unique, you should be expecting a unique, customized website for your business. Website built using a cookie cutter template will not do justice to your brand, unique value prop, and key offerings. Anyone can build a website using GoDaddy, Wix, or Weebly platforms, which allow drag and drop functionality to build an entire website. But it restricts the design and layout, due to which your website will look like a plain template website. Web development company should design a customized website using any popular CMS platforms like WordPress, Drupal, Magento, Shopify, with HTML/CSS, to highlight your unique brand and offering.

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13. Complete Development Services

A well-established web development company should be able to handle both back-end and front-end design and development. Not only that, but they should be well-versed in all essential and modern development tools, like PHP, Python, Django, Angular.js, or React.js. With all tools in their arsenal, they would build using the technology that is most suitable to meet your business requirements.

 

Once you have shortlisted a web development company based on the 13 traits explained above, you can be confident that you have chosen the right partner for a key part of your business. Once the web development project starts, you will not face any unpleasant surprises and the project will move smoothly towards successful completion.
With more than 5 years of experience in web development, Telkoware has successfully delivered 100+ projects and has gained reputation of a trustworthy and reliable partner. Feel free to connect with us for a free consultation at info@telkoware.com or (437)223-1771.

13 Common Myths Busted About App Development

app development
app development

For a lot of small and medium-sized businesses, having a properly functioning app can help drive them to another level in terms of overall success.  Roughly 47% of all businesses have some form of mobile app, whether the company is based around the app (e-commerce, mobile gaming) or just a supplement to their other operations (coupon apps for brick-and-mortar retail, apps providing news about a given company).

Where the issues tend to start is when companies see the success their competitors may be having with application development, and run headlong into their own attempts without actually taking the time to fully understand what that entails. This is complicated by the fact that there are a lot of myths about app development out there. Taking any one of them as truth can result in you losing a lot of time and resources with little gain. Here’s a closer look at the truth behind them.

 

1. Anyone can manage fundamental app development.

To create a proper app design from start to finish, there’s a lot more work that needs to get done than you think. Remember, we’re not just talking about that initial creative spark, but functionality design, UX, and graphics. This takes a lot of industry experience to manage properly. What makes things even more complicated, as anyone in tech can explain, is that the world is constantly progressing around you. You’re not just developing a single app once, but will need to adjust to new tech trends, new OS features, new hardware, and even different devices. Is this something your team will be able to keep up with internally? If not, a third-party partner may make more sense.

 

2. All you need is an idea to get started.

Many small businesses tend to get ahead of themselves when it comes to the “idea.” To be fair, a good idea is behind every successful business, and the same applies to software app development. You should have, as a part of your starting platform, an idea that’s unique, but also reasonable. Ideally, it should be able to be scalable enough to keep up with existing trends. A good idea this year may not be effective next year, so you want something that you can adjust.

Along with a design that’s flexible, it’s also important that your budget is adjustable. For newcomers, budget fluctuation can be a major source of issues in the app development process. Ideally, you want to work to bridge the gap altogether between your concept and financial reality.

app development

3. Coding skill is enough to carry you through.

Does coding matter for app development? Of course it does, it’s key for all major mobile and computer platforms. However, where things go south is thinking that this is all there is. This myth also has coding experts rushing in to make apps, only to stall out when their expertise isn’t enough. Making a halfway decent app is going to require expertise in graphic design and UX, when it comes to the development end.

Outside of development, there’s a lot that goes on also. An app team needs to know marketing and hardware advancements. In addition, they need to understand different languages, sources of data, and backend systems. No solo act is ever able to put together a good app. A team with various talents and proficiencies is required.

app development

4. I need an app because everyone else has one.

The “Keeping up with the Joneses” mentality is a damaging one when it comes to business. The fear of missing out does not make for a concrete and defined business goal. What you do need to understand is that app development requires a heavy investment of time, resources, and money, even if you work with outside professionals to make it easier. So, be sure to do your research before making a commitment. What goals in business would an app help you accomplish? What’s your plan of action to move towards those goals after the app is complete?

app development

5. Operating System conversion is easy.

Say you have an existing app on iOS and want to convert it to Android or vice versa. You don’t want to make this decision lightly, as it’s not an easy one to implement. Creating a version of an app for another operating system means you need to rewrite massive portions of the app code, which takes time and money. There may be some backend parts that are shared, and don’t need to be developed again, depending on your needs. However, these are generally few and far between. In other cases, it’s essentially the work of coding two apps.

 

6. You can make changes mid-process, as long as you’re an agile organization.

Many organizations are trying to go “agile” in order to better handle the ebbs and flows of the business world, but sometimes this mentality goes too far. When you begin to put together your needs for app development, there may be voices within your organization that want to make changes to the feature/requirement list after the project has already started. This spells several issues, especially since a minor change doesn’t necessarily mean simply altering a few lines of code. Mid-process changes to an app can lead to a ripple effect through the entire project, which means more bugs and errors. This means more headaches for the development team but also more costs and delays for you. As a result, if the impulse strikes you to change up your user interface or add another feature, be sure to decide if it will really pose an added benefit. If not, it may be worth sticking to the plan and considering a software update later.

app development

7. You need to pile on the functions to succeed.

The more you have to offer, the better your app is going to do, right? Not necessarily. In fact, if you look at the most successful apps out there, most of these are relatively simple, with a clear and defined purpose. Whether it’s a navigation system, e-book reader, or a game, it needs to be clear. Being the “jack of all trades, master of none” is one of the last things you want to be as an app. Features and third-party integrations are some of the largest contributors to increased dev time, so you want to be selective here.

app development

8. Expensive graphics determine success.

As we mentioned earlier, graphic design is an important component of a successful app. Visual appeal is going to play a big role in getting that initial download and retention. However, a big role isn’t the same as the only contributor. If an application can’t fulfill its express purpose, or the purpose isn’t clear, it’s not going to do any good for a client, and they’ll just end up uninstalling it. While there’s no such thing as a silver bullet here, UX is pretty close. Your graphic design should be making your solid UX more appealing, not obscuring it.

On top of this, it’s important to make sure that your graphics stay on brand with what you already have. This can pose a challenge if the graphics team for your app isn’t the same as say, who designed your logo. It’s important to have graphic examples ready to make sure things stay uniform. The last thing you want is people confused about whether your app is affiliated with your company, or just a knockoff.

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9. You can afford to hold off on customer support.

Ideally, you want app users that start as testers for your materials to become long-term users, and potentially even convert further due to microtransactions and other sales funnels. However, this doesn’t happen if you’re not able to provide some form of customer support. This gives you the opportunity to guide your software updates (if you get a lot of complaints on a given issue, this may be worth revising) as well as a chance to build up customer confidence. If they don’t have a clear way to get their questions answered, it’s hard to have long-term interest in a product.

app development

10. App users = customers.

An app download is a great conversion for your company, but you don’t want to treat it as a substitute for other ones. There’s a major difference between an app user and a paying customer, especially if the app is free. Users will try lots of apps with an initial download. However, they have a pretty concrete idea of what they’re going to use and what they’re going to avoid within the first 3-7 days or so. In fact, 80% of apps in app stores get abandoned after first use. If an app is solid, and you can retain them through that period, you’re likely to hook them for a lot longer. This also gives you the chance to try and get further conversions, whether it’s microtransactions or a sales funnel to another product. It’s better to think of someone who initially downloads your app as a “prospect” as opposed to someone who’s committed to your brand.

 

11. Work ends when development is complete.

A theme that we’ve been repeating as the variety of different disciplines and skills that come into putting together an app for even a small/medium organization. However, when that stage is completed and you have an up and running product, the work doesn’t end. Depending on who you ask, the task may be just beginning. The next step between development and release is going to be a series of major testing regimens both for bugs as well as user-friendliness. The success of a given app is also contingent on a well-planned marketing strategy to keep it from getting lost on the store listings, as well as updates. You can expect to pay as much as 20% of your initial development costs yearly on maintenance.

 

12. If you build the app, the people will come.

On the topic of marketing, this is something that often gets missed, seeing as it’s not technically app development. However, it’s extremely important for app success, especially for a B2C product. To give you an idea, the App store has roughly 2.2 million apps. This marks an imposing mountain to climb to get to that all-important top 10 or top 15.

There’s an entire pocket industry that helps in terms of the shop itself, app store optimization. This helps you optimize your descriptions and tags to try and put your app in front of relevant customers. However, there’s other work you need to incorporate into your marketing channels. Customer segmentation, social media targeting, all of these are going to be important to try and funnel your channel traffic into an app.

 

13. Opting for custom app development will break the bank.

At this point, a pretty good case has been laid out for working with app development companies as opposed to trying to go it alone. However, when you first reach out to a company and get that initial quote, the cost may seem like a huge barrier to entry, compared to your typical off-the-shelf solution. However, you need to understand that any ready-made options are going to come with a hidden price. For example, if you find yourself needing to add more users in the development end, this will start to cost you more as your company expands. The same applies if you find yourself needing to take advantage of extra features later in the app’s lifespan. If you’re constantly changing your business operations around the limitations/updates of an off-the-shelf option, versus having something customized to fit your needs, there’s a major time cost as well. When you calculate all this together, custom web application development will end up saving you more than costing you in the end.

app development

When it comes to app development, it’s easy to get confused when it comes to the process of finding a provider and working together to create a final product for your customer. The best way to avoid any of these myths impeding your process and success is working with an app development company that has a proven track record of support. This is something that we offer at Telkoware. As an experienced IT solutions and services provider, we have a detailed history of successfully delivering innovative customized software development options to clients in diverse industries. We look forward to helping create new apps with.