Wednesday, March 30, 2011

Home Business: Phone System Enhancements

Software for Getting Your Home Office Running (Part 4 of 5)

Give your business a professional sound with simple phone system enhancementsYou’re home office is coming along very well. You have your accounting system and VoIP phone number. Now it's time to think about the additional features you might need to complete your phone system and give your business a professional sound. For example, you can add a voicemail system to answer calls for you, or maybe an on-hold message player for that added level of credibility if you need to put someone on hold while you look something up or take another call.

Those extra audio queues really can help you sound like a larger more professional organization right out of the gate. When callers are on hold, even for just 30 seconds, it is a perfect opportunity to make an impression, create interest, and strengthen your brand image. Every entrepreneur can appreciate the importance of building their brand and strengthening business relationships. IMS telephone on hold software lets you easily play those custom messages to anyone who is put on hold.

There’s only one piece of software you need to put it all together. IVM Voicemail Software can be used to create a custom answering solution, and will work with your standard telephone lines, VoIP services, or both. You can use IVM to play a menu to callers, redirect incoming calls outside of office hours, or as an answer machine. Recorded messages can be played at any time, forwarded to an email address, or accessed remotely. Even if you are on the road you can still easily access your messages, making it easier to stay in touch with all your business contacts.

IVM not only handles voicemail but can also be used as a more sophisticated automated attendant and interactive voice response system (IVR). This means it will easily grow with your small business by providing an answering machine today, and help you direct and transfer calls through a larger PBX phone system when you have several employees tomorrow.

Monday, March 28, 2011

Archival-quality Audio from Vinyl with Golden Records

4.5 Star CNet review for Golden Records Vinyl to CD, LP digitizing softwareGolden Records Vinyl to CD Converter is one of our more popular software programs, offering an easy step-by-step process for converting vinyl LP records and analog audio cassettes to CD or mp3 files. It seems the people at CNET agree, having recently given it high marks, saying, "We've tried many such tools, yet we've often gone back to [Golden Records], which also converts tapes and other analog audio sources." The reviewers went on to say:

"We transcribed several LP records ranging from audiophile quality to barely playable with Golden Records, achieving excellent, archival-quality results each time. The auto track splitter worked fine on scratchy old platters, though recording tracks in the highest possible quality and then splitting and converting them manually using a WAV editor proved the best method for better-quality discs. The sound files produced by Golden Records Vinyl to CD Converter sounded great, whatever the source."

CNET

You can read the complete review of Golden Records Analog to CD/MP3 Converter from CNET on download.com. Or, download today to take advantage of the free 14-day trial and easy wizard based process to start digitizing your vinyl record collection.

Friday, March 25, 2011

Home Business: VoIP Phone System

VoIP softphone, perfect for business telephone callsSoftware for Getting Your Home Office Running
(Part 3 of 5)


Another key component to setting up your home office, after your accounting system is in place, is the phone system. You've likely heard about VoIP, which has been growing in popularity, and with good cause. As an entrepreneur the important thing to know is that VoIP can save you a lot of money on phone bills.

VoIP stands for Voice over Internet Protocol, and what that means is that the call information travels over the Internet instead of through traditional telephone landlines. Essentially, the only cost for sending information over the Internet is the Internet connection; the transmission itself costs nothing. That means calls between VoIP users will frequently be free.

The only cost associated with VoIP calls come from connecting to other telephone networks that service cell phones and landlines. Even in this case, there are significant cost savings because the VoIP phone providers can use the Internet to travel long distance, and then switch the call to a standard phone line in the local area of the destination, and you pay only for the local call, eliminating long-distance charges. The benefit to this is that you can increase the reach of your business, because you won’t be worried about your long-distance phone call budget.You business can potentially be more functional—providing new opportunities to increase your productivity and responsiveness.

With that in mind, here’s an example of the cost savings. For your home office, the telephone line and long-distance charges using a traditional landline phone system can cost upward of $100 per month. Compare that to the cost of using a VoIP system, where the total cost can be as low as $3.25 to $4.30 per month, a savings of more than 90%! With those savings, the initial cost of a business-oriented softphone will be paid for in less than a month.

A VoIP phone, or softphone like the Express Talk softphone only takes a few minutes to set up and will work with any VoIP provider. Express Talk is designed for professionals and has all the features you expect from a business telephone including do not disturb, conference calling, and even the ability to record conversations. It can be used with a USB phone to give the feel of a traditional phone, or with a headset, or microphone and speaker setup—which you may already have—making the cost of setting up your office with VoIP only a matter of buying the software.

Next: Phone System Enhancements

Wednesday, March 23, 2011

One Click Converting

Some of the most useful software applications to have at the ready are file format converters. You never know when a file might land in your email or come across your desk in a format that you can't open. This can be exceedingly frustrating. With the right file converter you can solve this problem with a click of the mouse instead of having to go back to the source to see if they can re-save it for you.

Plus, in case having the convenience of a file converter on hand wasn't enough, for any formats that you convert to regularly, you can easily add a shortcut to your Windows Explorer right click menu for even faster conversion.

For example, if you constantly need to convert music for your mp3 player, you might want to create a shortcut for converting to mp3 with Switch audio converter. To do that, go to the "Right Click" tab in "Options," turn on one of the shortcut commands and select mp3 from the pull down menu. Once you've saved this setting, the next time you right click on a supported audio file you can "convert to mp3 using Switch" right then and there.

Our other conversion software have similar options to help save you time. Try our full range of converting software including:

Monday, March 21, 2011

Home Business: Accounting and Invoicing Software

Software for Getting Your Home Office Running (Part 2 of 5)

You've got the idea for your business and are swarming with ideas about how to get started. You may think that bookkeeping and accounting is getting ahead of the game at this point—first you need clients. But that's not true. You need to keep track of all your expenses and payments right from the start. Setting up accounting software to manage your accounts out of the gate can save headaches caused by trying to find these details later.Accounting and Invoicing Software for Home and Small Start Up Businesses

One of the advantages of running a business out of a home office is the tax deductions you can take. But to take advantage of those deductions, your records must be in order. Deductions are retroactive once you have paying clients, so accurately tracking the expenses leading up to that first client is extremely important.

You need a flexible, easy-to-use accounting program or you won't use it. Ideally, it will also handle your invoicing to making record keeping even easier, which is one of the things that Express Accounts accounting software offers. Express Accounts is available for Mac and PC, can be installed and ready to use in less than 5 minutes.

Here are some of the key features of Express Accounts:
  • Create journal entries for payments, purchases, receipts and deposits
  • Create and send invoices from inside the application
  • Set up alerts to track unpaid invoices and make sure nothing falls through the cracks
  • Standard reports including Profit & Loss statement and Balance Sheet
  • Email or fax reports and invoices directly from the program
Express Accounts is particularly ideal for your start up business because it allows you to track expenses without having to pay extra bookkeeping costs or for expensive software with features you'll never use. Express Accounts will also grow with your business; it can track all the business expenses of multiple businesses with your original software license, and across several locations. Setting up your home office with Express Accounts ensures you'll have software that is easy to use, and that you can use for years to come without any additional investment.

Next: VoIP Phone System

Friday, March 18, 2011

Acclaim for VideoPad Video Editing Software

5 Star CNet review for VideoPad video editing softwareWe are very grateful that the editors at CNet recently took the time to review NCH's VideoPad Video Editor. They wrote a very nice review and awarded it with 5 out of 5 stars, highlighting how easy VideoPad is in their comments, "It's a rare video editor that you can just fire up and start making movies with, but that's what we did with VideoPad." They went on to say:

"With smartphones, video sharing sites, and Webcams everywhere, there's no lack of raw video resources, just a need for a powerful, easy-to-use tool like VideoPad Video Editor Professional to put your projects together, polish them up, and present them in the format of your choice. More than just fast and competent, we also found it fun to use."

CNet

You can read the complete review of VideoPad video editor on download.com, but the best way to really get a feel for how user-friendly and fun video editing can be, download VideoPad and try it out for yourself.

Wednesday, March 16, 2011

Software for Getting Your Home Office Running

economical software for the small home officeHave you recently decided to take the plunge and become the entrepreneur you’ve always wanted to be, or are in the beginning stages of a new business venture? No doubt you are worried about startup costs. There’s a fine line to walk when it comes to using the highest quality tools to start your business with a solid foundation while searching for cost savings, and it's possible the threat of spending too much money is holding you back. Setting up your business office can be done efficiently—spatially, time-wise, and monetarily.

It may be hard to imagine, but you might be surprised by how good it feels to be running your own venture once your office is up and running. So, whether you’re a sales person, a lawyer, a teacher, a healthcare professional, a carpenter, or a builder—any profession at all—let’s get started setting up a home office.

The essentials for an office space are a desk, a phone, and a computer. After that, it’s all about the software, and finding the right tools for your needs. One of the beautiful things about software is that it can do a lot of work for you, helping you not only start out on the right foot, but also to project a very professional front for your small business that can help you compete with larger, more established organizations. Plus, if you do your homework, it can cost a lot less than you might think.

There are two major aspects of running a business that you need in place at the start: a bookkeeping system and a good phone system. Both sound expensive, but they don’t have to be. In fact, you could actually save money on a phone system and still have more features than your current setup.

For the next few weeks, we’ll be running a series of blogs about the software you need for setting up your home office:
In the meantime, take a few moments to peruse our business software. There are a wide variety of tools for helping you in all aspects of your business, all designed to get your business off to the strong start you’re looking for.

Friday, March 11, 2011

Inventoria Named Top Inventory Software

Invenetoria Inventory Software Award TopTenReviewsAny business that has an inventory, including retail stores large and small, distributors and manufacturers, can benefit from using inventory software. As TopTenReviews points out in their recent review of inventory software, Inventoria inventory management software can not only help better organize your business, but the added efficiency, tools and reports it gives you access to can help you improve your bottom line. With all that said, we are thrilled that Inventoria has earned the Silver Award for TopTenReviews’ newly added inventory software category.

"The versatility of Inventoria inventory management software is an excellent reason to purchase this product. It offers numerous helpful features such as the ability to add notes and photographs to each item in your inventory. In addition, you have the opportunity to allow more users to access your inventory management program, which can increase productivity and ultimately enhance your bottom line."

TopTenReviews

You can read the complete review of Inventoria inventory software on the TopTenReviews website. Or, as is the case with all our software, download a free 14-day trial from our website to see firsthand what Inventoria can do for your business.

Wednesday, March 9, 2011

Become a DJ: Learning the Software is Half the Battle

Zulu Virtual DJ Software is an easy-to-use dj software program for mixing track after track during live performances, or you can simply let Zulu be the DJ for you.

To make getting started even easier, we put together this introduction to Zulu DJ Software video tutorial to help aspiring DJs learn their way around the Zulu interface. The video covers the music list, auto play, using the deck, setting the beats per minute (BPM) and using auto-sync, the pitch slider and speed controls for smooth transitions between tracks. It also covers setting cue points, looping, applying effects, and using the headphone output.



Once you've learned some of the basics covered in this video, then all that's really left is picking out the songs to play and keep things moving at your next party.

Monday, March 7, 2011

Software You Didn't Even Know You Needed

Technology has become a huge part of our daily lives, and I am sure you could pretty easily come up with a list of devices or applications that you simply couldn't live without. But with so much technology out there, I'll bet there are programs out there that can make your life easier or more efficient that you never even thought to go searching for. The software surprises listed below will quickly climb to you must have list once you give them a try.

Shorthand Text Expander Software
Ever find yourself typing the same words, phrases or paragraphs repeatedly? Stop typing things over and over again with text expansion software. You might not think much about what you type out all the time, but if you really stop to think about it, I'm sure you could find multiple ways to use keyboard shortcuts that would save you time. Anything from inserting signatures in emails, filling out online forms, and writing long responses to customer questions don't need to be more than a few keystrokes away, instantly improving your typing speed and productivity.

Invoicing Software
Managing invoices is a never-ending process, and if you're doing them all by hand or in Excel you might be spending more time on invoicing than you need to. Invoicing software like Express Invoice allows you to set up automatically recurring invoices, where invoices can be automatically generated and sent as e-mails or faxes from the program. Express Invoice has other time saving features including mobile access, reminders for payments past due and storing item information to eliminate repeat data entry.

Timesheet Software
Another way to make invoicing easier for freelancers and other businesses that charge by the hour is using timesheet software to not only create a timesheet but track the amount of time spent on individual projects or clients.

Automatic FTP Uploading Client
Every web designer already knows that an FTP client is a must, but not all FTP clients are created equal. I personally couldn't live without Fling Automatic FTP Software, which can be used to automatically detect and upload changed files to keep files synchronized. Fling can also be used to upload files from your right click menu, so you can upload a change live without needing to open and browse through your files in the FTP client separately.

File Converter Software
If you've ever had trouble opening up an audio or video file, then you already know how helpful it can be to have a file converter on hand. With Switch Audio Converter, you can convert and compress sound files within minutes of downloading. For video files there is Prism Video Converter, plus Pixillion Image Converter, for images and Doxillion Document Converter to convert document types. Combined these software converters can help you get out of just about any file format compatibility problem.

Thursday, March 3, 2011

KeyBlaze a Trail to Finesse (and Fitness)*

the daily chore of typingHere's a fun fact: The average WPM (words per minute) typed by the average American computer user is 19.  19!  To put that into perspective, the last sentence you just read had 19 words and would've taken the average computer user a full 60 seconds to type. More and more, typing has becoming a commonplace part of the daily grind, whether you're typing an email or chatting with friends and knowing not just how to type, but how to type correctly, can help you succeed in more places than than the workplace - it might also help you work off those love handles!

Wait...what?

We all realize that sitting in front of a computer all day isn't an optimal position to be in for 8-12 hours straight. This gets a lot of flak from the health community in particular, having brainwashed us all into believing that we're all typing and clicking our way to inactivity and poor posture. But did you know that typing for 8 hours can burn over 800 calories? That's over 100 calories an hour and, depending on your size, age and BMI, may be a good chunk of your daily calorie intake! While you push papers for the man, you may already be working toward to a slimmer, sexier you!

Now, I'm not seriously suggesting you include typing as part of your daily exercise routine, and the catch concerning the aforementioned 800 number is that only the fastest typists can hit such a high mark. But like we've already covered, most people peck at keyboards, bastardizing what is already an archaic input method. The good news is whether you're 18 or 80, it's never too late to turn over a new leaf and learn the subtle nuances of typing correctly. If you're ready to accept the inevitable importance of learning to type, KeyBlaze typing tutor from NCH Software can help you improve typing accuracy and speed. It's straight-forward, easy-to-understand and best of all, free! You may even turn your typing into an art form and resolve to become a typist for a living in which case, we have software for that, too!

*Typing is not a viable source of daily activity. Please practice proper exercise and diet routines to experience real weight loss and health benefits.
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