How Can Technology Aid in Business Recovery? (INFOGRAPHIC)

How Can Technology Aid in Business Recovery? (INFOGRAPHIC)

From Zoom meetings to apps for boosting remote working productivity, technology has played a vital role in keeping businesses going during the pandemic. Businesses’ escalating reliance on technology is set to continue as we journey down the road to economic recovery.

Technology to Aid Business Recovery

To shed light on businesses’ dependence on tech to aid recovery, NowSourcing, an award-winning infographic design agency, developed an infographic.

The ‘How Technology Can Help the Economy Recover’ infographic was commissioned by TradeSchool Careers, providers of resources dedicated to helping prospective students find and enrol in training.

Certain Economic Changes are Here to Stay

The infographic highlights the changes the pandemic has brought to the business world. Some of these changes look set to stay for the long-term. For example, amid the health crisis, 2 in 3 Americans worked remotely. 3 in 5 workers wish to carry on working remotely after the pandemic.

Such is the demand for remote-working jobs that in March 2020, remote job listings increased by 769%, the research found.

Remote-Working Tech Continues to be in Demand

As remote working practices soar so too does the tech that brings greater efficiency and productiveness to home offices. According to NowSourcing’s infographic, the sale of Chromebooks has increased by 400% in recent weeks. Webcam sales have risen by 179%, monitors by 138%, headsets by 134%, and keyboards by 64%.

Online Collaboration and Video Conferencing Tools

With more and more work being conducted remotely, demand for video conferencing and other online collaboration tools has soared. For example, Zoom has seen a 190 million-plus increase in daily users over just three months. In February alone, G Suite attracted more than 1 million paying customers. Showing a similar pattern, real-time meetings by Google Meet have witnessed a 30x increase in daily users.

Tech Innovation in Tough Economic Times

The infographic notes how, historically, difficult economic times often pave the way for creativity and innovation. For example, the Great Depression led to the development of electric razors and car radios. The Great Recession gave rise to a host of tech companies, including WhatsApp, Slack and Uber.

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Established Companies Must Innovate to Get Through Economic Crises

NowSourcing’s research points to the need for businesses to innovative to get through tough economic times. In the wake of the crash and 9/11, Apple launched the first iPod. In 2009, in the midst on the Great Recession, Mailchimp went freemium, and, consequently, grew five times in size.

Innovations that Will Help the Post-Covid Economy

The infographic lists the tech poised to play a central role in getting the economy going post-Covid. 5G infrastructure is expected to have a strong footing across the nation by 2022. Augmented and Virtual Reality is also expected to make greater inroads, as more people continue to stay at home to work.

“[The] increase in remote work and school will continue to heighten demand for reliable, universal internet access,” writes NowSource.

The research cites remote work as being a principle player in economic recovery. Not only does remote work enable social distancing, but it makes contract tracing easier. Working from home also eases childcare needs while schools are closed.

As the infographic confirms, as businesses prepare to recover and generate growth post-covid-19, it is vital they have the right tools at their disposal to nurture optimum growth.

technology to aid business recovery


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10 Tips to Customize Your Small Business in Preparation for Corona Virus Reopening

10 Tips to Customize Your Small Business in Preparation for Corona Virus Reopening

When companies start reopening after the coronavirus pandemic, it's time to adapt to new customer needs. To get the most out of this time, you may need to change your marketing methods or business investments. Members of the online small business community have tips on navigating these changes. Read on for more helpful insights. <! – ->

Learn how to deal with COVID fatigue

Many customers are tired of hearing from companies about their reaction to COVID-19. When companies reopen across the country, you need to figure out how to adapt to the current reality without contributing to this type of burnout. Greg Sterling addresses the problem in this Marketing Land Post.

Increase in advertising during an economic downturn

Even though customer traffic may increase, the economic impact of coronavirus is likely to continue well beyond your company's big reopening date. This may cause some companies to consider reducing their advertising budgets, but it may be the perfect time to increase your investment, as Tom Elliott argues in this UpCity post.

Make Wise Investments

<! – -> For companies that still have cash after the pandemic, this may be the perfect time to invest. But how should you spend this capital? Alex John shares tips in this My NewsFit post. And BizSugar members offered thoughts here.

Run Your Small Business More Efficiently

Many small businesses have lost income in the past few months, so you may need to make adjustments when you start operating again. For example, increasing efficiency can be more important than ever if you want to do more with less. Renee Johnson discusses some technical tools that can help in this post on the blog.

Perform a successful virtual event

Even if companies reopen, many major events will be suspended for the foreseeable future. This means that you may have to switch upcoming events to digital. Ivana Taylor discusses how to do this successfully on the DIY Marketers blog.

See how other organizations are dealing with the crisis

There is a lot to learn about how companies and various other organizations can navigate in uncertain times. In this post on headquarters in social media, Christian Zilles examines how universities are dealing with the crisis, which could also provide some lessons or insights for companies.

Invest in a business lawyer

Legal expertise can be beneficial for many companies, regardless of whether a pandemic is emerging or not. Even more companies want to consider this investment now, according to in this Noobpreneur article by Addie Davison. <! – ->

Change Your Marketing Philosophy

Extraordinary times may require a change in your marketing tactics. Janice Wald discusses this concept and examines various marketing philosophies in this Mostly Blogging post. You can also see the BizSugar Community comment .

Establishment of an emergency fund

If the pandemic has not shown how important it is to have emergency reserves on hand, nothing will happen. In this post on the Miss Millennia Magazine blog, Angela Smith examines why this concept is so important for both companies and individuals.

Check the content of your brand

<! – -> Coronavirus has changed almost everything for consumers. If your old content doesn't match the current situation, it may no longer be used for you or your company. Jodi Harris extends this topic and examines in the blog of the Content Marketing Institute how you can check your content for these times.

To suggest that your favorite small business content be considered for an upcoming community summary, send your news tips to:


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1 in 6 executives do not know their own goals for the recovery period

1 in 6 executives do not know their own goals for the recovery period

Given the value of digital data for a company (regardless of size), it's surprising that a sixth (16%) of SME executives don't know their own Recovery Time Objectives (RTOs). <! – ->

The data comes from a survey and report by Infrascale a company that has specialized in backup and disaster recovery solutions since 2011.

What is an RTO? It is the time between the recovery process that a company initiates until its infrastructure and services are available. Now that consumers need seconds to make a website decision, it costs you a lot to be unavailable for a period of time.

Infrascale Disaster Recovery Survey

<! – -> Russell P. Reeder, CEO of Infrascale, says : “Whether a company is experiencing a server crash or a site-wide disaster. Unplanned downtime has serious consequences. “

It goes without saying that the need to avoid downtime and data loss is common to all organizations. The good news is that companies now have access to solutions and service providers to minimize / reduce the loss. However, they need to be prepared in advance to take full advantage of the existing solutions.

Being in preparation

According to the report, many SMEs do not know what it means to be prepared. This is attributed to the different expectations of companies when it comes to disaster recovery. It also says that there is no general understanding of disaster recovery. In addition, the results of the disaster recovery solution and recovery times vary by industry, which explains the different expectations of companies.

Even more confusing is the fact that most companies in the survey believe they are ready to recover after a disaster. But more than one in five respondents say they don't have a disaster recovery or backup solution.

Reeder continues: “Data indicate that there are either different definitions of what it means to be able to recover from a disaster, or simply a lack of understanding of what it really means to be able to recover from a disaster to be a disaster. ”<! – ->

Why they are not ready, the best answers with almost a third (31%) do not have the right resources or the right budget.

Survey Results

The data for this report comes from a survey of 500 C-level executives among SMEs made up of CEOs (87%). The rest of the respondents are divided between Chief Information Officers (CIOs) and Chief Technology Officers (CTOs).

<! – -> In addition to 16% of those who do not know their RTOs, another 24% expect their data to be restored in less than 10 minutes after a disaster. And almost a third (29%) expect the disaster recovery to take place in less than an hour.

When it comes to knowing the exact RTO, the vast majority or 84% say they know the time. And the recovery time is impressive. Nine percent say they have an RTO of one minute or less, and another 30 percent say it is less than an hour.

Almost a fifth, or 17%, say that their RTO is a day, which is an eternity for any company with a strong online presence. If you happen to have an e-commerce site even the most patient customer may not come back after a full day.

All of these shortcomings are even more worrying when you consider that more than half (51%) of the survey group faced micro-disasters last year. However, there is still no consensus on what disaster recovery is.

Defining Disaster Recovery

In this survey, disaster recovery has a number of definitions for respondents, depending on the industry. Overall, 58% say that this means data will be restored after data loss. 55% add that they include recovery from a malware attack. Another 54% say disaster recovery enables them to be ready for action quickly after a disaster.

For survey participants in the telecommunications segment, 59% say that disaster recovery means the recovery of data after data loss. Those in the accounting / finance / banking sector (56%) define it as the ability to recover from a natural disaster like a hurricane or tornado. But no matter how you define it, you all want to be able to get your business up and running as quickly as possible.


The challenge for small businesses is to find an affordable solution that spans the full spectrum of disaster recovery capabilities. From home improvement to disaster recovery-as-a-service (DRaaS), there is a wide range of solutions on the market.

The key is to find the solution that best suits your needs and budget without compromising reliability. Do your due diligence before you decide on a solution. Because choosing the wrong one will have serious repercussions.

According to Reeder, a DRaas, “He can prepare for events such as ransomware attacks, server crashes, and site-wide disasters. With a DRaaS, companies can quickly recover from ransomware attacks without ever having to pay a ransom. And it significantly reduces the downtime of IT events. "

Do you need a backup and disaster recovery solution? The answer is a strong yes. As Reeder puts it: "Make no mistake if a company does not have a disaster recovery solution or at least no solution to back up their data, it can never get the data back from a data loss event. ”


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7 ways to adapt your workplace to a Post-COVID-19 world

7 ways to adapt your workplace to a Post-COVID-19 world

The global COVID-19 crisis has changed the work of millions of Americans, forcing companies to close their offices and adopt a distant structure. <! – ->

And this can become the norm after social distancing has ended and companies are allowed to work on site again. A Gartner survey found that 74 percent of CFOs and executives believe that at least 5 percent of their employees will work permanently from home .

Fortunately, the proliferation of online tools allows employees worldwide to stay connected to management, customers, and one another. The teams have had months to get used to them, and some will rely on them in the long run.

With this in mind, here are the 7 ways to adapt your workplace to a world according to COVID-19, as well as some tools that you can use to achieve it: <! – ->

1. Remote Collaboration

You may not need more than Quire for remote collaboration. As a complete solution, Quire enables companies to visualize workflows with user-friendly Kanban boards, to divide large projects into manageable steps with nested lists, and to share projects with customers via simple invitation links.

Quire includes an instant messaging feature that allows teams to discuss projects in real time and sort tasks using a variety of filters (priority, agent, etc.). Another strong element is the Quire API, which allows users to create scripts and integrate favorite apps into Quire. Files can be uploaded to Google Drive for quick sharing.

2. Cloud-based telephone system

Zoom is nice, but it doesn't replace the office phone system. However, when workers do their jobs from home, they still need the office phone. Hence Nextiva. This cloud-based phone system brings teams together from almost any device, no matter where they are.

Nextiva is compatible with smartphones, laptops, tablets and office phones for maximum convenience. This flexibility is a great advantage if employees only have limited quiet rooms in which they can chat with colleagues or customers at home. <! – ->

With Nextiva, companies can set up an automatic attendant for call forwarding (Virtual Voicemail) and connect the phone system to their CRM to get a detailed caller ID. Transport Layer Security (TLS) can be used to encrypt all communications to ensure data protection at the highest level.

3. Virtual Task Management

As a task management tool, MeisterTask was developed to help teams track tasks from creation to assignment to completion. Kanban-style boards offer simple drag-and-drop functionality to organize tasks quickly and visually, and MeisterTask apps (Android and iOS) allow you to manage tasks on the go.

MeisterTask can be tailored to meet different business needs and include functions for corporate use (automation, time tracking, etc.). The user interface is streamlined and clear, with extensive customization options. Statistics and reports provide detailed insights into team productivity to identify opportunities for improvement. MeisterTask is easy to use, an advantage if you try to board and work with an entire team of new users. <! – ->

4. Management of a global team

One of the more complicated aspects of remote work is managing different time zones. For example, companies that rely on freelancers for their creative work can hire employees from all over the world. Scheduling meetings and appointments can be a nightmare without a suitable time management tool like World Time Buddy .

World Time Buddy includes a variety of features that teams can use to integrate it with Google Calendar to find available slots, create and share events, group locations in custom categories, enable daylight saving time alerts, and times in different formats to display.

World Time Buddy has been praised by The Atlantic, TNW and other prestigious publications. A free mobile app with an optional paid upgrade is available.

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5. Adopt cloud-based collaboration technology

Forget Microsoft Word. Google Docs (part of Google Drive) is a fantastic tool for writing and editing documents. It offers numerous formatting and presentation options to align documents with branding or house styles.

No downloads are required, and multiple collaborators can edit or comment on documents simultaneously for easy collaboration. All changes are automatically saved online to avoid hours of hard work. Earlier versions can be restored if necessary.

Google Docs works with various file types (.docx., PDF, .rtf, .html, etc.). Sharing files with others is easy. Businesses of all sizes can use Google Docs to create blog posts, pitches, reports, contracts, and other types of on-site documents.

6. Secure password management

Dashlane is a password management tool that helps businesses keep their passwords secure and accessible. Employees no longer have to store passwords locally or in a vulnerable cloud-based table.

When teams rely on multiple tools to work remotely, tracking different passwords can be time-consuming and impact productivity: Approximately 11 hours a year are lost due to resetting passwords.

Dashlane stores passwords and logins when searching users and can store an unlimited amount for universal access. Data is synchronized across devices, but Dashlane takes security and data protection seriously: The tool was created so that the Dashlane team cannot see the information stored in it. This keeps data as private and secure as possible.

Managers will also love being able to share passwords for online services without actually having to reveal the password. Dashlane allows you to share passwords without having to share the passwords yourself.

7. Reward employees

Companies still need to recognize and reward employees even when they work remotely. Enter Vantage Circle .

Research shows that the productivity of can be increased by up to 13 percent if employees are satisfied, and Vantage Circle is supposed to contribute to increasing employee satisfaction. With so many companies working remotely, executives find it more difficult to monitor employee satisfaction and morale issues.

Fortunately, managers can use Vantage Circle to remotely recognize the work and accomplishments of their employees and inspire them to meet (or exceed) the same standards in the future. Employees have access to discounts on products from many top brands that offer incentives tailored to personal interests.

It is a white label platform that companies can use to adapt it to the branding. With Vantage Pulse, companies can get valuable employee feedback. This enables managers to measure employee satisfaction and find ways to improve employee experience.

Each of these seven tools can help companies prepare for remote work in a COVID-19 world. With this selection, from small to medium-sized companies, all teams stay connected, targeted and productive.

Together, they could help make offices (and related overheads) a thing of the past for some companies long after the pandemic ended.


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How to do a competitive analysis

How to do a competitive analysis

Assessing your competitors is a big part of small business success. In short, that's what competitive analysis is about. This research will help you understand the strengths and weaknesses of direct competitors. Doing this type of competitive research gives you a head start in your target market. <! – ->

This article covers some of the boxes you need to review to conduct a thorough competitive analysis.

What is a competitive analysis?

A competitive analysis is the evaluation and investigation of your competitors. By identifying a competitor's strengths and weaknesses, you can improve your efforts in small businesses. There are many different areas. These deal with aspects such as marketing strategies and target markets. They also cover digital aspects such as social media. There is usually also a strong content area.

<! – -> It is important to take the time to carefully plan one of them. You can provide a roadmap for improving your business. Competitive analysis can also indicate weaknesses in the market from which you can benefit.

Why a competition analysis?

This type of competitive analysis has some great advantages. Read on to find out how your small business can stay with you on your market share.

Alex Azoury, Founder and CEO, Home Grounds offers some other insights into why such an analysis is important.

"There are two good reasons for this," he writes. "If you have not yet started your business analysis, you will get a clear insight into the demand for your product or service. You are thinking about how you can differentiate yourself in the market."

The other reason has a lot to do with getting other competitors under control. Azoury explains. <! – ->

“For an existing company, you need to stay informed online about your competitors' marketing campaigns and activities. Find out if you can take advantage of gaps in your strategy. Use the analysis to measure yourself against the same criteria. Then look at your company objectively to find opportunities for improvement. “

Carrying out a competition analysis

The idea sounds simple. However, putting together a working analysis template is a bit more complicated. There are several steps you need to follow. You can use this to get a better understanding of your target market. You could be an established company or a start-up. In both cases, compiling this data gives you an accurate picture of what your competitors are up to.

<! – -> There are other advantages. It can help you turn around and close gaps in the market. These analyzes are also useful for deciding when to develop new products and services. Or they can help you decide when to cancel those that don't work.

Here are some boxes that need to be checked for accurate competitive analysis.

1. Use the Web

To begin your competitor analysis, you have to get out on the right foot. Start on the Internet with the search engine you are most familiar with. Here you will find most of the business information from competitors that you need. However, the starting point can be different than expected. Instead of looking for a competitor's name, you can start with your company name.

Google will provide a list of other business competitor names. This is a good place to start your analysis. A knowledge area is displayed on the right of the results page of the Google search engine (SERP). Look at the floor. Here you will find the names of the competitors. Remember that it's a mix of three different types of competitors. However, it does give you a starting point for your analysis.

Here's another trick you can use to find more information for your competitor analysis. Use a keyword that relates to your company. If you create a list of these and keyword phrases, you can embed them in any search engine and get a list of competitors.

Corinne McCarthy is SEO & Online PR specialist at Web Talent Marketing and has a few other suggestions.

"Use third-party tools (such as or ) to find keyword data about your competitor," she writes. "It is helpful to export the keyword data to an Excel file. SpyFu is ideal for viewing the paid keywords of competitors."

It is important to take a look at how your competitors are using search engine optimization. Google Analytics is a great tool for engaging with how a competitor uses SEO.

Mia Ballan is the founder of Money-Minded Millennial and gives some additional advice.

“Make sure that the competitor you select is closely related to your job. You can use measures like Moz Domain Authority to check whether it is a relevant source, ”she writes. "Their website should contain notices that indicate that they are legitimate (financial years, customer reviews, etc.).

Finally, it makes no sense to take notes from a competitor who is unsuccessful. Review website rankings, the quality of their content, and industry awards to confirm that you want to follow their example. “

2. Compile a list of your competitors

First things first, as you say. If you want to know how competitors work in your market, you need to know who they are. So the first step is to compile a list of competitors. You may think you already have a good idea. However, you must consider the following to ensure that you consider all of your competitors


Like the different types that your company has to deal with. There are direct and indirect competitors. Understanding the differences between the two can help you put together a good competitive analysis.

Direct competitors

These are the people who sell the same goods and services as you do. Either directly in the same geographic area or in the same online area. In essence, you and your direct competitors offer exactly the same thing.

Follow this link for some examples on the mobile phone market. You will see Verizon and Sprint compete directly with T Mobile and a few others. That should give you an idea of ​​how you can put this part of the competition analysis together.

Azoury has some excellent suggestions.

“Set up a tool to record the information found. I prefer a table, but a table works too, ”he writes.

Next, he says that you have to enter the names of your main competitors above. He suggests three names. Be aware that your competitors may not be who you are thinking of. Start with the competitors you are competing with directly.

"They are the ones with very similar products or services that are aimed at the same target group or customer personality."

The left side of the sheet should have the following: It lists the following:

  • A summary of what you currently know. Use a search engine to get this information from their website. Social media sites can also be helpful. Pay attention to the slogan, the unique value proposition and everything that highlights strengths / weaknesses. Don't leave out details like the email address.
  • target group. Who are they aimed at? An example could be men between 30 and 50 who buy tailored suits.
  • Products or services – what do they offer?
  • General Marketing Strategy – This is an important part of the competitive analysis that you put together. Find out what kind of content they're using.
  • Online Marketing Strategy – How Do They Promote Themselves? Write down your observations on their website and social media accounts. How do they generate traffic and leads, what do they post, do they have reviews or testimonials? Discover the content strategy.
  • Strengths – Look for good content like great product descriptions, a valuable free resource, and professional images.
  • Weaknesses – Do They Respond to Complaints? Is the business difficult to contact? Things like poor site navigation counteract any marketing efforts.
  • Competitive Advantage – Do These Competitors Make Their Own Products? What type of media coverage do you get? What about free resources?

Here is another helpful piece of advice on how such a competitive analysis works. When working on your brand, you should only focus on this type of competitor. Find out if their content marketing efforts include a blog. Check out their social media to see what they're focusing on. You may be able to tweak the content templates that you use for your product or service. Much of this information is found on competitor websites.

Indirect Competitors

These are companies that sell goods and services that are similar in the same market. The idea here is that you and your competitor may target the same audience. If you sell shoes and company B sells boots, they can be seen as an indirect competitor.

These people are important because they sell different products in the same niche market. If you pay attention to how they use marketing, you can make better use of your content. If you work through the content marketing of these companies, you will gain insights into new markets.

Some people think that these competitors can actually be excellent partners. Here is an example. If you're selling curling irons, look for a company that sells hair care products. At the same time, remaining competitive means checking whether these competitors are rising or falling.

Tertiary Competitors

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These people are at the bottom of the list. Why? Because they are not an immediate threat to your product or service. However, they offer something else that can be considered a replacement. Proper competition analysis could include the local ice cream shop if you sell donuts. This type of business could quickly change marketing strategies and include similar products.

The decision in which area the competition falls depends on your individual company. For example, if you sell hammers and nails, it is not difficult to categorize the competition. This is not the case with a software company with different functions and plans.

3. Compare marketing strategies

A look at your competitors' marketing strategy is an important step. There are a few things that go into a full competitive analysis. Remember that this part of the analysis is content-based. Check out several factors, including the number of blogs that competitors use.

McCarthy has more advice on marketing your competitors.

"Look at the content on your competitor's website. Focus on important pages such as the home page and service or product pages. Analyze the headings and search for keywords in the page copy. Rate the tone that Style and length, compare to your own website content. ”

"Don't underestimate the speed of the website," she writes. "Use Google's PageSpeed ​​Insights to see how quickly your competitor's website loads compared to yours." Make sure you don't lose potential customers due to a slow website. "

4. Compare websites

Any good competitive analysis must take into account what the other company is doing online. You can get some good information from the content on their website. Social media is also important (see below), but the website is a treasure trove of good information about your competitors.

There is an entire industry that can help here .

Nevertheless, there is some good information that you can get for your competitor analysis on the website.

  • It might start a little bit like detective work. Even if you only get an email address to an employee or customer, you can get some information that you can follow.
  • The website provides information on webinars and other social media events. These can be helpful to learn more about the business of competitors.
  • The website is a great place to get links to interviews that competitors have had in the media.

There are a few things you should consider here. What tone is your competitor using on his homepage, for example? Note the pictures used. It's also a good idea to focus on customer name emails found in testimonials.

5. Compare social media

Social media is an important part of understanding competitors' activities. You can find important information on how people talk about this competitor here. Here are some boxes that you should check to get the most out of your competitor's social media channels.

See who you speak to and who you interact with. This gives you a stronger idea of ​​the target market. Check out the platforms that work for your competitors. Not all social media channels work for all small businesses.

For example, YouTube is an excellent social media channel when your goods and services need to be assembled and explained. Checking out other platforms like Instagram makes sense. You want to take a look at the language your competitors use on other platforms like Facebook.

Check how a competitor's business uses influencers. Make sure you measure the emotional content of the posts for each social media channel. Don't forget to check out the LinkedIn channels. The content found there usually says something about B2B marketing.

6. Consider pricing

There are many areas to cover. While some consider social aspects like content, others consider numbers like pricing. When you compare your prices with those of the competition, there are a few things to consider. It's all pretty simple if your goods and services are similar. Add features like software and things can get more complex.

The first step is to compare your prices against the competition. You may be able to get some numbers from the website. If not, you have to dig a little deeper. Try searching for name email information from testimonials to get in touch.

If you have direct competition that sells at the same prices, you can lower your price to increase sales. Lowering your price can force competitors to innovate to cut costs and keep pace.

7. Use a SWOT analysis

After you collect the data you need, your company has to put it all together. A SWOT analysis of a competitor is useful here. The word is an acronym. It stands for strengths, weaknesses, opportunities and threats. These are flexible. They can be created to analyze your own business or that of your competitors. Some companies use it as a base. The analysis refers to the own company and gives them a starting point for the competition analysis


There are many advantages. A major problem is that companies can use the SWOT analysis to see areas that their competitors in the market can use.

Ty Stewart, CEO and President of Simple Life Insure adds a reason for using this.

"The best tip for a successful competitive analysis is always to have a specific end goal in mind," he writes. "Without this solid, precise purpose that fuels analysis, you will end up with a lot of data, but little direction to work with." ”

He says you can shape results by having a specific question or project to which the competitive analysis answers. That way you get a lot more of the job. These SWOT analysis tools can help.

Template for competition analysis

It is good to summarize all this information in one template. There is some flexibility here. However, a good template contains the following content:

  • Revenue – The clearest way is to check the website of the competition or search for press releases.
  • The Target Market – Check out the content on social media platforms.
  • What makes your products different and unique.
  • The number of employees.
  • Your products and services with prices.
  • The marketing strategies they use.
  • The social channels and websites on which they are operated.
  • Content on company history.

Here are some tips for getting a template for competition analysis. Searching for a online worksheet is a good idea. However, you need to be careful to ensure that all of the categories you want exist. There are some industry leaders that offer them, such as Shopify.

When creating your own, don't forget to include sections for social media and website content. Without taking digital marketing into account, you cannot get an accurate analysis.


Understanding what a competitor is doing can help your business succeed. This is what a good competitive analysis is about.

Mia Ballan, the founder of Money-Minded Millennial provides a good definition.

“The key to performing an effective competitive analysis is choosing the right competitor. The criteria to watch out for are: 1) they are relevant 2) they are relevant and 3) they are successful, ”she writes.

Maddie Bishop, Senior Brand & Communications Strategist at Jacob Tyler has the final say:

“The best competition analysis research is not only interesting, but also useful. There should be some insight into how your brand can grow, pan or innovate inside and outside of your market. "

Before you start, says Bishop, you have to ask three questions. Here is the list that the bishop provides.

Define what you need to learn. Do you just need an overview of the market or do you want to see how you can master it?

Decide who your competitors are. It may not be as obvious as you think. Are you the market leader in your market? Those who manufacture a similar product or offer a similar service? Or those who have taken a strategic step that you are aiming for?

Question whether you really need a traditional competitive analysis. It is unlikely that you can achieve market-leading success simply by copying their tactics. Of course, sometimes you just need an overview of where you are. However, if you try to inform your next strategic move, there may be a better way. Perhaps you could actually learn more from some carefully selected category case studies?

Remember that a good competitive analysis should do several things. First and foremost, it should identify gaps in every market.

A good analysis can also be the first step in developing brand new products and services. When done correctly, it also helps to identify important market trends. Ultimately, it should help you sell and market your products and services more effectively.


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10 Ways To Improve Your Remote Business

10 Ways To Improve Your Remote Business

With many small business owners and their employees currently working remotely, it is the perfect time for entrepreneurs to focus on activities that can be done from anywhere. Regardless of whether you are trying to improve team communication or market your business, these tips from members of the online community can help small businesses. <! – ->

Use these tools for remote teams

Many teams across the country are still considering the idea of ​​working remotely. Fortunately there are some tools and resources that can help make the transition a little easier. Read this RightMix marketing post by Vartika Kashyap for tips and resources for your remote team.

Overcome these challenges of remote work

Many entrepreneurs and their employees have similar problems when trying to be productive from home. If you understand these issues and find out what others have done to overcome them, you may be better placed to do more. This crowdspring post by Ashlee Brayfield contains three common challenges that all remote workers should know.

Increasing productivity in the workplace

<! – -> Whether you normally work from home or in a traditional office, productivity is key. To get the most out of your day, you may need to use some technical tools and concepts. This Process Street contribution by Ben Mulholland describes some of the most important resources.

Creating a social media calendar

Social media is an effective way to communicate with customers around the world. In order to use this strategy optimally, it is helpful to organize contributions and campaigns in a calendar. Ria Gran works out in this Startup Cafe contribution. And members of the BizSugar community commented here .

Focus on online reviews

No matter where you run your small business, your customers' voices can have a big impact on your messages. This post by Ramon Ray contains insights of entrepreneur Brian Greenberg about how he has used ratings as a competitive advantage for his company.

Protect your business during a pandemic

Small businesses across the country are struggling to find the right way to respond to the current pandemic. However, some may cut back a bit too much as there are great growth opportunities in areas like SEO. Francois Goube discusses which steps entrepreneurs can take in this search engine country article.

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Start a successful YouTube channel for your company

YouTube can be started and run from anywhere. If you want to run your business remotely and want to exchange information or markets in a simple and inexpensive way, read the tips in this social media HQ article by Christian Zilles to start and run a successful YouTube channel . <! – ->

Improve your company's processes

In order to operate your company efficiently, you need processes for the functions that you perform regularly. Regardless of whether you work at home or in the office, this Noobpreneur article by Ivan Widjaya contains some tips on how you can optimally use your processes.

Increase in organic traffic on old posts

You may already have old posts on your blog that may benefit your business. If you want to increase traffic to these posts, read this 99signals post by Sandeep Mallya. Then go to the BizSugar community to see what members say .

Meet a marketing home run with experience content

<! – -> The content of your company is not just about the exchange of information. You can also create an experience for your customers. In this TopRank marketing contribution, Nick Nelson deals with the idea of ​​experience and how it can benefit companies.

To suggest that your favorite small business content be considered for an upcoming community summary, send your news tips to:


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Checklist for reopening corona virus for small business owners

Checklist for reopening corona virus for small business owners

With some states lifting business restrictions, small businesses in various industries are preparing to reopen their doors. <! – ->

However, it does not work as usual.

Checklist for the reopening of the corona virus

In order to create a safe and productive work environment, employers may need to take several additional steps before they can be used again.

<! – -> Vicki Salemi, career expert at gave small business trends some tips on important steps that companies should take when preparing them. That is why we have created this handy checklist for corona virus reopening that any small business owner can use.

Prepare a timeline

Most states remove restrictions in phases based on specific regions and types of business. Although details can change, it is important for companies to set goals and dates for reopening certain parts of their business so they can stay on the right track. In this way, you can also give employees and customers an idea of ​​when you will reopen.

Create a communication plan

Many small business employees are waiting for information about their return to work from managers or superiors. If you don't already have one, create a specific chain of commands or open communication channels to send messages to your entire team. When creating a schedule and plan, let employees know exactly what changes can be made when they return to work. Your plan should include things like office logistics, meeting guidelines, and the use of lifts and break rooms, as you'll likely still need some social distance guidelines. Some companies may also fluctuate if employees return or continue to offer teleworking options for high-risk team members or for those who feel unsafe to come back to the office immediately.

Invest in protective equipment

Physical security is a top priority at many workplaces across the country. So if you don't have a stock yet, you may need to invest in a stock of personal protective equipment such as face masks and gloves to distribute to employees. In fact, some states have asked employers to provide their teams with masks or other equipment when they require them to come to work. If you order these items in advance, you can ensure security as soon as they have to be opened again.

Setting up disinfection stations

Regular hand washing and disinfection is also of the utmost importance to slow the spread of the coronavirus. Companies that want to ensure a clean environment and help employees feel safe and comfortable can set up additional disinfection stations or hand washing areas in their office or facility. <! – ->

Development of a cleaning policy

If there are some common areas in your workplace, regular disinfection may be necessary or beneficial to stop germs from spreading. And your regular professional cleaning schedule may not be enough. Therefore, you may want to create a schedule or guidelines for disinfecting certain items. For example, you can leave the disinfectant cleaner near the phone in the conference room and ask each employee to clean it after use. Or create a rotating schedule for team members to disinfect door handles and elevator buttons daily.

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Emotionally support employees

This time it was not only difficult for people's physical health. Many employees are likely to have emotional problems as well. And some of this can show up as you prepare to go back to work or prepare for another important change in your schedule. As an employer, you can support your team by letting them know clearly how they can discuss problems with you or other members of your team. For example, you can set up a meeting where people can openly discuss problems or open virtual office hours with themselves or certain managers. Just letting people know that it is normal to feel a little uncomfortable during this time can help reduce their fear of returning to work.

Strengthen your online presence

<! – -> Even if some companies reopen, personal interactions will no longer be what they used to be. Companies that have relied on this type of communication for sales and marketing must therefore further adapt their strategies. Even before you return to the office all day, small business owners should focus on creating a more robust online presence so customers can easily do business with you, even if they distance themselves socially. During this time, it may be worth focusing more on your social media customer service or adding a live chat feature to your website.

Set limits

Working from home has resulted in many employees observing strange working hours and combining their office and private lives. When teams move back to an office environment, some employees may maintain some of these habits, such as: For example, answering emails in the middle of the night or planning conference calls for dinner. To maintain reason and create a healthier business environment, companies may want to set working time guidelines or at least deter unhealthy habits.

Start a virtual mentoring program

When employees return to work in stages and only interact with each other behind masks or physical barriers, it is normal for people to feel separated from their colleagues. This can ultimately lead to burnout or make people feel separated from their work. If you want to securely encourage more interaction, you can create a virtual mentoring program or set up collaboration opportunities so people can collaborate online or by phone. This can also be beneficial for teams that will continue to work remotely for the foreseeable future.

Maintaining flexibility

Even if you have a solid plan for your team to return to work, things can change immediately. Don't get too involved in a particular schedule or idea if health or policy changes affect your business. Creating some contingency plans and keeping communication channels open in your company can help you stay agile during this crisis and quickly adapt to unexpected challenges.



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Now is the time to think about pivoting your business strategy

Now is the time to think about pivoting your business strategy

Small business owners across the country and around the world are changing their business plans and spinning on the go to generate some revenue. <! – ->

I am sure that we are all very familiar with the dire signs of this pandemic, but there is also a positive side: it forces many of us to reexamine what we are doing and to experiment with new ideas.

Pivoting Business Strategy

"We won't go back to the way we did business a year ago," investment guru Mark Tepper, president and CEO of Strategic Wealth Partners, said recently to Stuart Varney, the show's business show host.

<! – -> This raises the question: Are you using these extraordinary times to be ready for the new business processes after the COVID-19 storm subsides?

I remember some decisions Jimmy John's founder Jimmy John Liautaud made when he first opened his sandwich shops: “His shop was not in the best place, so he closed the delivery to promote his sandwiches to one. Jimmy John's gourmet sandwiches made a profit until the end of the first year. "

I quote this example because, if your email inbox resembles mine, you have regularly received emails from local restaurants that have added delivery to the services they offer. I could add that in many cases they use one of the new gig economy services like Uber Eats. I've spoken to various food service professionals who are usually reluctant to partner with one or more of these new services. Internal control of the delivery can improve profitability.

The point is that starting a delivery process is not as easy as tapping a magnetic sign on the side of an employee's car and going out on the street: online ordering, staff, packaging, insurance and other details must be seen will. This is evidenced by the fact that I still receive emails with new delivery services many weeks after shutting down the corona virus. For many restaurants, working with an established service is the first step.

For this reason, we should face the challenges of this difficult time to rethink business models and try out new ideas. We know the demand will be pretty low, so our investments will be low … and our failures won't be that big of a deal. I've already discussed the delivery, so here are some other options to consider. <! – ->

Get Granular

Seniors and people taking immunosuppressive drugs or suffering from other conditions were advised to be particularly careful and wear masks if they dare to do necessary errands. However, it is practically impossible to buy masks through the regular channels.

However, many Etsy vendors were able to immediately produce dust masks in a variety of colors and patterns. In fact, most offer same day shipping. This is a fine example of how small companies can handle a sudden surge in demand much faster than large companies.

<! – -> Investigate your business. Are there any niche markets that you overlook? Compare your activities with the larger companies in your industry. Who are they not going to sell to? Today is the ideal time to reach markets that you may not have considered large enough to deal with. What do you have to lose?

If you are a manufacturer, check out 3D printing ideas . There is a good chance that you have time. Why not discover a new technology? Let some of your team figure out the technical side as your marketing staff investigates where they may be selling new, customized products.

Expand Your Staff

"Wait a minute," you say, "don't small businesses either lay off people or take out loans from Uncle Sam just to meet their current paycheck?" How is it possible to expand? "

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If you haven't already, contact freelancers to add talent to your business. They are the experienced work-from-home pioneers.

However, if you rely on freelancers, you need to build relationships to achieve comfort and success. To be honest, I know of some freelancers who were so overwhelmed during the current closure that they don't accept new customers.

You may be able to get in touch with good freelancers through local recommendations, but for the most part with the various specialized freelance websites, such as Upwork Fiverr Freelancer and Toptal are the best place to start . Check out Fiverr for smaller jobs, Toptal to connect with tech gurus for big ticket projects, and upwork and freelancers for everything in between.

Developing multiple sources

There is a guiding principle in manufacturing: There are several sources for every business-critical component. At the national level, we seem to have forgotten this and have allowed China to be our only source of a wide range of products, including some critical medicines and health items.


Take this slow time to reevaluate your supply chain. Do you have something from one source? I have no idea what our COVID-19 trade relationship with China will look like, but there is certainly the potential that things will get tricky. In addition, the pandemic has slowed down or stopped many otherwise reliable sources. It is advisable to examine other suppliers and establish new relationships.

You might also consider doing critical component manufacturing yourself, acquiring shares in companies you depend on, or expanding through the acquisition of a critical supplier.

Creating goodwill

Let me make one more suggestion before we leave the topic, and I'll go back to the example of Jimmy John I quoted above: give away samples.

See, you probably don't make much money now anyway, and there's a good chance that your employees are minimal. Free samples cost very little – they don't do too much damage to your already bad business results – and prepare you for a strong upswing resulting from the shutdown. They are a great way to find new friends and to inform about your company.

Service providers should also take this into account. For example, a local cleaning company might offer some free home disinfection visits.

Be creative and shine like a beacon of hope in this unprecedented age.



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11 Types of Business Insurance You May Need

11 Types of Business Insurance You May Need

It is important to get the right kind of business insurance. It can help protect you from falling sales, natural disasters, and even unforeseen crises. Small Business Trends contacted Keith Moore of CyberPolicy to find out what types of business insurance your company needs. The right type of insurance coverage is as important as the goods and services you sell. He told us what is important. <! – ->

To choose the right type of insurance, you need to know exactly what you need.

Types of Business Insurance Your Business Needs

Below is a list of the different types of insurance for a company that you need. This is a good place to start if you are looking for the right policy to insure your business. Having an expert at your side is a great way to decide which of these guidelines works best for your business.

<! – -> Depending on the industry you work in, you may need more of one type of reporting than another.

First Moore explains what a startup needs.

“Startups definitely need business insurance. Depending on your company, you may need a variety of insurance policies. A BOP guideline is a good starting point because it covers general liability (personal injury and property damage) and business property.

He says that a startup also needs employee compensation and other forms of insurance.

Types of business insurance

The right insurance protects your company from any kind of business interruption. Moore started talking about different types of business insurance. He said there is business insurance that covers everything from employees to the property the company is on. <! – ->

These cover everything from property damage to certain other situations. It is important to consider your options here if you live in a flooded area or a fire risk area. Some of these types of natural disasters can affect your ability to make money.


Commercial property insurance is important for a company. It doesn't matter whether you want to insure business property in your home or in an office building. This type of corporate insurance protects office furniture and equipment inside. Look for a policy that protects outdoor things like the signs on your property.

<! – -> Property insurance is one of the cornerstones that a company needs. It is a necessary reporting.

Business Owners Policy (BOP)

This type of policy can be combined with general liability and commercial property insurance. It is good for business owners who rent a room and have equipment in it.

"It is also good for business owners with employees who act dishonestly or steal from customers, or who may have business equipment such as computers, printers, and furniture," says Moore.

General liability

"General liability helps cover medical and legal expenses that result from bodily harm and other issues that your company may be legally responsible for," says Moore.

It can also protect employees with a personal injury clause that covers property damage. This type of policy can also cover defamation and defamation. It is coverage that you need and a kind of insurance that your company cannot do without.

Liability insurance is important for every company. Covering your legal costs is an important part of aquatic life. This is the type of policy that worries you as a business owner a lot.

Professional liability / errors and omissions

Your company must have liability insurance. Entrepreneurs have to cover all the basics. This type of policy is also known as an error and omission policy. This is another must for business insurance.

Moore explains what this professional liability insurance does for a small business.

“This type of insurance, also known as failure and non-performance insurance (E&O), protects a company against claims for negligence, failed services or incomplete services. ”

This is an important part of your business insurance toolkit. It is important to cover all aspects if you live in a place that is prone to natural disasters.

Employee compensation

A company must also take out employee compensation insurance. It is important that business owners ensure that they are covered by this policy. This reporting is often required by the state.

"Accidents occur, giving your employees financial coverage for missed wages and medical expenses for unfortunate breakdowns at work," says Moore. He also mentions that entrepreneurs can see it as a form of liability insurance.

"In some cases, it can protect your company from lawsuits related to working conditions that are said to cause harm."

This is especially important if you are a contractor. Many of your customers want to be sure that you have covered this aspect. Homeowners don't want to worry about liability if they don't have this coverage.

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Cyber ​​Insurance

“Cyber ​​insurance protects your company from malware, cyber attacks and data loss – very real threats for every company. If your company is doing something online, you need cyber insurance, ”says Moore. Here are some types involved. Make sure that all of the policies you're looking for cover processing credit cards, accepting digital payments, and storing sensitive information.

There are various types of business insurance under this banner. Look for a policy that also covers financial data. Keep in mind that cybercriminals keep finding new ways to steal your data. There can be legal ramifications if you are not covered by this type of insurance for a company and data or personal information is stolen.

Unemployment Insurance

This is important if you want to take care of employees. This insurance is a big incentive in a tight job market. A policy that provides additional coverage can help you attract people.

With a service package that includes this type of insurance, you always stay one step ahead of the competition. It's a good bonus to be in today's highly competitive markets.

Business interruption

A flexible company must have an interruption insurance. This cover can look after a commercial property or even provide cover for a domestic company.

"This insurance compensates for loss of income if you cannot open your business for a period of time," says Moore. Unfortunately, this business insurance does not cover viruses or quarantines and travel bans. This is an important consideration for interruption insurance.

Directors and officers

There are other business insurances that are intended for management. According to Moore, this insurance is designed for a company's directors, officers, and board members.

Moore says there are some specific examples where this policy is important.

"This policy is required if you have a board of directors, you want to retain and retain executives, and you have a charitable status."

Roof insurance

“This adds an extra layer of protection to your existing liability insurance and protects your business from things that may not fall under your standard policy, such as: B. Legal costs, medical bills and damage costs. "

Regardless of the type of business in which you operate, this insurance provides an additional layer of protection. You want to see the cover from every possible angle.

Life insurance / key person

This is important when an important employee or business owner cannot work or is disabled. It is about business continuity and is paid to a key person.

Health Insurance

Health insurance is important to attract employees. However, it does nothing to protect the business.

Other types

It is important to consider property insurance and other types that may be specific to your industry.

"Commercial car insurance protects your vehicles and employees on the road and covers all breakdowns that affect vehicles that you or your employees have driven in the course of doing business," says Moore. “This insurance is ideal for anyone who uses a vehicle for business purposes.

He mentions real estate professionals, contractors, delivery drivers and ridesharing drivers.


Do I need insurance for a startup?

Yes, startups also need insurance. Read Tips for Expert Insurance When Starting a Business and Benefits of Business Insurance .

How much does it cost to insure small businesses?

Moore explains:

"This is really a wide range for pricing small business insurance because small businesses can all have different levels of risk. However, small business insurance policies can only cost $ 250 a year."

This can even include liability insurance. The idea here is to look around to get different offers. Don't go with the first company to offer you some numbers for one of these guidelines.

How do you get business insurance?

You can get business insurance through an insurance agent, an online insurance marketplace, or the insurance company's website. Certain types of insurance, such as employee compensation and unemployment insurance for employees, are subject to state law and, depending on the state, may be part of a state regulation.

Moore emphasizes that it is easy to find the right policy.

“Taking out business insurance is easy. Since it's 2020, comparative shopping for your business insurance is a smart way to find the policy that best fits your company's individual needs and budget. You can speak to an approved insurance advisor at any time to ask additional questions before making your purchase. Once you have bought your policy, your insurance is active within 24 hours. "


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Best Money Saving Apps for Business People

Best Money Saving Apps for Business People

Money Saving Apps can help you maintain profits and provide a Business Emergency Fund when managing costs carefully . . <! – ->

Saving money has other advantages, of course. If you deposit money into a savings account, you can increase your personal wealth. The more money you save in business, the more money you take home with you. A healthier bank account means not using credit cards to help with larger purchases.

Saving money used to be something that you painstakingly did by manually tracking expenses and a checking account. With online bank accounts, automatic deposits and mobile apps to save money, saving can be painless today. Fortunately, there are several apps on the market that we can recommend.

<! – -> There are many great money saving apps that will help you. Check out the 20 best we've found.

20 Best Money Saving Apps

Here is our list of the 20 best money saving apps for 2020.

1. Mint

Mint's Mobile Banking free application collects your bank account and your credit card information in one place. With the Mint app you can link your business account with setting up budgets and goals and then analyze your bank statements, savings and checking accounts. It measures how well you hold on to them. In addition, the app offers budget warnings, investment tracking and a free credit score.

2. Good budget

The Goodbudget app performs similar tasks to the Mint Banking mobile app. You can also set up expense categories to monitor your business and personal finances. It is also ideal for companies that need to track a variety of payments, e.g. B. progress in debt repayment. There is also a function to synchronize and share the budget to avoid misunderstandings between partners or employees. There is a free plan, although the Plus plan only costs $ 60 a year or $ 7 a month.

3. Mvelopes

This app is another great savings tool to control business expenses. Mvelopes focuses more on categorizing progress in debt payment. Therefore, it is a good application for a debt-indebted consumer, but can be very useful for any company with multiple monthly repayments that need to be met. There is a $ 19 plan and a $ 59 monthly plan, each with additional features. However, the basic plan for $ 6 a month is suitable for most small businesses. <! – ->

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4. InDinero

The InDinero app was developed especially for small businesses and collects all relevant financial information from all commercial bank accounts and credit cards with which you synchronize them. It gives a comprehensive overview of your expenses and analyzes and creates forecasts based on your financial behavior. The InDinero app also offers a basic tax return service that covers the preparation and submission of a federal and state tax return. Extras are available at an additional cost. With $ 300 a month, you can expect the highest quality. There are also custom savings plans that allow companies to choose only the features they need.

5th Wally

You can also use the Wally app to track your business expenses. It also has an additional document scanning function to speed up data entry. It's completely free, although developers of the Wally app say they plan to launch optional premium features between $ 0.49 and $ 4.99 in the future. However, these will most likely target general consumers, with basic budgeting options for businesses still free.

6. You need a budget (YNAB)

<! – -> This consumer-oriented application has many features that a small business can use to create budgets and analyze expenses. You can use it to monitor bills, wages and investments. The app You need a budget promises to teach everyone how to prioritize and plan a budget that is perfect for a new start-up. You can use the free 34-day trial with a monthly plan of $ 11.99 a month. Alternatively, you can save $ 60 of the annual amount by paying a flat rate of $ 84 for the annual plan.

7th donation

Simplicity and user-friendliness are the unique selling points of the Spendee Banking App. In this way, you can monitor and understand your business savings or personal finances at a glance and see where you have spent your money and whether or not your spending is in line with your allocated savings goals. The Donation App offers a free 7-day trial and a free basic plan with expanded plans for $ 14.99 and $ 22.99 per year.

8th digit

One of the best apps to save money and keep your savings account healthy is the Digit App . Both general consumers and small businesses can use the application to analyze their spending habits and automatically save the perfect amount every day, so you don't have to worry about it. The savings will then be redirected to an interest-free savings account to keep your company in good financial shape. The monthly subscription is $ 5 and can be canceled at any time.

9. Home budget with synchronization

The app HomeBudget with Sync was developed as an app for budgeting and saving money in the family style and enables groups to synchronize and plan budgets with each other. For multiple small business owners, this app allows you to align your collective funds with your business budget, which is then managed through the app. It's also an affordable option, as the app costs less than $ 5.

10. My Budget Book Pro Edition

This app provides tools for personal and business financial budgeting and saving. The main feature is an expense tracker. With the app My Budget Book Pro Edition with easy-to-read graphics, you can manage multiple accounts, transfer money between them, and manage your income and expenses. There is a free version that can be used for any period of time and allows up to 16 monthly transactions. However, this limit can be lifted by a one-time in-app purchase.

11th EveryDollar

The free EveryDollar app

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