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BizPro Fire Talks

BizPro Fire Talks3 H 26 M

What does it take to be a successful leader? Learn from Red Lion business owners Josh Marpet and Scott Lyons in these special entrepreneurship fire talks.

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  • BizPro Fire Talks
    • Low-Cost Resources for Small Business
    • Blockchain Basics
    • Cat Picture Resiliency
    • Entrepreneur's Rollercoaster
    • How not to be a CEO
    • When not to join a Start-up
    • Zero Knowledge doesn't mean Zero Ethics
    • Business Paperwork
    • Advisors
    • Funding
    • Keeping Track of your Expenses

Low-Cost Resources for Small Business

9 M

  • Episode Description
  • Transcript

Low-Cost Resources for Small Business

Welcome to ITProTV. [CROSSTALK] >> You're watching ITProTV. >> Hi, thanks for joining us on ITProTV. I'm Joshua Marpet, and this is Scott Lyons, we're from Red Lion. We're gonna do a quick-fire talk on low-cost resources for small business. So, Scott, start us off, what kind of resources are we talking about? >> Well, in small businesses, a lot of small businesses really rely on communication. They rely on project management, a little bit of document management because, hey, you need a place to be able to put your stuff. >> Okay, so what kind of resources would you use for communication? >> Well, personally my personal favorite, not gonna lie, I break the holy truth of communication don'ts, and that's using Facebook. Realistically, you shouldn't do that, but I am a huge, huge breaker of that rule, only because everybody that I know is there, so why not? Versus having Slack, right? >> That's true because, with Slack, you have to be on a specific team. With Gtalk, you have to know which address they have their Gtalk set up on. With Facebook, everybody's right there, they're all in the same sort of grouping. And if they're a friend of yours, you can immediately message them and talk to them. But it's monitored, it's subpoenable, it's easily get at people. It's not a good idea. So we recommend anything but Facebook. Signal, Slack, Gmail any of those things, please use them instead of Facebook Messenger, but if you have to, as Scott apparently always does, it's there. >> Yeah, but you also have to remember, though, it comes down to the level of communication. If you're talking about company trade secrets, you sort of want an encrypted chat. Facebook is not what you wanna use. Ain't that the truth? >> Yes, absolutely. >> But in being able to talk to people about communication also comes project management. So for you, when we're going through projects, what do you like to use to manage the projects? >> So in actuality, there's several things that I've used. I've used Trello, I've used Producteev. For BSides Delaware, the conference that I run, we use Producteev and Trello. For my house, my wife setup a Trello board, so I would have a honey do list that was perfect. >> [LAUGH] >> Everything from taking out the garbage to folding the laundry to fixing the plumbing is on our Trello list for the house. Evernote is a great one because it allows you to put snippets of web pages and everything else in there. It depends. Trello is a Kanban board, or think of Post-it notes on a white board. Producteev is more project based like Asana where you have tasks that tricked together or linked together to do the task one, then task two, then task three. So it depends, but all of these are free versions. So it's very, very low cost and very simple. >> Right, and a lot of the free versions follow the same theory of project management, whether it's the hybrid model, the DevOps model, the Waterfall model, they're all baked into these systems. And that's really what's most important is that they're flexible for your business. >> Right, because, if you're an Agile firm. If you do Agile development, you're gonna want to use a Kanban board like Trello or you're gonna want to use, if you're Waterfall, you're gonna want to use a Waterfall-based system or something that's Waterfall sort of baked into its genes, like Producteev. You can do Agile on Producteev, but it's a little different to set up. But again, even to do these things, you've gotta figure out where you're gonna save all your stuff. >> And that's actually a really good point, because it brings us into the next part of our discussion here which is document management, okay? Now me personally, I love using Google Docs. Google Docs for everything. It makes things really simple. The cost benefit value is there, especially for a small business that might not have access to enterprise level resources. >> Yeah, except that Google Docs is a nightmare to keep organized, because if you create it or I created it, it's now in different folders. And if we have folders of the same name, it's impossible to merge them together. So one friend of ours, Kevin Johnson from Secure Ideas, actually had a great idea. He created a single master folder in Google Docs and everybody in the firm puts all of their things, all of their documents, in that master folder. That's worked, and we actually have done that with some of our subcompanies. And some of our subcompanies somebody started stuff that didn't do that and I got a little annoyed with them. I'm not saying it was anybody in particular, I'm just pointing it out, let's say. But there's plenty of document management projects and systems out there. There's Google Docs, there's GitHub, there's Dropbox, there's Citrix. I forget the shares. >> AWS, you can use the S3 buckets in AWS to do storage as well. >> Absolutely, that's correct. But there's lots of them out there. AWS actually charges for the S3 buckets, so that's technically not free but it's relatively inexpensive. >> And either way you look at it, you need to have security built-in to what you do, so you're looking at Google authenticator for your two factor, you're looking at let's encrypt, and https, all the things. >> Well that's https everywhere which is a project that was started I think by Google, maybe even Facebook, but you'll notice as you wander around the web these days most every major website is now https with the green padlock on some browsers. If it's not SSL or TLS encrypted, to be honest with you, is the correct way to say it, if it's not TLS encrypted, you shouldn't be using it. It means you're pushing information across an unsecure connection, that's an insecure connection that just will not secure your information. So you've got to make sure that you're two-factor, multi-factor in some form or fashion, you're getting another factor of authentication into your document management, into your sales management, into all of the things that you do as a business, because otherwise you're risking everything you have. >> Okay, so let's say you walk down all of these roads. You do all the basics, you've watched the talks that we've put out. And you say, hey, I have this great thing called customers, and now I have money coming in, okay? So the last two topics that I wanna talk about real quick are, what do we do for our customers? And what are good options for managing your money? >> Okay, so for customers, you want a CRM, that's a customer relationship management system. There's Hub Spot, there's Salesforce, there's a lot of different ones out there. There's xZro, X-Z-R-O, there's several out there. >> Salesforce? Salesforce is super pricey. It's great, don't get me wrong, but the price, especially for a small business, can be astronomical. >> Okay, that's a good point, but it depends. Let me explain. Salesforce has the best integrations out there in terms of customer relationship management systems. If your product or something you do with a partner or some part of your business relies on those integrations, you're gonna buy into Salesforce. Yeah, it's about 150 bucks a month per person. But you know what? If you need those integrations, an API integration with something, you're gonna buy Salesforce. It's just that simple. Now if you had to buy stuff, you gotta track your money. So how are you gonna do it? How are you gonna take money if you're doing retail? And how are you gonna track money if you're doing basic accounting, which I hope you're doing as a business. It's just a detail thing. So if you wanna take money, you're gonna wanna use either Square or any of the phone-enabled readers. In other words, you plug it into your phone through the headphone jack or through the bottom port, whether it's Lightning or a Micro USB or a USB-C, and you can swipe a credit card. They even have EMV readers now. Square I know has them. I believe First Data has them as well, where you can slide their chip readers. So where you can slide the card in and read the chip. Okay, that's good for taking in money. But when you're out and you have to go to business meetings. And you have lunches and you have to get Ubers, and this, that, and the other, how do you keep track of all those receipts? >> So there's two ways that you do that. One is you can use an app that's designed for keeping track of receipts. Expensify is something I've been pushing for years. I think it's a great app. Concur is another one, but that's more enterprise based. Expensify you can do on your own, and if you join a company, they can have a corporate Expensify account. It's really, really simple. You literally take a picture of the receipt and boom, it's in your Expensify account. And you say it's billable, here's the client it's billable to, and it's reimbursable to me, Here's the account I wanna get reimbursed from. It's simple, straightforward. >> So as a good recap, for communication, use Slack or WhatsApp, not Facebook. For project management, you want Evernote or Trello, right, or Producteev, right? For document management, it all depends on what your business is doing, on how you wanna manage your documents, because that's really what it comes down to, what fits for your business. For security, make sure that you're always using encryption, right? For CRM, you wanna look at HubSpot if you're a small business or something that's along the lines of HubSpot. It's not as pricey as Salesforce, although you may find Salesforce fits your needs for your business. Again, it all comes back to how do you run your business and how do you tailor your business, right? For money, it depends on whether you're taking cash in over the web, whether you're taking it in over a card, right, and how you're managing what's going on with your money, whether you're using QuickBooks for your accounting, or you're using Expensify to track you receipts for your accountant. Either way, these are couple of small tips about low cost resources for business. I'm Scott, this is Josh. Thanks for watching. [MUSIC] Thank you for watching ITProTV.

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