Business Intelligence – The Need of the Hour!

Business intelligence is the set of techniques and tools for the transformation of raw data into meaningful, useful information for business analysis purposes. Do small businesses need it? Earlier, only large corporations had the resources and manpower to crunch the numbers and utilize the software.

Business intelligence tools are now no longer expensive and resource hungry. The technology has evolved to be lightweight, powerful and accessible to small/medium enterprises. These advances have provided business intelligence solutions that don’t require coding knowledge to build dashboards and explore data. It’s not realistic to expect small business owners to fret over the technicalities when there are other more urgent matters like attending to customers and managing staff. These business intelligence tools have analytical functions that can be accessed easily, displaying data that matters.

Many intelligence solutions are also provided by outside firms that specialize in data analysis. This can greatly reduce costs, with priorities and capital diverted to other business investments that matters. The advances in intelligence software have also made it faster and quicker to process data.

Business intelligence can help smaller businesses to compete with larger corporations. In the long run, it might even be able to help small businesses increase market share and generate revenue from unexpected avenues. The analysis of data help business owners make informed decisions that could impact the well-being of the business. Data includes the analysis of market trends and changing consumer behavior and appetites.

A greater host of these solutions are now geared towards a younger crowd. It is tailored for collaborative decision-making, visualization, and iterative scenario analysis. Younger entrepreneurs want business intelligence solutions that are easy to use and don’t require extensive training.

However, to use these solutions effectively, there has to be enough quality operational data to actually process. If the pool of data is small, all you need to do is just look at it to determine the results, then business analytics tools are not for your business.

Cloud computing is a word many people use nowadays. But it is a reality. Business intelligence solutions based on cloud computing has gained traction among small businesses due to its self-serve analytics. It requires minimal IT intervention.

Before embarking on these intelligence solutions, it’s important to determine the data that you want to procure. You need to know the questions you want answered, not just getting the latest fancy software. Otherwise it is a monumental waste of time and resources as you grapple in the dark.

Facebook For Business – Creating Greater Profits With Facebook

Facebook for business growth is a hot topic right now and probably will still be 5 or 10 years from now, why? Because it works! If you know what you are doing. It is effective and it is efficient and it’s pretty easy to implement. With almost 1 billion users utilizing Facebook for business promotion, it’s really a simple decision – you either do it or you let your competition take all of the traffic, Fans and profits from you.

Why Is Using Facebook For Business Essential?

There are a myriad of reasons why implementing Facebook for business is the best way to get your business off the ground, in this article I want to try and review just some of the biggest benefits and also some of the potential drawbacks.

The Pros Of Using Facebook For Business

1. Ease Of Use. So when it comes down to it, if you can set up an email address and check your email regularly or if you use internet banking in any way, you can use Facebook. Those 2 examples are set up pretty much in the same manner as signing up for a Facebook account – it is a simple system of steps that are very easy to follow and there are plenty of tutorials on the net or on YouTube, if you are unsure on how to get started.

2. Info In Minutes. Now say you’ve decided to try off line advertising using the typical pamphlets, brochures, and biz cards in your local neighborhood, this can get pretty time consuming to say the least, and can also take a minute before you see any results or response for your efforts. With Facebook marketing, you can have a campaign set up and have traffic going to your site within minutes. If you are, say, creating a billboard or wanting to run radio or TV advertisement, this type of marketing can also be not only costly, but it can be a long time before you can really judge the effectiveness of your advertising.

3. Extremely Accurate Targeting. When a user signs up for a Facebook account, they enter their age, country and city and sometimes street address, likes and dislikes and a whole host of other variables. You can target all or any of these that you wish, which is incredibly powerful for a business. Using Facebook as an example in the home business niche, you can really narrow your market by further by choosing to only show your ads to say, stay at home moms between the ages of 25-50. Then you can create an ad specifically designed to target this exact demographic and then guide them to an offer that suits them exactly. It truly does remove all of the uncertainties of advertising and you don’t have to go for the “shotgun” approach.

4. Budget As Necessary. If you own a small clothing store in Iowa, you can spend around $30 bucks or so and see how your results go for your Facebook advertising and then decide from there. It is truly up to you to decide how much you want to spend and if you are going to invest more in this avenue or not. If you find that you aren’t getting the results that you want – ask yourself why. You can always try to target different demographics or change your ad. Perhaps you are just using the wrong wording in your ads, etc. Whatever you decide, you can always try again with another small budget and see how that performs.

The Cons Of Using Facebook For Business?

For every action there is an equal and opposite reaction, and that is true on the internet too! Here are some of the downsides of using your Facebook for business.

1. You Need To Feed It Cash. Facebook is not a not-for-profit organization. Using it costs real money, not as much as traditional advertising, but it’s money all the same. You’ll need to pay for every single visitor that clicks on your ad, aka. Pay Per Click. The fact of the matter is, most successful Facebook marketers use some kind of paid advertising. Just like rentals are highest in places with the most foot traffic, certain ads will cost more to run depending on how lucrative those niches are.

2. You Have Competition. Although Facebook runs a tight ship in most niches, you will have competition if you want to use Facebook for your business. This is something you probably already know, but it can mean that you pay more for your ads if you are in a highly competitive market.

3. It Does Take Some Time. Although it is relatively passive traffic once it is set up, you do have to spend the time in the beginning to set up those ads; finding images, coming up with the headlines and text as well as optimizing them to get some good click through rates. This is work that can be outsourced, however if you are a small business this is something you should definitely do yourself.

Like any other source of advertising or free marketing, there are obviously good and bad points to using Facebook for business. However, when you compare it with other online methods such as article marketing, AdWords, blogging and forum marketing, you will quickly see that using Facebook to market your company can yield faster and greater results.

Facebook-A Serious Strategy For Serious Players

With a user base of almost a billion humans and the exact targeting available, you can make Facebook advertising work for you like the big players do. It’s just a matter of optimizing your campaign appropriately, changing your ads around when necessary and changing your target market until you have fine-tuned it. It can be hard to see your money getting spent and getting no return, but using Facebook account for business growth and profitability is just like any other method of promotion – you need to test it out, track the results, come to a conclusion and then make a decision about where to go from there.