Bookkeeping, shopping carts, and websites (and Twitter difficulties!) : Summary from June 2, 2009

Before Twitter’s API decided to choke, this week’s chat had a good discussion on bookkeeping, what others use for shopping cart options, how you chose your website designer and social media policies.

I think I speak for everyone who participated when I say: Twitter we are NOT impressed! Hopefully they can fix the API issues, but in the meantime, check out the good solutions provided by sbbuzz chat community members.

Want to participate or have a small business question that other small biz owners can help with? Here’s how you can join us next week!

  • Next buzz-up is Tuesday, June 9th from 8:00 PM – 10:00 PM Eastern Time. Join us – We’re here to facilitate the conversation between small business owners.
  • Know small businesses that need help? Let them know when this chat happens, help them get started on Twitter and let’s talk!
  • Instructions for participating are at
  • Below is a summary of the most recent discussion. To see the full conversation, go to:

sbbuzz: OK – lets get this party started. Q1 from @bizrighter What are small business owners major pain points? #sbbuzz

  • bradfordshimp: Q1 – A major pain point for a small biz is cash flow – making sure there is enough of it coming in and not too much going out. #sbbuzz
  • GeriRosman: #sbbuzz Health care. If you’re a solo, you’re essentially up the creek with only a very expensive paddle!!
  • sophware: +1 Health Care (@gerirosman) It helped push my last business into selling and worries me about any future ventures. #sbbuzz
  • scoblitz: @sbbuzz Q1 Communicating and coordinating with clients and teams – keeping everyone on same page. #sbbuzz
  • eproulx: #sbbuzz Major pain point for me is realizing that people who work with and for me don’t share same passion for mission that I do.
  • nyproperty4sale: Q1: I have a lot of small business calling me about their cash flow problems and much of it was created by them. Sad to say. #sbbuzz
  • rzazueta: #sbbuzz Q1: Getting the most done with the least resources – most small businesses run lean.
  • nyproperty4sale: Q1: I think it is very important for small businesses to become more financial literate & learn not to spend all they make. #sbbuzz
  • nyproperty4sale: Q1: I believe once small business learn the importance of banking relationships they will be much better off. #sbbuzz
  • wvpmc: My personal consern is that sm biz in a hurry to save $ earlier this year made cuts that will penalize them on uptick #sbbuzz
  • qbguy: @sbbuzz A major pain point I see is in keeping good books. Many businesses fly blind + have no idea how they are doing financially #sbbuzz
  • leoraw: #sbbuzz Q1 small biz pain point – since I do work for small biz, many of them don’t like marketing, They like doing what they are good at.
  • desireescales: Q1: Pain point for sm biz: Juggling too many balls in the air at once. Not having enough staff to delegate. #sbbuzz
  • pmohara: Q1 – pain point for this biz owner: moderating a twitter chat when twitter goes wonky :/ #sbbuzz

sbbuzz: Q2 Do you do your own bookkeeping? What do you use track it? #sbbuzz

  • desireescales: Q2: I do my own books on a day to day but have a professional take care of taxes. I always want to know our financial picture. #sbbuzz
  • bradfordshimp: Q2 – I do my own books. I use Quickbooks. #sbbuzz
  • rzazueta: #sbbuzz Q2: Yes, I regret to say we do (@qbguy ‘s point is well taken with me) – we use Quickbooks.
  • scoblitz: @DesireeScales excellent point – and a delay or blip in any one project can ripple across the rest #sbbuzz
  • desireescales: Q2: Quickbooks is my friend and has been since we opened our doors. #sbbuzz
  • helpbusinesses: Q2: Quickbook is the best for any business. #sbbuzz
  • leoraw: #sbbuzz Q2 I do my own books (with Excel!). My husband does the taxes.
  • wiseleo: Q2 Microsoft Office Accounting (but I am biased due to being an Outlook expert and supporting some CRM integration products) #sbbuzz
  • deneki: Q2: We have a mostly FT in-house accountant and we use Quickbooks. #sbbuzz
  • scoblitz: @sbbuzz Q2 I use @cashboard for invoicing / still looking at @outright for expenses #sbbuzz
  • helpbusinesses: Q2: if you don’t have the time use a VA or bookkeep to the the task. Need more advance use an accountant #sbbuzz
  • deniseoberry: Q2 Quickbooks is used by a lot of small biz. Lots of new competitors (saas) like hopping on the bandwagon. #sbbuzz
  • helpbusinesses: Q2: the most important thing is that small businesses should understand their books & cash flow most really do not & that’s reckless #sbbuzz
  • helpbusinesses: Q2: Financial literarcy is about responsibility to you, your company, employees and family. Anyone who relies on that money #sbbuzz

sbbuzz: Q3 What do you use for online selling/shopping cart? Custom built or online service? #sbbuzz

  • desireescales: Q3: We don’t have a cart of our own, but we build our ecommerce sites with @magento Great platform! #sbbuzz
  • rzazueta: #sbbuzz Q3: Been so miserable with every option – Magento, OSCommerce, Zen Cart, Virtuemart… I’m building my own.
  • joemagennis: Q3 I have only worked with custom shopping cart so that we could stay flexible and accommodate specific business rules esp. backend #sbbuzz
  • bradfordshimp: Q3 Paypal #sbbuzz
  • Timberry: Q3 we had homebrew in ColdFusion for 10 years beginning in 1998, switched to netsuite last year. #sbbuzz
  • wiseleo: Q3 I manually make Paypal buttons when getting paid for services. Not efficient, but works. 🙂 Also use Paypal integration in soft. #sbbuzz
  • scoblitz: @sbbuzz Q3 We’ve implemented some Drupal/Ubercart solutions. I also have a client doing well with CafePress for branded logo items. #sbbuzz
  • helpbusinesses: Q3: I have my customer use custom built by our tech team. #sbbuzz
  • Timberry: Q3 although netsuite notwithstanding, we still manage the cart to interface with netsuite, in cold fusion #sbbuzz
  • LogicommInc: Q3: We us a hybrid in-house build combined with the checkout functionality offered by our PSA System #sbbuzz
  • rzazueta: @desireescales @magento would be good if they would stop friggin’ changing the backend code and if they made it more flexible. #sbbuzz
  • rzazueta: #sbbuzz @magento ‘s template system is a bloody nightmare if you want to do anything other than the out of box stuff.

sbbuzz: Q4 from @razueta How did the folks here go about getting their web sites? Who did they hire and why? Or did they DIY it? #sbbuzz

  • wiseleo: Q4 Most websites are built by web designers and that’s a mistake. It’ll be too promotion if I explain why in public. #sbbuzz
  • bradfordshimp: Q4 – Been DIYing sites for years, with the help of Homestead, Frontpage, and now WordPress. Have avoided out and out coding. #sbbuzz
  • helpbusinesses: Q4: I find people who don’t know much about websites to hirer the wrong person to do their site & it ends in tradegy #sbbuzz
  • Timberry: Q4 we did it so long ago it doesn’t apply … big team thing, cold fusion, big bucks … but lately we’re doing a lot with wordpress #sbbuzz
  • helpbusinesses: Q4: At least that has been the cases that walk thru out door. The DIY site are easy to fix and upgrade no money lost just time. #sbbuzz
  • helpbusinesses: Q4: Sml Biz considering to hirer web developers should make sure the have all the content ready. Get s finish date & have some idea #sbbuzz
  • virtuallyideal1: Like anything else you should talk to a number of people when looking for someone to do your site. SEE THEIR WORK. #sbbuzz
  • mattharrell: Q4: It also depends on what space your in. There are hundreds of tools out there to help you DIY and then some. C/O #sbbuzz
  • vpbx: #sbbuzz Q4;Good designers/devs will attempt to understand & help build your biz. If not go elsewhere.
  • desireescales: Sm biz owners need to know 1. Their audience 2. Their message 3. What their differentiators are before embarking on a new site. #sbbuzz

sbbuzz: Q5 Do you have a “social media policy” for your staff? What is in it? #sbbuzz

  • desireescales: Q5: Our policy is to jump in and use it as much as possible to tell our story and help others. #sbbuzz
  • helpbusinesses: Q5: We have one account at ea social media site to handle the company image with a designated team working these great tools #sbbuzz
  • bradfordshimp: @sbbuzz Q5 – My only social media policy is don’t tweet during family time – a rule I break every Tuesday night #sbbuzz
  • helpbusinesses: Q5: I think a part of small business owner failure with social media is they don’t plan their use of it correctly #sbbuzz
  • virtuallyideal1: Q5:These are my rules. Don’t say anything online that you don’t want everyone to know or say something I wouldn’t say face to face. #sbbuzz

sbbuzz: For Q5 – Is there any guidance/directives you give your staff for using socmed? Either professionally or personally? #sbbuzz

  • peterhalim: #sbbuzz Q5: Don’t waste too much time at one social media. Alternate, in between and only use during idle time.
  • helpbusinesses: Q5: The policy for the social media team is clear. B helpful, build relationships, learn about ppl & they’ll use our services #sbbuzz
  • mattharrell: Q5: Social media policies should be to follow the plan! And if you don’t have one, you need to spend time to create one. #sbbuzz
  • peterhalim: #sbbuzz Q5: Use it wisely, know before hand that the whole world is watching you. Be content conscious be respectful to others.
  • vpbx: #sbbuzz Q5: Research. Plan. Then start out small with a couple of SM outlets. Let your results dictate how to move forward.
  • desireescales: I think that owners should use SM and not depend on their staff. People are impressed that the owner isn’t hiding behind a staff. #sbbuzz

Twitter had some major technical difficulties, not all questions got a fair shot so below is the last question that got some responses. Gotta fix that darn bird, Twitter.

sbbuzz: We seem to be down to a core group here. So Q8 for the diehards – give us your best new twitter relationship story. #sbbuzz

  • helpbusinesses: Q8: Wow we sign confindential agreements so all I can say is… #sbbuzz
  • joemagennis: Q8 .. all these #sbbuzz chat dudes getting together to do a podcast! (expand) & this podcast too (expand)
  • helpbusinesses: Q8: Is it’s one relationship at a time to provide the education need 4 the sml biz to succeed at what they are doing to reach goals #sbbuzz
  • wiseleo: Q8 – That is too many… The very best relationships simply can’t be disclosed yet, but this going to have global impact. 🙂 #sbbuzz
  • rzazueta: #sbbuzz Q8: Actually, this group showed me the REAL power of Twitter – building relationships and learning from others.
  • sbbuzz: more on Q8 – helping @DesireeScales pitch @Oprah by fishing for stories of great relationships that started on Twitter. #sbbuzz
  • Timberry: Q8 not exactly a direct answer, but clicking on URLs suggested by tweeple I follow (including you)has led to countless blog posts. #sbbuzz
  • wiseleo: Q8. Fine… we are in initial stages of discussing a Twitter project with United Nations. Big enough 😉 #sbbuzz
  • scoblitz: @sbbuzz Q8 So many great connections made here, getting involved in this group has been great. #sbbuzz
  • rzazueta: #sbbuzz Q8: I’ve been meeting folks on Twitter who needed me to clean their servers of a nasty virus. It’s worked out well for me and them.
  • wiseleo: Q8 And yeah, they reached out first… 🙂 – write good articles people, you never know who will read them. #sbbuzz
  • helpbusinesses: Q8: I do want to say out of all the soc network twitter has been the best for our business. On a personal level I found grt8 friends #sbbuzz
  • sophware: q8 twitter woke me up to the fact that Providence is plugged in. it’s renewed my relationship with my city. #sbbuzz

1 Comment

Filed under small business, summary, tools

One response to “Bookkeeping, shopping carts, and websites (and Twitter difficulties!) : Summary from June 2, 2009

  1. Thanks for the heads up. These were really a good marketing strategy specially if you are starting on a small business.

    Lapeer County

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