Some useful reporting software:
# Business Objects
# Crystal Reports
# Information Builders’ FOCUS and WebFOCUS
# Izenda Self-Service Reports
# Jreport by Jinfonet Software
# MicroStrategy Reporting Suite
# Oracle XML Publisher
# QuSheet (shareware)
# SAS, as part of the BI Server suite.
# SQL Server Reporting Services
Many of us are going through uncharted waters as the economy tries to correct itself. It could be an opportune time to try getting a small business started.
Some ideas that come to mind…
Just to name a few. For many more inexpensive business ideas and useful resources visit:
Business Week, PowerHomeBiz, Best Blanks,
Understand that your primary responsibility is the proper use of capital and that you are in business to make a profit.
Test the economics of your product or service. Make sure that it is profitable and that the gross profit percent is in line with that of the industry.
Know how you will finance your business. Visit lenders (banks) prior to seeking financing to gather information. Ask your lenders what they will want to see before you apply for a loan.
Develop a personal financial evaluation. Determine your net worth and your annual, personal cash flow needs.
Develop realistic financial forecasts for income statements, cash flow and balance sheets for three years. Forecast monthly for the first year.
Develop meaningful sales forecasts in terms of basic business units. Weekly sales for the first months and monthly sales for the first year. Consider possible scenarios, such as a 15 percent rise or fall in sales.
Research your products or services, customers and markets.
What methods does the customer use in purchasing?
Plan how you will make your product or service available to them─wholesale, retail, direct or Internet.
Develop a plan or strategy to follow if your sales forecasts completely miss your predictions.
Solid vendor relationships are essential in maintaining a successful organization.
1. Get to know your suppliers. Use new technology for communication, but don’t forget the personal touch of a phone conversation.
2. Consider your vendors as a part of your team and treat them as such.
3. Make sure they understand your needs and expectations.
4. Show appreciation for good service or for a new product that’s just right for you.
5. Pay on time. If you can’t, let your vendors know right away and work out a payment plan. That’s when knowing them personally will be invaluable.
The identity of your company is very important, some tips:
1. Create an online identity. Get a Web domain now, even if you aren’t building your site until later.
2. Pick three domain names that fit your business. Your first choice may be taken, so have a few domain name ideas. If your top three picks are available, consider getting all three. It’s not too expensive and then you have flexibility to create a site for a special promotion or use a special landing page for an event.
3. Check out domain name vendors. You can register your domain with your choice of vendor. Here are some well-known, domain name registrars:
Network Solutions, http://www.networksolutions.com
4. Keep your renewal current. Don’t forget to renew your domain name. Businesses have been known to let a name expire and then find that their Web site has disappeared from the Internet. Don’t let that be you.
5. Once you have a domain, name your URL mycompany.com, place your URL on every marketing and business document that you produce. Let your company be known.