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By Team Mosspaper 22 Aug, 2017

Wе аll undеrѕtаnd thе іmроrtаnсе оf a соntrасt, but thаt dоеѕn’t mеаn wе аlwауѕ uѕе thеm (оr uѕе thе rіght оnеѕ). When it comes to small business and freelance services, it’s always best to have the right foundations to protect your business and ensure customer satisfaction. Fоr уеаrѕ, you may have not taken a client’s contract seriously or downloaded one from the internet.  Mауbе, уоu іmmеdіаtеlу ѕіgn whаtеvеr dосumеnt a сlіеnt ѕеndѕ уоur wау, оr mауbе уоu dоn’t hаvе аnу kіnd оf соntrасt аt аll.

At it’s соrе, a gооd соntrасt ѕhоuld ѕреll оut whо’ѕ dоіng whаt, whеn аnd fоr hоw muсh. Kеер іn mіnd thаt сlunkу lеgаl tеrmѕ juѕt соnfuѕе реорlе. It’s best to keep things very clear and concise. Aѕ a ѕtаndаrd rulе оf thumb, dоn’t іnсludе аnуthіng іn a соntrасt іf уоu dоn’t knоw whаt іt mеаnѕ.

Hеrе аrе thе bаѕісѕ ways to write an effective contract:

1. Inсludе Cоntасt Infоrmаtіоn оf Bоth Pаrtіеѕ in the Contract

Hеrе’ѕ аn еаѕу оnе tо dіvе іntо. Evеrу соntrасt ѕhоuld іnсludе thе lеgаl buѕіnеѕѕ nаmе, mаіn соntасt, рhуѕісаl аddrеѕѕ аnd bіllіng аddrеѕѕ fоr bоth thе сlіеnt аnd соntrасtоr. Bе ѕurе tо uѕе уоur оffісіаl buѕіnеѕѕ nаmе (fоr еxаmрlе, іf уоu іnсоrроrаtеd оr fоrmеd аn LLC, uѕе thе еxасt nаmе thаt’ѕ оn thіѕ рареrwоrk). In аddіtіоn, uѕе уоur nаmе аnd уоur сlіеnt’ѕ nаmе thrоughоut the соntrасt. Lеаvіng gеnеrіс tеrmѕ like “сlіеnt” оr “ѕеrvісе рrоvіdеr” іn thе соntrасt wіll mаkе it ѕоund ѕо muсh mоrе impersonal.

2. Sресіfу thе Prоjесt Details аnd Sсоре

Trу tо be аѕ ѕресіfіс аѕ роѕѕіblе аѕ tо whаt уоu’rе bеіng hіrеd tо dо. Fоr еxаmрlе, if уоu’rе bеіng hіrеd tо rеdеѕіgn a wеbѕіtе, аrе уоu rеѕроnѕіblе fоr thе nеw сору? Will the сlіеnt рrоvіdе thе сору? Dоеѕ thе ѕсоре оf thе рrоjесt іnсludе оthеr аѕресtѕ lіkе kеуwоrd/SEO орtіmіzаtіоn? Hоw mаnу іnіtіаl соmрѕ wіll bе іnсludеd, аѕ wеll аѕ hоw mаnу rеvіѕіоnѕ? Hоw ѕhоuld thеіr еdіtѕ bе рrоvіdеd?

Thе gоаl for the contract hеrе іѕ tо ѕеt еxресtаtіоnѕ аnd guіdе thе wоrkіng rеlаtіоnѕhір wіth ѕоmе рrеdеfіnеd раrаmеtеrѕ. Yоu dоn’t wаnt tо еnd uр fееlіng lіkе уоu’rе bеіng рuѕhеd tо wоrk оut оf ѕсоре, аnd уоu dоn’t wаnt уоur сlіеntѕ tо fееl lіkе thеу’rе nоt gеttіng whаt thеу раіd for.

3. Eѕtаblіѕh thе Pауmеnt Tеrmѕ

Arе уоu tо bе раіd оn аn hоurlу bаѕіѕ оr bу thе рrоjесt? If іt’ѕ hоurlу, you mау wаnt tо ѕtірulаtе a mіnіmum/mаxіmum hоur rаngе tо аvоіd ѕurрrіѕеѕ. If уоu gеt раіd bу thе рrоjесt, bе ѕurе tо lау оut thе еxасt dеlіvеrаblеѕ in the contract.

• Hоw ԛuісklу thе сlіеnt nееdѕ tо рау uроn rесеіvіng аn іnvоісе (е.g. 15 dауѕ, 30 dауѕ)

• Whаt аrе thе ассерtаblе рауmеnt mеthоdѕ (е.g. FrеѕhBооkѕ Pауmеntѕ, сhесk, dіrесt dероѕіt…)

• Whаt hарреnѕ whеn thе сlіеnt doesn’t рау? Yоu mау wаnt tо іnсludе your terms and conditions such as  “уоur company rеѕеrvеѕ thе rіght tо ѕuѕреnd wоrk if іnvоісе рауmеntѕ аrе nоt rесеіvеd wіthіn a rеаѕоnаblе реrіоd оf tіmе frоm thе іnvоісе dаtе.”

4. Sеt a Project Sсhеdulе

Bе сrуѕtаl сlеаr аbоut аnу dеаdlіnеѕ within the contract, іnсludіng fіnаl deliverables аѕ wеll аѕ аnу рrоjесt mіlеѕtоnеѕ. If thе dеаdlіnе hіngеѕ аt аll оn thе сlіеnt, bе ѕurе tо ѕресіfу thіѕ. Fоr еxаmрlе “dеlіvеr fіrѕt соmр thrее wееkѕ аftеr rесеірt оf x” оr “mееtіng thе ѕсhеdulе іѕ dependent оn thе tіmеlу rеvіеw оf drаftѕ.”

5. Dесіdе Whаt Hарреnѕ If a Cоntrасt Iѕ Tеrmіnаtеd

Emрlоуеr/еmрlоуее соntrасtѕ оftеn ѕtірulаtе thаt еіthеr раrtу саn tеrmіnаtе thе соntrасt bу gіvіng a twо-wееk nоtісе. Hоwеvеr, thіѕ kіnd оf аrrаngеmеnt tеndѕ nоt tо саrrу оvеr wеll fоr frееlаnсе рrоjесtѕ. But thеrе аrе a соuрlе оf dеtаіlѕ уоu саn іnсludе tо gіvе уоu a little рrоtесtіоn:

• Stаtе thаt аnу rесеіvеd рауmеntѕ аrе nоn-rеfundаblе ѕhоuld thе рrоjесt bе tеrmіnаtеd for аnу rеаѕоn. If уоu іnvоісе оn a regular bаѕіѕ thrоughоut the durаtіоn оf thе рrоjесt, thіѕ ѕhоuld hеlр еnѕurе thаt уоu dоn’t gеt ѕtuсk dоіng a lоt оf wоrk аnd nеvеr gеttіng раіd.

• Stаtе thаt іf thе рrоjесt іѕ dеlауеd fоr lоngеr thаn 30 dауѕ (оr whаtеvеr tіmе реrіоd mаkеѕ ѕеnѕе fоr уоur ѕіtuаtіоn), thеn уоu’ll bіll for аll wоrk соmрlеtеd uр tо thаt роіnt.

A client contract is the best way to avoid disputes with customers and ensure you and your clients are on the same page. Make sure you foot your best foot forward with simple and clear language.  As a small business owner or freelancer, it’s important to protect yourself and have a solid foundation for your business.


By Team Mosspaper 26 Jun, 2017

With so many online resources, yоur customers has a lot of information about your business before they decide to become your customer. It can be a lengthy process and a bit more complex than ѕіmрlу saying; "I need tо purchase something and I know precisely from who". 

The customer buying cycle is defined in 3 steps. First, you have awareness which can be described as the moment the customer sees your product while there is a need for it. Second, there is moment of consideration where they are evaluating your product or services for a possible purchase. Lastly, the final step is purchase, where the buyer makes a purchase.


Here are some ways to market to these buyers:

1) Awareness

Having an online presence such as a website that describes your product and services will help your buyer find you. It’s always good to have testimonials to provide credibility as well as recommendations through sites such as yelp or google business.


2) Consideration

When your customer has found you,  it’s best to introduce your product as a solution to a problem the buyer may be having. The buyer is trying to see if your offering can meet their challenges and how you will be doing it.


Having a quote or contract that describes your methodology with a breakdown of costs associated with how you will be address their needs will be beneficial at this stage. describe the value the buyer will be receiving if they choose you as a vendor and include reviews or customer references.  


3) Purchase

The buyer is ready to be your customer. If the customer requires more time, you should consider giving them a discount or coupons.  Having a simply way for them to agree to your terms through electronic signature and payments will be helpful to ensure you close the deal quickly.

By Team Mosspaper 14 Jun, 2017

Successful businesses maintain good habits and it is one of the reasons why they managed to be where they are now. Habits they have picked along the way, such as good   contract management , has helped them get to where they are at the moment and take their business to the next level. The bad news is that there are small businesses that don’t have any good habits at all. The good news is that they can start changing their attitude and practices in order to develop good habits.

 

In a highly competitive landscape, it’s important and vital to make sure you ensure good habits are enforced so your business continues to thrive. Here are some good habits that can help small businesses include:

 

1)   Focusing Your energy

To ensure you utilize every minute and hour of each day, it’s important to learn how to focus on the most rewarding tasks. Take care of the low hanging fruits first. Review your list of things to do and evaluate which task you can do now that will bring forth the most value to your customers and team. Give each task a percentage of impact and ask yourself what are the top 3 things I can do that will benefit my business the most.

 

2)   Prioritize

Ask yourself what is the most important thing you need to do today in order to set a foundation for your business. It’s always important to think about how something can help you to increase revenue or reduce your operating cost. The vital part of any business to knowing when you should create a strategy for long term goals while balancing short term objectives. Most businesses have 3-5 simple objectives they want to accomplish each quarter. Everything else you do should coincide with those objectives. Never lose sight of the goals you have set out for yourself. Once you have a goal in place, work each day to get closer to those goals.

 

Having ways to measure performance or data analytics in your business helps you prioritize your business. Based on that data, you can start to formulate patterns and understand what works and what doesn’t. Focus on what works and continue to improve business workflow to ensure your success.

 

3)   Create Task and Execute

With each of your goals or objectives, it’s essential to follow through to ensure long-term success. Most of the time a goal has a few steps in between until it’s completed. Write it all down. Sometimes, it helps to work backwards if there are dates involved. Write down and revise as needed. With each task, you get closer and closer to where you want to be.

 

The use of software to streamline task and follow up is very useful in situations where there are a lot of repetitive, mundane work. Try to look for solutions like Mosspaper, a quote and contract management platform, to help you execute your business goals in a more orderly fashion. Mosspaper focuses on different aspects of your business such as operations, finance, and sales. With built-in workflows, it helps you consolidate the management of your team’s workload all in one platform.

 

4)   Positive Mindset

Being happy and having a positive mental outlook can help with any situation. It is always said that you don’t have control with external factors, but you do have control over how you handle situations. With positive thinking regardless of what you are going through, you will continue to work through situations and reach your goals. A great attitude for success and having gratitude can go a long way.  If you understand what you’re trying to achieve and have patience with the process, you will be ahead of the rest.

 

It’s important to have good habits to succeed as an entrepreneur or small business owner. There are many different ways to get to where you want to be. Having disciplined habits can make or break your company as you face the challenges limited time and resources on a daily basis. Working smarter is always better.


By Team Mosspaper 12 Jun, 2017

For any interior designer, being able to provide accurate and effective sales quotes to your clients can be one of the best ways to drum up recurring business. When you are able to give your clients something that they can actually understand and feel comfortable with paying, you give off a far more professional approach and style. However, being able to give quotation services that are accurate and detailed can be quite tricky, and for many interior designers it can be easier to just stick to the basics. Here are some of the best ways that you can start changing your mindset and increasing the quality of work that you provide by using a value-based quotation system.

Here are some of the best ways that you can start changing your mindset and increasing the quality of work that you provide by using a value-based quotation system.

1) Provide a Work Summary

It’s always important to make sure that your clients are able to get a summary of the upcoming job so they can always refer to what is going to be taking place. This will be a list of goals that are to be achieved throughout the process; include key benefits within the work summary and an overall price of the job as a well. Dealing with part of any quote management system can be tough for an interior designer, but looking for software packages that help you manage this – for example, we recommend checking out Mosspaper – can be a massively beneficial way to keep things flowing.

 

2) Include Suggestions

One thing that always helps your clients out is to give them easy feedback and suggestions as to what they could improve moving forward; by having this within the quotation you are providing a bit more authority and helping them see things they maybe would have missed themselves. This helps to build extra trust between you both and makes your sales quotes a bit different to the rest.

 

3) Itemize Your Pricing

You need to make sure that your clients are able to see why the price is the way it is. If you can give them a fully itemized list to help them see what their money is paying for, the quote will feel far more authentic. Some designers aren’t comfortable doing this, but it’s an absolute must. Again, Mosspaper can help you do this. The administrative side of the software is excellent and will make creating references to items being used on the job so much easier.

 

4) Include Terms & Conditions

You always need to have the right legal information included with a quotation – especially in something as expensive and serious as interior design. Please make sure that your quote includes the terms and conditions section so the clients really understands what is required of them. Mosspaper can help you audit track all documents like this so you can be sure that the client reads and agrees to everything that is mention on the sales quote.

 

5) Provide References

Lastly, make sure that you provide some kind of reference to your potential client with a quote. This adds such an extra layer of value to proceedings and will really go a long way to help you become a favored option for the job. If you want to benefit from getting more work and the best kind of jobs, then working towards a value-based quotation system can be the best way to go.

 

As an small business, it's important to make sure you provide customers with the right information in an organized matter. It makes it 10 times easier on you in the end. Thus, it's imperative to provide your customer with a value-based quote when you start working with them. Professionalism, attention to detail, and thoroughness goes a long way.

By Team Mosspaper 24 May, 2017
Here are some feature highlights:

1) Favoriting

Reduce the creation time of a quote or contract by 50% with favoriting. You can now add any quote or contract to your favorites by clicking the heart icon.  Your favorites are saved to the "favorites" folder so you can easily find them again. You can categorize all your templates by creating different collections and saving as many documents as you like to be reused. 
By Team Mosspaper 18 May, 2017

Most small businesses handles lots of critical information about their customers. While a businesses have well-developed data management systems, a lot of businesses struggle with their databases. One of the primary challenges is the lack of a centralized system.


There are several benefits to moving your data to a centralized system:

1)  Having A System Allows You To Streamline Payment Processes. 

A typical small business has dozens of business processes running concurrently across multiple department. This makes it hard to keep track of the data on a daily basis. That’s why you need a centralized data management system because it allows you stay on top of your business and your finances.


Apps like Mosspaper helps to have all your quote and contracts in a centralized area as well as essential payment information. Having the important information in a centralized area helps to ensure your get paid on each project on time. Having a centralized system ensures that users can quickly refer to outstanding balances and payment details with a click of a button.


2) It Helps You Keep Track Of Your Products And Services. 

A centralized system provides the platform needed to track inventory. As a small business owner, you are able to ascertain how much inventory you have, how fast it moves and how soon you’ll need to order the next batch. It also makes it easier for you to eliminate any gaps and inefficiencies in the business process.


3) Web-based tools can help your business stay efficient and organized.

The single greatest benefit of centralizing is eliminate redundancy, ensure accuracy of data and save time. A centralized database means that everyone in the company has one primary quote, contract or price list.


The cost, time and manpower as well as the complexity involved in running your business can be costly. That’s why it’s imperative for a business that wants to function efficiently should integrate all their databases. There are a number of platforms in the market that can handle sales, membership, events and even subscriptions. The centralized system ought to be updated, secured, and managed in a way that it draws the maximum benefit to your business.


By Team Mosspaper 15 May, 2017

Writing a value- based price quote and contract requires its own set of skills and finesse. The terms and conditions within the agreement is at the heart of your relationship with any client.

When marketing or selling any of your services (i.e interior design, home remodeling service, website management, content writing services, etc), it’s especially important to include your design process in your price quotes as well as your service contracts so your customer understands what you will providing. By adhering to a design process you provide a roadmap for both yourself and your clients when completing a project, ensuring that they understand exactly what to expect at every phase and how it will be executed during each phase of the project.


These six steps that can help guide you:


1) Specify a date range for the product


The customer will always want to have their projects completed in a timely manner, but their expectations may be different from what you can deliver. Before you begin writing your contract, make sure you and the client both understand the estimated time of completion (ETA) for the job proposal once the client has explained to you what they want and how they want it done. This will also help bring into focus the cost of labor and the materials involved, giving your client a more accurate price quote prior to the completion of a contract.


2) Itemize each phase of the project

While every contract will include the total cost of the job and the services or products to be delivered, it is advisable to further break down each aspect of the job into a series of logical steps, or phases. Break down your project into a sequential series of steps that will ensure that you complete the job in an orderly and timely fashion, as well as allow your client to understand exactly what to expect at every step of the way.


3) Include your process

Delineate every aspect of the job as though you are solving a problem. Include each task so the customer is aware of what it will take in order to complete the project and how long it will take in hours. The break down helps you as a business owner understand the time needed for each project and manage your time wisely. In addition, the customer understands the nature of what you are providing and the see the value in your expertise. Often times, the customer may not understand what is involved in doing something and it’s important to manage a customer’s expectations.


With the proper breakdown of the process and tasks, there is an unspoken mutual respect for the work being provided. This way, there are no misunderstandings as to what each party can expect in every step of the process.


4) Include the pricing for each phase

This includes, but is not limited to, the initial consultation, cost of materials, labor, transportation and shipping of goods. By breaking down the cost for each phase of the project from the first outlines to the final touches both you and the client will understand what to expect from each part of the process. This will also facilitate negotiation and adjustments that can be applied to just one part of the project as opposed to changing the whole thing at once. It gives the process greater visibility along with the right expectations.


5) Attach designs in a centralized area of your contract


This is important in any job to include what the current state is of a project and what it will look like after it’s completed or a rough draft of what a customer should expect. Attaching images and pictures of your design plan will let the client know what you are agreeing to. If there are changes, then there needs to be a modification to the original contract


This is commonly done with architect firms – if you read their design proposals, they include various computer renderings and photographs of what the completed project is going to look like. In the contract, they include details of the contracts and include designs. This gives your client the opportunity to make any adjustments or changes before the actual work begins, potentially saving a lot of time and hassle down the road.


6) Offer a simple way for clients to pay


Make it easy to be a customer. Condense all of your fees and billings into one simple payment, along with any additional terms and conditions that might be offered. Payment for services should be a simple and hassle-free process, as making the client’s last interaction with you a poor one can leave a bad aftertaste, potentially discouraging them from renewing their contracts with you in the future.

By Team Mosspaper 01 May, 2017

Estimates make people focus on the price alone, whereas value based quotes focus on the challenges the customer is currently facing.

 

Here is what is inside a value based quote or contract:

 

1.    Recommended solution in the summary

A client wants to know you understand what they want and need. Illustrating the problems in a way they can understand will build trust and feel the solution you provide is the best one suited for them. The solution should directly show the client’s needs. Value-based quotes or contracts are written documents to give the client a confident understanding that you know how to solve their problems.

 

2.    Products and service items

With the quote or contract, we recommend writing out each phase or step next to the services or product you will be delivering. It’s essential to Include the benefits of each line item so the customer understands what they will be receiving and how this will help them.

   

3.    Fees

Information on pricing should be easy to understand.  Defining value is the first process of creating a value-based fee structure. Don’t think about how many hours the job might take, instead focus on the value being delivered.

 

Next to each product or service item, it’s crucial to associate each fee with a particular task or step of the project in order to manage your customer’s expectations. Make your fees and pricing plans easy to understanding as well as with some transparency. Effectively managing your customer’s expectations will affect the client’s ability to put their full trust and confidence in your business.

 

4.    Terms and notes

This part of the quote or contract focuses on what is expected of your customers as well as protect your business. For example, most businesses include a payment schedule in the terms and notes stating who is responsible for payment, when the payment is due and what types of payments you accept.

 

5.    Images and reference documents

The last fundamental piece of a quote or contract is having images or reference documents if your customer needs additional information about your business before they make a decision. It’s best to Include case studies, testimonials or sketches to the quote to help the customer understand your business as well as build credibility, and reliability. Make it easy to understand exactly what they can expect. These things will overall help them understand what to expect and something they can reference back later.

   

Having a value-based quote or contract are among the easiest ways to make leads into clients. Most people focus on the wrong things and miss an opportunity to gain more clients. Simple and clear calls to action lets the client knows what they need to do to get started. Give your customer a convincing reason why they should purchase from you instead of your competition.

By Team Mosspaper 03 Apr, 2017

Small businesses play an important role in the American economy. Yet, based on a recent study, 72% of small/mid-sized businesses are expected to increase their revenue by 10%. In order to sustain growth, it’s very important to put processes in place to manage customer expectations and daily operations.

When you implement a quote-to-cash process successfully you create higher revenue management, improve aspects of quoting, better contracts, advance everyone involved and stimulate sales cycles. As a result of this, you will improve your customer satisfaction, make more deals, stay ahead of your competition and increase revenue.

Here are the critical steps of the quote-to-cash process:

 

1.    Pricing

Keeping up with innovation in pricing is very important. Some companies run into a problem what is called “the head”. Manual processes and heavy use of spreadsheets plays a big role in this.

 

Thus, it’s imperative to keep your price list current and use online solutions to ensure you have one price list that everyone use.  It helps reduce redundancy and errors in price quotes to customers.

 

2.    Quote creation

There are three main steps to quote creation process: 1) creation, 2) review and negotiation 3) customer approval. It’s important to focus on providing the customer with a solution to the challenges they are facing. In a very clear and concise way, the quote should depict an overview of all the task and services being provided with an appropriate timeline.

 

When creating a price quote, you should put in place a process to ensure the information is consistent and accurate. When done manually, quoting may take more time and be prone to more errors. Automated platforms for sale configuration is faster and produce 100% quotes easy.

 

3.    Negotiation

This part of the process determines whether you will close the deal. So, it’s vital to keep track of all negotiations to ensure customer expectations are set properly. Have a means of communication that easy, simple and convenient for your customer while you track the conversation.

 

It is very important to begin negotiating with a position of strength by focusing on the win-win.   You will become more successful if you pay extreme attention to the terms and conditions as well as understanding what all parties need and address everyone’s concerns.

 

4.    Contract management

Returning signed agreements with your clients’ need to be made as easy as possible. Having an e-signature tool can be very essential in helping to ensure the agreements are signed and in a centralized database.

 

You don’t want your clients wasting time printing documents or possibly forgetting about them, this is a more automated method of closing deals. Overall, e-signature tools allow you to see who has signed, where they are in the process and easily send reminders to keep the process moving forward.

 

5.    Invoicing

It takes multiple steps to finalize a sale of a service or product. Don’t forget about the part that actually pays you. After an order is made, the invoice or quote balance should to be sent in order for payment to be collected.

Make sure your invoices are done correctly the first time so customers understand what the remaining balances are and what has been paid when. When sending invoices with errors to your customers, they are less likely to pay you for your services. It’s also very important to follow up with the customer to make sure they received the invoice and know what is expected of them.

 

6.    Payment

You want to make sure making the payment is as easy as possible for the customer. Whether you’re dealing with payments manually or automated, an accurate system must be implemented to get the payment of the customer and handle the inflow. Receiving the payment is the final process so you want to leave a positive impression of your customers so they will come back.

 

Having a good grasp of what a quote-to-cash process is important as it’s a critical part of your daily operations. This process serves as the foundation of your success.

By Team Mosspaper 06 Feb, 2017

When managing your business, there are a lot of things involved in finding and retaining clients. It's not uncommon for businesses to excel at one aspect (i.e advertising and finding customers) but flounder at another. One part of the business-client relationship that many business owners often neglect or fail to fully grasp is the sales process – the set of steps that encompasses the entire transaction with the customer, from initial introductions to closing the deal. Without a well-organized sales process, you might find yourself losing out on a lot of clients, who will no doubt find another business that can tend to their specific needs in a timely and professional manner.


If you find it difficult to retain customers once you have located them and piqued their interest in your product or service, it likely means that there are parts of your sales process that could be improved. The following three steps are parts of the sales process where businesses commonly make mistakes, causing them to lose out on business and customer satisfaction. Applying these principles will help you better manage your own sales process. In doing so, you'll find that your customers will leave happier and more satisfied, increasing the chance that they will become repeat customers.


1. Understand what your customer's goals are and provide a solution

    Everybody wants to be heard and listened to. But in the business world, this isn't just a matter of one's feelings. Nobody goes to a business wanting to chat – they go there because they have a need to fill, and they think that you might be the one to fill it.  


    For instance, if you have ever visited a car dealership looking for something modest, how often did the salespeople actually listen to what you were asking of them? How often did they try to get you to buy something more expensive irrespective of your stated needs? Did they actually listen to you when you described what it was that you were looking for? Car dealerships have a slimy reputation partially because their salespeople are not motivated by a desire to find a solution to your problems, but rather a desire to make that sale and get their commission.  


    While this practice is widespread enough not to impact any one location, customers will notice if you're trying to sell them something without considering what their unique needs were in the first place. When you meet with them, get to understand exactly what they are looking for. Once you understand their needs, then you can work towards providing a solution that solves their problem and proves to them why you are the right person for the job.


    2. Understand your customer's budget and try to stay in that range

      Ideally, you could charge a higher price for your products and not see any corresponding drop in business. That's not how things work out in reality – the competitive nature of capitalism thrives on the idea that customers make rational decisions with their money – they seek to maximize their gains while minimizing their losses. Economists refer to this as the elasticity in prices. This is why your potential customers will often come to you with a budget – they want you to provide a solution to their problem without spending more than they have to. Make sure you respect their given budget and try to work around it, rather than trying to get the customer to spend more than what they want.  


      3. Simplify the purchase process by offering electronic signatures and easy way to accept payments

        The last part of the sales process is the completion of the job and collection of the payments owed to you. Just as a first impression can be incredibly important, the last impression is even more so   - it's the last thing your customer will remember in their dealings with you, and if the final authorization of payments is a difficult and drawn-out affair, that will stick in their minds the next time they think about purchasing your goods or services. 


        Electronic signatures and online payments are excellent ways of reducing the wait time involved – you cut out a lot of paperwork and middle entities involved in finalizing payments. Simplifying this process will leave the customer with a sweet aftertaste, and this will do a long ways towards making them repeat customers.

        By Team Mosspaper 02 Jan, 2017

        In today’s business environment, cloud technology is helping businesses like yours maintain and grow. From point-of-sale to customer relationship managements, there are plenty of tools for you to look at. The problem, however, is many are still not onboard—not because you don’t know about the benefits. Instead, you lack the time to plan and implement the right processes and systems currently available to them.


        Software applications have progressed immensely over the past couple years, and constraints such as time and money no longer apply. The right type of workflows and applications can save you time, money and resources.

        Below are 5 easy tools that will help drive your business:

        1. Analytics.  Analytics that were once mainly reserved to just “big businesses” are available and scalable to small businesses. Take for instance, Google’s easy to use analytic tools monitor and generate a business’ web traffic with a simple injection of a few lines of codes into one’s webpage.
        2. Payment Processing.  Products like square’s payment processing system allows people to make credit card transactions by simply plugging in a card reader into a mobile device.
        3. Creator tools.   For the most part, creating a contract can be a long and tedious process. A wide variety of niche-specific content creation tools are available. Legalzoom, for example, provides businesses with many pre-developed legal documents and registration forms to simplify many of the required formalities of conducting day-to-day operations.
        4. Esignature.   Luckily, solutions like DocuSign are allowing businesses to quickly obtain and monitor their contracts. With a click of a button, people retrieve and sign a business contract. The process has been simplified where small business owners only need to focus on the core of their business rather than spend time and precious resources on drafting documents to obtain business.
        5. Simple Integrated Solutions.   Applications like Mosspaper is a total integrated solution that enable a business owner to create a professional looking quote or contract, send it to your customer, obtain an electronic signature and accept payment. The workflow is tracked with analytics to provide insight into your business.


        Mosspaper leverages the experience of industry-leading professionals and cloud technology to help small businesses maintain quotes, contracts and contract renewal. The data and profiles of clients are monitored and stored in the cloud for easy access on the go, and the company’s analytics allow businesses to forecast and predict client behavior and buying patterns.

        Data is a vital part of any modern-day businesses, but not all businesses can afford a dedicated IT department to collect and analyze these data. This is no longer a limitation, however, as there are consolidated solutions that monitor and interpret crucial metrics so business owners don’t need to.

        The digital landscape is quickly changing to adapt to the mindsets and circumstances of entrepreneurs and small business owners. Big data analytics and work streamlining tools have never been easier to use. Best of all, the “turn-key” model has been scaled down to fit businesses of all sizes.


        About Mosspaper, an Intelligent Quote and Contract Management Tool ( www.mosspaper.com )
        With Mosspaper, anyone can create, sign, track, and accept quotes & contracts anywhere. Mosspaper provides a streamlined paperless quote and contract renewal Saas solution from creation to a renewal sale to monitor and track your work.

        By Team Mosspaper 08 Dec, 2016
        Here are some of our new Fall Features: 
        By Team Mosspaper 01 Dec, 2016

        For any business today that wants to try to improve its overall position, there has to be an importance placed on how they manage their money and operations. Many business fail to notice the vital nature part of having this strong foundation for their business. It  can dramatically limit the level of performance without this piece firmly in place.

        In order to run a successful business, it’s important to understand the process of accounting and bookkeeping to keep moving toward the long term business goals and improving profits. This means you are on track to meet your long-term business goals, while ensuring profitability. Use these accounting tips to keep will help keep your business’s finances healthy and ensure you have a stable operation.

        Here are three tips on how to achieve that: 

        1) Accounts Receivables/collections

        As a small business owner, you will probably want to separate all your financial transactions from your personal accounts.  Keeping everything separate will help you manage your cash flow which will put you in a better financial position. 

        By learning to accurately record transaction, as well as learn how to track and separate every expense. With software apps like Quickbooks, it makes this task much easier to manage and track. This gives you better better visibility to payments coming into the business and what is being spent. 

        2) Go Paperless

        Another great way to improve your operations is to go paperless. This helps to manage paperwork so you have less information to sift through physically. Be handling it all online it becomes easier to both store and access records.

        It also means that you have a much easier time of getting access to specific details and information. With your documents online, you can easy access quotes, contracts or invoices anywhere. You can rest assure that your records are accurate and accessible. 

        3) Choose a good bookkeeping method

        Putting in the right accounting method is essential for most businesses.  You can choose to do it all on your own and use software such as QuickBooks, or Wave. You could even just fill in a basic Excel spreadsheet and fill in the parameters on your own – if you feel comfortable doing it this way, you can save money.

        However, you could go to a part-time bookkeeper or outsource it to a freelancer as-needed. You can get a good accountant online with the likes of Bench Accounting, or you can hire someone local. Your last option is probably to go to an in-house bookkeeper. This is something to consider later on down the line, when you have more cash flow and are a larger business.

        By simply considering all of the above you can make it much easier to start transforming major elements of your business – it takes time, but having a strong foundation makes all the difference. 

        By Team Mosspaper 10 Oct, 2016

        For many small businesses today, the term ‘Sales Tracking’ sounds so intense. Are you really going to be sending little URL to track everything your customer does?

        No, of course not! Thankfully, though, sales tracking is now easier than ever with software platforms making solutions more affordable for small business owners. The best part about using sales tracking in the normal sense is that it allows you to have a major range of benefits in your business productivity.

        Rather than watching your business pass you by, not knowing how successful – or unsuccessful – your sales process is, you can use ways to track the moment your customer is considering your product to the time they pay you.

        Here are the major benefits of using a sales tracking software for your business:

        1)     Stronger Sales Analysis.

        You’ll have a stronger overview of your sales activity, for a start. This means that you’ll have far more data to analyze your daily activities and business transactions, making it that bit easier to find out what’s working, or failing. By doing this, you are able to make more data-driven decisions instead of guessing.

        Not only is having a better quality of sales activity analysis going to help you minimize mistakes, but it helps you see what the “big hitters” are and where you need to improve.


        2)     Insight on Products and Services.

        With more understanding of your products and services, you can focus on the value you providing for your customer instead of why customers are not interested in what you’re providing. You might be under the belief that product X is your main seller, when in reality it’s product Y. Having some data with each transaction will help you to understand the potential and perceived value of all of your products and sales options.


        3)     Find the Gaps in Your Pipeline.

        Every good business is operating with a fluid sales process that takes the buyer from introduction to payment in a cohesive function. With sales tracking you will see how people are making the decision to buy your products, letting you see what seems to be the clincher – and the killer.

        By going through this you find the major gaps in your sales process. For instance, maybe some customers want a demo of a product whereas other customers want testimonials.  With that knowledge, it can help you retain your customer’s interest and attention to close a deal.

         

        4)     Higher Customer Satisfaction

        Any small business that wants to survive more than a few months has to be built around satisfying customers, and satisfying them well. If you have a sales tracking element put in place then you can easily see what people are appreciating about your business.

        Now, you can see for yourself why sales tracking has become such a popular and effective concept. If your small business wants to expand and continue to grow, it’s essential to have certain pieces in place to help you make decisions. Your time is valuable and having the right knowledge about your business can really make a difference. Sales tracking is a must-have for any business that wishes to progress in an effective manner moving forward.

        By Team Mosspaper 19 Sep, 2016

        One of the most challenging aspects of running and managing a successful business today comes from the way that you make yourself differentiate yourself from your competitors. With some many websites out there tailored to consumers, you now have more educated buyers. In addition, it's getting a lot harder to get their attention especially when there is so much content out there. 

        In order to be perceived differently, your business should have processes in place to reflect your professionalism and reliability. Putting your best foot forward throughout the sales process can make a difference in gaining or losing customers to your competitors.  If you cannot give customers a strong enough reason to trust you, it can be hard to retain their confidence.

        Here are three simple ways to do that: 

        1) Focus on a customer solution

        The easiest way to instill confidence and build long term relationship is improve your response rates. Respond quickly and decisively, and you’ll retain trust.

        Based on the customer's request, it's best to provide your customer a solution to their problem during the initial sales process. Providing the customer with your expertise, the customer can infer whether you are the best person to help them with their endeavors. Make sure that your conversations together are tailored to what they asked for. 

        Also, try and make sure that all quotations for clients are built to offer value. Ensure that quotes are detailed so they can see the full quality of what you are providing. Taking an extra ten minutes to make a quote or contract full of detail and information goes a long way. 

        2) Stronger Analytics

        The importance of data analytics is the ability to see historical data in order to forecast future business. It's the understandings of patterns in your data and communicating those results so you can continually improve your business. Analytics give you value insight and details that help drive your business.

        Information such as website visit, credit card sales, social media interaction, and email communications can help your small business increase sales, improve efficiencies and enrich your customer service.  With a bit more focus, you can provide a better connection and experience for your potential customers.

        3) Manage your sales process through workflow automation

        Lastly, a major element of your success comes from how you manage sales. If you document the sales process to share with your team, clients can get a much easier ride. Make sure your team know what is expected, and make sure they can deliver that information to customers easily.

        Using technology can help reduce redundancy and errors as well as manage the moment your customer is interested in your product/ service to when you receive payment.

        It’s all about making sure that clients feel welcome by your service. If you can make small adjustments to the overall workflow, you will start to see how customer service and process can definitely improve your business goals. 

        By Team Mosspaper 29 Aug, 2016

        Mosspaper is excited to announce another milestone in our mission to help small businesses every step their customer takes within the sales cycle. From start to finish, Mosspaper helps you make sure you have full control over all aspects of your business. Small business owners know for a fact that this significantly reduces any costly mistakes which leads to better customer service and brand recognition.

        The new feature starts with analytics and insights into a quote and contract when a customer is reviewing their documents. During this stage, a new re-designed status summary provides insight into where the customer is and what steps are needed to close the deal. Lastly, a completion of work notification has been implemented in order to protect your business from any last-minute or negotiation attempts. Having these new feature capabilities really enhance a small business owner’s overall management of the sales process.

        “Having these new features will provide small business owners more insight into what’s happening in the customer’s sales cycle. More visibility helps to drive more business. Our main goal is give small businesses the right tools at the right time each step of the way"  says  Cliff Fong, CEO and co-founder of Mosspaper

        The new tool has the following features:


        By Team Mosspaper 29 Jun, 2016

        For any small business to be successful, the importance of customer retention should be the #1 priority. It’s great to get new customers, but the question is how to keep your customers to continue to do business with you. How do you keep them engaged and interested in you? This is why, without a doubt, customer retention is one of the most powerful allies that you can have.

        Here are some ideas you should consider to keep customers coming back to you:

        1)     Give Them a Reason

        Customers need to be convinced – brand loyalty isn’t some magical currency, it’s earned like anything else in this world. If you want to have customers who respect you and come back for more, give them a good reason. Start a new offering that gives out exceptional value whenever someone comes back, offer a loyalty program, or regularly change your deals around.

        Make sure that customers have something to come back for – if you just keep offering what they already have, what’s the incentive to return in the first place?

        2)     Show Interest

        A major way to help keep people coming back is to show interest in them. For instance, sending out a little e-mail every few months with a discount code attached as a thank you is one way to do it. Another example, is sending out valuable information like product tips or suggestions to create awareness as well as engagement. If you find a really interesting article about the state of affairs in your local region or industry in general, turn it into a newsletter.

        By giving clients information they never had before they came to you, it’s likely they’ll see you as a source of authority and someone they can trust.

        3)     Keep Communicating

        Going on from the above, don’t stop. Use everything you can to make this happen – monthly newsletters, seasonal events, big holidays, major events. Take the time needed and really go that extra mile at every legitimate opportunity. It keeps you fresh in the mind of the customer, then.

        4)     Provide Value

        The value that you give to a customer is like gold-dust. Come up with some kind of membership program, for example, and on the ‘anniversary’ of them signing up you can give each person a specific large discount deal. These help them to get back in the store or on your website, as they feel like you’ve went that extra mile for them.

        Customer psychology is a pretty hard thing to work out, but the “secret” is actually very simple. Don’t take people for granted, and treat them the way that you expect to be treated by the businesses that you trust. Start doing this, and success won’t be too far away.

        By Team Mosspaper 06 Jun, 2016

        As a business owner, you can never take it for granted that the saying “if you build it, they will come” will hold true. You aren't the only person to have followed that advice, and if your business offers a product or service that is similar to yours, why will customers chose you? What do you offer them that the competition doesn't? Not all business owners adopt this mindset, which often times explains why they struggle to ever get off the ground.  


        You are never entitled to a customer's business – you have to earn it. Following these three tips will go a long ways towards guiding your marketing and sales approach towards the customers you want to attract and retain.


        1. Differentiate your products and services – create value by solving a problem

        In a perfect world, the product that would dominate the market would always be the very best one. While many times this is true, the way you present your product or service has at least as much to do with your success as the product or service itself. This is especially true if what you and your competitors are offering isn't easily differentiated by the average customer.  


        Advertising is typically thought of as a means and method of getting customers to buy your product after they have been made aware of it. Much less often to they present themselves as the ideal solution to your specific needs. Pay close attention to what a product is advertising – does it sell a product based on the fact that it's inexpensive, or does it market itself as the proper solution to your own problem? And furthermore, what are the shopping habits of your target customers? Are they impulsive or thoughtful? Lower or upper income? Indecisive or committed? Knowing these traits will prove invaluable in guiding how you differentiate your product to these people. The use of analytics is fast becoming a popular means of doing this (#3 below).


        2. Use Customer-centric marketing

        This refers to adjusting your brand and advertising to specifically target the demographic you wish to target without excluding any one demographic. Luxury brands do this all time – everything about their design and image is calculated to exude an aura of sophistication and wealth. These marketing techniques work for specific people who see the value in the lifestyle or brand.  


        Businesses who use customer-centric marketing find a single segment of the population they wish to appeal to and make every effort they can to attract and retain them. If you are actively seeking young middle-income adults, then your advertising and marketing strategy should be specifically designed to appeal to that group. Pay close attention to what customers are saying via your various social media feeds, and adjust your approach as needed.  


        And lastly, this alone is worth mentioning in its own paragraph: a rewards program. What better way to show your customers you care than setting up a system that not only rewards their continued patronage but offers perks specifically relevant to what they came in to shop for in the first place? A great example of this is Starbucks – their rewards program gives you free drinks and discounted products in return for spending a certain amount of money there. I've seen multiple customers try a new drink or food item with these rewards, and many times they come to like it and begin buying it regularly. Not only has this built up loyalty with that customer, but it has helped generate additional sales for Starbucks in the long run!


        3. Leverage analytics

        Analytics is defined as the logical analysis and sequencing of data. Put another way, analytics relies on the rigorous collection and interpretation of data to guide the direction a business needs to take when deciding how best to find, attract and retain their customers. Analytics can be used to pick apart even the smallest bits of information – for example, how long do customers spend on certain pages on your website? What advertisements are they responding to the most? How have their behaviors changed over time?


        The type of data used can include some higher-level mathematical concepts, like derivatives (measuring the sensitivity of change in a function). Many businesses only have a rudimentary understanding of their customer's behaviors and buying patterns. They often keep track of traditional metrics like revenue, labor and fixed costs and expenses, but they often fail to look deeper into the patterns and trends of their customer's buying habits, depriving them of a valuable opportunity to adjust their approach to their needs and wants.  


        There are plenty of software tools you can use that will do the heavy lifting for you – many businesses have yet to utilize these tools, so adopting them now will give you an edge over them. Play your cards right, and you could turn that edge into an advantage that will propel your business ahead of the competition.

        By Team Mosspaper 23 May, 2016

        San Francisco- May 23, 2016- Mosspaper is thrilled to announce another milestone in our mission to empower small businesses to create, send and accept quotes and contracts with a new add-in for Microsoft Outlook. Mosspaper Outlook Add-in contains features that will allow users to easily add new business contacts, create a quote or contract and sync incoming email messages without ever having to leave their inbox. Having Mosspaper capabilities within Outlook’s web and desktop version can enhance a small business owner’s overall sales process and workflow with just a few easy clicks.

        “Working on a Microsoft Office 365 Outlook Add-in demonstrates our commitment to giving small businesses the freedom to create, track and manage important documents anywhere.  With most business owners spending most of their time on email, we wanted to make sure that there was an easy way to use Mosspaper within Outlook with the goal of closing more deals with better accuracy and quicker turnaround times”, said Cliff Fong, CEO and co-founder of Mosspaper.

        By Team Mosspaper 09 May, 2016

        When business owners talk about what their day-to-day operations are like, you often hear of the sales cycle: the process of steps between identifying potential customers and actually selling a product or service to them. The complementary counterpart to that is the customer's buying cycle. This refers to the sequential series of steps a customer takes between the time they begin shopping around for something and actually committing to purchasing it. Understanding this cycle will help you structure your marketing and sales strategy around what your customers want and will respond to.

        The customer buying cycle can be broken down into three stages: awareness, interest and purchase. Awareness describes the point at which your customer first learns of who you are and what you are offering to them. Interest is when a customer begins to see your product or service as something they might want to buy - this consideration comes from the belief that it fits their needs or wants in some way. Purchase involves the final evaluation of your product - this is where customers will ultimately decide whether or not they want to buy what you have to offer. Most sales pitches are made in this phase. Understanding a customer's needs in each part of the buying cycle will go a long way towards helping your business attract and retain customers.


        1) Awareness

        This is when customers first become aware of you, and by extension it is the first impression they will ever have of you. Your advertising and marketing team likely focuses on this part quite a bit, as creating a sense of brand awareness is what allows a business to market itself to a new demographic. If a brand tries to cultivate a semblance of luxury and refinement, everything about the way they market themselves to new customers will reflect this. SEO (Search Engine Optimization) Optimization is also utilized during this phase - a potential customer who is previously unaware of your brand will better find your company and everything that it offers if the keywords on your website better reflect what your ideal customer might be looking for.


        2) Interest

        This is the phase where customers have explicitly or implicitly stated that they want the product or service on offer, but have yet to commit to any kind of a purchase. This is the phase where you inform your customers of what you offer them, and how you can better serve their needs. Companies targeting this phase of the buying process will offer their potential customers all the information they need to settle on a decision. Furthermore, this is where businesses can tailor their product and/or services to fit what their ideal customers want.

        The other half of exploiting this part of the buying cycle lies on the customer's end - that is, what other people have to say about your product. For instance,  you're looking for a product that fills a specific niche. You find something that looks like it might fit, but you know nothing of its quality or reliability. Offering customer and industry testimonials praising what you offer will go a long way towards convincing your potential customer that you are the right choice for their specific needs. 


        3) Purchase

        While this phase does include the actual purchasing of a good or service, it also encompasses the final evaluation of your product. What differentiates this from the interest phase is that the customer is now receptive to a more in-depth understanding of what you are providing. They have demonstrated that they are not only interested in what you offer, but have given a direct signal that they want to buy from you. This is your opportunity to quite literally seal the deal.


        Car dealerships understand this part of the process well - the purchase phase begins when customers sit down to actually negotiate the payment of a vehicle and every term and stipulation thereof. Not all customers actually buy, but by sitting down to negotiate a payment, they have indicated that they have moved beyond a mere interest in a car and are now showing an intent to commit. The sales team is usually involved in this part of the process, and how you match your product to their needs as well as providing a good deal will determine whether or not you make the sale.


        As a business owner, you may not be able to control every aspect of the customer experience, but you can provide enough information to your customers where it's easier for them to make a purchase. With more awareness of the customer buying cycle, you can update your marketing and sales strategy to help you drive more business.



        By Team Mosspaper 25 Apr, 2016

        Understanding the sales cycle is one of the most important ways to get the most out of your clients when providing your services for them, as well as to turn them to become repeat customers. Although, understanding the quote-to-cash cycle is equally important as well, running before and parallel to the sales cycle as you court and service your customer in a manner best tailored to their needs. 


        So, what is quote-to-cash?  It's defined as a business process that starts at the moment customer intends to purchase a product or service and ends with a payment receipt.  This includes creating a quote for a customer, order management, payment requests (invoicing) and payment receipts. It's an essential part of your daily operations, your back office. 


        Quote-to-cash serves as the foundation of which your success with yours customers is based upon. Mastering this will greatly help you in attracting and retaining customers. These five steps illustrate every step you need to take to make this happen.


        I. Create a quote estimate (Includes terms, pictures, drawing and schematics) or contract

        Being able to effectively communicate expectations of costs and procedures for the job will allow your customers gain a solid understanding of what they can expect from you. Quote estimates are usually generated quickly – think of this as a preliminary outline of the contract you will later create. Not only is this your opportunity to delineate the ways in which you can tackle and solve their unique problem, but it also allows the customer to negotiate and adjust the course of action when they commit. Thus, reducing the chances that another client will get to them first.

        It's important to keep your quotes very simple and concise to give the reader a sense of confidence and trust in the service you will be providing. You don't want your quote estimates to be lengthy and intimidating as it becomes the first impression of how it will be to work with you and your business. Having a simple creator tool can help to improve accuracy and time in generating a quote or contract. 

        For projects with a particular duration, a contract can be generated to cover the time period the services will be completed in.  This is where all of the fine print and details come into play. This is where you can generate a contract with more detail to project or job.  Every phase of the project and each step taken therein is laid out, with the deadlines for each phase being of particular importance. By managing your customer's expectations with a detailed plan, you reduce the cost of the overall project. 

        As the project progresses, there is less back and forth about particular details or what the deliverables are. It's important to be clear as to what will be provide and how it will be done. You will want to ensure that the job is done as quickly as possible without sacrificing quality, and this is the phase where you can communicate and fine-tune the timeline with your client.


        II. Signing the deal

        Ensuring an agreement of the terms and a plan set forth is important to reduce any conflicts or miscommunication between you and your client. Having a electronic signature helps facilitate the process.  Most companies have found a faster close rate by including electronic signature in their workflow. It makes it much easier for the customer to get you the documentation. 

        In addition, most e-sign provides automatically save and store your documents in a centralized depository. It's less work and management on your part. Having a secure areas for agreements protects your business of any future issues that may arise in this process. Taking these precautions can help improve your overall customer service and customer retention. 


        III. Simplify the Payment process

        Once you have your quote ready for a signature, remember to offer a easy method to collect a payment. Send out invoices or payment requests when money is needed by a particular time and ensure your customer has a simple way to pay you. With many different online services out there, it's essential to utilize these services to help facilitate this process. Through easy payment integrations, some businesses have found quicker turnaround times on receiving payments and tracking payments on outstanding quotes or contracts.  

        Finishing the job and collecting payment is the last step of a specific job, but the way this step is handled is especially important as it is the final impression a client has with you when they walk away after the job is done. Make collecting the payment as easy a process as possible, and it will go a long ways towards encouraging the client to purchase your services again in the future.


        By Team Mosspaper 12 Apr, 2016

        Most people who own businesses are closely familiar with the process of writing and negotiating a quote. Towards the end of the process, the business providing the goods or services provides the potential customer with a sales quote that tells the customer what they will be paying and receiving. While it is a standard part of any business transaction, the way the sales quote is written and handled can often make the difference between gaining and losing a client, as it is the last thing they see before they agree to hire you.

        While every sales quote will contain a list of the things the customer will have to pay for, you can go beyond that and provide a convincing reason as to why they should buy from you as opposed to somebody else. No doubt you understand the power of a values-based quote, but the way it is formatted and constructed will also have a lot to do with giving that final push. The following three points will guide you in writing the perfect sales quote that will help you attract and retain customers.


        1) Summarize the work that is to be done

        Quotes can easily wind up being lengthy and boring. While you can’t avoid providing a quote, you don’t have to make it an overlong, boring list of things. Or worse, the quote is too bloated with content that lead people astray or confused with too much distractions such as videos or pictures.


        The best thing to do is to keep quotes clear and concise. Offering a quick summary of the services to be provided at the start of the quote will not only catch the eye of the potential customer and hold their attention, but it provides them a quick and easy way to understand exactly what they can expect from you as a client. Much as resumés are quickly scanned by hiring managers and discarded if they do not interest them, your sales quotes can fall victim to the same behavior if you do not concatenate your list of work into one or two simple initial paragraphs.


        2) Itemize the work so that customers will know exactly what you are doing


        Long walls of text are immediately unappealing to readers. Take note of how this article is structured: frequent spacing and indentations as well as relatively concise paragraphs make it so that it doesn’t appear to be an impenetrable morass of words that nobody wants to read. When listing everything that you will do for the customer, never underestimate the power of clean, concise lists. This facilitates reading as well as makes it easier for the reader to compartmentalize and understand exactly what they can expect, as well as easily reference it later should they decide to hire you.


        3) Make it easy to pay and collect a signature

        While the signing and payment aspect may seem trivial in the relationship, that last part of the quote or contract is the final impression your client has of you before they agree to hire you on. If you make the last part of the process difficult for your clients, they may simply decide it isn’t worth the trouble to finalize the agreement. By making it easy to sign and pay, you give your client a preview of what working with you is like – you simplify things and in doing so also win more contracts. Online signatures make the entire process quicker and more streamlined, increasing the odds that you will get the contract.


        By Team Mosspaper 04 Apr, 2016

        With the world going towards more paperless solutions, the ability to electronically sign quotes or contracts is the best way to organize and store all your important documents.  A lot of companies have found it very beneficial to enable their customers to esign. An agreement or document can be sign in hours instead of days. It provides much more flexible and more always accessible real-time, 247.

        In addition, esignature is more cost effective now. As storage technology continues to improve, moving over to a paperless or more digital office is more feasible. Storage is far more compact, records are less likely to be lost or misplaced and the cost of maintaining documents is considerably cheaper now.

        With the passage of the ESIGN Bill in the year 2000, electronic signatures are recognized as legally valid and binding in a court of law. Furthermore, they are considered more secure, as changing and falsifying a digital signature is not done as easily as one written on paper. The benefits of adopting digital signatures vastly outweigh the downsides, but the following three reasons in particular are amongst the most important ones.


        1) You no longer need to fax, scan or print documents

        When a physical signature is required, it means that the signee must be physically able to sign a document – this involves either travelling to another location or having to send the client(s) a physical copy. Both take up an unnecessary amount of time and effort just to meet to get a document signed. With digital signatures, all the work can be done via computer in a matter of a few seconds, as opposed to the hours or even days required for a physical document to undergo the same authorization. The time and money saved from skipping these formerly necessary steps can be considerable – you will appreciate it, and so will your customers.


        2) Documents are automatically stored securely

        While digital forms of storage are not impervious to damage and unauthorized access, the lack of physical storage means that digitally stored data is vastly safer than physical documents.  Files can be misplaced, not returned or organized properly thus jeopardizing the integrity of the records. With physical documents, there is a huge degree of guesswork involved in how/when/if it was tampered with, digital documents can be kept track of at every step of the way.

        Whereas digital signatures on documents can be track via email records or through audit logging. There are companies out there like Mosspaper who keep track and manage all these documents in one centralized area with audit logs. The detailed logs keep track of every single action taken with that document in any form as well who signed it, when, and at which IP address.


        3) Streamlines the sales process

        The lack of a need to ship/mail/fax documents already saves on a high degree of time and money, but what is often neglected in the discussion of the benefits is that it also greatly reduces the amount of human error involved. Anybody who has had a document signed or filed improperly (or even mailed to a wrong address!) can attest to the headache and wasted time that can arise from such a process. When negotiating and finalizing a business deal with somebody, you can instantly sign and provide any necessary documents and forms to your clients with minimal delay. Your customers will appreciate being able to sign and finalize their documents regardless of where they are – it makes things easy for both parties involves.


        By Team Mosspaper 21 Mar, 2016

        San Francisco, California – March 21, 2016

        Mosspaper, providers of an efficient paperless solution to create, sign, track and accept quotes and contract renewals from anywhere, proudly announces the restructuring and simplification of its efficient SaaS quote and contract solution, now available with four complete bundled solutions that provide features across the entire sales cycle.  Every plan offers simplified pricing and a suite of quote, contract and renewal services.   The four new plans include the Personal Plan (free), Basic Plan, Standard Plan, and Premium Plan. These plans are available on the web or via mobile devices (iOS & Android). 

        Mosspaper gives small businesses the freedom to create, track and manage important documents anywhere.  With simple quote-to-cash tools for electronic signature, payment acceptance and full analytics, a business’ entire sales process is efficiently automated and managed all in one place.

        Mosspaper’s Personal Plan is for a single user and is free to use.  It provides the following basic services critical to efficiently managing the complete sales cycle from quoting to invoicing and receiving payment:

        • Simple creator tool with the ability to easily generate quotes or contracts in minutes
        • Centralized communication to track customer comments and feedback directly on the quote or contract
        • Paperless approval process allows for a customer’s electronic signature and fast payment
        • Electronic signature available via email or in person
        • Detailed audit history that tracks all actions for every project
        • Status summary provides a report of where all quotes and contracts are in the sales process
        • Dashboard with statistics offers a quick snapshot of all daily activities
        • Product and service catalog is a centralized repository to create and manage all products and services, including a price list
        By Team Mosspaper 29 Feb, 2016

        Starting a business is a major challenge in and of itself . Finding and keeping your customers is yet another especially if your business is service driven. Now that you’ve secured their business and provided them with top-quality service, leaving behind you a satisfied customer. Once your client’s contract ends, that concludes your involvement with them for that specific job. But if you want your business to be successful, you should recognize that the end of a specific contract shouldn’t be the end of your relationship with them.


        The service contracts expire, but they can also be renewed– this will ensure that you continue to receive business from the client time and time again. Your clients don’t always know or remember when to renew their contracts, but as the business owner you are uniquely positioned to give them that little push and turn them into repeat customers.


        The following two tips will better understand the importance of this often-neglected part of the client’s buying cycle and ensure that your business relationship with them continues well into the future.


        1) Contract renewals allow you to have predictable income.


        Predicting the cash flows of any business isn’t always easy, thus, having analytics will greatly assist with this.  While you can often grasp the seasonal fluctuation of your sales to some degree, you can’t always ensure that you will have a steady source of revenue through the year. Renewing your contracts with your customers can be one of your easiest ways to make sales, given that they are already (often loyal) customers in the first place!


        For example, a freelance writer’s entire income and workload is decided on a per-contract basis. Unless you are experience in the field, you will have to work hard to earn and maintain these customers who you hope will purchase from you on a regular base. Getting the customers is difficult enough, but many times you will do one job for them and then never hear from them again. Just providing them with high-quality writing isn’t enough. It’s important to go the extra mile to get my customers to renew their contracts to get monthly sustainable revenue.


        Keep in touch with them, offer them additional incentives, even offer them some additional level of customization in their contracts! There are many different tactics to encourage past and present clients to become repeat customers. In doing so, you ensure that you have a steady stream of revenue that you can rely upon even if business slows down.


        2) Track the Lifetime Value of a Customer


        If your client has agreed to renew their contracts for a pre-set length of time into the future, you can immediately quantify the revenue that customer will generate for that length of time. Furthermore, you will also be able to understand the precise nature of the value they bring to your business by analyzing the patterns and frequency of their buying patterns. If you keep track of the contracts and purchases you have received from this customer over the duration of their sales, you’ll better understand the value they bring to your business.


        This number is important because it gives you insight as to the repeat business you can get from a customer and what they are willing to spend over a period of time. It helps to understand how much you are spending on each customer. It’s a way for you to figure out how much resources you need to allocate (i.e. time and marketing dollars) to retain and keep this customer happy.


        The easiest way to figure out a lifetime value is:

        (Avg Value of a Sale) X (# of Repeat Transactions) X (Avg Retention Time in Months or Years for a Typical Customer)


        For example, a business owner spends $10 every month for 3 years on website hosting. The lifetime value of that customer would be:  

        $10 X 12 months X 3 years = $360 in total revenue (or $120 per year).

        A hosting company should spend less than $120 per year to acquire a new small business owner who needs a web site. It becomes a benchmark to prove profitability and overall success of your business.


        Once you have figured out the lifetime value of a customer, you can decide on the investment you want to reach short and long terms. It’s important when you are starting a business because you can create cost effective, measurable marketing programs to see how much you are saving per customer. Thus, understanding the lifetime value attribute to how successful you business will be.


        When you renew a customer’s contract, you always have the opportunity to add further value to their purchase. In doing so, you give them an incentive to renew their contracts with you, adding value back to your business in turn. If you understand how to create and harness repeat customers, you will provide the lynchpin in your business model that will ensure that you remain profitable for years to come.


        By Team Mosspaper 25 Feb, 2016

        San Francisco-based Mosspaper has created an easy-to-use app, which enables business owners to deliver simple quotes and contracts quickly to potential customers. The app redesign provides an intuitive user experience as well as a more responsive interface.

        By Team Mosspaper 17 Feb, 2016

        From the time you first contact a prospective client to the time you seal the deal, each step of the process fits into what is known as the customer’s buying cycle. This refers to the phases they go through when determining who they will select to perform a job or service for them. There are roughly three stages that customers go through: awareness, interest and purchase. Awareness is when they have only just begun to understand who you are and what you offer. Interest is when the customer has become informed of what you offer, and expresses a tentative desire to purchase from you. Purchase describes the final stages of a customer’s interest; it is the point where they are evaluating your prices and offerings. This is the phase where you give them a direct sales pitch.

        When attracting customers to your business, you want to make sure that your advertisements and sales pitches are targeted to their mentality at the time. The following three steps will show you how to approach your customer’s buying cycle, so that you maximize the chance of securing them as a client.

        1) Gather your customer’s requirements and needs

        Every customer’s needs are different and unique to them. As such, never take a one-size-fits-all approach to dealing with your customers. Take the time to reach out to them and understand the specific nature of the products or service they require. When you are presenting them with a prospective offer, ask questions that pertain to their needs. This will prove invaluable in giving you the knowledge and understanding of what exactly they are looking for. Even if your customers do not buy from you initially, getting to know and understand their needs will encourage them to cultivate a relationship with you; this can eventually lead to that person becoming a repeat customer.

        Presenting an attractive deal to a customer can only be done if you took the time to understand what it is they were looking for in the first place. When you present the offer to your client, you will have the opportunity to show them why you are best suited for the job and how you can solve their unique challenges and problems. Gathering this information beforehand is crucial to presenting them with the best offer, and potentially moving a customer past the “awareness” stage.

        2) Agree on what products and services will be provided

        This is a crucial part of the buying cycle. Not only will it determine what the final price quote will be, but this will help the customer decide if what you are offering is right for them. Once you have a customer interested in your product or service, they will want to know what you are offering them. This is where you can truly stand out from your competitors. You have the opportunity to present them with a list of services and products that reflects the specific nature of the job they need done, rather than just giving them a generic list of services that would be sent to every prospective client. Companies often make use of “triggers” in this phase of the buying cycle. A trigger is an event that pushes a customer’s want to a need. Since they have already expressed an interest in what you have to offer or say, you have the opportunity to tailor your offerings to these wants and make them feel as though they need to buy from you. If you follow step one in the buying cycle, you will have a good understanding of what triggers your prospective clients and customers will be receptive to.

        3) Create a value-based quote

        A value-based quote is the best way of generating a price quote for your customer. It focuses more on the value that you are bringing to a client, rather than just focusing on the dollar and material cost of the products or services you intend to provide. Put another way, it reframes the issue: rather than reminding the customer of how much money you are costing them, instead you show them the value proposition and savings you bring to their business. The point isn’t to avoid showing them the costs of your services and products, but rather it doesn’t make it the central focus. Brevity is important. It’s not good to go into a pages-long list of reasons as to why you are the best candidate for the job, or you will lose their interest. You want to hold their interest while still providing a convincing reason as to why you should be selected over everybody else. This concept is not unlike that of creating a resume. Only towards the end should you place the estimates of the costs and time needed.

        Creating a value-based quote for your potential customer is the final touch in courting them – it gives them one last reason to choose you and serves as a final reinforcement of the idea that you are the best person for the job. You want your customer to leave your sales pitch with a good aftertaste, and creating a value-based quote is an excellent way to leave them with a positive message and a touch of professionalism.

        Understanding the buying cycle of your customers will give you the power and knowledge you need to court them at every step of the way. The approach you will use for a customer who is only just becoming aware of your product or service will be different than the one used to court a customer who has expressed an interest in buying from you. Knowing how to leverage the mindsets they have at each point in the cycle will help you turn potential clients into repeat customers.

        By Team Mosspaper 08 Feb, 2016

        As much as we all follow the saying “the customer is always right”, it is essential to know that having bad customers can eventually hurt your overall business. These customers could pull your business goals in a totally different direction and drain your resources.

        Drawing that line or boundary can prove to be a daunting task for business owners, as what defines “good customer service” can vary widely. Providing exemplary customer service that makes loyal customers out of the people who buy your products and services is not something that just happens. There are some keys ways to methodically figure out who your ideal customers are so you can consistently provide the quality of service that will help attract and keep customers.

        Here are 3 tips to help you grow your business:

        1) Understanding What Makes an Ideal Customer

        Before you open your doors, it is crucial to understand who your ideal customer is. Start by asking yourself: what do you want from a customer? Do you picture somebody who is polite, responsive and patronizes your business regularly? Ideally, you want a person will go on to spread word of your business to other potential customers, thus increasing the demand for your product or service. This person is not just an occasional patron, but also, a regular source of business for your company.

        To find your ideal customer, it is crucial to understand the demographic they belong to – you want to not just know about who they are, but what they want from your business. A good example I’d like to use is McDonalds – their ideal customer is what they call a heavy user- a person who eats at McDonalds at least 3-5 times a week and is likely to order the largest portions off of the menu. This group consists of about 20% of its customers but accounts for at least 70% of their sales. These people are generally either mothers or 20-something young male professionals, and as such McDonalds tailors its advertisements towards these groups. Why? These two demographics groups are their ideal customers, the people who form the core of their customer base.

        2) What Challenges Are Your Customers Facing?

        People want to be felt and heard. Your customers may tell you what issues or problems they may have, but other times, the clues can only be discerned through their body language or tone of voice. If you sense something is wrong, ask them! If you see a customer who is disgruntled or dissatisfied with their experience, you have an opportunity to get to understand just why and provide some alternatives or options. Communicating with your customers is vital to understanding the challenges they have, and what you can do to help overcome them. Furthermore, it makes them feel appreciated and cared about.

        An excellent way to do this is to create customer profiles. This involves creating descriptive blurbs describing the categories of customers you can expect to receive. This will help you gain insight into their motives from buying your products and services as well as what they hope to get out of your business. It will also help you in tailoring your solutions to their unique needs. As an example, a person who works for a large corporation will have different needs and wants than a person who is just opening up their own business for the first time.

        One example of a challenge is the proliferation of online forms of media. Because customers find it more convenient to read and access news articles online as opposed to buying a printed form of the articles, print subscriptions have plummeted for nearly every major newspaper and publication. As a result, most of them have responded to this challenge by creating websites where their articles can be viewed. Some have gone further and opted to discontinue print media altogether. For example, in 2012, Newsweek cited a steep decline in its print subscription base and decided to only continue an online business model. Customers preferred easily accessible online media and Newsweek overhauled its business model to accommodate this need.

        3) Understand Where to Locate These Customers

        Depending on the service or product that you are selling, the profile of your clientele will vary. Take note of the people who buy from you. Once again, you are trying to fully understand your target market.

        Some questions to ask:

        1. Are they predominantly male or female?
        2. What age group do they belong to?
        3. What professions are they likely to work in?
        4. What are their personality types and preferences?

        Asking these questions can give yourself a good idea of where your potential customers lie, as well as how they can be reached. A person who owns a coffee shop in a trendy neighborhood will likely see a different set of customers than somebody who offers professional business services.

        Once you have this data in hand, you can target your advertisements to the demographics you know are most likely to buy from you. For example, if your target demographic consists of 18-35 year old males, focus your advertising efforts on places and websites where they are more likely to be. Creating SEO (search-engine optimized) headlines and articles using keywords related to the demographic you are targeting is a good way to generate interest for your product or service as well.

        And of course, remember your customer profiles. Knowing what your average customer wants is every bit as important as understanding your target demographics. If you know what your ideal customer wants and needs, it will go a long way towards being able to find and locate them.

        Once you have followed these three steps, you should have a strong idea of how to do about finding and keeping your future customers. These three steps are just the beginning, but you never want to start a business without a game plan, and these steps can help put you on the path to success.

        By Team Mosspaper 07 Dec, 2015

        So, you found your ideal customers. You are responsive to their needs and concerns, figured out how to locate, and target the people who patronize your business. Now, your first few services orders are coming in and you’ve got jobs to perform. In most instances, it’s imperative to have some kind of written agreement between you and your clients. Your clients will have a wide spectrum of unique needs and wants, and the problems and challenges you face will be every bit as varied.


        It’s important to know how to write a solid, legally-binding contract that will clearly explain, define what needs to be done, and every bit of minutiae related to the job. Your clients may have differing expectations than you do about what they want done, how much they want to pay, when they want it done, and so on. These three steps below will help you approach these questions in a logical manner and construct contracts that will leave little room for misunderstandings.

        1) Be clear and concise on services you are providing.


        It’s important to have a short paragraph or two giving out a broad outline of the parties involved, the services that will be provided, the time tables, pricing ranges, and any relevant facts relating to the work being rendered. It allows both parties to understand the nature of the contract, the terms, and conditions being set forth. It also serves as a way to tie in a customer’s unique needs to the services your company provides.


        Furthermore, specify, specify, specify. Vague and non-descriptive language allows for a number of potentially conflicting interpretations on what services will be rendered and how it will be delivered. It’s important to be as clear and concise as possible to avoid any potential issues or legal disputes between you and your client. As an example, some jobs may require time and material in addition to the services to be completed (e.g travel, transportation, etc). Make sure both parties know who is responsible for providing those services, as you don’t want there to be a misunderstanding as to who is responsible for what.


        2) Include the duration of your contract.


        This is important, and not just for liability reasons. For instance, if a project extends past the agreed-upon deadline, it can result in a cost overrun or low-quality work and poor customer service for who you are performing the service for. This does not take into account changes or revisions that could occur during the completion of the project. It’s important to manage a customer’s expectation on what you can or can not do within a certain period of time.


        Make sure that all parties have an understanding of how long the contract should last for. For example, if your client expects a job to be completed in a week, but you know it will likely take at least two. It’s good to explain to a client all the task or action items associated with a particular task so they understand what the process is.


        Once both parties have come to an agreement as to how long the job is expected to last for, it’s good to have a have a tentative time line so things are clear. It’s beneficial on both sides so expectations are managed and keeps an open relationship with the customer. You as a business owner is given time to complete the work and enforce the time line as well as the client can ask for the proper recourse if the job runs past the agreed-upon deadline.


        3) Include an agreement on what the expectations are.


        Before you have written the contract out, sit down and negotiate all the terms. Agree upon concrete dates, an exact or accurate price range, payment options, the approval processes, fully delineate what each party is responsible for and can expect. Outline everything that is required to complete this job, as well as which parties are responsible for these needs. Make sure you explain clearly what you intend to do and how you will accomplish it. Be sure to include an exit strategy for when the job has been successfully completed.


        Should the client have any further concerns or inquiries, be sure to include contact information that they can use. Whether it consists of an email, a phone number or some other form of information, you want to make sure that the client can access you easily enough, should there be any section that is not clear or if they have any unresolved questions.


        These three steps do not explain every little detail, but they serve as an effective primer for those new to the art of writing a legally-binding contract. And of course, don’t forget to follow up with your clients after the job is completed. Even if you have finished the job and have fulfilled your duties and responsibilities, it means a lot to your clients when you communicate with them after the fact and gauge their satisfaction – when you show that you care about them, they will be inclined to give you their business again.

        By Team Mosspaper 29 Oct, 2015
        The gathering of 30,000 tech enthusiasts at the Web Summit in Dublin, Ireland will get to see the iOS and Android app in action at Mosspaper’s booth. Mosspaper's Quote and Contract management app is now available for iPhones, iPads, Andriod Phones, and Android Tablets.  
        By Team Mosspaper 26 Oct, 2015

        Many times for a business person or technician on the road there's a need to create a quote or contract in a way that's quick and professional. A lack of tools in this area, for anyone experienced in these situations is clear. Quote and Contract Management Tool Mosspaper officially launches, the Mosspaper Mobile App available for Android. Users couldn't be more pleased.

        By Team Mosspaper 06 Jul, 2015
        By Team Mosspaper 22 Jun, 2015

        For most businesses, nothing happens until a sale is made. As such, understanding the importance of writing the perfect sales quote should not be underestimated. A value-based quote is supposed to address the problem a client is facing, proposed solutions and how it will be accomplished. It is a vital part of sales cycle.


        A value-based quote should be perfectly structured to lead the reader step by step through the reasons why they should make a purchase in simple and concise language. Lengthy formal written quotes or proposals are confusing for clients. Most clients will not read through every single page. They want to get to the information they need quickly. They want to know just simply what you are doing for them.


        Below we will look at some useful tips in writing the perfect quote:

        1) Keep it Structured


        When writing a quote, remember that it is first and foremost a sales tool. It is used to convince potential customers to order services or products from your company. This vital document should be designed to follow the sales process. As such, the quote should include a summary clearly stating what is being provided, itemized list of what is being done with terms and conditions. By following this defined structure, the client is properly introduced to the business and the main areas of operation.

        2) Be concise


        The rule of thumb is to keep the language used in the quote as simple and clear as possible. A quote is supposed to keep the reader interested by being simple and straightforward to read. Like great sales copy, you should do your best to avoid unnecessary language that adds zero value to the message. Every statement should have a point in it and emphasize something of importance. Allusions and using figure of speech means that the client will be wasting time reading things that are vague in most cases, something you would want to avoid.

        3) Keep it Short


        A quote is a vital document in the sales process. It should deliver a clear message in the most direct means. Everyone will have a lot to say about a product offering, qualifications and experience, but all that should not be included in the sales quotes. It should be an attachment as reference information.


        It’s best to summary everything the customer would like to see in 1 page quote that is clearly organized and arrange. Avoid ambiguous and long-winded sentences as it causes confusion. It is recommended that short, direct sentences be used; short paragraphs as well made up of three to four sentences.

        Mosspaper is an online provider of digital quotes and contracts. We offer businesses a way of writing proposals which can be viewed online and signed as well. Our quote and contract management application also produces an audit trail to ensure that all transactions are traceable and binding.

        By Team Mosspaper 01 Jun, 2015

        You have just finished designing your web site with the appropriate images and layout. Creating an online presence is an ongoing process that takes time and thought. It’s imperative create a connection with audience to increase interaction, engagement, and awareness to the products and services you are providing.

        After you have all the content, layout, and images, there are still many things to consider in the overall user experience. In addition, you should take into account how your business will interact with the web site as well. There are many great resources available that are free for you to use!

        Most companies have 3rd party tools or widgets are you can simply drag and drop or an HTML code that you paste into an add-on box. You have the flexibility to integrate all the current tools you’re using into one place to streamline things. The tools and widgets are available to help you manage your business in a more productive and effective way.

        Here are some great widget apps you should be thinking about:

        1)   Wufoo Forms and Surveys

        There are a variety of forms you can use for your business such as a registration forms, invitations or online surveys. You can easily add it to your  web site to create a database to collect information from your customer. Use the intuitive drag and drop feature to create your forms.

        2)   Mailchimp Newsletter Subscription

        Collect all your followers and subscribers in one centralized area to connect with your audience. It’s important to keep in touch with your users and maintain engagement. Put the HTML code on your web site and when someone puts in their information, it’s saved in your Mailchimp account.  It’s easy to create a newsletter, send and track all your messages being sent.

        3) Mosspaper Quote Management

        Gather all your customer requirements for your product and services on your web site through Mosspaper. Our genuine leads are managed and tracked within the application to provide you more visibility into your business. Put the HTML code on your web site and you can start get quote requests instantly! You can easily create and send a quote as well as request an electronic signature and payment from your customer. Here's how to add it to your site

        Don’t only create a web site, but create something that helps you manage your business as well. Adding a widget app helps improve ease of use and user experience to our web site. In addition, it allows your customers to easily connect with you and your business operations in a more efficient way.

        Give your inbox a break by using different tools to manage your work and top leads. Managing the data coming into your business doesn’t have to take away from your work if you try to make it work for you. Working smarter will always keep you ahead of the game!


        By Team Mosspaper 01 Jun, 2015

        We’ve all been there - sat at the office desk with a to-do list as long as your arm without a strategy on how to complete each task. Things start rolling in the office with constant phone calls and other disruptions. Before you know it, the day is gone and your to-do list has hardly changed. The results? Taking work home and having to work all night to catch up on your work. This type of behavior can negatively affect your business. Being productive and efficient requires more deliberate time management. The idea is to work smart, not hard! Take advantage of modern technology to increase your effectiveness in, and outside, the office.

        Listed below are 5 essential Apps to increase productivity:

        1) Evernote

        Regarded as the world’s most widely-used productivity app. Evernote is one of the most effective methods to capture notes, documents and even pictures that you would like to get access to either on your smartphone, tablet or desktop. This app is ideal for office workers. No matter where you are, you can use this app to jot down ideas, and once you get to the office (provided you have the app on your desktop) it would sync automatically, allowing you to continue to write in the same file. If you would like to increase productivity and get your notes organized, then Evernote will be a good choice.

        2) Google Docs

        While Google Docs has been around for a long time, it was only recently that it has been upgraded, making the App a highly effective tool. The newer editions for your Android phone and tablet is free to use. Google docs enables users to create, edit and work together with others on documents. In addition, Google Docs allows you to share documents and work together with others in the same document at the same time. You can finish projects without an internet connection. You can even save Microsoft documents and the best part about this app is that you will never have to be concerned about losing your work, everything is automatically saved as you type.

        3) Join.me

        This productivity app is a simple online screen-sharing tool, which makes meeting with clients and coworkers a bit better. Join.me is an user-friendly online meeting tool that was designed in a simple way and is very affordable, for this reason everyone in the organization can own an account. It’s great for sales demos, creating ideas, external presentations, and business meetings. To log in, just simply use a code that the meeting host provides you and you’re ready to go. You are able to communicate via phone or internet, chat, and share your computer screen. This software is designed to promote collaboration which means you can be more productive in what you need to do.

        4) Basecamp

        If you need to get projects done, then Basecamp is the best option. Basecamp is super easy to use. Basecamp, although regarded as a “project management” tool, it has now turned into an effective “collaboration” tool as well. If you need a tool to better communicate, organize and record what projects are of importance, Basecamp is the best collaboration tool. It’s a client project oriented tool. So, you’re able to create projects and add task lists as well as assign people to these tasks. You have the ability to track time on Basecamp so you can easily log in time associated with any project you have. There are still plenty of other features that Basecamp offer to help increase productivity and help you manage your time.

        5) Mosspaper

        For a small business that need to send our quotes, estimates, and contracts to clients, Mosspaper can assist with your business endeavors to improve your overall operations. When you’re on the go, we can easily create a quote or contract for your client instead of waiting until you’re back in the office. You can send it via email and track it on your dashboard. The client can sign and make a payment on the quote and contract instantly. No need to chase down paperwork, signatures or payment. Mosspaper facilitates the entire process from beginning to end, making use of this quote and contract management tool. Users only need to log in and begin tracking their documents instantly. In addition, all client and user activity is logged within the app to reduce confusion and misunderstandings.

        These apps can easily help increase productivity in any business. With overwhelming pressures to stay ahead as a small business, it’s important to manage your time better and smarter. Instead of putting in long hours or pack more into your already-full calendar, just take a step back and look at the tools currently available to help you work more efficiently.

        By Team Mosspaper 04 May, 2015

        The success of any business is how they communicate their products and services to their consumers. A research study by the Harvard Business School reveal that families buy the same 150 products, making up 85 percent of household needs. They tend to purchase things that they are familiar with. In order to maintain this, you can present a unique way in packaging your products and services. How can you do so?

         

        It’s important to get the customer to overcome their initial uncertainty about the product. Thus, it’s essential to properly package their products and service that’s easily understandable. Without a pricing plan in place for your business, it becomes impossible to effectively sell your company’s value.

         

        Here are some points that you can remember:

         

        1) Treat Your Service into a Product

        Productize your services. Make the intangible more tangible by providing task list or action items to show the customer the value you are creating. Include a desired outcome a service provides once it’s accomplished. This can give you a competitive edge against other players in your category. Make the benefits and advantages of your services easily available to your clients.

         

        2) Organize Your Products and Services Based On Your Process

        One of the common mistakes of many entrepreneurs and small business is presenting their products and services in a cluttered way. Help organize your products and services by prioritizing. You should sort your services by the order of importance. If possible, categorizing your products and services into easily identifiable groups will help your customers be guided when they are searching for the best products and services for their needs.

         

        3) Outline What You Will Include In Your Offering

        It’s important to state clearly in a few sentences what you are providing and how you will get it accomplished. The inclusions, as well as the advantages, should be clearly presented. This will allow your product to market itself.

         

        4) Provide Different Options

        Providing pricing options allow your customers to see the value of different packages. It allows the customers to determine the level of service they want and the price range they want to stay within. It gives the customer the option to figure out what they want and need.

         

        If you are selling a product, it would be best to provide more than one option. On the other hand, if you are selling services, you may want to present options that can fit the different needs of your different clients. With this strategy, you can also determine which packages sell more to your customers.

         

        5) Have Clear Descriptions on the Products and Services

        Be as clear and concise as possible. Say more with less words. If there is one thing that customers hate, that is not receiving what they expect. Therefore, in order to avoid disputes and claims, it is best to have clear descriptions on the products and services that you are offering.

         

        As an entrepreneur, making sure that your brand name is ahead of the game is vital if you want to thrive in the industry that you are working in. By making good use of Mosspaper, a quote and contract management tool, you can be helped in making wise business decisions when it comes to choosing the right packaging type for your products and services. This will benefit, not just your company as a whole, but also those who are expected to benefit from the products and services that you offer.

        
        By Team Mosspaper 01 May, 2015

        Small business and entrepreneurs can make their operations a lot easier with the use of online tools and resources. They can save businesses time and provide a cost effective solution to their daily operations. Take, for instance, a proposal software than can make quote and contract management easier.


        In a highly competitive landscape and with so many tools out there, it’s hard to narrow down exactly which tool to use and why. It’s essential to invest in an application that will work for you, not have you work to maintain the tool. In order to find the right solutions, it’s best to view it from a workflow perspective as you get from point A to point C.


        Imagine you are taking a cross-country road trip to a particular destination. You will need to figure out which freeway to take, where to get food or gas, and where you will stay. Your business functions in a similar way. You need various things to help you continue towards your road to success.


        Here are some online resources that make your life easier:


        1)   Online Payments.

        There are many secure options and service providers who can assist with online payments like paypal or stripe. It’s important to have these payment options as it ensures steady cash flow for your business. Also, it makes it easier for a customer to pay right now.


        2)   E-signature.

        It’s been said that offering electronic signatures for your business increase your closure rate by 40%. The ease of use alone can increase sales, protect your business, and set the right expectations with your clients. Tools like Docusign or HelloSign help to facilitate this process.


        3)   Quote and Contract Creation.

        Having a cloud- based solution to create quotes and contract will help your business reduce redundancy, typing errors and email trails. The information is easily accessible anywhere on any device. Using tools like Mosspaper can help to streamline your business in a more efficient way.


        4)   Automated Workflow Management.

        Most tools require you to update the status as each document (quote, proposal, or contract) goes to the next stage of the sales cycle. Take the work out of the maintenance process by using tools like Mosspaper where you know where your document is at all times. The application allows you to see if the quote or contract has been viewed, signed, and paid for as well how long the document has been out for approval. Having built- in trigger help you get your work done easier having to follow up on every single task related to a quote or contract.


        5)   Cloud Storage.

        Having an area for all your data and document is imperative to the success to any business. Going paperless saves your company money on paper, ink, and resources that you could be using towards your business instead of managing paperwork. Services such as dropbox will help you maintain all your important documents to be accessible with any device and anywhere. You can set permission controls to those accessing your documents while knowing that your data is safely secure.


        Depending on how your business works, it’s even better to use an integrated tool to complete this process. With the advancement of cloud technology, entrepreneurs today gain access to efficient online tools that will make their life easier, and on the road to success. Some startups have raised their capital through crowd-sourcing platforms. Money transfer and payments are also made possible through online tools. Whether it is for quote management or any other tool you need for your business, you will find one that best fit your needs.  


        By Team Mosspaper 06 Apr, 2015

        Most small businesses get clients easier because they have a particular edge. They know how to position themselves in the business. In the process, they edge out competitions and render them useless. Communicating effectively in quotes and contracts is a key component in this.

        While most businesses provide estimates, wise businesses are providing value-based quotes or proposals. An estimate presents the clients what needs to be done and how much will it cost them. A value-based quote, on the other hand, is a persuasive document that presents the price, but focuses on telling the clients that you understand their business and where they are coming from. Yet, it’s not lengthy in nature like a formal proposal.

         

        According to research, average quote proposals get 47 percent chances of winning compared to the 35 percent chance of estimates. Writing lengthy documents to clients will overwhelm and confuse them. So, how do you edge out the competition with persuasive quotes proposals? How do you write a quote proposal?

         

        Here are 5 tips in writing an effective quote:

         

        1)     Summarize the problem.

        Write 1-2 sentences about the problem the customer is facing. The problem can include what the issue is and it affects a company, an organization or an agency. Always remember that a good quote should be focused what the issue is and the value you are providing. Bullet point can also help to keep things structured and easy to read.

         

        2)     Provide solution.

        It’s important to effectively present solutions to the existing problem. Look at every aspect of the situation that may cause or contribute to the problem and derive possible solutions from it. Emphasize the need for an immediate solution to prevent the problem from getting worse.

         

        3)     Make practical suggestion.

        Itemize or list out all the services needed to address the problem. A good quote should address the issues one by one, but do not take advantage of the non-expert clients. Do not add solutions that are not really needed for the sake of adding cost. Many businesses and freelancers are guilty of this. Besides the fact that it is unethical, it is also a waste of time, effort, and resources.

         

        4)     Present the process and its benefits.

        Show how you will solve the problem by presenting to your clients your process and the timeline on how plan to attain their business goals or objectives. A good quote provides the client a perspective on how the problems will be solved step by step. This can easily be captured in line items with descriptions.

         

        This makes it easier for the client to understand what will be done and how it will be done. It will also be useful for your clients to easily track the progress of your work to solve the problem. Also, present the benefits they can get from the solutions you suggest.

         

        5)     Provide pricing.

        Present the price of each of your itemized solution. The quote will give your clients a view of the total cost of the services to be done, or the product to be purchased.

         

        Pricing is a clincher in every deal. Some clients will contact different services and competitors especially if they do not found the pricing reasonable. Thus, it’s important to make sure that your prices match the services you offer. Be prepared to answer client's questions when it comes to pricing too.

         

        6)     Include sample reference.

        Provide your clients with previous deals for their reference. You can include use cases, resume, diagrams, and other sample works to give your clients an opportunity to assess your qualification in doing the project. These should be attached to the quote. It’s only supplementary information for their reference.

         

        If you are not confident in creating the best quotes and contracts, there are web applications that can help you deal with it. Mosspaper is a quote and management tool that provides easy, safe and efficient quotes and contracts to sell your expertise and experience anywhere. You can now create digitally signed quote and contracts and manage them effortlessly with this quote and contract management tool. For more information about Mosspaper, visit http://www.mosspaper.com/ .

        By Team Mosspaper 23 Mar, 2015

        Quote and contract management plays an important role in winning more business. Providing a well-written quote is apart of that. When it is done right, you will gain more customers. Sales quotes can be time consuming especially when you’re in the field most of the time, but it is made easier if you know how to do it right.

         

        You should write a value-based quote and not just an estimate of how much the project will cost. There’s a big difference between the two. A quote should give an overview of the problems that the client faces and the solutions that you can provide. An estimate is a rough calculation for the cost of a project. This keeps the client focused on the price alone. On the contrary, a value-based quote keeps the client focused on the value they will receive.

         

        Customers have less time to review lengthy quotes, proposal and contracts. It’s very important to give an overview of the products and services being provided. Here are tips to help you create a quote that will generate business.

         

        1) Write a Summary

         

        It’s important to have a description summary in your quote. It lists the problems of the clients or the goals they want to achieve. Then, it’s important to list the solutions you can provide. You should include the benefits that clients can get from the solutions. Lastly, include the overall price as well as a short statement of how to start the project.

         

        2) Be Concise

         

        Your quote and contract management team must create a quote that’s short and direct to the point. According to a survey of small business owners, proposals that are less than five pages are 30 percent more likely to win more business than proposals that are longer. The quote should have a big picture overview of the project or service being provided and the rest of the content should support your summary.  

         

        3) Viewable Online

         

        It is important that you make your quote viewable online. This will shorten the sales cycle and provide you with more revenue. The average time to accept a hard copy proposal was 29 days, compared to only 18 days for quotes available online. It was also observed that online quotes and proposals are more likely to seal the deal compared to hard copy ones.

         

        4) Get Quotes and Contracts Out Quickly

         

        Proficient quote and contract management is needed if your business wants to win more business. You should send out a quote proposal as soon as possible. Sending it within 3 days after the request will most likely earn you the contract. On the other hand, failure to send out a proposal within 3 days will most likely result to not getting the deal.

         

        These are the tips that can help you win more business. If you want a more effective quote and contract management, use Mosspaper. It is a quote and contract management tool that will make creating quote a less tedious task. Visit   http://www.mosspaper.com/   to learn more about the product.

        By Team Mosspaper 02 Mar, 2015

        One common factor among businesses is their need to keep their customers satisfied. Customer experience is one of the things that small businesses should keep in mind if they want to improve their bottom line. Using quote and contract management tools are just some of the ways to improve customer experience. Below are the other tips businesses owners should consider to keep customers satisfied and loyal to the company.

         

        1) Setting the Right Expectations

         

        Businesses must deliver on its promises. They should set the right expectations so that customers will not expect products or services to be delivered on a faster rate. Customers require businesses to be prompt with their services. They give premium to small businesses that can deliver products or services on time.

         

        2) Accuracy

         

        Another thing that customers expect is accuracy. There should be no typos in your quotes or contracts. A quote management tool will allow you to provide accurate quotes. A business must also be able to provide accurate data when it comes to products in stock and expected delivery dates. It has been observed that customers are more satisfied with businesses that give them accurate information.

         

        3) Monitor Communication Lines

         

        Businesses must be able to maintain several ways that will allow customers to communicate with them. Whether a customer said something about the company through Twitter, email, web form or any other method, the person expects the company to notice and respond accordingly.

         

        The company must also assign someone to organize all lines of communication. That way, the person in charge can respond to inquiries made by the customers as soon as possible. Consumers, in general, are impatient when it comes to responses from businesses, and they will value a company that provides fast answers. If possible, support for customers must be available 24/7. That way you can resolve problems and other concerns right away.

         

        And make sure that you don’t provide scripted responses. Customers find a company more sincere if the responses are personal. It provides a sense of authenticity that consumers are looking for these days.

         

        4) Empower your Customer

         

        Customers are always right. They know this, and they expect the company they deal with to remember that. And due to social media, consumers today have a lot of power to make or break a small business. The good news is that if you treat them right, they are more likely to stay rather than switch to another.

         

        5) Allow Customers to Assist You

         

        Businesses must allow customers to assist them through self-service processes. You might be surprised how willing consumers are to type their own contact info. This will ensure that you get the spelling right, especially for how to spell names. This will make one’s quote management and contract management less tedious, especially when done with the right tool such as Mosspaper.


        By Team Mosspaper 02 Feb, 2015

        Here at Mosspaper, we understand how busy you are with your every day-to-day routine. Each day presents it’s own challenges so creating a marketing strategy is probably not on the top of your list, or is it?  Whether you are actively and passively trying to improve your search ranking, here are some things we want to share with you.
         

        With the algorithm update to Penguin 2.0 that Google officially launched last May 22, 2013, various aspects have changed in the search engine and their search results. Penguin 2.0 is particularly focused on the patterns of links, the use of "anchor text" or text link and link building techniques involving the manipulation of results, which end up confusing users. Many SEO professionals and local business owners fear that it has less impact to their business. But the truth is that now Google will give more importance to local businesses, this is definitely a big advantage for local businesses. These companies will benefit from increased exposure to information queries. Now Google will give more importance to these local businesses when general searches are made ​​for your region.


        In our opinion this is a good time for local businesses to begin or intensify their SEO strategies and gain maximum benefit from this update. In this guide we have listed several practices that local businesses should take to ensure that your business to be found in search results on this new "post-Penguin".


        1) Get Local Mentions

        Quality indications in Penguin were promising and now, it is clear that local or brand mentions are very important.

        The entries have a key role in the classification of local searches. This simply means that the longer the name, address and telephone number of your business is mentioned on websites related to your niche and location, the higher your ranking in local searches.


        2) Publish it on other blogs - "Guest Blogging"

        Now in your seo campaign, it is necessary to focus on brand mentions as we do with local references. So you need to create and distribute relevant and valuable content (including name, address and telephone number of your business) on web sites using natural confidence and quality links to your website.

        Write as a guest on other blogs is one of the most beneficial and effective techniques of link building right now.


        3) Create a page for each location

        After Penguin 2.0, for companies with multiple locations, creating specific pages for each location is required.


        4) Local Comments on Google+

        Google is giving increasing importance to social cues such as customer reviews on the web to confirm the relevance and position of the company. Search engine optimization is becoming more and more natural, based on what customers have to say about your organization rather than what you say about it, increasingly reflecting what happens in the real world.


        5) Enriched labeled fragments

        Adding rich snippets is another great idea to improve the presentation and visibility of web pages in your search results. One way to do this is by using structured markup data review to familiarize the search engines with the nature of the content and help them relate to your business.


        6) Google+
          Local Page Optimization

        Local listings on Google + offer small local businesses a great opportunity to claim a prime location in the local search results. Local listings on Google+ shown in organic search results (with specific keywords of each place) have dramatically increased (currently in the United States) and therefore no local businesses risk can ignore Google+ Local as part of your SEO strategy.


        7) Implement Google Authorship

        In a video of Matt Cutts and Othar Hansson , you can clearly see that helps Google to determine the credibility of the person who posted a piece of content through the use of structured data with rel = "author." Actually, this helps Google to identify a spammer of an author with authority and credibility.


        8) Mobile

        With the rapid increase of the local searches on mobile devices, it becomes almost essential for small businesses to optimize their websites for mobile. This is because most of the users who perform these searches end up seeing the website of local businesses. Therefore, search results on mobile devices are more geo-localized.


        9) Marketing local content

        There are many platforms available, such as search engines, social and mobile media, through which small businesses can make content marketing. The technique here is to first research what your target audience is looking for and then provide relevant information and value through blogs, articles, news, computer graphics, etc.


        10) Local Video Marketing

        We know that still continues to mystify by now video marketing is a strategy that almost goes unnoticed for local businesses. The video can be a powerful tool for any local seo campaign positioning. The video gives you a unique opportunity to interact with your customers and enables them to better understand your business and become familiar with it. You can upload your videos directly to YouTube or host them on your website.


        11) Youtube

        Since Google owns Youtube, well-optimized video will have greater opportunities to better position than other sites in their search results.

        You must create a YouTube channel for your business and start uploading your videos. Make sure you have optimized your videos providing good local indicators, before making them public. This involves adding an appropriate title to the video including relevant keywords (including the name of your location), a reference to the name, business address and telephone number and a link to the landing page of your website that matches the content of the video. In addition, the video allows mobile users to directly call your company from the search results.


        12) Videos hosted on your website

        There is nothing wrong with using Youtube to post your videos, however, to host them on your website will have the opportunity to use rich snippets for video and the video will preview in search results that link directly to your website. This will increase the click through rate (CTR), the participation of users and make them stay on your site longer.


        13) Business or Corporate Blog

        Most local businesses are not using a blog to promote their local seo and sales. You may not know how to operate and therefore do not know their magic, which makes them doubt the ability of blogs to promote online businesses, whether local or not.


        14) Local Newspapers
          Notes

        The local press notes are the most effective way to get a better position in local searches. They improve the recognition of your brand and make your business more known in your local area. Once you have something to say to provide value, consider creating and distributing press releases. Examples might include special local events, actions that promote the participation of your community, the launch of new products and other important achievements.


        15) Social Media

        Of course, we cannot forget about social media and its importance. Clearly now social cues play a critical influencing in Google rankings role, and the same will happen all over the web (as happens in the United States) in the case of local searches. To get the social cues you need, you must create a presence and take advantage of the major social sites like Google+, Facebook, Twitter, LinkedIn, YouTube, Foursquare, Instagram and Pinterest.

        Now, you have some ideas on where to begin. It’s important to always put your best foot forth. Put together a plan and begin implementing these strategies. It may look like a lot of things, but if break everything up into smaller parts, you will get to where you want to go more efficiently.

        By Team Mosspaper 02 Feb, 2015

        There are currently 53 million people doing freelance work in the US, which is about 34% of the national workforce. People love the freedom they get from doing freelance work.  90% of freelancers are happier now than they were before going solo.

        As a full time freelancer, you can work whenever you want. There is no boss breathing down your neck or confined weekends. But, in exchange for all those freedoms come risks and insecurity.

         

        It can get a little crazy at times. As a freelancer, you never know when your next paycheck will be so you work hard to keep the projects rolling in and updating your services you know people will want. Here are some ways to help you manage your freelance business:

         

        1)   Create a Weekly Goal

        It’s important to see your week in a glance and highlight important tasks you want to accomplish. Keep the list short so you can focus on the most critical things you need to do for your customers and your business. Understand what is required for each task and dedicate time to complete it. Everything else can wait.

         

        2)   Establish Your Workflow and Processes

        Process and workflow automation helps you stay on top of your work. One of the most important yet ignored step in the process of starting a freelance business is establishing a processes and workflow so you can easily manage your business. Luckily, there are many different web applications such as Zoho, Insightly, and Mosspaper that help you organize your customers and sales cycle.

         

        For instance, Mosspaper helps you create quotes and contracts for your customers. They offer signature and payment all in one solution. This helps you focus on the services you are offering instead of trying to figure out where all your important documents are located.

         

        3)   Set Clear Expectations With Customers

         

        Sign a contract/agreement with everyone you work with. You should clearly outline and state what you will be doing, how you will be doing it, and what your terms are. The document depicts what people should expect from you. It protects you from your customer’s expectations or what they think you had agreed upon. Miscommunication and misunderstandings happen often.

         

        Using tools like Mosspaper to facilitate electronic signature between you and your customer is a good way to ensure a contract is in place. The customer can easily sign in person or given a contract via email where they can sign.

         

        4)   Set Away Quiet Time

         

         A moment of silence each day helps you concentrate and improve clear thinking. It’s good to be not distracted for a period of time at work so you can maximize productivity and motivation. When you allow time for breaks and relaxation, output may actually increase. So, rest your mind, meditate, and clear your mind.

        To put down the path towards success, put in the right pieces so you can walk the path. Building any successful career starts with you. Keep it simple and get it done right the first time.

        By Team Mosspaper 02 Jan, 2015

        Going paperless can bring a lot of benefits to one’s business. Documents take up a lot of space in one’s office and can lead to clutter. A messy office desk with piles of paper is a thing of the past. More businesses are starting to adopt better ways to be more efficient. For instances, paying bills can take up a lot of time when doing it the old fashion way. Rather than having filing cabinets with files and forms, a lot of businesses are finding way to digitize everything.

         

        45% of the paper printed in offices end up in the bin by the end of the day. Companies such Citigroup started enforces little changes such as printing double-sided to conserve one sheet of paper each week. Citigroup calculated savings worth $700,000 each year from this change in policy. While Bank of America has implemented changes like putting account forms and invoices online which has saved the company over $10 million, not including the savings in postage and storage.

         

        Whether you want to make small changes towards reduce waste and cost. There are things to think about as you decide if this is right for your business. Here are some reasons why you should go paperless:

        1)   Saves Space and money.  Physical office space is saved with the reduction of storing documents. Reduce the use of ink, printer, faxes, mail and gas when you go meet a client. Having all your documents in a centralized database helps you store unlimited number of documents at a tiny fraction of the cost.

        2)   Organizing Your Business. The organization of business is vital to the sustaining your business. Eliminating the need for your employees to spend time and effort in maintain hard copies of documents means they have more time to spend on value added tasks. Without a strong foundation, it can adversely affect your profitability and scalability.

        3)   Improving Productivity. With so many things going on throughout the day, having cloud-based tools to access information helps to streamline your employee’s workflow. Tools such a quote and contract management platform holds all your sales documents so your team can reference and easily send out important information to clients with a click of button.

         

        When you go paperless, you can say goodbye to large file cabinets, and you’ll have more time to run your core business. With access to all your documentation on a cloud-based solution, your documents are available anywhere you are. Best of all, your business will be more environmentally friendly by reducing the demand for paper.  

        By Team Mosspaper 01 Jan, 2015

        If you are in the process of starting your own business, you may feel as if there was not enough time in the day to do everything. To complicate matters, a small business owner, every minute that ticks of the clock represent dollars - earned or wasted.

        How extreme? Consider this: In a study conducted by Microsoft, the researchers found that workers used only about 60% of their working time available. This means that on a week of work for five days, they were productive only three of those days. Now apply it to your own business. If time were money, so how would you feel to make money on only 60% of the time you spend at work?

        Now, can I have your attention? The reality is that time is easy to lose, and if you have a pre-set idea of ​​how you're going to pass, it will pass before you even know it. But do not worry - here are six tips that every small business owner can use to make the best use of their time.


        1) Ignore Your Email

        This probably sounds a lot easier than it is not that most people tend to check their every 5-10 minutes. But, if you add up all the minutes it takes to keep checking your inbox and then respond, it's easy to see why it is such a waste of time.

        Instead of being a slave to your email, be subject to your time limitations. Allocate two time periods within the day to check and reply to all your messages. This will demand some serious enthusiasm and discipline, but it will make you be able to allocate more time and attention to other tasks that might otherwise be constantly interrupted by the electronic control.

        If you're worried that people will be offended by how long it takes to respond, set up an auto- responder that lets people know that you take 10-12 hours to respond, or even 24 hours if it is acceptable for your type of business


        2) Do not multi-task

        Based in the News and Review, the experts found that only 2.5% of people are able to effectively multi-task and still do well in each activity. In addition, the Institute of Psychiatry, University of London shows that the IQ of a person falls 10 points when they are over-stimulated by e-mails, texts and phone calls.

        On the other hand, time management experts believe that focusing on one thing at a time will double the productivity, labor efficiency, and performance. Convince yourself to do one thing at a time by setting a clock or timer for a certain amount of time, and then focus on a task until it is complete.


        3) Set milestones by step

        It's one thing to set a goal, and another to set a goal where detailed steps and samples needed for the work are described in advance. Many people set common goals and never follow through with them. For instance, think about the millions of New Year's resolutions that are set each year. The problem with these types of lenses is that even if they are good ideas, people do not know how to implement them.

        To make the best use of your time in your business, your day should consist of a series of goals that have specific milestones. For example, if your goal is to get five new customers, you should think through and write down all the steps you will take to accomplish it. By breaking larger goals into small steps, you'll be able to accomplish your goals more effectively since you know exactly what steps needs to be done along the way. Plus, who does not love a bit of positive reinforcement? Knowing that you have completed certain steps to conquer your goal can be extremely motivating.

        You must set goals before lunch and after lunch, and make sure that the most important are planned before lunch. If you know that you can not leave to eat until your goals are met, you will be more likely to focus on getting tasks done and not get distracted.


        4) Organize your time and workspace

        It is difficult to work in an organized, when everything around you is in chaos. A study by Esselte shows that 43% of Americans consider themselves to be non-unionized, and the lack of organization for them to stay late at the office at least two nights a week. It does not have to be that way.

        Organization experts agree that the first step to increase productivity is to erase and organize your space. Remove anything that is not necessary, and create a system for the things that are. For example, using a color-coded file folder for items that are urgent, to do that day, and another for things that can wait until tomorrow.

        It will be necessary to organize not only your space, but also, your time. Most of the people use a time-dividing method where they allow a certain amount of time to do things on their list of things to do. With excellent free tools such as a timer, a gadget that works like an hourglass line, you can set the time and then be alerted when it is in place.

        Today, advances in technology have given companies workflow automation tools to increase operational efficiencies. Software management tool such as Mosspaper allows small businesses to track all actions and tasks, large and small, completed in a period of time with a centralized management tool. Having efficient processes and workflow will automatically reduce overhead in other areas such as payroll, processing or employee productivity tracking.

        Having good software applications to improve business workflow and process allows an employer to easily track the time spent by employees on different projects. It helps to easily track employee time, which in turn allows you to accurately record billable hours and make the necessary workflow for greater productivity.


        5) Write

        There is something to engage in a written plan that solidifies somehow in your mind. When writing your plan for the day - including your goals and the details of their - you'll be armed with a plan that should carry you throughout the day effectively. You will, of course, still be faced with disruptions, but if you have a lucidperceptive of what you need to complete for the day, you will be more likely to get back to the job at hand, rather than drifting aimlessly to one to the next task.

        Some experts believe that you should create the list yesterday. This way you will be able to start the next day quite ready, rather than wasting time deciding how to approach the tasks and understand what you need to do.

        The old adage "time is money" is based on a truth that is not likely to ever change. And if you're in your own business independently, the best way to increase your income is to pay attention to how you spend your time and make adjustments to help you spend more.

        By Team Mosspaper 01 Dec, 2014

        Experts agree, the easier it is for potential customers to request a price quote on a website, the better. The more complicated the process, or one that requires a phone call, can greatly cut down on the productive value of a company's website presence. Fortunately, leaders in providing intelligent quote and contract management tools  Mosspaper , has recently announced the launch of their new quote widget. 

         Easily inserted into a business website, the widget allows quotes to be requested with the click of a button. By streamlining this process and making it as straightforward and simple as possible, Mosspaper has delivered a tool that many early users are responding to with passionate reviews for the benefits its bringing their operations both online and off.

        “Our new quoting widget allows people to easily embed Mosspaper's functionality into their own site,” commented Cliff Fong, Co-Founder and CEO of Mosspaper. “We make it easy for their customers to request quotes for services as well as help them manage their quoting work flow with ease.”

        According to the company, adding the Mosspaper quote widget to a site is very simple.  A business owner can be easily pasted the HTML code into these web sites builders to add extra functionality with ease. The widget has been tested to ensure compatibility by the design team on major website platforms like Wix, Joomla, Weebly, SquareSpace, Moonfruit, IMCreator, DudaOne, Shopify, Yola, Strikingly, Jimdo, Google Blogger, and Blog.com.

        Mosspaper acclaimed quote features allow users to send quotes to customers; track sent quotes; offers multiple ways for customers to sign digital quotes; and allows users to view customer profiles quickly in a summary that shows all of their quotes and buying history.

          The response to the new quote widget has been enthusiastic.

        Andrew Y., from San Diego, recently said, “We recently added Mosspaper's quote widget to our SquareSpace site and it really offers everything we wanted and more. It's made the act of getting customers to request quotes much more streamlined and this has led to greater sales. Five stars.”

        Mosspaper Blog

        By Team Mosspaper 22 Aug, 2017

        Wе аll undеrѕtаnd thе іmроrtаnсе оf a соntrасt, but thаt dоеѕn’t mеаn wе аlwауѕ uѕе thеm (оr uѕе thе rіght оnеѕ). When it comes to small business and freelance services, it’s always best to have the right foundations to protect your business and ensure customer satisfaction. Fоr уеаrѕ, you may have not taken a client’s contract seriously or downloaded one from the internet.  Mауbе, уоu іmmеdіаtеlу ѕіgn whаtеvеr dосumеnt a сlіеnt ѕеndѕ уоur wау, оr mауbе уоu dоn’t hаvе аnу kіnd оf соntrасt аt аll.

        At it’s соrе, a gооd соntrасt ѕhоuld ѕреll оut whо’ѕ dоіng whаt, whеn аnd fоr hоw muсh. Kеер іn mіnd thаt сlunkу lеgаl tеrmѕ juѕt соnfuѕе реорlе. It’s best to keep things very clear and concise. Aѕ a ѕtаndаrd rulе оf thumb, dоn’t іnсludе аnуthіng іn a соntrасt іf уоu dоn’t knоw whаt іt mеаnѕ.

        Hеrе аrе thе bаѕісѕ ways to write an effective contract:

        1. Inсludе Cоntасt Infоrmаtіоn оf Bоth Pаrtіеѕ in the Contract

        Hеrе’ѕ аn еаѕу оnе tо dіvе іntо. Evеrу соntrасt ѕhоuld іnсludе thе lеgаl buѕіnеѕѕ nаmе, mаіn соntасt, рhуѕісаl аddrеѕѕ аnd bіllіng аddrеѕѕ fоr bоth thе сlіеnt аnd соntrасtоr. Bе ѕurе tо uѕе уоur оffісіаl buѕіnеѕѕ nаmе (fоr еxаmрlе, іf уоu іnсоrроrаtеd оr fоrmеd аn LLC, uѕе thе еxасt nаmе thаt’ѕ оn thіѕ рареrwоrk). In аddіtіоn, uѕе уоur nаmе аnd уоur сlіеnt’ѕ nаmе thrоughоut the соntrасt. Lеаvіng gеnеrіс tеrmѕ like “сlіеnt” оr “ѕеrvісе рrоvіdеr” іn thе соntrасt wіll mаkе it ѕоund ѕо muсh mоrе impersonal.

        2. Sресіfу thе Prоjесt Details аnd Sсоре

        Trу tо be аѕ ѕресіfіс аѕ роѕѕіblе аѕ tо whаt уоu’rе bеіng hіrеd tо dо. Fоr еxаmрlе, if уоu’rе bеіng hіrеd tо rеdеѕіgn a wеbѕіtе, аrе уоu rеѕроnѕіblе fоr thе nеw сору? Will the сlіеnt рrоvіdе thе сору? Dоеѕ thе ѕсоре оf thе рrоjесt іnсludе оthеr аѕресtѕ lіkе kеуwоrd/SEO орtіmіzаtіоn? Hоw mаnу іnіtіаl соmрѕ wіll bе іnсludеd, аѕ wеll аѕ hоw mаnу rеvіѕіоnѕ? Hоw ѕhоuld thеіr еdіtѕ bе рrоvіdеd?

        Thе gоаl for the contract hеrе іѕ tо ѕеt еxресtаtіоnѕ аnd guіdе thе wоrkіng rеlаtіоnѕhір wіth ѕоmе рrеdеfіnеd раrаmеtеrѕ. Yоu dоn’t wаnt tо еnd uр fееlіng lіkе уоu’rе bеіng рuѕhеd tо wоrk оut оf ѕсоре, аnd уоu dоn’t wаnt уоur сlіеntѕ tо fееl lіkе thеу’rе nоt gеttіng whаt thеу раіd for.

        3. Eѕtаblіѕh thе Pауmеnt Tеrmѕ

        Arе уоu tо bе раіd оn аn hоurlу bаѕіѕ оr bу thе рrоjесt? If іt’ѕ hоurlу, you mау wаnt tо ѕtірulаtе a mіnіmum/mаxіmum hоur rаngе tо аvоіd ѕurрrіѕеѕ. If уоu gеt раіd bу thе рrоjесt, bе ѕurе tо lау оut thе еxасt dеlіvеrаblеѕ in the contract.

        • Hоw ԛuісklу thе сlіеnt nееdѕ tо рау uроn rесеіvіng аn іnvоісе (е.g. 15 dауѕ, 30 dауѕ)

        • Whаt аrе thе ассерtаblе рауmеnt mеthоdѕ (е.g. FrеѕhBооkѕ Pауmеntѕ, сhесk, dіrесt dероѕіt…)

        • Whаt hарреnѕ whеn thе сlіеnt doesn’t рау? Yоu mау wаnt tо іnсludе your terms and conditions such as  “уоur company rеѕеrvеѕ thе rіght tо ѕuѕреnd wоrk if іnvоісе рауmеntѕ аrе nоt rесеіvеd wіthіn a rеаѕоnаblе реrіоd оf tіmе frоm thе іnvоісе dаtе.”

        4. Sеt a Project Sсhеdulе

        Bе сrуѕtаl сlеаr аbоut аnу dеаdlіnеѕ within the contract, іnсludіng fіnаl deliverables аѕ wеll аѕ аnу рrоjесt mіlеѕtоnеѕ. If thе dеаdlіnе hіngеѕ аt аll оn thе сlіеnt, bе ѕurе tо ѕресіfу thіѕ. Fоr еxаmрlе “dеlіvеr fіrѕt соmр thrее wееkѕ аftеr rесеірt оf x” оr “mееtіng thе ѕсhеdulе іѕ dependent оn thе tіmеlу rеvіеw оf drаftѕ.”

        5. Dесіdе Whаt Hарреnѕ If a Cоntrасt Iѕ Tеrmіnаtеd

        Emрlоуеr/еmрlоуее соntrасtѕ оftеn ѕtірulаtе thаt еіthеr раrtу саn tеrmіnаtе thе соntrасt bу gіvіng a twо-wееk nоtісе. Hоwеvеr, thіѕ kіnd оf аrrаngеmеnt tеndѕ nоt tо саrrу оvеr wеll fоr frееlаnсе рrоjесtѕ. But thеrе аrе a соuрlе оf dеtаіlѕ уоu саn іnсludе tо gіvе уоu a little рrоtесtіоn:

        • Stаtе thаt аnу rесеіvеd рауmеntѕ аrе nоn-rеfundаblе ѕhоuld thе рrоjесt bе tеrmіnаtеd for аnу rеаѕоn. If уоu іnvоісе оn a regular bаѕіѕ thrоughоut the durаtіоn оf thе рrоjесt, thіѕ ѕhоuld hеlр еnѕurе thаt уоu dоn’t gеt ѕtuсk dоіng a lоt оf wоrk аnd nеvеr gеttіng раіd.

        • Stаtе thаt іf thе рrоjесt іѕ dеlауеd fоr lоngеr thаn 30 dауѕ (оr whаtеvеr tіmе реrіоd mаkеѕ ѕеnѕе fоr уоur ѕіtuаtіоn), thеn уоu’ll bіll for аll wоrk соmрlеtеd uр tо thаt роіnt.

        A client contract is the best way to avoid disputes with customers and ensure you and your clients are on the same page. Make sure you foot your best foot forward with simple and clear language.  As a small business owner or freelancer, it’s important to protect yourself and have a solid foundation for your business.


        By Team Mosspaper 26 Jun, 2017

        With so many online resources, yоur customers has a lot of information about your business before they decide to become your customer. It can be a lengthy process and a bit more complex than ѕіmрlу saying; "I need tо purchase something and I know precisely from who". 

        The customer buying cycle is defined in 3 steps. First, you have awareness which can be described as the moment the customer sees your product while there is a need for it. Second, there is moment of consideration where they are evaluating your product or services for a possible purchase. Lastly, the final step is purchase, where the buyer makes a purchase.


        Here are some ways to market to these buyers:

        1) Awareness

        Having an online presence such as a website that describes your product and services will help your buyer find you. It’s always good to have testimonials to provide credibility as well as recommendations through sites such as yelp or google business.


        2) Consideration

        When your customer has found you,  it’s best to introduce your product as a solution to a problem the buyer may be having. The buyer is trying to see if your offering can meet their challenges and how you will be doing it.


        Having a quote or contract that describes your methodology with a breakdown of costs associated with how you will be address their needs will be beneficial at this stage. describe the value the buyer will be receiving if they choose you as a vendor and include reviews or customer references.  


        3) Purchase

        The buyer is ready to be your customer. If the customer requires more time, you should consider giving them a discount or coupons.  Having a simply way for them to agree to your terms through electronic signature and payments will be helpful to ensure you close the deal quickly.

        By Team Mosspaper 14 Jun, 2017

        Successful businesses maintain good habits and it is one of the reasons why they managed to be where they are now. Habits they have picked along the way, such as good   contract management , has helped them get to where they are at the moment and take their business to the next level. The bad news is that there are small businesses that don’t have any good habits at all. The good news is that they can start changing their attitude and practices in order to develop good habits.

         

        In a highly competitive landscape, it’s important and vital to make sure you ensure good habits are enforced so your business continues to thrive. Here are some good habits that can help small businesses include:

         

        1)   Focusing Your energy

        To ensure you utilize every minute and hour of each day, it’s important to learn how to focus on the most rewarding tasks. Take care of the low hanging fruits first. Review your list of things to do and evaluate which task you can do now that will bring forth the most value to your customers and team. Give each task a percentage of impact and ask yourself what are the top 3 things I can do that will benefit my business the most.

         

        2)   Prioritize

        Ask yourself what is the most important thing you need to do today in order to set a foundation for your business. It’s always important to think about how something can help you to increase revenue or reduce your operating cost. The vital part of any business to knowing when you should create a strategy for long term goals while balancing short term objectives. Most businesses have 3-5 simple objectives they want to accomplish each quarter. Everything else you do should coincide with those objectives. Never lose sight of the goals you have set out for yourself. Once you have a goal in place, work each day to get closer to those goals.

         

        Having ways to measure performance or data analytics in your business helps you prioritize your business. Based on that data, you can start to formulate patterns and understand what works and what doesn’t. Focus on what works and continue to improve business workflow to ensure your success.

         

        3)   Create Task and Execute

        With each of your goals or objectives, it’s essential to follow through to ensure long-term success. Most of the time a goal has a few steps in between until it’s completed. Write it all down. Sometimes, it helps to work backwards if there are dates involved. Write down and revise as needed. With each task, you get closer and closer to where you want to be.

         

        The use of software to streamline task and follow up is very useful in situations where there are a lot of repetitive, mundane work. Try to look for solutions like Mosspaper, a quote and contract management platform, to help you execute your business goals in a more orderly fashion. Mosspaper focuses on different aspects of your business such as operations, finance, and sales. With built-in workflows, it helps you consolidate the management of your team’s workload all in one platform.

         

        4)   Positive Mindset

        Being happy and having a positive mental outlook can help with any situation. It is always said that you don’t have control with external factors, but you do have control over how you handle situations. With positive thinking regardless of what you are going through, you will continue to work through situations and reach your goals. A great attitude for success and having gratitude can go a long way.  If you understand what you’re trying to achieve and have patience with the process, you will be ahead of the rest.

         

        It’s important to have good habits to succeed as an entrepreneur or small business owner. There are many different ways to get to where you want to be. Having disciplined habits can make or break your company as you face the challenges limited time and resources on a daily basis. Working smarter is always better.

        
        By Team Mosspaper 12 Jun, 2017

        For any interior designer, being able to provide accurate and effective sales quotes to your clients can be one of the best ways to drum up recurring business. When you are able to give your clients something that they can actually understand and feel comfortable with paying, you give off a far more professional approach and style. However, being able to give quotation services that are accurate and detailed can be quite tricky, and for many interior designers it can be easier to just stick to the basics. Here are some of the best ways that you can start changing your mindset and increasing the quality of work that you provide by using a value-based quotation system.

        Here are some of the best ways that you can start changing your mindset and increasing the quality of work that you provide by using a value-based quotation system.

        1) Provide a Work Summary

        It’s always important to make sure that your clients are able to get a summary of the upcoming job so they can always refer to what is going to be taking place. This will be a list of goals that are to be achieved throughout the process; include key benefits within the work summary and an overall price of the job as a well. Dealing with part of any quote management system can be tough for an interior designer, but looking for software packages that help you manage this – for example, we recommend checking out Mosspaper – can be a massively beneficial way to keep things flowing.

         

        2) Include Suggestions

        One thing that always helps your clients out is to give them easy feedback and suggestions as to what they could improve moving forward; by having this within the quotation you are providing a bit more authority and helping them see things they maybe would have missed themselves. This helps to build extra trust between you both and makes your sales quotes a bit different to the rest.

         

        3) Itemize Your Pricing

        You need to make sure that your clients are able to see why the price is the way it is. If you can give them a fully itemized list to help them see what their money is paying for, the quote will feel far more authentic. Some designers aren’t comfortable doing this, but it’s an absolute must. Again, Mosspaper can help you do this. The administrative side of the software is excellent and will make creating references to items being used on the job so much easier.

         

        4) Include Terms & Conditions

        You always need to have the right legal information included with a quotation – especially in something as expensive and serious as interior design. Please make sure that your quote includes the terms and conditions section so the clients really understands what is required of them. Mosspaper can help you audit track all documents like this so you can be sure that the client reads and agrees to everything that is mention on the sales quote.

         

        5) Provide References

        Lastly, make sure that you provide some kind of reference to your potential client with a quote. This adds such an extra layer of value to proceedings and will really go a long way to help you become a favored option for the job. If you want to benefit from getting more work and the best kind of jobs, then working towards a value-based quotation system can be the best way to go.

         

        As an small business, it's important to make sure you provide customers with the right information in an organized matter. It makes it 10 times easier on you in the end. Thus, it's imperative to provide your customer with a value-based quote when you start working with them. Professionalism, attention to detail, and thoroughness goes a long way.

        By Team Mosspaper 24 May, 2017
        Here are some feature highlights:

        1) Favoriting

        Reduce the creation time of a quote or contract by 50% with favoriting. You can now add any quote or contract to your favorites by clicking the heart icon.  Your favorites are saved to the "favorites" folder so you can easily find them again. You can categorize all your templates by creating different collections and saving as many documents as you like to be reused. 
        By Team Mosspaper 18 May, 2017

        Most small businesses handles lots of critical information about their customers. While a businesses have well-developed data management systems, a lot of businesses struggle with their databases. One of the primary challenges is the lack of a centralized system.


        There are several benefits to moving your data to a centralized system:

        1)  Having A System Allows You To Streamline Payment Processes. 

        A typical small business has dozens of business processes running concurrently across multiple department. This makes it hard to keep track of the data on a daily basis. That’s why you need a centralized data management system because it allows you stay on top of your business and your finances.


        Apps like Mosspaper helps to have all your quote and contracts in a centralized area as well as essential payment information. Having the important information in a centralized area helps to ensure your get paid on each project on time. Having a centralized system ensures that users can quickly refer to outstanding balances and payment details with a click of a button.


        2) It Helps You Keep Track Of Your Products And Services. 

        A centralized system provides the platform needed to track inventory. As a small business owner, you are able to ascertain how much inventory you have, how fast it moves and how soon you’ll need to order the next batch. It also makes it easier for you to eliminate any gaps and inefficiencies in the business process.


        3) Web-based tools can help your business stay efficient and organized.

        The single greatest benefit of centralizing is eliminate redundancy, ensure accuracy of data and save time. A centralized database means that everyone in the company has one primary quote, contract or price list.


        The cost, time and manpower as well as the complexity involved in running your business can be costly. That’s why it’s imperative for a business that wants to function efficiently should integrate all their databases. There are a number of platforms in the market that can handle sales, membership, events and even subscriptions. The centralized system ought to be updated, secured, and managed in a way that it draws the maximum benefit to your business.


        By Team Mosspaper 15 May, 2017

        Writing a value- based price quote and contract requires its own set of skills and finesse. The terms and conditions within the agreement is at the heart of your relationship with any client.

        When marketing or selling any of your services (i.e interior design, home remodeling service, website management, content writing services, etc), it’s especially important to include your design process in your price quotes as well as your service contracts so your customer understands what you will providing. By adhering to a design process you provide a roadmap for both yourself and your clients when completing a project, ensuring that they understand exactly what to expect at every phase and how it will be executed during each phase of the project.


        These six steps that can help guide you:


        1) Specify a date range for the product


        The customer will always want to have their projects completed in a timely manner, but their expectations may be different from what you can deliver. Before you begin writing your contract, make sure you and the client both understand the estimated time of completion (ETA) for the job proposal once the client has explained to you what they want and how they want it done. This will also help bring into focus the cost of labor and the materials involved, giving your client a more accurate price quote prior to the completion of a contract.


        2) Itemize each phase of the project

        While every contract will include the total cost of the job and the services or products to be delivered, it is advisable to further break down each aspect of the job into a series of logical steps, or phases. Break down your project into a sequential series of steps that will ensure that you complete the job in an orderly and timely fashion, as well as allow your client to understand exactly what to expect at every step of the way.


        3) Include your process

        Delineate every aspect of the job as though you are solving a problem. Include each task so the customer is aware of what it will take in order to complete the project and how long it will take in hours. The break down helps you as a business owner understand the time needed for each project and manage your time wisely. In addition, the customer understands the nature of what you are providing and the see the value in your expertise. Often times, the customer may not understand what is involved in doing something and it’s important to manage a customer’s expectations.


        With the proper breakdown of the process and tasks, there is an unspoken mutual respect for the work being provided. This way, there are no misunderstandings as to what each party can expect in every step of the process.


        4) Include the pricing for each phase

        This includes, but is not limited to, the initial consultation, cost of materials, labor, transportation and shipping of goods. By breaking down the cost for each phase of the project from the first outlines to the final touches both you and the client will understand what to expect from each part of the process. This will also facilitate negotiation and adjustments that can be applied to just one part of the project as opposed to changing the whole thing at once. It gives the process greater visibility along with the right expectations.


        5) Attach designs in a centralized area of your contract


        This is important in any job to include what the current state is of a project and what it will look like after it’s completed or a rough draft of what a customer should expect. Attaching images and pictures of your design plan will let the client know what you are agreeing to. If there are changes, then there needs to be a modification to the original contract


        This is commonly done with architect firms – if you read their design proposals, they include various computer renderings and photographs of what the completed project is going to look like. In the contract, they include details of the contracts and include designs. This gives your client the opportunity to make any adjustments or changes before the actual work begins, potentially saving a lot of time and hassle down the road.


        6) Offer a simple way for clients to pay


        Make it easy to be a customer. Condense all of your fees and billings into one simple payment, along with any additional terms and conditions that might be offered. Payment for services should be a simple and hassle-free process, as making the client’s last interaction with you a poor one can leave a bad aftertaste, potentially discouraging them from renewing their contracts with you in the future.

        By Team Mosspaper 01 May, 2017

        Estimates make people focus on the price alone, whereas value based quotes focus on the challenges the customer is currently facing.

         

        Here is what is inside a value based quote or contract:

         

        1.    Recommended solution in the summary

        A client wants to know you understand what they want and need. Illustrating the problems in a way they can understand will build trust and feel the solution you provide is the best one suited for them. The solution should directly show the client’s needs. Value-based quotes or contracts are written documents to give the client a confident understanding that you know how to solve their problems.

         

        2.    Products and service items

        With the quote or contract, we recommend writing out each phase or step next to the services or product you will be delivering. It’s essential to Include the benefits of each line item so the customer understands what they will be receiving and how this will help them.

           

        3.    Fees

        Information on pricing should be easy to understand.  Defining value is the first process of creating a value-based fee structure. Don’t think about how many hours the job might take, instead focus on the value being delivered.

         

        Next to each product or service item, it’s crucial to associate each fee with a particular task or step of the project in order to manage your customer’s expectations. Make your fees and pricing plans easy to understanding as well as with some transparency. Effectively managing your customer’s expectations will affect the client’s ability to put their full trust and confidence in your business.

         

        4.    Terms and notes

        This part of the quote or contract focuses on what is expected of your customers as well as protect your business. For example, most businesses include a payment schedule in the terms and notes stating who is responsible for payment, when the payment is due and what types of payments you accept.

         

        5.    Images and reference documents

        The last fundamental piece of a quote or contract is having images or reference documents if your customer needs additional information about your business before they make a decision. It’s best to Include case studies, testimonials or sketches to the quote to help the customer understand your business as well as build credibility, and reliability. Make it easy to understand exactly what they can expect. These things will overall help them understand what to expect and something they can reference back later.

           

        Having a value-based quote or contract are among the easiest ways to make leads into clients. Most people focus on the wrong things and miss an opportunity to gain more clients. Simple and clear calls to action lets the client knows what they need to do to get started. Give your customer a convincing reason why they should purchase from you instead of your competition.

        By Team Mosspaper 03 Apr, 2017

        Small businesses play an important role in the American economy. Yet, based on a recent study, 72% of small/mid-sized businesses are expected to increase their revenue by 10%. In order to sustain growth, it’s very important to put processes in place to manage customer expectations and daily operations.

        When you implement a quote-to-cash process successfully you create higher revenue management, improve aspects of quoting, better contracts, advance everyone involved and stimulate sales cycles. As a result of this, you will improve your customer satisfaction, make more deals, stay ahead of your competition and increase revenue.

        Here are the critical steps of the quote-to-cash process:

         

        1.    Pricing

        Keeping up with innovation in pricing is very important. Some companies run into a problem what is called “the head”. Manual processes and heavy use of spreadsheets plays a big role in this.

         

        Thus, it’s imperative to keep your price list current and use online solutions to ensure you have one price list that everyone use.  It helps reduce redundancy and errors in price quotes to customers.

         

        2.    Quote creation

        There are three main steps to quote creation process: 1) creation, 2) review and negotiation 3) customer approval. It’s important to focus on providing the customer with a solution to the challenges they are facing. In a very clear and concise way, the quote should depict an overview of all the task and services being provided with an appropriate timeline.

         

        When creating a price quote, you should put in place a process to ensure the information is consistent and accurate. When done manually, quoting may take more time and be prone to more errors. Automated platforms for sale configuration is faster and produce 100% quotes easy.

         

        3.    Negotiation

        This part of the process determines whether you will close the deal. So, it’s vital to keep track of all negotiations to ensure customer expectations are set properly. Have a means of communication that easy, simple and convenient for your customer while you track the conversation.

         

        It is very important to begin negotiating with a position of strength by focusing on the win-win.   You will become more successful if you pay extreme attention to the terms and conditions as well as understanding what all parties need and address everyone’s concerns.

         

        4.    Contract management

        Returning signed agreements with your clients’ need to be made as easy as possible. Having an e-signature tool can be very essential in helping to ensure the agreements are signed and in a centralized database.

         

        You don’t want your clients wasting time printing documents or possibly forgetting about them, this is a more automated method of closing deals. Overall, e-signature tools allow you to see who has signed, where they are in the process and easily send reminders to keep the process moving forward.

         

        5.    Invoicing

        It takes multiple steps to finalize a sale of a service or product. Don’t forget about the part that actually pays you. After an order is made, the invoice or quote balance should to be sent in order for payment to be collected.

        Make sure your invoices are done correctly the first time so customers understand what the remaining balances are and what has been paid when. When sending invoices with errors to your customers, they are less likely to pay you for your services. It’s also very important to follow up with the customer to make sure they received the invoice and know what is expected of them.

         

        6.    Payment

        You want to make sure making the payment is as easy as possible for the customer. Whether you’re dealing with payments manually or automated, an accurate system must be implemented to get the payment of the customer and handle the inflow. Receiving the payment is the final process so you want to leave a positive impression of your customers so they will come back.

         

        Having a good grasp of what a quote-to-cash process is important as it’s a critical part of your daily operations. This process serves as the foundation of your success.

        By Team Mosspaper 06 Feb, 2017

        When managing your business, there are a lot of things involved in finding and retaining clients. It's not uncommon for businesses to excel at one aspect (i.e advertising and finding customers) but flounder at another. One part of the business-client relationship that many business owners often neglect or fail to fully grasp is the sales process – the set of steps that encompasses the entire transaction with the customer, from initial introductions to closing the deal. Without a well-organized sales process, you might find yourself losing out on a lot of clients, who will no doubt find another business that can tend to their specific needs in a timely and professional manner.


        If you find it difficult to retain customers once you have located them and piqued their interest in your product or service, it likely means that there are parts of your sales process that could be improved. The following three steps are parts of the sales process where businesses commonly make mistakes, causing them to lose out on business and customer satisfaction. Applying these principles will help you better manage your own sales process. In doing so, you'll find that your customers will leave happier and more satisfied, increasing the chance that they will become repeat customers.


        1. Understand what your customer's goals are and provide a solution

          Everybody wants to be heard and listened to. But in the business world, this isn't just a matter of one's feelings. Nobody goes to a business wanting to chat – they go there because they have a need to fill, and they think that you might be the one to fill it.  


          For instance, if you have ever visited a car dealership looking for something modest, how often did the salespeople actually listen to what you were asking of them? How often did they try to get you to buy something more expensive irrespective of your stated needs? Did they actually listen to you when you described what it was that you were looking for? Car dealerships have a slimy reputation partially because their salespeople are not motivated by a desire to find a solution to your problems, but rather a desire to make that sale and get their commission.  


          While this practice is widespread enough not to impact any one location, customers will notice if you're trying to sell them something without considering what their unique needs were in the first place. When you meet with them, get to understand exactly what they are looking for. Once you understand their needs, then you can work towards providing a solution that solves their problem and proves to them why you are the right person for the job.


          2. Understand your customer's budget and try to stay in that range

            Ideally, you could charge a higher price for your products and not see any corresponding drop in business. That's not how things work out in reality – the competitive nature of capitalism thrives on the idea that customers make rational decisions with their money – they seek to maximize their gains while minimizing their losses. Economists refer to this as the elasticity in prices. This is why your potential customers will often come to you with a budget – they want you to provide a solution to their problem without spending more than they have to. Make sure you respect their given budget and try to work around it, rather than trying to get the customer to spend more than what they want.  


            3. Simplify the purchase process by offering electronic signatures and easy way to accept payments

              The last part of the sales process is the completion of the job and collection of the payments owed to you. Just as a first impression can be incredibly important, the last impression is even more so   - it's the last thing your customer will remember in their dealings with you, and if the final authorization of payments is a difficult and drawn-out affair, that will stick in their minds the next time they think about purchasing your goods or services. 


              Electronic signatures and online payments are excellent ways of reducing the wait time involved – you cut out a lot of paperwork and middle entities involved in finalizing payments. Simplifying this process will leave the customer with a sweet aftertaste, and this will do a long ways towards making them repeat customers.

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