September 2013 - Posts
I spent 11 years working in capital markets, as an arbitrageur and market maker at the Chicago Board of Trade (CBOT). It was a wonderful experience that taught me a tremendous amount about markets and myself. Since then, I have become Director of Finance at Method, which I thought would be a large departure from my former life. I was wrong. There is considerable overlap between the trading world and small business community; both operate in a fluid world of imperfect information and uncertainty.
Here are three things that day traders and entrepreneurs have in common:
1. All failures are just information:
The single mo st important thing I learned from tradin g was that all mistakes and failures are just information. If you can peel away the anger and frustration associated with failing, and objectively analyze the result, there is a pot of gold sitting in front of you. This was not a free pot of gold, obviously. You had invested time and mo ney making the mis takes to acquire the information, but the only way to monetize this gold, is to be emotionally flexible enough to grab it. Also, this vital information is time sensitive - it has a short shelf life. Cultivating this mind set in your sales team ca n be especially effective. For example, all unsuccessful sales calls are a rich source of information, if looked at the right way, fueling your next great innovation.
2 . Pivot q uickly based on objective data:
A good trader is someone who is hardworking, disciplined and can operate effectively under conditions of uncertainty - ‘pivoting’ quickly when information changes. Does this sound familiar? It should if you work in a small business or start up. Over the months at Method, I have heard many references to ‘pivoting’, ‘fail-fast’ and ‘monthly sprints'. To me, they are just different ways to describe concepts that I have seen in my previous life. If your firm is pursuing a project, setting objective criteria for completion and success or failure is critical. It is easy to leave projects open-ended but this can create operational uncertainty, breeding laziness and indecision. One or two slow transitions or iterations may not make a large impact, but if you multiply this over many occurrences, the effect on your company’s competitiveness could be massive.
3. When you have an edge, press it:
In trading, one spends a lot of time searching for a clear advantage that can be leveraged for an outsized ret urn. Often a handful of trades can make a major difference to your month, quarter or year. The same is true for small businesses where the release of a new product or service can have a significant impact on the top and bottom line. For every company, there are often only a few true insights over the course of the year. If you see a marketing channel, product or service start to work, it is time to press it! For example, at Method we hit our target ROI on Paid Search campaigns last month. This month we’re “pressing” that by increasing our spend with a goal of maintaining the ROI level while boosting the number of leads.
Please share your thoughts. Have you pressed an edge or pivoted with success? Please tell us about it.
We are really excited to tell you that the Method CRM team has been shortlisted for the PW C Vision to Reality Awards.
The Vision to Reality Awards celebrates Canadian companies in the technology sector who have “demonstrated successful growth, and whose outstanding achievements have made them some of Canada’s most successful technology companies”.
2 alongside amazing companies like 013 Top 20 Short List500, pxTop, HatVena So and more. lutions
We’re proud to be on the
Most o f all, we're thankful to o ur customers and resellers for their feedback, which inspires us to innovate and continually improve Method's platform.
This year, Meth od CRM is nominated for Innovator of the Year and Top 10 Up-and-Coming Companies. The award winners will be announced on November 7, 2013, so wish us luck!
In the meantime, your shout-outs on TClick to show your support! here to vote for us on Twitter
witter would mean the world to us.
Until next time,
Greetings, Method users! Tech Writer Alex here again, bringing you more good news from the Method camp. For quite some time now, we’ve been getting feedback from a lot of you crediting our growing list of integrations, but a common question we’ve received is “when will Method integrate with PayPal?”
The answer, my friends, is now.
That’s right -- as of August 27, we launched the beta of our brand-new P
ayPal integration, courtesy of the indefatigable Sasha and his outstanding team in our Dev department. We’re really excited about this: as you already know, PayPal is pretty ubiquitous across the internet as a standardized pay portal, so t he fact that we’re now PayPal compatible represents another giant leap forward for us (and, by extension, for you!)
The There are a few things you need to remember before you jump gleefully onto our flashy new PayPal bandwagon, however: the first of which is that PayPal transactions come in two distinct types. PayPal Account transaction is the one most common to individuals buying and selling via PayPal on the internet. It requires both buyer and seller to have at least PayPal Standard accounts, and essentially functions as a simple transfer of funds between the two accounts. This means you’ll be redirected to the PayPal website to complete the transaction.
The PayPal Credit Card transaction, however, is a lot more like end-user transaction experiences elsewhere around the internet, in that you don’t have to go anywhere else to complete the transaction. n order to take advantage of this transaction type, you’ll have to have a PayPal Payments Pro account.
So in order to get started setting up PayPal for your Method account, you’ll need to make sure you have one of the two accounts listed above set up in your name, and you’ll also need to ensure you have established your API credits, which you can learn how to do on PayPal’s website.
Once you’ve got your house in order, so to speak, drop by our Help Center and check out this fabulous article (written by a certain fabulous technical writer) and follow the steps to get PayPal up and running on your account.
Thanks for dropping by, friends, and until next time, I remain,
Fabulous Technical Writer
Hi ! It’s me a gain, Jason.
The Breaking Lakes. I guess I have to go… but others are coming too, so I decided to track who at Method is attending. Since I’m tracking who is coming from Method, why not track it in Method? Method isn’t just abo ut CRM: from tracking your expenses to planning your next vacation, you can make apps Method for just about anything.
Here at Method we like to go out a nd do fun things after work. What kind of fun things, you ask? Well, for our next outing, a bunch of us are going to see my band play! We’re called
MyGuestList. I’ll choose to automatically create a screen since I’ll n eed it later. Now I need to decide on some fields. After an intense brainstorming session, here is what I with:
First thing s first: I need a table to house my data. This table w ill contain the data for my guest list, so I think I’ll name it…
IsAttending field because I wanted the options to be strictly Yes, No, Maybe, or Undecided. Some other field types I used were Text for name and notes, and Integer for my numerical field.
I chose a variety of field types. A dropdown made sense for my
I can uMyGuestList, to start entering data into all my new fields. Usually, I’ll go ahead and customize this screen a bit to suit my needs. is the guest list app I .
se the screen that gets automatically created with the table, likely called
I added a few features that I thought I would need in my app:
- Send Email Confirmation? - This is important! I need to send an email to my colleagues to confirm if they can come or not.
- Filter By View - With a few grid filter options, I can easily filter my list by those who are attending, not attending, maybe attending, or undecided.
- Export Grid - This will allow me to export my grid, so I can print my guest list later!
There you have it! My own app that I can use to keep track of my band’s guest list. Remember, Method is not just a CRM app, but a platform that can be used to develop all kinds of apps. I even made a hockey pool once. If only the players I chose were as awesome as the app I built.
So, what do you think? Have YOU made an app using Method? Let us know by leaving a comment below, and if you have any questions about customization, feel free to post them on our forums!
Stay customized my friends…
This is a guest blog by QuickBooks Advanced Certified Pro Advisor and Method Solution Provider, R obin Hall.
As Accounting Professionals, we are a bit different from the rest of the service industry. We have specific things that we need to track on our clients. As Intuit Professiona
we have a different set of things that we need to track for our clients. The information that we gather about our clients helps us to service their needs, but it also helps us sell the Intuit product line to them.
It would of course be nice if we could just work on one client at a time, and then move on to the next one… but we know that is not reality in our world. We always have about 4 or 5 client tasks going on at a time, and we also have to keep in mind what we need to do tomorrow and keep up with what our staff is working on. NEXT was created to allow us to see everything that we need to know or do NEXT!
This application was built out of the sheeVARC. VARC was growing its client base, services offered, and staff! As a need arose, it would be added to the application. The application was originally built in QuickBase but there were a cou ple of ver y important pieces that were missing… specifically, syncing with QuickBooks. We created the application in Method to be able to sync the customer base and the tie for payroll and billing into QuickBooks.
r necessity that com es out of running a consulting firm, specifically business owner experiences at
NEXT is not just a Customer Relations Management (CRM) database, but a very powerful Practice Management Tool. NEXT begins with the information from yo ur QuickBooks file and lets you add th ings regarding your clients that are needed to be tracked. It allows you to manage them much m ore ea sily and effectively in a single locati on. NEXT becomes an all-in-one business management tool that can facilitate the management of your firm in ways that you might never have conceived... u ntil now. Through the database you can:
- Empower your Sales Staff - Give your salespeople a tool that keeps them up-to-d ate on whom to call, when to call, and why they are making the call (i.e., initial sales call, follow-up call, or schedule an appointment, etc.)
- Access Client Data - Track your clients from the day they make their first contact with your firm. You are also able to track their version of QuickBooks and all of the add-on services that you are able to sell them. Have every bit of information you have ever collected from them or generated for/about them at your fingertips
- Track New Prospects - What products do they think they need? What products do they actually need? What additional services will they need in the future, etc.?
- Record Firm Data - Create, track, and update informational records essential to the smooth functioning of your firm; i.e., that phone number you keep losing
- Reco - Track/access client login/password data rd Login Data from any location, at any time. Do this for your own fi rm as well
- Track - Track ongoing activities being performed by your firm, such as bookkeeping, support calls, onsite visits, etc Client Tasks
- Support Portal – Allow your clients to enter support tickets directly into your system without having to pick up the phone
- Create timesheets for you and you r emplo yees - NEXT lets you track billable time and sync it directly with QuickBooks. This includes time spent on site with clients, support telephone calls with clients, or any other billable time
If you are the owner or manager of a firm, NEXT allows you to see what has been done during the day while you may have been with clients or performing other tasks required by your position. It is an absolute record of accountability. Once a note is entered into the sy stem, it is permanent, and notes are date/time stamped with the recorder’s name. Not only are activities for that day/week/month easily retrievable in a report on your screen, but also the status of support tickets, activities, appointments, etc. Additionally, NEXT allows you to track all client/firm information entered into the database from any location. And by that, we mean accessible anytime from anywher e; your desk, your client’s office, your home, the beach in Hawaii, anywhere you have an internet connection.
NEXT@VARCSolutions.com, or call her at 281-412-6914.
NEXT is offered exclusively through the National Advisor Network and requires an access code in order to be installed. NEXT requires Method CRM Pro and is $28.00 per month. For more information on NEXT, please contact Robin Hall at
Robin Hall is the Principal Consultant at VARC Solutions; she is an Advanced Certified ProAdvisor and has been consulting on QuickBooks products since 1999. Not only can she be seen helping her clients but she often teaches other Intuit Consultants at various Intuit centric conferenc es around the country. NEXT was born out of her own experience with her clients and her employees.
It seems that I always get nostalgic about my school days when September rolls around. And while my da ys of buying binders and highlighters may be over, who says my learning has to be?
There are so many online eaccessible to so many more people, regardless o f location or budget, making them a great resource for small businesses.
ducation providers these days - ther e's even one called Lynda.com! These organizations are making higher education
The education pro viders listed belo w offer courses related to running a successful start-up, generating amazing entrepreneurial ideas, and management strategy for growing companies.
And the best part? They're free!
Coursera delivers 406 different courses to over 4 million users, with Global Partners such as Yale and Brown University. The courses are taught in 7 different languages and cover topics such as Business, Computer Science, Economics, Art, and Math. Here's a course you may be interested in looking into:
Developing Innovative Ideas for New Companies: The 1st Step in Entrepreneurship
Udacity also provides free, online higher education to over 1.5 million users on Business, Computer Science, Design, Mathematics, and Science. Udacity prides itself on keeping lectures bite-sized and engaging students in highly active, project-based exercises. You may be interested in this course:
How to Build a Startup
3. Open 2 Study
Open 2 Study is an Australian based, online education provider teaching Business, Fiorganization targets a large audience from people who are curious about online learning for fun to those who are looking to build professional skills. Here are two self-paced courses I thought you might want to check out:
nance, Science, Arts, and Humanities to over 20,000 users. This
Management for a Competitive Edge
User Experience for the Web (WebUX)
I hope you have time to check out some online courses this fall, even for fun. Maybe this is even something that you could do as a group at work to learn new skills and grow as a team.
Feel free to tweet at me @MethodCRM - I would love to hear how you’re continuing your learning this fall!
Until next time,