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6 Best ERP Software Solutions for 2021


When it comes to daily business management, ERP software is the most critical for success. This software compiles information from each area of your company in one location. Thus, it allows you to see the status of your business’s operations on a daily basis.

The market for ERP software has grown tremendously over the years. Thus, I have assembled a list of the best ERP software in 2021.

What is an ERP System?

Enterprise Resource Planning (ERP) software, or an ERP system, manages daily activities from every department of your business. This can include accounting, procurement, project management, human resource (HR), risk management and compliance, marketing, supply chain operations, and just about any other activity.

At its core, this software allows you to feel the pulse of your business on a day-to-day basis.

On top of managing your company’s existing systems, full ERP suites also analyze this data to come up with financial assessments. These assessments allow businesses to create more accurate budgets and provide investors a clearer picture of the health of a company.

And perhaps the most important aspect of this software is its ability to scale with your company. As companies grow, so does the number of systems they need to manage and each ERP solution is tailored to a specific industry.

Thus, you need to find the one that fits your needs.

The Best ERP Software in 2021

1. Oracle Netsuite

Oracle Netsuite

Oracle Netsuite is one of, if not the most, respected names in the ERP software industry.  It provides ERP solutions for enterprises, start-ups, family-owned businesses, small businesses, and everything else.

And it does all of this while providing powerful tools to its customers. It really can accommodate any business size or model, which simplifies everything.

The bread and butter of Oracle Netsuite is its analytical tools. You can use them to turn data into easy-to-read visual charts, create the most accurate budget reports based on day-to-day activities, and supports your business’s growth at all stages and sizes.

With this tool, you can manage finances, inventory, production quotas, supply chain efficiency, warehouse storage and fulfillment, procurement, and much more. It really is able to compile your entire company’s day-to-day activities on one screen.

Benefits of Oracle Netsuite

  • The entire system is cloud-based
  • The dashboard is easy to navigate to make it simple for any skill level
  • Great CRM tools for any business

Price of Oracle Netsuite

  • Oracle Netsuite does not make its pricing public. Instead, you must contact them for a quote.

2. Sage ERP Software

Sage ERP Software

Sage ERP Software is an excellent choice for small businesses looking for their first ERP system. The interface can be accessed directly from your web browser on multiple devices, which makes the software accessible from anywhere.

And for business owners that have to travel on a daily basis, that’s a crucial feature.

The software offer solutions based on your type of industry. They currently support food & beverage, manufacturing, distribution, chemicals, and service industries. Each one provides tools and features that cater to your business type.

It also offers a plethora of financial tools to take advantage of. Some of these include inventory management, sales & purchasing management tools, shop floor control, BOM planning, budgets and accounting, and even fixed assets to name a few.

Benefits of Sage ERP Software

  • The mobile interface is clean and responsive
  • Options available to add other Sage software to your business
  • A helpful FAQ and knowledge base is available

Price of Sage ERP Software

  • Sage does not make its pricing public. Thus, you must contact them to receive a quote.

3. Infor

Infor

If you have a mid-sized business, software built for small businesses won’t cut it. That’s why Infor built a solution just for you. The entire software is cloud-based to make it accessible from any location, including mobile devices with a dedicated app.

And like most ERP software, the solutions are industry-specific.

They include a broad assortment of industries like fashion, food & beverage, distribution, automotive, manufacturing, chemicals, casino & gambling, hotels & resorts, education, banking & financial, health care, and plenty more.

And each solution is tailored for the specific industry.

To enhance your business’s ability to operate effectively, you can take advantage of prepackaged workflows that similar businesses use. For example, you can receive tips from an AI that uses data to predict and recommend improvements to your business.

Benefits of Infor

  • Infor certification exams are available to help you learn the software inside and out
  • Ensures that your company is following regulations in your area
  • View a full report on your business’s finances in a few clicks

Price of Infor

  • Infor does not provide pricing details. Thus, you must contact them for a quote.

4. Microsoft Dynamics

Microsoft Dynamics

Many people may not realize this but included in your Microsoft 365 subscription, is a 30-day free trial of Microsoft Dynamics 365. While it lacks a lot of features offered by the top ERP software, it is a great option to consider when starting out.

Keep in mind that this service is only available in the United States and Canada.

The software focuses on small to midsize businesses and provides users the familiar Microsoft interface. Thus, it’s really easy to use. And as you would expect, this software integrates with Microsoft Office and other Microsoft tools. In fact, you’re encouraged to connect everything on the landing page.

One feature that really sets Dynamics apart from the competition is that it includes fixed asset support. In most cases, ERP software does not include this functionality or it costs a premium.

You can enter an asset and its value into the program and then use a straight line, declining balance, or depreciation to calculate the worth in a half-year format.

Benefits of Microsoft Dynamics

  • The launch screen provides an easy to read summary of day-to-day activities
  • The inventory system allows you to pair a picture with the item
  • Graphs are easy to read and simplify the data

Price of Microsoft Dynamics

  • Sales Professional plans start at $65 per month per user
  • Sales Enterprise plans start at $95 per month per user
  • And Sales Premium plans start at $135 per month per user
  • Microsoft Relationship Sales plans start at $165 per month per user

5. AccountMate

AccountMate

If you’re looking for robust reporting tools and options in your ERP software, look no further than AccountMate. This software provides the most reporting options out of any software, but keep in mind that many of these options may only be available if you purchase certain modules.

However, it must be said that the visuals in this software are not the best.

This software is module-based. Each module adds or improves a specific functionality of the platform, thus it can grow with your business. However, this software really only works for small businesses.

There are many features or necessities that are not baked into the software, even with additional modules.

Yet, for small businesses that don’t need all of the bells and whistles and want a simple ERP software, AccountMate fits the bill. As the name suggests, it has a strong focus on accounting needs and will make inventory management much easier.

While it’s not flashy, it gets the job done.

Benefits of AccountMate

  • Only pay for the features you need
  • Utilizes a spreadsheet format for inventory that is easy to import and export
  • Supports local and hosted environments

Price of AccountMate

  • AccountMate does not make its pricing visible. Instead, you must contact them for a quote.

6. SAP Business One

SAP Business One

Last on our list, but certainly not least, is SAP Business One. This ERP software provides an excellent user experience, robust and powerful tools to handle day-to-day management, and can be accessed from any device, especially on mobile.

In fact, I will go as far as to say that this ERP solution has the best mobile app available.

The mobile app allows you to manage leads, customer accounts, view stock, scan QR codes, provide maps to customer residencies (great for contractors), and even place an order. It offers close to the same power that the desktop version offers.

However, there is one thing everyone needs to be aware of…the setup is not quick or easy. In fact, it’s unlikely you will be able to get it working without help. That said, after you set up the software and connect it with your business, everything else is smooth sailing.

Benefits of SAP Business One

  • The dashboard shows important information for at a glance check-ins
  • Supports multiple currencies
  • Provides plans for small, mid, and enterprise-sized businesses

Price of SAP Business One

  • SAP Business One does not make its pricing public. Thus, you must contact them for a quote.

Understand Your Business Needs

It’s important to understand that ERP software is not a one-size-fits-all. Each piece of software is built as a solution to a particular industry, thus, you need to understand your business’s needs. Otherwise, the software will either not have the features you need or force you to pay for features you don’t need.

It’s also important to think about future goals.

While most of the software on the market is scalable, it’s very possible that you can outgrow entry-level ERP suites. If you have a detailed growth plan in place, you need to consult it and find a piece of software that can scale with your company.

It’s also important to understand how much money this software can save you in labor costs.

For example, restaurant owners typically need to spend hours manually counting their inventory on a daily basis. An ERP can automatically track your ingredient usage on every order and automatically update your inventory to reflect the usage.

Thus, while you may be afraid of adding extra expenses, ERP software can pay for itself.

Work Smarter With ERP Software

The entire premise of an ERP system is to help manage your business’s day-to-day activities. And by using this data, you can build a more accurate budget and create a future where your business grows.

This software offers a variety of advantages including reduced labor costs, accurate financial analysis reports, view important information on one screen, improved inventory management, and much more.

And many of the services are starting to offer mobile apps so you can monitor your business on the go.

If you plan to run a business, ERP software is a must-have. You may also want to consider business management software as an alternative.

What ERP solution are you using? Has integrating an ERP system with your business improved its performance?





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8 Best Mobile Tax Apps for 2021


You can do just about anything on your mobile phone these days, and that includes your taxes. There is no shortage of great mobile tax apps available today. With the tax deadline quickly approaching again, you should definitely start to think about filing your taxes.

Tax apps have come a long way in the last few years. What started off as a more experimental version of the actual tax software platform has turned into an easy and quick way to file taxes from anywhere using a smartphone.

The main issue is that you may not know who has the best mobile tax apps available. No worries, you are in the right place.

You may balk at doing taxes from your mobile device, but after reading about the mobile tax apps that are available and how easy they are to use, you might have a change of heart.

How Do Mobile Tax Apps Work?

The answer to this will depend on the tax app that you choose. That being said, most of them work by gaining access to your smartphone or tablet camera and allow you to upload the appropriate information right from your device to the platform.

For example, the TurboTax mobile app asks for permission to access photos and files. When you allow it, you are then able to upload all the relevant tax information that you need straight to the app.

Some documents you may have to upload include W-2s, driver’s license, 1099s, and other relevant tax write-offs you may want to add. From there, you will be able to go through the process of filing your taxes directly in the app.

You also want to remember that it is probably a good idea to have access to secure WiFi. Never file taxes or do any other sort of banking on an open WiFi network, as that is just asking for trouble. 

Let’s take a look at some of the best mobile tax apps that are available today. 

Best Mobile Tax Apps

1. TurboTax

TurboTax mobile tax apps

It should be no surprise that TurboTax is number 1 on our list. Not only are they the most popular online tax prep option out there, but they are probably the most trusted as well.

They offer amazing features, cover everything imaginable in the world of taxes, and offer a smooth, clean, slick, easy-to-use interface on both desktop and mobile devices.

TurboTax leaves no stone unturned when it comes to walking you through potential income, expense, deduction, and credit options. The platform offers a complete do-it-yourself setup and also has live agents ready and available whenever you need some help. 

All-in-all, you will be hard-pressed to find a better tax service than TurboTax. They also have a free platform, which makes them one of the best free tax services out there as well when it comes to simple returns.

Features

  • 24/helpline and customer support
  • Autofill available
  • Intuitive mobile app
  • ExplainWhy technology 
  • SmartLook connection to TurboTax experts
  • Audit-Risk identifier
  • Audit support when needed
  • Full-service option
  • Easy to navigate

2. H&R Block Deluxe

H&R Block Deluxe

Another one of the best mobile tax apps available out there today is H&R Block. They provide their “MyBlock” app and give you something that you can feel confident using while being in touch with a trusted tax source. 

You can upload all docs quickly and easily, connect with your tax pro, and file your taxes entirely from the app.

This platform is perfect whether you are a seasoned tax expert or a beginner. They do a fantastic job of balancing the needs of tax filers of all skill levels.

The app includes something called “Online Assist, which allows you to access tax expert help at any point while you’re building your return. The interface is also one of the cleanest and user-friendly that you will find.

Features

  • Elegant and visually pleasing design
  • Support that explains tax laws
  • Access tax pros with Online Assist
  • Maximum refund guarantee
  • All available forms within app
  • Free version available
  • Refund advance of up to $3,500
  • In-person audit support

3. TaxAct

TaxAct mobile tax apps

If you need an online tax filing solution that brings plenty of options to the table, then take a look at TaxAct. Supporting both new and experienced users, TaxAct is actually very simple to use, and perhaps that is the appeal.

With its simplicity comes easy navigation, clear options, a well-rounded review process, and access to professional help whenever you need it. While the interface is not as thorough as TurboTax, you can get all the same deductions. You just have to know where to find them within the platform.

They have come a long way over the past several years, and you may find quite a few people who think TaxAct should be number 1 on this list. Either way, be sure to give them a peek.

Features

  • Simple and elegant design interface
  • Easy-to-use
  • Clear language that is easy to understand
  • Excellent for beginners
  • Automated W-2 entry
  • Deduction maximizer
  • Solid Answer Center
  • Xpert Help feature

4. TaxSlayer

TaxSlayer

TaxSlayer is a very affordable tax service that continues to get better every year. If you have never used it, then you are in for a treat. The mobile platform is easy-to-use and navigate. If you are a returning user, then you will see that a lot of upgrades geared toward intuitive navigation and understanding have been made. 

The app is available and makes the process of filing taxes a little easier because you can file from anywhere. There isn’t as much content-sensitive help on the site as there is on some of our other entries, but they do provide a solid knowledge base area and you can prepare a Schedule C for next to nothing.

Features

  • Very inexpensive
  • Fast
  • Solid user-interface experience
  • Supports all major IRS forms and schedules
  • Very good knowledge base
  • Improved homepage and e-filing
  • Error checking software
  • Free email and phone support
  • Military members file for free using classic edition

5. FreeTaxUSA

FreeTaxUSA mobile tax apps

The name pretty much says it all. Free is the keyword here. While all their versions are not free, FreeTaxUSA does have excellent pricing to go along with their really good tax service. Their mobile tax app basically mimics the desktop interface, but it does still work as an app from your mobile device.

They are also excellent for more complicated tax situations and self-employed individuals. They pr0vide great service packages for both of these situations for a very low-price. Even their deluxe version only costs $7 to use.

That being said, the deluxe edition does handle tax forms that most software doesn’t until you pay for the premium or self-employed upgrades. All-in-all, FreeTaxUSA is a solid tax platform that you should definitely take a look at.

Features

  • Free customer support in email and chat for paid users
  • Supports most all tax forms
  • Accuracy guarantee
  • They pay any penalties you receive if their software was wrong
  • Free audit assistance
  • Cheaper than other tax services
  • Flexible navigation
  • Excellent mobile experience

6. Credit Karma Tax

Credit Karma Tax

Another one of the best mobile tax apps out there is Credit Karma Tax. Yes, that’s right, Credit Karma has made their way into the tax return business, and they offer a solid platform that is very easy to use.

If you have ever used their main app, then you kind of have an idea.

The best thing about Credit Karma Tax is that it is completely free to use, no questions asked. Yes, it supports most IRS forms and schedules for federal and state returns, even the Schedule C.

It is the only mobile tax app on this list that is completely free no matter what. Whether you have a comprehensive tax filing and preparation situation or a simple federal return, Credit Karma Tax will cost you nothing.

The main downfall is the lack of assistance, as paid tax services usually offer live support.

Features

  • Totally free
  • Supports major IRS and state forms
  • Easy-to-use interface
  • Excellent navigation
  • Mobile access is compelling and intuitive

7. eSmart Tax /Liberty Tax

eSmart Liberty Tax

You may not have heard of eSmart Tax, but don’t worry, they have been a trusted name in the tax industry for well over 20-years. eSmart is actually an extension of Liberty Tax. They are definitely a lesser-known platform, but they bring a lot to the table, and that is why they make this list.

They also have a new mobile tax app that is intuitive and easy-to-use and understand. The software is a little more expensive than others on this list, but they also provide guaranteed returns. You are also backed by a brick-and-mortar tax business that has been in the industry for decades.

Features

  • Biggest refund guarantee
  • eSmart will cover fees if you find a bigger refund anywhere else
  • 100% accuracy guarantee
  • Federal and state filing
  • Free online chat and tech support
  • Access to prior year’s returns
  • Preparation for non-residents available
  • Access to all forms

8. e-File

e-File mobile tax apps

Rounding out our list of best mobile tax apps is e-File. If you have a simple or basic tax return, then this is definitely one to look at. That being said, e-File does support you very well if you have more complex tax filing situations. 

The user interface is simple and it gives off a vibe that is conforming and makes it easy to use. No extra and unneeded bells and whistles here. Just a solid platform that can help you file your taxes appropriately.

Features

  • Live chat support
  • Electronic and mail filing options
  • Solid user-interface
  • Quick return option available

Who Should Use Tax Apps?

There are very few restrictions when it comes to who should use mobile tax apps. Basically, except for a couple of tax bracket restrictions, mobile tax apps all claim that they can handle even the most complex filings.

So with that said, it is still worth diving into if your tax return is going to be very complicated. You may need to stick with the desktop version of the software.

What is the Associated Cost?

Mobile tax apps will cost different amounts based on the type of tax return you are filing. For example, if you have a very simple tax situation or earn less than $72,000 a year, you can file your taxes for free on most apps. 

If your tax situation is more complicated, as mentioned above, then you will have to pay tax filing fees on the apps or pay a professional working through the app. Either way, those fees will be the same that are associated with the actual software itself.

The selections above are all capable, reasonably priced tax prep platforms that can help simplify what can be an overwhelming process. So definitely check them out and see what may be a good fit for your tax situation.

Conclusion 

It goes without saying that tax season (even if you are getting a return) can be one of the more frustrating times of the year. Unless you have a very simple return, things can escalate into a mess of paper receipts and digital records.

Having the ability to use mobile tax apps will at least make the process a little easier, as you will be able to file from anywhere, right from your mobile device. This is ideal for people who are always on-the-go and don’t have time to sit at their desktop and perform all the necessary steps it takes for getting taxes filed.

I hope this article was helpful for you. All of the mobile tax apps on the list above are solid, and this is a good place to at least start looking at which one you may want to use. 

Go through the list, dig into the information, and come out on the other side with the choice that works best for your tax situation. Good luck!





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7 Best Business VPN Clients for 2021


Most big corporations run their own VPN services. However, small and medium-sized businesses usually do not have the resources or IT department to properly run and maintain a safe and private VPN. Fortunately, there are a few great business VPN clients that can help out with this issue.

Since a VPN is arguably the very best way to secure data that is in transit, it makes sense that many small and medium-sized businesses are trying to get one. 

There may be some cases where a typical consumer VPN works, but a more accurate scenario is that your business needs secure access. This is when you use a server your company can host documents, apps, and other office resources for staff to access remotely.

Today, we are going to go over some of the very best business VPN clients available out there today. However, before that, let’s talk about what exactly a VPN is.

What is a VPN?

If you break it down to its most simple form, a VPN (Virtual Private Network) is software that helps make you anonymous online. It does this by encrypting all of the Internet traffic you send and receive.

The software allows you to successfully trick your desktop, laptop, or mobile device into thinking that it is in another location.

You see, traditional online security is not enough for many businesses anymore. They are now using VPN solutions as a replacement, or in addition to, the already existing online security they have in place.

With all this in mind, there are quite a few business VPN clients available out there today. It can be difficult to figure out which one may be best for your small business. The list below should give you a solid starting point with plenty of options.

Best Business VPN Clients

1. Perimeter 81

Perimeter 81 business VPN clients

Starting off our list of the best business VPN clients is Perimeter 81. They are actually somewhat of a specialist VPN. The software allows businesses to deploy private VPN servers that staff can securely connect to from anywhere in the world.

You can easily manage network activity for your staff, and you won’t need a complicated dashboard or an IT degree to do so. Your employees can securely access files, apps, and other resources from their remote locations.

Perimeter 82 specifically caters to businesses with the unique security features they provide. One of these features is called network segmentation, which is used to isolate sensitive data from breaches that may occur.

Also, if your business has multiple offices, then you can easily set up site-to-site VPNs and connect the networks.

Features

  • Caters specifically to businesses
  • Deploy your own server
  • Supports site-to-site VPNs
  • Hosts all apps and files on the VPN server
  • Strong encryption
  • Network segmentation
  • Custom plans
  • Team and network management console

2. Twingate

Twingate

Another great business VPN client out there is Twingate. They are relatively new to the VPN world but have shot up to the top of many lists because of some interesting features they provide.

Many of these features set them apart from the other VPN providers on this list.

They are a cloud-based service that sets itself apart from traditional VPN solutions by using zero-trust access control and making gateways invisible to the Internet. The system can easily be deployed without changing any network infrastructure.

If you are worried about scalability, don’t be. Twingate can be easily scaled when needed as well.

The software platform supports single sign-on (SSO) so that staff can only access the resources that IT admins give them. This includes on-premise apps and remote networks. Finally, they support split tunneling, which allows traffic to pass through the network only if necessary.

Features

  • Zero trust access control
  • Supports single sign (SSO) on providers
  • Easy to manage and deploy
  • Split tunneling
  • Dedicated security
  • Handy features
  • Built with IT admins in mind

3. TorGuard

TrGuard business VPN clients

TorGuard features a huge selection of servers. This means that you should not have any issues trying to find a reliable connection. The platform provides tons of options to set up your VPN experience on any OS.

While speed may be a bit on the slower end when compared to some other VPNs on this list, the trade-off for options is worth it.

They give you a 24/7 dedicated account manager and full access to a dedicated VPN management portal. The platform is also very solid when it comes to the security aspect of things, which is what we all regard as a significant priority.

They have all the regular and expected protocols including 256-bit AES encryption and a ‘Stealth VPN’ option that avoids deep packet inspection.

All-in-all, TorGuard is a solid solution for small and medium-sized businesses and provides custom price plans that will fit almost everyone.

Features

  • Huge number of servers
  • Expert-level configuration capability
  • Unlimited speeds
  • Unlimited bandwidths
  • Isolated network
  • 24/7 customer support
  • Supports all OS devices
  • No logs kept

4. NordVPN Teams

NordVPN Teams

Specifically designed to service small and medium-sized businesses, NordVPN Teams provides easy to set up secure remote access to both an office network and the Internet. Every user account is also easily managed from a single, intuitive interface.

You will be able to tunnel connections from all your company work devices through 33 different countries. Adding more users is also a breeze and doing so will not complicate billing.

They provide third-party authentication that works with GSuite, OneLogin, Okta, and Azure. Apps are also available on all major platforms including Windows, MacOS, iOS, Android, and Linux.

With super-strong encryption and a built-in kill switch, your business’s data is protected at all times.

Features

  • Extremely fast and reliable connections
  • Military-grade encryption for privacy
  • A very strict no-logs policy
  • Unlimited bandwidth with no data caps
  • Apps for Windows, MacOS, iOS, Linux, and Android
  • Tons of servers
  • A trusted brand name

5. Windscribe

Windscribe business VPN clients

With offerings tailored specifically for teams and businesses, Windscribe is a low-cost service that is most ideal for businesses on a budget. They provide a VPN solution plan that gives you all the features you need including access to over 600 servers in more than 50 countries.

They also provide you with centralized billing and a panel where you can easily configure and manage your entire team. Windscribe offers fast speeds and top-notch security. 

The software uses 256-bit encryption with perfect forward secrecy, a kill switch, a DNS, IPv6 support, and WebRTC leak protection. For a small business that needs to cut costs, this is a perfect business VPN solution.

Features

  • Native firewall that blocks all non-VPN traffic
  • Low-cost option for small businesses
  • Block all ads and malware on devices
  • Works in China
  • Fast server speeds
  • Reliable connection
  • Blocks data leaks

6. CyberGhost

CyberGhost

Another one of the best business VPN clients out there is CyberGhost. While there is no dedicated VPN option available specifically for businesses only, they make our list because it is very affordable.

CyberGhost does provide 3,800 servers spread across 60 countries. I also expect that they will continue to add to these numbers at a fanatic pace as they continue to grow. 

They do use a 256-bit AES encryption on the OpenVPN protocol by default along with 2,048-bit RSA keys and MD5 HMAC authentication. Also, there is an Internet kill switch which means web traffic will be halted if the connection drops unexpectedly.

This helps to protect data and privacy.

Features

  • Some of the fastest servers around
  • Kill switch on all apps
  • Very affordable without compromising security or privacy
  • Apps are easy to install and use
  • Does not keep logs

7. IPVanish

IPVanish business VPN clients

Rounding out our list of the best business VPN clients is IPVanish. They combine rigid encryption protocols and focus on quick speeds to deliver a robust product overall.

Did I mention that they also have a very strict zero-logs policy?

They have a solid 1,300 servers spread across the world and very impressive encryption standards. IPVanish uses 256-bit encryption on the OpenVPN protocol by default, SHA512 authentication, and a DHE-RSA 2,048-bit key exchange with perfect forward secrecy.

As is very popular with other providers, a kill switch is also available.

With apps for iOS and Android as well as desktop programs for Windows and MacOS, IPVanish has you covered on all devices and is a definite must-see when making a final decision.

Business VPN FAQs

Here are some questions you may be thinking about on your journey toward finding the best business VPN. Hopefully, these answers clear some things up for you and make the decision process a little easier.

Do I Really Need a Business VPN?

Well, it depends on how secure you need or want certain files to be. Secure access on a company server and secure access to the Internet would be things to consider. If you need a server where employees can securely access files, apps, and other company resources, then you definitely want to have a business VPN.

Since a VPN creates an encrypted connection over the Internet between two different devices, third-parties like hackers, governments, and internet service providers will not be able to snoop on you and see any of the data that passes between the two devices.

Is a VPN Hard to Set Up?

Actually, setting up a VPN is not all that difficult at all. Your employees would basically need to download the app that is provided by the VPN company you choose on to their laptop or smartphone.

The app would then connect them directly to the VPN server, and all the data would be encrypted before it leaves the device.

To this point, if you are running your own small business VPN, then you can store files or host apps on it that your employees can only access if they are connected. All of the business VPN clients listed above provide manager user credentials or user password keys so that you can accomplish this.

How Good Are Free Business VPNs?

Anytime you hear of something being “free,” there are usually two knee-jerk reactions.

  1. Yes! I can’t wait to try it out, hopefully, it works well.
  2. No, you get what you pay for and I don’t think a free business VPN will be any good.

Obviously, a free VPN is an attractive idea for any small business looking to get going and cut costs where it can. However, free VPNs can sometimes come with a significant degree of risk, as they do not have larger networks spread around the world. 

Their encryption standards may not be up-to-par either, and speedy connections may come and go based on the situations. If encryption is too weak, then your business may be more susceptible to a hacking attempt. If this happens, then there is a real threat of data loss.

Some free VPN services can also forcefully insert tracking cookies, mine user data, and even sell it for profit. Now, the good ones won’t do this, but free versions of things are always held to less of a standard.

How Will a VPN Protect My Remote Employees?

VPN developers are working overtime to protect employee data, especially since the pandemic hit. When a business hires remote workers, it is a huge deal that their data is protected and encrypted.

This helps with blocking malicious activity and keeps third-parties from scooping and spying on data.

The best business VPN clients will reduce this type of risk considerably and should be looked at close if you have remote workers. If you want everyone in your network properly protected from all sorts of cybercrime threats, then give the list above a look.

Conclusion

Protecting sensitive data is the main priority here. To do this, you need to consider business VPN clients that provide the highest levels of security and lowest levels of risk. 

Chances are, you will be handling multiple accounts at once so a dedicated account manager setup is also an ideal function to look into.

Remember, one size will not fit all here. As a matter of fact, the final choice you make will probably be based on overall personal experience, opinion, and what specific functionality you are looking for.

Either way, the list above has solid options and, at the very least, gives you a great place to start looking for the best small business VPN clients.





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Dealing with Problem Clients and Protecting Yourself


Whether you’re a freelancer or own a business, problem clients are everywhere. We all have to learn how to deal with them while protecting ourselves and our assets from complications. Today, Nathan Ingram shows you how to build fences around those friendly monsters.

Not All Clients Are Pleasant to Work With

Anyone who has spent any significant time as a freelancer knows that some clients are just a handful. In this webinar, Nathan will help you identify those obstacles before they become problematic.

Because protecting yourself is imperative if you truly want to be successful.

From someone going beyond the scope of a task to money issues, there’s a lot to go over. Having a plain and clear understanding between yourself and what the client expects can save you a headache down the road.

It’s All About Professionalism

A lot of problems can easily be avoided by taking as much into consideration about a job as possible. This is where contracts come in exceptionally useful. When both parties have a clear breakdown of what is needed, a lot of good can come from the experience.

Take your freelancing further and always remain professional. But, don’t forget to protect yourself in the process.





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7 Best Business Plan Software in 2021


One aspect of start-up business planning that never seems to get the attention it deserves is how a business gets its venture capital. Banks and investment institutions are looking for very detailed plans that outline your business. And business plan software can help you create those layouts.

What is Business Plan Software?

Business plan software helps you create a full business plan that is attractive to potential investors. The reports that the software generates will explain how you will get customers, who will run the business, and most importantly, where the start-up or venture capital will come from.

The reports are created with investors or financial institutions in mind.

This software is intended for people who have already done significant research and planning for their business. In most cases, the software will ask you to enter information that it already assumes you have available, like financial calculations.

Thus, this type of software is not intended for people trying to come up with an idea.

Alongside most business planning software, you are going to need other tools with the main one being spreadsheet software. In fact, many of these pieces of software will expect you to upload data straight from a spreadsheet.

Here are some of the best business plan software to use in 2021.

The Best Business Plan Software

1. LivePlan

LivePlan

LivePlan is the most well-known business planning software on the market. With over 15 years of experience, it has helped over 850,000 small businesses achieve their goals. And that’s because their software is easy to use and affordable.

And at the end of the day, what more could you want?

The software uses a step-by-step interface that helps lead you through the process of building a fully-fledged business plan. This process will help you create the initial pitch that you will use to secure funding, create a detailed report that will impress investors, and even help you map out future financial information.

This will help make sure that your business is on track to meet your goals. All of the information is entered through a series of text boxes following the questions. It’s literally like going through a form, but the end result is that the software will generate a report from it.

It really doesn’t get any easier than this.

Benefits of LivePlan

  • This is a cloud-based software
  • If you have all of the information ready, you could be done within an hour
  • Over 500 sample plans to help you get started

Price of LivePlan

  • Standard plans begin at $15 per month
  • Premium plans begin at $30 per month

2. Enloop

Enloop

Enloop is another excellent choice in the business plan software market. It does everything you could possibly want at a low cost without all of the headaches. And, it even supports multiple users, which many similar software options lack.

But don’t just take my word for it, try it today for free with the 7-day trial.

One of the hardest parts of starting a business from scratch is the language you must use. Luckily, Enloop will automatically generate text that you can utilize. The text is fully editable, so you can make changes to it at any time.

This will make your plan sound professional, and increase the likelihood of receiving funding.

Many people seem to think that starting a business all comes down to one person, but that just isn’t true. While the core idea might start with one individual, you typically have partners, accountants, and others helping you out. Thus, allowing multiple users is necessary in many cases.

Benefits of Enloop

  • Compatible with over 100 currencies
  • An extensive evaluation of your report tells you if its good to go
  • Generates bank-friendly financial reports

Price of Enloop

  • Detailed plans start at $19.95 per month
  • Performance plans start at $39.95 per month

3. GoSmallBiz.com

GoSmallBiz

GoSmallBiz.com is another top-of-the-line business plan generator that is completely web-based. That means you can log into your account from any device, including mobile. That’s right, there are dedicated mobile apps for both Android and iOS.

However, there are far more features than just business planning software.

On top of building a detailed plan to start your business, GoSmallBiz.com will be there after your doors open. That’s because it also includes access to legal advice (free and discounted), a website builder, customer relationship manager, digital marketing, and so much more.

However, when it comes to business plan software, it has a series of industry-specific templates to help you get started. Simply follow the step-by-step wizard and build your plan the same day. You can even generate detailed financial reports to give you an idea of your earning potential down the road.

Benefits of GoSmallBiz.com

  • Utilize a large library of business documents
  • Get a detailed website analysis to ensure your website is up to current quality standards
  • Communicate with an experienced consultant team

Price of GoSmallBiz.com

  • There is only one plan that starts at $39 per month

4. BizPlan

BizPlan

Looking for business plan software that has generated over 500 million dollars in investment? Then you must be looking for BizPlan. The Software was built by experts to help small businesses secure the funding they need.

It has all of the tools you need from plan generation to financial assessments.

Many people want to start a business but don’t quite have the knowledge to do so, that’s where the video courses come into play. BizPlan offers an extensive and informative set of courses to learn the basics of building a business from a start-up. There are hundreds to choose from at no extra cost to you.

The actual business plan software leads you through a guided experience to create a business plan. The process is simple and straightforward. It will highlight areas that investors look to help boost your funding potential. It also offers a wide array of financial tools to choose from.

Benefits of BizPlan

  • Drag and drop templates are available to speed up the process
  • Progress tracker lets you see your progress in real-time
  • Calculate team salary forecasts with minimal input

Price of BizPlan

  • Monthly starts at $29 per month
  • Annual starts at $20.75 per month
  • Purchase lifetime access for a one-time payment of $349

5. nTask

nTask

By far, the most common reason people do not try to start a business is the money they need to spend before they receive funding, and business planning software is no exception. However, nTask ensures you can build a plan without breaking the bank.

It is, by far, the best free business plan software on the market.

Even if you are not using the free plan, take note of its incredibly low prices in comparison to the rest of this list. There is no cheaper option than nTask. However, don’t let the price fool you, this software is feature-rich and gets results.

This software is not just for creating start-up plans. You can use it to manage just about any project in a team-friendly environment. Thus, nTask will be with you before and after your business opens.

Just be aware that unlike most of the competition, there are no pre-built templates, so a little more work is involved.

Benefits of nTask

  • Visualize projects with an interactive Gantt chart online
  • Create detailed timesheets to help manage your employees
  • Integrates with Zapier, Zoom, Slack, Google Calendar, and Outlook Calendar

Price of nTask

  • A free plan is available
  • Premium plans start at $2.99 per month per user
  • Business plans start at $7.99 per month per user
  • Enterprise options are available upon request

6. EquityNet

EquityNet

At its core, EquityNet is a network that helps investors connect with businesses looking for funding. It comes bundled with a wonderful business plan software that will help you attract investment on and off the website. And most of the website can be accessed for free.

Advertising your business plan on a platform filled with potential investors is a smart choice.

The business plan software itself is quite robust and will help you write up a professional report that will put additional focus on what investors are looking for. However, keep in mind that while the tool offers a lot of help text and explanations, you are still going to need to do most of the writing.

The main benefit of EquityNet is the premises of the platform. Think of it as a crowd funder that focuses on getting start-up businesses the funding they need. This platform really does make getting investments a breeze as long as you have a strong pitch and a plan to match it.

Benefits of EquityNet

  • The largest marketplace for private investment deals
  • Status bars help you identify parts to work on in your business plan
  • Supports both PDF and Word documents

Price of EquityNet

  • EquityNet does not make its subscription prices public. Thus, you must contact them for more information.

7. IdeaBuddy

IdeaBuddy

And closing up this list is IdeaBuddy, but don’t let its placement fool you. It is one of the best. This software can take even the most basic idea and turn it into an attractive business plan that investors will be drooling over.

And you will never get lost during the process thanks to the excellent help center.

The planning process is similar to others on this list. You will be brought through a guided experience that will provide instructions and tips to help your business find success. You can also view multiple examples of similar businesses to help give you a clearer direction.

All of the financial calculations are done for you. The only part of this process you need to do is enter the numbers. These financial reports will look great and pique investor interest.

All of the reports and plans can be exported as PDF and Word documents to make sharing easy.

Benefits of IdeaBuddy

  • Use pre-built templates to speed up the process
  • 15-day free trial
  • This software is great in a team environment

Price of IdeaBuddy

  • Dreamer plans start at $15 per month
  • Founder plans start at $25 per month
  • Team plans start at $55 per month
  • A lifetime deal is available for a one-time payment of $155

Who Is This Software For?

Business ideas come from the strangest places, and only a fraction of people act on them. That’s because creating a business from scratch is extremely challenging and risky. However, if you are one of the few people who is actively trying to bring their plan alive, then you are going to want this type of software.

However, you need to do a significant amount of work to make this software useful.

It is not intended for people who have just had an epiphany. Instead, it’s for people that have a full plan in place and just need to make it presentable. Banks and investors want to know everything about your potential business.

After all, if you have a great plan that is likely to succeed, the investment is safer. Thus, you are more likely to get the funding you need.

Bring Your Business to Life

The most common reasons banks and financial institutions do not lend small businesses money are the four C’s of Credit: Capital, Collateral, Capacity, and Character. If banks are unhappy with any of these individual elements, you can kiss your loan opportunities goodbye.

Business plan software can help improve your chances by clearly outlining your business assets and the role they will play, financial estimates that compare the cost of business to potential earnings, who will be managing the business (experience matters to banks), and much more.

These reports show that you are serious about starting a business and you can handle the workload.

What business planning software did you use to secure your loan?





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7 Best Inventory Management Software to Use in 2021


Having an online shop is a great thing in the world we live in today. Even if you have a brick-and-mortar store, having an eCommerce solution is a good idea. Inventory tracking then becomes a huge deal because you want to make sure everything is running smoothly. This is where inventory management software comes into play.

Remember, you want to be able to track all your inventory, no matter where the sales are coming from. Missing a sale and not properly tracking it can cause you to lose count of how many items you have in stock. This can cause all sorts of trouble. This is why proper inventory tracking is so crucial.

Today we are going to look at some of the best inventory management software available today.

What is Inventory Management Software?

The word “inventory” can be used to describe many things. However, more simply put, inventory is something that a business relies on to generate sales and make it successful. Whatever the inventory the business is selling, they need it to sell so they can profit.

Inventory management software is the tool that is used to track sales, improve efficiency, save time and money, and provide valuable insights that will help increase overall business success.

You see, keeping track of inventory and other assets is arguably the most important thing there is to do when it comes to running a business. That being said, it can also be very time-consuming and can definitely be confusing if not handled correctly.

The best inventory management software will help you properly track all incoming and outgoing supplies and products. No matter what type of business you run, you must have a solid inventory management structure in place. 

Let’s take a look at some of the best inventory management software available today.

Best Inventory Management Software Platforms

1. Orderhive

Orderhive inventory management software

Starting out our list of the best inventory management software platforms is Orderhive. The system provides a lot of different plans. This means that there is probably a plan for you and it will fill all the needs you have. 

The major selling point of Orderhive is the fact that they offer unlimited stock-keeping-units (SKUs) along with hundreds of different integrations as part of all their plans. This is what makes them the best overall inventory management software in my opinion.

Orderhive is a web-based software tool that will work on all major browsers. However, they do recommend using Chrome or Firefox for the best experience. 

Features

  • Kitting, bundling, composite support
  • Automated purchase order creation
  • Bulk add, update, and delete of products
  • Link and unlink products that have different SKUs
  • Transfer stock between multiple warehouses
  • Barcode scanning support
  • Multiple reporting options
  • Low stock alerts
  • Out of stock alerts
  • Tons of eCommerce automation tools

2. inFlow

inFlow

Another one of the best inventory management software programs available today is inFlow. This is a fairly easy to use, intuitive platform that provides a central inventory database and business-to-business (B2B) showrooms where clients can view your products.

The software is simple, yet very powerful, and is perfect for manufacturers, B2B wholesalers, online sellers, and retailers. That being said, this is a definite choice for B2B companies. 

Like Orderhive, inFlow provides software that is browser-based. You should have no issues running it on the browser of your choice. They also offer a very smooth app for both Android and iOS devices.

Features

  • Business intelligence reports across sales, purchasing, and inventory
  • Create general B2B showrooms and password protect them
  • Vendor payments
  • Order histories
  • Kitting, bundling, work order, and assembly processing
  • Backorder capabilities
  • Scan and generate barcodes from your smartphone
  • B2B portal creation ability
  • Email invoices and receipts
  • Contact info and order histories

3. Lightspeed

Lightspeed inventory management software

Lightspeed is a web-based inventory management tool that is designed to meet the needs of both brick and mortar and eCommerce inventory demands. It focuses on industry-specific options as well as in-store purchases. In my opinion, Lightspeed is the best inventory management system for retail sales.

It also has a could-based version that you can use on iPad that allows you to track and checkout customers right on your sales floor. It provides amazing inventory tools and easily integrates with SkuVault, which is a warehouse management system for increased capabilities. 

Last but definitely not least, Lightspeed provides arguably the best point-of-sale (POS) system around.

Features

  • Bulk price changeability
  • Automated discounts 
  • Track inventory levels and SKUs across multiple locations
  • Easily implement coupons, promotions, giveaways, and employee discounts
  • eCommerce and in-store inventory sync
  • Customer reorder guidelines
  • Serial and batch tracking support
  • Bundled products
  • Import catalog files for vendors
  • Easily create and send purchase orders

4. Megaventory

Megaventory

If you run a manufacturing company then Megaventory is probably perfect for you. It is an operations management solution that helps you oversee and track the bundling or assembly process. You can then monitor inventory, ordering, and fulfillment.

The system is easy to use and easy to implement, so others that need to be a part of using it will not have a large learning curve to get over. Megaventory is a cloud-based service that runs very well on other devices and is a perfect choice for something like a manufacturing plant.

Features

  • Creates BOMs, packing slips, and work orders
  • Allows user access permission
  • Tracks customer and vendor contact information
  • Supports expiry dates and batch numbers
  • Bulk and quick updating options
  • Automatic stock alerts
  • Barcode scanning and printing
  • Multiple reports
  • Dropshipping and consignment sales and purchases

5. Upserve

Upserve inventory management software

If you need a management solution for a restaurant, then Upserve will definitely be worth the look. It has a very strong point-of-sale (POS) system and provides excellent inventory capabilities. 

The system gives you the ability to track almost anything, including the ingredients right down to the very last ounce available. The service is both cloud and app-based. The mobile app functions on both Android and iOS devices, so you can use it with just about any device. 

Another unique feature that Upserve provides is an “offline mode.” You can also choose from a very wide range of hardware that is also offered. With menu options and employee management tools, Upserve might be the perfect fit for your business.

Features

  • Sync recipes to the POS system
  • Auto refinish quantities when new stock arrives
  • Manage all vendors and supplies
  • One-click purchasing available for inventory
  • Scan all inventory from mobile app
  • Track real-time ingredient inventory
  • Low stock item alerts

6. Zoho Inventory

Zoho Inventory

Another one of the very best inventory management software programs is Zoho Inventory. You may recognize Zoho from something else you do, as their platform provides all sorts of services and has become very popular over the years.

They provide online inventory management that also includes a very user-friendly, robust, free version that goes along with their very affordable paid plans. This system is best for smaller businesses and startups. 

The platform will allow you to easily add items, fulfill orders, and view inventory from any device. Again, their free option is better than any other free inventory management platform on this list.

Zoho Inventory works on desktops, tablets, and phones, so there will never be a place you can’t access and use it.

Features

  • Auto order out of stock items
  • Send real-time status notifications to buyers
  • Handles dropshipping
  • Automatic inventory updates across all channels
  • Comes complete with a CRM program
  • Accepts backorders and out of stock items
  • Inventory, customer, sales reports
  • Barcode scanner ability 

7. Oracle NetSuite

Oracle NetSuite inventory management software

Specifically written for the cloud, Oracle NetSuite focuses on ease-of-use and modularity. It provides users with a solid inventory management system and excellent financial platform that is easily expanded to meet certain business needs.

One of the main benefits of working with cloud-based Software-as-a-Service (SaaS) apps is that they generally don’t have version numbers. The version you are running and working in is going to be the most current. 

This is because there is only one codebase remaining fully controlled by the vendor. Because of this, you don’t have to wait for updates and bug fixes to be built, tested, then shipped out to thousands of customers.

Oracle NetSuite is a different experience than the other platforms on this list but may be exactly what you are looking for so give them a look.

Features

  • Excellent customer relationship management features
  • Enterprise resource planning features
  • Drilldown capabilities from several system views
  • Simple reporting features
  • Customizable process workflows
  • Intuitive and easy to navigate dashboard

What to Look For When Choosing Inventory Management Software

Let’s face it, all businesses are a little different when it comes to the way they operate. The same can be said for inventory management software. In my opinion, this is not a “one size fits all” type of deal.

The stock inventory software you choose will be based on a number of different things. First and foremost, personal opinion will play a big role. Secondly, the exact needs your business has will also play a big role in the software you choose. 

Free inventory software may be perfect for your business, while another business may need a high-end product with all the bells and whistles.

However, no matter who you are or what type of business you run, there are a few essential things you want to look for when it comes to picking the inventory management software that is right for you. 

Here are some important things to look for.

Overall Cost

Yes, first up on the list for most business owners will be the cost of the product. Sure, you may need it to do certain things.  However, the cost is going to be at the front and center of the decision-making process.

Lots of features usually mean a higher cost, so careful consideration of this during the selection process is key.

Simplicity of Use

You want to find inventory management software that has everything you need. But, you also want to find a platform that is easy to use and understand. Remember, a program is really only effective if it is intuitive and usable for everyone.

Is the navigation easy? Does it have clear documentation? These are important things to consider.

Reputation

There are literally hundreds of inventory management software programs available today. The list above is what I think are some of the best and a good place to start your journey.

Overall reputation is likely going to play a factor in the decision-making process as well. Make sure you read through reviews that users have posted, check into the customer service situation, and make sure that the program you choose has a good reputation.

Integrations

Again, like any other piece of software you are looking to purchase, integration is very important. You want to make sure that the platform you choose allows for easy third-party integrations into other tools that you use to run your business.

This allows things to run smoothly and your entire system to work as together as one.

Analytics and Reports

In addition to all the other things that good inventory management software provides, you have to make sure that you get solid and easy-to-understand analytics and reports. These reports will provide detailed data that you can use to increase productivity and sales.

Customer Support and Training

Customer support also falls under overall reputation. However, it is also a category by itself. Does the inventory management software program you choose have a solid reputation for customer support? It should, as you will probably need to access it at some point when setting up and integrating the product. 

Multi-Location Inventory Management

Many businesses operate in more than one location and because of that, they have inventory scattered throughout multiple locations. Make sure that the system you choose allows you to operate inventory from more than one facility.

Main Benefits of Inventory Management Software

Aside from the obvious time saver and money saver benefits, there are a few other things that can greatly benefit your business when you choose the right inventory management software. They include:

  • Reduced Errors
  • Increased Efficiency
  • Optimized Inventory
  • Higher Profits
  • Improved Customer Experience.

These are just a few of the reasons you want to find the right platform to track inventory for your business.

Conclusion 

Choosing the right inventory management software for your business does not have to be an overly daunting task. Sure, you will want to do some research and possibly look into some demo options. However, with a little homework and a little time, you are sure to come away with a platform that is perfect for your business.

You can’t go wrong with any of the software on the list above. This is a great starting point and will give you some solid platforms to look at.

Go through them, see what they have to offer, and come to a conclusion that will help your business create more sales. Good luck!





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Как я выучил английский / Как избавиться от языкового барьера / Моя история, ошибки и советы



Исследуйте возможности самостоятельного изучения английского языка вместе с онлайн сервисом Puzzle English. Переходите по этой ссылке и вы …

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10 Best Programs for Learning to Code in 2021


So, you see others around you making moves and now you want to learn how to code. Well, there are a number of high-quality programs for learning code available today. The best part, most of the very best ones won’t cost you a single dime. That’s right, in the online world we live in today, you can learn to code for free.

The best programs for learning to code are not just available at schools and universities anymore. As a matter of fact, there are so many places to learn code that almost everything you see online these days is free.

Sure, you can pay for more detailed instruction in a one-on-one course setting. However, there is really no need to, as the online programming courses that are available at your fingertips today are usually top-notch.

Why You Should Learn to Code

We live in the digital age. It isn’t so much the fact that you need to earn all types of code and be ready to use it all the time, it is more the fact that the way we communicate and live lends itself to coding programs being very important.

For instance, say you want a website for your business, or you are trying to build a portfolio. Having some knowledge of code is going to help you with the process.

Things like creating a blog, contributing to something online, and even learning how to use a software program will come much easier if you have at least some knowledge of code.

You may have tried to learn to code at some point in your life. If you found it too time-consuming or too expensive, then you probably weren’t alone. In years past, it could be very expensive to get into online programming courses because certain online entities have not developed yet.

Now, there are dozens and dozens of online communities and programs that can teach you not only to learn to code but to learn to code for free. You pay little or nothing and learn on your own time, at your own pace, using your own computer.

Perhaps the best part of programs for learning to code today is that you will be able to learn a number of different types. Instead of just trying to pay for one and then going from there, you have plenty to choose from.

Below is a list of some of the best programs for learning to code out there today. Remember, most of them are totally free. However, if you do have to pay some sort of fee, it should not be much, as all the info you need is now readily available online.

Best Programs for Learning to Code

1. BitDegree

BitDegree programs for learning code

Starting off our list is BitDegree. They allow you to learn a variety of programming languages and offer free certificates of completion. These types of certifications show potential employers that you have studied a certain programming language and you are willing to learn more.

Programming Language Tutorials Available

2. Code Academy

Code Academy

One of the best programs for learning to code is CodeAcademy. Not only do they have a huge library, but they offer tutorials and guides to help you learn whatever you want.

They have taught over 45 million people a number of different programming languages using a tested curriculum and an interactive learning environment.

Programming Language Tutorials Available

  • HTML
  • CSS
  • PHP
  • JavaScript
  • SQL
  • Ruby
  • Python
  • jQuery

3. Khan Academy

Khan Academy

You may have heard about Khan Academy in one conversation or another. They are a non-profit organization that provides education to individuals around the world.

You can learn just about anything for free on Khan, and this includes accessing programs for learning to code. They are a vast resource and have everything under the sun.

Programming Language Tutorials Available

  • HTML
  • CSS
  • Java
  • jQuery
  • C++
  • C#
  • Python
  • SQL
  • Mobile App Development

4. Coursera

Coursera programs for learning code

This is another website full of programming language courses that you can access and start to learn at your own pace. Coursera does require payments for some things, however, you can access a lot of the most popular online courses without any payment at all.

This includes a wide range of programs for learning code.

Programming Language Tutorials Available

  • Python
  • CSS
  • Java
  • HTML
  • IoT Programming
  • C language
  • Introduction to programming

5. Code.org

Code.org programs for learning code

Another great program online for learning a new language is Code.org. They are a non-profit organization that looks to share their resources with everyone and get them to learn computer science.

There are a lot of different things related to computers to learn here, and there are plenty of available code tutorials.

Programming Language Tutorials Available

6. Udemy

Udemy

Perhaps the most recognizable name on this list is Udemy. They are a fantastic learning resource that provides education and courses on just about everything imaginable.

With that being said, they are a little lower on the list because they don’t specialize in offering programming courses. However, they do offer a ton of them at every level.

You will find plenty of development and programming language courses at very low prices.

Programming Language Tutorials Available

  • HTML
  • CSS
  • Python
  • JavaScript
  • Web Development
  • Game Development
  • Mobile App Development
  • JavaScript
  • Just About Any Other Programming Language Out There

7. Free Code Camp

Free Code Camp programs for learning code

The name pretty much says it all. If you want to find programs for learning code, then Free Code Camp has you covered. Not only can you learn to code numerous programming languages, but you can also earn certifications.

They are also a non-profit. Their website is built on an online community forum, chat rooms, online publications, and local organizations. All of this works together to help make learning web development accessible to everyone.

Programming Language Tutorials Available

  • HTML5
  • CSS3
  • JavaScipt
  • Node.js
  • React.js
  • D3.js
  • Databases
  • Git and GitHub

8. W3Schools

W3Schools

The site may look like it is a little hard to navigate at first glance. However, sit with it a minute and you will discover an almost endless free library of web development and programming language courses and tutorials.

W3Schools is one of the very best places to learn how to code any language and do it at your own pace. 

Programming Language Tutorials Available

  • HTML
  • CSS
  • JavaScript
  • SQL
  • PHP
  • Python
  • Java
  • C++
  • C#

9. MIT Open Courseware

MIT Open Courseware

If you are interested in studying web science and learning programming languages through courses from MIT, then this is going to be your go-to.

MIT Open Courseware is basically a web-based publication that offers all MIT course content and is always made available to everyone. Here, you will find a variety of introductory computer programming courses.

Programming Language Tutorials Available

  • JavaScript
  • Python
  • C++
  • HTML
  • CSS

10. Code Avengers

Code Avengers programs for learning code

Rounding out our list of the best programs for learning to code is Code Avengers. They provide users with a fun and unique way to learn code and web applications. Here you will be able to learn how to program things like websites, apps, and games.

Programming Language Tutorials Available

  • HTML
  • CSS
  • Python
  • JavaScript
  • jQuery
  • Web Development

The Most Popular Programming Languages to Learn

So, you have quite a list above to go through and look at. However, it may still be difficult to figure out what the most popular programming languages are. There are a couple of things to remember here.

  1. If you are learning a specific programming language, then this really doesn’t apply because you are obviously learning to code in that language for a reason.
  2. If you are looking at programs for learning to code based on the most popular programming languages today, then the following list should really help you out.

Some of the most popular and in-demand programming languages today include the following:

Python 

Right now, Python is the fastest-growing general-purpose, high-level programming language. It emphasizes code readability and has many notable features including open-source programming language, extensive support modules, community development, and user-friendly data structures.

JavaScript

Along with the well-known HTML and CSS, JavaScript is the programming language that built the Internet. Chances are, even if you know nothing about coding, you have probably heard of this one.

It is universally known as the language of web developers and it is a feature-rich, object-based scripting language. It features multiple frameworks for both backend and frontend development.

Java

One of the oldest and also one of the most in-demand computer programming languages in use today in Java. Java is more than likely used in many of your favorite web apps and games, you just didn’t know it until now.

This is the code that makes them all work. Java is also very popular because it is independent of other platforms. You can basically write the code once, then use it anywhere.

C++

Known as the sequel to C, C++ is basically the pioneer of all the world’s most used programming languages. It is the root for many of the other languages you see in this list, including JavaScript and Java.

It is a simple (in code terms) yet powerful and high-performance language. For this reason, it is popular and widely used for developing applications where performance is a very important and critical issue.

GoLang

Developed by the big boy on the block when it comes to search (Google), GoLang is an up-and-coming, open-source language that makes it very easy to create software that is simple, secure, and productive.

It features a valuable set of tools built-in and uses functional and object-oriented programming. It is in high demand right now because while it is powerful, it is straightforward and easy to understand.

SQL

Structured Query Language (SQL) is a programming language that has a special purpose. It is used to interact with databases.

If you are familiar with WordPress, then you have probably seen the term SQL thrown around some. The language is used to analyze and understand databases consisting of fields of data within tables.

PHP

A wildly popular programming language that is used by almost 80% of all the websites whose server-side programming we know. Again, if you are familiar with the behemoth that is WordPress, then you are probably familiar with PHP.

This is a great code to learn because it has been the cornerstone of the web for a very long time.

Swift

If you have an interest in Apple products, then Swift is definitely a programming language you are going to want to learn. Swift was introduced in 2014, so by those standards, it is still relatively new.

It is used to develop iOS and macOS applications. iOS runs every iPhone and iPad. It is also the basis for other operating systems like watchOS (for Apple Watches) and tvOS (for Apple TVs). All-in-all, if you want to learn how to build Apple products, then learn Swift.

Scala

If you are at all familiar with Java, then Scala may be a programming language you are interested in. It is a functional programming language that is considered to be the modern cousin of Java.

The language allows for concurrent programming, which allows complex procedures to be executed in parallel. Not sure what this means? Start learning the language and you soon will.

There are several other popular programming languages out there. Again, the one you are interested in is the one you should learn. The ones listed above were just some examples of what is popular and why.

Conclusion

How to learn to code is not the issue at this point. There are more than enough resources and programs for learning code available online. The trick is figuring out which language should be the one you learn.

It all depends on why you are learning code as well. Is it for a specific reason, or are you just doing it to learn?

Whatever the reason may be, you can’t go wrong with any of the resources above. Check them out, set aside some time, and start learning how to code at your own pace.

Before you know it you will start to have a better grasp of programming languages and how they are used with just about everything in our lives today.





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6 Best Real Estate CRM Software of 2021


In the real estate market, there is no shortage of leads, and it can be hard to keep track of your potential customers. That’s where real estate CRM software comes in. This software is built for real estate agents to help them keep track of customers and boost sales.

However, like most software, there are a lot to choose from. Therefore, I have constructed this list of the best real estate CRM software in 2021.

What Is Real Estate CRM Software?

Real estate CRM, or customer relationship management software, is a contact management system that allows realtors to store their customer information in one location. This allows realtors to save and view important behavioral traits, contact information, price ranges, and other important information.

This type of software helps realtors turn leads into sales.

It is also extremely important in a real estate office setting. While most will be sad to lose a customer to a co-worker, it happens.  Storing this information in an accessible location so the real estate company can benefit from it is a boon for business.

In many cases, this software can even automate the marketing aspect of real estate. Did a house just go on the market within a customer’s price range? If so, some software can send out alerts to entice customers to give you a call.

Here are some of the best CRM for realtors in 2021:

The Best Real Estate CRM Software

1. RealOffice360

RealOffice360

RealOffice360 is the perfect choice for real estate agents who work solo. Not only is it feature-rich, but it even offers a free plan. That said, if you plan on growing your real estate business, it is worth pointing out that this software is not team-based.

So, you would have to switch to another software.

One of the biggest advantages of this software is its integration with MailChimp. Email marketing is extremely important for real estate agents, and this CRM can handle everything. This can save realtors a tremendous amount of time.

As I’m sure you are aware, a lot of real estate work involves traveling. And as a result, you’re going to need a CRM with a mobile app. RealOffice360 has you covered. The app allows you to review customer data so your ready to go at any time.

Benefits of RealOffice360

  • Support is available for in-app help
  • Add an unlimited amount of clients in the free version
  • The paid plan offers 50GB of online storage

Price of RealOffice360

  • A free version available for use
  • The Premium starts at $19 per month

2. Follow Up Boss

Follow Up Boss

Follow Up Boss is one of the best CRMs for real estate companies on the market. And that is all thanks to its powerful toolset that handles everything from marketing to direct communication with customers. It does everything you need and so much more.

However, it is one of the pricier options available, which can be an issue for new realtors.

A huge benefit is the communications aspect of this tool. You can call and even text leads through the CRM itself. And you can also set up a team inbox to ensure all phone calls and inquiries are answered by your team as soon as possible.

One of the strongest aspects of this software is the mobile app. It has a host of useful features every agent dreams of having. For instance, while you’re on the phone with a client, you can pull up a full view of the property to answer questions regardless if you’re in the office or not.

It’s the ultimate tool for realtors.

Benefits of Follow Up Boss

  • The first two months are free, so give it a try
  • Automates bulk emails to customers
  • Integrates with MailChimp, Zapier, Bomb Bomb, and more

Price of Follow Up Boss

  • Grow plan starts at $69 per month per user
  • Pro plan starts at $499 per month and supports 10 users
  • Platform plan starts at $1000 per month and supports 30 users

3. Wise Agent

Wise Agent

Wise Agent is another excellent choice if you are looking for an all-in-one CRM tool that was built for team usage and at a reasonable rate. Unlike other CRMs on this list, this one natively supports 5 users with the base subscription.

Thus, it’s cheaper than most CRMs that charge on a per-user basis.

While the user interface isn’t as user-friendly as some of the other options on this list, you do have 24/7 access to live support. On top of this, paying for the product includes complimentary one-on-one onboarding. The level of support is the best offered out of any real estate CRM.

Without a doubt, the strongest aspect of this software is the transaction management tools. With them, you can store client documents alongside their transactions, view all of the property details, view Equifax data, lockbox tracking, and much more.

It’s a one-stop-shop for everything sales-related.

Benefits of Wise Agent

  • The marketing tools take care of bulk emails
  • Customize each agent’s login screen to properly assign work
  • Automatically pull social data from any collected emails

Price of Wise Agent

  • Monthly plans start at $29 per month
  • Annual plans start at $299 per year
  • Enterprise plans are available upon request

4. Freshworks CRM

Freshworks CRM

While it wasn’t built exclusively for real estate, Freshworks CRM offers a plethora of impressive features. And most importantly, you can use it for free, which makes it perfect for brand new real estate agents looking to save a few bucks.

Of course, its toolset can perfectly accommodate the needs of real estate.

One of the most important traits of this CRM is the teamwork aspect. It offers a variety of tools for teams including task management, auto assigning leads to agents, automate some of the sales processes, generate workflow maps, send out notifications, and even integrate with services like Slack.

It’s perfect for a team environment.

Not only can you easily communicate with staff members, but customer communication is a breeze. This CRM software will allow you to manage email, phone, live chat, WhatsApp Business, Apple Business Chat, and send SMS messages to customers. You can reach clientele with all of these tools.

Benefits of Freshworks CRM

  • Improve your emails conversion rate with analytical tools
  • Build custom reports to analyze specific parts of your business
  • The mobile app integrates with Google Maps, so you can find houses with ease

Price of Freshworks CRM

  • A free plan is available
  • Growth plans start at $29 per month per user
  • Pro plans start at $69 per month per user
  • Enterprise plans start at $125 per month per user

5. BoomTown

BoomTown

BoomTown was designed for larger teams looking for a powerful set of tools to carry out day-to-day activities. It does everything from lead generation to providing a real-time view of market updates in your area.

As a result, it’s one of the best pieces of real estate CRM software you can choose.

The NOW mobile app is a terrific tool that every agent should have on their mobile device. This app allows you to easily collect lead information and make calls on the go. And this can be extremely handy when you travel to locations that are not close by.

And like almost all dedicated real estate CRM software, you can easily communicate with leads in a variety of ways. This includes phones, text, and email. And when combined with the mobile app, you will never miss another lead. And customers like quick responses, so make sure to be ready no matter where you are.

Benefits of BoomTown

  • Automate lead communications to get them interested in speaking to an agent
  • Display MLS listings directly on your website
  • Actively track which agents are getting the most sales

Price of BoomTown

  • BoomTown does not make its pricing public. You must contact them for a quote.

6. LionDesk

LionDesk

Another popular choice in the world of real estate CRM is LionDesk. And as you might expect it handles lead generation, communication, and allows your real estate business to operate smoothly on a day-to-day basis.

And you can test the service for yourself with the free 30-day trial with no credit card required.

One of the best parts about LionDesk is its integration options. You have well over 70 options to choose from with some of the most prominent being Zillow, ELP, iFoundAgent, My Home Equity, Agent Shield, and many more.

If you already use a real estate tool, odds are it integrates with LionDesk.

And without a doubt, the lead generation component of the software is excellent. You can create ads using templates that have a proven track record with the Ad Portal. If this is your first time creating ads, don’t worry, LionDesk has an assortment of helpful FAQs to answer all of your questions.

Benefits of LionDesk

  • Streamline your businesses transaction process with an assortment of easy to use tools
  • Automate the client communication process
  • The Power Dialer feature allows you to communicate with multiple clients at once

Price of LionDesk

  • Starter plans begin at $21 per month
  • Pro plans start at $42 per month
  • Elite plans start at $83 per month

When Should You Purchase CRM Software?

If you’re brand new to real estate, you might not have a lot of customers. And in those situations, you can make do without these benefits. However, just because you can do something, doesn’t mean you should.

In reality, I recommend purchasing it as soon as possible.

This software offers a host of advantages and at quite a low price. Mismanaging your customers can quickly end your career in the real estate business. Yet, with this software, you can improve your chances of leaving your customers happy, and having them spread the word.

After all, word of mouth is still the most prominent way a real estate agent finds new clients.

Improving Customer Relations and Sales

The best CRM for real estate agents can make a huge impact on sales. And even if a client decided not to buy, if they had a good experience, they will definitely be back. This software allows you to build long-term customer relations, boost sales, make it easier to respond to leads, and much more.

If you plan to be successful in real estate, your going to need the right software for the job.

What real estate CRM software do you use for business? How much time has using this type of software saved you?





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6 Best IT Asset Management Software for 2021


Businesses need to keep track of their assets, and we are far past the point of doing so manually. Instead, all businesses use some form of IT asset management software. Keeping track of assets is not just good business, it is required to comply with certain regulatory regulations.

Thus, I have taken the time to assemble a list of the best IT asset management software in 2021.

What Is IT Asset Management Software?

IT asset management software is a computerized inventory management system that keeps track of a business’s assets. The purpose of this software is to help manage all assets from one screen, ensure assets are used optimally, comply with regulatory requirements, and reduce the number of IT-related software a business needs.

This software is not just for physical assets, either.

It also keeps track of digital assets like software licenses and even more recently, has started managing business subscriptions. This helps IT technicians keep track of what the business is currently using and lets you see what subscriptions are active and which are not.

In the past, asset management was handled by a series of spreadsheets that individual departments would be responsible for. This software has put an end to that and even handles the calculations aspect of asset management.

The software is even beginning to branch into network monitoring.

Note: There are a variety of titles an IT asset management tool can use. Some of them include computer inventory management, asset inventory management, hardware inventory software, and more. We will take a look at all of these in the following list.

The Best IT Asset Management Software

1. ManageEngine AssetExplorer

AssetExplorer

ManageEngine AssetExplorer delivers one of the most robust IT asset management kits on the market. It is browser-based software, which means you can log in from any device, but it is worth noting that there is no dedicated mobile app.

However, asset management is not something typically done on the go, so that shouldn’t be an issue.

The best feature of this software is the relationship maps. These are visual charts that help you track an asset’s usage in your business. It can show you who is in charge of the device, how frequently it fails or needs maintenance, and much more.

These types of charts can help you improve the efficiency of your assets.

One thing that really separates it from the rest of this list is the support options. Most IT asset management software does not offer live support, but this one does. You can speak to a live representative 24/7 regardless of your subscription type.

Benefits of ManageEngine AssetExplorer

  • The user interface is simple to understand
  • Record the lifetime cost of owning an asset
  • Manages both hardware and software licenses

Price of ManageEngine AssetExplorer

  • A free edition is available
  • The pricing information is not publicly available. Instead, you must contact them for a quote.

2. Monday.com

Monday.com

Monday.com is an excellent choice for businesses that want to collaborate with their asset management. And most importantly, it’s one of the cheapest services on this list, with an excellent user interface that was built for groups.

Just keep in mind that all of their plans require paying for at least 3 users.

One of the best features offered by Monday.com is the pre-made templates for asset management. Instead of building one from scratch, you can simply enter the necessary information to build one in less than a minute. And this feature is available on your mobile devices.

Since this tool was built with collaboration in mind, you can expect it to integrate with other team apps. Some of these include Slack, G-suite, Zoom, and many more of your favorite tools for team communication.

Benefits of Monday.com

  • A 14-day trial is available and does not require a credit card
  • Offers a dedicated mobile-app to check for updates on the go
  • Goes far beyond just IT asset management

Price of Monday.com

  • Basic plans start at $8 per month per user
  • Standard plans start at $10 per month per user
  • Pro plans start at $16 per month per user
  • Enterprise options are available upon request

3. Pulseway

Pulseway

Pulseway is another powerful IT asset management software that delivers a robust selection of tools for business owners to take advantage of. However, what separates this tool from the competition is that it was built from the ground, up for mobile devices.

Although it does support desktop users, the tool works better on mobile devices.

As you might expect from something built for mobile, it has a lot of tools for remote monitoring your assets. You can view work tickets for assets, send out notifications, and automate much of the IT process behind the software. It can really save a lot of time.

This tool also offers a variety of services that go beyond just asset management. One that is worth noting is the backup services. Disaster can strike any computer or mobile phone. And instead of losing all of your hard work, the backup services can instantly restore those important files.

Benefits of Pulseway

  • Remote control any monitored system from your mobile device
  • Support chats are available 24/7
  • Easily transfer files from one device to another

Price of Pulseway

  • Pulseway allows you to customize every aspect of your plan
  • You can purchase a customized plan in a monthly, yearly, or 3-year format
  • The longer contract the cheaper the price

4. Spiceworks IT Asset Management Software

Spiceworks

If you are trying to save money and find a comprehensive asset management tool, look no further than Spiceworks IT Asset Management Software. This software is completely free to use but works just as well as most paid alternatives.

And trust me, just because it is free doesn’t mean it isn’t feature-rich.

This software only focuses on the digital aspects section of asset management. Therefore, if you are looking for more physical options, this is not the right choice for you.

This software will allow you to track license subscriptions, monitor cloud services, and automatically catalog anything connected to the network.

These include all workstations (computers), printers, phones, routers, and more. The devices added will automatically be categorized and you can track their everyday usage from the monitoring section.

All of the information collected will be available in reports, and I mean all of it.

Benefits of Spiceworks IT Asset Management Software

  • Ideal for office computer networks
  • View all of your software licenses in one spot
  • Generate itemized lists of your hardware assets

Price of Spiceworks IT Asset Management Software

  • It is completely free to use

5. GoCodes

GoCodes

Are you looking for an easy and convenient way to itemize your assets? If so, be sure to checkout GoCodes that is built around cataloging assets with Quick Response (QR) codes. Simply put a QR sticker on your asset and scan it with your mobile device.

These QR codes allow you to geolocate anything, so you will never misplace a tool or company asset.

The main focus of this service is to prevent tools from being lost, which can be seen with the Geolocation feature.

Many businesses have multiple storage units. And expensive tools and assets can be lost or misplaced. This can cripple a business’s ability to work efficiently, thus the tool is perfect for businesses with this need.

The mobile app that tracks the QR codes fully integrates with Google Maps. So you’ll know exactly how to get to a location. You can also put together a detailed list of who used what asset and what it was used for. This will help track which assets are most important to what workers.

Benefits of GoCodes

  • Compile a full audit history
  • Discourage asset theft with full tracking and usage stats
  • View the lifecycle of any asset to determine its cost for the business

Price of GoCodes

  • Standard plan starts at $450 per year
  • Premium plan starts at $810 per year
  • Premium Elite plan starts at $1500 per year
  • Professional starts at $2160 per year
  • Enterprise options available upon request

Note: There are monthly options for each plan as well, but you save far more by paying annually.

6. EZOfficeInventory

EZOfficeInventory

EZOfficeInventory is another comprehensive IT asset management tool that covers both physical and digital assets. And you can try the 15-day free trial to see if it’s right for you. No credit card is required.

You’ll be able to start immediately because the user interface is simple to use.

This tool includes a variety of tracking options. Some of them include barcode asset tracking, fixed asset tracking, inventory tracking, RFID asset tracking, tool tracking, IT hardware, and software tracking.

So, there’s something for everyone.

It offers a variety of integration options that help it work in nearly any business environment. Some of these include Zendesk, Jira Service Desk, G Suite, Ping Identity, Dropbox, OneDrive, Zapier, Topaz Signature Pad, and much more.

Benefits of EZOfficeInventory

  • Access this tool through your web browser
  • Keep track of store inventory and assets in one place
  • Require employees to scan their IDs before using an asset

Price of EZOfficeInventory

  • Essential plans start at $35 per month
  • Advanced plans start at $45 per month
  • Premium plans start at $50 per month
  • Enterprise options are available upon request

When Does Your Business Need IT Asset Management Software?

It really depends on the nature and age of your business.

For example, if you are starting a restaurant, it requires a lot of equipment. Ovens, refrigerators, deep fryers, tables, chairs, cash registers, and much more. You’re going to need to manage these assets from day 1. So, you should purchase the appropriate software.

However, on the flip side, if you were starting a business that doesn’t require a lot of assets or software licenses, you can get away with just managing a spreadsheet. But even in these cases, you will probably spend a lot of extra time doing so.

For most business owners, it’s usually worth the cost due to the amount of time it saves.

Manage Your Assets

Physical assets and software licenses are vital components of any business. With proper management, you can track down patterns in their usage to improve efficiency and keep track of business-related subscriptions.

And all of this can be done without fumbling around in a large spreadsheet.

Instead, this software saves business owners time. And in many cases, your business may be required by law to keep detailed lists of those assets. This type of software should be one of the first things business owners consider implementing.

What IT asset management software do you use?





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