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Last update -January 20,2018
In keeping with my pledge to provide antique and collectible businesses and collectors with access to useful resources at affordable or no cost, try some of these programs on for size.
Depending on your needs, one or more of these programs and web sites can provide your business with real value. I have no vested interest in most of these programs and indicate when I do, but I wholeheartedly recommend your investigation of them.
They are mostly all internet or cloud based, so upgrades are accomplished automatically and access is available from all your platforms, notebook, smartphone, laptop or desktop.
This newsletter by David Strom. "Inside Security" is a great way to keep up with the rapidly changing security threats we all face every day. Sometimes, he writes for the professional, but a lot of the information he provides is important to you, the business owner. Click here to see a sample of his newsletter. I have been a subscriber for the past twelve years.
David is an award-winning writer, speaker, editor, video blogger, and online communications professional who also advises numerous startup and well-established technology ventures. He began his career as an in-house IT analyst and has founded numerous technology print and online publications, such as editor-in-chief of Network Computing magazine and as part of the launch team of PC Week's Connectivity section. David has written two books and spoken around the world at various conferences and been on national radio and television talking about network technologies. He continues to build websites and publish articles on a wide variety of technology topics geared towards networking, security, channel, PC enthusiasts, OEMs, and consumers. In addition to these activities, he consults to vendors and evaluates emerging technologies, products, strategies, and trends to help position and improve their technology products.
Dealers and collectors all should consider insuring their collections and the time will come when a valuable piece is damaged and needs repair or conservation. These links will put you in touch with specialty brokers and conservators.
For a general overview of insuring art, go to this article on the options available to you.
First there is AXA-Art, which is a great resource and also a specialty insurance provider for fine arts and collectibles.
Antiques & Collectibles National Association
The National Antiques and Collectibles Association provides dealer insurance as well as a variety of other benefits.
The Antiques & Collectibles National Association was founded in 1991 by Jim & Yvonne Tucker, long time antique dealers who found there was no insurance or trade association available. Since then it has become the largest industry association with thousands of members in all 50 states to provide benefits to antique dealers and private collectors.
Accounting – Many small businesses have no need for full bore accounting systems. If you are one of these, take a look at Outright (now owned by GoDaddy) , a simple accounting cloud based program that costs only $9.99 per month 30 day money back guarantee.
Your accounting tasks on autopilot automates your small business accounting tasks by pulling all of your accounts in one place and organizing them in a smart, understandable way.
With your important files stored in the cloud, you can access them from any platform and protect them from loss if your hardware decides to take a permanent vacation, an essential business or personal resource. The folks at Microsoft OneDrive will set you up with a terabyte of storage for $6.99 per month and they include an Office 365 subscription at no additional cost, definitely a good deal.
Time tracking – For those of you who bill for time, this can be an excellent asset as it tracks all your time, whether billable, wasted, research, or any other time suck. Enter Chrometa the app that tracks your time without notes or timers.
Chrometa logs all your computer activity and breaks down your time by application, e-mail, Web page and document.. Depending on the size of your business, you have several levels of this business resource available.
You may download a free trial or sign up for one of the three individual levels available: Basic, 1 device, 3 months of data retained, $12 / month; Premium. 2 devices, unlimited data, $19 / month; and Ultimate, 3 devices, unlimited data, $29 / month.
We have a business relationship with Chrometa, but we strongly recommend you at least checking them out. Click the link below to find out more.
This program is absolutely amazing and can definitely allow you to improve your bottom line. If you don't check out anything else, you owe it to yourself to take a look at Schedulicity, 30 Day Free Trial! You'll Love Schedulicity!
. Book appointments, allow your clients to book appointments on line, maintain customer records, send targeted emails reminding customers of appointments, thank you notes or anything else.
This is much, much more than a simple scheduling program. Try the 30 day free trial, then sign up at $20 a month for a single user or up to $50 per month for multiple (11+) users. Clients always have free access.
Information Organization – It is a fact of modern life that we are all on information overload, so along comes Evernote to allow us to capture everything of interest and allow us to search that captured data efficiently. That data can be in the form of html pages, pdf files, text in photos.
Save your ideas, things you like, things you hear, and things you see. An absolute necessity as a business or personal resource. It's free or you can go Plus for $34.99 per year or Premium for $69.99 for a year.
Finally, a database program that works for collectors and dealers as well. The program was developed by a computer programmer who was frustrated trying to find a database program to suit his needs that was inexpensive, yet fairly full featured and easy to set up and use for his personal map collection.
BINGO! He hit the nail on the head! Recollector is only a $49.00 one time cost, Is easy to set up, has a very short learning curve and is highly customizable. It is also available as a free trial (limited to 25 records).
It is marketed for collectors, but it offers all I need as a dealer as well and if spread sheet functions are required, output to Excel is simple and straightforward.
I have no affiliation with this product. I tried it for two hours on the free trial and immediately purchased it! It provides everything I need to track not only my inventory, but my library as well. This gives the most bang for the buck that I have ever found in any database program. Try it, you have nothing to lose but an hour of your time to experience its' capability.
E-mail Signature - If you’re looking for an easy way to transform your boring old e-mail into a powerful marketing tool, Wisestamp is the coolest way to do it. Pricing is $48.00 annually.
Collectors can also use this app to set themselves apart from the crowd.
Track activity related to you on social media with Trackur. Monitor your reputation, your news mentions, your PR campaigns, your employees, or your competition. Trackur's social media monitoring tools are easy to use, yet offer a surprising number of features. Pricing starts at a somewhat pricey $97 per month with a free 30 day trial period.
If you are operating a high traffic endeavor, this is actually a very reasonable price.
If you rely on social media to facilitate your online marketing efforts, you owe it to yourself to check out BleupagePro. This innovative application saves a huge amount of time by enabling you to post to many social media sites at once. The price is incredibly, considering the hours of time that it saves. Go ahead, check it out. I did and I use it and am now affiliated with them. BleupagePro.com
Provide a professional image by getting an 800 number, setting up conference calls and other professional services available at very reasonable costs at phone.com. We not only recommend this service, but we are also affiliated with them. Check them out at the link below.
If you find the information in our website helpful, just post your email address below and click "submit" in order to receive our periodic newsletter, Spotlight for Collectors, announcing new additions to the site and providing timely information and links to save you time and money.