News and Ideas

So You Want a New Website…

Will it cost a lot and take forever to build? If you’re a small business owner, you know who your ideal customer is. And if you’ve been in business for awhile, you also know how to speak to potential customers about your products and services. So why should building a new website cost a lot or take a ton of time? It shouldn’t.

When I work with a client I talk to them about concepts such as keywords, calls to action, logos, imagery, color palettes, and the flow of the website they envision. I ask about their elevator speech – how they sum up their business simply and effectively that entices customers to take the next step.

Knowing the ideal customer along with having the concept document will inform the website design. Also, I believe websites are like fashion. There are features that are flashy and go out of style quickly so you want to avoid any that will date your site too fast. Ladies, think of that cold shoulder dress. Are you going to be wearing it next year?

As far as cost, I can build most sites for under $1,500. If you have a complex site it will be more, but we can talk about your needs and get a clearer picture of the cost. I have built simple sites, like my own, and added a store to an existing site so I understand WooCommerce, Square and Paypal.

Contact me for more information.

What is Quick Base?

Quick Base is a database builder that can be used as a CRM, a project management tool, or to collect and track any data. Quick Base can be whatever you want it to be to help streamline business processes. You can start from scratch and build your app any way you want or you can use the templates built into Quick Base. It’s one of the most flexible tools I’ve ever used because you’re not constrained to a pre-built tool you have to modify to suit your needs.

Quick Base also has robust reporting and charting tools. Anything that’s in the system can be put into a report or chart. Plus you can edit your records in a grid format like a spreadsheet – you don’t have to open individual records one at a time. Frankly, Quick Base rocks!

I’m certified as a Quick Base App Builder which means I passed their certification test. I have a developer edition where I have built apps and also completed the Quick Base University videos to learn more about all of the features.

If you’re knee deep in Excel spreadsheets trying to manage your data, reach out to me. I can help!

What Does It Mean to be Salesforce Certified?

Salesforce is a Customer Relationship Management (CRM) system that allows businesses and non-profits to manage virtually anything about their customers and donors, respectively.

I am a certified administrator which means I can automate complex business processes, create reports, dashboards, fields and objects, and train users to be successful inputting data into and gathering data from Salesforce.

Not only have I worked as a Salesforce Administrator for over 9 years, I completed the training modules and passed the certification test. To maintain the certification, every administrator needs to pass tests on new features three times a year.

The training modules are very thorough and are conducted in both Salesforce Classic and Lightning covering topics like organization and users settings, data security and back-up, workflow/process building, data modeling, management and analytics, layouts and records types, import/export tools, and the App Exchange where applications created by developers are offered and can be installed in the CRM.

While Salesforce comes with standard objects/tabs like contacts and accounts and standard fields in those objects like name and address, often companies need to customize their instance to make it unique to them. That’s where a Salesforce Administrator is very useful. Imagine if a company wants to track events it holds and the attendees. A Salesforce Administrator can create those custom objects and fields and the reports and dashboards to measure the results.

Non-profits can use Salesforce to track donations and donors. But what if a donor wants to split his donation among various offerings? A Salesforce Administrator can access the App Exchange to look for an application that does what isn’t built into Salesforce natively. I have installed the Cloud for Good Donation Split App in a client’s Salesforce instance to split a single donation into various offerings so they don’t have to enter separate donations.

In a nutshell, you can rely on someone who is Salesforce certified to listen to your needs and understand how to build your Salesforce instance to meet those needs.

If you need help, contact me.

Why Have a Board Portal?

I was asked a great question today. Rather than having a board portal, why wouldn’t a non-profit just use Google Docs as a way to share documents with board directors?

Google Docs and Dropbox are convenient for storing documents but can get messy when you need multiple folders for committee documents and resources.

Plus, board portals are much more than a great repository for documents. The portal template I’ve created is also a way to share upcoming event information like venues, hotels, agendas, a registration button and documents related to the event all on one page.

Each committee has its own page that displays the members of the committee (and email link), minutes, a link to scheduled conference calls, key documents such as the committee charter and strategic documents. Essentially anything your organization wants the board directors to have at their fingertips can be added to the portal. Here’s a sample of a committee page:

Links to committee pages are right on the home page and you can feature a call-to-action in the header, for example, to mention an upcoming event including a button to register.

The portal will hold resources like a board directory, orientation documents for new directors, board books and a blog written specifically for the board with the latest news. The most recent three blog posts are right on the home page:

Finally, the mobility of the portal, since it’s a website, allows a board director to access the site easily and is mobile responsive for quick navigation on phones and tablets. Imagine having the board book stored on the portal which board directors can access during the meeting. No more printing gobs of paper that will be tossed shortly after the meeting ends.

If you would like me to create a portal for your organization, reach out to me.