So officially, Twitter has jumped into the ride for offering their services to businesses.  Twitter has just launched Twitter101, a special guide, which provide guide lines for businesses looking forward to use the Twitter as a business tool.

Its a good news that Twitter has finally acknowledged the fact, however, the more important is introduction of features that really allow the businesses to utilize the tool in a more effective manner.

The R&D team should provide better ideas and twitter has to improve their features if they really want business to tweet, perhaps better way to maintaining their contacts, group setup, sending of messages to  group users etc need immediate improvement.

Posted by: Khan | July 8, 2009

Pakistan amongst top 20 Outsourcing destinations

According to A.T. Kearney, Pakistan has entered the band of top 20 outsourcing destinations, as mentioned by Business Week.  This shows the competence level of Pakistani professionals and overall growing IT industry.

Pakistan has got an edge in terms of:

Hi Skilled Manpower:

Pakistan has got a vast pool of skilled and educated manpower.  Besides being good at technical side, they are also good in communication skills.  English speaking accent is very clear and better giving added advantage to its competitors like India.

IT Infrastructure:

IT & telecom is booming across the country.  Very hi internet connection is not an issue anywhere in Pakistan.  Besides this, computer latest hardware is also available at good prices.

Better Ethical Standing:

Pakistani professionals in general are known to stand to their commitments.  Professionalism is high and most companies promote themselves on basis of ehtics.  This is precisely important factor since  emerging issues like Satyam scandal in India.

Pakistan is growing fast on the outsourcing scene, however, some people argue regarding the security conditions of Pakistan.  At this point its worth noting that no part of world is currently safe from this security hazard, even USA had 9/11 incident.  India already had incidents like Mumbai attacks.

Besides this, in terms of disaster recovery, as mentioned by Jehan Ara (President PASHA), Pakistan has proven its capabilities during the Mariott Blast which effected Software Tech. Parks.  Due to effective procedures, and due to zero down time, in most cases, the customers in US didnot even know that their outsourcing partners had gone through such a disaster.

Pakistan is there to play its role as an active and responsible member of global community.


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Posted by: Khan | June 12, 2009

Facebook Launches Usernames

Facebook is now launching username, so you can now get identified by a unique id.  You might have been using the similar functionality previously on LinkedIn where you can have your unique id for url.  It helps in the following manner:

  • You have your unique identity on Facebook
  • You can post your profile link easy like www.facebook.com/username
  • You can be easily searched on search engines

Check out further details on this article Get your own Facebook Username

Posted by: Khan | May 24, 2009

How can Businesses utilize Twitter

Social media networking is proving real successful in bringing together on basis of interest groups and activities. This can prove helpful in so many ways for individuals as well as business point of view.

In this era of social media, twitter is known as one of the simplest tools that can help you improve your business. Some interesting ways twitter could help include:

Stay connected with Customers

In older days, websites used to add users for newsletters just to stay connected with customers. Using twitter, you can have the customers informed about your new updates, offers and all about your activities you want to share with your customers.

Attract Targeted Audience

Twitter allows you to attract targeted audience to your business website or content. Searching twitter, often people try to find the persons of their interest. In this way, if you are someone offering business consulting services, people in search of your service might follow you.

Share Business Tips/Ideas with Peers

Twitter is proving as a great knowledge sharing tool amongst interest groups, peers and associates. Now those having business blogs can easily post some new content and tweet it for view by the followers.

Share News/Updates/Content

Sharing content easily is the most effective way twitter helps. Companies can post news updates or info about latest projects, events and happenings. If you are running a website related to classifieds or web directory, you can share the updates like new items in the list.

Effective Marketing

Twitter can act as an effective marketing tool for your business. You can post latest promotions, offers and discounts. If you are running an online store, you can tweet latest offers and promotions.  

Also the list of your followers are your present clients as well as future potential clients.  You can use the list for effectively market your products and offerings.

More informed about Competitors

Besides others benefits, Twitter also lets you stay informed about the competition. You can follow your potential competitors, get the info about latest trends being followed in the market and keep yourself updated.

Posted by: Khan | March 8, 2009

Online Tips for Business during Recession

Businesses during the recession are trying hard to capitalize on slightest opportunity to improve their place in market.  For this purpose, the importance of cost cutting, efficiency and reaching every possible ways to reach the customers & suppliers is imperative.

Some important tips that can help customers to reach their customers & suppliers include:

  • Try to improve your distribution channels by using internet for this purpose.
  • Get yourself a business website.
  • Use your website as a strategic tool for your business.
  • Promote yourself on B2B websites.
  • Utilize the power of Web 2.0 for interacting with your potentail clients/peers/partners
  • Accept online payments for your services.
  • Get leads from your customers.
  • Make website user friendly so users utilize it without much hassle.

Posted by: Khan | January 24, 2009

E-Commerce and Business

E-commerce has been a buzz word for the past few years now.  Much has been said and written about the benefits and issues related to e-commerce.  Still there are a lot of misconceptions in the minds of businesses who want to set their online e-commerce setup.  Many contemporary businessmen think of e-commerce as just setting up their website and selling the products online.

The reality is that e-commerce is not just a website selling online products.  Infact, e-commerce is a complete drift of your business strategy from conventional to online.  Businesses have to realize that e-commerce requires a complete business model.  The same way as you operate your businesses, similarly you need to form a model for e-commerce business.  Since this is different from conventional business, the model also needs to be different.

For deployment of model, there could be need for organization redesign.  Such organizational redesign involves, as *Kalakota and Robinson (1999) put it, ‘the complex fusion of business processes, enterprise applications, and organizational structure necessary to create a high-performance business model’ (p. xvi) that can capitalize on the opportunities accorded by the Internet as an effective medium for commercial activity.

Also there needs to have a business strategy backed by business plan that would allow business keep abreast with the vision.  There should be a SWOT analysis as you do for any other kind of business and based on the outcome need to have your strategy deployed.

* Kalakota, Ravi and Robinson, Marcia, e-Business: Roadmap for Success, Addison-Wesley, Reading, Mass, 1999.

Posted by: Khan | January 14, 2009

How to Choose a Web Design Company

Selecting a web design consulting company is often a very tough ask for business executies.  There are so many out there and you dont know what each is capable or incapable of.  Especially, keeping in view the low costs offered by offshore design companies, everyone wants to avail the opportunity of getting the work done on low costs.  However, there are a number of easy steps that need to be followed to choose the reliable partner.

Go to search engine like google and type your query lets say  “Web Design Companies in Pakistan” .

Check the websites of each company listed of top 20 or 30 listings.

See how frequently the website is updated or when it was last updated.   This will help you know whether the company is active and operational or not.

Visit the portfolio/client list/case studies areas of the website.  This will help you analyze the projects done previously by the company.  Here you can access the skill level of the company’s designers, their expertise and quality of work.

Check for the project related to your required project in the portfolio.  If you find any projects previously done by the company that are similar in nature to the task you are looking for, it means the company can also handle your work in similar manner.  Also read client testimonials

Also check for other parameters like the rates & packages offered.  This will give you a fair idea of the costing done by the web design company.

Make a small chart, make columns and alloate points to each company keeping in view your own priorities.  If design is top priority, you can give it more weightage.  If cost is top, you can rank companies by price.

Short list the ompanies scoring the most according to the criteria.  Select top ten companies.

Write up your project summary or Request for quotation (RFQ).  You can find the tips on writing RFQ here.

Once you get a response from the companies, do some communication and mail exchanges by answering to their queries or asking them related to their expertise.  Some important issues you should ask them include:

  • The cost/ timelines for project
  • Project methodology
  • Previous references 
  • Communication channels for project like phone chat, emails etc
  • The timezone/operational hours of the company
  • Core team working on the project
  • Project coordinator or the person handling client interaction

Also from the email exchange, you will judge the level of professionalism the responder shows by the promptness of message, better communication methods & overall behaviour.

Engage the responders in further discussion about project queries.  This will help you getting clear idea of what company is capable of and secondly will help the company representative understand the project clearly.  You can even request for a demo (if the company has already done similar work), however, this doesnt apply everytime.

Settle the terms like costs, time, payments, mode of payment etc.

Once you agree, you can award the project to web design company.

Posted by: Khan | January 10, 2009

Accepting Payments online Through Your Website

Many business owners looking to sell their products online have little knowledge about receiving payments online. This will guide them of way to receive online payments.
First of all, you should setup your website listing your products/services that you want to sell.
You should either have your own merchant account. For this, you have to apply for it through companies/banks offering merchant account services. Merchant accounts offer you a vast features and services. Merchant account is normally recommended (varying on your country) only for very large businesses going for big setups and investments.
In case you are a small business and want to accept payments, third party payment handlers are the best choice to go with. There are a number of very famous payment handlers who can handle online payments. This include paypal, 2checkout, google checkout etc. Most of these gateways are secure. Each handler has its own terms and charges, some charge on per transaction basis and others on subscription basis.
Next step, you need to integrate the payment gateway with your website. For this, handlers like paypal, 2checkout etc offer their own APIs (Application Programming Interface) for the programmers. Using these APIs, the person having knowledge of web development can easily handle the integration portion.
You might need the services of web design company for handling this task.
Once the website is setup, as the customer selects your product and clicks on checkout, he is redirected to the website of payment handler.  Most of these handlers have secured payment handling through SSL (secure socket layer) and thus are secured.  The payment handler will accept the information like postal and contact info, payment info including credit card information and then confirms the order.
As soon as order is placed, you will be intimated through email that the transaction has taken place alongwith detailed invoice. 

Posted by: Khan | January 4, 2009

What is CMS and how it helps your business?

You might have heard the phrase “CONTENT IS THE KING”.  Keeping this in view, it can be safely said that Content Management System is a King Maker.  As the name implies, Content Management System or CMS as commonly known is a software/system that manages the content of your website.  In simple words, a CMS will allow you to update your website contents easily and smartly.  So if you are a non technical guy knowing not much about the html or about web designing, using CMS will allow you to update your website contents without much of a hassle.

Business owners normally want to update their websites for any of the following purposes:

  • News & Events
  • Latest Products/Services
  • Contacts Updates
  • Clients Showcase
  • Portfolio
  • Case Studies
  • White Papers
  • Articles

CMS can work in following ways ranging from simple website to more complex solutions.  Some of them could include:

  • As a product catalog
  • Document Management System/Document Tracking
  • Corporate Intranet
  • Real Estate portals
  • Job Postings
  • E-Commerce Applications

Some of the salient features that all CMS provide:

  • Easy handling of users according to roles, eg admin role, editor role, viewer role etc.
  • Easy update of website content using backend forms.

So now if you own a business and looking to have an online presence, you might be going for an option of Content Management System.  Once you have made a decision, you might be requiring the services of a Web Consulting Firm for assisting you in selecting the appropriate CMS for your business needs.

Posted by: Khan | January 2, 2009

How to setup a business blog

A business blog is a modern tool for business owners to market their services and keep their customers and associates up to date with the business day to day news, latest ventures and events to come.  Blog has come a long way in successful marketing for business concerns.  You can stay in touch with your customers by providing them necessary information about your business and related to your products that would help them to further improve the business relationship with you and improving your goodwill.  Besides this, it can act as a knowledge base for your products & services.  Many top businesses and corporates are having their own business blogs on internet.

Blogs will change your business

Blogs will change your business

Here are simple ways of setting up your own business blog:

  • First of all register your blog on any famous blog engine like WordPress or Blogger.
  • Select a theme and do setup.
  • Name the blog according to your business.
  • Designate a team preferrably related to PR or marketing who would update the blog on regular basis.  If required you can hire the services of web consultancy firm to maintain blog periodically.
  • Submit your blog to different blog directories.
  • Link this blog with your company’s corporate website.
  • Create value so that users visit your blog more often.
  • Stay in touch with your visitors by replying to their comments

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