Software company turns to the cloud to rebound from financial crisis | Using a Twitter contest to promote your brand | An employee bonus plan that moves the company forward
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March 18, 2013
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Software company turns to the cloud to rebound from financial crisis
Replicon, a software company founded by husband-and-wife team Raj Narayanaswamy and Lakshmi Raj, experienced a drop in revenue after the financial crisis hit a few years ago. They got their business back on track by opening an office in the U.S. and converting their cloud-based time-tracking product into software-as-a-service that could be used by large and small companies alike. The company rebounded and reached $27 million in revenue in 2012. The Globe and Mail (Toronto) (tiered subscription model) (3/15)
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Ship Beyond Borders with FedEx® Solutions
Whether you're shipping packages or freight, need it there tomorrow or have more time, FedEx offers solutions that fit your budget and distribution needs to make crossing borders easy — giving you more time to focus on growing your business. Learn how our flexible solutions can help you.

How to get started with social media advertising
Pay-per-click advertising has become increasingly expensive, which has made social media ads an attractive alternative, writes Christopher Null. He provides a detailed guide for advertising on Facebook, LinkedIn, Twitter and StumbleUpon. PCWorld (3/14)
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Using a Twitter contest to promote your brand
If you decide to run a contest on Twitter to promote your business, you should offer a prize that will appeal to members of your target audience, Ted Prodromou writes. Offering a large cash prize might not be ideal because doing so might attract participants who are not interested in your company. Track the success of your contest and publicize the results on social media, he recommends. Entrepreneur online (3/15)
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FEATURED VIDEO: The Traits of Very Successful Leaders
Someone who is a good leader knows how to get work done, but a great leader is someone who inspires employees to do their best all the time. Linda Rottenberg, the co-founder and CEO of Endeavor, tells us about some common traits among successful leaders. Watch the video now.

An employee bonus plan that moves the company forward
Tying a vending company's employee bonus plan to overall company performance helped workers communicate and work together more effectively, writes Josh Patrick, founder and principal at Stage 2 Planning Partners. The company's initial bonus plan left employees working at cross purposes and often feeling frustrated about the arbitrary nature of the bonuses they received. The New York Times (tiered subscription model)/You're the Boss blog (3/14)
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Getting your customers to pay on time
You can increase the odds that your business will be paid in a timely fashion by sending out invoices promptly. Make sure your invoices are easy for your customers to understand and be aware of the length of average payment cycles in your industry. Call customers if they fail to pay on time and use a pleasant but authoritative tone of voice. Entrepreneur online (3/15)
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Tips & Tools
Why small businesses should use CRM software
Customer relationship management tools can provide several benefits for small businesses, and reasonably priced solutions are available, according to this article. CRM tools can allow small companies to connect customer purchase histories with marketing campaigns, monitor buying patterns and other key metrics, and keep all employees in the loop about sales, supply and other activities. SCORE Small Business Success Blog (3/15)
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Just for Fun
Stu Larkin is still on the road, selling bronzed baby shoes
Stu Larkin lives the old-school life of a traveling salesman -- selling bronzed baby shoes, combat boots and other objects -- and has now been profiled in a short film. "Even though I'm a professional, I've been doing this for 30 years, I make a living at this, I've made a great living at this, every single day I go out I have butterflies in my stomach until I get that first order," he says. The Atlantic online (3/12)
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One of the changes we made when we went from an individual to a group bonus plan was to start teaching our people about the company's finances."
-- Josh Patrick, founder and principal at Stage 2 Planning Partners, writing at The New York Times.
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