Small Businesses Rely on Sage to Help Them Ride Out the Recession

Published on September 21, 2009 in Uncategorized

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Sage products and services help new small businesses get started on the right foot and established businesses fight back in an unpredictable economy

Irvine , CA (September 21, 2009) –

In today’s tough economy, small businesses require software that encompasses more of their management needs, instant access to information that is relevant to their business and its challenges, and easy-to-use ways to keep their existing customers loyal and attract new ones. Sage is delivering these types of operational systems to help more than 5.8 million small and mid-size businesses around the world thrive. Enriched offerings from Sage such as HR411 for Peachtree by Sage, online business communities like MyBizCounts.com and SageSpark.com, and automated e-mail tools within ACT! by Sage contact and customer manager are just some of the examples of how Sage is helping small businesses in North America ride out the recession.

Building A Solid Foundation for New Small Businesses:
Davidson Chocolate Company, which opened its doors in August 2008 just as the economy was beginning to tilt in the wrong direction, invested in smart automation to make sure they had the best chance for success.

“When we first opened, I managed our finances with a bunch of Microsoft® Excel® sheets linked together, but that took forever and never gave me the visibility I needed into our business,” said Sue Elliott, Owner, Davidson Chocolate Company. “With Peachtree, I can easily drill down to analyze our activity–to see where we’ve been and where we’re going.”

Davidson Chocolate is also using online resources to brush up on their HR skills and save themselves time and money in the process. “Sage gives me access to HR411.com which has been a great source to help me come to grips with employment issues. Using it makes me feel like I have this great support network to rely on that’s there just to help me be successful.”

As corporate downsizing and business cutbacks continue, more and more individuals are striking out on their own to form businesses1. Based on US Census figures, more than 10 million Americans are self-employed, up from about 8 million in 19802. The number of “non-employer firms”–businesses without employees on the payroll–recently surpassed the 20 million3 mark, up from 15 million in the late 1990s,4 and is expected to grow further.

Online Resources Offer Sage Advice for Entrepreneurs:
New businesses–or those considering a business–need a place to kick-start their thinking. Traditionally, friends, family, and business contacts have been the main sounding boards, but new online resources like www.MyBizCounts.com and www.SageSpark.com, provide helpful information and communities for small business owners to exchange best practices and discuss common issues companies face.

Fiona Walsh, a business coach and SageSpark.com blogger, with clients in Canada, the United States, Europe, and Australia, perceives an increasing trend of people building small businesses on the side while keeping their regular day jobs.

“With all the robust technology currently available it’s getting easier for small businesses to take care of the operations side of their venture,” said Fiona Walsh, president of FM Walsh & Associates, Inc. “However, over 80% of the entrepreneurs that I have coached are financially illiterate and do not have basic financial systems in place.”

Walsh offers the following advice to would be entrepreneurs:

Have a clear idea of what your business offers and how your product or service differentiates from others in the marketplace
Write a business plan and follow it
From Day 1, have basic financial tools in place such as invoicing, cash-flow, and receipt management

“SageSpark.com, which includes BillingBoss, a no cost invoicing tool that enables small businesses to get paid quickly and easily in 7 different languages, does a good job of covering the basics,” adds Walsh. “Really, at the end of the day, self employment is the only true form of modern day job security.”

Focus on Customers for Long-term Success:
In a slow economy, protecting customer relationships is vital, and contact management software enables the easy cultivation and maintenance of those precious relationships for small businesses. Hilleary Waters of Capitol Publications Inc. is succeeding with the help of ACT! by Sage while much of the publishing industry struggles. Her company has been using ACT! for more than 10 years to keep track of publication schedules and advertising details. Waters uses ACT! E-marketing features to create e-mail campaigns that notify customers when Capitol’s monthly online edition of “Life On Capitol Hill” is available, and an iPod touch® with the CompanionLink mobile data synch add-on for ACT! to keep track of client details when she’s away from the office. “The level of detail we can capture about our subscribers and business associates, along with the accessibility and portability of this data has made ACT! an indispensable marketing tool,” explains Waters. “ACT! is helping us make good decisions and manage related activities so we can succeed in a competitive market.”

Sage provides a complete range of business management software and services for small and mid-sized businesses, including those with industry-specific needs, such as manufacturers, nonprofits, healthcare practices, and construction and real estate companies. Sage’s range of solutions supports business start-ups, growing businesses, and mature businesses, providing support for the life of a business. Information is available at www.sagenorthamerica.com.

About Sage North America
Sage North America is part of The Sage Group plc, a leading global supplier of business management software and services. Sage North America employs more than 4,100 people and supports nearly 2.9 million small and medium-size business customers. The Sage Group plc, formed in 1981, was floated on the London Stock Exchange in 1989, and now employs 14,500 people and supports 5.8 million customers worldwide. For more information, please visit the Web site at www.sagenorthamerica.com.

Contacts:

Aimee Ertley
770-724-4556
aimee.ertley@sage.com

Kara McClain
404-995-4531
kara.mcclain@porternovelli.com

Source: Sage

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