MYOB blog The PulseA few months ago I was pleased to be invited to be one of a team blogging for the small business focused site MYOB’s The Pulse –  News, views and ideas for your business.

The company behind the blog, MYOB, is a leading provider of business management solutions in Australia and New Zealand, with the motto “Making business life easier”.

I think I was one of the earliest customers for their accounting software: so early that I recall on one occasion ringing up for some support and finding I was speaking to one of the founders!

I’ve now been blogging for The Pulse for two months and I’m really enjoying it, especially because of the quality of the posts others are producing. Good to be in good company and keeps me on my toes!

Looking through the posts on the site this morning I saw several I wanted to share for the benefit of any business owners reading this blog. Here is a sample (I’ve included the Twitter @ link for each of the respective authors).

Note that some of the references are to Australian and New Zealand accounting or other business practices, but there is a lot of more widely applicable information and wisdom in the posts linked below.

3 ways to simplify your payroll process this month

Tracey Sharah @traceysharah

In this very practical post one sentence in particular jumped out at me: it was about cloud based computing.

Cloud based accounting software (online software) will automatically backup the payroll as it sits on a server separate to your internal server.

That point alone, something frankly I hadn’t thought of, surely makes it worth investigating how cloud computing might be immediately helpful for even the smallest of businesses.

How to start with Google Analytics

Zac Martin @zacmartin

Although the great management expert W. Edwards Deming is frequently misquoted as saying “You can’t manage what you can’t measure” (in fact he was well aware that many things important for management could not be measured), it’s good to be able to access, at no charge, data that can show us how our website is performing. Zac shows how to get into the way of using the amazing Google Analytics tool.

The best way to back up important data

Adam Turner @adam_turner

Adam shows how to deal with managing our data against a daunting list of risks:

“There’s no shortage of disasters waiting to claim your precious business data—from fire, flood and theft to hardware failure, power spike, virus or plain old human error. If such a disaster struck your office today, could the business get back on its feet?”

Colour your world

Paul Hassing @PaulHassing

Your workplace environment getting you down? This post on colour has some great ideas for improving the ambience with colour.

Online Accounting: What Dreams Are Made Of

Natalie Giddings @NatalieGiddings

More on accounting and the cloud. The opening sentence got my attention:

One of the lessons I have learned as a business owner is to continually assess ways to eradicate administration.

Developing a powerful PR mindset

Trevor Young @trevoryoung

A deceptively modest title for a must-read post by PR specialist Trevor, who lays out in this one post a whole scenario for any small business wanting to understand how PR could work for them and how in fact they could actually set up and manage a PR program, if they wanted to.

And for anyone who is dismissive (or worse) about the role of PR  but is also open to being persuaded to think otherwise, Trevor’s explanation of what PR is and does should surely give some pause:

I look at PR as deepening the intensity of connection a brand has with the people that matter most to the success of its business (cause or issue if you’re a nonprofit). This could be your clients or customers, industry influencers such as analysts, bloggers or journalists; it may also be a local council, industry body or government authority if they’re somehow integral to the successful running of your business.

A big ask. Which is why although, for micro-businesses especially we might have to learn to do ourselves some of the things involved, once the business size and the budget are at the right level we can benefit from the services of a PR professional like Trevor.

And there are more

There are also other very readable, very informative bloggers at The Pulse and I plan to introduce them here in future posts.

As for me, I’m having fun and hopefully doing some good. You can see my recent posts at The Pulse here.

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Des Walsh is an executive coach. He helps business owners and entrepreneurs worldwide deal effectively with the feeling of being left behind or overwhelmed, or both, about social media – especially LinkedIn - and how to engage safely and effectively with social media to help grow their business. Connect with Des on LinkedIn, Google+ and Twitter. And to stay in the loop, get Des’s weekly Social Business Bites (select snippets of his "best of the week" online finds).