(as in: who does what and why you should keep it simple).
End of last month I wrote about Ecwid "the ultimate Ecommerce multiple outlet option". I'm still very impressed by the program.
Simple, simple, simple - and effective
Adding products is very simple, adding products to one or more categories is simple and a great feature I was missing dreadfully in our old shop. Last week (09.09) we took the plunge and opted for Ecwid's Silver Account. So now we are charged a monthly fee for the pleasure (a small fee in my eyes).
Side-note on upgrading: the compare plans page of Ecwid shows the price in US $, purchasing the upgrade I was suddenly charged in €'s - that's having to make a calculation of the costs in £ twice. Can't see any reason for Ecwid to show only prices in $ when actually the invoice you receive is in €. (Could be that for US clients it stays in $, I don't know).
Anyway, back to the program itself and the extra benefits a Silver account gives you. The one most important, at the moment, is the "Discount codes" option.
In the system you create your coupon code, give it a name, a discount % or amount, set the settings to always, once, returning clients only or simply for a single use and if there is a minimum amount your client must spend before the discount counts.
All in one little window - no fiddling to and fro between screens, sections or options.
You email/hand out the coupon-code to your prospects/clients and once they apply the code to their shopping bag - even before having to go into the check-out process - the promised discount immediately is "in the bag".
Simple and very effective.
Without any big problems - getting used to any new program comes with some problems, tiny ones in this case - our brand new secure webshop has now found 4 outlets:
Typepad blog (in same design as our FAQ wooden floor blog)
Main website (in same design as our main website)
Landing pages (one simple new example for our Easiest Maintenance Program - Ever)
Facebook Fan Page
If that's not simple and effective I wouldn't know what simple is then!
Ponderings on Tasks (as in: who does what and why you should keep it simple and strict).
Bookkeeping is part of running your business and you either love it or hate it. When you love it - me, me, me - it's a task you rather don't delegate.
However, if you hate it and delegate the task, delegate the complete task. Don't have 2 captains on a ship, especially not if you outsource the task and pay for the time of your bookkeeper. It's bound to end in extra costs, extra - wasted - time to correct entries of the other captain.
With the modern online bookkeeping programs you have to be very strict with yourself, 'cos it seems so easy just to log in to the program in a spare moment and add that payment to the system. Only for your bookkeeper to discover the bank balance (reconciled a week ago) in the system is out of sink.
Sounds like nitpicking? When you become "piggy-in-the-middle" of an email discussion between a "paid for" bookkeeper and the owner of a business (for whom you have done the books for a while) you'll know it will frustrate everyone. The owner, for thinking to reduce the time of the bookkeeper and do little bookings in the system, is frustrated for being "slapped on the wrist"; the bookkeeper is frustrated for having to unravel the accounts again and for the "piggy-in-the-middle": it's not my task any longer, so leave me out of it and get your proprieties and instructions right!
Set strict agreements for this task: who does what? If the owner does want to do some of the books make it absolutely clear to everyone what "some of it" contains and don't cross the line - ever. Accountability comes to mind - and effectively saving costs.
In those occasions I really consider myself lucky to have the "bookkeeper" bug in me ;-) I don't have to share the task with anyone and therefore I'm the only one accountable. Life can be simple.