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Tools for Your Business

Tools for Your Business

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Published by chepimanca

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Published by: chepimanca on Apr 11, 2010
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05/12/2010

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ffice 2000 issuch a hugepackage thatyou mayoverlook features andeven entire compo-nents. But if you’vebeen looking for someeasy and inexpensivehelp for your business,t h e re’s one componentyou shouldn’t ignore ,even though Micro s o f titself seems ratheri n d i ff e rent about it.The Office 2000 SmallBusiness Tools suiteo ffers four highly use-ful business-orientedcomponents, and if you purchased anyedition of Office 2000 (except the Stan-d a rd edition), you already have it. Yo uinstall the suite from the Publisher CD;use the Custom Setup option to see whaty o u re getting.Why do we say that Microsoft seemsi n d i ff e rent? Quite simply, this suite getsvery little press, and you have to dig fair-ly deeply inside the MS Web site to learnanything about it. It’s not even listed onthe Microsoft Office Programs page atw ww.m icros o f t. c om / off ice / p ro duct s . h tm . True, it’s listed on the Office 2000 C Dc o v e r, but who reads that? The goodnews is that whether or not MS p u s h e sit, this suite is well worth knowing about.The other goodnews is that it’s rightt h e re waiting for youto put it to work.The Small BusinessTools suite consistsof four components:Business Planner(BP), Small BusinessCustomer Manager(SBCM), D i rect MailManager (DMM) a n dSmall BusinessFinancial Manager(SBFM). We’ll look 
 JANUARY TUTOR
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Microsoft hasn’t hyped it, but Office 2000’s Small Business Tools suite can be a big help to your small business. Its four main components – Business Planner, Small Business Customer Manager,Direct Mail Managerand Small Business Financial Manager – will simplify yourmanagement responsibilities and streamline your operations.
for YOUR BUSINESS
O
Figure 1: The openingscreen for the BusinessPlanner module gives youaccess to all thesubmodules but doesn’treflect the scope of this package. Each submodulebegins with a TOC, and each link from the TOC yields amore detailed gateway to particular resources.
 
OFFICE 2000
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 JANUARY TUTOR
at each in turn to show how they can helpyou manage your business.
BUSINESS PLANNER
If you’re getting started in business ortrying to guide your existing business ind i ff e rent directions, Business Plannercould very well provide a lot of help.BP is a program that combines a data-base of business information with a setof wizards and templates to help youdevelop a business plan and a market-ing strategy. As Figure 1 shows, BP o ff e r sdetailed articles and tips about plan-ning, operations, legal issues, financ-ing and marketing. Clicking in any of these areas takes you to a table of con-tents (TOC) that lets you dig further intothe content.To help you pre p a re your plan or strat-egy, BP steps you through a set of inter-views; you fill in the blanks for somedetailed questions. At any point, you canmove from the wizard to the included arti-cles or the linked online re s o u rces. Onceeverything is complete, you can selectf rom a variety of templates to format andadd to your document. The entire pro c e s stakes a long time, but business plans andmarketing strategies should. What B Psucceeds at most is teaching new entre-p reneurs about the issues surro u n d i n gbusiness launches. BP is also very adeptat keeping you moving through thep rocess.
 SMALL BUSINESS CUSTOMERM A N AG E R
The purpose of SBCM is to help you withcustomer analysis and communication.You import your customer contact infor-mation from Outlook and any data onyour customers from your accountingp rogram. You can use S B C Ms views of your data to track customer activity andreport it by email to whomever you wish.SBCM integrates with other Office pro-grams to send mail merge letters fro mWo rd to selected customers and perf o rmother tasks. The program also ties in wellwith Publisher, the desktop publishingpackage included with several versionsof Office 2000.The core of SBCM is its data views.T h e re are four main categories of views:Customers, Products, Sales and Pro f-itability. All are accessible from the Vi e wmenu (as you’d expect) or from a sep-arate Views toolbar. Simply open yourdatabase and select the view you wantand SBCM displays it in the main win-dow.These views let you sort your data ina wide variety of useful ways. For exam-ples, you can sortyour customers bysales volume oro rder volume, or bythe date they lastplaced an ord e r.P roducts can besorted by quantityand by the date theyw e re last ord e re d ,and sales aresortable by sales-person, re g i o n ,p roduct and cus-t o m e r. You can alsoget a look at yourp rofitability byp roduct, salesper-son or customer( F i g u re 2). There arem o re options, butthese give you agood idea of what’savailable here.The program also gives you a buttoncalled Hot views. These are designed forf requent use (and hence easy access),and they include lists of your top cus-tomers, your top products and your topsalespeople.S BCMs Activity Tracker (Figure 3) keepstrack of the activities you’ve perf o rm e dwithin SBCM and within Outlook foreach specific customer. In this sense, thep rogram is similar to Outlooks Journ a l ,except that Journal keeps track of all
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Figure 2: The Profitability views let you see at a glance how profitable your company has been.Figure 3: Activity Tracker gives you a quick look at which activities need tobe completed for a given customer.Figure 4: The Direct Mail Manager wizard scansyour hard drive for Outlook folders and presentsthe Contacts folder for opening in DMM.

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