26 Sep 2013

Auphonic - How You Turn Good Into Great

Feedback from Episode One of the BookPals Business Sanity podcast has been fantastic.

Not only have we received emails and calls saying that the ideas behind this podcast are great, but there have already been over 200 visits to the podcast page in the four days that it has been available.

Thank you for taking time to listen to the first episode and we give you a commitment that future episodes will provide you with hints and tips that will not only make your life just that little bit easier, but we hope will assist you in creating more profit for your business.

One aspect of the podcast that we want to improve on in future episodes is the consistency of the sound level.

If you listen carefully to the first episode you will hear three very distinct variations in the sound level - one at the beginning of the podcast, which changes when the "body" of the podcast starts and changes again towards the end of the podcast.

The reasons for these variations is quite simple and gives you an insight into how sensitive room acoustics can be - the podcast was done in three separate "takes", with the introduction taking place late at night, with the office door closed, the body of the podcast taking place in the middle of the day, with the office door open and the end of the podcast taking place also during the daytime, but this time with the office door closed.

As you can hear when you listen to the podcast, a simple thing like the time of day and whether or not a door is open or closed is all it takes to change the noise levels significantly.

The solution to this problem came in the form of a podcast by James Schramko of SuperFastBusiness.com.

In this podcast, James Schramko interviews a gentleman by the name of Georg Holzmann from Auphonic.com.

Auphonic is software developed in Austria that you run audio through and it "smooths" out the different sound levels.

Best of all, Auphonic is free, so if you want to produce high quality audio for your website and/or podcasts, you can use Auphonic at no cost to turn good presentations into great presentations.

We are currently working on the second podcast and have already done two separate "takes" which again had different sound levels. This time, we ran them through Auphonic which "smoothed" out the sound levels wonderfully, so once the second episode has been completed, we will definitely be running the whole thing through Auphonic again to improve the quality of the presentation.

On top of the quality of the software, we must say that the team at Auphonic are most gracious - you will notice their logo at the start of this post - we sent the team at Auphonic an email asking if it was ok to include their logo in this post and Georg Holzmann replied personally saying that this was not a problem at all.

Thank you Georg for your quick and gracious response.

Podcasts are a great way to promote your business, but like any advertising, if it is of poor quality, it can have a negative effect on what potential customers think about you and your services, so if you are going to use audio to promote your business, make sure you use tools like Auphonic to turn it from a "Good" presentation into "GREAT" presentation.

18 Sep 2013

We've Just Been Registered In iTunes!!!!

The BookPals Business Sanity podcast just had its registration in iTunes approved - Yaah!!!!!!

Now you don't have to worry about checking to see when new episodes are available - simply go over to iTunes and subscribe to our podcast and that's it.

Let us know what you think.

12 Sep 2013

People Power - We Need Your Opinion

We cannot decide on a cover for the BookPals Business Sanity Podcast that will be launching shortly, so we thought that in the true spirit of community we will ask for your opinion.

After all, when BookPals launches, not only will you have access to the easiest bookkeeping software you have ever seen, but as a BookPals user, you will also be part of the BookPals Community, where we will help each other with our businesses.

We have narrowed our choices for the podcast cover down to two finalists -


Which one do you think we should use for the podcast cover?

To make things easier for you, we have created a poll on Facebook and we would really appreciate it if you would give us your opinion.

If it is easier for you, just Contact Us and let us know what you think.

Check Out Our Pinterest Boards!!

Pinterest is a funny "animal".

When BookPals first started we were not sure if marketing on Pinterest would work for us because what pictures can you use to promote bookkeeping?

We were confident that we would even put ourselves to sleep if we pinned pictures of general ledgers and profit and loss reports, so what were we to do?!!!

Then we started thinking about the BookPals project itself and not simply marketing it on Pinterest.

What are we trying to achieve with BookPals and how do pictures explain this?

It was then that it all made sense!!

The reason why we have started BookPals is because we know the frustration many business owners have with traditional bookkeeping software.

All this "debit, credit and journal stuff" is like a foreign language to many business owners and we are determined to provide BookPals users with a bookkeeping package that is not only really easy to use, but where you don't have to be a "Pseudo-Accountant" to use it.

Using BookPals will allow you to free up time to do all those things in life that are really important to you and it was then that Pinterest suddenly made sense - create Pinterest Boards that show you the things you will be able to do once you free up time by using BookPals!!!

Travel, cooking, sports and even sourcing more business (for all you die hard business owners!!) - these are all things that you will have more time for once you start using BookPals - and there are heaps of beautiful pictures on these types of activities!!

Check out our Pinterest Boards and see what you think - and if you have ideas for other Pinterest Boards that we could include, please let us know.

11 Sep 2013

Podcasting - Online Marketing On Steroids!!!

Well, it has been an interesting 24 hours!!

If you have been following our blog you would know that we "tweaked" our Podcasts Page yesterday and the results were instantaneous!!

Overnight we had a huge increase in visitors to our site.

We usually have around the 5-7 visits a day to our website (be nice - we have only just started!!!) but within 12 hours of announcing the new Podcasts Page there were 32 new visits!!

It just goes to show that more and more people are interested in listening to audio content these days.

Lets face it - it is not often that you get "free time" to learn things when you run your own business

If I can use myself as an example for a moment, the only "free time" I get these days is while driving between appointments, so I find that listening to podcasts is a great way to get answers to questions I may have on running and promoting BookPals.

That's a big part of the reason why we have included a download option on all our podcasts - this way, if you don't have the time to listen to them while sitting in front of your computer, you can download them to listen to them on your phone or tablet device during your commute.

We hope that our podcasts and the ability to either listen to them at your computer, or the ability to download them to listen to them while commuting, assists in making your life just that little bit easier.

While on the subject of podcasts, if you think that doing podcasts might help your business grow, check out Dan Lyons' Podcast Like A Radio DJ course.

This was the course I did earlier this year and I cannot recommend it highly enough.

Dan's course is inexpensive and easy to understand and if you are serious about "getting your name out there" so that more people can learn about your business, I cannot think of a better way to do so.

Check out Dan's course and let us know what you think.

10 Sep 2013

Not Happy Jan!!!

We had a BookPals development meeting today and the general consensus was that access to the podcasts had to be changed.

We have said from the start of the BookPals project that everything we do will be focussed towards making your life just that little bit easier, so having to click on the BookPals Podcasts Page, then download the podcast that best suits you and then listen to it is just too much of a hassle.

It took us the whole day to come up with a better solution, but check out our Podcasts Page now and let us know what you think.

Now you have immediate access to all our podcasts with one quick click - simply "turn on the player" that suits you best and find out how BookPals is going to make your life just that little bit easier.

There is a small matter of not being able to view the "players" with certain tablet devices (apparently it is some sort of "Flash" thing), so if a "player" does not display when you check out the Podcasts Page on your tablet device, you will see that there are links where you can still download the podcasts (sorry, but there is nothing we can do about this - if we can find a solution, it will be fixed immediately).

Let us know what you think about the new Podcasts Page.

Time For A LinkedIn Company Page

Ok, now it is time to get a LinkedIn Company Page up and running.

Everyone involved in BookPals has their own LinkedIn page, but we thought it really important to let you know about BookPals the product and not us (we're just not that exciting!!), so that you get to hear how the BookPals development comes together.

Check out our LinkedIn Company Page and let us know what you think.

9 Sep 2013

Are You Ready To Hear About BookPals?

Ok, the BookPals introduction series of podcasts are ready for you to listen to now.

Not only will you be able to listen to how BookPals will make your life easier, but we have produced separate podcasts for Small Business Owners, Accountants, Bookkeepers and Corporate Business so that you can pick the one that suits you best and don't have to listen to a presentation that does not meet your individual requirements.

All presentations are short and snappy because we know that you are busy, so listen to the most appropriate podcast for you and if you have any further questions, Contact Us and we will be happy to explain things further.

8 Sep 2013

Newsflash!! The Power Of Community

Yesterday, I saw an example of just how powerful communities can be and this example has reinforced our commitment to providing you with not only a simple to use bookkeeping system in BookPals, but also a strong community of likeminded business owners, where you will be able to get answers to questions you may have on bookkeeping in particular and your business in general.

Last night I attended the birthday party of my old weight training coach.

It was a surprise party and there was a great turnout - over 100 people came to celebrate the 70th birthday of a quiet guy who has never liked the "limelight" but has had a profound impact on weightlifting in South Australia, both as a competitor himself in the 1970's and 1980's and as a coach after his competition days were over.

The people that turned out last night could not have been a bigger cross section of the community, with ages ranging from children who were not yet teenagers right to adults in their mid to late 70's, business people, labourers, tradespeople, nurses, ambulance officers, retirees - the list goes on and on.

Many of these people had not seen each other in over 10 years and the only common thread for all of them was that they were all a part of this weight training community at some time.

Ironically, the party itself was at the clubrooms of a football team that was playing in a final that same night and while our party was taking place upstairs, there were hundreds of football fans downstairs cheering for their team - just another example of the community at work.

It was a wonderful example of how powerful communities can be formed from people from all walks of life - as long as they have a common goal.

Happy birthday Courtney - a wonderful night.

4 Sep 2013

Time To Get The Podcast Started

How do you prefer to learn?

Do you learn by seeing things, do you learn by hearing things, or do you learn by reading things?

We are all different and because of this, we process information in different ways.

As part of our commitment to making your life just that little bit easier, we will provide you with our information via video, audio and text, so not only will you be able to read about what is happening in the BookPals community, but you will also be able to watch videos and listen to podcasts to help you with your business.

As a start, you will notice that we now have a link to our podcasts.

We are just in the process of finishing the first podcast that talks about BookPals and what it is all about, so watch this space and we'll let you know as soon as they are ready for you to listen to.

In the meantime, if you have any ideas on the kind of information you would like us to provide to you, simply post a comment on our social media sites.

3 Sep 2013

First Up - Social Media

Ok, while we are working on the BookPals software development we would love it if you stayed in contact with us via our social media channels.

After all, if you have any questions about BookPals and how it is going to make your life easier, how can you do so if there is no way to interact with us?
Come on over to our Facebook, Twitter and Google Plus pages, say hi and ask us anything you like about BookPals.

We are also on Pinterest to give you ideas on things you can do when you free up time by using BookPals, so check out our Pinterest boards - there are some beautiful images there - just like the one above that was taken by one of our founding members who has a passion for restoring historical buildings.

OK - Where Do We Start?

Have you ever tried getting a new software project off the ground?

If you have, you will know what we mean when we say "where do you start?!!!"

When you first come up with an idea it seems so easy - you know what the problem is, you know what needs to be done to create software that will fix the problem and it seems like such a simple thing to just "sit down, list what needs to be done, get a coder to do it and off you go"!!!

Nothing could be more further from the truth!!

The most amusing (and at times frustrating) part is working out where to actually start.

It seems so simple, until you actually get the project underway.

This is where the prioritising comes in - what is more important - the software development, the webpage design, sourcing funding, sourcing coders - the list goes on and on!!

Now, after many months of working through these priorities, we are well on the way to providing you with both software that we are sure will make your life easier and a community of members that will be there to help you and your business.

Join us on the journey by following our blog and registering with us to be updated as the BookPals launch gets closer - if nothing else, it may give you ideas on how to launch your own online product.

The Blog Begins!!!

As the BookPals launch gets closer we thought it a good idea to provide you with updates on how things are going.

There are so many aspects of creating new software systems that we thought you might be interested in following the process, just in case you are thinking about doing something similar in the future.

Stay tuned, as things are starting to get exciting!!