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Can’t Afford Microsoft? Meet Apache OpenOffice

Small Business Trends - Tue, 2014-04-22 05:30

For businesses on a shoestring budget, having to fork out cash for Microsoft Office is an additional expense that many could do without. Fortunately, there are some inexpensive alternatives to Microsoft office out there – and one just celebrated a major accomplishment.

Once there was a project called OpenOffice.org. But the owner of that project, Oracle, donated the OpenOffice source code to Apache in 2011. From that project, Apache OpenOffice was born. A couple of days ago, Apache announced OpenOffice had been downloaded an impressive 100 million times in the past two years.


In an official post on The Apache Foundation Software Blog, Andrea Pescetti, Vice President of Apache OpenOffice explained:

“I’m extremely pleased to see us reach this major milestone in less than two years. This is a testament to our community volunteers: The hundreds of talented individuals who make Apache OpenOffice what it is, who write the code, test for bugs, translate the user interface, write documentation, answer user questions and manage our servers. We remain committed to offering the successful combination of reliability and innovation that so many users appreciate.”

Being open-source has allowed other versions of the software to be created. One of these is LibreOffice. A lot of people, including Linux users, prefer it over Apache OpenOffice. But you can’t argue with Apache OpenOffice’s 100 million downloads. So this version is clearly the leader among open sourced options.

There are quite a few benefits in the open software’s favor. First is the price. Apache OpenOffice is free compared with the price for the latest version of Microsoft Office.

Second, you can open and edit all Microsoft Office documents with OpenOffice. There are no compatibility problems. In fact, the only problem you might encounter is a missing font from Microsoft. It’s one for which OpenOffice will provide a simple replacement. But apart from that, documents open and are edited smoothly.

Third, Apache OpenOffice has taken a page from Firefox’s and Chrome’s playbooks. It provides a huge gallery of extensions to choose from.

There are also document templates. This greatly extends the basic functionality of the software. It gives it features that turn it into a productivity powerhouse. From foreign language dictionaries to PDF converters to eBook converters, the extension gallery will probably have what you are looking for.

So when you are looking for your next online office suite of software or even your first as a startup on a tight budget, remember. There are cheaper alternatives to Microsoft Office and lower cost or even free does not necessarily imply lower quality, if you know what to look for.

The post Can’t Afford Microsoft? Meet Apache OpenOffice appeared first on Small Business Trends.

Hardeea s may open eatery, drive-thru on Route 211

Topix - Tue, 2014-04-22 03:49

Hardee's, a chain known for biscuits and "thickburgers," is the newest proposed addition to the fast-food restaurants on Route 211.

Categories: Today's Food News

As USDA Nutrition Standards Approach, Fresh Healthy Vending...

PR Web - Tue, 2014-04-22 03:43

The company’s franchisees report high product sales and an overwhelmingly positive response from students, parents and faculty in wake of the Smart Snacks in School Inititiave

(PRWeb April 16, 2014)

Read the full story at http://www.prweb.com/releases/2014/04/prweb11768529.htm

Turks and Caicos Island Real Estate Broker Recently Interviewed in Nob...

PR Web - Tue, 2014-04-22 03:43

Blair MacPherson, co-owner and broker of RE/MAX Real Estate Group Turks and Caicos Islands was recently featured in an article discussing second home tax breaks and purchasing perks. In the article he...

(PRWeb April 16, 2014)

Read the full story at http://www.prweb.com/releases/luxuryhomesturksandcaicos/caribbeanislandrealestate/prweb11743044.htm

Upcoming Book to Profile 42 Inspirational Stories of Struggle and...

PR Web - Tue, 2014-04-22 02:33

Express Employment Professionals releases a book entitled "Portraits of Hope," a collection of 42 stories of people who have overcome great obstacles to succeed in America.

(PRWeb April 16, 2014)

Read the full story at http://www.prweb.com/releases/2014/04/prweb11751825.htm

AlphaStaff Appoints New Regional Vice President Southeast Business...

PR Web - Tue, 2014-04-22 02:33

National PEO Taps Former Software and PEO Sales Executive to Lead Southeast Sales Team

(PRWeb April 16, 2014)

Read the full story at http://www.prweb.com/releases/HumanResources/JulioChez/prweb11757160.htm

Maui Wowi Hawaiian Sets Up Shop in Coney Island

PR Web - Tue, 2014-04-22 02:33

The fruit smoothie retailer opens its newest location at Luna Park, a New York amusement park in historic Coney Island.

(PRWeb April 16, 2014)

Read the full story at http://www.prweb.com/releases/maui-wowi-hawaiian/coney-island-new-york/prweb11767960.htm

Walt Cagley Insurance Becomes WCI, Expanding Services for the...

PR Web - Tue, 2014-04-22 02:33

Walter C. Cagley Insurance, nationally renowned for insuring the collateral recovery industry, has changed its name to Westgate Commercial Insurance and will be popularly known as WCI.

(PRWeb April 16, 2014)

Read the full story at http://www.prweb.com/releases/2014/04/prweb11762042.htm

Beef Jerky Outlet Franchise Opens New Store in Galveston, Texas

PR Web - Tue, 2014-04-22 02:33

Beef Jerky Outlet Franchise has opened a new store in Galveston, Texas. Beef Jerky Outlet Franchise is a unique national franchise specializing in all kinds of beef jerky from original to blazing hot...

(PRWeb April 16, 2014)

Read the full story at http://www.prweb.com/releases/2014/04/prweb11762284.htm

Vanguard Cleaning Systems® Of Northern New Jersey Celebrates 10th...

PR Web - Tue, 2014-04-22 02:33

Vanguard Cleaning Systems® of Northern New Jersey celebrated its 10th anniversary. The Master franchise ownership team of Gary & Janet Gressler currently operate multiple Vanguard®...

(PRWeb April 16, 2014)

Read the full story at http://www.prweb.com/releases/2014/04/prweb11766971.htm

The Hills Market Downtown Debuts Local Offerings at New Scoop Shop,...

PR Web - Tue, 2014-04-22 02:33

The Hills Market Downtown is celebrating its first anniversary by adding a new Scoop Shop and Coffee Bar to its Café and Bakery. Beginning April 18, the Scoop Shop will serve up flavors of...

(PRWeb April 16, 2014)

Read the full story at http://www.prweb.com/releases/2014/04/prweb11768306.htm

Golf dominance, premium push intensify battle in compact segment

AutoNews - Tue, 2014-04-22 01:01
Most volume automakers face double trouble in the crucial compact segment. They need to find a way to win sales from the dominant Volkswagen Golf while also defending against premium brands aggressively pushing into the segment.
Categories: Latest News

Dodge turns 100, Honda ad turns tragic

AutoNews - Tue, 2014-04-22 01:01
Dodge is celebrating its 100th anniversary with a campaign for the Challenger featuring individuals born circa-World War I.
Categories: Latest News

William Keenan Named Chairman and CEO of Pango Financial

PR Web - Tue, 2014-04-22 00:13

The industry veteran brings decades-long leadership experience with top financial institutions to the newly launched funding solutions company.

(PRWeb April 16, 2014)

Read the full story at http://www.prweb.com/releases/Pango_Financial/William_Keenan/prweb11771254.htm

Restaurant push for late night speakers

Topix - Mon, 2014-04-21 23:42

A fast food restaurant in Dubbo is seeking permission to use speakers during a trial of a 24-hour drive through window.

Categories: Today's Food News

Starting a Home Business in 2014 – New Guide Offers Ideas and Advice...

PR Web - Mon, 2014-04-21 23:03

A newly featured article of LoanLove.com takes a look at some of the best home business ideas and gives some advice for those who are seeking the right home-based business to start this year.

(PRWeb April 16, 2014)

Read the full story at http://www.prweb.com/releases/empowered-ezine/starting-a-home-business/prweb11772320.htm

Arby's Nears completion on Keith Street. Banner photo, Howard Pierce

Topix - Mon, 2014-04-21 19:42

A rebuild for a local fast food restaurant was among the four commercial building permits approved by the city of Cleveland in March.

Categories: Today's Food News

Are You Your Authentic Self or Fictional Self at Work?

Small Business Trends - Mon, 2014-04-21 19:00

To quote Dr. Phil:

“Are you living a life that is more in tune with your “authentic” self (who you were created to be) or your “fictional” self (who the world has told you to be)?”

Gee, I never thought I would write a post where I would quote Dr. Phil!

Are you who you appear to be? Let me explain.

Many of us who have worked for 20 or more years have changed our behaviors there to fit in, to be a more attractive employee, to get paid more, to be more valuable. We have morphed our behaviors to fit in.

I am a certified Birkman consultant. The Birkman assessment will tell you in nine different behaviors both how you appear and how you want to be treated. We are usually treated the way we behave. When the way we behave is markedly different than the way we want to be treated – issues arise. Below are some examples.

Closet Introvert

My MBTI (Myers-Briggs Type Indicator) score is ENTJ. The E is for extrovert, or I behave like an extrovert. I can work a room at a networking event like a pro. I am an excellent presenter. The issue is, I am a closet introvert. When I finish a presentation or leave a networking event, I am exhausted. I am very good at behaving like an extrovert, but it exhausts me.

I have learned that if I am going to teach a class all day, I need to spend the evening alone or with only a few close friends. I am not an extrovert. I really want to be left alone.

Most people do not know that about me. I know I am not the only one who masks his authentic self in this way.

Stealth Competitor

A stealth competitor is someone who appears to be all for the common good. They are very nice people. However, they feel if they do good work, it should be noticed and they should be rewarded.

The kicker is they never have to ask to be rewarded.

Unfortunately, this is very common in the western world. Many of us were trained by our parents and society that if we do good work, it will be noticed and we will get rewarded. We do not need to ask.

Stealth competitors rarely feel they are valued at work.

Sound familiar? Stealth competitors are very common in certain work environments. By the way, there is a very good book written on this topic, “Know Your Value” by Mia Brzezinski.

Structured Anarchist

I have had quite a few clients who are structured anarchists. They appear to be very orderly. They function well in a rules oriented environment. The issue is they have to create all of the rules.

These individuals want to create the rules. They are great at creating order out of chaos. If they enter a new environment, they need the freedom to change the rules to their suit.

Sound familiar? There are a lot of you out there.

In each of these cases, the way people behave does not show their authentic self. They often are not perceived for who they are and, therefore, are not treated the way they want to be treated. The personal brand you create is not completely authentic.

How about you; are you the real you at work? What does it say about your personal brand?

Authentic Self Photo via Shutterstock

The post Are You Your Authentic Self or Fictional Self at Work? appeared first on Small Business Trends.

Arby's one step closer to Woodland Park location

Topix - Mon, 2014-04-21 18:35

There's just one more hurdle to cross before an Arby's fast-food restaurant will likely come to Woodland Park.

Categories: Today's Food News

How to Evaluate Market Demand of Your Products Before Selling Them

Small Business Trends - Mon, 2014-04-21 17:30

You can never predict the future, but at least you can estimate what can happen. Maybe you have implemented different ideas to find out the products currently trending, but how do you go about evaluating and determining whether potential exists to build a profitable business with those products?

If there was a single person searching for a product last year and 10 people searching for it this year, the trend is increasing. But is the market still significant to enter as a business?

You need to think like your consumers and zero in on their motivation to buy. In otherwords, you need to figure out if there’s a significant demand for your products. Here’s how to determine that.

How to Evaluate Market Demand Google Trends

This tool searches for a product idea and views the search volume for that keyword throughout the past few years. Visit Google Trends and search the product name you’d like to sell. This will give you an idea as to whether or not the demand for your product will grow or stay flat.

As I searched for iPhone, this is the history of the search that I got:

Google Keyword Planner

This is a way to get an idea of your product demand in just a few minutes. Google Keyword Planner helps you to search for keywords related to your products. You will also find out how many monthly searches are performed for different related keywords.

If Google indicates that there are thousands of searches done for keywords or a page is saturated with high competitive keywords related to your products, then you can assume that the demand is quite high. Hence, you may want to take the next step for your business.

To use this tool, you need to have a Google Adwords account, which you can sign up for free. Simply login to the Adword account, select tools from the menu at the top, and then select the keyword planner. On the next screen, click ‘search for new keyword and ad group ideas:’

Google Adword Campaign

I thought of selling ebook that I was planning to write. However, I wanted to test the demand for an ebook before spending hours on it. I wanted to know whether there was any demand for my book and created a sales page for it, including a buy button. I used Google Adwords and ran PPC (pay per click) ads and direct traffic to the sales page.

Instead of collecting the payment whenever somebody tried to buy the book, Adwords collected their email address and informed them that due to server problems, the books are currently not available.

The trick actually helped me know the percentage of people who visited the sales page and were genuinely interested in buying the book. This tells you, which keywords your organic search strategy should target.

Pre-Orders

An alternative idea is to take payment for the product before you are ready to ship it. Give the buyer an estimated date for when it will be ready. Taking pre-orders can help:

  • Create a buzz about your products, especially if you provide special offers.
  • Give you an idea of how much inventory is required when you take orders and start shipping.
Directly Search Keywords in Google

Type your target keyword in Google and view the results that come up. Are they from different companies? If there is no single company dominating the search results with multiple listings, then you have a competitive advantage. Additionally, using an SEO (search engine optimization) tool will also tell you the authority of the domains that are ranking.

I used the keyword ‘iPhone deals’ in Google to check the type of content that is currently occupying the top position. The objective was to get an idea about what I would be competing against:

This is one way you can analyze your competition. Check out a few specific critetia:

  • Do your competitors have a strong social media following?
  • What are your competitior’s product reviews?
  • How long have your competitors been in the business?
Trusting the Customer’s Intention

Market research often questions potential customers and whether or not they aim to buy a product. Often, customers say that they are interested in buying the product, but fail to purchase it.

In particular, market researcher has found a positive correlation between the intention and actual purchase behavior. They found that those who indicate that they are most likely to purchase a product do have a higher probability of purchasing it than those who said they won’t.

However, the most important finding is that from a new product perspective, intention studies work far better for existing products than new ones. This is because, consumers are familiar with existing products and are also likely to have an understanding of using them. So, their specified intentions are more firmly based.

Game Theory and Conjoint Analysis

There’s more you can do now than just passively hoping that customers will buy your product. Why don’t you use forcasting methods at the design stage to increase your product’s chance of success?

The combination of game theory and conjoint analysis helps to predict how customer preference for a product depends on its different attributes such as packaging, pricing, and so on. This combined approach enabled the manufacturer to design the package and price of the product in ways to maximize the chance of its acceptance by consumers.

Validate Location

It is important to know who your customers are. If you notice, sometimes products and trends can be very specific to geographical location. You need to find out whether or not your target audience and those who are searching for the products live in areas where you’re able to sell them.

Research Photo via Shutterstock

The post How to Evaluate Market Demand of Your Products Before Selling Them appeared first on Small Business Trends.