Jan 30

Bootstrapping

Posted by BMT Micro

Reading Time: 4 minutes

Bootstrapping in marketing means relying entirely on one’s own efforts and resources. That doesn’t mean that it is free or that the success of the business is left to chance. Bootstrapping, as with any other marketing venture, comes with a set of tools that can help you further your business out of very little, or with little expense. Bootstrapping generally means relying on what you, the business owner or developer of a product, have at your own disposal, such as money available to you through personal income or savings, making use of low or reduced operating costs, made possible in part by your own “blood, sweat, and tears”. Most startups begin this way, either because they cannot do anything else until other financing options and/or partnerships can be established, or because it offers an unmatched type of independence: you are entirely your own master and completely in control of your own product(s) and business, from start to finish. There are advantages and disadvantages to such an approach, of course, but however you weigh the pros and the cons, the risks and the potential rewards, there are factors that can help you and make it easier for you to build your business, even when you decide to “bootstrap” and go at it, more or less, alone.

With bootstrapping, any step that you take to promote your product is a type of marketing. Typical bootstrap marketing tools include

  • Social Media. Most businesses these days have a presence on social media and most businesses use their social media accounts for marketing purposes. This makes absolutely sense, if you are short on resources and choosing the DIY bootstrapping approach: signing up on social media is, first of all, free. It also gives you the potential to connect with hundreds, thousands (or even millions) of potential customers. The important thing to remember here is that just opening up a Facebook page or a Twitter account, is not going to bring you business. You have to use the social media sites to interact with customers, you have to engage them, and share lots of useful content that is relevant to what you are trying to sell and the people who would be likely to buy that from you. There needs to be consistency and relevance in your postings.
  • Email Marketing, e.g. by setting up an e-mail list to which followers can subscribe to receive updates about your business and/or the product that you are trying to sell. Emails establish relationships with your followers or your target audience. Again, relevance and consistency is key: make sure to keep the emails engaging and effective and people will respond to your email marketing efforts positively. As we have stated before in the space of this blog, getting people to subscribe is one thing; getting them to stay – and not unsubscribe – is another. Your efforts need to be on both fronts.
  • Public Relations & Networking: connect with local media, blogs, professional circles. Participate in events, hand out business cards, offer bonuses and freebies to local charities and/or fun events. The more you get your name out there, the bigger the chance of a return on these connections. If your business does not stand to benefit from local events – say you have an Internet business or an online game you want to sell and are seeking a more global market – you can still try to connect with blogs or influential people over social media: follow an important blogger or reporter on Twitter, for instance, and respond to his/her tweets. Join a LinkedIn group where you can find people from within the same field. Networking with other people can help further your business, because their connections can become your connections, and your connections can become customers.

Not all marketing efforts are equally beneficial: you will have to see and do what works for you and the product that you are trying to sell. Bootstrap marketing is a lot about having a specific mindset and using the resources that you have around you: it may seem daunting at first, but recognize that you have a lot more around you than you think and you can do a whole lot with the things and skills that you do have. Get to know your customers, define your target audience, use social media and email subscription lists to connect with them, give of yourself and of your time to network and establish relations with influential people from your field. Go local, go global, wherever your type of business or product will lead you.

And if going at it alone still seems daunting to you and you are not sure on how to go about connecting with customers or others from within your field, signing up with a business like BMT Micro can help you to overcome these challenges. A globally recognized e-commerce business like BMT Micro can serve as the connector that you need to bring potential customers to your product(s). BMT Micro can promote your business, sell your product, and handle all customer-vendor transactions, for a fee that is quite minimal compared to what an advanced marketing campaign may cost. Bootstrapping is not just for startups, but for small, established businesses as well, who are mindful of their resources at any stage of their development. Email us at vendors@bmtmicro.com to find out more how BMT Micro can help you! You can also read more about bootstrapping marketing tips and tricks, such as social media and email marketing, through our other blog posts, right here at blog.bmtmicro.com!

Jan 23

Product Profile: PMView Pro

Posted by BMT Micro

Reading Time: 3 minutes

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PMView Pro is an award-winning graphics viewer and converter, which has earned Software Industry recognition and accolades such as “Best software”, “Reader’s Choice Awards Winner”, “Top Software in Quality, Stability, Performance”, and a “Windows Download” 5 star rating, just to name a few.

PMView Pro was established in 2003 as a continuation to its predecessors, PMView (est. 1992) and PMView 2000. The original product, PMView, came out initially as a graphics viewer and converter for the OS/2 operating system; however, a very popular Windows version soon followed. PMView Pro is still available under both systems, with a trial version that is yours for free for an evaluation period of 31 days. If at the end of this evaluation period, you would like to continue using PMView, you are required to purchase a user license, which can be conveniently done through PMView’s order page at www.pmview.com, which links to BMT Micro’s secure ordering systems!

In addition to the software itself, when you order PMView Pro, you may also obtain a very handy tutorial guide – for free – that will take you through the installation and setup procedures, step by step. Although PMView Pro is already very easy to use, with this guide you are given additional”tips and tricks” on how to make use of your program and how to get into its little “gems” and various functions. In addition to the handy tutorial, there is a also a reference manual, with plenty of opportunities for support, in the event that you should require additional assistance.

A fine sample of good programming”. PMView Pro may have received numerous accolades from Industry sources, but the best recognition comes from… the end-users, or the customers who have bought PMView Pro and used it for their image viewing and converting needs. The above mentioned comment is from one such customer.

  • PMView Pro is robust, fast, and configurable. It allows you to view, convert, and edit bitmapped graphics. It loads your images with an amazing speed – no dragging around waiting for a picture to load line by line.
  • PMView supports saving and loading of more than 40 different file formats, including JPEG, GIF, PNG, TIFF and many more. PMView Pro offers broader and faster support for these formats than many of its competitors do, since all of its code for format handling was written “in-house”, by the developer himself. Third party code or the use of libraries could limit the graphics viewing solution by the very frames or characteristics of these third party sources. PMView Pro offers here an optimized solution that works together for a faster, easier-to-use product.
  • PMView Pro doesn’t annoy its users with tiny, ever-appearing “popup messages” or error messages, that may or may not help you in what you want to do. Within its programming, there are default settings for most actions, but also – since we don’t all want the same thing – a great variety of options that let you configure the software exactly the way you like it! You can scan images, you can view them one-by-one or you can make use of PMView Pro’s slideshow facility: just drag and drop the images that you want! There is a slideshow controller that lets you control your slideshow as you’re watching.
  • If you can’t remember the name of the file that you want to load, what could be more tedious than scrolling through maybe hundreds if not thousands of pictures trying to find the right one? With PMView Pro’s unique and automatic thumbnailing facility, no such thing! Just go to the “File Open” window and the various files will be presented to you as “mini-images”, so that you can find the one you’re looking for in a very fast and convenient way.
  • You can scan pictures using PMView Pro’s TWAIN interface and convert your scanned picture into exactly what you want! There are options for monochrome pictures, embossing, color reversals, zooming, resizing, transforming in nearly every way possible. And if, for some reason, your picture hasn’t turned out too good, PMView Pro has at its disposal various image recovery techniques, which can help you get the best out of your picture.
  • Another unique thing about PMView Pro is its ability to capture areas of the screen that are outside the desktop. You can also do multipage prints of your image.

PMView Pro is easy to use and a fun tool for working on images. PMView Pro has stood the test of time against its competitors and is still a “go-to” product for fast and robust image handling.

Jan 16
Reading Time: 4 minutes

Customer satisfaction is key. This is true for any business, no matter where you are or what kind of services or products it is that you are offering. You want your customers to be satisfied and to come back to you with their repeat business and possible recommendations of your business to other customers just like them. Customers come with high expectations of seeing their needs met. They bring their questions and concerns to the customer service department and they want an answer; they need help. If they do not receive help or if their questions are ignored, chances are they will take their business elsewhere. Chances are they will not recommend you to other potential customers looking for the same type of product or service that you are selling. A great customer service experience should be the norm – but as we know, this is not always the case. As has been said before in the space of this blog, BMT Micro is dedicated to providing exceptional customer service, where we treat everyone with respect,

  • by keeping a respectful tone in all our conversations with customers:
  • by referring to our customers by name, thus showing that to us, a customer is not just a purchase number or an order ID, but a real, living, breathing individual, just like ourselves, who deserves the acknowledgment of their person;
  • by treating each customer’s question individually and personally, instead of offering a canned “one size fits all” type of message, which sometimes shows to be all too common in customer interactions online;
  • by responding in a timely fashion to emails and phone messages;
  • by attempting, through the means available to us, to answer our customers’ questions and fulfill their needs;
  • by valuing and welcoming continuous feedback on our customer service.

How can we help?
Many of our vendors’ customers contact us through the many means of communication that we have available for their convenience; whether it be by phone, email or over social media. BMT Micro’s representatives are knowledgeable and ready to assist with all matters related to ordering, paying, and in some regards, to downloading of specific products or the activation/deactivation of codes, passwords, etc. Whether you are a customer of a specific product or a vendor looking for a payment processor to help with your sales, the expectation here at BMT Micro is, that when you contact us, you will be met by an upbeat, polite, helpful and knowledgeable customer or vendor service representative, who will great you by name and assist you with the specific needs that you are contacting us about. How can we help? What is your need and when do you need it? BMT Micro’s office hours are 9-4 EST Monday-Friday, but customer service representatives will respond to emails and authorize queued orders on weekends and off-hours, as time and circumstances allow. Even though we aim for a prompt answer to your question, please be aware that you may find yourself in Australia – or in a completely different time zone – and we are in the US; therefore, an answer to your inquiry may not be immediate. However, we hear you, we have received your message, and we will answer it as soon as possible. Your questions and comments are opportunities for us to further our service and further our business towards new possibilities.

Working together.
Customer service, as any other type of interaction between humans, is a partnership and a collaboration. When a customer contacts a business with a problem or a question, it is the customer’s responsibility to provide that business, or its customer service branch, with the information necessary to respond to that problem or question. For BMT Micro, this would mean a customer providing for instance the order ID number, the email or name under which the order was made, payment method(s), address information, etc; something that can help us help you. Customer and customer service must work together. If a customer contacts customer service with incomplete information, the process may take longer since we will have to dig deeper to find the root of the question asked. The responsibility of customer service is to provide you with the aid you need and to make sure that your purchase experience through our company is a positive one. Information is key – but patience is also needed.

It is understandable that any customer, who has spent time and money on ordering a product, may be upset or disappointed if a problem arises with that purchase or the product. At times, this is reflected within our customer service communications: customers may be angry because they haven’t been sent their download link immediately. Please understand that many factors may play a role in whatever circumstance you are facing with your order. In most cases, customers receive their orders or a response from customer service within mere minutes; other times, it may take longer, e.g. if the problem or question demands further investigation or communication with a third party participant (such as a bank or the developer of a product). BMT Micro will make sure to keep you aware of any and all progress and we will be in constant communication with you to ensure that you are notified of any resolution to the matter that may come our way. Some things simply take a little bit more time.

An optimal customer service experience is a collaboration between, on the one hand, a dedicated, knowledgeable staff, who is ready to assist and who does so in a timely and courteous fashion, respecting all, treating all as valued individuals with individualized needs and wants, and, on the other hand, a customer ready to provide the customer service staff with the information needed for the completion of the customer service interaction and process. As for BMT Micro, which interacts not only with customers of products, but also customers of our payment processing and order fulfillment services (vendors and developers of products), the collaboration is twofold, where each agent plays their own specific part.

Our customer service department is available by phone at +1 910 792 9100 and by email at cservice@bmtmicro.com.

Jan 2
Reading Time: 3 minutes

When you are out shopping for Christmas and you purchase a product for a family member or even yourself, you are not just purchasing a product, but the service and support from the company where you purchased it from as well. Providing service and customer support are things that most companies do, but some more poorly than others. If you read articles on the internet, you have most likely read about disastrous customer service experiences. Companies that have excellent customer service take time to train staff and provide the resources for them to execute their jobs properly. Time and money goes into Customer Service. Here at BMT Micro, we strive for the best possible customer service experience for both our Vendors and their customers. It goes beyond just customer service though. When you invest and purchase from a company, it is important to consider everything you receive with the purchase.

BMT may be more expensive at first glance, but that is because we do a lot more than just process payments. You receive a lot of support, services, and tools to aid in making your business a success. There are a number of things BMT handles for you that can save you time and money. As previously mentioned, our customer service staff strives to provide the best customer service possible. With 20 years in the business, BMT Micro’s customer service representatives are knowledgeable and highly trained to assist with any need or issue you may have. We go above and beyond for our vendors and their customers. For example, we process purchase orders, obtain quotes for larger purchases, we take orders by phone, and assist customers who may experience difficulty with their payment methods. This can sometimes go beyond just placing an order over the phone. We also get very general questions about various credit cards, payments methods, or how to find a download link or activation code. While we do not necessarily offer technical support of individual products, BMT is an essential link between vendors and customers even in this area.

BMT Micro handles your customers from the point they land on the checkout page through the point of them receiving their purchase, and sometimes beyond. Your customers are able to call BMT at any time during our business hours and personally speak to someone at our headquarters. We do not solely communicate via e-mail or redirect calls to a calling center. The whole BMT Micro team is dedicated to providing a personal approach. We have a designated department for vendors and affiliates as well to assist with everything that goes into setting up and creating a successful selling point, as well as managing and increasing sales.

BMT Micro also handles all security issues for you. BMT adheres to all Payment Card Industry Data Security Standards so that you can concentrate on your products and customers, knowing their information is safe and secure. Our advanced, proprietary fraud detection system is state of the art and effective in preventing almost all fraudulent order attempts. Our system is designed to keep you and your customers safe, without the need for intrusive phone calls to your customers.

BMT Micro’s proprietary shopping cart system is versatile and robust. No need to purchase an expensive shopping cart system. Localization is handled automatically for your customer’s convenience as well. We can create custom shopping carts to match your website for a cleaner transition. In addition to the shopping cart, all BMT Micro servers are fully secured and host all shopping carts using the highest encryption standards available. With BMT Micro, there is no need to worry about the expense of a secure certificate. Another expense you will save on is that all sales are processed through BMT Micro’s merchant accounts. You are not required to have your own merchant account or even a PayPal account. BMT Micro handles it all!

BMT provides more than just the items discussed. You can learn more about what we offer at www.bmtmicro.com! There are a lot of things to consider when choosing a payment processor and we have mentioned a lot of the additional services you receive when you sign up with BMT Micro. Feel free to reach out to us if you have any questions.

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