Too many programs, not enough info
September 9, 2011 2:17 PM   Subscribe

(Mac-based) small business software and integration -- don't know what exactly I'm looking for here, which makes it tough to ask questions and find solutions! Currently using a cobbled-together mix of programs and web-based software (AccountEdge, e-junkie, more), but I am wondering if I could streamline/improve/do things differently.

I have a small-but-growing publishing business that sells both printed and digital books, as well as a few other items.

The background:

* Quickbooks for Mac was a horror show, I finally gave up after upgrading to 2011 and finding it STILL was awful/unusable with PayPal. So now we've got AccountEdge.

* We just transitioned all mail/etc to a Google Apps for Business account.

* We currently sell all our products online direct from our website using e-junkie (which ties in to PayPal and Google). Other sales (wholesale, etc) are currently entered in manually.

* I'm using Filemaker Bento as a project management system to track current work on book projects that aren't yet released.

* We now use Square when selling at shows/etc and manually download those sales as CSVs/enter wherever needed.

The changes:

* I've finally found a bookkeeper who *gets* our own weird publishing niche, and so our copy of AccountEdge might finally be set up correctly and updated regularly with sales and new customers! huzzah!

* We're looking at updating our website to use a WordPress ecommerce plugin, but I assume that the sales reports will still be available as .csv files as they are with e-junkie.

* I really need to create royalty statements for our authors automatically from sales data. Bookkeeper should be able to help with this but if there's something else I'm missing, do tell.

The problems:

* I'd like to be able to use data from previous sales to drive new sales. So, for example, if Jane has bought Book A and Book B but not C, it would be nice to go in once a month and run a report that says "these are the customers who have bought Book A and B," then send them a coupon for book C. Even better: if after the report is run, the Whatever would let you put together a form email and then mail it out to the relevant customers. Repeat as needed, etc.

* I'd like to keep some kind of record of the above, so I'm not emailing people ALL the time, or repeatedly with the same kinds of things.

* I'd like this info to come out of AccountEdge or an AccountEdge plugin, or run through something third party that isn't total overkill.

* It would be cool if we could tie our new online sales system, whatever it ends up being, to our Endicia (postage) account and to AccountEdge so I can print postage for orders and mark them shipped as I go along, instead of going through a multi-step procedure to do this. AccountEdge is developing an online sales system called Enstore but it can't handle digital downloads yet and that completely knocks it out of the park for now, 65% of our sales are digital products.


I used to think maybe we needed CRM, but CRM software all seems awfully duplicative of other stuff already inside AccountEdge.

Bonus points if solutions are web-based and/or can be tied in to iPad.

How can I cut my number of applications used/etc down and make all these processes run better? Thanks!
posted by to Work & Money (2 answers total) 3 users marked this as a favorite
I'm not sure I understand everything you're asking, but I run an online business with e-junkie. I use Xero so am not familiar with AccountEdge. Random thoughts:

- For sending emails to people who bought book A, it seems like e-junkie would be able to do that. You would send emails to the "buyer group" who bought book A (details). If you need something more sophisticated, AWeber might work. I'm not sure if it's integrated with e-junkie. My business is mostly a membership site, and the WordPress plugin that manages the site sends new members' emails to my database at AWeber.

- I wonder if you can handle royalties as if they're affiliate sales, again using e-junkie. For example, a sale of author G's work would get tracked as a sale by affiliate AuthorG, for which e-junkie creates reports and even, if I remember right, automates payment.
posted by ceiba at 10:38 AM on September 10, 2011

Thanks, ceiba, I hadn't run across AWeber yet...

To the best of my knowledge, and I've been using it for several years now, e-junkie can't break the royalties down as complexly as we'd need (there's a different split percentage for print and digital books, for example).
posted by at 11:09 AM on September 12, 2011

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