Here’s a Shortcut For Starting Online Business

Want to Start Online Business?For many people, it can be confusing and stressful to start online business. I know it was to me. So many options! So many experts! Who can be trusted?If you have decided to learn how to build a lasting online home business, but you’re not sure where or how to start online business, you have come to the right place! On this blog, I cover the key steps to getting started online. You’ll find tips, tricks and techniques for growing any home based business here by guiding you to start an online business the right way.What the Experts Say About How to Start Online Business!I learned these strategies for getting started in online business from renowned experts and tested them myself. That will save you time and money! I’ve already spent countless hours and a lot of money researching these techniques. I can make it easier for you to put the pieces together and save you the time of having to do all the research yourself. You actually have nothing to lose and much to gain.One key resource I recommend is the Empower Network. It is a network of internet marketers who can show you how to harness the power of the internet so you can start online business by doing what works.I share this information so I can build your trust in the hope that you will want to partner with me.You see, setting up an online home business can be simple, and it doesn’t have to involve a huge investment of capital to start. However, to avoid costly mistakes, please follow these…Here are 10 Steps to Start Online Business…Profitably.Actually just deciding to start online business and taking action by getting started is often the most difficult part. Then, selecting the best place to start when there is so much to choose from can be overwhelming.–Follow these ten simple, achievable steps:1. Prepare yourself mentally. Do you really want to run a home based business? How will you keep yourself motivated to succeed? I stay motivated by being part of the Empower Network Dream Team where I am plugged into like-minded people who share techniques for staying motivated.2. Start slowly. Focus on one thing at a time until you start getting desired results.3. Decide on a market by “discovering” a niche. What do people want? Who do you want to target? Be as specific as possible.4. Decide on a product. Be sure you understand the product. Do your homework.5. Get a product or service-related domain name.6. Host it on a reliable website hosting service.7. Create a blog or website.8. Add valuable, useful content to gain people’s respect and trust – not just lots of advertising.9. Get traffic to your blog or website. This topic and more is covered on this blog and is emphasized in the Empower Network training videos.10. Track your results. Watch your conversion rates – how many people out of 100 actually buy the product. How can you improve those rates?There’s a great deal to learn when you start online business, but don’t be overwhelmed. Reach out to me. I’ve been through it. I’m here to help.Get started! Start online business today!

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Your Business Telecommunications Inspection Checklist

How effective is your workplace’s communications equipment? In this day and age, people expect businesses to connect immediately with their clients, and even the slightest outage can set productivity back. Whether your office holds five employees, fifty, or more, it’s important to maintain your telecommunications and Internet functionality at optimal levels. You may have hired an outside firm to set you up, or maybe you plan to staff a team for daily troubleshooting. Either way, you may wish to regularly check your equipment for preventative maintenance.IT ChecklistWhat needs to be inspected to ensure quality communication? Here’s a short list to assist you in regular check-ups of your equipment.Telephones1) If you rely on a multi-line phone system for your office, make sure all the lines work. Seriously, there’s always the possibility somebody could work in his office and wonder why his line doesn’t light up. Especially if you bring new people into the fold, test lines and make sure clients can get through to anybody on staff.2) Speaking of hiring newcomers, don’t forget to make changes to your automated directory to reflect new hires and remove people no longer working at the office. Make sure everybody has recorded an away message where applicable, and that emergency numbers are directed to the correct people.3) If you are set up to have your business line forward to your mobile phone or email, test it regularly. You don’t want to miss an important call while you’re out of the office.Computer1) Update anti-virus software programs on all computers as needed. Sometimes it doesn’t take much for a rogue virus to cause problems for everybody.2) Test connections and servers periodically to ensure the Internet works quickly for everybody. There’s nothing more irritating than slow page loads when you’re trying to get work done.3) Test e-mail filters to make sure all spam messages are held at bay. Also check to see that messages you would typically whitelist aren’t being sent to your junk folders.It is always a good idea to look at your business telecommunications from the point of view of a potential client. Take the time to test phone calls and e-mails into the system, and listen for any anomalies with the voice directory or voice mail. Listen, too, for interference over the phone line and send test e-mails to yourself and note how quickly they get to your inbox. Inspect your equipment with regularity and you are less likely to have problems, particularly with clients.

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The Primary Cause Of Business Financing Frustration

Finding proper business financing is not easy at the best of times for most small and medium sized business owners and managers.There are a number of reasons that collectively explain why the business financing market can be so difficult to understand and navigate.But probably the single biggest reason is the lack of useful information about how the business financing market actually works.Business financing information and education sources predominantly come in two forms: 1) Text books; 2) Major bank advertising.If you’ve ever read through a educational finance text book or taken a business financing course, you already know how difficult it can be to apply the theories, principles, and strategies to a small or medium sized business.Our formal education system provides limited information as to how the market place works, how to plan for financing requirements, how to manage periods of growth, decline, transition, start up, etc.Sure academic books and courses can go through all these areas in great detail, but is the information practical, real world, something you can relate to and apply yourself as a manager or owner of a small or medium sized business?In most cases, the answer is a resounding NO.Most finance text books speak to big business financing dynamics that are not easily transferable to small and medium sized business scenarios.Outside of the formal education system, the next great source of business financing information is the information provided by the major banks, which they tend to make available to you by the boat load through their broad based marketing campaigns.Unfortunately, the information by itself seldom helps you determine if a particular institution would be able to provide you with financing, or what would be required to qualify for a loan.The good news is that business financing sources continue to grow in numbers as more and more lenders carve out a particular piece of the market to service.In order to take advantage of these alternatives, you need to have a solid approach in place when seeking business financing.Here’s a short list of things to consider>>> Develop a solid, ongoing, understanding of both your personal and business assets, income, and cash flow.Regardless of the business financing model, these elements will always come into play to some degree.Being able to demonstrate a solid understanding of your business financials is also an indication of your ability to manage the underlying business.>>> Monitor and manage your personal and business credit.Small and medium sized business financing is focused on both personal and business credit histories.Regular reviews of both personal and business credit reports from the major credit reporting agencies are important to avoid errors and credit practices that can severely damage your borrowing power.>>> Develop your marketing position.Yes, seeking business financing is a marketing exercise.When applying for business financing, you’re marketing your business to lending sources and they in turn are marketing their business financing programs to you.Think of the lender as a customer to better understand what they’re looking for. Then, develop a business proposal that addresses all their potential needs and concerns.>>> Research Lending SourcesThere are lots of business financing sources. But there is also lots of variation in the types of business applications each one is prepared to consider.Broad based lenders rely on credit history and net worth. As you get more specific in terms of financing application and industry, lender programs become more narrow and can be harder to locate.You need to consider things like industry, sector, and geography when looking for business financing sources.Financing consultants and business loan brokers can be an excellent source of information to aid you in this process.>>> Qualify The LenderBefore you make a formal application, find out if the lender has the programs and lending track record to meet your specific needs.Too often, the lender is doing all the qualifying.>>> Compare your optionsDepending on the scenario, there can be several financing strategies that could work for your business.Make sure you take the time to compare before making a decision. The extra time spent could save you considerable time and money in the long run.>>> Start TodayRegardless of what your business financing needs are right now, you should regularly invest time staying on top of your business financials, monitoring your credit, and researching financing sources that fit your industry and potential future requirements.When the time comes to acquire capital, your proactive efforts can make all the difference in getting the capital you need with terms and timing that are acceptable to your business.

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Five Questions to Answer the Advertising 4.0 Concept

In the last chapter, I briefly introduced the concept of Advertising 4.0. In this article, I would like to extract a few questions and answers come from my clients and me.Question 1: Which version would be after the Advertising 4.0?I told my client, “it would be version 1.0 after version 4.0, because it is a cycle from 1.0 to 4.0, I mean that represents the life cycle of a product when it has completed, there is a new product comes out to replace the old one.”Question 2: Why do some brands always be stay in the version 1.0, 2.0, or even 3.0?In fact, there are many brands will die after experienced the Advertising 1.0 and 2.0, only a few excellent brands can survive to be 3.0 and then go to be 4.0, which are full of powerful vitality that are we often say whom can survive today, tomorrow and the day after tomorrow.Only those brands that can live to version 4.0, then have the ability to share some good ideas or spirit with their customers in the market.Question 3: As a new product or brand, can we choose any of the version 2.0,3.0 or 4.0 to use in advertising creativity?This answer is also very clear. We often say that newborn calves are not afraid of tigers, but a new product or brand has various limitations. If you want to tell the customers your products are perfect, or share your proud achievements with the public, can your consumers believe it? No.There are exceptions, of course, which is that you have to be good enough to handle the creative approach of Advertising 4.0.Question 4: Is the 4.0 more advanced than 3.0, 2.0 and 1.0?Of course not. Any one of the versions is just the mark as well as the Wechat, Twitter, or App versions, in another word, the it just stands for a brand’s milestone of growth. Whether it is advanced or not depends on how do you deal with the advertising creativity.Below are four examples:

Advertising 1.0, Nongfu Mountain Spring’s slogan “We Are the Porters of Nature” emphasizing What It Is;

Advertising 2.0, Oreo has an AD that says “Twit, Lick and Bubble” emphasizing How to Eat;

Advertising 3.0, I have said JD’s AdWords “Fast, Better and Save”;

Advertising 4.0, you may head of one sport brand’s advertising says “Everything is Possible”, “Just Do It”, which is the sharing of brand spirit.

Question 5: Is the creative logic of the Advertising 4.0 applicable to all brands?The answer is No. In the autumn of 2017, I released its final scope of application. Your products, team or personal brand all can use it except policy advertising.Because the policy advertising is aimed at the goals that may be achieved in the future, but other products and services’ Advertising must emphasize what can be done at present. If your products and services can’t do it at all, it’s cheating.This is an important point, especially which should be paid attention to by whom engaged in advertising creativity. Although there is not clear distinction between the two in the current advertising textbooks, books, and even laws, the difference is really exited in life.In all, the Advertising 4.0 is not only the basic framework of advertising creativity, but also the boundary of advertising management.However, this theory and practice is under the background of the rise of Internet, Industry 4.0 and Artificial Intelligence, so I named it as Advertising 4.0. Compared with the traditional advertising creativity, I proud of it taking a step forward than the past years without internet.Although it is a small step, it is also a small big step towards advertising civilization. Of course, the content of Advertising 4.0 is more than above, as well as the elements of advertisement languages, color codes, the differences between various types of advertising, and so on.Thank you!

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The Benefits Of Online Travel Booking

The age of the internet has provided a wide range of conveniences and nowadays, people make travel plans without leaving the comfort of their homes. As long as you posses an internet connection, you are able to plan your holiday without leaving your home. In this rapidly advancing world, making online travel booking has become particularly common. It is not only making travel reservations that you can do through the online systems, but also making vacation package deals.Traveling from one place to another is now trouble free and you ought not to wait till you arrive at your destination to book your hotel. Travelers do not also have to rely on the telephones, which might not be reliable. The internet is more trustworthy since there is little chance of mixing up your reservation or forgetting to fill in reservations log, as compared to dealing with individuals. You are going to get information immediately when you make your booking online.Benefits of online travel booking
Firstly, the internet has numerous websites that claim to offer best online travel deals. Therefore, this has significantly enhanced competition among different companies offering this service, and the best part of this is that the traveler benefits from this. They are coming with better services to stay in business by providing excellent online travel deals to clients. The majority of websites have agreements with the main airlines that offer them discount and other bargains. The websites will pass a portion of the discounts to the clients, and as a result, the client gets cheaper flights when compared to travel agents who also charge their commission on the tickets.You will normally have the opportunity of comparing the costs of travel portals and numerous websites. You may also try different packages introduced by them. These include car rentals, hotel stay among others. There are some travel review websites reviewing many hotels and airlines. You may peruse these reviews prior to booking your ticket. Another main benefit of online travel booking is that you are able to book them anywhere at any time. You may check the flight’s status from your home.You do not have to remit any fees or commission to anyone. Majority of airlines have their websites today that will show you its flight’s status and available seats. The sites have also begun voice support service, and you can now contact customer care service when you have any reservation related to your bookings. Another advantage of online travel booking is that it is extremely convenient and safe than ever before. People have reported a decrease in the number of credit card frauds and scams. Credit card payment today has become one of the most secure alternatives to pay online. Therefore, you are certain of trouble free travel ahead.It is, however, advised that when making your reservations online, you must always make sure that you are dealing with a reputable site. In a majority of cases, you will be needed to pay through your credit card. In order to avoid your money and information falling into unscrupulous hands, you should only deal with the hotel’s official website. You should be cautious not to pay any money to sites that claim to be working on behalf of the hotel.

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You Don’t Need Technical Skills to Start an Online Business

A few weeks back I was giving a coaching session and was baffled to hear that the individual I was talking to had joined a web programming online course so he would have the technical skills to begin an online business.I ended up the call very frustrated.Technical skills are not vital for starting an online business. The main mistake many people do when beginning online is to believe that they need first to know how to code.Somebody is thinking of beginning an online business and… join a programming or web engineer online course.Do you see any logic here?!I now understand why web-programming courses have been flourishing the last few years on the Internet!With individuals intrigued by the opportunity that lies in having an online business, they mistakenly believe that by gaining the technical knowledge they will be able to start an online business.You can be the best online software engineer in the world and still struggle in being a successful digital entrepreneur.I get it – without a site, you can’t go far on the web.The uplifting news is that whether you want to blog or sell products online, you can have a website without having to type a single line of code.I am thinking obviously at WordPress, my favourite website builder platform.But Wix is also another great alternative for any individual who needs an online presence.Don’t let a lack of technical skills alarm you The Internet is always changing, which implies that it offers opportunities for any individual who has something valuable to offer.If you’ve ever considered starting a business, I strongly recommend going online.The Internet offers you the possibility to create a fully automated online business that will give you a passive income and flexibility in your life. You will be able to work anywhere in the world as long as you have a computer and an Internet connection.I like to call it ‘living a digital lifestyle’.Give value to your customers first The Internet tracker, Internet Live Stats, estimates the number of websites live to near one billion.With thousands of websites created everyday, it is fundamental to know how to advertise your business effectively.95% of your work in growing an online business should to be centered on how to give value – and not on learning technical skills.When an online business goes down, it is not a result of technical issues but rather the fact that the owner didn’t bring genuine value to its audience.Many people start online on their own and give up from frustration. Don’t be this one.You might have tried before and have realized that promoting a business online is no easy task.Perhaps you have focused too much on the technical side and lost track on growing the business instead. Or you didn’t know how to bring value to your customers.For sure it requires significant investment to figure out how to give genuine value to the people you want to target, but once you found the right formula, you will see your online business flourish without having you to work harder for it!

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What Is An Online Business?

When we mention the phrase “Online Business” – we are actually referring to the term utilized for any sort of business deal that comprises the sharing of information or data across the World Wide Web. This is also referred to as e-business.In this current age, research has proven that more and more businesses are being introduced online on daily basis. This is because it offers loads of benefits and leverage for new businesses and existing ones.The benefits of utilizing online marketing over that of offline (brick-and-mortar) marketing is primarily that of extensive reach, robust customer communication, target audience engagement, among others. Below are basic advantages of online business and marketing and why it is important for you to consider having your business launched on the internet.Online Business & Marketing Offers Widespread Audience PotentialIf you are just starting out a new business or have been in business for long; once you decide to expand and launch out online, you will have more opportunities to reach out to more customers. Launching your business online will offer you access to millions of prospective consumers online, locally and globally. Online marketing helps you reach these customers much easier and even at lesser fee than you would through offline business marketing. As an online marketer, you will be able to target more people by simply placing ads in diverse search engines, including those of Yahoo, Bing, Google, etc. With SEO applied, and using specific vital related business keywords, the business can gain first-page search engine ranking which is great for attracting loads of organic traffic and, as a result, more exposure to potential customers all around the world.It Provides Available InformationWith online business and marketing product details are more widely and readily available to large audience of people who might be interested in such products/services. It allows you to post service or product images, descriptions and prices on the internet via your website. Having an online business lets you reveal key advantages of your services or products over other competitors.It Offers Better TrackingWith dedicated software – online businesses can easily and better track business activities online. With this, businesses can apportion more advertising dollars to the right search engines to produce greater volume of website traffic.Online Business Provides Better Customer Engagement and ContactOnline business and marketing offers better customer engagement and contact. This is because the internet offers businesses the platform and capacity to deliver clear communication to their target audience and customers. With the potentials to generate email leads from website visitors, effective communication becomes easier and more direct, with much better benefit to enjoy higher returns on investment. This is also quite cheaper to attain than it is with offline business and marketing.

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Quick Way To Solve Lack of Bank Financing? Receivable Financing Companies

Receivable financing companies just might be the ‘ new and improved ‘ solution to your business cash flow challenge. Factoring companies are providing solutions that in many cases Canadian chartered banks are unable to provide based on their more severe credit requirements for borrowers.Why then should a business owner of financial manager be looking at a receivable financing facility? That’s a typical question posed by business owners who sit down with our firm to discuss their finance challenges.The simple reason is pretty basic – accelerated business cash flow. From the day you generate an invoice and make a sale your company is eligible for immediate cash. And the good news is that you can finance all your sales and invoices, or only partially draw on a basis that suits your needs. Most companies have their own cash flow cycle, including the seasonality of the industry they are in.We have mentioned that in spite of accounts receivable financing rates ( they are higher than bank financing ) this type of corporate finance solution has become the de facto alternative to traditional business credit lines. More so for the small and medium sized business in Canada, also know as the ‘ SME ‘ sector. But don’t be surprised when we tell you than many larger firms use a flavor of this method of finance also.Why is being ‘ cash flow positive ‘ so important in today’s biz world? Simply because competition is tougher than ever and your ability to enhance your reputation with suppliers and customers is critical. It gives your firm ‘professional visibility ‘.There are in fact other forms of short term cash flow financing including sale leasebacks, financing sr&ed tax credits, short term working capital loans based on solely your sales volume, etc. A/R factor financing collateralizes your receivables, but not other assets.Business clients will always ask if there is an ‘ upper limit ‘ to the amount that factoring companies will provide against their sales. The answer is there is no upper funding limit! Your sales revenue becomes almost an automatic ATM machine!If there is one solution that we recommend against all others for a receivable financing facility it’s a ‘ Confidential ‘ facility. It allows you to bill and collect your own receivables and achieve all the benefits of this type of solution.If you’re focusing on almost daily ‘ cash flow survival ‘ it might be time to recognize the finance solution is right in front of you – A/R finance!Seek out and speak to a trusted, credible and experienced Canadian business financing advisor with a track record of success in business finance.

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Financing the Purchase of a Car

Buying a car is usually the second biggest investment in a persons life, and financing the purchase of a car is commonplace now days, especially if the vehicle in question is of any substantial value. For most people, buying a new or used car of any worth outright for cash simply isn’t possible, and so car finance gives you the option to purchase, and ultimately own a vehicle that you may not otherwise be able to, much like how a mortgage is taken out to pay for a house.Even if you do have the savings, or means to buy a car out right, it is still sometimes a more sensible option to finance the purchase, as it allows you to release your money bit by bit in a controlled manner, instead of having all of it tied up in a vehicle, that could potentially get stolen, written off or simply depreciate in value considerably.The car finance industry is massive and if you are considering financing the purchase of a new car, there are a number of things to consider and be aware of, in order to help you get approved car finance. There are a number of different sources to apply for, and obtain car finance, with the obvious one being from the vehicle dealership itself, but you could also obtain finance from the major banks and online financial institutions and companies.Financing the purchase of a vehicle through the dealership is usually the most convenient option, however there are a few things you should be mindful of before approaching one. Financing through a dealership can often be ‘high pressure’, this is usually because the salesperson will be working on a commission basis so will be pushing for certain add ons and packages that, on the outset, may look worthwhile, but ultimately may end up costing you considerably more. Things like insurances, extended warranties, and extra options for the actual vehicle itself to push the sale value up are all examples of these commission based ad ons, and if you are financing, it can be harder to see the extra amount these things cost as they are effectively ‘hidden’ and divided over the monthly payments, or term of the loan.Obtaining car finance away from the dealership with a bank or online institution can give you more control without the pressure of the sales push, and, once approved, you then have your budget and know exactly how much you can spend, which again, gives you more control when negotiating a price with a salesperson. However, because the finance has nothing to do with the dealership, or wherever you’re actually purchasing the vehicle from, you may not get as much support and after sales care as you would if you financed the purchase through them.When applying for vehicle finance, there are a number of different factors that determine whether you get approved, and if you do, what rate you will pay. Interest rates can vary vastly and probably the most influential factor on the interest rate offered to you will be your credit history. Put simply, the better your credit rating, the lower the rate will be, and the worse it is, the higher the amount you pay back to the lender will be, due to an increased rate.Another major factor impacting on the interest rate of car finance is the term of the loan – i.e the actual time period it will be paid back over. Usually, the shorter the period, the lower the rate, and it increases correspondingly as the term period is extended. Also, if you are wanting to finance the purchase of a used car, you will probably have to pay a higher rate than if you are buying a brand new vehicle, so this is an important factor to consider before buying. Your address and geographic location can also have an influence on the interest rate offered, as can your profession, and work history etc, so when applying for car finance, be prepared to answer a number of questions based around these areas.Before going to a dealership to purchase and finance a car, it is a good idea to do some research and be aware of current rates and offers from competing companies and banks so that you are not entering into it completely blind, and can bring then up during the application process if necessary, to aid you in any negotiations.When financing the purchase of a vehicle of any substantial value, you will most likely have to pay a deposit up front, which will represent a minimum percentage of the overall value of the vehicle, and demonstrates your commitment to the lender and the dealership, as well as helping to cover any admin costs etc. It is always advisable to put down as much as you can afford on the deposit, especially if it is an expensive car, as this will help to lower the monthly payments, give you a little breathing space and control, lessen the likely hood of you going into negative equity if you want to get rid of the vehicle, and also increase the likelihood of you getting approved for the car finance in the first place.This is probably the most important thing to consider when financing the purchase of a valuable vehicle. If, at some point down the line of the agreement, you become unable to continue paying the monthly payments, or if you simply don’t want the car any longer for whatever reason, you want to either effectively be able to hand it back to the dealership without owing anything outstanding, or to sell it yourself privately without having to cover any potentially sizable negative equity before doing so, and it is your initial deposit that can help prevent this from happening in most cases.It is never a good idea to finance the purchase of a car with a very low, or even nil deposit, as it will likely result in your payments being much greater, and if you want to release or sell the car you could very well still owe the lender more than the current value of the vehicle itself, as many vehicles (especially brand new ones) can depreciate in value considerably and surprisingly quickly after the purchase, so put down as much as you can up front to cover yourself for any such eventualities.Before committing, you should ensure you are completely aware of the total financed amount as this will properly illustrate to you the amount you are ultimately paying for the car and whether it is actually worth it or not. Generally speaking, you should consider car finance as long as you can obtain a competitive interest rate and sensible terms that will allow you to comfortably afford the monthly payment, and you should also be able to comfortably put a decent deposit down up front that represents a substantial percentage of the overall value, and to finally remember that even if you can comfortably afford the deposit and monthly payments, whether or not the overall financed amount is actually representative of the actual worth of the vehicle you want to own.

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8 Reasons to Choose Commercial Library Instead of Open-Source One

Open-source software solutions, including components and libraries, are the preferred choice for many developers who need to solve some particular task or add a feature to the software being developed. Yet commercial libraries can offer more than you can think of.Open-source software (i.e. software offered under free licenses with freely accessible source code) gains popularity day by day. The reason is obvious – price drops for the end-user software make it harder to invest cash into software development beforehand. And in case of in-house activities stiffer IT budgets make programmers choose code snippets of unidentified quality.However while open-source libraries and code snippets seem to have zero initial cost of use, they start to consume resources later, during life cycle of your software. And commercial libraries can offer more than you can think of.I will focus on professionally developed commercial solutions: putting a price tag on your code piece doesn’t magically turns the code into the industry-level commercial product. Commercial library must be evaluated thoroughly to answer the question of how professional it is. Not everything with a price tag is good, that’s obvious. But if it’s commercial, chances are great that you will get the things missing in open-source offerings.Let’s review what exactly commercial software (and specifically component and class libraries for software developers) can offer, and then discuss objections and counter-objections.Documentation and samples. With modern APIs becoming increasingly complex documentation and samples allow easier and faster code reuse. You just copy the piece of code from the sample and it just works. If you need guidance, you can look into documentation to figure out where to go next or why the function could fail.Adepts of open-source software claim that the source code is the best documentation. Maybe it can work as documentation when the code itself is well-documented, with comments and well-written (with proper formatting and variable and function names). In most cases the code is not the most entertaining reading in the world though.Various studies show that presence of source code sometimes helps in diagnostics of various issues, but does not help much in use of the software simply because you don’t know what to look for.Also documentation should be written by technical writers, not programmers – programmers don’t like and don’t know how to write proper documentation. Let programmers do coding and technical writers write text.Carefully crafted APIs Any software as a complex engineering product requires design and development before it can be implemented in bare metal in code. Writing 1000 lines of code from scratch is not the same as designing those 1000 lines beforehand and then implementing the design. Proper design can turn 1000 lines of code into 200, and bad design would lead to 10K lines of code that needs to be written.When it comes to open-source libraries, many of them are developed evolutionary, i.e. something small is created, then features are added like new toys on the new year tree. And in the end you get the construct that is as fragile as a new year tree.In opposite, commercial APIs are in most cases designed with both ease of use and extensibility in mind. Often there are several levels of APIs in there, for low-level operations (where you get maximum control) and for high-level tasks (where you an get the job done quickly).Finally, open-source libraries are mainly developed by coders, while professional commercial solutions are usually designed by software architects and analysts, and only then coded by programmers.Unique featuresAs the goal of open-source developers is to deliver something and do this fast, usually only the most popular functionality in certain application domain is implemented.Developers of commercial libraries have to stand out of the crowd and implementing wider scope of functionality is one method to accomplish this task.The problem of extensibility (i.e. getting a feature that you need) can not be easily solved with open-source other than coding the feature yourself, which is almost always not an option, especially when the issue to be addressed is far from your area of expertise. With commercial software you can negotiate the extension to be made for you or to be included into the future software releases.The motivation of the commercial vendor is to keep his business running, and this is the effective motivation. For open-source developer even one-time fee you can pay him can be not sufficient to motivate the developer to extend the product (which could have been abandoned long time ago, as it frequently happens in open-source world).One more benefit of unique features offered by the component vendor is that such features let you create a USP (unique selling point) of the end-user software that you create. And when you do in-house development, those feature let you please the boss and show your attitude towards helping your colleagues and the business itself to act efficiently. In other words, those features show that you care about your user.ReliabilityOne of the most valuable assets of every business is trust of its customers. You can’t run a business for a long time when customers don’t trust you. And in software business, where relations are long-term and information flies easily, trust is a must.When the bug is encountered, it’s the best interest for the commercial vendor to fix it, or trust will be lost. And the customer needs to be assured, that should the issue arise it will be addressed in the shortest possible time.With open-source libraries, even if you submit a bug (when the developer provided you with such possibility), you usually have little hope for this bug become fixed in any foreseeable future. In opposite, bug fixing is sometimes offered by open-source developers for a fee that far exceeds the cost of the license for comparable commercial product.MaintenanceIT world is about links and connections between various actors – servers and services, client systems, mobile devices etc. With so many actors, changes and updates are frequent and you have the environment to which your software must adapt all the time. Otherwise you get compatibility problems, dissatisfied and complaining customers and finally business losses.When you use third-party components in your software, they need to be adapted as well. And as with new features, adaptation of third-party components and libraries is much easier when the author is motivated for this.Also for the running business maintenance and compatibility updates are one of the ways to inform their users that the business can be relied upon. So there exists a big chance that the required adaptation will be performed by the vendor even without your request.ExpertiseIt’s not a secret that you often don’t need a third-party code when you can write this code yourself. That is true for general-purpose code, but can you take the risk doing the same in low-level programming or neural networking, OCR or cryptography?No person is a specialist in everything, that’s why we have so many different professions and specialists that focus on some one particular question.Commercial vendors, especially those offering specialized software and components, use services of such narrow specialists to provide high-quality products. The vendor has a specialist in the application domain (eg. in OCR or networking), a specialist in software design and a specialist in programming environments and computer platforms. Cooperation between those specialists lets you get a reliable product. But in case of open-source this is a rare situation. Specialists in application domains most often prefer doing their job for money and spend free time with their families and hobbies. It’s hard (though not impossible) to find a specialist who is a good software architect and programmer at the same time.As a consequence, with commercial software you usually get a product of the higher quality (not just programming quality but quality of the application domain) than in case of open-source.AssistanceInitial development of the open-source software is often driven by curiosity, desire for publicity and other similar emotional factors. This works well for a short time, usually enough for initial development, but not for maintenance and especially not for assisting you with the product. In other words, if you need help, you need to search for it anywhere you can… or pay for it to the developers.As with bug-fixing the cost of such individual assistance services usually exceeds the cost of the license for commercial software. The reason is simple – the business of the commercial vendor is based on insurance model, where total development and support expenses are spread among all licenses sold no matter how much support you “consume” (extra support packages are sometimes offered as well, but the overall scheme is the one described). In case of open-source products the only source to compensate development and support is to charge you for everything possible.Investment in futureThe “save tomorrow for tomorrow, think about today instead” mantra has brought humanity to the edge of ecological catastrophe. Apple’s bias towards end-users (which is just a cloak for desire to sell more hardware) has hut the whole software industry badly. People are used to pay 0 to 1 dollar for software and then ask “what? Do I have to pay another $0.99 for a new version of the software title that I’ve been using for 3 years? Are you insane?”. That attitude poisons the industry and slows down innovation. For some time the race for the first places in the AppStore and Play Store will make developers invest their time and resources into software titles, but calculations and studies show, that this race is more of a lottery with a little chance for small developers to succeed.Paying for software and motivating the users to pay as well is a culture of consuming the software which will let the ISV industry, and especially small vendors, continue to innovate in future and do this with satisfactory budgets.Finally, if you don’t pay for books you read, writers will stop writing and there will be no new literature to steal to read. If nobody pays for software now, there will be no skilled vendors in 5-10 years and no good and sophisticated software. Unlike music records, software vendors can’t give software away for free and do something else for living – that’s not a viable business model. So they will simply go out of business, and the world will become full of open-source stuff, unsupported and of unknown quality.Objections* There are many open-source titles, which deliver exceptional quality. Yes, there do exist software titles (mainly end-user and server software, rarely libraries) which are open-source and which offer great value. But if you look carefully, most of them are (a) commercial products, just sponsored by big companies or institutions, (b) often free only for non-commercial use but who reads those EULAs, (c) not as great as initially seems, with internal management problems, bloated code and design and implementation flaws that lead to necessity to rewrite the titles from scratch from time to time.* Open-source is free and nothing can beat such price. Yes, the cheese in the mouse trap is also free. But unlike the mouse trap, free software is a trap for each mouse involved. There are costs involved in maintenance and bug-fixing and in migrating to other solutions later if the chosen open-source stuff suddenly stops working. And such costs can exceed the initial costs of the commercial solution in a several powers, especially if you try to rely business processes on free solutions. Even when you keep using the open-source solution, assistance either needs to be paid or you need to hope that someone in programming community helps you for free (with absolutely no guarantee).* Open-source offers source code. Yes, and so do most commercial libraries. Commercial end-user software is rarely offered with source code, that’s true, but as mentioned, there’s very little use in such source code (other than to satisfy curiosity).* Open-source is documented. Yes, with mystifying comments and unreadable and badly formatted code. Wiki and publicly maintained knowledgebases are a weak substitute to professionally written documentation.* I can ask for samples in the programming community. You can ask but this doesn’t promise you the answer, neither you get a guarantee of the quality of the provided answer. The fact that something works in one particular case doesn’t prove reliability of the solution in real-life conditions.* Open-source has as much features as commercial software. Yes, the feature list can be the same initially although this needs proof: commercial libraries have to stand out and features are a good method. In any case extensibility of open-source software is lower due to lack of the main driving force for such extensibility and often due to bad design.* Open-source software has great APIs. Yes, and shamans can sometimes offer good medical services. But it’s a better idea to go to the hospital.* I can modify the open-source product myself. Yes, and you can do the same with the source code of the commercial library.* Open-source can also deliver unique features. Yes it can, but only for some time. All easy (and inexpensive) unique features become common quite fast. And really unique features need resources to be implemented.* Open-source is better tested due to larger audience. “It’s better tested” doesn’t mean better quality. It means only more bugs in the bug tracker. And as bug fixing is generally slower in open-source than in commercial software, the latter one has a better chance to be of higher quality.* the open-source library I use worked fine for me for years. Yes, in closed environments and in simple tasks the code which has been tested once will work for years and decades. However if this code communicates or interacts with other software and network, changes of external actors can bring your business down in minutes, and when this happens, you will have very little time to react.* I have very simple tasks where no expertise is needed and where open-source works for me. A match (the one to get the light with) is a trivial thing. Or is it? The components of the match were developed for decades by numerous scientists in chemistry, biology and physics. Things you consider trivial now are the result of years and centuries of scientific research. And in software there are no trivial tasks and no trivial solutions.* I can get assistance from community, I don’t need a paid service. And you surely ask community for health care, legal services, car repair services etc. But this is not effective and is like playing with fire – one incompetent suggestion can get you into serious trouble. Professional services are a must for any activity of the modern civilization.

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