Often times I get locked into a “silo” mind set, forgetting that there are thousands of great products on the market that do not come from that same top 10 (or put your own number in their) companies such as Microsoft, Intuit, SAP and others that we hear about all the time. These companies invest millions in advertising, marketing and public relations programs to get the word out about their products.
One of the companies choosing NOT to compete head on with the larger “marquee” name companies is Avanquest USA at http://www.avanquestusa.com. Avanquest sells a comprehensive line of products under the line of “My Software” to thousands of small business all over the nation. Many of the solutions offered are a MUST for every business and are much cheaper than something from Microsoft or another large software vendor.
For example, recently I wrote about Intuit’s new Quickbooks Simple Start (see the review here). Avanquest suggested I take a look at Book Keeper 2005 which offers more features than Simple Start for a lot less money (Book Keeper 2005 is only $30). While Intuit’s Simple Start does not included inventory, purchase orders and payroll, Avanquest USA’s Book Keeper 2005 offers all of this. You can pay $20 per year extra to get annual tax table updates.
Product Manager Ryan Smith said that Book Keeper 2005 may not have the fancy bells and whistles (ie slick interface) as Simple Start, but has everything a small business, ideally less than 10 employees, needs to effectively run their business.
Ryan’s not looking over his shoulder at his much larger competitors but is happy to serve the smaller, often “mom & pop” small businesses who want a simple solution that they can use right out of the box and is quite economical.
Some of Avanquest USA’s other products include:
In-A-Flash: This product lets small business owners create and insert eye-catching Flash animation into their web sites, banner ads and PowerPoint presentations. Start-up wizards help those with no Flash experience and an animation library filled with sales/marketing templates saves small business time and effort.
My Deluxe Invoice & Estimates: This product creates estimates, invoices, statements, purchase orders and manage inventory levels of your products. This product is the top seller for the MySoftware line.
My Mail List Deluxe: This product is perfect for organizing names, addresses and other contact information. Print out custom labels, postcards, and envelopes with logos and graphics. Send personalized emails to specific contacts or the entire email list with one click, it also imports data from popular databases.
My Postage Rate Saver, Silver, Gold and Update editions: This subscription based service can keep a business owner up to date on the latest regulations, presorting guidelines, postal forms and rates. With the Gold version of the subscription, a business owner can even sort the mail according to the route traveled by each individual mail carrier.
Database Professional and My Database: The database software lets a business owner organize the information in the format she needs, quickly creating customized reports, address lists, envelopes, rolodex cards and more.
Checksoft Home & Business, Checksoft Premium and Checksoft Personal: Depending on the product, a business owner can quickly print his own bank-approved checks and balance a checkbook or easily managing his payables and receivables. He can also create custom invoices, estimates, statements, purchase orders and manage inventory. The product line works with QuickenÆ, MicrosoftÆ Money and QuickBooksÆ for one step printing.
My Labels Premium: With this product line, one can design and print custom professional labels in minutes. The entrepreneur can quickly add addresses, text, images and company logo and save time by importing or opening data from other databases. My Labels Premium lets one create labels for all their business needs.
My Professional Business Cards: This product helps create and print professional business cards in minutes. With thousands of background designs, cards can be customized with imported logos and graphics or by adding one of the 10,000 images included.
Design & Print Business Edition: With over 1,800 professionally designed layouts, 2.6 million images & photos and 1,000 fonts, creating great marketing materials can be easy. A home office owner can create brochures, newsletters, stationary sets, business cards, postcards & more.
These are among the 30 different products in the MySoftware line, which sells more than 1 million units every year.