Map Business Online Blog

Read about business mapping and how it can help your business succeed.

Getting Started with Business Mapping

First time map user? I recognized the look. You saw a business map somewhere and you realized the value a map could lend to your business. You’ve done some light research online and are a little overwhelmed by the options. You’re anxious to get cracking, creating that one map that describes your whole business. Where to begin?

Relax. You’ve got time. You’re already ahead of most competitors.

Lets Review Business Map Software Options
Maps are not new and business mapping software has been around for decades now – for at least a little more than one decade anyway. Your supplier options include mapping tools with names like Google, Apple, and Microsoft on them. There are the popular web map engines like Google Maps, Map Quest, and Yahoo and there are also Geographic Information System software products (GIS) like Esri, MapInfo (now Pitney Bowes), and Intergraph.

For most of you, the above map applications are not the best solution. If you want sales planning tools, CRM mapping supplements, sales territory management, and marketing analysis – you’re definitely on the right track. If you want to spend upwards of $5000 on a business mapping application plus hire a mapping profession to run it, go with Google Maps, Esri, or Pitney Bowes. Unbelievably advanced mapping capabilities await you. You will be thrilled with all the maps you get.

For the rest of you, read on. Most of the people I talk to everyday come to us (a standard business web mapping software) through an Internet search. And most of you have a budget for mapping software that ranges between $Free and $500.00 per user. I hear users say things like, “I just want to see my stores” or “I need the zip codes around this location.”

“I just need a map.”
You just want a map. You may want a map that lets you visualize customers, resources, competitor locations, or prospects. And you may seek to create sales territories to improve accountability in your sales force. Or perhaps you want to collect customer locations by zip code, or zip codes around a metro area. Or maybe you want to estimate the drive time areas around a restaurant.

You know you want the tool to be easy to use. And you want to be able to share your maps with others in your business. The good news is, you can have all these things, and keep the mapping expenses within your budget.

Web-based map tools, like Map Business Online and our competitors, are designed to solve your everyday business problems. These tools provide solutions to problems like these:
• My boss needs to drive accountability into our sales organization through territory management
• I want to visualize where all my competitors are doing business and the area demographics
• We need an efficient route across more than 25 customer drop off locations
• We have to email everyone on my donor list within 25 miles of this event location
• I need to plan franchises territories by zip code in 25 metro areas by Tuesday
• We need to draw concentric circles around store locations and consider demographics and consumer drive times
• I must create a list of zip codes within 50 miles of a location and include population for each zip code.

All of these uses of business mapping software are just examples. Each business uses their mapping tools in different ways. That’s what’s great about businesses – none of them are exactly the same. And that’s what’s great about mapping tools – they let you view your business in a way that matches your particular business need.

So pick an option that’s right for your business based on business complexity and budget. Ask yourself, is my business mapping challenge a complex, multifaceted Gordian knot that requires a team of experts and a decade of study, discussion and planning? Or do I just want to visualize my customers, territories, and competitors on a map? If it is the latter, click the link below (or one similar) and get started.

Www.MapBusinessOnline.com America’s fastest growing business mapping software. Let a map help you learn about your business.

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SpatialTEQ Releases Map Business Online 4.1 – Sales & Marketing Business Maps for the USA and UK

UK Demographic Sample

NEWBURYPORT, MA (December 9, 2013) – Map publisher SpatialTEQ Inc., the leader in affordable and easy-to-use business mapping software, today announced the release of Map Business Online 4.1, advanced yet affordable business maps for finance, health care, sales and marketing professionals in the U.S.A. and United Kingdom, now with drive time analysis and on-map data editing.

With the 4.1 release, Map Business Online (MBO) expands its geographic coverage area to include the United Kingdom. MBO UK coverage includes detailed street maps of the U.K., pertinent administrative district layers (county and postal layers) and key census demographic data to support business planning, territory and demographic analysis through accurate and compelling map views.

New with Map Business Online 4.1 is a powerful array of on-map data editing capabilities enabling user edits to existing MBO business data layers. Users can now import their business data, create map views, and later amend their imported data layers on Map Business Online incrementally.

The far reaching capabilities of Map Business Online 4.1 address a variety of large and small business customer requests like drive time analysis, multiple ring analysis, and a host of additional features.

New! Drive Time and Ring Marketing Analysis
Business users may now create drive time maps that display marketing areas as color-coded drive time zones. MBO 4.1 drive time provides enhanced market analysis, in depth marketing campaign assessment, and more efficient call planning. Drive time estimates are based on the most direct vehicle routes across a road network considering speed limits, turn restrictions, and one-way/two-way road statuses. MBO 4.1 provides the ability to conduct concentric ring market analysis around location points. This feature creates circular areas of varying radii around a point. Both drive times and concentric ring analysis are used to estimate customer proximity to new store locations, or to define multiple store operating areas. Drive time can also be used for public safety planning and delivery time estimates.

Ability to Edit and Update Imported Business Data
• Users may create a list of location data points within Map Business Online – No need to import a spreadsheet to create points on a map
• MBO 4.1 now allows the addition to or deletion of imported business data points within map data layers – No need to re-import updated business data
• Users may add new columns to imported data layers for improved data classification and color-coding
• MBO 4.1 allows manual assignment of symbols and colors to map points to accentuate specific data points

New! QuickBooks Integration
Map Business Online now interfaces directly with QuickBooks. QuickBooks MBO Direct Connect allows direct import of up to 10,000 QuickBooks location-based records at one time.

New! Perform Calculation Operations in the Data Window
• Users may now calculate total sums on imported data columns. This means quick summations of sales records or the ability to balance accounts across sales territories
• Map users can conduct multiply and divide operations on data as required
• In MBO 4.1 summations and calculations can be applied to demographic data
• Users may now calculate population and income totals by region within the Data Window
• Market penetration can now be displayed by region based on customer/population ratios

Additional MBO 4.1 New Features
• CRM Contact notes are now savable and exportable as CSV and Excel files
• MBO 4.1 boasts an increased map viewing area and a consolidated tool bar
• Now MBO provides easy-to-use Undo and Redo buttons
• Optional tool bar minimization provides cleaner presentation graphics
• Enhanced MapShare viewer support includes distance measurement and Data Window enhancements

Map Business Online offers accurate and up-to-date map layers, an intuitive user interface to sales and marketing professionals for market analysis, sales territory management, resource planning, and business intelligence development.

About Map Business Online
Brought to you by the creators of BusinessMAP, www.MapBusinessOnline.com has been providing sales & marketing professionals with affordable and intuitive solutions to geographic challenges since 2010. Create, edit, and share maps that reflect your business. Plan optimized multi-stop routes to drive down travel costs. No other map software solves so much for so little.

Contact: Geoffrey Ives geoffives@spatialteq.com (800) 425-9035, (207) 939-6866

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How Do I Share My Map?

Wall Map Work

I suppose there are a few map lovers who create new maps just for their own personal amusement. And treasure maps might be maps you would keep to yourself. But in my experience, maps are generally created to communicate information with an audience. Shared business map examples might be:
• Maps displaying coverage areas
• Maps accurately displaying resources and how to reach them
• Maps displaying progress made towards a goal

Business maps convey a message to a target audience. In short, business maps are for sharing with someone else.

Get Your Map Ready
Preparation of your business map is critical. I read through some quotes on preparation. I like Lincoln’s the best: “Give me six hours to chop down a tree and I will spend the first four sharpening the axe.” Map prep is probably less than six hours, but you get the point.

Make sure your map is ready for sharing. Take your time getting your map data arranged the way you want it. Import and symbolize your business data so it supports your message. Avoid map clutter. Adjust the map to reflect the demographics or highlight the administrative districts you require to make your mappoint. Sometimes you might show just one state or one county. Tweak your map legend to make sure it describes your data layers correctly. Add extra text, where appropriate, to help define or label your map. Be sure your zoom level is appropriate for the map you are sharing.

A word about copyright
Many maps utilize copyrighted materials like street data or imagery that requires legal attribution. That’s why GoogleMaps show map sources in the lower right hand corner of their maps. Usually when you see copyright notices it means that the source data is protected. Be sure to read any associated license agreements to make sure you are properly using the map data. In general, you cannot sell or create advertisements with web mapping software unless you have special permission. Translation – you must pay for that kind of use.

A map publisher has multiple ways to share their map message with their audience. Let’s take it from simple to complex.

Print Your Map
For centuries people have drawn or printed their maps and then physically shared them with an audience. Today a web map can be published and distributed by simply printing through a personal printer on to an 8-1/2 x 11 sheet of paper. For larger maps, you can print multiple sheets of paper and stitch them together into a big map. Or you can save the map file as a large format PDF image and print to a plotter. These large wall map files can be handed off to graphics business partners or vendors (think Kinko’s or Staples) for large plotter prints, up to five foot square.

Printed wall maps are used by a variety of organizations to communicate critical business information in an obvious way. Call center maps might display the location of key customers within sales territories assigned to outside representatives for sales planning. Public safety organizations use wall maps to display search & rescue results, or critical resource locations. If your map audience is usually located in an office where people walk past the same wall many times a day, a wall map can be a great way to keep people up-to-date.

Save Your Map as a Digital Image
Standard web mapping software usually allows users to save their map views as image files. Image file options often include PNG, Jpeg, or PDF, but there may be more options with your business map tool. PNG files are great for presentation graphics. Easily import PNG files into a Power Point presentation. PNG files win over Jpegs because they support transparency and they scale better. Jpegs are smaller files than PNGs and use up less storage space. Jpeg files are probably better for emailing your maps. PNG files can be compressed by services like https://tinypng.com. Large format PDF files can be used but they tend to get very large. Sometimes to transmit larger files you need to invest in a file sharing application like http://www.dropbox.com.

Image file sharing or presentation maps are great for making specific points about your business status or business plans. By combining your business data with demographic color-coding, and perhaps a specific area of focus, you can bring complex business concepts into focus, fast. Use these map views to support strategic planning or to justify a sales plan.

Share an Interactive Web Map
A very effective way to share up-to-date business information with constituents is through an interactive web map. Pick a business mapping software that lets you easily share your map as a webpage by generating a URL . Once your map is set up to your liking, create a URL and publish it.

Some web map applications keep these shared web page links private. Other web map tools allow you to publish these maps for public display. Make sure you understand how your mapping software provider controls web maps for sharing. Map providers like Google and Map Quest have business models that provide public web maps for store location display – enabling thousands of views. Others offer more confidential business map sharing. There’s a big difference in security, and the number of viewers allowed. Most shared maps offer basic querying capabilities. Editing a shared map is a more sophisticated feature and will probably require more advanced business mapping software.

“Interactive” with regard to web maps means the user can pan and zoom on the map. They can often view shared data and perform basic queries and perhaps save map views as image files.

However you choose to share your maps, you should remember, what you save is what you share. A map displays your saved information – especially a web map. If you create and save a map and share it with a constituent you must remember that linked map pages will reflect any saved changes. So if you add data and save it, your original shared map web page will reflect that new view.

So keep your treasure maps to yourself if you want but remember, sharing your business plans via a web map is its own kind of treasure trove.

www.MapBusinessOnline.com America’s fastest growing business mapping software.
Let a map help you learn about your business.

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