Don’t Try to Solve All Business Problems with One Business Map

One of the most basic yet far-reaching features of a MapBusinessOnline subscription is the ability to save more than one map. A subscriber to MapBusinessOnline Standard can save up to 200 maps. A Pro subscriber can save 500 maps and a Team subscriber up to 400 maps.  Additionally, a user can always delete saved maps, which restores the used map’s slot in the saved map allowance.

You might ask, why is this important? How can a cloud-based business mapping subscription allowing a map user to save up to 200 maps be ‘far-reaching?’ The 200-map allotment per subscription means nobody has to worry about solving all business problems with one map.

There’s no need to be miserly about your map usage.

You smirk. I can see your smile behind your laptop screen. But, the fact of the matter is, many people come to us with a laundry list of issues they want to solve with their business mapping software, and they often expect to solve all these issues with their first business map.

Just last week, a guy called, he’s been in business for years, but he had only recently realized his company could use online business mapping software. He wanted a map that would:

While MapBusinessOnline is more than capable of helping to achieve all of these business mapping goals, I advised the eager mapping beaver to slow down and begin his mapping journey one map at a time.

You do not have to solve all problems with one map.

Start with a Customer Map

Start with a map showing all customer locations.  A good customer location map, seen for the first time, can provide a new perspective on your company’s business. A customer map is a simple import of an address list. In minutes you’ll be looking at your business arena geographically.

MapBusinessOnline Used to Create a Customer Map

Another MapBusinessOnline Create Customer Map

Customer address lists are easy to come by. And please (PLEASE) do not import a ZIP code-only address list. Always build the full address for your customer list to provide more accuracy.  Too many people think that ZIP code lists are good enough. They are not.

Real addresses will spread the points around the map’s area of interest. By using an actual address, you’ll get a realistic view of your geographic customer base. While a ZIP code-only spreadsheet, once imported, will stack multiple customers at ZIP code center points all across your business area of interest. Take the time to get those customer address records corrected in your system.

People work for you.  Make them do it. The data is out there online, and you know it.  At any rate, if you have a CRM, your customer had better be stored in the CRM by full address. Your customer records are stored this way, right? Right?

With a customer map created, start thinking about territories.  Read some of our previous articles about territory creation. Try importing a list of territories by ZIP code or county.  Study your business’s overall coverage area. Think about growth, resources, and employee locations and how they may impact your business.

Save Your Map as a Template

With a customer map in front of you, perhaps on top of territories, you’ve got a good sense of your business’s area of operation. You’ve also got a sense of where you’re next area of growth will be. Save this map as a My Map Template in MapBusinessOnline. Template maps serve multiple purposes:

  • Templates protect your map work. Maps, like spreadsheets and word documents, can be over-written and lost. Protect your investment in time.
  • Templates serve as a jumping-off point for other maps. Your first business map may or may not end up being the map template that saved New York, but through this process, you’ll come to recognize the specific maps that are critical to your business. Many MapBusinessOnline customers use Map Templates once a quarter or once a year to create working maps for their business processes.
  • Map templates might be a place to store maps that are critical legal documents, safe from editing. These legal maps serve as base-line definitions of franchisee maps, real estate deals, and other business matters that could end up in court someday.

Business Hint: If maps are sometimes critical to your business’s legal disputes, make sure you purchase a business mapping license for a person with a map-keepers dedicated role. Keep their license up-to-date and make sure they get proper training on map use, map storage, and online security.

So, as you can see, business maps cover a lot of ground. (Get it?) There’s no need to solve every problem with one business map. Use your first maps as a learning experience. Gradually work your way from customer map to sales territory map and beyond – into strategic maps, competitor maps, and maps that can help find all the good chocolate in the region.

Two-hundred maps takes you a long way. In MapBusinessOnline, you can always delete maps to regain map allowances, and if you really need to, you can contact us to purchase more map storage.

So the key take-ways from this blog are:

  • Don’t try to solve all problems with one map
  • Use map templates
  • Make sure your customer address records are stored as complete addresses
  • I’m not sure what saved New York

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MapBusinessOnline access has officially transitioned from Web Browser (Adobe Flash Player) access to the Map App download access.

  • Please download the Map App from the website – https://www.mapbusinessonline.com/App-Download.aspx.
  • After installing the Map App, the MapBusinessOnline launch button will be in the Windows’ Start Menu or Mac Application folder. Find the MapBusinessOnline folder in the Start Menu scrollbar. Click the folder’s dropdown arrow and choose the MapBusinessOnline option. You can drag the icon to the taskbar for a quick launch button.
  • All saved maps will be available through your Map Library Folder, the second button in from the left on the Master Toolbar. (Green File Folder icon.)

Map App access to MapBusinessOnline.com provides enhanced features and a better user experience.

The Map App includes the new Map Viewer app for free non-subscriber map sharing.

Value-Added Resellers – Offer the tool to your customers as a reseller. Make money on training and consulting. Contact us with further interest in reselling MapBusinessOnline.

Find out why over 25,000 business users log into www.MapBusinessOnline.com for their business mapping software and advanced sales territory mapping solution. The best replacement for Microsoft MapPoint happens to be the most affordable.

Please read customer reviews or review us at Capterra, or g2crowd

Contact: Geoffrey Ives geoffives@spatialteq.com or Jason Henderson jhenderson@spatialteq.com

Posted in Business Mapping Software blog post, How to instruction | Tagged , , , | Leave a comment

3 Key Aspects of Sales Territory Definition – Accountability, Sharing Data, & Franchising

Defining a territory has become somewhat routine for business mapping software users. It’s easy to simply run a polygon search tool across an area of ZIP codes and grab a selection of ZIP codes and call that a territory.

Similarly, it’s easy to import a sales rep’s list of ZIP codes and define that as a territory. But is sales territory creation really that cut and dry?

It isn’t. Territory management is more complicated than selecting a batch of counties and calling it ‘good.’ There are many considerations in today’s complex business world. Here are three aspects of sales territory definition that repeatedly occur for MapBusinessOnline customers:

  1. Defining sales accountability – Who owns what?
  2. Sharing opportunities and information
  3. Franchise Mapping

A territory manager should consider these three elements as they define their sales territory alignment and assignment details.

Read About Business Expansion Using MapBusinessOnline Territory Planning

Accountability – Who Owns What?

Whether your field-staff are salespeople or support technicians, the assignment of sales territories is a process designed to designate accountability by area. For the most part, if your field reps are assigned an area (ZIP code, county, or other), that area is their responsibility. While shared accountability can occur, it should be the exception.

Shared accountability adds confusion to the marketplace and detracts from a salesperson’s ability to achieve goals. This is largely due to human nature. Salespeople are motivated by earnings, and territory sharing dilutes earnings causing resentment and possibly obsession with the other guy’s accounts and activities. Their focus shifts from earnings to backward glances.

Territory maps provide visual lines of demarcation that define an area of responsibility. If a clearly defined area proves to be more than one salesperson can handle, it may be time to create a new territory. Alternatively, it could be time to find a new salesperson. But that decision is for a sales manager to ponder and not for us to kibitz over.

Regardless of how you measure sales success, keeping territories clearly defined helps focus sales efforts on results. Salespeople are motivated by commission, not by sharing commission.

Legacy account possession is one of the most common reasons for overlapping sales. The old-school workhorse sales guy ‘has a relationship with the papermill’s buyer, and we’re not going to disrupt that for the sake of accountability.’ Really? Instead, you’ll assign overlapping sales territories that will pin the old workhouse against the aggressive young upstart and create several years of animosity until someone retires, has an incident, or there’s a murder. Good luck with that.

Change is good. Smart businesspeople survive in the workplace because they adjust as changes occur. Push past legacy relationships and clearly define areas of accountability for each sales representative. Keep commission structures fair. Don’t solve personal problems by territory assignment. Use territory assignments to determine the organization’s one-to-five-year strategic plan. Your competitors will be busy organizing theirs.

Read about the 6 Top Considerations When Creating a Business Map

Map-based territory assignment logic defines where traveling sales reps should focus their time. Those same territories suggest where inside support services should focus their energy.

Sharing Inquiries by Territory

Incoming service chats or phone calls may or may not require face-to-face sales follow-up. However, it’s vital that incoming calls from customers or prospects are shared with the people responsible for those areas. Shared business maps for inside people should replicate the territory segmentation of the outside sales force. Likewise, inside technical support (as opposed to sales support), staff should view the same maps as traveling technicians.

A routine inquiry about a particular electrical fixture might feel like no-big-deal to a helpful inside salesperson. Still, the outside salesperson may be aware of an upcoming project that involves those specific fixtures. Make sure those territory maps are shared across the organization so any inquiry can be logged and directed to the correct salesperson – who is, after all, held accountable for growing sales in that district. Why would you hold a person accountable for sales by region and not make them aware of all activity in the region?

It’s easy to share sales territory maps across a team’s network. Searches by ZIP code and address accommodate fast identification of territory assignments. These shared sales territory maps can also display nearby resource locations, construction sites, repair stations, cell towers – you name it.

Empowered with shared sales territory maps, a sales team can create more effective solutions for customer care. Inquiries can be tracked and ranked by success and failure. Picture a quarterly review of all prospect inquiries ranked by sales value and color-coded by success or failure. The most successful results can then be reviewed for optimized sales growth while failing opportunities become demonstrated dead ends to avoid.

Franchise Territory Maps

Franchise maps are a special-case sales territory map. Franchise businesses often make sales territory maps the cornerstone of their business model. It’s a natural fit. Franchise areas or territories are sold to and owned by franchisees. Territory areas make up a critical component of the sold franchise. Other components might be customers, intellectual property, product access, or service rights. These territories represent the authorized area where a franchisee can do business.

Franchise territories are usually sized based on a critical demographic or measurable business metrics by area. Example metrics would be population by ZIP code, disposable income by ZIP code, product expenditures by county, or a sales metric like cost-of-goods sold in a ZIP code.

ZIP codes are the most applied map alignment layer for franchise maps. Analysis and planning by ZIP codes are convenient and relatable for franchisee managers. In populated urban areas, ZIP code coverage areas are generally the first franchises sold for new franchising businesses.

Counties come in second for franchise map alignment layering. Counties may be more appropriate for more rural franchise selling, for businesses like homecare agencies that must travel far and wide. Such agencies might sell ZIP code franchises in urban areas and County franchises in outlying areas.

Shared franchise maps can display and track available and sold franchise areas. Team subscriptions can be handy for shared map Franchise analysis. A map administrator creates the franchise territory map and color-codes based on the franchise model requirement:

  • Red and green franchise ZIP code areas of one or more ZIP codes display where franchises are still available or sold
  • Franchise maps include critical demographic or business metrics that define the most lucrative areas
  • Market analysis maps help investigate and plan business expansion for both franchisers and future franchisees

Franchise mapping is a bit of a no-brainer. One of our happy customers once exclaimed, “Maps sell franchises!” And we agree.

Dreaming up new territory schemes for an existing business or a new venture can be both intimidating and exhilarating. But for those wary of stepping off the ledge, you will generally be choosing between ZIP codes and counties for your territory alignment layer.

Think about who will use the territory assignments to gauge metrics, estimate commissions, or communicate opportunities. Avoid overlapping areas and include all the relevant business location and demographic data you can get your hands on. Start there, and your business territory map will follow in short order.

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MapBusinessOnline access has officially transitioned from Web Browser (Adobe Flash Player) access to the Map App download access.

  • Please download the Map App from the website – https://www.mapbusinessonline.com/App-Download.aspx.
  • After installing the Map App, the MapBusinessOnline launch button will be in the Windows’ Start Menu or Mac Application folder. Find the MapBusinessOnline folder in the Start Menu scrollbar. Click the folder’s dropdown arrow and choose the MapBusinessOnline option. You can drag the icon to the taskbar for a quick launch button.
  • All saved maps will be available through your Map Library Folder, the second button in from the left on the Master Toolbar. (Green File Folder icon.)

Map App access to MapBusinessOnline.com provides enhanced features and a better user experience.

The Map App includes the new Map Viewer app for free non-subscriber map sharing.

Value-Added Resellers – Offer the tool to your customers as a reseller. Make money on training and consulting. Contact us with further interest in reselling MapBusinessOnline.

Find out why over 25,000 business users log into www.MapBusinessOnline.com for their business mapping software and advanced sales territory mapping solution. The best replacement for Microsoft MapPoint happens to be the most affordable.

Please read customer reviews or review us at Capterra, or g2crowd

Contact: Geoffrey Ives geoffives@spatialteq.com or Jason Henderson jhenderson@spatialteq.com

Posted in Business Mapping Software blog post, Sales and marketing | Tagged , , | Leave a comment

Measurement Tools in MapBusinessOnline

MapBusinessOnline is a business map designed to support organizations with map visualizations that depict aspects of their work, such as:

  • ATM and vending machine placements
  • Billboard placements
  • Construction site placements
  • Customer locations
  • Delivery and pick-up ranges
  • Infrastructure maps
  • Insurance coverage areas
  • Investment zones
  • Significant field resources – such as fuel stops, hospitals, repair locations
  • Market analysis areas
  • Retail store market areas
  • Sales territories
  • Service coverage areas
  • Staff placements in the field

Measuring on Your Map

The above list represents some real examples of business mapping applications. I could go on. I’m always surprised by the variety of applications our user-base finds for MapBusinessOnline.

Measuring can sometimes be necessary for a basic business map. In business mapping, there is more than one way to measure. In fact, in MapBusinessOnline, there are three or four ways that measure up.

MapBusinessOnline has Business Listings – Read More Here

The Line Measure Tool

MapBusinessOnline includes the ability to draw a line that measures distances. The Distance Measure Tool is located on the Master Toolbar under Drawing Tools, left middle of the toolbar.

By clicking on the Measure tool, a user activates the line measure function; the button will highlight in Yellow. Once engaged, the cursor is placed on the map, held down, and dragged in the desired direction. The line will display a distance in miles or kilometers. Turns are inserted by lifting your cursor and then continuing in a new direction.

To measure curves, repeat the mouse click as you drag and make the turn.  Turning can take a little practice.

Go ahead and try drawing a measure tool line on your business map.  It’s easy to delete the line and start again. Get a sense of how the measure distance tool works.

Settings for feet or line measurement units are stored in Map and Data. Click the Map Options button on the short Map and Data toolbar. In the panel that opens, you’ll find a section in the middle for Units of Measure. Adjust, as necessary, between miles and kilometers.

Once your line is complete and accepted, there is a properties button with the Measure Distance tool. Select the measured distance line to activate the Properties Gear. Click the Properties button to adjust the following:

  • Select from line-segments options (line only, arrow, double arrow)
  • Adjust the width of line-segments
  • Adjust the color of lines
  • Control the text labels associated with any line

When using standard Draw Tools (button to the left of the Distance tool), the straight and curved lines display distances as drawn. But those distance measures disappear after the drawn object is complete, so the resultant map object is clean.

The distance measure tool is excellent for defining distances on a map.  A free form Draw Tool is a good solution for a quick measure of a curved line. The Distance Measure Tool is useful for posting the distance of that curved line on the map.

Routing as a Measure Tool

MapBusinessOnline includes an optimized routing tool. A user can specify stops one-by-one through the Address Bar or import a list of address stops for one-button route creation in the Data Window.  Up to 150 stops are allowed per route, so the Data Window views of imported address lists may need to be filtered to enable the one-step Add to Route button on the Data Window toolbar. Read more about optimized routing.

But, once you’ve selected yours stops and processed a route, you will find, in the lower left of the Route presentation, the total distance and time duration expected for the queried journey. This calculation is like a Drive Time query, except it is focused on the specific stops used to calculate that particular route. Read more about Drive Time queries.

Driving time and driving distance queries are route measurements in all directions. In the Draw Tools, a user selects the Drive Time draw tool option, places a point on the map and, inputs a desired driving time or distance. The query results show the resultant polygon for that distance or time in all  directions.

Driving times or distances can be used to define delivery Zones.

One of my favorite map visualizations

Speaking of driving time and driving distance queries, MapBusinessOnline Pro can calculate multiple distance measurements as an array between two datasets. These are advanced queries but could be considered measurement tools. To explore this further, read more about generate multiple driving time and driving distance results using MapBusinessOnline Pro – here.

Measuring Square Miles

Another convenient measuring tool is the ability to quickly derive the total area in square miles or square kilometers associated with any map object. A map object could be a ZIP code, a polygon, a circle, or any other shape drawn on the map.

To measure the area in square miles or square kilometers of a map object:

  1. Draw and/or select the map object on the map
  2. When selected, the map object is highlighted, and the mini-toolbar displays. Click the Summary Button on the mini-toolbar
  3. Scroll down through the entire demographic library of categories. At the bottom, you will see two options for area calculations – one for Square miles and one for Square Kilometers. Choose your preference
  4. The map object area will display in a data report which, you can export or choose to display on the map

The area’s Square Mile text box also has a properties edit gear. You can choose the size, color, orientation, and italics for the text.

Totaling Data Columns

Another measurement option within MapBusinessOnline is the ability to total a column of data. In the Data Window view, any data column containing numeric values may be totaled. The Total Function is at the bottom of the Data Window. It reflects the sum of all values in a column across the geographic subject.

For instance, if a territory dataset had included a demographic category for Population 2020, the user, could move their cursor to the bottom of the Data Window and, in the box labeled Total, dropdown to the column of interest and select it.  The total population for the territory would show in the Total display.

MapBusinessOnline Pro let’s you add driving distances to an imported address list. You could use this Totaling option in the Data Window to total the entire column of distances. There could be value in seeing, for example, the total value of driven miles by a clinician team.

The ability to measure distance and area is useful for estimating project costs, work hours, and developing capacity plans. Just another way in which online business mapping tools help us all to get the job done.

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MapBusinessOnline access has officially transitioned from Web Browser (Adobe Flash Player) access to the Map App download access.

  • Please download the Map App from the website – https://www.mapbusinessonline.com/App-Download.aspx.
  • After installing the Map App, the MapBusinessOnline launch button will be in the Windows’ Start Menu or Mac Application folder. Find the MapBusinessOnline folder in the Start Menu scrollbar. Click the folder’s dropdown arrow and choose the MapBusinessOnline option. You can drag the icon to the taskbar for a quick launch button.
  • All saved maps will be available through your Map Library Folder, the second button in from the left on the Master Toolbar. (Green File Folder icon.)

Map App access to MapBusinessOnline.com provides enhanced features and a better user experience.

The Map App includes the new Map Viewer app for free non-subscriber map sharing.

Value-Added Resellers – Offer the tool to your customers as a reseller. Make money on training and consulting. Contact us with further interest in reselling MapBusinessOnline.

Find out why over 25,000 business users log into www.MapBusinessOnline.com for their business mapping software and advanced sales territory mapping solution. The best replacement for Microsoft MapPoint happens to be the most affordable.

Please read customer reviews or review us at Capterra, or g2crowd

Contact: Geoffrey Ives geoffives@spatialteq.com or Jason Henderson jhenderson@spatialteq.com

Posted in Business Mapping Software blog post, How to instruction | Tagged , , , | Leave a comment

A Word About Territory Mapping

The most common application of territory mapping, a feature of MapBusinessOnline, is sales territory mapping. Territory mapping is sales territory mapping for 90% of the MapBusinessOnline user base. The application of sales territories is common and wrestles with the same challenges other territory applications wrestle with, namely these six tasks:

  • Defining accountability
  • Managing areas of overlap
  • Controlling travel expenses
  • Clearly communicating company goals and objectives
  • Tracking progress against goals
  • Organizing outside travel tiers

The value of sales territory mapping is linked directly to financial results. For a given period, sales results are often tracked, posted, and compensated for through sales territory mapping. Expense reporting is also tracked against territory results. Sales trip and expense reporting have usually included the submittal of travel receipts, mileage reports, and airline stubs, in addition to succinct write ups of contacts made, contracts negotiated, and purchase orders gathered.  Sales territories organize all of the various sales pieces over a shared geographic coverage area.

Read More About Sales Territory Mapping

Color-code Territories by Demographic Makeup

Sales Territory Mapping & Organizational Structure

Really large companies may require sales territories that roll up into regions and divisions better know as hierarchical sales territories (MapBusinessOnline Pro).  In this way, management tiers are put in place that communicate clear company objectives across a sales force that could number into the thousands. Vice presidents at the division or national level oversee regional directors across the country. Local sales managers supervise individual sales reps who travel within state or county jurisdictions.

Not all tiered sales operations follow this exact formula, but it is a common approach for online mapping software users. For companies that cater to regional areas only, simple sales territory maps usually suffice.

Usually, sales territory maps are based on a business mapping application’s ZIP code map layer.  ZIP codes provide familiar and manageable area segments for territories that often cover cities with dense populations. Counties are also popular, if the organization caters to a more regional, rural, or state-wide audience. The state map layer tends to be used by large conglomerates or businesses that cater to a worldwide customer base.

Map layer choices usually reflect the traveling representative’s areas of accountability. Traveling business people, those submitting only occasional overnight hotel receipts will be well suited to ZIP code-based territories. Expenses should also coincide with map layer realities. For example, expense submittals from ZIP code-based territories will rarely include airline tickets. If they do, you may want to investigate.

While I don’t believe most salespeople pad their expenses, I know from experience it happens. The good news is, expense padding is wicked easy to expose because receipts, phone records, and mileages tell the story. All you need to do is spreadsheet out the details. Maybe make a few calls to verify dinners etc. You’ll catch the blatant violators.

Demographic Analysis by Territory Segment

Sales territory mapping enables demographic data inclusion in support of market analysis, assignment logic, and product applicability studies. The US Census Bureau publishes demographic data that conveniently matches standard map layer segmentations. These demographic categories are varied and regularly updated, meaning territory analysis is extremely useful for market projections and territory assignments.

Available demographic data covers a wide variety of subjects including, population, consumer spending habits, housing data, household statistics, and more.  A map creator may wish for additional categories that match a particular product or service requirement. If the data has a location component – a city, ZIP code, or county, – a user can import that data into business mapping software.  Don’t be shy about asking MapBusinessOnline about additional demographic layers. We’ll consider adding new categories that come up often.

Territory alignment is often demographically generated, especially for consumer-oriented products. For instance, pharmaceutical companies may assign territories to sales reps based on the population levels of elderly residents by city or ZIP code – Census categories for population ages 65 and up. Retail establishments may prefer to view consumer expenditure patterns, or ethnicity data by county or ZIP code.

Impactful though demographic data may be, the most important location data a business can bring to bear on territory mapping is their own business location data.  Historical sales data, customer locations, prospect locations, and other relevant location datasets magnify the power of territory mapping analysis. Viewing your key business measurements next to demographic categories can be very enlightening.

Additional Territory Map Segmentation

Less frequently, additional map layers serve as territory mapping segmentation. City limits, Census tracts, MSA’s, and ZIP3 Codes act in the same way as a ZIP5-Code map layer when applied. A City limits layer is ideal for urban area market studies.

Demographic data layered across urban areas is a telling projection of how the sale of a product or service will fare in that territory. Many companies must be tactical about sales coverages. Actively selling catheters in a New England college town is difficult to justify when Florida’s ever-aging population is buying up the USA catheter inventory faster than you can say UTI.

City limits or city limits grouped into urban territories ranked by demographic profile can indicate the most fertile areas for new distribution warehouses, retail stores, or sales hires. City limit demographic views are perfect for market expansion analysis and confirm the gut feeling of managers being asked to direct sales growth for expanding firms.  Read more about market expansion in this case study.

Non-sales Related Territories

While most businesses use territory maps as sales territories, many companies use territory management for other applications. Specifically, technical support, medical home care agencies, and construction site management are examples of non-sales territory map applications.

Those six aspects of territory mapping I referred to earlier still apply. Construction managers track progress against goals and monitor expenses just like sales managers. Technical support teams will mete out areas of accountability and monitor their reps’ activities, including travel expenses to trouble spots, as required.

Territory Map View

And traveling clinicians for homecare agencies may have the most challenging job of all. Homecare schedules are incredibly tricky. Unplanned cancelations, weather-related delays, medical emergencies can all play a role in travel disruption. Not to mention the incredible unpredictability of COVID-19 issues that can ruin a day. (Don’t get me started.) Within home care agencies, managing travel expenses and minimizing overlap while also taking advantage of overlap are significant challenges.

Whatever the challenges facing your business, territory management tools can help organize, communicate, and control areas of your mobile operations. Replace Microsoft MapPoint with MapBusinessOnline.

MapBusinessOnline territory mapping tools are available in both Standard and Pro subscription options.

Choose MapBusinessOnline Standard for basic sales territory mapping:

  • Create territory alignments by polygon lasso or imported spreadsheet
  • Edit territory segments with mouse cursor clicks, polygon data collection, or through data filtering
  • Access full demographic analysis views with location data reporting
  • Address overlapping territory concerns with color-coding options
  • Color-code territory assignments by demography or imported business data
  • Segment territories by ZIP5 codes, ZIP3 Codes, City Limits, Counties, States, Census Tracts, or MSA’s

Choose MapBusinessOnline Pro for advanced sales territory mapping:

  • Includes all the features of MapBusinessOnline Standard
  • Create region and division territory hierarchies
  • Automatically build multiple sales territories from radius searches or driving time and distance queries
  • Enrich imported dataset with demographic and geospatial data
  • Conduct map-based market analysis that combines geographic, demographic, and driving time analysis

So, while territory mapping and sales territory mapping are virtually synonymous, pay attention to your organization’s unique requirements. Look for flexibility in the applications you choose, but remember full customization of any software application can lead to the poorhouse.

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MapBusinessOnline access has officially transitioned from Web Browser (Adobe Flash Player) access to the Map App download access.

  • Please download the Map App from the website – https://www.mapbusinessonline.com/App-Download.aspx.
  • After installing the Map App, the MapBusinessOnline launch button will be in the Windows’ Start Menu or Mac Application folder. Find the MapBusinessOnline folder in the Start Menu scrollbar. Click the folder’s dropdown arrow and choose the MapBusinessOnline option. You can drag the icon to the taskbar for a quick launch button.
  • All saved maps will be available through your Map Library Folder, the second button in from the left on the Master Toolbar. (Green File Folder icon.)

Map App access to MapBusinessOnline.com provides enhanced features and a better user experience.

The Map App includes the new Map Viewer app for free non-subscriber map sharing.

Value-Added Resellers – Offer the tool to your customers as a reseller. Make money on training and consulting. Contact us with further interest in reselling MapBusinessOnline.

Find out why over 25,000 business users log into www.MapBusinessOnline.com for their business mapping software and advanced sales territory mapping solution. The best replacement for Microsoft MapPoint happens to be the most affordable.

Contact: Geoffrey Ives geoffives@spatialteq.com or Jason Henderson jhenderson@spatialteq.com

Posted in Business Mapping Software blog post, Sales and marketing | Tagged , , , | Leave a comment

How A New User Gains Access to MapBusinessOnline

New users to MapBusinessOnline often start with the Free Trial.  Signing up for the Free Trial and registering for MapBusinessOnline is the same process. Click the Start Free Now button at www.MapBusinessOnline.com,  which sets up the free trial and registers you as an account owner.

Replace Microsoft MapPoint Right Now!

Registering is Important

The Free Trial has a period of 1-month. There are limits on some of the features available in the trial, noted on our pricing page. Scroll down to get familiar with the limitations.

For the most part, a full subscription will satisfy the average user’s requirements for the below noted features, but you can always purchase more at reasonable fees:

  • Import up to 100,000 location records per map (with the Standard Subscription)
  • Save up to 200 maps
  • Create up to 1,000 territories per map
  • Routing credits 1200 – applies to driving time & distance searches too
  • Stops per route 150
  • Publicly shared maps per subscription 1200

Once you’ve registered for the trial, you will want to access the business mapping software.  Adobe Flash Player, which MapBusinessOnline used to enable web browser access, has been discontinued.  Now all users must download the Map App and access MapBusinessOnline business mapping software through the Map App.

Download the Map App – Your Business Mapping Gateway

So, the current MapBusinessOnline onboarding process is this:

  1. Register for MapBusinessOnline through the Start Free Now button
  2. Download the Map App for Windows or Mac
  3. In the Windows Start Menu, or the Mac Applications folder, find the Map App, and inside the folder, click on MapBusinessOnline to launch the software
  4. Log in with your email and your password, which is set-up through the registration process, and launch MapBusinessOnline
  5. Click New Map on the left side of the Master Toolbar
  6. Read about creating your first business map here

Review the Your First Business Map Webinar

I recently provided a Webinar on creating your first business map that new users may find helpful. Find the webinar here: Your First Business Map webinar.  The webinar will walk you through the New Map process:

  • Starting a new map
  • Importing business data
  • Optimizing your map’s look and feel
  • Color coding data
  • Labeling

Maps for All Reasons

Asking for Help

Help is never far off. There’s Help documentation in the business mapping software. You can also refer to the Business Mapping Blog  for explorations of business mapping topics and application examples. For questions, we recommend you start by clicking on the Chat button in the lower right of the MapBusinessOnline website. You can also reach us through the Contact button on the website, which has options for email, web demo request, or phone calls.

Once you created a basic business map, you can enhance your map in many ways. Here are some additional blog subjects that could help you create a business map that achieves its purpose and might just turn you into a mini-star around the office:

All of the recommended blogs will help the new MapBusinessOnline user access the application, create a first business map, and enhance that business map for your specific purposes.

Business mapping is, like anything else we do in business, an acquired skill. The mapping techniques you learn in your current job will serve you well in your future roles, no matter where they are.

Our blog subjects include multiple write-ups on best practices for business mapping:

This blog explains the significant differences between MapBusinessOnline Standard and MapBusinessOnline Pro.

Now get mapping. MapBusinessOnline provides a full set of geographic analysis tools to conduct a variety of business applications:

  • Create and edit a sales territory map
  • Conduct map-based market analysis, a target market map, or generate areas of interest around the USA and Canada
  • Build comprehensive demographic analysis maps
  • Create spatial queries by radius search, polygon search, or drive time search
  • Build optimized sales routes with up to 150 stops
  • Research and download business listings by area, name, or industry
  • Construct ZIP code maps that support your business models
  • Extract ZIP code lists out of MapBusinessOnline
  • Build coverage area maps, competitor maps, dot-density maps, and more

By the time you’ve completed your first or second business map, not only will you be the envy of your department, but you’ll know the deepest secret of all about business mapping software – business maps are fun.

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MapBusinessOnline access has officially transitioned from Web Browser (Adobe Flash Player) access to the Map App download access.

  • Please download the Map App from the website – https://www.mapbusinessonline.com/App-Download.aspx.
  • After installing the Map App, the MapBusinessOnline launch button will be in the Windows’ Start Menu or Mac Application folder. Find the MapBusinessOnline folder in the Start Menu scrollbar. Click the folder’s dropdown arrow and choose the MapBusinessOnline option. You can drag the Icon to the task bar for a quick launch button.
  • All saved maps will be available through your Map Library Folder, the second button in from the left on the Master Toolbar. (Green File Folder icon.)

Map App access to MapBusinessOnline.com provides enhanced features and a better user experience.

The Map App includes the new Map Viewer app for free non-subscriber map sharing.

Value-Added Resellers – Offer the tool to your customers as a reseller. Make money on training and consulting. Contact us with further interest in reselling MapBusinessOnline.

Find out why over 25,000 business users log into www.MapBusinessOnline.com for their business mapping software and advanced sales territory mapping solution. The best replacement for Microsoft MapPoint happens to be the most affordable.

Contact: Geoffrey Ives geoffives@spatialteq.com or Jason Henderson jhenderson@spatialteq.com

Posted in Business Mapping Software blog post, How to instruction | Tagged , , | Leave a comment

How to Add Map Layers to Your First Business Map

MapBusinessOnline includes a variety of Map Layers that are overlaid on top of a basic map background to provide the basic components of a business map.  The map background, usually the “Streets” layer, is the bottom layer that all the other layers overlay.

Read About Creating Map Visualizations

If you look at Map and Data, the Blue and Gray box that floats over the map view, you will see all the Map Layers listed with checkboxes assigned to each layer. The bottom checkbox is already checked on when you, the user, create a New Map by clicking the New button on the right side of the master toolbar. Read more about Map and Data here.

In a brand-new map, recently launched, Map and Data shows four map layers as noted below:

States – The map layer contains state boundaries, FIP’s code, and labels

Counties – The map layer contains county boundaries, FIP’s codes, state abbreviations, and labels

ZIP5 Codes – The map layer contains ZIP code boundaries, place names (towns), primary state and counties, state abbreviations, and labels

Streets – A map ground primarily consisting of streets with some land-cover, building footprints, and state and city labels

A new map launches with only the map background layer or “Streets” turned on. The other three layers are unchecked. Check them on to display ZIP codes, Counties, or States on the map.

Additional Map Layers are available to add to the map. Those additional map layers are in the Map Layers button, located under the ‘Adding to Map‘ section of the Master Toolbar.

Adding Additional Map Layers to Your Map

Select a layer in the Map Layers button and the layer will appear as a new checkbox option in Map and Data. When you add the map layer to the map the new layer shows up on the map and is checked on in Map and Data. Sometimes users inadvertently uncheck the added map layer in Map and Data and may look for the layer in the Add Map Layer button. It will no longer show in the Add Map Layer button, the user must recheck the checkbox associated with that layer in Map and Data.

Hint: Map and Data can also be turned off inadvertently. To turn it back on, find the Blue Arrow on the far-left side of the map right in the middle. Click to relaunch Map and Data

Where did Map and Data go?

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

Many users may never find a need to add additional map layers, but it is nice to know they are there. Below is a list of the map layers available to add to the map and what they might be used for:

Census Tracts – A full map layer with boundaries of Census Bureau administrative districts, similar to ZIP codes only smaller. Census tracts let the user create smaller territories, or organize demographic data based on Census assigned areas. Territories based on Census tracts provide smaller area territory segments in crowded urban areas. Each Census tract includes its own FIPS code in the Data Window view.

Cities – A point layer of cities and towns across America. These points are just names associated with points that will be located on the map at the center of each city or town area. The City point layer is not editable or filterable.

City Limits – A full map layer with boundaries of all the cities and towns across America. Create territories and areas of interest based on city limits. City Limits, like ZIP codes, Counties, and States, have a Data Window analysis view, including access to MapBusinessOnline’s Demographic Data Library.

Congressional Districts – A map layer with boundaries. These are the official federal congressional districts. Color code the districts by party affiliation. Read more about Congressional Districts.

Highways – Exactly that. Highways come in handy when you’ve got a solid map layer of counties or states or territories and you want to add a transportation layer for reference or business reasons.

Metropolitan Statistical Areas – A map layer with boundaries that represent Census Bureau defined Marketing Areas. These are largely urban areas used for marketing purposes.

School Districts – Regional school districts. This layer is also a map layer with boundaries.  You see various school district layers listed by region. The data includes some information on schools and school classifications.

3-Digit ZIP Codes – A map layer with boundaries.  This ZIP code layer represents just those first three digits of a 5-digit ZIP code. Thus a 3-Digit ZIP code will be much bigger in area than a 5-digit ZIP code. For instance, Massachusetts has many different 5-digit ZIP codes that start with the digits 019. The 019 3-Digit ZIP code represents all those areas combined.  3-Digit ZIP codes are often used for territory management or direct mail analysis. Become an expert on ZIP codes.

Bonus Feature – Exporting FIPS Codes

I mentioned above that FIP’s codes are included with the Census Tract, County, and State map layers. FIP’s stands for Federal Information Processing Standards.  Government agencies like to use FIP’s codes. They help organize the analysis of counties and Census tracts. Who uses them?  Government employees, forest service people, and land management pros.  You know who you are.

To export FIPs codes associated with County or Census Tract territories:

  1. Select the layer in the Data Window Drop Down
  2. On the Data Window Toolbar select the Search by Territory (Yellow Puzzle Piece Icon)
  3. Choose the lower option, ‘Search and show territory assignments in the Data Window’
  4. Export via the far-right button on the Data Window toolbar
  5. The layer exports as a CSV file and will include FIPs codes

Where would a digital map be without Map Layers? I’ll tell you where – spread out on a desk in paper form. Map Layers allow modern-day map users to view a variety of perspectives.  These map views, complete with associated data, allow for analysis, filtering, and spatial queries. They are the secret sauce of business mapping.

Keep in mind, the most valuable map layer of all is probably the map layer you import made up of your business data.

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MapBusinessOnline access has officially transitioned from Web Browser (Adobe Flash Player) access to the Map App download access.

  • Please download the Map App from the website – https://www.mapbusinessonline.com/App-Download.aspx.
  • After installing the Map App, the MapBusinessOnline launch button will be in the Windows’ Start Menu or Mac Application folder. Find the MapBusinessOnline folder in the Start Menu scrollbar. Click the folder’s dropdown arrow and choose the MapBusinessOnline option. You can drag the Icon to the task bar for a quick launch button.
  • All saved maps will be available through your Map Library Folder, the second button in from the left on the Master Toolbar. (Green File Folder icon.)

Map App access to MapBusinessOnline.com provides enhanced features and a better user experience.

The Map App includes the new Map Viewer app for free non-subscriber map sharing.

Value-Added Resellers – Offer the tool to your customers as a reseller. Make money on training and consulting. Contact us with further interest in reselling MapBusinessOnline.

 

Posted in Business Mapping Software blog post, How to instruction | Tagged , , , | Leave a comment

How Do I Create a Demographic ZIP Code Map?

Let’s create a demographic map by ZIP code. We’ll be using the ZIP code map layer and applying demographic data to that layer. ZIP code maps are one of the most popular uses of online business mapping software.

As preparation, make sure your ZIP Code options are set to ZIP5 Code with Fillers in Map and Data. That option provides the best ZIP Code options for building accurate ZIP code maps with no holes out west due to national parks. Trust us. It’s the best setting.

Read More About ZIP Code Mapping

Start with a New Map

Click the New Map button on the far-left side of the Master Toolbar. With a new USA map in view go to Map and Data, the blue, floating box with all layers listed with checkboxes, and turn on the ZIP code layer.

Hover over the ZIP code layer in Map and Data and click the Map Layer Properties button. In the panel that opens-up, move the transparency scrollbar to the right to perhaps 70% – enough to show a measure of the map background through the ZIP code layer.

Demographic data can be displayed in multiple ways in MapBusinessOnline. The first thing to do is decide what the map’s primary goal is. In our map, we’ve decided to visibly display the Number of Households and compare that to general Population data, and Household Income Levels. All the demographic data will be presented by ZIP code.

I would tweak the ZIP code layer a little more, making the boundaries slightly thicker and a darker color. On second thought, I would keep the boundary thickness at the thinnest option because ZIP codes are so dense when viewed from a national perspective. Use your judgment as you adjust your map look and feel.

Add Demographic Data

Now that your ZIP code map layer is tweaked let’s color-code the ZIP codes by a demographic category.

Still in Map and Data, with the ZIP code Map Layer Properties panel open, notice the button labeled Color-Code Map Layer. Click it.

Just as an aside, you could achieve the same functionality by clicking the Color Coding – Boundary button on the Master toolbar.

We decided earlier in this write-up to color-code the ZIP code layer by the category of demographic data associated with the number of households. Here’s the process:

  1. Click Color Code Map
  2. In the dropdown at the top, choose Demographic Data
  3. In the next dropdown, scroll down to 2018 and slowly scroll through the categories until you come to Households (2018). 2018 is the layer of data most recently released by the Census Bureau. The two more recent layers above 2018 are third party projections.
  4. Next, move to the color groups section. You could color up to 100 groups, but that’s not necessary for a simple demographic map. Choose five at the most.
  5. Looking at the five group color options, I usually break the numeric ranges into sensible breaks like 1 – 250, 251 – 1000, 1001 – 5000. Use your judgment. It’s easy to reprocess the color-coding and try different schemes.
  6. Click into the color-code boxes to tweak color shades, or choose from the dropdown of preformatted color schemes
  7. When you are satisfied, click Done

As always, it’s easy to go back to the Color-Code Map button and run through the process again. Your settings are saved and can be easily adjusted.

Append Supporting Demographic Data to ZIP Code Labels

Now that the map is a ZIP Code Map color-shaded for demography, it’s a good idea to consider adding supporting demographic data to your map labels. Because our map is focused on Households, we’ll want to add information like Median Household Income or Median Household Size. But you could add the overall population or some other relevant factor to your map.

To add labels with demographic data to your map, start by making sure the ZIP code labels show up on the map view at the nation-wide viewing level. Mapping applications will present ZIP Code labels only where they do not overlap each other. So you’ll see fewer labels displayed at a Zoomed Out level and more as you Zoom In.

  1. Hover over the ZIP Code layer in Map and Data, click the Edit Map Layer Properties button
  2. Along the right side, click into Labels
  3. In the label panel, scroll to the bottom to where it says Show Auto Labels. Auto Labels for a ZIP code are actual the ZIP code number. At the bottom, where it says Start Labeling From, click the Dropdown and choose North America. Now ZIP codes will begin to appear on your map. You’ll see more as you zoom in

Any Auto Label in MapBusinessOnline allows up to five flexible labels to be appended. To add demographic data to the ZIP Code Auto Label, scroll up to the top of the Label Panel:

  1. Click into Format Labels
  2. Click into the Auto Label Tab (make sure). The other option is Custom label which controls the pop-up labels generated when a mouse cursor hovers over a ZIP code
  3. Under Auto Label, below the “Select data values…” Select #1. In the top dropdown, find Demographic Data, in the second dropdown, find Household Income. Make sure to input some Prefix Text. Repeat for number 2, except this time grab Average Household Size data. Proceed through line 5, as required
  4. Click Change Labels in the lower-right

Other data could be appended to your demographic ZIP code map labels. You could import user business data and added columns to your ZIP code labels. You could also purchase MapBusienssOnline business listings and add columns from that data to your ZIP code labels.

And with that, you have created a ZIP code demographic map.  You could add more data to the map to expand its utility. One way to enhance your map is to import relevant business location data into the map. Imported business data could be left as dot-density points on the map, or it could be color-coded to reflect numeric values contained in the data imported.  One could also create a heat map view, using the Heat Map button on the Master Toolbar. The map is your oyster, as it were.

ZIP Code maps are used by a wide variety of businesses to visualize their business operations, layout their customer locations, or to share sales territories.

I believe ZIP code maps are powerful because all of us relate to the ZIP code as the area where we live. In many cases, our ZIP code is our town. We understand what a ZIP code is both in practicality, spatially, and demographically.

And for all you MapPoint users out there, come over to MapBusinessOnline and get those obsolete ZIP code maps up to date.

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MapBusinessOnline access has officially transitioned from Web Browser (Adobe Flash Player) access to the Map App download access.

  • Please download the Map App from the website – https://www.mapbusinessonline.com/App-Download.aspx.
  • After installing the Map App, the MapBusinessOnline launch button will be in the Windows’ Start Menu or Mac Application folder. Find the MapBusinessOnline folder in the Start Menu scrollbar. Click the folder’s dropdown arrow and choose the MapBusinessOnline option. You can drag the Icon to the task bar for a quick launch button.
  • All saved maps will be available through your Map Library Folder, the second button in from the left on the Master Toolbar. (Green File Folder icon.)

Map App access to MapBusinessOnline.com provides enhanced features and a better user experience.

The Map App includes the new Map Viewer app for free non-subscriber map sharing.

Value-Added Resellers – Offer the tool to your customers as a reseller. Make money on training and consulting. Contact us with further interest in reselling MapBusinessOnline.

Posted in Business Mapping Software blog post, How to instruction | Tagged , , | Leave a comment

4 Enhancements for Your First Business Map

So, you’ve created a basic business map.  You’ve downloaded the Map App and accessed MapBusinessOnline from the Windows Start Menu or MAC Applications folder. Then you imported an address-based or latitude longitude-based spreadsheet and developed a map that pertains to your business in some way. Your associates were impressed, but could you do more? Could you enhance your first business map’s imported business data with symbolization in the map view?

Symbolizing Your Imported Business Data

A recent COVID-19 Death map might benefit from a heat map enhancement.  We get our COVID-19 data from USA Facts.org. As of late, more counties are suffering from an expanding death rate, unfortunately. With the data already imported, a heat map, similar to a weather map, is easily achieved. MapBusinessOnline heat mapping works like this:

  1. In Map and Data make sure the imported COVID Deaths point layer is selected
  2. Select the Heat Map button under the Color-code section on the Master Toolbar
  3. Select your imported Death data layer and drop down to the appropriate column
  4. Choose a color scheme and move the scroll bar to an acceptable level of intensity
  5. Click Done
  6. Repeat the process to try various schemes

COVID-19 Deaths Heat Map

One could also color code the counties or states by the same imported dataset.  ZIP code color coding would not work in this case because the dataset happens to reflect deaths by County.  Color-coding imported data by ZIP code or county is  sometimes referred to as a “heat map.”

Heat Map by Administrative District

Using the same map, I unchecked the point layer in Map and Data to get rid of the heat map view.  Here is what I did next:

  1. Chose the Color Code Boundary option on the Master Toolbar
  2. I selected the County Map Layer
  3. I selected my data and chose the most recent death data column by date
  4. I set up a 5-range color code theme. I believe 5 ranges are appropriate for the data subject at hand
  5. I manually assigned a numbering scheme to each of my five ranges. Beginning with 1 to 100, and ending with 5,000 to 11,071. Choose your own numeric ranges
  6. I did select the prefabricated yellow-to-orange color gradated color option. But then I inserted some of my own color choices to enhance the gradated scale and color the highest deaths a bright red
  7. I clicked done in the Color-code process.
  8. I also edited my legend to explain the color scheme and I closed the Master Toolbar and Map and Data to create a pure map image

Setting up color ranges

COVID Deaths by County

 

Color-Code by Circle

Another valuable approach to symbolizing your imported location data is by circle symbols. MapBusinessOnline lets you apply a circle symbol to a numeric column of your data and then tweak that symbol to show the numeric value, associate a color scheme, apply a 3D symbol and apply a border color to that symbol. This all serves to include a numeric value within a color-coded circle at each point location.

  1. With your imported data layer checked on in Map and Data, select the Circle Color Coding button under Color Coding on the Master Toolbar
  2. Select your imported data layer
  3. Select the Map Layer to apply (in this case counties)
  4. Choose the column of numeric data targeted for symbolic display
  5. Apply the varying controls to your symbol’s look and feel
    1. Select a color scheme and 3-D
    2. Choose a border color and pixel width
    3. Tweak the minimum and maximum sizes for the circles related to numeric values
    4. Finally, set the overall numeric text value size, boldness, and color. Also, choose a box outline option, if you want that

Color code by circle map view

Remember to keep things simple and clear when selecting symbol options.

As you can see, there are many options for adjusting your map image to create a better visualization of a business, medical, or tactical situation using location data. But MapBusinessOnline also provides an analysis view through the Data Window.

Click the Data Window button on the right side of the Master Toolbar.  This action opens up a spreadsheet view of the map. The Data Window includes its own toolbar. On the far-left side of the data window toolbar is a dropdown list. That drop-down accesses data available for the map user to work with.

Select the imported data layer in the drop-down list.  Now the Data Window displays the spreadsheet you imported. In the lower right of the Data Window view, you will see the Change Columns button. Read more about the Chang Columns button here.

Click the Change Column button and a database management tool opens up. On the left side of the database management tool click the drop-down to access the data available for import into your analysis view.

You can add imported location data, data from other map layers, demographic data, and even calculated data columns that display basic formula results and demographic category summations.

Probably the most powerful map enhancement you can bring to bear on a MapBusinessOnline business map is importing multiple categories of demographic data to the Data Window analysis view. Here’s a map view of the map we’ve been working with showing the Data Window and a demographic Summary insert from a polygon search of counties.

County COVID Deaths – data options

Once you’ve created your first basic business map, there are a variety of directions you can take to enhance your map. Always keep it simple, remember your map audience and your map’s purpose, and you can’t go wrong.

_______________________________________________________

Replace Microsoft MapPoint with MapBusinessOnline Standard. The industry’s best MapPoint Replacement.  Try MapBusinessOnline – business mapping software for PC or Mac.

MapBusinessOnline access has officially transitioned from Web Browser (Adobe Flash Player) access to the Map App download access.

  • Please download the Map App from the website – https://www.mapbusinessonline.com/App-Download.aspx.
  • After installing the Map App, the MapBusinessOnline launch button will be in the Windows’ Start Menu or Mac Application folder. Find the MapBusinessOnline folder in the Start Menu scrollbar. Click the folder’s dropdown arrow and choose the MapBusinessOnline option. You can drag the Icon to the task bar for a quick launch button.
  • All saved maps will be available through your Map Library Folder, the second button in from the left on the Master Toolbar. (Green File Folder icon.)

Map App access to MapBusinessOnline.com provides enhanced features and a better user experience.

The Map App includes the new Map Viewer app for free non-subscriber map sharing.

Value-Added Resellers – Offer the tool to your customers as a reseller. Make money on training and consulting. Contact us with further interest in reselling MapBusinessOnline.

Posted in Business Mapping Software blog post, How to instruction, Uncategorized | Tagged , , | Leave a comment

Six Key Questions to Ask About Your Business Map Project

Managing a map project may seem like a daunting experience to the uninitiated. Not to worry, MapBusinessOnline provides most of what you’ll require to complete a successful business mapping project.

Someone in your organization has decided a business map is necessary, and they’re casting their beady eyes at you.  Breath, take a step back.   Put on your big boy or girl pants and volunteer.  You’re going to discover that business mapping, GIS, or geospatial work is actually quite fun and rewarding.

Your map project could be a customer map, a sales territory map, a resource map, or some other kind of  business map. Even if we are not aware of the type of map you must produce, MapBusinessOnline can probably achieve the situational awareness your organization is looking for.

Below is a suggested approach to implementing a business map project using online business mapping software.

Meet with the Stakeholders

When you sense a geospatial map-project is headed your way, the first thing you should do is meet with the stakeholders. Meet your stakeholders as a group or one at a time, but do it. Ask the stakeholders these six key questions and record their answers:

  • Who is responsible for the map project? As with any business project, it’s a good idea to understand who is being held accountable for the project. Understanding accountability will help you prioritize your effort.
  • Who will be the audience for the map project? This answer to this question helps with the design of your map project. Knowing who the map audience will be, helps to define the scope of the map project. Make sure you understand the general focus of the project, and the data that will be used to support the project’s intent. Does the executive team know the map project exists? Don’t get caught working on a rogue project.
  • What is the purpose of the map project? Beware of map projects with many themes. Do not try to solve multiple problems with one map unless they are inherently related.
  • How will the map project’s success or failure be measured? Will the map project itself solve a problem or will it simply contribute to a planning session focused on a larger issue? There’s a big difference. Your efforts should be measured by how well the map exposes a problem or  communicates results.
  • What is the geographic extent of the map project? Are there geographic boundaries that define the scope of the project? Is the map project national, regional, or local?
  • Is there location data to support the project? Where is the location data and how do I get access to the location data? Are there restrictions on data use and data sharing? See below.

What Location-Data is Available to Support the Project?

Geospatial data or location-data is commonly used in business systems like CRM’s or ERP systems. Location-data will be business data that includes address components (address, city, state, and ZIP code), or latitude/longitude coordinates.

Your IT department will know where location data is stored and what the access protocols will be. Examples of these address-based datasets include customer lists, resource locations, and store locations. Sometimes these datasets need to be cleaned up before they are used. For instance, address components need to be expressed in separate columns:

Address | City | State | ZIP code

Also, using ZIP codes only to locate points on a map, while entirely doable in MapBusinessOnline, is not very accurate. I recommend geocoding by ZIP codes only when you plan to create a ZIP code heat map.

An Insurance Mapping Project

In addition to securing access to your businesses or project’s location data, make sure you understand the rules around data use and data sharing. If you work for a medical firm, your work will be under legal HIPAA restrictions. Be very careful about how you expose personal health data. Even if your business is not in the health care industry sharing location data is often restricted by company privacy restrictions.  Get clear on your data-use rules.

Create a Focused & Compelling Business Map

With an understanding of your project’s purpose and access to supporting geospatial data established, it’s time to create a compelling business map. I have written multiple blogs that describe the process of creating a compelling just such a business map:

Six Easy Steps to Your First Business Map

The Top Six Considerations When Creating a Business Map

General Guidelines for MapBusinessOnline Territory Mapping

4 Advanced Territory Mapping Capabilities in MapBusinessOnline Pro

9 Ways to Access Demographic Data in MapBusinessOnline Standard or Pro

How Do I Create and Optimize a Business Map Visualization?

These blogs are just a few of the many blogs posted describing the use of MapBusinessOnline. For map-project development, I would also advise that map creators follow these tips:

  • Save your map work as a map template. Map templates preserve your work from inadvertent overrides and save your map work as a template easily converted to new map projects.  On the Master Toolbar, click the Save Button. In the drop-down select the Map Template option.
  • Double-check the spelling of all labels, legends, and text boxes. Rename imported file names. Good maps tend to be reviewed by the top brass. Make sure your work looks professional. A few seconds adjusting a file name in Map and Data can elevate your cred in the eyes of management.
  • Do not rush to publish your map work. Maps take time to develop. Secure second and third opinions on your work. Take your time. Keep it professional. Remember it maps are a visual medium. Maps are not as easily proofed as a Word Doc with a spellchecker.
  • Never publish personal or proprietary data – health records, contact info, financial records, sales records are all restricted data. Always make sure the data imported into your map work is approved for sharing. Assume that it is not approved.

Armed with all of these recommendations for creating and managing a map project, sally forth and ‘conquer la mode du geographique.’

“Ah, Tish. You spoke French!” said Gomez.

_______________________________________________________

Replace Microsoft MapPoint with MapBusinessOnline Standard. The industry’s best MapPoint Replacement.  Try MapBusinessOnline – business mapping software for PC or Mac.

MapBusinessOnline access has officially transitioned from Web Browser (Adobe Flash Player) access to the Map App download access.

  • Please download the Map App from the website – https://www.mapbusinessonline.com/App-Download.aspx.
  • After installing the Map App, the MapBusinessOnline launch button will be in the Windows’ Start Menu or Mac Application folder. Find the MapBusinessOnline folder in the Start Menu scrollbar. Click the folder’s dropdown arrow and choose the MapBusinessOnline option. You can drag the Icon to the task bar for a quick launch button.
  • All saved maps will be available through your Map Library Folder, the second button in from the left on the Master Toolbar. (Green File Folder icon.)

Map App access to MapBusinessOnline.com provides enhanced features and a better user experience.

The Map App includes the new Map Viewer app for free non-subscriber map sharing.

Value-Added Resellers – Offer the tool to your customers as a reseller. Make money on training and consulting. Contact us with further interest in reselling MapBusinessOnline.

Posted in Business Mapping Software blog post, How to instruction | Tagged , , , | Leave a comment

How Do I Share Demographic Data Through An Interactive Web Map?

MapBusinessOnline allows a subscribing Map Creator to share interactive web maps that include demographic data at no additional charge. Make sure any business mapping software tools you subscribe to offer the same generous capabilities.

A subscriber can setup this publicly shared map by placing demographic information in the labels associated with map layers, including territories.  Map Layer labels can be shared interactively either as Auto Labels, which show up as static labels on a shared map, or as Custom Labels, which show when the map viewer hovers over the map layer object with their mouse cursor. Read more about map labels.

Territory map layers allow demographic data to be interactively shared as a static Auto label only. The pop-up ‘custom label’ is not an option in the territory map layer. MapBusinessOnline territory analysis views from the Data Window are also not sharable from public map sharing.

Here’s the Process

There are three overall steps to accomplishing this Demographic Map Sharing operation:

  1. Create a map with the demographic data in the map layer label
    1. With your data imported into your business map, in Map and Data hover your cursor over the layer you want to display your data. It could be ZIP code, State or County layers, or even Map Layers added to the map.
    2. Under the Label Tab, choose Auto or Customer label and in each flexible field, navigate to the Demographic options and select the category you prefer.
    3. Add text to the Prefix section as required
  2. Share the map with your constituent, non-subscribing map-audience
    1. Select the Map Share button, four buttons in from the left on the Master Toolbar
    2. Choose Public Sharing
    3. Check on “Enable Public Sharing, Copy the Map Link, be sure to click Apply Sharing Setting in the lower-right
  3. Make sure your non-subscribing audience has downloaded the Map App and understands how to access the Map Viewer App, which he or she will find in the Start Menu under MapBusinessOnline

Demographic Data Options

MapBusinessOnline’s Demographic data library is organized by year. Each year contains a wide section of Census Bureau (USA) data categories that cover population, ethnicities, income levels, housing data, expenditure data, and more.

Please keep in mind that the top two sections by year are projection data from a third party.  Census releases are updated as we get them from the Census Bureau. The most current Census Bureau release is 2018 data.

Read more about demographic data in MapBusinessOnline.

Calculated Data Columns

MapBusinessOnline users can also access demographic data from the Calculated Data Columns option, located in each map layer in Map and Data. This tool allows the user to sum a set of related demographic line times. For example, a user can build a Calculated Data Column calculation out of the population by age from ages 65 and up. This would include five demographic categories.  These results are then importable into map layer and territory labels and are then available for sharing.

Extending the Reach of Your Sales Territory Mapping

Publicly sharing an interactive MapBusinessOnline map enables businesses and non-prophet organizations to easily inform and update their constituents with relevant demographic and business data. Territory maps can be shared that display:

  • Current territory geographies defining areas of accountability
  • Progress toward shared company goals
  • Demographic components that makeup territory balancing
  • Account placements with key contacts within a territory scheme

MapBusinessOnline – We took MapPoint to the next level and beyond.  Explore what’s possible with the most affordable and reliable business mapping solution available today.

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Replace Microsoft MapPoint with MapBusinessOnline Standard. The industry’s best MapPoint Replacement.  Try MapBusinessOnline – business mapping software for PC or Mac.

MapBusinessOnline access has officially transitioned from Web Browser (Adobe Flash Player) access to the Map App download access.

  • Please download the Map App from the website – https://www.mapbusinessonline.com/App-Download.aspx.
  • After installing the Map App, the MapBusinessOnline launch button will be in the Windows’ Start Menu or Mac Application folder. Find the MapBusinessOnline folder in the Start Menu scrollbar. Click the folder’s dropdown arrow and choose the MapBusinessOnline option. You can drag the Icon to the task bar for a quick launch button.
  • All saved maps will be available through your Map Library Folder, the second button in from the left on the Master Toolbar. (Green File Folder icon.)

Map App access to MapBusinessOnline.com provides enhanced features and a better user experience.

The Map App includes the new Map Viewer app for free non-subscriber map sharing.

Value-Added Resellers – Offer the tool to your customers as a reseller. Make money on training and consulting. Contact us with further interest in reselling MapBusinessOnline.

 

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