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technology best practices for small business growth
Updated: 11 hours 35 min ago

11 Tips for Putting Together a Strong Company LinkedIn Page

Wed, 04/16/2014 - 17:13
What tips do you have for putting together a brand page on LinkedIn that supports company growth?

The Young Entrepreneur Council (YEC) is an invite-only organization comprised of the world’s most promising young entrepreneurs. In partnership with Citi, YEC recently launched StartupCollective, a free virtual mentorship program that helps millions of entrepreneurs start and grow businesses.
1. Upload Product Images

The LinkedIn corporate pages allow you to upload images and product descriptions. This becomes searchable content and makes your page look a lot better. For example, we include screenshots of our software product with descriptions of what each screenshot is for on our page. Images always make the page easier and more interesting to look at.
- Dave Nevogt, Hubstaff.com

2. Showcase Your Personality

LinkedIn followers are very different from those on other social networks in that you know why they’re there — they’re considering working for you one day. That means you can showcase the best things about your company, especially the personality of your culture and team. Don’t shy away from being clear — they need to love it as much as you do!
- Derek Flanzraich, Greatist

3. Edit Your Company Description

LinkedIn brand pages are very SEO friendly. Google previews up to 156 characters of your page’s text in its meta description. Edit your company page description so it leads with powerful, keyword-rich sentences. LinkedIn users can also search for companies by keyword, so include words that describe your business, expertise and industry focus.
- Brett Farmiloe, Digital Marketing Company

4. Add Keywords

Add the keywords you want your company to rank for to your LinkedIn company page. This will help people find your profile and will also help your company rank better with search engines. Also, connect your employees’ profiles to your LinkedIn page so there’s more activity and connections leading their contacts to the page.
- Joe Apfelbaum, Ajax Union

5. Highlight How Cool Your Company Culture Is

Highlight how much employees love working at your company and how much you love the work they do for you. Show the outside world that your company’s values extend beyond providing a terrific product and include having a terrific in-house culture, as well.
- Brooke Bergman, Allied Business Network Inc.

6. Use Video

You need to stand out among the crowd. Not many companies are doing video or visual content. Showcase this on there, and it’ll attract a lot of people.
- John Rampton, Adogy

7. Have Others Share Your Story

I really think having others tell our story for us is much more valuable than us telling our story. Having employees, interns, clients and partner organizations share their experiences working with us provides a unique frame of reference that we can’t achieve.
- Chris Cancialosi, GothamCulture

8. Feature Employees

Showcase your company culture by using status updates to feature employees who went above and beyond and awards the company has received. After, review engagement metrics, and sponsor your best posts.
- Adam Root, Hiplogiq

9. Support It With Content

LinkedIn thrives on quality content. When people aren’t reading personal profiles, they’re often reading the best articles that are being shared on the site. Having a strong company network that engages with your quality content is going to drive people to your brand page (which will be quality, as well).
- Michael Seiman, CPXi

10. Keep It Appropriately Updated

So many businesses are bad at keeping the page updated with new announcements or content, and any new visitor is going to think it’s dead and not happening and then move on. Keep the page active, even if you don’t see a ton of immediate ROI. We’re not talking a huge time investment here. However, don’t get overzealous without a good plan and just post anything just to be posting it.
- Andy Karuza, Brandbuddee

11. Post Relevant Information Often

Whether you want to grow your client base or add new employees, LinkedIn is a great place to showcase your company’s talents and unique offerings. Make the most of the tabs LinkedIn offers by listing recent updates on your company’s homepage and current job openings along with videos of employees discussing what it’s like to work at your company on the careers page.
- Björn Stansvik, MentorMate

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Categories: SMB

Rawstream – New Internet Monitoring Software Services Lets Employers Manage Internet Use

Tue, 04/15/2014 - 19:00

If you’re considering enabling an internet monitoring software  services for your employees, there’s a new service, Rawstream that you might want to check out.

Rawstream gives businesses peace of mind by identifying how much time employees spend on Facebook, Twitter, Netflix, even downloading movies overnight with office bandwidth (it actually happens). Rawstream also identifies shared docs which infringe company policies. Rawstream doesn’t just track Dropbox, but also users who share files via Google Drive, OneDrive or Cubby. As Rawstream’s founder Brian Azzopardi says “we’re for facilitating the use of powerful consumer IT in business, while other vendors, and some IT Depts – want to block them.” Rawstream gives managers transparency into office related online activities (including remote workers) to increase productivity. I asked Brian a few questions about Rawstream and he gave me a bit more input. How Rawstream Works

Agent-Deployment: depending on the OS, the Agent uses the appropriate method to hook into the internet activity to be able to monitor and filter internet traffic. On Windows/Mac Agent acts as a local proxy. On ChomeOS, the agent is a Chrome Extension that cannot be removed or disabled by end-users. Agents enable per-user policies, wherever the device is located.

DNS-based filtering: Rawstream supports monitoring and filtering based on DNS. Set the DNS config on the WIFI or internet router to use Rawstream DNS.

Hybrid Monitoring and Filtering: This is where Rawstream is innovative: you can have both DNS and Agents on the same network. The Agents override the DNS filtering. This allows an organisation to have a default network-wide policy for any device on the network, including guest devices. This makes BYOD simple and without adding to admin workload. For known devices, install the Agent and those devices will get their own policies.

This hybrid approach is innovative, unique and simplifies IT management.

ENDPOINT SUPPORT

Windows 

Rawstream Agent for Windows is a lightweight application. Can be deployed using existing deployment tools such as Active Directory Group Policy, WSUS and other third-party software deployment tools.

Chromebooks and other ChromeOS devices

Rawstream Agent for Chrome is deployed via the Google Apps for Business, or Google Apps for Education Management console. Deployment is completely automated – whether to a few devices or to an entire school.

Mac Support

Public Beta by June.

Why Rawstream Works Like It does

Speed

Other cloud-based competitors are either proxy based or VPN based. The problem with both of these is that all the traffic has to go to the vendor servers which is a potential security issue. Secondly, due to the extra hops, browsing speed suffers. Sometimes massively: a leading competitor’s support forum had one customer complaining of a 50% speed reduction.

Rawstream does not suffer from any speed problems: by pushing out filtering and monitoring out the endpoint, there are no speed or privacy problems (we do not see your web-email, we merely know you visited gmail.com)

Better data

All the other competitors show incorrect, inaccurate data for time spent on websites by users. They merely count all web traffic, including background traffic and all web traffic, not just the web page an employee is currently looking at. This makes all the reporting unusable for business use.

By having an Agent on the endpoint we can collect high quality data to deliver on the productivity promise. We show the business reliable accurate, reporting for how people spend their time online, correctly accounting for background tabs, background traffic, etc.

Consumer IT 

By having agents on the endpoint we are in a better position to shine a light on consumer IT in a business, and to be better able to secure it. Our Dropbox/GDrive/OneDrive reporting is the tip of the iceberg.

BYOD

Hybrid deployment makes protecting guest devices simple and automatic. None of the proxy-based competition can offer this.

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Categories: SMB

Google Will Index Disqus Comments. Small News, Big Impact.

Tue, 04/15/2014 - 17:00

You know that search engines mine data on web sites – hence the content you produce is important.

Disqus recently announced that now Google can search Disqus comments as well.

This is not earth shattering news, but it does indicate one thing.

Your web site (blog, social) content is important but you can also gain some “keyword” love by commenting on discussing boards – in particular Discus.

Happy Chatting.

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Categories: SMB

Is It Time To Stop Using Checks? GoDaddy and Dwolla Encourage Move Electronic Payments

Tue, 04/15/2014 - 15:00

I was at my local Shopright last week and saw an older lady pull out her check book and write a check (cheque) for groceries. On one hand, it is quite “old fashioned” to write a check, but on the other hand, I bet that lady has little, if any debt. Yesterday I was at the auto body shop and a lady brought about $2,000 in cash to pay for something.

Cash and checks are nice – but they slow things down and are not so secure.

GoDaddy recently partnered with Dwolla to make it even easier to send and receipt payments. Dwolla competes with Paypal and Zipmark and makes it easy for you to send money to others and for others to send you money.

What’s nice about this partnership is that it

  • Extends GoDaddy’s offering to small business owners – lots of offerings from one company
  • It validates Dwolla and gives users more peace to use this relatively young company’s services
  • The partnership will grow and mature the market for online payments

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Categories: SMB

Why Bitcoin Is Not For Small Businesses. 4 Ways To Know When To Use New Tech In Your Business

Mon, 04/14/2014 - 19:00

Bitcoin, virtual currency,  has awesome potential. It’s used by people to buy and sell all over the world and etc, etc. It’s great. However, it’s fraught with problems. One of the biggest Bitcoin exchanges Mt. Gox, shut down, US regulators are still figuring out how to deal with Bitcoin and I could go on.

My advice for we small business owners is to NOT jump on every wagon that comes by, filled with new technology that’s not matured and been proven by the market – especially if you have a lot to lose.

Brent Leary spoke about this on an episode of  The 3TechGuys Show

Some of you might want to test accepting Bitcoin – that’s fine – if you are testing it with a small amount of money that you can afford to lose.

We have seen and we will continue to see the coming and going of lots of new, upgraded and different technology – this is GOOD (thank you iPhone, Netflix, search engines and Shark Tank).

My caution to you is to not base your business on new technology and when things don’t work out – then you’re business is in jeopardy.

Always wait until the following conditions happen before deeply investing in any new technology – and even then – start small and test.

  1. If you hear lots of customers talking about using the technology – listen up
  2. Watch what your competitors are and are not doing
  3. See what the main stream media has to say – Small Business Trends, OPEN Forum, Big Ideas Blog, Inc.com, Entrepreneur.com, Wall Street Journal, NY Times, Atlanta Tribune and other publishers have to say.
  4. Test the new technology with friends and long time, loyal customers – let them know it’s a TEST

Focus on loving your customers, getting a great web site, investing in social media and building your business. Let other people test new technology – but keep your eyes open.

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Categories: SMB

Corel WordPerfect for iPad Launches…WordPerfect Still Going Strong

Mon, 04/14/2014 - 18:00

Like many older tech professionals (those of us about 30 years or older), you grew up on Corel’s Word Perfect. But over time Microsoft Word’s more feature rich and well marketed product, Microsoft Office took over market share.

I was pleasantly surprised to see that Corel Wordperfect for iPad launched – but more pleasantly surprised to see that Corel Wordperfect is around and I would suppose doing well.

It’s my understanding that Wordperfect has a loyal following in legal professions and in the government.

The new WordPerfect iPad app is the official WordPerfect Office companion. It lets users open files in Dropbox, make edits and create PDFs and documents in a familiar WordPerfect interface. Users can save their work in a cloud service and continue working from their desktop by accessing their files from Dropbox.

Recently Corel also released the latest version of WordPerfect X7 as well.

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Categories: SMB

Repeat Customers Are Awesome. Paper Loyalty Cards Don’t Work. Huzzah Has A Solution

Mon, 04/14/2014 - 17:00

I have loyalty cards for Walgreens, CVS, Rockin’ Joe’s Cafe, Pathmark and a few other retailers.

I never carry the reward cards in my wallet so if I can input my telephone number, great, if I can’t then I don’t buy the item I wanted or more likely than not I just pay the additional money for what I want.

Huzzah has a neat loyalty reward system, which is only $1 a month to try out. It’s regularly $70 a month.

When you sign up for Huzzah they send you an iPad.

Your customers download the Huzzah app and when they visit your store they scan their loyalty card barcode or the barcode on their phone on your Huzzah supplied iPad. After they earn the required number of points they can redeem them for a variety of rewards from your business.

Do you like rewards? Do you like repeat business? Try out a digital rewards system.

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Categories: SMB

3 Tips for Preparing Your Small Business for the Unexpected

Mon, 04/14/2014 - 15:54

Many small businesses operate in a reactive, rather than proactive, mode. Business owners spend so much time putting out fires that setting aside resources to prepare for future fires is usually not an option, but a necessity if you want to be able to refocus your business and achieve greater success. Here are three tips that will help prepare your small business for the unexpected.

I am blogging on behalf of Visa Business and received compensation for my time from Visa for sharing my views in this post, but the views expressed here are solely mine, not Visa’s. Visit http://facebook.com/visasmallbiz to take a look at the reinvented Facebook Page: Well Sourced by Visa Business. The Page serves as a space where small business owners can access educational resources, read success stories from other business owners, engage with peers, and find tips to help businesses run more efficiently. Every month, the Page will introduce a new theme that will focus on a topic important to a small business owner’s success. For additional tips and advice, and information about Visa’s small business solutions, follow@VisaSmallBiz and visit http://visa.com/business. 3 Tips for Preparing Your Small Business for the Unexpected

Unfortunately, when a business owner is always in “firefighter” mode, it’s impossible to work hard on winning new clients or tackling more lucrative projects. By working with your team to put an infrastructure in place to deal with future issues, you’ll have help in dealing with the issues that emerge each day. Once your team is able to respond to problems without escalating it to you, you’ll be able to gradually shift your focus to building your company. Here are three tips on how you can make that happen.

Document Processes

As your business’s owner, you likely have a great deal of knowledge that you haven’t shared with your team. They turn to you to resolve various issues, then resume their daily tasks while you work things out. Each new emergency needs immediate attention, so there’s no time to train someone else on how to handle it.

On a sheet of paper, scribble down the different fires you’re asked to put out during the day. As time frees up later, quickly document the process you underwent to resolve each of them. Once you have your documentation in place, meet with your team to assign different team members to handle various issues the next time they arise. Promise to be available if they need you, but step away and trust your team members to take care of things.

Choose an Apprentice

Another option for busy professionals is to choose a trusted team member to serve as an apprentice. Ask that team member to stay close by and note how you handle various issues throughout the day. Gradually you can turn tasks over to that apprentice. You may even designate different employees to learn different tasks and ask them to observe with the intention of eventually taking them over.

Delegate Selectively

Freeing up time for yourself doesn’t mean you have to delegate everything to team members. Choose those items you enjoy doing and delegate the rest. If an employee possesses talents you don’t, train that employee to take over something you feel he might do a better job at than you.

It’s also important to look around and make sure your lack of delegation isn’t an issue of being surrounded by inadequate team members. Poor hiring decisions can haunt a business owner for years, forcing him to continue to bear the brunt of the work while ill-fitting employees sit idly by, collecting a paycheck.

On a regular basis, evaluate your infrastructure and take a close look at the workload. If your team is already overloaded, consider outsourcing some of the more mundane tasks to free up in-house workers to deal with pressing issues on a daily basis. An employee who exists solely to do data entry could be moved into a more challenging position while data entry is outsourced. In-house employees can often be trusted to handle such sensitive issues as client relations and late payments.

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Categories: SMB

Eventbrite Enables Event Organizers To Sell Tickets Based on Seating

Sun, 04/13/2014 - 19:00

Eventbrite is one of the best services enabling small businesses to manage ticket sales at events. I’ve used Eventbrite for over 5 years to manage dozens and dozens of big and small events.

Recently Eventbrite launched a new service letter event organizers sell tickets to specific seats in a venue.

Eventbrite Seat Designer, according to Eventbrite is an intuitive, self-service product gives event organizers the power to generate more revenue from their events and guarantee a better experience for their attendees.

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Categories: SMB

Tactile, New Salesforce App, Adds Team Synchronization and Better Collaboration To Sales Teams

Sat, 04/12/2014 - 20:00

Tactile is a new app, by a former Salesforce executive, which gives sales executives an easy to way keep track of their contacts, synchronization information between sales staff and connect with the social information of a contact.

According to the press release: “The company’s technology and approach is a natural fit for customer relationship management (CRM), which is notorious for low salesperson adoption. The company’s first mobile app, Tact, syncs a sales professional’s essential business data from email, calendars, tasks, contacts, LinkedIn, and Salesforce. With all this disparate information linked and available in one place, salespeople can better prepare for, capture and follow-up on their daily conversations, creating deeper relationships and ultimately, greater personal success. Further, with a simple swipe, important details can be synced back to the company, giving management the visibility they want.”

Check out this video of Tacticle here - https://www.youtube.com/watch?v=OXT2iuzbCWo&feature=youtu.be or below

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Categories: SMB

New Hiring Service To Help Non HR Professionals: YouAreHR

Sat, 04/12/2014 - 18:00

YouAreHR has launched YouAreHR.com, an online service that makes it simple for non-HR professionals to identify, review, and hire employees for their businesses. YouAreHR.com turns the complicated process of hiring new employees into a streamlined process that hiring managers can use to fill personnel vacancies. YouAreHR.com lets your company collect job applications and evaluate potential employees online. Alternatively, business managers can add a custom YouAreHR “help wanted” section to the company website.

Founded by Alex Kolesnichenko, I asked him for more information.

What are businesses using who are NOT using YouAreHR.

1.       Usually businesses do not use anything at all. The smaller, the younger the company, chances are every round of requiting  is pretty chaotic.

That said, of course, we’re not the only company that targets this audience and not all target companies are unaware of applicant tracking software and services. The Resumator, RecruiterBox, ZOHO are targeting this market and we see people using it. As businesses grow, they start looking into more comprehensive solutions, where applicant tracking is just a feature, not a product.

What are they missing if not using an HR management tool?

2.       Well, first of all, companies that do not use any tools for recruitment process are spending a lot of their time dealing with miscommunications surrounding recruiting, data and feedback collection and organization, complexities of time management (especially if company looks outside their local job market for new hires).

Hiring wrong people is pretty expensive in the long run.

YouAreHR establishes a pipeline for hiring people. We guide the company by establishing well-defined recruitment stages, collect information and team feedback, help with scheduling. We put recruitment-related communications and data into one place, so companies would make an educated hiring decision. On top of that, all our offerings are very transparent, we don’t require any mandatory sales calls – we are always there to help out with your recruitment process, you may even schedule a call with us for free, if you need help. In case if the company is done with recruitment, they may stop using our service and we’ll preserve their data for free, so they could jump-start their new recruitment season.

What about using Monster or other hiring services

3.       Monster is a gigantic job board with additional services they offer to companies. It’s probably great for mid-to-large-size companies, but they might be out-of-reach for small biz. I do see that one of our customers had posted their listing on Monster and linked to our intake form. Usually companies simply post their job ads on Craigslist, their sites, small job boards, on Facebook or Twitter. WRT hiring services – for temps, maybe, but not for your core staff. There you want to control all steps of recruitment and where we come in handy.

What are your best practices for hiring the right candidate?

4.       We’re preaching staged approach to recruitment – the company should go through the pre-screen, phone screen, then face-to-face.

  • Our default template for a job opening contains all of these.
  • Most of the filtering should be done during pre-screen and phone screen, so we suggest for teams to sit down and come up with a decent number of questions that they think are important for making quick decision to reject an applicant – this will save tremendous amount of time otherwise spent on meeting face-to-face. Use our pre-screen forms and phone screen questionnaires for that.
  • Only a small fraction of potential hires should make it to face-to-face stage.
  • There also – have a general plan for interviews, so you would compare apples-to-apples when choosing between candidates.
  • Use our calendar to make sure everybody’s on the same page.
  • We even handle situations when applicants are in a different time zone. There should not be an excuse for missed appointments, because it wastes everybody’s time.
  • Last but not the least – keep all data and feedback on candidates in one place. There should not be a situation when you’re trying to make a hiring decision by combing through everybody’s emails, trying to find resumes or thoughts after the interview.
  • We also urge people to read on how other companies are dealing with their hiring – it’s always very interesting to see how fellow entrepreneurs are solving this problem.
  • We have a (currently) small section of featured articles we’re collecting on youarehr.com, where we link to articles in biz publications that touch this topic.

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Categories: SMB

Yelp Pissing You Off? Here’s 5 Simple Ways Your Small Business Can Fight Back and Win

Sat, 04/12/2014 - 03:00

Are you pissed that the good reviews you’ve collected on Yahoo or other web sites are gone, thanks to a deal with Yelp?

While it might be a challenge to understand how Yelp works, here’s a few things you can do to ensure you are in control of your reviews and not Yelp, or anyone else.

  1. Train your staff to capture reviews from customers via video, email or other wise.
  2. Encourage your customers to email in their reviews or write them down by hand
  3. Capture reviews through a form on your web site and display them prominently on your web site
  4. Ensure you encourage your customers to regularly and frequently send good reviews to Yelp and other online local directories
  5. Update your local search directory listing – ensure the telephone number, address, link to a men and more are up to date

 

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Categories: SMB

Heartbleed and Small Business Security. Hearbleed’s Affect on 7 Small Business Web Sites.

Sat, 04/12/2014 - 01:45

As you might know by now, Heartbleed is a security flaw that enables unauthorized users to access your encrypted information.

When you visit a web site, through a “secure connection”,  in theory the information is encrypted and can’t be accessed.

According to CNN, “Cybercriminals could exploit the bug to access visitors’ personal data as well as a site’s cryptographic keys, which can be used to impersonate that site and collect even more information.”

Just do a Google search for “Heartbleed” to see what you need to do.

But in short, you need to a) ensure that the web sites your use have fixed the Heartbleed security flaw b) if they’ve done this you need to then change your password.

There seem to be so many security holes, flaws and ways for un-authorized users to access your network. Here’s what you should do to be as secure as possible:

  • Be vigilant and aware when major secure flaws are announced by the general media
  • Sign up and/or be aware of security notifications from your software vendors
  • Regularly update your computer software (browser, operating system, software)
  • Backup your data and related software and applications
  • Train your staff (and you) in the basics of computer security
  • Be vigilant and smart (don’t write your password on a piece of paper, for example)
  • Consider “two factor authentication” to have not only a password to access your web sites but also a secret code provided on a cell phone or other 3rd party device

Here’s some popular small business online software and how they been affected by Heartbleed

Quickbooks online - not affected

GoDaddy – if you use their SSL services read this statement in what to do

PayPal – not affected

Dropbox – was affected but has patched it’s servers – password reset probably needed

Evernote – never affected, was secure

Asana – was affected, fixed their servers – you might want to change your password

Most all banks appear to have not been affected

Infusionsoft – not directly affected at all. However read this thorough blog post for more details.

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Categories: SMB

Twitter Profile Page is Changing. Here’s 4 Reasons You Should Care.

Wed, 04/09/2014 - 23:26

Twitter is changing its profile page, as announced on their blog. The main changes Twitter is making are:

  • Best Tweets: Tweets that have received more engagement will appear slightly larger, so your best content is easy to find.
  • Pinned Tweet: Pin one of your Tweets to the top of your page, so it’s easy for your followers to see what you’re all about.
  • Filtered Tweets: Now you can choose which timeline to view when checking out other profiles. Select from these options: Tweets, Tweets with photos/videos, or Tweets and replies.

Visually you’ll find a much bigger profile photo you can use – mimicking Facebook’s profile pages.

  • Pictures and video rule in social
  • Engagement is priceless – thoughtless Tweets are no longer acceptable; every Tweet matters
  • Twitter is not just for geeks, but for more main stream communication
  • Keep using Facebook, it’s great, but don’t ignore Twitter. Explore it.

 

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Categories: SMB

Should Phone Companies Force You To Get Rid of Old Phone Lines?

Wed, 04/09/2014 - 22:55

While many of  us are leveraging digital phone systems in our homes, home offices and corporate offices, there’s a number of folks who are using circuit switched (old fashioned) telephone lines for communications.

A Wall Street Journal article reads, “AT&T says the transition will create faster, cheaper networks that speed creation of improved high-definition voice and video calling. Circuit-switched phone networks require separate, point-to-point connections for each call. Because Internet protocol systems zap traffic in small packets, AT&T could reduce the number of places where it hands off traffic to other carriers to a handful from thousands now”.

If you’re still using old school telephone lines for your communications be in serious consideration to update and leverage the advantage of higher speed, digital, data lines.

What are those advantages:

  • Faster communications
  • Ability to more easily connect multiple devices to the Internet
  • Leverage software based voice communications (voice mail as email for example)
  • and other benefits

Read the entire WSJ article to get both sides of the issue, but overall, for sure, broadband, digital lines or much better for small businesses than old fashioned circuit switched telephone lines.

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Categories: SMB

How GPS Tracking Helps Small Vehicle Fleets Fire or Reward Employees (@Fleetmatics)

Tue, 04/08/2014 - 21:25

So you have a fleet of vehicles for your local delivery company, installation service or anything else. If you’re using paper and pen, or a spreadsheet to manage these vehicles you’re wasting money and/or being highly unproductive.

I spoke with the owner of Hidden Fence who told me that by using GPS tracking software for this fleet of vehicles, he’s able to save time, save money and overall be more productive. Those business owners who are not using technology to manage their fleet are wasting fuel, increasing costs and overall not squeezing every bit of profit they can from each vehicle.

One more thing we often don’t realize is that vehicle tracking technology can help you reward good drivers and re-train or fire bad drivers. Furthermore GPS tracking is a powerful tool to boost customer service.

Check out my interview the CTO of Fleetmatics (maker of GPS tracking software) here https://www.youtube.com/watch?v=ZsBKiyJ5rSo or below.

 

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Categories: SMB

10 Tips and Tricks to Boost Your Google Search Efficiency

Mon, 04/07/2014 - 18:01

The internet is a vast ocean of information, and Google is one of the most beloved search engines to help you navigate the waters. However, we’ve all experienced the pitfalls of searching – the frustration of getting inaccurate results and the time wasted as we try and try again to find the information we’re looking for. Why does a simple search become so difficult sometimes?

The fact is that internet searching can be easier if you use the right techniques. These Google search guidelines can help you quickly find the information you’re looking for without all the stress. There are a number of tricks you can use, and today we’re highlighting 10 of our favorites.

1.  Add search terms a few at a time. One of the first things Google mentions in its Tips & Tricks page is that the search engine will be kinder to you if you start simple. Start out with a search where you choose just 2 or 3 of the most related words. You can gradually add to this search if you don’t find what you’re looking for.

2.  Use Search Tabs. Google search is divided up into various categories, including: Videos, Images, News, Books, Maps, Shopping, Flights and Apps. The default setting is “Web” which includes everything – so if you’re looking for something specific, search within the specific tab instead.

3.  Use Quotes for Better Accuracy.  If you want to search a specific phrase, make it easier for Google to realize this – just group the words inside quotation marks and Google will search that exact phrase – and in that exact order. Only websites that have these specific words, in order, will appear in searches.

4.  Narrow or expand your search with AND & OR. Using the word AND between words (or phrases, using the quote technique above) can narrow your search because you’ll only get web page results that include BOTH words or phrases. On the other hand, you can expand your search using the word OR between words or phrases. This will give you search results that have either of the words/phrases.

5.  Get similar terms with the ‘~’ sign.  If you put a ~ sign right before a word, you are telling Google to search not only for that word, but also similar terms. This is a good idea when a word has a number of synonyms and you want these related words included in search results.

6.  Search specific sites by using a colon. If you are looking specifically for search results that come from one site in particular, you can tell Google to do this by typing out your search terms, and then site:name.com. For example the search – social media marketing site:smallbiztechnology.com – will return only results from Small Biz Technology that have those words in them.

7.  Take advantage of location based searches. If you have allowed Google to know your location, there is no need to include any extra location-based search terms if you want local information. For example, a search of ‘coffee shops’ will already assume your location and provide local results. If you are searching for information outside of your area, just type your search terms followed by the zip code (or city/state).

8.  Exclude words by using a hyphen.  If you are searching for a word with an ambiguous meaning, you can use a hyphen to exclude results that relate to a definition you aren’t looking for. For example, if you are looking for Mustang, but don’t want results relating to the car, Ford Mustang, you would type ‘Mustang -cars’ into the search bar and all results that have the word car in it would be eliminated.

9. Find sites similar to other sites. If you are looking for a website similar to one of your favorites or that will offer items similar to one that you’ve found, you can do a quick ‘related’ search to find them quickly. For example, lets say you want to find sites similar to Best Buy. Type related:bestbuy.com into the search and sites similar to Best Buy, but not the Best Buy site, will appear in your search.

10.   Search your web history. If you grant permission, Google will keep track of your web history – and then this history is searchable to you later on. Think, for example, of a time when you read a good article and then couldn’t seem to find it later on. If you had saved your search history you could have searched it and found it quickly.

Google is continually updating its search features to make online searches easier and to deliver the exact information you are after. Try these techniques to better communicate what you are searching, and you’ll see a huge boost in your search efficiency.

The post 10 Tips and Tricks to Boost Your Google Search Efficiency appeared first on SmallBizTechnology.

Categories: SMB

How The Most Creative New Yorker (Borbay) Blends Art and Business Profit

Wed, 04/02/2014 - 18:37

Many artists struggle to make a living. Borbay, New York City’s most creative artist shared how he does what he loves (art) and has built a thriving business at the same time.

Watch below, or click here, as the shares his secrets of success at the 3rd Wix Small Business Breakfast, sponsored by Infusionsoft.

Wix provides awesome do it yourself web creation services – feature rich and simple to use web sites for small business owners.

Infusionsoft is the leading small business sales and marketing CRM software company – helping small business owners date their leads and marry their customers.

Watch here - https://www.youtube.com/watch?v=WPnF3xbv1n0 or below:

(Check out all Small Business Breakfasts here)

@borbays just said "Rejection is like a badge of honor." @WixLounge hosting with @RamonRay

— Cinti Laird (@CintiLaird) April 2, 2014

@borbay @ramonray @Wix "Hustle = 50% giving + 50% taking." We say the same can be said about Love. #love #Hustle http://t.co/sqYfO58GcZ

— CLYCKED X DEGREES™ (@clycked) April 2, 2014

Thanks for the great hustling tips @ramonray & @borbay today at #WixEvents. The sky's the limit!

— Stjepan Alaupovic (@StJepanMedia) April 2, 2014

"The hustle is part of giving" #wow #loveit @ramonray

— Sonja R. Herbert (@SonjaRHerbert) April 2, 2014

The one and only @borbay is dropping some great knowledge at @Wix Small Biz Breakfast! Kudos to @ramonray as well. #WixEvents

— Stephen Elliot (@stephenelliot) April 2, 2014

Having so much fun at "the art of the hustle" small biz bfast at @wix with @borbay and @ramonray #wixevents

— Cassandra Bodzak (@cassandrabodzak) April 2, 2014

.@borbay & @ramonray dropping some knowledge at the @Wix small biz breakfast #wixevents pic.twitter.com/FFpJNLz5id

— WixLounge (@WixLounge) April 2, 2014

The post How The Most Creative New Yorker (Borbay) Blends Art and Business Profit appeared first on SmallBizTechnology.

Categories: SMB

New Contact Widget from Nimble Makes Management Of Your Contact’s Easier

Wed, 04/02/2014 - 16:11

In the world of information overload, tools should make it easy for you to manage contacts and get all the information in one place. When you are looking for information on a business contact, you usually have to use a plethora of tools to get more information and connect with them. Last week I saw a demo for a new widget that Nimble – a CRM company is releasing today- that you can install on your Chrome Browser.

When you see a name anywhere on your browser the new Nimble widget allows you to right click and search for that person and enables you to take action by communicating with contacts,  add task, and follow-ups directly within the widget itself.

Here are 5 reasons why Nimble will be useful to your small business :

  1. Setting an engagement calendar. You can choose a contact and specify how often you would like to be in  touch with them – weekly, once a month, annually.
  2. Add new people into your Nimble Contact list from a simple search through your browser
  3. Using Nimble to consolidate all your connections from different networks and having a simple and neat inbox
  4. Tag and manage your contacts for easy retrieval
  5. Manage your networks in one place and schedule or set tasks for each connection

I tried the new Nimble widget  with a search for Ramon Ray and at once Nimble’s engine told me that Ramon matches my keyword for contacts and offered to mark this contact as important. I also scheduled a follow-up with Ramon weekly and wrote a note about the connection and if I wanted to I could create a task or setup a deal.

My recommendation is to try Nimble and the inclusion of this new widget has made your business contacts much easier to manage and grow.

 

The post New Contact Widget from Nimble Makes Management Of Your Contact’s Easier appeared first on SmallBizTechnology.

Categories: SMB

Technology Does Not Have To Intimidate, If You Buy It With Thoughtful Planning, Says Brother Printer Exec

Mon, 03/31/2014 - 20:20

John Wandishin, VP of Marketing, Brother International discusses how small business owners don’t have to be intimidated by technology. He also advised to not buy technology without knowing what you want to do with technology. Don’t just by a tablet for the sake of buying i, for example,  but have a clear business purpose in mind for how it will help your business.

Watch our discussion here – https://www.youtube.com/watch?v=KpDiL3zlDO8 or below

Maybe you’re looking to update your email marketing software. Think of WHY you want to upgrade it and/or what the problem is that you want the new software to solve.

Could it be that you need training in using what you already have? Maybe it’s that what you have is not working well. Could it be that the vendor has upgraded software (or hardware) that might make what you have operate better?

I met with John on the occasion of the release of Brother’s 5th annual small business survey

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Categories: SMB