Category: business


5 Tips For Remote Tech Support for a Small Business

January 8, 2018

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You may be the CEO of a new business with a lot of requests from clients or you may be an IT professional at a small firm where new infrastructure is required. No matter what position you are on right now, you need advanced technology solutions. However, you may want to keep in mind that installing and maintaining new systems can pose a challenge. So, you have to be ready to deal with this challenge. One way is to hire a dedicated employee or outsource the tasks to a good team of professionals. Given below are a few tips that can be used to organize remote tech support.

Identifying the results

First of all, what you need to do is identify your desired results. It’s important to keep in mind that each small business has its own requirements as far as tech support is concerned. So, it’s a good idea to decide on what you want to achieve. Moreover, you may want to find out about the technical issues that you may encounter. For instance, your requirements may be different if your area gets regular power outages.

Your next step is to make a list of your main IT tasks and the desired results that you want to achieve. This will help you get a better idea of your needs and choose the right type of technical support.

Choosing the provider

It’s not a good idea to take this decision without thinking a lot. You should take your time to do the research and look for the right company. The provider should have good reputation and a support plan that won’t break the bank.

Considering in-house tech support

A dedicated IT staff can help a lot provided you take into account all the important factors, such as the company size, tech challenges, and your internal and external needs related to your customers.

Considering hybrid solutions is also a great idea where you can bring a professional to handle critical issues. For other projects, you can use a remote IT support team. For instance, you can use this team to take care of emergency issues.

Investing in good software

Your business may have more than one location. Your commitments may be time-sensitive and your deliverables may be complex. Your customers or clients may be diverse with needs that keep on changing.

To meet these needs, you need to buy a reliable remote app in order to offer support to each of your client. The same app can be used by your staff to get access to important data as needed.

Consulting IT pros

If your business experiences small issues on a route basis, you can get advice from the pros whose job is to fix those issues on a daily basis. For instance, you can head to tech support forums where many pros offer advice for free of charge to those who need it. You may be amazed to know that even complicated issues can be solved with simple tricks.

A Brief History of World Printing

January 8, 2018

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Historical background of Europe and the Middle East

The prehistoric time in Europe was the time when there were no writings or printings either. The inks that were used at that time were animal blood or some other natural color that came from berries or fruit. Animal bones were used to make pictures of the caves, and the images were not entirely precise.

In the Middle Eastern new Islamic regions, a specific tool was used to make printings or images of different materials. A special ink was created with the help of several burnt ingredients. Clay tablets and skins of animals were used for printing in the late 3000 BC. That printing was costly at that time, and only the wealthy people could afford that sort.

Printing and packaging through Egyptian and Greek history

The Egyptians introduced the concept of black ink as they produced ink by using black soot, beeswax, and vegetable oil. Because of that quality ink, some of the evidence of printing in that era still survive and are legible. In the Greek time, a red pen was used to form writings, and the tablets were made of clay.

History of the engraving and etching technique

Engravings and etching go way back in the past, and it created beautiful prints for all purposes but especially packaging. Metallic tools were used to make grooves on the cardboard, and this unusual technique was welcomed by the society. Iron plates were involved in the process of etching to produce printing designs on the packaging boxes.

Several ancient technologies; Lithography and Chromolithography

A Bavarian called Alois Senefelder introduced lithography in 1796. This technique was able to create diversified image son several materials that were used in different industries. The base of this invention happened when he found that grease could be used for printing. He discovered that the oil could leave high-quality prints on the paper sheets and cardboard.

Mezzotint ancient technique

Ludwig Seigen invented a new technology in the eighteenth century that involved printing images that were half tinted. This fantastic method became very popular and was perfect for the reproduction of pictures on any medium. Nevertheless, the time span of this process was too long, and that is why it became costly especially for commercial packaging.

Colour printing initiative

Color printing for boxes and other industries was a significant milestone, and it changed all the trends of designing and creativity. This technology was able to set new standards in this field. Later in the 1930s, the stones were replaced, and zinc plates were used instead, and the process was called zincography. It was more refined, and the quality of printing was better.

Advancement on the way in digital printing

Digital printing came to the market in the early 1900s, and it was a great leap in the printing and packaging industry because it made the firms able t create detailed and vibrant logos for boxes. The very first color-printing machine introduced to the world was named Indigo, and that happened in 1993. A company invented another development in 1977, and that new device fasted in the whole world at that time. Hewlett Packard developed a new printing mechanism and tools the industry by a storm through the gorgeous designs it was able to produce.

Do You Know Your Trailers?

January 8, 2018

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Freight brokers don’t necessarily need to come from a trucking background. (Further down, I’ll tell what’s more important).

Some shippers will need “power” only. For example, they will have their trailers load and ready for a power unit to hook up. The driver will then deliver the cargo and leave without the trailer. It’s a hook and drop.

There are many types and models of truck cabs as well trailers. At times a shipper will require a certain year and model power unit. These requirements are mainly the result of clean air regulations. There may be other reasons as well. Older power units may have to get retro-fitted before entering particular highways or areas. Trailer units may be fitted with skirts and other devices to make them more aerodynamic thus reducing drag and increasing fuel mileage. These are issues that truck owners decide upon.

Now, before I started working in the brokerage industry, I thought the shipper would give me an order and then leave it up to me to find the proper trailer. This is not the case. Shippers normally know exactly what they need and they will provide that detail to brokers when giving the order.

The most popular types of trailers that a shipper will require will normally be either a dry van, a refrigerated unit (reefer) or a flatbed. Tankers may also be required for certain industries like chemicals or clean food cargo.

Dry vans are probably the simplest type of trailer. Just about any type of product can be moved that does not require refrigeration or is not over-sized. Dry food products, machine parts and clothing are examples. Cargo can be loaded in boxes, placed on pallets or some other configuration.

Some shippers may require inexpensive dunnage (cardboard, foam, etc.) to keep loads from shifting, for ventilation or to permit access/egress for forklifts.

Reefers deliver items that need to be temperature controlled. Fresh produce, meats, even some plants. The shipper will normally indicate a temperature of 38-40 degrees for produce; and for meat or other food items, a temperature of below zero is required.

Reefers are normally equipped with a temperature recording device that gauges and tapes the temperature for the duration of the trip. It’s up to each driver to set the temperature and maintain it in the correct manner.

Refrigerated cargo is perishable; the driver has to maintain a fine line between driving fast enough to get the product delivered yet hoping not to violate their hours of service limits.

Flat beds can come in different configurations. There is the regular flatbed with nothing fancy. Flatbeds are ideal for over-sized or heavy freight. Cargo can be loaded and off-loaded from several directions. Trailers can be step decks, low boys, extendable stretch, removable goose neck and others. Flatbeds can have sides put in place to haul bulk items or they can be tarped.

Whatever the case may be, the shipper will explain what they need. It’s up to the freight broker to accurately relay the information to the truck driver. If there is any question after taking the order from the shipper, it is important that the broker call the shipper back for clarification. Don’t wing it.

Now, as mentioned above, brokers don’t need to come from a trucking background; the most important requirements are to learn how to run a business. Learn how to not only work with shippers and carriers but also how to acquire customers, how to prequalify motor carriers, how to manage cash, how to set up effective operations and how to set aside time for planning.

Business Referral Tips

January 8, 2018

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The company That Grows Without Advertising

Have you ever noticed the company that never advertises, yet continues to grow? Some companies accomplish so much without spending a dime on advertising. But how do they do it? What’s the trick?

LinkedIn Referrals

The answer to growing your business without a large advertising budget is referrals. Some businesses build their client base completely through referrals. We have compiled a list of some of most useful tricks for growing your business through referrals and we start with LinkedIn because it is the most successful place on the Internet with which to grow a referral base.

LinkedIn: Professional Referral Powerhouse

The powerhouse of professional networking is LinkedIn. There is no ad in a magazine that can replace the power of connections obtained through LinkedIn. Profiles on many social networking sites are useful, but LinkedIn provides interval success by serving as a platform in sustaining and building business relationships. By building a robust profile in LinkedIn, you build authenticity. By completing your LinkedIn profile, you provide an authoritative resource on your career. It helps you to control your identity online, even in Google. You can control the top results that people see in Google when searching by your name. In most cases, your LinkedIn profile will appear at the top of these search results. So, for this reason alone, you should have a 100% complete profile in LinkedIn.

Here’s how…

A 100% complete profile in LinkedIn includes:

an executive summary and skill set
a photo
education history
three recent positions
three recommendations from your connections

To get started, click “Edit Profile” from within LinkedIn.

Be more referable.

Sounds simple enough, but not everyone does this. And remember, nobody wants to refer their clients to a company that is non-responsive. It looks bad. So go to work on the customer experience and the transaction that your company provides. Always be extremely responsive to your clients, even if you do not have the answer or solution, respond to the client with “We’re on it” or “We are researching this issue and will keep you informed of our progress towards a resolution”. A quick response to a customer’s question makes a bold statement that your company is eager to please. Customers appreciate that and will tell their friends or family about the pleasant experience that they had with your business.

Make it an expectation.

Make it an expectation that every single one of your customers is going to be a referral source. Start talking about it in the lead conversion process, when you are selling to potential clients. Introduce the idea that “Within 90 days”, for example, “you’re going to be so happy that we are going to ask you to refer three people who need the same positive results from our company.” It;s a great marketing message that “You are going to be thrilled”.

Make it a practice to participate in LinkedIn groups and discussions.

When you join a LinkedIn group, be sure to specify that you want to receive emails from the group. Then, daily, scan those emails and if one of the current discussions is relevant to your skill set, chime in. Keep your comments short and professional. When composing your comments, make it a habit to regularly think in terms of gaining more referrals. Set goals for yourself each week and keep track of the number of referrals that you get.

Be specific when asking for a referral.

Be specific when asking for a referral. And always-remember to ask for referrals. Don’t be shy about it. A good example is, “Our best referral is a small business owner who… ” and ask your customers for three referrals “… so that we can make them a happy client.”

Be consistent when asking for referrals.

Make every client meeting an opportunity to collect referrals, but don’t bee too pushy or obvious.

Offer commissions or referral fees.

Have you ever seen companies that have a page on their site, in a very visible position, that says “Refer a friend and get $100”? Well, it works! Educate clients about your service and how you can help other businesses. And don’t forget to mention that by referring clients to your company, they are paid a referral fee. It’s a win-win for both parties. Reward your referral sources. Keep them informed of the progress and the satisfaction of the person to whom they referred to you.

Happy customers are the best referrals.

Ideal referrals come from happy customers. So make it a habit to over-deliver and your referral base will grow.

Follow up after a sale.

Follow up immediately after meeting a new referral. Ask that referral to personally meet for coffee or write a letter of introduction to begin the relationship.

Most sales people stop at the end of the sales process. They go through the same cycle of prospect, present, close, follow-up. That sales strategy has worked in the past, but to build your company, you need to build relationships and become known as an expert in your field. You need to be known as a person of value. If your customers value the knowledge and expertise you offer to them, then the easier it is going to be for you to maintain a relationship after the sale has been completed.

Be Available

By making yourself available, you never know when someone will become ready to send you referrals. Remember, a referral is an engagement. It is a partnership and if you keep your customers happy, your referral base will grow. It costs ten times as much to get a new client than it does to get clients from existing customers. So capitalize on the asset of your client base and grow your business.

Don’t forget a thank-you note.

Always thank someone that sends you a referral. A “thank you” note received in a timely manner goes a long way. If someone sends you a referral on Monday, be sure they have the “thank you” note on their desk by Friday. Don’t wait too long or the thank you note will lose its effectiveness.

Importance of Free Classified Ads

January 8, 2018

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The globe is increasing in terms of company and item development. These days, we can find a variety of types for an item due to the long-lasting impact of Globalization and Modernization. Because of this, the competitors for all kinds of goods and solutions is increasing day by day. In this increasingly aggressive globe, the only solution to endure in the company is a proper and efficient promotion. The no cost ads are one such way to improve the demand for your item.

The Significance of Posting Free Ads

The ads can play an important role in gaining access to your business. These ads perform as a little but efficient expression of the items offered by you. They can catch the interest of public on a wide variety simultaneously. And they are recommended by most individuals due to the brief and to the point description of the item. Thus, they are helpful resources that entice the large individuals in brief time period.

The Benefits of Internet Ads

There are a lot of ways to promote the item. Some resources perform for the specific individuals, while some aim at higher variety of clients. But, no other way is as efficient as the worldwide web promotion. These days, the use of Internet has not stayed limited to the places, it has gone to the remote distant towns. The only way to make the item available to every possibility is to use no cost ads. Following are the main benefits of using Internet to promote our item or service:

Cost Free: Many of the websites are providing no cost ads assistance. So, you do not have to worry about the costs of advertising the goods and solutions that other to supply.

Access to Relevant Products: The links given in the ads can take the clients to the variety of relevant items. Therefore, the clients prefer the ads as they can have variety of options at one click.

Easy Upgrading and Enhancing: The ads can be quite easily handled by the resources. If not required, they can be removed immediately. Otherwise, there is an update option to edit the ad.

Greater Opportunities of Sales: Every user of the Internet will have access to the information offered by the ads. Therefore, the clients and individuals having interest in company collaboration will be the target of these ads. There are opportunities of more revenue queries that can be produced.

Why Your Advertising Should Make Your Business Money

January 8, 2018

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I’m constantly reminded, mostly because I need reminding, is that business is here for one basic reason: to serve you (and those around you) while providing the lifestyle you desire.

Not the other way around. If you’re a slave to your business, then you may as well keep working for man.

So, if you started your business for any other reason, then I suggest that you rethink the true reason you started your business in the first place.

At any rate, there’s probably a hundred great reasons why you started your “biz”. But for the sake of argument let’s just say that you started it to create the lifestyle you’ve always dreamed about.

You want all the bells and whistles that only a biz can bring, along with all the money and glory that goes with it.

Hey, whatever that reason is, that’s cool. We’re here to discover why…

… Your Advertising Needs To Be Like A Good Salesperson

First things first. The first order of business is to get some customers and sales, right? You gotta get sales before we can get to profits, OK?

So understand you are really a sales and marketing organization. That should be at the top of your organizational pyramid.

Marketing and sales is what drives your business and keeps it from tanking and going under.

Now, don’t get me wrong. Your product or service is very important too. Your “product” needs to be valuable, good and unique.

Like the legendary copywriter and marketer Gary Bencivenga once said, “A gifted product or mightier than a gifted pen.”

What that really means is no amount of salesmanship can sell something that’s neither valuable or unique.

I’m going to assume that you already have a great product (or will at least find one that’s over the top).

With that said, we’re back to driving your business growth. Hands down, the very best way to do this is by using effective marketing and advertising.

And the best way to do this is by turning all your weak, inept “brand adverting” into good direct response advertising.

STOP what you’re doing right now; go get an ad you recently ran.

Now read your ad out loud…

What do you feel, see, and think about when you read it out loud?

Does it make sense? Does the copy flow smoothly, logically as you read it? Does it sound like a real person speaking directly to another person… or does it sound like a canned pitch, robotic, and impersonal?

It is an actual sales pitch containing the basics of any good direct response ad like a headline, a great opening, benefits for the features, an irresistible offer that’s too good to pass up? And what about a call to action? Does your ad effectively close the deal and ask for the order?

Yes, I know, there’s a lot of questions. But if you uttered a “no” to any of the questions above…

… or you were confused after reading the ad, then we have some work to do.

The quick and dirty solution is to turn your advertising piece into a true sales pitch, the kind a highly skilled sales person would naturally would offer to a qualified prospect.

Tips for Effectively Advertising Your Cleaning Business

January 8, 2018

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As the owner of a fledgling online directory, I am astounded at how many businesses don’t provide adequate information on their websites and business listings. A large number of cleaning businesses state their business name and their city location -leaving a great deal of uncertainty as to whether this business is positioned to handle a customer’s cleaning needs. This article will present the proper way for a cleaning business to list their information online, as well as, provide tips for protecting the private information of the business owners.

When starting a cleaning business, or any business for that matter, it’s important to consider the arena in which you are setting up shop. As a service provider, who travels into the homes and businesses of your customers, you have to be able to demonstrate two important things: 1) that you service the area where the job is needing to be done, and 2) that you are trustworthy, honest, and capable to do the job. Your business marketing materials (business cards, fliers, cleaning checklists, and website material) must observe both of these.

To demonstrate that you service the area where the job is, you must state where you are located. The address of your business may not seem that important if you have a service radius of 50 miles. However, a prospective customer may not be able to determine your radius if they don’t know where the center of that radius is. Saying, for instance, that your business is in New York City does not indicate which part of New York City you service -nor does it indicate to the customer that you service their home in Flushing, Manhattan, Queens, or anywhere else in the city and suburbs. It’s too vague.

How do you go about stating your address without compromising the safety of your home or family? The honest answer to this is hard to state for a number of reasons. No matter if you have a home office or a standard business front, safety is always a concern. That’s true for small business and large corporations. If you can’t get over this fact -and list your home office address- then your next best bet is to get a post office box smack dab in the center of where you plan to conduct your business: your service area. This will at least give you the benefit of utilizing the zip code itself -as a zip code is an ideal means to delineate service areas. P.O. Boxes aren’t that expensive and also serve as a way to separate your business mail from your private mail. It’s an investment that will reap bigger rewards.

Finally, listing your address also promotes a sense of trust and honesty to prospective customers. All to often, people are duped by businesses that purport to offer x service. Today’s consumers are smarter and now look for basic identifiers to vet prospective providers (look at the rise in importance of reviews, for instance). Listing your information separates you from scammers. It opens you up to your customers.

So when you go to create a listing on a directory or adding your contact information to your website, take a big step and add your address, email, and other identifiers. It builds trust with your customers, provides a focal point for your service radius, and aides in separating you from bogus companies out to dupe consumers. It’s what establishes you as a business.

Types of Business Signs

January 8, 2018

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These signs are ones that identify and/or advertise a business venture along with the name of the business, location, hours of operation, and more. It can also be one that is located inside the business listing the customer policies, a menu, prices of products, etc. There are many different kinds of business signs such as the monument, channel letters, the pylon, the billboard, and the Electronic Message Center (EMC).

Channel letters
These are consider business signs but each letter on the sign is separated, lighted, and three dimensional in shape. One common form of this type of business signs are the letters that you see on the top of the outside wall of a hotel spelling out their name. Usually as part of this business sign there will be a logo symbol that is separate. You may also see this type of sign over a business doorway like a club or restaurant. It can also be hanging down the side of the business building.

Pylon
These signs are generally tall and can be seen from the road so they are visible to drivers. It can have the name of just one business or list many businesses. One example of a multi-listing pylon business sign would be one that list businesses found in the same shopping center. There are some of these business signs that have a board where the owner can put letters advertising sales announcements or restaurants advertising specials.

Monument
These are signs that are low and near the ground. It is usually placed at the entrance of a company, business, or factory, or in the parking lot. The base of these signs can vary from synthetic materials, to stone, to concrete. You may even see lettering that has been placed straight on a big stone to create unique monument business signs. Around the stone sign you may see a landscape design of plants and flowers.

Billboards
These signs are very big and often have graphics that are eye-catching. Many areas now have requirements, including height requirements, for billboards on major interstates because of their potential to cause a distraction from drivers trying to read them. One requirement in addition to how high they can be is how far they have to be from the highway or road.

Electron Message Center
These business signs are a new technology that offers businesses the capacity to change messages easily and a wide range of colors. Some of these signs may just display the time and temperature or it could have a moving scroll of messages such as things on sale at the business, along with colorful images.

3 Types of Financial Fraud In Business

January 8, 2018

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Business fraud can have a monumental impact on an organization. There are many types of fraud that go by different names, such as financial statement fraud, bribery and corruption and asset misappropriation. It is often the case that fraud instigated by an employee will involve more than one type of fraud. Also, business fraud is not always easy to detect because it does not always show up in a company’s official accounts system. In general, the most typical way to detect this type of fraud is by receiving a tip from an employee, a customer, or an outside vendor.

Here is an overview of the different financial fraud in business:

Asset misappropriation

Asset misappropriation is the type of fraud that involves a member of staff who uses their position to take from their employers. This fraud is often committed by those trusted to manage the interests and assets of a company, which can include board members, employees or directors.

This type of fraud activity can include theft of company formulas, patents, or sensitive data, theft of credit notes or vouchers, inventory theft, theft of money or check forgery.

Any company that suffers from asset misappropriation will experience cash flow issues in some form. Plus, it can also have a negative impact on staff morale and the company’s reputation. It is believed that over 90% of business fraud is related to asset misappropriation which makes it by far the most common issue. On average, the lost from this type of fraud is in the region of $150,000 per case.

Bribery and corruption

Bribery and corruption is the next most common issue related to fraud in a business environment. Even though this type of fraud is less common than asset misappropriation, the average cost of a bribery scheme is significantly higher, and likely to exceed over half a million dollars per case.

The type of schemes involved in this area are quite broad and can include substitution of inferior goods, manipulation of contracts, bribes to influence decision-making, shell company schemes and kickbacks.

Financial statement fraud

Financial statement fraud takes place less frequently, but is almost certainly to be the most experience per case. On average, this type of fraud can lead to a company losing up to $2 million per case. This fraud involves an entity or individual falsifying earnings or income statements in an attempt to make a financial gain for them.

Passion and Business

January 8, 2018

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Every business person will experience challenges. This is a default setting in life – Challenges will always come. But, what separates the businesses that rise and rise, from those that experience failure after failure?

(Caveat: This is not to say that there are businesses that never fail. ALL businesses fail at some point. Some, however, rise from ashes and shine through.)

Passion, then, is the key ingredient between throwing in the towel, or getting up to fight the next round. There is a refining moment where every business owner goes through intense heat. This heat can either polish you or finish you completely but it all depends on the level of passion in the business.

To always keep your goals ahead of you is tough when everything is bursting at the seams. This is why asking questions is a survival skill.

“Why am I doing this? What works? What doesn’t? What can I do better?”

These questions tackle the level of passion you are carrying for the business. Sometimes, answering these questions may make you revisit exactly how you ended up in that business. This in turn focuses on your motivators. They are the little coals that keep your passion alive. They make going through the grime seem worthwhile even though the outlook seems bleak. As long as you keep asking these questions, you automatically take your mind to your motivators. That’s why challenges really should never worry you, but dwindling passion should ring alarm bells!

So, when passion starts to dwindle, simply repeat the questions, “Why am I doing this? What works? What doesn’t work? What can I do better?”

Once you have your mind on your motivators, the dying passion will be revived once again.

Why am I doing this? It’s the path towards achieving goal X, Y, Z…

What works? So far, what have I achieved? Am I still on my way there?

What doesn’t work? What has derailed me on this course? Is what I’m doing still viable? If I change course, what will still take me to goal X, Y, Z…?

What can I do better? What hasn’t stalled but isn’t performing well either? How can I affect the rate of growth? Do I really need more money? Can I do it differently? Can I borrow a strategy? Who has done this and it’s working for them?

When stalling, don’t resign. Ask. What you fear will always paralyze you. Once you question its power, you have a fighting chance left. Always ask.