“Take my monthly Trivia Challenge and you could win too!” The Grand Prize Winner of last month’s Trivia Challenge Quiz is…drum roll please… ( )! They were the first person to correctly answer my quiz question from last month: What superhero’s alter ego worked for newspaper publisher J. Jonah Jameson? a-Green Lantern, b-Superman, c-Spider-Man, d-Daredevil The correct answer is c, “Spider-Man.” Congratulations, (Winner Name), you’ve won a ($25 Gift Card)! Now, here’s this month’s trivia question. The winner will receive a gift card to (NAME OF STORE OR RESTAURANT) What is the name of the main newspaper for wizards in Harry Potter’s world? a-Words on the Wind, b-The Owl, c-Daily Prophet, d-Wizards Weekly Call me right now with your answer! XXX-XXX-XXXX Get More Free Tips, Tools and Services At My Web Site: (Enter Your Site)
One of the New Year’s resolutions I often have is to get more organized and better manage my time. After all, who doesn’t want to get more done? But a big mistake many people make is thinking ONLY in terms of “more” when it comes to getting things done. Why is this a mistake? Because chances are your plate is already full of to-do items; if you want to accomplish MORE, you’ll have to actually start thinking about what you are going to STOP doing in order to fit in the more important tasks that move you closer to your goals. As we all know, only about 20% of the things you do deliver 80% of the results you want to achieve. Therefore, in order to “get more done,” you have to clearly identify what that 20% is and focus on doing more of those activities, and delegating or ignoring the 80% of time-wasting “stuff” we all get caught up in doing. What are some big time wasters? Not having a plan for your day and reacting to whatever shows up. Constant texting or online surfing. For many, this is a huge addiction and distraction that can waste HOURS. Checking e-mail every 5 minutes. Who Else Wants To Win A $25 Gift Card? “Take my monthly Trivia Challenge and you could win too!” The Grand Prize Winner of last month’s Trivia Challenge Quiz is…drum roll please… ! They were the first person to correctly answer my quiz question from last month: What is the name of the main newspaper for wizards in Harry Potter’s world? a-Words on the Wind, b-The Owl, c-Daily Prophet, d-Wizards Weekly The correct answer is c, “ Daily Prophet.” Congratulations, , you’ve won a ! Now, here’s this month’s trivia question. The winner will receive a gift card to . In the novel Moby Dick, in which American port is the whaling ship Pequod based? a-Nantucket, b-Cooperstown, c-Mystic, d-Boston Call me right now with your answer!
Who says Valentine’s Day is just for lovers? Around here, we LOVE our clients and subscribers and want to spread the adoration around. That’s why we’ve decided to come up with the following “sweet deals” for everyone subscribed to this newsletter: For Our Clients: We want to give you a “Get Out Of Computer Trouble Free” service coupon for any HOME computer that is not already covered under . Just call us when you’re having any problem with a home PC and we’ll fix it for FREE. Not enrolled in our plan? Then sign up this month and we’ll not only waive the set up fee, but we’ll also include one month of services for FREE! Are we so love struck that we’ve lost our good sense? Not at all; we simply want to show you how much we appreciate you. For Your Friends: Refer any of your friends or colleagues to us and we’ll give them a FREE 2-hour service call to diagnose and repair any technical or computer problem that’s troubling them! If repairs require more than a 2-hour visit (and if they choose to have us complete the repair), we’ll give them 20% off our services AND guarantee we’ll fix it fast and fix it right or they won’t pay a dime. For Those “Soon-To-Be” Clients: Not a client yet? Then we want to entice you to “fall in love” with our services by also giving you a FREE 2-hour service call. Just contact us when you have an issue and we’ll either come to your office or connect remotely to your computer using our secure, “on-call” software. We’ll diagnose the problem and start working on resolving the issue. If we cannot fix it within the 2-hour window, we’ll give you a fixed quote in writing on what we believe it will take to get it working again. If you choose to have us continue, in most cases we can start working right away. And of course, ALL our services are covered by our “Fix It Right Or It’s FREE” guarantee so you never have to worry about being burned by an incompetent technician.
I recently listened to an interview with David Avrin, author of the book, “It’s Not Who You Know, It’s Who Knows You.” His message is pretty simple but powerful: the more your marketplace KNOWS your brand, the more sales and profits you’ll generate. I highly recommend his book since it contains a lot of good, common sense strategies for small business owners. Here are a few of the tips from David that I wanted to pass on to you and my other readers: You Can’t Control Your Brand: You can only INFLUENCE it. I actually thought this insight was very powerful. If you think about it, your ‘brand’ is formulated in the mind of your customer. It’s the feeling they get when they think of your company, product or service; but since the CUSTOMER generates the feeling, only they get to decide what that association is. To that end, your brand is the sum total of everything you do. For example, you eat at a restaurant where the food is outstanding but the bathrooms are dirty, the waiter is rude and they get your drink order wrong…twice. Unfortunately, the food may not be enough to get you to come back again. An Important Question You Should Know The Answer To: As business owners we spend YEARS perfecting our services, working on our operations and building our business – yet most of us only spend minutes thinking about what message we want to portray to the marketplace. During this interview, David posed the following idea: “What question do you want to be the answer to?” For us, it is… . Marketing Is Not A Department: Most people think marketing is just about web sites, brochures and postcards. Not so. Marketing should infiltrate every aspect of your business. To that end, make a list of every touch point you have with your customers and prospects and ask yourself, “Am I being INTENTIONAL about how we interact with our clients to make sure we are fulfilling our brand promise?” That would include often overlooked areas like how you answer the phone, or what you print on the invoices you send out. Being “Good” Is Not Good Enough…Anymore: With SO many choices, being “good” at what you do is no longer an advantage in the marketplace – it’s the entry point to doing business. Think of how many “good” restaurants you go to, or how many “good” stores you frequent. Chances are they deliver a satisfactory product or service, but not one that blows you away. In order to truly win the hearts (and wallets!) of our clients, we have to work on being outstanding.
Weak Passwords .You know you need to have a stronger password, yet “password” is still the #1 password used by computer users. For maximum security, your password should contain numbers and letters, both upper and lowercase combined. Lack of Education. Most viruses and spyware are invited by the user; therefore, if you want to make sure your employees don’t download viruses, take the time to educate them on what new viruses are circulating and about common scams. Lack of Maintenance. No software is perfect, which means security loop holes will be exploited by hackers the minute they are discovered. That’s why it’s critical to keep your security patches up to date. Plug and Surf. Computers are NOT designed “ready to go” out of the box. Before a phone line, ethernet cable or wireless card is anywhere near a new computer, certain security needs to be installed and/or configured. Ideally, this should include virus protection, multiple spyware scanners and a program that runs in the background to prevent malicious software from ever being installed. Do It Yourself. Setting up a network, applying proper security measures and downloading and installing software can be tricky. Large companies have IT departments. Small business owners should also ask for advice or even hire help. It’s worth the extra cost. Who Else Wants To Win A $25 Gift Card? Take my monthly Trivia Challenge and you could win too! The Grand Prize Winner of last month’s Trivia Challenge Quiz is [name of winner and town]! They were the first person to correctly answer my quiz question from last month: According to legend, what did St. Patrick drive out of Ireland? a-Witches, b- Leprechauns, c-An SUV, d-Snakes The correct answer is (d) – “Snakes.” Congratulations, [winner name], you’ve won a [25 Gift Card];! Now, here’s this month’s trivia question. The winner will receive a gift card to [NAME OF STORE OR RESTAURANT]. In a 1980 April Fools’ Day hoax, the BBC reported that the iconic Big Ben will undergo a drastic transformation. What was the transformation? a) Becoming a Swiss watch b) Double the size of the clock c) Go digital Call me right now with your answer! XXX-XXX-XXXX
Back in November, the National Labor Relations Board issued a Complaint alleging that an employer illegally terminated an employee who posted disparaging remarks about her supervisor on her personal Facebook page. The posting referred to her supervisor as a “psychiatric patient” and used several vulgarities, which resulted in other employees chiming in (Associated Press, November 2010). While the Complaint is only an accusation and not a formal ruling from the NLRB, the repercussions of this action are critically important for employers of both unionized and non-unionized employees alike. Many employers are now reviewing their social media policies with a view to determining what they can lawfully prohibit employees from posting online. Although we cannot provide any legal advice, one of the things we can help our clients with is establishing an acceptable use policy that outlines how employees can use company resources, such as their e-mail, Internet and electronic equipment. We can also help by setting up monitoring software that can either allow management to govern employee access to certain web sites, such as gambling, porn, career sites, etc., or block employees from those sites all together. If you want to keep employees focused on being productive at work, then give us a call for a free consultation and trial of this software. Who Else Wants To Win A $25 Gift Card? “Take my monthly Trivia Challenge and you could win too!” The Grand Prize Winner of last month’s Trivia Challenge Quiz is…drum roll please… [name of winner and town]! They were the first person to correctly answer my quiz question from last month: In 1657 the first chocolate shop opened up in what city? a-London, b-Vienna, c-Amsterdam, d-All of the above The correct answer is (a) – “London.” Congratulations, [winner name], you’ve won a [$25 Gift Card]! Now, here’s this month’s trivia question. The winner will receive a gift card to [NAME OF STORE OR RESTAURANT]. According to legend, what did St. Patrick drive out of Ireland? a-Witches, b- Leprechauns, c-An SUV, d-Snakes Call me right now with your answer! XXX-XXX-XXXX
The old saying, “Pack your own parachute,” comes to mind when I think of data backups or, more specifically, data RECOVERY. However, how many people actually know how to pack their proverbial data backup “parachute” and instead rely on someone else – be it an employee or vendor? If that’s you, read on. Since the absolute WORSE time to check your backups is AFTER a data disaster, all company CEOs ought to know the answers to the following questions NOW so they aren’t unpleasantly surprised later when data gets erased and they’re scrambling to get back up and running: Where EXACTLY is your data being backed up, and how do you get access to it? If it’s being hosted in a remote place, you ought to have the account information and a direct contact you can call if your vendor or employee goes missing with this information. Ideally, it should be in your network documentation that is kept in your operations manual or somewhere you can easily access it if necessary. Who’s responsible for monitoring the backups to make sure they are working? When data is lost, the finger pointing starts. It’s not uncommon to hear, “Well I thought (they/he/she) was in charge of our backups!” only to discover that this person (be it a vendor or employee) actually has no idea that they had such an important responsibility. Keep in mind that many offsite backup companies allow you to store your data there, but they won’t agree to ANY responsibility for whether or not the data is being backed up correctly, completely or in a format that can be restored. How often do you run a test restore? The only way to know if your backups are working properly is to… conduct a test restore or “fire drill” of your data. We recommend running this once a month at a minimum to verify that you can actually restore from your backups in an emergency. If your data is lost, what’s the process required to restore it? Some business owners don’t realize that their raw data backups would take a LOT longer to restore than they imagine. If you are not “imaging” your data (a process that takes a snapshot of your server as is) you will have to reload all of your software, set up the network, reconfigure your settings and THEN restore the data – a process that can take the better part of a week PROVIDED you still have your original software discs and licenses. Our Free Backup Audit will give you the answers to these critical questions. If you don’t know the answers to these questions, give us a call to schedule a FREE inspection of your backup process. At a minimum you’ll know for sure that your data is safe and in a format that can get you back up and running again FAST. Call: xxx-xxx-xxxx or email us at: firstname.lastname@example.org
Building a massive following online is no easy task. But before you give up on your company blog due to the disappointing number of people who read and comment on it, here are 3 reasons to reconsider: Search Engine Optimization. If for no other reason, blogging weekly about a particular topic will work wonders for your search engine optimization. Make sure your blog entries frequently include the keywords that people are likely use when searching for your services online, but avoid spamming the blog (overusing the words). There’s no scientific percentage here; just don’t repeat them so often that your writing seems unnatural to your readers. Free PR. The media is constantly surfing the web for content and for experts who can provide content and commentary. All it takes is one reporter to find you online and you could get tons of free publicity. You can bolster your chances of getting mentioned by writing about current events in the world or local news. For example, if you sell insurance and a hurricane or other natural disaster hits your town, you should blog about useful tips for people submitting claims to their insurance agents or how to determine how much insurance you should have, etc. Indirect Selling. Writing stories about projects you are working on, clients you’re serving or case studies is a great way to showcase your expertise and “indirectly” sell services. Of course, you can also use your blog for new product or service launches and get direct input from clients and prospects on new products and services they want to see. Client Spotlight: ABC Insurance [Insert story about this client and what you did for them: If you are looking for a company to take the headache out of your insurance needs and save you a bundle too, look no more! We were recently introduced to them through a mutual client, Bob Smith of XYZ Corp. They were having some problems with their network which we fixed immediately.] Would you like your company highlighted here in our “Client Spotlight?” Then give us a call today at XXX-XXX-XXXX
Who wouldn’t want to shop at a store that can deliver that! Is this some Nigerian business opportunity? Not at all… A review of the services we deliver for our clients showed that our clients receive an average of in services for every $1.00 they spend with us. This is based on a cost comparison between hiring a full-time, beginner technician or outsourcing to us. And that’s not taking into consideration the combined experience our team brings to your organization that you WOULDN’T get by hiring a single person. Of course you don’t see a lot of the work that goes into our services because they are done behind the scenes or after hours so that we don’t disturb you while you’re working. But in a time where saving money is more important than ever, it IS worth noting that you made a smart decision to outsource your services to us! Who Else Wants To Win A $25 Gift Card? “Take my monthly Trivia Challenge and you could win too!” The Grand Prize Winner of last month’s Trivia Challenge Quiz is…drum roll please… ! They were the first person to correctly answer my quiz question from last month: In the novel Moby Dick, in which American port is the whaling ship Pequod based? a-Nantucket, b-Cooperstown, c-Mystic, d-Boston The correct answer is (a) – “Nantucket.” Congratulations, , you’ve won a ! Now, here’s this month’s trivia question. The winner will receive a gift card to . In 1657 the first chocolate shop opened up in what city? a-London, b-Vienna, c-Amsterdam, d-All of the above Call me right now with your answer! XXX-XXX-XXXX Get More Free Tips, Tools and Services At My Web Site:
With the Internet and e-mail providing a free, viral platform for online scammers, hackers and cyber criminals, there’s no doubt that at some point you’ll receive an e-mail hoax. Some are harmless, but many can lead to virus infections, identity theft or worse. Here are some common themes to watch out for: Supposedly free giveaways in exchange for forwarding e-mails Bogus virus alerts False appeals to help sick children Pointless petitions that lead nowhere and accomplish nothing Dire, and completely fictional, warnings about products, companies, government policies or coming events Probably the most common indicator that an e-mail is a hoax is the “Send this e-mail to everyone in your address book” request. Hoax writers want their material to be spread as far and wide as possible, so almost every hoax e-mail will have this request built into the message. In some cases, e-mail hoaxes will even give you a specific number of people to send the message to in order to collect a prize or get something for free. Another surefire indicator that an e-mail is a hoax is that they don’t provide a checkable reference to back up claims. Genuine competitions, promotions, giveaways or charity drives will almost always provide a link to a company website or publication. Real virus warnings should only come from your installed anti-virus software. E-mails containing government or company policy information are likely to include references to checkable sources such as news articles, websites or other publications. A third indicator is often the actual language used. E-mail hoax writers have a tendency to use an emotive, “over-the-top” style of writing peppered with words and phrases such as “Urgent,” “Danger,” “Worse virus ever,” and so on. Another indication is that these messages contain ALL CAPITAL LETTERS for added emphasis. When in doubt, don’t forward the message or take the action requested. Client Spotlight: ABC Insurance [Insert story about this client and what you did for them: If you are looking for a company to take the headache out of your insurance needs and save you a bundle too, look no more! We were recently introduced to them through a mutual client, Bob Smith of XYZ Corp. They were having some problems with their network which we fixed immediately.] Would you like your company highlighted here in our “Client Spotlight?” Then give us a call today at XXX-XXX-XXXX