Most small- to medium-sized businesses (SMBs) don’t possess the resources to run and maintain their IT infrastructure, let alone assess whether it’s still driving value for the company. However, if you want to ensure everything is running smoothly, it’s important to conduct technology business reviews whenever possible. A technology business review reveals the strengths and […]
Identifying opportunities in all areas of business is vital for growth, but one area that’s often overlooked is technology. Although it’s easy to adopt an “if it ain’t broke, don’t fix it” attitude with IT, conducting regular technology business reviews is a must. What is a technology business review? A technology business review reveals the […]
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.
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
Pushing the envelope, thinking outside the box, keeping someone in the loop. All of these phrases, and countless more, have had their turn in the corporate spotlight. Thankfully now, in most working environments, they have been consigned to history. However, one buzzword is making the rounds at the moment and – unlike some of its […]