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Todays Small Business digital magazine - Premier Issue
Todays Small Business digital magazine - Premier Issue
Todays Small Business digital magazine - Premier Issue
Todays Small Business digital magazine - Premier Issue
Todays Small Business digital magazine - Premier Issue
Todays Small Business digital magazine - Premier Issue
Todays Small Business digital magazine - Premier Issue
Todays Small Business digital magazine - Premier Issue
Todays Small Business digital magazine - Premier Issue
Todays Small Business digital magazine - Premier Issue
Todays Small Business digital magazine - Premier Issue
Todays Small Business digital magazine - Premier Issue
Todays Small Business digital magazine - Premier Issue
Todays Small Business digital magazine - Premier Issue
Todays Small Business digital magazine - Premier Issue
Todays Small Business digital magazine - Premier Issue
Todays Small Business digital magazine - Premier Issue
Todays Small Business digital magazine - Premier Issue
Todays Small Business digital magazine - Premier Issue
Todays Small Business digital magazine - Premier Issue
Todays Small Business digital magazine - Premier Issue
Todays Small Business digital magazine - Premier Issue
Todays Small Business digital magazine - Premier Issue
Todays Small Business digital magazine - Premier Issue
Todays Small Business digital magazine - Premier Issue
Todays Small Business digital magazine - Premier Issue
Todays Small Business digital magazine - Premier Issue
Todays Small Business digital magazine - Premier Issue
Todays Small Business digital magazine - Premier Issue
Todays Small Business digital magazine - Premier Issue
Todays Small Business digital magazine - Premier Issue
Todays Small Business digital magazine - Premier Issue
Todays Small Business digital magazine - Premier Issue
Todays Small Business digital magazine - Premier Issue
Todays Small Business digital magazine - Premier Issue
Todays Small Business digital magazine - Premier Issue
Todays Small Business digital magazine - Premier Issue
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Todays Small Business digital magazine - Premier Issue

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Today's Small Business Magazine is an ONLINE ONLY digital magazine catering to Entrepreneurs, Micro and Small Business, Solopreneurs, WAHMs, and anyone interested in starting a business of their own. …

Today's Small Business Magazine is an ONLINE ONLY digital magazine catering to Entrepreneurs, Micro and Small Business, Solopreneurs, WAHMs, and anyone interested in starting a business of their own. Articles written by small business owners just like you along with news, tips, tolls and information to help you start or grown your business.

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  • 1. SmallBusiness Today’s TODAY’S SMALL BUSINESS SuperiorBMS.com/tsbmag Issue 01 - Fall 2013 TSB November/December 2013 PRESENTED BY SUPERIOR BMS OUR PREMIER ISSUE News To Help Your Small Business Success 37 pages OF QUALITY CONTENT FOR YOUR BUSINESS! * Tech Love! Gifts & Gadgets pg 12 ----------- SOCIAL STRATEGY Effectively Using Facebook For Your Online Business Marketing Strategy Pg 09 Time To Get FOUND Your PR Strategy Pg 20 Is Your SEO Company Write That What To Look For Publishing on Amazon STEALING YOUR $$$ Pg 28 book! Pg 18 PAGE 1 Nov/Dec 2013 - Issue 01 Always Free - Always Online
  • 2. Contents TSB TODAY’S SMALL BUSINESS SuperiorBMS.com/tsbmag Issue 01 - Fall 2013 THE EFFICIENT ENTREPRENEUR Great Tips To Getting More Done BRANDING 101 B.Y.O.D. How to effectively Brand Your Biz GOOGLE PLUS 12 DROP IT & DRIVE Safety Beyond Policy 22 YOUR TOOLBOX Boost Your Productivity Now! 12 PR WITH PURPOSE Why You Should To Be Using It 2012 10 Complications in Healthcare 05 * --ove! Tech L & Gifts s d nt Ga-5 gee 2 Ju -------- It’s Time To Be Found! 32 PRINTING COSTS You Paid HOW MUCH? 16 YOUR HEALTH 34 Prioritizing Your Health & Fitness While Running Your Business SUCCEED... Ever Wonder Why Some Do? PAGE 2 24 20 08
  • 3. pages Full of useful small biz content! TSB TODAY’S SMALL BUSINESS “Great content for the solopreneur, new business owner, and WAHMs everywhere.” OUTSOURCING GUTCHECK SuperiorBMS.com/tsbmag Issue 01 - Fall 2013 TSB BY SUPERIOR BMS WELCOME Thank you for checking out the premier issue of Today’s Small Business, a bi-monthly magazine dedicated to YOU, the small business owner. IS YOUR SEO COMPANY STEALING YOUR MONEY? It is the intention of the editor to bring you information which you can apply to your business the minute you finish the article. Please have a look to the left to see what we have to offer you in this issue. DISCLAIMER The views expressed in the articles presented in this magazine are those of the Authors. They are not the views of the publisher. The publisher is not responsible for the opinions, statements or remarks made by the Authors. 28 Please forward all comment to: tsbmagazineonline@gmail.com PUBLISHER Superior Business Management Solutions LLC EDITOR Deirdre Baker SUBSCRIPTIONS http://superiorbms.com/TSBSubscribe BECOME A CONTRIBUTOR EMAIL US FOR MORE INFORMATION TSBMagazineOnline@gmail.com ARTICLE SUBMISSIONS If you are interested in submitting an article for a future issue of Today’s Small Business, please view our content guidelines and complete the form on http://superiorbms.com/contribute ADVERTISING For information about advertising rates and availability email tsbmagazineonline@gmail.com or call 888-247-5183 x704 THIS MONT’S CONTRIBUTORS Jeff Bickley, Walid Moustafa, Amanda Steadman, Donna Cravotta, Josh Hofmann, Juliette Schmerler, Deirdre Baker, Pamela Jacob, Joel George, Harshajyoti Das, Soozy Miller, Karen Bowman, Munmi Sarma, Carol Dodsley PAGE Thank You! 3
  • 4. TSB TODAY’S SMALL BUSINESS SuperiorBMS.com/tsbmag Issue 01 - Fall 2013 Editor The “The greatest good you can do for another is not just to share your riches but to reveal to him his own.” ~Benjamin Disraeli Corner Welcome to the premier issue of Today’s Small Business Magazine, presented by Superior Business Management Solutions LLC. Always grateful paying it forward! My name is Deirdre Baker and I am the Editor for this brand new digital magazine; created exclusively for Entrepreneurs, Small Business Owners, Solopreneurs, WAHMs and anyone and everyone interested in business and marketing. It is my goal to bring you news, information, tips and tools that will help you and your business find success and explore new opportunities to market and grow in the fast paced and every-changing online environment. In this and all future issues of TSB Magazine, I will be bringing you information that will both inform and inspire you as you navigate the small business landscape. It is my hope that you will always find something in each issue which you can immediately apply to your business. Our content is created by micro and small business owners just like you who are “in it to win it” and want to share their valuable insight and lessons learned. I strongly believe that the best information comes from those who are experts in their fields and have real-world experience to share...and that includes me too! I want to help your business succeed and flourish and will dabble in tools, tips and gear which you can use to become more productive or get an edge over the competition. TSB Magazine is published every other month in digital form only. You can find the latest issues online at http://issuu.com/todayssmallbusinessmag or you may subscribe and have each new edition of Today’s Small Business Magazine delivered fresh to your email once it is published. To subscribe now, please visit: http://SuperiorBMS.com/subscribe I welcome all comments and suggestions you might have to improve Today’s Small Business and make it the go to publication for your business. I also welcome you to contribute and share your own experiences to our readers. If you are interested in writing for an upcoming issue, please email me at TSBOnlineMagazine@gmail.com and let’s get acquainted. Deirdre My Best, PAGE 4
  • 5. TODAY’S SMALL BUSINESS SuperiorBMS.com/tsbmag Issue 01 - Fall 2013 TSB New Business Branding 101 How to effectively brand your business, and get it right from the beginning. BY Jeff Bickley Lots has changed since the days when branding was simply a means of denoting the ownership of cattle. Today, branding is a multi-billion dollar industry generating huge revenue for businesses that get it right, and certain demise for those who don’t. So what goes into making a successful brand, and why is important to get it right from the beginning? It’s important to understand that branding is much more than a pretty logo and nice slogan. As important as those things are, they are simply a representation of the company behind them. Consider Carolyn Davidson. Her name might not ring a bell to you, but she was the creative force behind one of the most iconic logos in history. In 1971, she was paid a whopping $35 by Nike for developing the “swoosh” we’re all familiar with today. Clearly, it wasn’t graphic design element that has established Nike’s infamy. It’s what’s behind the swoosh that has made it what it is. If you’re launching a new business, it’s important you take steps to develop your company’s identity first. This is a much more involved process than simply hiring a graphic designer and choosing from a selection of mockup logos. Unfortunately, many businesses hastily skip past this important step, and end up failing as a result. So where do you begin? Probably not where you think. Before developing your own corporate identity, spend some time reading from other successful business owners that have gone before you. For less than $15, you can learn from some of the greatest business minds in the world. If your company has multiple officers, you’ll want to involve each of them in this part of the process. Begin by compiling a list of respected and historic books on leadership and business culture. If you’re launching a new business, it’s important you take steps to develop your company’s identity first. Then, divide the list and assign reading to your leadership team. This will allow you to cover much more ground than you could on your own. As you’re reading, take note of what values resonate with you. Which philosophies do you want to become an integral part of your company’s identity? Once you’ve done your homework, it’s time to roll up your sleeves and get to work. The best way to do this is to begin with a brainstorm session. Take out a few pads of post-it notes, a sharpie, and notes from your reading. Start by asking your officers to tell you the most valuable things they’ve learned. In a few words, summarize their thoughts on your sticky-notes and plaster them on a wall or whiteboard. Go around the room until you’ve mined every nugget of golden goodness. Try to come up with at least 25 notes. Next, come up with as many adjectives to describe your company’s personality as possible. Are you conservative or progressive? Funny and playful or serious? Predictable or surprising? These are just a few examples to get you thinking, but write down as many as you can that communicate how you want your employees and customers to perceive you. If you get stuck, you can consult a list of professional business adjectives, however, you should mine your mental database first as these will align more naturally the vision you have for your business. After posting everything you can about your company’s personality, write down some ways that you will champion and empower your employees. What negative experiences have continued on page 34 PAGE 5
  • 6. TSB TODAY’S SMALL BUSINESS SuperiorBMS.com/tsbmag Issue 01 - Fall 2013 Marketing Tips for the Network Marketers Written by Carrie Strimel O ver the last 20 years, the role and perspective of network marketing has changed drastically. We are no longer promoting pushy, overbearing, and intrusive sales tactics in order to make money. Some of you may remember a time when a person would receive a knock at the door from a vacuum salesman pushing his way in for a demonstration and asking if they have a stained rug that requires spot remover. Fortunately, network marketing has left that era and embraced an entirely new mindset. We now place a greater emphasis on building personal relationships to strengthen our network marketing businesses. In network marketing, you want to get to know people on a personal level. Ask where they are from, about their family, their likes and dislikes. From these casual conversations, highlight certain key topics that could lead to a dialogue later on. For example, maybe in your first encounter with someone they mention an upcoming vacation or a milestone for their child. As Laura Wells, President of the Heart Link Network, states “When relationships are created, business flows naturally.” As a network marketer of the PAGE 21st century, always take 6 the time to find ways to make a genuine connection with those you meet. Sometimes the most challenging part of network marketing is not what one says to a person after meeting them, but finding new people to meet. Social media has created a very accessible platform for marketers to meet and connect. Many fail to understand that it is even more crucial to establish an interpersonal connection with others while online. In some cases, marketers might be so anxious and excited to share about the business or opportunity that they dominate the conversation. Also, seasoned marketers understand that each social media platform has a different targeted market that they wish to attract and how to adapt to each model. However, to be truly successful in the Network Marketing industry, you need to step outside these online methods and attend vendor events and advertise in your surrounding areas. There are some very budget-friendly ideas that have been quite successful for others. The first one is to be “branded” any time you are in a public setting. Simply wear a t-shirt or item from your company. Remember, people are much more likely to purchase items or services from those who are clearly passionate about the things they promote. Also, savvy marketers will leave their business cards after a night
  • 7. TODAY’S SMALL BUSINESS SuperiorBMS.com/tsbmag with friends and family. A person in this industry can never be sure when or where their “game changing” lead will be. Additionally, they may randomly place their business cards throughout the greeting card and magazine sections, as well as at the checkout lane. Furthermore, a serious marketing professional should never leave home without documentation describing their product or service. If the marketer is in a product-based company, instead of giving out samples which can prove to be costly over time, carry several trial size lotions in your bag. If someone expresses interest, the marketer can let them test a little without losing the entire bottle to just one potential client. Finding local marketing groups to network with is a great way to share your business and learn from others. Even though many of these groups do require a monthly or yearly fee, they can be very beneficial in building a business. If one is at a complete loss as to where to search, I would strongly recommend finding an area Heart Link Network. The leader will be able to provide all of the tools and training one would need to become a successful leader in this industry. Using these avenues in addition to hard work, determination, and patience will, no doubt, reap massive benefits in the future. Many in this industry fail to understand that everyone has the ability to achieve ultimate success, but it takes time. A marketer must commit to months, and even years, of promotion; gathering new leads, and learning new tactics and techniques. Anyone new to the network marketing industry can expect ups and downs. It is important during the slow times to have a powerful and intelligent leader who will help motivate, inspire, and encourage you through the rough times. Every marketer should understand that they hold the Issue 01 - Fall 2013 TSB ability, strength, and creativity to alter the course of life, not only for themselves but for others as well. Remember, network marketers are extraordinary people with incredible circumstances, doing amazing things every day. Carrie Strimel has been involved in very successful entrepreneurial opportunities and part of Network Marketing Industry for 18 years. Carrie is also a Solavei Social Thousandaire and Co-Leader of the Allen, TX Chapter of the Heart Link Network. MineIsFree.com PAGE 7
  • 8. TSB TODAY’S SMALL BUSINESS SuperiorBMS.com/tsbmag Issue 01 - Fall 2013 Prioritizing Your Health & Fitness While Running Your Business I understand the amount of time that goes into your business as an entrepreneur. A few years ago when I left the big gyms to work independently as a personal trainer, I experienced that firsthand. I was working in Chicago training clients at their private gyms. Traveling from place to place was not an easy task. I ditched my car for public transportation in order to save money on parking garage fees in the downtown area which are steep. I was out pretty much all day, with big gaps at times in-between clients. Needless to say, by the end of my day I was exhausted! This was the price I had to pay. I couldn’t afford to open my own facility and part of the attraction of my service was that I came to my clients, opening up a facility and having clients come to me would have been an entirely different beast. Those long days took their toll (especially during the winter months). When I got home, all I wanted to do was slide into bed to get ready for the next day. After some time, all this “dedication” to my business made me neglect my own health. As a personal trainer working at a gym, I worked out at least 5 times a week and prepared my meals. Now, I was working out perhaps 2 times a week, and food wise, I was at the mercy of whatever I could find on the road. So all the things I preached to my clients about prioritizing time for their workouts, eating well, finding time de-stress and FIND BALANCE, I myself was not putting into practice. As I considered my hypocrisy I just brushed it off as: that’s just part of the “hustle” of being an entrepreneur. Deep down though, I knew I was in the wrong, and I knew that I couldn’t honestly try to persuade my clients to prioritize their health if I was failing to achieve it in my own life. This decision I made to prioritize my clients over myself had its effects; my muscle mass decreased, my metabolism slowed down, my energy levels burned out along with my immune system, my physical appearance wasn’t the same, and that was the biggest blow because it affected my CONFIDENCE. So… I got selfish! I began to take care of me by prioritizing my health and fitness above my business because (if we’re honest) if you don’t have your health… YOU HAVE NO BUSINESS! I began scheduling my day around my workouts (after all) as entrepreneurs the whole point is that we’re our own bosses, we by Joel George set our own schedule! That was the big step I had to take, what steps are you willing to take to maintain or improve your health? Truthfully, being “too busy” is a majority of the time just an excuse to excuse ourselves from having to do something we don’t want to. As a business consultant, the greatest effect I can have on a client’s business is improving their wellness. First thing I target?... Their sleep patterns. Then, hydration levels. Followed by, their eating habits. Once we have these down and their energy levels are where they need to be THEN we incorporate workouts. By the end you have an individual who’s in much more control, balanced and (once all these factors come together and they begin to look better) CONFIDENT (which is my intended ultimate goal.) I truly believe there’s a direct connection between the health of a business and the health of the entrepreneur leading that business. If your health is vibrant and strong your business will be vibrant and strong! Things to start today: Don’t allow yourself to not get enough sleep. Sleep is instrumental in your body’s physiology. Cheat on your sleep and your hormone levels will pay the price along with your immune Continued on Page 13 PAGE 8
  • 9. TODAY’S SMALL BUSINESS SuperiorBMS.com/tsbmag Issue 01 - Fall 2013 TSB SOCIALSTRATEGY Effectively Using Facebook For Your Online Business Marketing Strategy There are two schools of thought when businesses think about using Facebook – one is “I will just build a page, and they will come, no not really that is only ½ of the equation. These businesses start off earnestly with great excitement but soon become frustrated because they are not getting the returns they want or need. Then there are business owners who think Face book is a waste of time and resources. They think they have to spend hours to stay ahead of the fray, and it is just not worth it. Both groups are wrong – Facebook is an important business tool and when you learn the tips, tricks and techniques, there is nothing like it. The number-one mistake businesses make on Facebook: Building as personal page and using it as a business page. I started Facebook when it was still a new form of media, and I made the same mistake. After intense study and taking classes on profiting from Facebook every single professional in the field says, “Build a business page, do not use a personal page for business” and here is why. By Pamela Jacob Did you know Facebook is still growing after years of existence? 37% growth in 2011, 1 in six people (on the planet) are using Facebook; that is over 800 million people. If your target market’s age is 35+ that demographic is growing rapidly, this age group is now over 30% of the entire Facebook user base (as of 2011). Harnessing the power of Facebook is learned through knowledge. It is important to become aware of the best techniques through reading and taking classes. Start with asking yourself what you want to achieve? What are your goals in the coming year, gaining exposure, building your brand, selling products or services? How about all the above… I am constantly amazed at how much really valuable information is available through searches on the web. Why not start educating yourself on how to use Facebook the right way? Without a doubt, you need to be on Facebook. I don’t care what markets you are in your clients are one Facebook. Why not tap this valuable resource! Why you don’t want to use personal pages for your business: Allows only 5000 followers Accessed by family and friends it is hard to maintain a professional appearance. When Aunt Sue starts ranting and raving about her political views, it could turn some potential clients off. You get the point. Using a personal page for business is against Facebook’s “Terms of Use” and can be shut down by Facebook. A Business Page Allows you to brand your business through use of your logo and customized cover photo. You can create unique tabs or landing pages that are extremely valuable when used properly. Pamela Jacob is the owner of Artista Design she has been in business for 15 yrs. Pamela specializes in helping small and new businesses by giving them the tools they need to become a leader in their industry, through graphic design, website development, social media, consulting, branding and marketing. Business pages are indexed by Google. Anything you post on your page can be found by people doing Google’s searches. As an added bonus when you link from your business page to your website you are increasing the chances of achieving a higher ranking within Google. PAGE 9
  • 10. TSB TODAY’S SMALL BUSINESS SuperiorBMS.com/tsbmag Issue 01 - Fall 2013 at work. Instead of focusing on 10 different things such as managing office conflicts, product design, resolving employee disputes etc., you 5 NOTORIOUS SECRETS O AN EFFICIENT ENTREPREN can focus on something which is more significant for your company’s growth. It’s 2013 and there’s a software for almost any task. If there isn’t, it’s not tough to build one. 2 Exploit Your Strength “If you cannot do great things, do small things in a great way.”- Napoleon Hill The most productive entrepreneurs focus on their strengths and implement them to the best of their abilities; it enables them to have an unfair advantage over their competitors. It takes a lot of effort and energy to fix your follies or work on our weaknesses. A smart guy will hire a team of individuals who possess the qualities he doesn’t. You only need to be good at one particular thing to achieve greatness. Let’s say, if you are good at closing sales, try to be a Sales Ninja. By Harshajyoti Das An ‘Efficient Entrepreneur’ is someone who enjoys the luxury of running a comfortable business, while others still strive to make both ends meet. An efficient entrepreneur is smart, impertinent, bold, and diligent, all at the same time. In this article, we will talk about some of the most notorious secrets of an efficient entrepreneur, that have helped them succeed in their business.. 1 Eliminate, Automate and Outsource I remember a quote from Timothy Ferriss, the Author of 4-Hour Workweek. He quoted, “Never automate something that can be eliminated, and never delegate something that can be automated or streamlined. Otherwise, you waste someone else’s time instead of your own, which now wastes your hard-earned cash. How’s that for incentive to be effective and efficient?” It doesn’t mean you are evading your responsibilities. You only have 24 hrs., and it’s in your best interest to get more things done within PAGE that period. ‘Automation, Outsourcing, Delegating, and Eliminating’ is a mind boggling way to get more productive 10 Be so good that nobody can compete with you when it comes to that 1 thing where you are good at. You have it within you, just hone your abilities to get an edge over your competitors. 3 Look at Failures as Opportunities “I have not failed. I’ve just found 10,000 ways that won’t work.”- Thomas Edison Thomas Edison is arguably right. You can fail a thousand times but you only need to get it right just once. The sooner you fail, the sooner you will succeed. It’s not my word but the word of all the billionaires in this world. They are so determined to succeed that they see each of their failures as great opportunities that takes them one step closer to their goal. As I said earlier, you just need to get it right just once. 4 The Race Against Time What separates a rock-star entrepreneur from a normal guy is that
  • 11. TODAY’S SMALL BUSINESS he races against time. Time is money for any businessman. We already know that we need to fail first in order to succeed but, we have very limited time to achieve it. As stated above, you need to Eliminate, Automate, Outsource, Delegate and Prioritize all your work. OF NEUR 5 If you accomplish more things within a short period of time, you will have more time to experiment and fail. Try the Impossible Mark Twain, once said that you would be more disappointed by things you haven’t done than by the things you did. Efficient entrepreneurs will break that invisible fence and force themselves to cross their limitations. Once you try the impossible, it becomes quite easy to try the obvious. We run most of our lives thinking about a million ‘if’s’ and ‘but’s’. You can’t strive for greatness if you are too scared to undertake risks. Steve Jobs rightly said, that when you know you are going to die one day, you can’t fool yourself to think that you have something to lose. You are already naked. You have nothing to lose but to achieve greatness once you break that invisible fence. “When you cease to dream you cease to live.” - Malcolm Forbes You can be just a normal guy with average IQ but if you are good at what you do, you will succeed. What separates an efficient Entrepreneur from the rest is that he overcomes his Procrastination. All you need is to ‘JUST DO IT’. Nobody has won a battle without fighting. And you can’t do any of it without actually having faith. Not just your faith in God, but also in yourself. If you think you can do it, no force in this universe is strong enough to hold you back. Harshajyoti Das is the CEO at Munmi IT Solutions LLP, a company that helps small businesses with SEO, Social Media marketing, and Web Automation. He also gives Start-up and business advices on his blog, FireYourMentor.com SuperiorBMS.com/tsbmag Issue 01 - Fall 2013 TSB Solopreneur Toolbox You are a singular sensation. Taking the reins of your business on your own, doing everything from answering the phone to marketing your business. Every solopreneur knows this is no easy task and requires making the best use of the limited hours in each day. To help you out we offer you these great tools to automate and streamline your business operations, both online and off. CLOUD ACCOUNTING FOR YOUR BUSINESS Though Intuit has traditionally been the go to software for small business accounting, the new kid on the block, FreshBooks has some really great offerings for the solopreneur, especially if you are just starting out. Freshbooks offers all the services a soloprenuer may need including invoicing, time tracking and accounting, all in a very easy to use interface. They have a few pricing levels available starting at under $20 per month plus a FREE version which is ideal for those who are just getting started and have a limited client base. The software is could based which means you have access to your account no matter where you log in and their iPhone and Android apps make it possible to access from anywhere. Create invoices from your car, check payments while shopping, or record a lunch expense while out with a client. Check them out at FreshBook.com for more information on pricing packages and to take their online tour. With Cloud Accounting from FreshBooks in your Soloprensur Toolbox, you are sure to streamline the annoying accounting process and make your business run more fiscally sound. Have a great tool you love? Share it with us and you might see it in an upcoming issue of TSB. PAGE 11
  • 12. TSB TODAY’S SMALL BUSINESS SuperiorBMS.com/tsbmag Issue 01 - Fall 2013 B.Y.O.D. The Complications of BYOD in Healthcare by Soozy G. Miller Imagine you’ve just been in a car accident and you’re in a lot of pain. The medics put you in the ambulance and …. Scenario A: The medic writes down your information on a form on a clipboard. When you get to the hospital, the ER doctor takes that clipboard, briefly reads it and hands it to one nurse, who goes down the hall to input the information into the hospital computer system, because you have to be entered into the hospital system to be admitted. Another nurse administers generic pain medication. Instead of waiting for the paperwork, the doctor sneaks away to treat another patient until the nurse comes back with your printout so the doctor can begin to figure out the next step. the risks associated with portable devices, IT maintenance costs and security issues plus the sensitive nature of a person’s medical history, well, the medical world has now entered a whole new realm of complicated. BYOD could save hospitals a lot of money on hardware and IT resources. Employees prefer to use their own customized devices and that lightens IT’s load because then IT doesn’t get a phone call for every trivial issue (“Why can’t I print?” “How do I save this?”). However, EMT workers and hospital nightshift employees have down time, and during that down time they tend to use these devices for other, non work-related activities. Some download questionable apps. Some download porn. Scenario B: The medic in the ambulance has a mobile device and uses a pre-installed app to touch answers to questions about you on the way to the hospital. Once s/he enters your name into the app, your whole medical history including allergies and current medications comes up and syncs with the information s/he put in. One final touch at the end ensures all the information is automatically saved and transferred to the hospital computer system. But they don’t have to worry about the hospital computers right away because the medic simply hands the device to the ER doctor and the doctor has all the information s/he needs right there to diagnose and treat your pain. Scenario B seems like the better option, right? It saves both time and personnel issues. A portable device such as a laptop, Smartphone, iPad or tablet here could make the difference between life and death. In reality, of course, the issue is not that simple. Though many in the Healthcare IT field believe BYOD (Bring Your Own Device) is the future of medicine, BYOD brings some very serious security and financial issues to the table. Organizations and companies in the field of medicine are already grappling with shortages of staff, budget cuts, the influence of the strong pharmaceutical industry, Healthcare regulations, Patients Rights legislation and HIPAA (Health Insurance Portability and Accountability Act). If you add PAGE 12 Every time an employee uses that device for something not related to the hospital and then connects to the hospital’s cloud/server, the hospital runs the risk of bringing a virus into the system or compromising patient data in another way. To find a compromise, some organizations
  • 13. TODAY’S SMALL BUSINESS SuperiorBMS.com/tsbmag Issue 01 - Fall 2013 TSB have started to institute PYOD (Purchase Your Own Device), which allows employees to purchase bigdiscount devices from a vetted list. These devices can have pre-installed virus protectors, pre-approved apps, app filters, etc. But, again, to provide and maintain these state-of-the-art devices costs the hospital money. With BYOD and PYOD a hospital’s IT department is heavily taxed. IT has to deal with much bigger security issues; more devices mean the chances of a security breach increase substantially. So while the hospital is saving money on hardware and time on small issues by instituting BYOD, it has to spend more money to manage data storage and ensure risk avoidance. Every machine associated with the hospital is at risk to both add a problem and spread a problem. And the problems can be big and complicated. Hospitals and other medical facilities store very personal information. We live in a litigious society and the legal implications of a breach are enormous. The mix of personal employee information and personal patient information on that employee’s device creates potentially serious issues whenever the employee accesses the hospital’s cloud/server. Loss or breach of crucial data, such as information protected by HIPAA, can create liability issues and further expense for the hospital. Also, valuable patient information on personal devices may be lost if the device is lost. risks that might affect your most personal information so you can benefit from the latest technology and the miracle of modern medicine? Soozy G. Miller has been a business writer for over 25 years. She works with clients on publicity, marketing, social media, book editing, blogging, web content, technical writing and other projects. Soozy runs SoozyPR in East Hampton, NY where she lives with her two children. Soozy can be reached at soozyg@yahoo.com Everyone in the healthcare field is going to have to figure this out. According to a report by Voalte, a company that creates healthcare devices and systems, 58% of nurse leaders say that their biggest problem is a lack of devices for their staff. Landlines currently outnumber mobile devices 3-to-1 in hospitals and nurses complain their equipment can no longer keep pace with a hospital’s needs. Scenario B is very tempting if you’re an accident victim in pain. So, that brings a question: Are you willing to overlook the security PAGE 13
  • 14. TSB TODAY’S SMALL BUSINESS SuperiorBMS.com/tsbmag Issue 01 - Fall 2013 TechLove Our Favorite Tech Items For Your Business Would You Like To Feature Your Product? Tell us about it and you could be in our next issue! Email: TSBMagazineOnline@gmail.com HALO Cell Charger Where to buy: QVC Price: $30 These fun portable cell charges from HALO are RAWRing with style! Never run out of power again on the go. Just keep one of these in your purse and you will be ready to go all day and night. Offered in a variety of styles and colors and includes a mini flashlight. Great Holiday Gift Idea! WOW-KEYS For the minimalist shopper, Remora offers this very slim card case for the iPhone 5. Travel light in style and always have a way to pay close at hand. The Remora Card Case comes in black, white, electric blue, red, mint green and bubble gum pink. CableDrop Mobile Photo Print Where to buy: BlueLounge Price: $9.95 for a Pack of 6 Where to buy: Amazon Price: $130 Tired of picking up those cell chargers or USBs off the floor? The CableDrop and the CableDrop mini is here to save you. Offered in 2 sizes and a variety of colors these self adhesive holders can easily be mounted on your desktop or hidden out of site. Sometimes digital just doesn’t cut it. Now you can leave a tangible souveneir behind with this portable printer from Polaroid. Print from your cell or any bluetooth enabled device. Full bleed, borderless 3x4” prints are ready to touch by use of ZINK zero ink technology. Airframe Galaxy S3 Wallet Where to buy: Kenu Price: $24.99 Where to buy: Etsy Price: $35 Lightweight iPhone or Smartphone holder for the car. Easily clips to any vent, keeping your cell phone clearly in view and hands free. A must have for any business owner who is always on the go. High tech meets low tech in these beautiful handmade writlet wallets/ S4 cases from Mere Bliss Supplies on Etsy. Each one is hand crafted and they come in a variety of stylish material. Each has room for 4 cards and a few hidden locations for cash too. Meteor Mic Pivot Power Mini Where to buy: Best Buy Price: $69-$99 Where to buy: ThinkGeek Price: $19.99 If you are a podcaster, musician or voiceover creator, you will love this mic. High quality sound direct to your laptop or desktop for under $100! Developed by Samsung and perfect for Skype, iChat and VR software like Dragon Naturally Speaking. 14 Where to buy: Remora Price: $19.95 Wow Keys by Omnio is a full sized QWERTY keyboard which allows you to type directly into your iPhone or PC/Mac simultaneously. Also has iTunes sync and charging capabilities. Easy text while working and 12 iPhine hotkeys make music play easy. PAGE Remora Card Case Where to buy: Amazon Price: Around $20 Convert your office outlet into a full charging station including those USB charging devices. The Pivot Power Mini helps to expand the space when needed and folds up when not in use. Great for travel or shared office spaces.
  • 15. TODAY’S SMALL BUSINESS SuperiorBMS.com/tsbmag Prioritizing Your Health & Fitness continued from page 6 system and energy levels. Waking up naturally without an alarm and feeling refreshed can be accomplished but first it has to be a goal. It takes time, don’t expect to nail this in a week. The biggest culprit for people staying up at night?... Facebook. Don’t let this be you! Facebook will be there in the morning (unfortunately.) If you need assistance falling asleep at night try a natural sleep aid (key word there) natural. Stay away from sleep meds which will alter your physiology even more. Take notice of the nights you get a good night’s sleep and make a note of what you ate for dinner and what your routine was, this will give you clues as to what type of routine to establish to help you achieve a good night’s sleep every night. Hydrate. By this I mean water. It seems so simple doesn’t it? Yet, the majority of people fail at it. Any other form of liquid besides natural H2O is questionable. Learn to like water. Bottled vs tap? Me, personally I prefer bottled because Issue 01 - Fall 2013 TSB the fluoride in tap scares me. If you’re the type of person that has to have a coffee every hour to function… congratulations you’re an addict. Most people don’t have an issue admitting their addiction to caffeine. Caffeine is a drug and a powerful one at that (Just trying to get off of it attests to how powerful a drug it is.) Here is the truth about coffee; at the point of addiction it’s no longer energizing you! It’s simply satisfying the urges of your addiction, hence why you have to drink more of it more often to get the energy effects from it. Because caffeine is a drug, it will disrupt your natural physiology. If you’re getting enough sleep and maintaining proper hydration levels you should have no need for it. Again, (just like sleep) this is something you won’t accomplish over night, it will take time and effort as well as planning on your part but make it a goal and you will reach it! Joel George is a Wellness Consultant & Coach and the owner of Image2Envy. Image2Envy provides services dedicated to introduce effective solutions and strategies for self enhancement and goal realization, with the ultimate objective of producing a quality of life that is enviable. Be Envied. joelgeorge@about.me Making Good Use of Your Commute Time If commuting is a major part of your business week, you may feel like you are losing hours each day just getting around. Now you can turn your travel time into “sharpening the saw” time with one of the top rated business podcasts on iTunes; Harvard Buinsess Review’s IdeaCast. Listen to top business leaders and learn about innovations changing the business and marketing landscape. Grab your subscription at the iTunes store or listen on your Android device through podcasting apps like Stitcher. PAGE 15
  • 16. TSB TODAY’S SMALL BUSINESS SuperiorBMS.com/tsbmag Issue 01 - Fall 2013 OUCH! MUC YOU PAID HOW By Walid Moustafa walked Early on in my business life, IlookingI into a printing company to buy some promotional material. The Dirty Secret Of Print Shops Exposed to have a postcard printed, you would expect that they were going to go into their manufacturing facility and print spoke with a sales rep, who quoted it themselves. Some printers still do me a price for what I was looking for that, but the second you agree to buyand then they looked at me to see if ing those postcards, the printer has 2 I would flinch. When I did flinch, he options. The first option would be to gave me a discount to try to make me actually go in their manufacturing fafeel better. He then went into a script cility and produce the postcards you about how they’ve been in business need. Printers that choose to do that for 20 plus years and had great qual- are boutique printers who charge ity... etc... etc. Being how I needed the premium prices because they carry promotional material, I eventually high overhead expenses. The second made the purchase from them. Did I option the printer could choose is to regret it? NO... well, not yet. hand your job over to a major commercial printer who could produce Now that I’ve learned the tricks of your postcards at a price less than the trade, I can honestly say that I they could even do it themselves. was taken advantage of. I didn’t know any better and most businesses don’t And You’d Never Even Know! either. Businesses all over are dishing out way too much money on their How could this be you ask? It’s beprinting needs then they should be, cause large scale commercial printers because the secret society of the have perfected delivering high quality printing world believes in high mar- printed material for the lowest posgins and low overhead. Most busi- sible cost. They’ve done such a great nesses of every size have no clue job at cutting the excess fat from about whether what they’re paying print manufacturing that smaller is the best value for what they’re scale print manufacturers would pay getting from the printer. They don’t more to turn on their own machines have time to do the research, or keep and run a print job than they would by up with industry trends, or shifts in handing the work over to a large scale material costs, or a number of other commercial manufacturer! factors that would help them make an educated decision on what’s a fair When I Found Out This Dirty Little price to pay for their printing needs. Secret... It Didn’t Sit Well With Me At All Let Me Ask You... Here’s the kicker! Since the small If you walked into a printing company scale printer still has bills to pay for PAGE 16 his smaller shop, they’re not passing their savings to you. They’re marking up your print job significantly, often 400-800%! When I learned that, I felt the need to learn everything I could about the printing industry. Not only to cut my own printing cost, but also so I could help other businesses cut their printing costs. I quickly found out tha large scale printing manufact wouldn’t deal with anyone other a printer or a printing broker. So came a printing broker. It was o the best decisions I made beca love what I do. To put it briefly, I c organizations printing costs by my knowledge, my connections my negotiating skills. As a printing broker, I create win situations between large scale mercial printing manufacturers businesses of any size. Mediu large businesses can get the bi cost savings, but small businesse also enjoy large overall percen savings since they won’t have to the mark up their local print s are charging them. Next time you need printed m produced, use the dirty little se mentioned above to your advan Send out requests for quotes the various print shops around or that you’ve dealt with before.
  • 17. TODAY’S SMALL BUSINESS SuperiorBMS.com/tsbmag Issue 01 - Fall 2013 TSB CH AT THE PRINTER!? pick up the phone and call a Print Broker and see if the Print Broker could deliver you quality work at a significant cost savings. Not only would you have just become savvy of the printing industry, but you’ll also be able to save your business money and use those savings towards bettering your business in other ways. Walid Moustafa is a print broker with Your Community Insider LLC. You can reach him by phone at (800) 773-4566 or via the connections below. at the turers r than o I beone of ause I cut an using s, and n-win coms and um to iggest es can ntage o pay shops martial ecret I ntage. from d you Then PAGE 17
  • 18. TSB TODAY’S SMALL BUSINESS SuperiorBMS.com/tsbmag Issue 01 - Fall 2013 Why You Should S 01 You Find Clarity Nothing brings clarity like focus and writing your own book really lets you zone in and get a clearer view of your business. It allows you to really take time to look at the inner workings of it, how and why you do what you do and find the best solution to effectively reach your target market. You may even uncover new business ideas along the way! 02 Become An Expert Once you take the time to communicate exactly what it is that you do and how you solve your clients/readers problems, potential clients are more likely to want to work with you. I frequently get calls from new clients in bookshops where they just ‘felt’ they had to work with me. This is really fun! Many years ago, I DREAMED of writing a book to change the lives of others but my way’! Our lives changed drastically three years ago when the economy in our secto livelihood and we had to look at new options for income. During this period of desp a book that I would write to show others how to overcome life-challenging obstacle actually want to live! Over the last three years while being a mother to my two precious babies, I started I completed the majority of the work in nine months from writing the complete boo needed to make it a reality within Kindle – Amazon.com’s digital book gadget. Since 2011, sales for e-books have overtaken paperbacks so everyone, including th note…and you should too! If you are in business, you are already solving particular issues for clients and provid sible for you to package this expertise into a useful non-fiction book. Your book will tool for your business as well as a giveaway to future clients who want to know mor your success rate. I wrote my book because I had so many people talking about thei ING anything about it. so I wanted to impart my expertise to help them. I wrote a positive, engaging and PRACTICAL book with exercises in it so my clients 03 Self Publishing = No Barriers If you self publish, the gatekeepers of the big publishing companies cannot stop you from getting launched and out there. There is a lengthy process in the traditional, vanity publishing system where you may need to get an agent in order to get your work seen by a publishing house. Remember, they want to make their money first, so in many cases you need to prove you already have a large following of readers in order for them to consider you. I am talking mostly here about non-fiction. Some fiction writers have been lucky enough to be picked up through Kindle Sales like Amanda PAGE 18 04 Inexpensive If you download the Kindle book Word Doc template and keep the cover simple, it is NOT going to cost you a lot of money just your time. I paid a professional designer to do my cover, as I believe the cover is very important in communicating to the reader that the book is exactly what they are searching for. There is a very specific look and feel people expect in certain genres like Personal Development, Finance and Parenting, for example so you want to be sure you attract the right audience. Kindle does have guidelines within their site to get you through most of the steps. 05 Huge Reach Kindle is the eBook arm of so basically they are the po millions of potential custom and readers! The sky is the here. They do not do much the marketing for you unle remain high in the ranking certain period of time, but have already gathered mill potential customers for yo photo credit: amazon.com
  • 19. Self-Publish on TODAY’S SMALL BUSINESS SuperiorBMS.com/tsbmag Issue 01 - Fall 2013 TSB Plus some great tips on getting started. by Amanda Steadman y life just seemed to ‘get in the or drove a huge wedge into our pair, I developed clear ideas for es to create the life that they make the CHANGES NECESSARY for themselves. If they wanted more they could request one-on-one consulting, join the group or even join the book-mentoring programme. No hard sell on my part! The book took care of that. d to bring the book together. ok to learning everything I I hear from so many people that they want to write a book, fiction or non-fiction, and I am always available to offer advice. The first question I ask each person is, “Why do you want to write this book?” If there is not a significant ‘WHY’ (i.e. if it is only to make lots of money, which is not the best reason, trust me!), you may not have the drive to write the book. he publishing industry, is taking ding useful services. It is posl be an awesome marketing re about how you work and ir challenges and NOT DOand readers would be able to f Amazon, ortal to mers e limit h of ess you s for a t they lions of ou. 06 You could outsource the book to a ghostwriter, but that defeats the purpose of imparting “your” expertise and knowledge to others. I was very determined to get my book out as I A Not So Silent Partner Let’s face it, the biggest book retailer now is Amazon. If you do your marketing and PR right and manage to get a No1 ranking like I did with my book ‘Connect to Authentic Success’, then you start to be recommended to other people who have read similar books. After putting a huge effort in to create many books in one non-fiction niche, a fellow author had emails sent out BY AMAZON offering me his books! This is crème de la crème of ‘Marketing-Done-For-You’ and can take your book straight up to the Number 1 Seller list. Having Amazon as your not so silent partner definitely has it’s perks! believe in what I do and my message that changes people’s lives. If you have a message, a story, something that will help others, here is how you can make that dream a reality. Getting a book published is much EASIER than it was even just a few years ago, but there are still certain processes you must go through to get it out there. Below are ten great reasons for you to consider before you take that first big leap. F or me, it was one of the BEST things I ever did. I was recently invited as a Guest Speaker for the Anguilla Literary Fest and had the opportunity to speak to children in various schools. I also was able to meet and talk to other amateur writers (while staying in very beautiful accommodations I might add). I was in my element and the joy was so amazing that I am now searching for ways to do even more of this work. It is rewarding to help first time authors achieve clarity on their ideas and to see their books develop along with their self-confidence as a person and business advocate. Some final tips... Marketing & PR Again as with any marketing plan, you need to think about how you can get your book out to as many people who will find it relevant. You can also BULK sell in advance to corporations, associations or even the government. If your book is more of a reference book, you can approach the library book buyers associations. Where there is a will there is a way. I achieved my No1 status through multiple joint ventures, a virtual book tour (which included live radio and guest blogging), an intense social media advertising campaign as well as a physical launch with a talk, food & wine. Building your Empire Now that my book is out there, the French translation is in process, the Home Study Course and Audio version are all going to be in the mix very shortly and PAGE continued on page 29 19
  • 20. TSB TODAY’S SMALL BUSINESS SuperiorBMS.com/tsbmag Issue 01 - Fall 2013 ITS TIME TO BE FOUND! Serious PR For Your Small Business “A social media presence is no longer optional for your business” Donna Cravotta, CEO of Social Sage PR and creator of The Total Social PR System™ is fiercely committed to guiding entrepreneurs in gaining visibility and fostering engagement online through the creative use of Social Media and Public Relations. With over twenty years of experience in the corporate world and seven years guiding her amazing clients to achieve remarkable success, Donna’s mission and commitment is to make sure that you have all of the elements in place to successfully amplify your unique voice and share your purpose in the online media arena. PAGE 20 P rior to launching my business in 2006, I spent over 20 years in the corporate world as an administrative assistant (true right hand) and project manager in large global law firms. The big corporate structure, which I once found comforting, no longer worked for me. I was increasingly dissatisfied with my professional life and was in the midst of a very difficult shared custody situation. Commuting and long hours away from home were no longer an option. My dilemma as a single mother was… do I stay at the comfortable, secure job, do I find another stifling job closer to home, or do I buy a domain and start a business without any clients? Hmmmm.I closed my eyes and jumped as only a true entrepreneur could! I have spent the past seven years happily finding my niche. I started as a virtual assistant and quickly became aware that I had already done that and wanted to do more! I moved on to social media and instantly fell in love! Along the way, one of my clients needed me to take over her public relations work; I jumped right in and quickly landed some wonderful opportunities for my clients. I felt instantly comfortable in this new role and realized that I had actually been doing PR for years and that I have always helped people build relationships, long before Facebook even existed. The next logical step was to combine my two passions and so Social PR was born into my business. I have always viewed Social PR to simply be a combination of social media and PR and using them together to gain exposure online and connect with your target market and the media. After doing this for several years
  • 21. TODAY’S SMALL BUSINESS SuperiorBMS.com/tsbmag Issue 01 - Fall 2013 TSB written by Donna Cravotta You CAN have an impressive presence online! now I am starting to see it is so much more. As a result of the work that I do with my clients, my view of Social PR has been elevated to a much loftier place. I truly believe that by showing more and more people how to get the word out about their unique brilliance via social and traditional media we will shift the focus of what is shared both online and off. Turn on the news, there is one negative story after another breeding fear and desperation. If there are hundreds, even thousands, of people who are experts in a wide array of topics being presented in a positive light instead of a negative one it must make a difference. Perhaps I am being naïve, but one thing know is that when I was going through a difficult time in my life, my clients would have been able to make a significant difference and the difficult period would have been much shorter, with much less impact. I know there are countless people that they can help right now. I am choosing to believe that my work and the work of these smart and generous professionals will create a shift; even if it is a small one I will feel quite accomplished. About six months ago I launched my program The Total Social PR System™ which has given me the opportunity to bring my process to many more people. This has been an amazing experience, most of my private clients as well as the members of my program all “give back” in some way, but when I was working with one person at a time the impact was much smaller. Watching 100 people using my Social PR process to reach out to more people and help them has changed everything. Every day I am seeing these wonderful people change lives and dare I say… change the world. PAGE 21
  • 22. TSB TODAY’S SMALL BUSINESS SuperiorBMS.com/tsbmag Issue 01 - Fall 2013 Distracted Driving: Safety BEYOND Policy Even if only viewed from a risk management perspective, addressing distracted driving awareness is a significant concern. When looking at the issue from an employee safety angle, there is no dollar amount that can be equated with significant injury or loss of life. Distracted Driving Stats & Recent CAA survey shows that 80% traction. – Canadian Automobile As The National Safety Council recomm and hands-free devices and that it a management. Nearly 3 Canadian drivers out of 4 a ance Bureau of Canada In 2012, Coca-Cola was hit with a $21 million distracted driving judgment after an employee, who had been talking on her cell phone at the time, struck & seriously injured a woman. Within the judgment is a caution for all business owners; “Coca-Cola’s cell phone policy for its drivers was ‘vague & ambiguous,’’ and although aware of the dangers, “they withheld this information from its employee.” 49% of adults admitted to texting w Employee safety is a primary concern closely followed by essential risk management practices. Raising awareness about the risks involved with driving distracted is becoming a top priority for employers, with a number of companies taking proactive steps to address the issue. Economic losses caused by traffic c and lost productivity are at least $10 Canada’s GDP! -Government of Can From small business owners to Fortune 500 companies, distracted driving policies are put in place to protect employees and companies as well as the communities in which they live & work. No business owner wants a phone call reporting that their branded vehicle was seen driving erratically because the driver was busy juggling a cell phone while sipping their morning coffee. Employers must take the lead to ensure their workplace policies, or the absence of them, do not foster a culture of distraction. Standard Operating Procedures (SOP) should be reviewed to ensure a safe working environment when on the road. David Teater, Senior Director, Transportation Initiatives, with the National Safety Council shares how companies and organizations can protect their employees by educating them about distracted driving and with effective workplace policies. “Make sure your people get educated,” is David’s top recommendation. According to David, the vast majority of companies who have put cell phone policies in place have seen no reduction in productivity and credits people’s ability to adapt for these surprising results. He also identifies that the majority of calls people think are critical are actually not, and instead are just used to pass time while on the road. With roll-out support from the safety department and supervisors, it wasn’t long before reports of a ‘sense of relief’ began rolling in as the pressure to stay connected & respond instantaneously while driving was removed. Not surprisingly, there was a drop in motor vehicle incidents and a 40% drop in cell phone expenses. Having a policy in place may not be enough to protect a company from liability. Creating or updating an existing policy to meet current legislation and workPAGE 22 Over 100,000 accidents a year invol numbers are climbing sharply. – AT Distracted drivers are a risk to emplo An AMEC survey of its employees ac respondents did not experience a d of the ban of wireless devices while The AMEC employee survey also re ents agreed that talking on a cell ph drive safely. 96% felt that responsible employee use of wireless communi “It’s not a question of what your han what your head is doing. And so wh phone conversation, you become b ing around you.” - Dr. Ira Hyman, Western Washingto University
  • 23. & Facts You Need to Know % of all collisions involve driver disssociation 2011 Survey mends policies prohibit hand-held apply to ALL employees, including admit to driving distracted. – Insur- while driving. –AT&T USA Study lved driving who are texting, the T&T USA Insider oyees and employers. collision-related health care costs 0 billion annually. That’s about 1% of nada cross North America found 95% of decrease in productivity as a result e driving during work hours. eported more than 97% of respondhone impacts a person’s ability to e companies should discourage ications devices while driving. TODAY’S SMALL BUSINESS SuperiorBMS.com/tsbmag Issue 01 - Fall 2013 TSB place safety requirements may not provide adequate protection for companies and their workforce. Distracted driving risks may also go beyond the use of hand-held or hands-free communication devices; the policy should address: tablet/computer use, fatigue, boredom, repetition & complacency. The bottom line is important to any business owner; however, a balance must be struck between productivity and risk management to effectively address safety issues. Tips for Effective Distracted Driving Policies Communicate crash risks, personnel safety concerns & the need for a workable policy Be clear & specific, covering talking and/or texting, handheld and/or hands-free Ensure the policy is enforced consistently, across the board and with no exceptions Detail expected behavior, e.g. when pulled over to safely make or receive a call or text, vehicle must be in ‘Park’ Implement risk management programs to actively & passively enforce the policy; workplace awareness posters, mandatory education program (during Safety Start-Ups or Stand-Downs), in-vehicle reminders (stickers, key chains, etc.) Include in new employee orientation program nds are doing. It’s a question of hen your head is engaged in that blind to some of the things happen- Reward/Recognition program for observed safe practices in line with policy on Appropriate consequences for infractions Create an Employee Safety Taskforce – get non-management employees on board with the policy by having them involved in its creation thereby addressing productivity concerns and employer expectations Karen Bowman, Founder, Drop It And Drive has over 20 years experience in the public and private sectors in British Columbia and Ontario, Karen’s background includes business administration & consulting, project management, public relations and communications. As a crash survivor herself, Karen founded Drop It And Drive in October 2010 with the idea to take a proactive approach to ending distracted driving by increasing education and awareness. The D.I.A.D. education campaign became a particularly personal cause after Karen’s 8-year-old daughter was injured by a distracted driver less than three months later. PAGE 23
  • 24. TSB TODAY’S SMALL BUSINESS SuperiorBMS.com/tsbmag Issue 01 - Fall 2013 Deirdre Baker CEO, Owner Superior Business Management Solutions LLC Do You Ever Wonder Why Some People Succeed? Have you ever wondered why some people are more successful than others? I think about this all the time. For some it seems so easy to just get things done. It’s almost as if they do this without any energy whatsoever. But, for others, getting things done is a constant struggle. I am one of those people. I honestly believe it comes down to the structure that you receive at an early age. I know for me personally, there was either so much structure that I couldn’t move, or there was no structure whatsoever, and I was left to fend for myself. From as early as age 7, I was in charge of my younger brother. Because both of my parents worked, we were left alone a lot. I was ‘in charge’ (if you can imagine a 7-yearold in charge of a 4-year old) and forced to develop my own structure within the household without any guidance from them (well…until I screwed it up). I was the one who created (and broke) the rules and I was the one that laid out the day, albeit on a minute by minute basis. Now from a 7-year-old’s viewpoint, or even from a 9 or 11-year-old’s viewpoint, rules and structure are not something that comes naturally. As a matter of fact, it rarely comes at all. In the end this develops bad habits at this very formidable age which I had carried well into my adulthood. And with it, a lot of excuses. PAGE 24 Fast Forward to today…having studied many people whom I admire, or even those that I don’t admire but who I feel are successful, one thing clearly stands out. They DO. What I mean is they don’t talk about doing. Perhaps they talk to themselves about it, but not so much to others. It’s almost as if they have it set in their mind that this is what they are going to do and they don’t look for acceptance or approval from others to get it done. They just DO. Doing, and creating the habits in your life around this process of doing, I believe is the key to getting more things accomplished and bringing more success to your life. Now, having said that, the truth is that for some of us (present company included) it does not come that easy. We must work much harder to get into that mindset. For those of us where this does not come naturally, we actually have to reset the brain by setting up structure in our lives. It is as if we have to become the parent to our adult brain. We need to set up rules. Many, many rules. Rule Number One: No Excuses! This is the rule I break the most. In an undisciplined mindset, excuses have a way of creeping in to every aspect of your life. And when no excuse is present, we tend to make them up as we need them. Some of us call this justification. Others call it survival. I am not sure why, but excuses became such a comfortable mindset for me and
  • 25. TODAY’S SMALL BUSINESS SuperiorBMS.com/tsbmag anything outside of it made me feel anxious, tired, and unmotivated. I used excuses to explain procrastination, lack of motivation, bad habits, anger, laziness and anything else. Knowing this, I realized that the only way to get around these excuses was to completely ban them from my speech and thought. The truth is that on the days where I don’t allow excuses in my life, I get the most done, I feel the most accomplished, and I find that I fear less. But, old habits die hard and there are still days when I fall off the wagon and allow excuses to rule over my moments or even my whole day. The good news is that I’ve learned to recognize these moments and have learned to adjust this behavior and re-establish rule number one. For me that was a huge accomplishment. Rule Number Two: Write It Down! There is a lot of research these days behind the power of writing down your thoughts and goals. When you write things down, your brain views them in an entirely different way than if you simply think about them. The structure of your brain can only hold so many thoughts in place at one time. This is a fact. And I don’t know about you, but for me, my mind is constantly buzzing with thoughts.. ideas.. goals.. things to do and just processing everything that comes at me on a daily basis. It took me a long time to realize that no matter how great I thought my own mind was at keeping information, I constantly lost stuff, forgot stuff, missed stuff… including opportunities that would have helped me move forward. Because I had such limited structure in my early years, the concept of goal setting was very foreign to me. Since then, I’ve read an enormous amount of information on the subject and I have put into place a process of writing down just about everything. I know that on the surface that may seem overwhelming, but once you get the structure in place it actually becomes part of your daily habits, takes very little time, and helps you save time in the end. I actually have this app in my phone (any.do) that allows me to easily record of goal, however minor, and set a date and time for that goal all in under 30 seconds. It works the same for my appointments, phone calls, and things I just need to remember on a daily basis (like take the wash out of the washer). Not only has this app saved me an enormous amount of time, but it has helped me to get done more of the things I want to get done throughout the day. Aside from the app, I have created a habit to start each week by writing down my goals for that week. I mix Issue 01 - Fall 2013 TSB these between what I personally consider to be realistic, and far-reaching goals. The realistic goals are goals that I am confident I will have no trouble completing by the weeks end or necessary goals that have to get done for clients or family or otherwise. The far-reaching goals I dabble in there to give me personal challenges, because I have learned that by challenging yourself on a regular basis you actually provide your brain with valuable (and necessary) rewards. These rewards actually increase positive chemicals in the brain and help you to feel elated. I don’t always accomplish the far-reaching goals… It just doesn’t happen sometimes. But, when I do, it makes such an amazing difference in my life. Writing things down helps you to see them on a daily basis, keeps them in focus, and makes them less likely to be forgotten. In addition, when you start crossing off items on your list you begin to see the power of having the structure in place. You will definitely find yourself getting more things done on a daily/weekly/monthly basis. The path you are walking on will become more organized and will fall in front of you much faster than it would if you did not put this in place. So, please start writing stuff down immediately. Start today, don’t wait. Rule Number Three: Don’t Speak, DO! The only person your goals and dreams should be important to is YOU. That doesn’t mean they won’t also be important to others, I just mean that the only person’s opinion who should matter is you. It’s my belief that truly successful people do not count on the validation of others to make their success a reality. I had spent a good portion of my life looking for validation and acceptance from others without having the confidence to believe in myself from within me. Some people are just born with this ability, for others it’s a struggle to believe in ourselves. For whatever reason, we were taught to believe that our opinion did not matter and that the only way to truly feel accepted is through the acceptance and validation of others. I believe there are two sides to this coin. One side says that nothing you do is worthwhile unless it is validated by another. The second side inhibits you from doing things you find important because you fear someone may mock you for it, or ridicule you, or make you feel like you have made a mistake. But that is how it sits in THEIR mind …for THEIR life…and you are not them and they are not you. So, although you need to take (SOME) opinions into consideration, they should not rule your decisions to build your dreams or set your goals. continued on page 29 PAGE 25
  • 26. TSB TODAY’S SMALL BUSINESS SuperiorBMS.com/tsbmag Issue 01 - Fall 2013 The Art of Making Businesses Look Like a Million Bucks I’m sure we’ve all seen examples of businesses that have polished, a unified message and design that creates an image of who they are and makes them instantly recognizable. This is all a result of carefully planned and well executed BRANDING. What exactly is branding? Entrepreneur magazine defines branding as “the marketing practice of creating a name, symbol or design that identifies and differentiates a product from other products”. professional looks that are truly memorable. Their website, promotional materials, packaging or physical locations all have Large corporations invest millions of dollars working with ad agencies to develop and market successful brands for their businesses. Tactics like extensive market research or using the perfect celebrity endorsements are not uncommon. Of course not all businesses can afford or, quite frankly, require this level of investment. Great branding doesn’t need to be overly complicated but it does require some important thought and planning. Making a business look like a million bucks is all about developing a strong foundation and creating branding building blocks that will aid in a company’s growth. Large business or small, the same basic rules apply. Breaking down the major steps involved in creating a great brand Asking the right questions. • What is the company’s mission? • Who is their ideal client? • What are the unique benefits and features of their products or services? • What values do they want to be associated with? Establishing a look and feel for the business. This could include: • A logo design. • Development of a unique colour palette. • Writing a company tagline. • Creating a set of design and branding guidelines to follow. • Creating a “voice” or “unique selling proposition” for the company. Continuously and consistently applying these brand elements in all of the company’s marketing materials and customer interactions. Juliette Schmerler is the founder and creative director of Sparktank Creative, a full-service boutique design agency offering branding, website development and graphic design. An avid entrepreneur and creative visionary, Juliette enjoys working with businesses to devise marketing materials that help them succeed. Sparktank Creative has enjoyed building strong relationships with clients large and small, for over 12 years. www.SparktankCreative.com hello@sparktankcreative.com Tel: (604) 733-5765 PAGE 26
  • 27. TODAY’S SMALL BUSINESS SuperiorBMS.com/tsbmag Issue 01 - Fall 2013 TSB PAGE 27
  • 28. TSB TODAY’S SMALL BUSINESS SuperiorBMS.com/tsbmag Issue 01 - Fall 2013 5 WAYS TO TELL IF YOUR SEO COMPANY IS STEALING YOUR MONEY PAGE 28 by Josh Hofmann
  • 29. O G Y TODAY’S SMALL BUSINESS SuperiorBMS.com/tsbmag More often than not I am asked this question from potential clients, “Is my SEO company scamming me?”. As the owner of an SEO company, it makes me very disturbed that this is the direction the SEO industry has gone in. The assumption is that there isn’t any legitimacy behind what SEO companies do and how they do it. When there is legitimacy, it’s usually to point fingers at outside companies for their failures such as Google with their constant algorithm updates that can interfere with how a person’s website is ranking rather than take responsibility for something they might have done. Being the owner of an internet marketing company myself, I realize how important it is be honest and share values with potential clients. There isn’t anything I do to a client’s business website that I haven’t done to my own; that’s the way I run my business. I’d rather make a satisfied client for life than a quick buck. Another thing you should not be afraid of is asking for customer references. A lot of SEO companies do sign nondisclosure agreements with their clients so this might be challenge to get from some companies. If they are willing to provide a reference, ask for a phone number or email address; don’t be afraid to give them their reference a call and ask questions like, “how long did it take till you saw results from them” or “how many sales did you receive after working with them.” Questions like these are very informative when trying to figure out if your SEO company is the company for you. 2. Your SEO Company Doesn’t Share Case Studies With You The typical way people search for an SEO company is by typing in their city followed by the type of service they require. After initially choosing an SEO company, you should browse the testimonials they post on their own website and on other websites such as Thumbtack, Elance, or any local business directory. When researching a potential company, search for their name followed by “reviews” or “complaints.” If there aren’t a substantial amount of reviews (5 or more) odds are either their company is new or they don’t have enough customers willing to give them positive feedback. Most importantly, if you see Pissed Off Consumer, Ripoff Report, or Complaints Board on the first or second page of your results, go find another SEO company ASAP! Don’t be afraid to ask your SEO company for a recent case study or experiment. If your company is keeping up-to-date with the latest changes to search engine algorithms, they should have no problem sharing with you their methods. If your SEO company cannot take you step-by-step through their processes, then you should consider taking your business elsewhere. As I mentioned above, I earn my clients’ trust. If your SEO company isn’t doing 1. Your SEO Company Does Not Have Testimonials TSB the same, I would suggest making a change. My company always shares our case studies with our customers. Why? We have nothing to hide, and there isn’t anything we do to their sites that we haven’t done to our own sites first. By using my own company as a lab for different approaches, I can provide the best possible services for my clients. By directly observing my process, potential clients are more willing to take my company seriously. SEO companies should want to earn your trust before you decide to use them. As an example, I recently updated our process in which we obtain links from other websites to help us rank in search engines better. My company’s site went from page three to the fourth result on page one for one of our main targeted keywords. But I’ll get off my soapbox for now and share with all of you some ways to identify if the SEO company you are using is in fact stealing the money you are giving them. Issue 01 - Fall 2013 3. Your SEO Company Doesn’t Track Their Own Results From the start of your SEO campaign, your internet marketing company should know exactly where you rank for the keywords you desire to rank for. Ultimately, they should do this for one reason: to track your website’s progress in moving forward in search engine results pages for your desired keywords. Your SEO company should give your website a free evaluation so they know where your website is ranking currently and how long it will take them to rank your website for its desired keyword. Ask your SEO company to provide you with some Key Performance Indicators (KPIs). Some examples of these would be return on investment (ROI), cost per sale (CPS), keywords that send traffic to your website, as well as non-business name vs. business name traffic. The non-business name traffic conversion rates are my favorite reports to show clients. These reports truly indicate that our clients website is generating traffic from generic keyword searches. 4. Your SEO Company Won’t Reveal Their “Secret Weapons” Many SEO companies do not share what they do to a clients website. The Continued next page PAGE 29
  • 30. TSB TODAY’S SMALL BUSINESS SuperiorBMS.com/tsbmag Issue 01 - Fall 2013 reasoning behind this is they want to remain mysterious and make you think SEO is some sort of magic. SEO is not magic or voodoo. Anyone can do SEO if they take the time to learn it and keep up with this forever changing industry. It does take math, experiments, art, and much more to be able to master the science behind SEO. But it isn’t rocket science by any means. It’s logic science. At the end of the day, our job as an SEO company is not only to make our clients happy but make search engines happy as well. There are mainly two ways SEO’s rank a website. One, by adding valuable content to your website, and two, creating links to your sites from other places on the web. Ask your SEO company to show you what types of links they are making for your site. Do not just ask them questions like, “how are you going to get more links to our site” or “how are you going to create content on our website.” Most SEO companies will give you a long winded answer and confuse the heck out of you. Ask for visuals, case studies, and clients websites that they have worked on, as well as referrals. Successful SEO today is quality over quantity. If your SEO company says “We will build you 50 social profiles, 25 directory submissions, etc.” find another SEO company. Real SEO companies change their strategies every month in order to keep up with the changes that search engines make every month. 5. Your SEO Company Doesn’t Charge Enough Some of you are probably scratching your heads reading this, but it’s true! Most SEO companies are located outside of the United States, mainly India, and they charge unbelievably low prices - prices so low they make your head spin with excitement. STOP! Always remember, you get what you pay for. In the end, you might be spending $75 a month for SEO, but you will most likely end up spending thousands to fix your website from low quality links that will hurt your website’s traffic. by thousands of people, or would you rather spend that same $5000 a month and get thousands of quality leads and results immediately after you start? You do the math! While a couple years ago it was easier to manipulate search engines to rank for crazy terms like “mortgage rates” or “life insurance”, it has become progressively more difficult to do that without quality SEO services. You can manipulate organic search results with spammy links and tactics, but those days are pretty much over. Ask questions, but know the answers to those questions before taking the test. You might be surprised after you ask your SEO company, “What are you doing for my business?” Don’t waste any more time wondering if your money is being invested in the right SEO company. Josh Hofmann is an Most businesses still are not up to date with how to advertise their business today. Before I owned my own company, my 9 to 5 catered to people who still thought spending $5000 a month in the Yellow Pages (the actual book) was an effective strategy for their marketing. Ask yourself this: would you rather spend $5000 a month on a printed advertisement that might get you a single phone call when it’s seen internet entrepreneur, Search Engine Optimization specialist, and the founder of Monocle Internet Marketing. He focuses on helping and growing businesses with their online presence. Josh has eight years of experience in SEO and twelve years experience in web design focused on user experience. In his spare time, he enjoys bird watching and playing with his dog. PAGE 30
  • 31. TODAY’S SMALL BUSINESS SuperiorBMS.com/tsbmag Do You Ever Wonder Why Some People Succeed? Continued from page 23 I am not going to lie. For me this is still an daily struggle. But, one that I am slowly learning to overcome. The key for me is focusing on the feeling of accomplishment I will have when I actually get goals completed or the dream achieved. I remind myself that getting there is not going to mean the same to anybody else but me. If you hold this thought in your mind when those moments creep up on you, it will save you every time. Just remind yourself “This matters to ME not THEM. This will improve ME not THEM. This will make ME happy not THEM. The people who truly love and care for you will only want good for you. So, I would challenge you to incorporate these three rules in your life starting today. I am not saying it will be easy, sometimes nothing worth having ever is easy, but I would like you to check back with me and let me know if they have, in fact, made a difference over the course of say.. 30 days. I have seen them in action and I know they work in I would love to see you find the success that you desire by giving them a try. And, if you are one of those people who have already put these rules into place, I would love to hear your thoughts on the matter. Deirdre Baker is the CEO and founder of Superior Business Management Solutions, LLC, a boutique business solutions provider, offering a variety of business support services to entrepreneurs, solopreneurs, and micro to small businesses. From WordPress website design to online marketing, Superior provides custom solutions for businesses in their early stages as well as established businesses looking for a fresh face lift in our technological era. She offers real answers in a no pressure, non-salesy environment to help you find the best path to business success. Self Publish On Amazon Continued from page 17 I have live courses going on all the time based around the book and how to publish it. I have had feedback that some people just do not have time to read the book but they do have the time to LISTEN to it on an i-Pod while on the move so an audio version was created. Be sure you listen to what your customers want and you will find new ways to reach more people. Get a guide! Book coaches = a great short cut and saves time & cost I was very determined to get my book out there and I am very good at deadlines, so with the help of being held accountable every two weeks by a coach and getting tips and pointers on how to improve the book, how to stay true to my objectives and various other ‘how to’ courses, the book was finally self published on Kindle and became a No. 1 Best Seller! If I had not outsourced many of the processes and had NOT had someone ensuring I was progressing. I cannot guarantee it would have been done as fast. Issue 01 - Fall 2013 TSB Be Featured In Our Next Issue! Show off your expertise while providing high quality information to our readers! If you would like to become a contributor to Today’s Small Business, just send an email to TSBMagazineOnline@gmail.com and tell us how you would like to contribute. My first piece of advice for anyone wanting to write a book - - you must really enjoy and even LOVE the topic that you choose to write about because you will be spending a lot of time writing the material and planning its delivery! if you are seriously considering getting your book published DO get in touch with me! In the meantime to your health, wealth and success in self-publishing on Kindle! Amanda is a TRANSFORMATIONAL LEADER, Author, Mentor and Speaker. She is also a Mom, Serial Entrepreneur & Trainer who speaks 5 languages and is on her mission to connect others to their authentic success. She has worked with many people over the last 15 years, on how to choose the right path both in career, in business and personally resulting in increased profits, happiness and levels of true fulfilling SUCCESS from the INSIDE OUT! To get a copy of her Free Ebook & Audio - “Feel Love by 3.15pm”, Click HERE PAGE 31
  • 32. TSB TODAY’S SMALL BUSINESS SuperiorBMS.com/tsbmag Issue 01 - Fall 2013 5 Productivity Boosting Tools For Suitcase Entrepreneurs by Munmi Sar It can be a productivity nightmare when you travel constantly, work on the move and try to run as well as grow your business at the same time. To have the ability to focus on your priorities while traveling is very critical to your productivity. Being productive is all about doing less of the procrastination driven and soul-sucking activities that are currently filling most of your days. Very often, people lose the productive edge due to extreme exhaustion, sleep deprivation, travel and work related stress. However, with a little forethought and shrewd technology, you can easily make your travel time your most productive period. The entrepreneurs who are at the top of their game know how to accomplish their goals in less time than others. These five simple tools will increase your productivity when you are busy playing road warrior, but more often than not, people miss out on their benefits while traveling. Formulate Power Options You want your device to work at all times and you cannot depend on power outlets to be available everywhere, at all times. In such cases a solar-powered charger may help. The XD Design Solar Window Charger can stick to your airplane or car window and charge any device with an USB outlet. However, always keep your power cords handy in your carry-on bag. There will be times when your smartphone will be the only device with internet access. So, always plug in your smartphone into your laptop whenever you get the chance to charge your laptop. Collect Your Ideas Accumulate all your creative ideas in one particular place. Dr. Linus Pauling, a world renowned scientist once said, “The best way to have a good idea is to have a lot of ideas.” Most entrepreneurs are great visionaries and they often come up with mind boggling ideas, however capturing and storing numerous ideas can become a big challenge for busy people. You achieve stupendous results in business based on your ideas, propositions and notions. But, it is very easy to lose track of your ideas when you’re on the go. Evernote is a popular, free program that is very convenient for collecting and capturing ideas. I’ve been using Evernote since many years; it offers an app that allows you to easily track notes, pictures or sound-bites all in one particular place. When you collect someone’s business card or take down important notes in a business meeting, snap a picture of it with your smartphone and directly email it to your Evernote account. Whether you prefer a tablet or a notebook, keeping ideas in one place has manifold benefits and you need not waste time searching for the post-it. PAGE 32
  • 33. rma TODAY’S SMALL BUSINESS SuperiorBMS.com/tsbmag Issue 01 - Fall 2013 TSB Don’t Waste Time Planning There are numerous travel planning apps that help entrepreneurs to organize, coordinate and plan their travel in a limited time. Hundreds of entrepreneurs use these tools on a daily basis. They make sure that you have a hassle free business travel by taking care of last-minute delays, confirmations, your travel dates, schedules etc. A few good apps that are worth considering are Nileguide, TripWolf and Triplt. Entrepreneurs are always in a race against time and planning out every step of their trip in infinite detail will be instrumental in incrementing productivity. Traveling always involves a lot of research if you want to avail the best of deals and save your hard earned money. But accumulating the information is a back breaking and time consuming task. Sites like, Travelmuse help you by saving information from any web site offering travel advice and also gives you all the tools to assemble all your research in one place. Track Your Expenses If you don’t keep a track of all your business expenses during travel, there’s a good chance that you could run into some accounting problems. To evade that, resort to Freshbooks. Freshbooks makes it easy for you to track all your business expenses while traveling. It is simple and instinctive. Freshbooks is a ‘cloud accounting software package’ which enables you to access all your accounting information from your tablet, laptop or smartphone. Its live chat option makes it accessible and ideal for traveling entrepreneurs. It is best suited for all the start-up entrepreneurs who are constantly on the move and budding small time business owners, it will facilitate your payments and organize your finances in no time. It is very cost effective, time efficient and all your data is always backed up and secure. Scan Anything Anywhere You most definitely can’t get to the office to scan a contract or any important document while traveling. Scanning options are not always easily available or accessible on the road and if you are someone like me who loathes fax machines, you will definitely love ScanR! It is one of my favourite productivity boosting cloud apps. ScanR turns your phone into a mini mobile scanner in just a few clicks. The mobile camera captures the image, scans it and converts it into a PDF file. The quality of the captured document is amazing. You can immediately e-mail or fax the file to your clients or employees for fast delivery. One important tip that a suitcase entrepreneur needs to consider is packing smart and traveling light. You need to distinguish between what’s essential and what’s extravagant. Generally all you really need is your e-ticket, wallet, passport, smartphone, laptop or tablet, travel kit and your important documents. Do not carry excess clothing or any other insignificant luggage, just pack the essentials and don’t forget your travel plug converter. Too much luggage will mark you as a typical tourist because you’ll walk with your luggage a lot more than you think you will. It’s more convenient if you pack every- thing in just one bag, that way you can save some money by carrying your own bag and it is still free to check one bag on most overseas airports. With a limited luggage you are always in control and very much mobile. It will keep your frustrations at bay, make you happy and alleviate your exhaustion. Packing light isn’t all about saving money, time and energy; it also defines your traveling lifestyle and definitely enhances your productivity. who pack light and the others who wish they had. Need I say more? Munmi Sarma is the Chairperson at Munmi IT Solutions LLP. She blog’s at Penigma.com . She is a globetrotter, painter, blogger, entrepreneur and a feminist. You can also download follow this link to get her Free Book on The Secret To HappYness. Buy yourself out of any jams and always pack for the best case scenarios, not the worst. Go casual and pack smart, because there are two kinds of travellers- those PAGE 33
  • 34. TSB TODAY’S SMALL BUSINESS SuperiorBMS.com/tsbmag Issue 01 - Fall 2013 “Everything that you do on Google plus is indexed, to help your search engine optimization.” Why Your Business Should Be Using Google Plus There are only two things that a business needs to have in place in order to be successful: A great product or service To get that product or service in front of the right people, who are hungry and ready to buy from you. The first factor is the easy part, because if you do not have a great product or service, then you do not yet have a business, so we wont talk about that today. The second element is the part that is absolutely vital and something that many businesses owners find very challenging… How do you know who is looking for what you offer? How do you know where they are? How do you get your business in front of them in the right way? Traditionally when someone wanted to find a product or service, they would pick up a: Newspaper Magazine Telephone book Right now the place that everyone is telling you, you need to be, is the Social Media platforms like: Facebook LinkedIn Twitter Whilst these are great places to connect, engage and build relationships with potential clients and a great way to showcase who you are and what you do, the question to ask is, is this where people go when they are ready to buy and they are actively looking for a product or service? Some of your potential customers will ask their friends and networks on Social Media for a referral, but many people are turning to the search engines to find the products and services they are looking for and I am sure that you will have been told or heard people say; “Google it!” when you are looking for information, ideas, products and services. In April 2013 Google held over 85% of the Global Search Market And businesses would be using push marketing to attract attention. Placing adverts in the hope that people would look for them in those printed formats and then pick up the phone to find out more, place an order and make a purchase. Now though, people are not drawn to print ads in the way they used to be and we are in an era of attraction marketing, with people using online platforms and Social media to find what they are looking for and connect with businesses. People no longer want to be sold to, but to be attracted to you and your business. People want to know who you are, check you out to see if others find you great at what you do or offer and they are doing this in a very busy online space. The key to success and building a sustainable business is to work out how to get seen in this busy world and how to be the person that your prospective customers find when they are hungry for what you do. Competition is high, and it is no easy job to stand out in the crowd. So what can you do? How can you make sure that you are found? How can you make sure that you are putting yourself, your products and services in front of the right people at the right time? PAGE 34 So if you want to be found then that is where you need to be – Showing up in the search results! And one of the best ways to do this, is by using Google Plus, Google’s new social layer – yes I did say social layer, because Google plus is not simply another social network as many people believe, but a social layer encompassing all of the Google tools, features and platforms: Everything that you do on Google plus is indexed, to help your search engine optimization. Every comment you make publicly, every post you create is indexed and you can also enhance your opportunity of showing up in other peoples search results, by verifying your online content with Google using Google Authorship.
  • 35. TODAY’S SMALL BUSINESS SuperiorBMS.com/tsbmag Using Google Authorship, (a small piece of code on your website) you are telling Google that you are the creator of your online content, your blogs, your articles and comments and will be given more opportunity to get found online. TSB Google Local Google plus is not just a social layer but is actually the new Google; you could almost say it is the new Internet. Issue 01 - Fall 2013 Google Hangouts Google has such a strong presence in the online world, (They have just celebrated their 15th birthday) So they are not one of those platforms that has sprung up overnight, will hang around for a little while and then just as quickly disappear, leaving you feeling that you have wasted your time and effort. Google plus, although it is still the “new kid on the block”, lunched a mere 24 months ago, and has already reached 1 billion users and overtaken Twitter as a preferred online platform for businesses. Given the benefits, the tools and features that you can utilize, all brought together for you to access with one login, It simply does not make sense for any business to not be using Google Plus and Enhancing your visibility in search Positioning yourself with authority through your online content Building strong networks and relationships with potential customers Showing up on page one of Google search results Not only is being able to be found easily in search a massive benefit that utilizing Google plus brings you, but what many people do not know is that you can also save time and money in your business, by utilizing the complete productivity suite that Google offers you too. Google plus is not an island like other social networks but a world, a place to explore and meet new people, build strong relationships and really showcase your business. Google and Google plus enable you, from just the one login, to access all of your business tools: Google Plus Network, collaborate, connect and build strong relationships Meet new people, enjoy communicating with like-minded entrepreneurs and business owners Integrate as part of your lead generation strategies Google Drive Cloud storage for your important documents and files Google Calendar Seamlessly integrate your schedule’s and appointments Gmail Access your email on the go, as well as from home YouTube If you have a physical business, this is the place to be found when people are searching for the best restaurant, hairdresser, garage, or service provider in their local area Private video chats, enabling you to hold confidential online meetings and workshops, without ever leaving your home or office. Meet with potential clients, with no need to spend time or money travelling Google Hangouts On Air Live public video broadcasting that is opening the world and allowing businesses to showcase themselves and their products and services to an unlimited audience in partnership with YouTube. Enables you to create your content once, optimize it and make it available on an on-going basis for lead generation online. That is one big powerful set of marketing tools available to you completely free of charge. And another great benefit of utilizing Google Plus and the Google business tools is that not only can you access all of your tools online, but you can also work with Your documents Your calendar and Your Gmail Offline too, which will offer you more flexibility. Allowing you to work without disruption, even when many others are struggling because their Internet has gone down or they are travelling and have no online connection. Whichever way you look at it, the benefits of Google and Google Plus are big, and absolutely every business promotion, event or process is enhanced when you integrate all (or a selection) of Gplus opportunities into your marketing mix. Carol Dodsley is a GPlus and Hangouts consultant, trainer, and author of the #1 best seller book A DivaPreneurs guide to G+. A recognized expert in the world of Google Plus and Hangouts, Carol specialises in helping entrepreneurs and business owners, discover unique ways to use traditional, proven marketing methods in a technology driven world. Better known to many as the Gplus how2girl, Carol has been shortlisted for a women inspiring women award two years running, is included in many lists of top 50 Google Plussers, is featured in The Ultimate G+ resource for 2013, is a Google Plus Rising Star and receives regular invites as presenter and speaker. YouTube is owned by Google and is also the 2nd largest search engine in the world (with Google being the first!) PAGE 35
  • 36. TSB TODAY’S SMALL BUSINESS SuperiorBMS.com/tsbmag Issue 01 - Fall 2013 New Business Branding 101 you had with previous employers? What do you wish they did differently? What are some positive experiences you’ve had? What leaders have made a significant impact in your life, and why? Again, in just a few words, write these down, and post them on the board. The next step is to identify what’s important to your customers. What need do they have that is currently unmet? What challenges do they face? Does your company provide the answer to their problems? Once you’re finished, you’ll begin the process of organizing the mess. Don’t worry about writing out category headings, just group your notes with others that are similar in nature. Chances are, there will be some who’s meaning you don’t remember. That’s okay. Just set them aside, and place them in the most appropriate group when you’re done. We’re shooting for 7-10 groups of notes. After you’ve organized all your notes into groups, you’ll notice that certain trends have emerged. These are the values that are most important to you and your team. You can now put pen to paper and write out a compelling sentence summarizing each of these groupings. When finished, you will have identified your core values. Your mission statement is developed by summarizing your core values. Your vision statement simply gives more detail as to how you will execute on your company’s mission. Now, and only now, should you begin the process of deciding on your company’s colors and logo. Different colors have different meanings, and make us feel certain ways about things. You’ll PAGE 36 continued from page 5 want to get a firm understanding of the psychology of color and logo design before you make your decision. You’re now ready to hire that graphic designer, and your slogan should be obvious. As you can see, successfully branding your business is something that takes time, but when done correctly will effectively communicate your company’s unique personality for decades to come. Spend the time, and do it right from the beginning. It’s much easier to start out on the right foot than it is to reinvent your brand later on. Over the past decade Jeff has worked with numerous Fortune 100 and start-up companies to establish, re-establish, and reinforce their brand. He recently founded Brown Box Branding which helps companies of all sizes effectively brand their business, and establish their online presence with the latest in web design and internet marketing strategies.
  • 37. Issue 01 - Fall 2013 TSB Today’s Small Business Thank you for checking out our first issue! TODAY’S SMALL BUSINESS SuperiorBMS.com/tsbmag Get Fresh Small Biz News With Every Issue! • Articles From Small Business Owners Like YOU! • Exclusive Offers • Great Tools To Add To Your Entrepreneurial Toolbox • Tips and Trick From The Pros To subscribe, please visit our easy online subscription form: http://superiorbms.com/subscribe Want to advertise your business on our next issue? Give us a call today! (888) 247-5183 SmallBusiness Today’s Presented by Superiorbms.com PAGE 37

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