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20 Tips On Being Productive. 6 Companies. 8 Executives – How You Can Be More Productive With Tech In Your Business

February 21, 2012 1 comment

We all want to use technology in furtherance of the growth of our businesses. However, we also know that technology can be pretty confusing (for many business owners) and at times even filled with errors, crashes and security breaches.

Here a few executives of technology vendors share their best tips, thoughts, insights and more importantly TIPS on how the POWER of technology can help business owners be MORE productive.

20 tips, 6 companies, 8 executives

Companies submitting tips:

  • Brother
  • Dell
  • Epson
  • HP
  • Local
  • Research in Motion
Summary of their insight includes:
  1. Use all in one printers
  2. Buy from companies with a history of reliability
  3. Use tech with an environmental benefit
  4. Use online services
  5. Implement better data storage
  6. Read more…

Stop Buying Customers. Buy Customer Profiles. Insight From The Founder of PetFlow.com

February 3, 2012 Leave a comment

PetFlow.com sells pet food, via a subscription, to pet owners. I’ve never been a fuzzy wuzzy warm hearted pet guy, but I do know that those who own pets often treat their pets like family members and their pet’s food is VERY important. PetFlow’s got a great thing going.

Alex Zhardanovsky, co-founder of PetFlow.com has lots of experience in online marketing and he’s using this experience to drive huge sales and profits for PetFlow.com. Priot to PetFlow.com he founded (and sold) advertising network, AdZoogle.

After he sold AdZoogle, Alex and his business partner were looking for their next business venture – hence PetFlow.com started in 2009. They’re gaining thousands of new customers per month and he has over 300,000 Facebook fans.

Here are some tips from Alex Zhardanovsky:
1. On Facebook people don’t want to shop – they want to converse, have fun, engage. Stop selling to them.
PetFlow gives its customers and prospective customers what they want, highly engaged – funny photos and more. Read more…

The Death of The Data Projector VGA Cable: Epson’s Wireless Projection App

February 3, 2012 Leave a comment

I’ve used VGA cables probably hundreds of times in my professional life giving and/or assisting with many, many, many presentations. There are always three elements that go hand in hand, the data projector, the VGA cable and the computer. However, many conference rooms have data projectors that wirelessly connect to computers.

Epson recently introduced iProjection enabling its projectors to easily connect to iPhones and iPads with an app. This means that an iPad user could come to your office, download their presentation from SlideShark or SlideRocket and wirelessly present to your digital projector.

According to Epson’s press release, iProjection allows mobile users to present to any Epson wireless projector from mobile Apple iOS devices such as an iPad, iPhone and iPod touch, and is ideal for business users who need to travel light yet maintain the capability of presenting with a full-featured projector. In addition, as more teachers integrate mobile content into their lesson plans, iProjection is beneficial in a classroom environment, allowing teachers the flexibility to move about the classroom while simultaneously sharing larger than life content. This versatile app also allows teachers and business professionals to access files through the cloud, offering the ability to display documents and files not residing on the mobile device. The app is compatible with Microsoft Word®, PowerPoint®, Excel®, Apple Keynote, Adobe® PDF, and JPEG and PNG image files, as well as cloud services such as Dropbox and email applications such as Gmail.

This is a perfect example of how companies who are able to integrate and implement technology into the core of their businesses will be more productive than their competition.

HOW TO CREATE A PRODUCT THAT SELLS

February 3, 2012 Leave a comment

A vital starting point with product creation: creating a product that will sell.

In other words, creating a product that has a hungry audience.

You can have the best quality information product in the world, but if you are the only one interested in “Advanced Cardio Training” then your product won’t sell.

Therefore, we will kick off this article with niche identification.

“Spend 10% of time on product creation and 90% of time on marketing the product” – Dan Kennedy marketing legend.

Part of marketing is market research or niche identification. If you do the hard work now and find that audience ready and willing to buy, then when it actually comes to marketing the product it will be so much easier.

Your job is to get in front and lead a crowd of people who are already marching, not to get a crowd of people to start marching.

So how do I find a hungry market?

You can start first by understanding the psychology of why people buy.

Here are things you can sell in order of effectiveness.

  • PAIN (or relief of pain)
  • PROBLEM (solution to a problem)
  • PLEASURE (delivery of pleasure)
  • PREVENTION

Prevention is the hardest one of those to promote. Hardly anyone wants to hand over money to present something. It has been said people will not pay a dime for prevention, but when something is broken they will pay the world to fix it. If I was you I would stay away from creating a prevention product and just concentrate on the first two. Read more…

INSTANT MBA: Know Your Competitors Broadly And Your Users Narrowly

January 19, 2012 Leave a comment

Today’s advice comes from our interview with Crowded Room CEO Mike Kestenbaum:

“Become obsessed with your market — know your competitors broadly and your users narrowly.”

When Kestenbaum was a Mergers and Acquisition employee at IAC, he realized there wasn’t a mobile product that allowed him to meet other professional people similar to himself. Not only did he want to know who was nearby, he wanted the option of knowing who could be nearby. The app Crowded Room allows users to pre “check-in” to places they think they may go later.

Aside from knowing your users and competitors, Kestenbaum says you should also know who you’re pitching your idea to. Before Crowded Room became a reality, Kestenbaum had to decide if he wanted to venture off on his own or pitch his startup vision within his own company. The entrepreneur knew there was a “hole in the market,” understood how it could help his employers and knew that his current resources could help him pursue this vision. Today, Crowded Room is the first location-based app from IAC.

To make this happen, Kestenbaum advises that if you want to pitch an app about soccer teams, know the top baseball team apps as well. To understand your users, know that they’re soccer fans, but find out when they go to games, how they purchase tickets and if they’re fans of other sports.

“There are so many known unknowns, but what can be known is the market. Study it, understand it and know who you’re up against.”

5 Infographics For SMBs to Check Out

January 18, 2012 Leave a comment

If a picture is worth a thousand words, than an infographic is practically it’s own book! Marketers and brands alike have been turning to infographics pretty  heavily over the past 18 months to help them turn their data into a compelling story that they can use to inform and sway consumers.  And who can blame them? Sometimes seeing it can help drive home a point far faster than simply writing about it. I thought today we’d change things up a bit and instead of using words and paragraphs to comment on the state of small businesses, we’d take a look at some popular local search infographics and see what insights they have for us.

Below are a handful of my favorite infographics for small business owners to check out.  They share a lot of great data, takeaways, and visualize the data we sometimes have a difficult time trying to wrap our head around.

Read more…

What You Need to Know About Google Apps for Business

January 17, 2012 Leave a comment

Google is serious about small business apps. Last year, the company renamed its Google Apps Premier office product suite Google Apps for Business. The Mountain View, Calif.-based search and software giant also launched a series of tweaks intended to create an all-in-one office software product businesses would actually pay for.

Google is betting that companies will want to switch from its free service by offering features such as increased control and security over email, more storage space for company content and live customer support. The new paid version has significant features that can be ideal for businesses that pay careful attention to security, compliance and data storage.

We’ve tested Google Apps for Business and came up with the following guide for migrating to this new paid service.

The differences between Google Apps and Google Apps for Business.
Google Apps for Business includes many of the same features as the basic Google Apps, including heavily-used tools such as email, calendar and documents.

Read more…

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