This week, it's time for information about digital security and what you can do about it. When I previously discussed security, I mentioned that the tone when people talk about digital security, privacy, and recently hacked companies is dire, but I want to focus on what you can do about it. Recently, Entrepreneur published two great articles on the topic, one broadly covering the topic and the other specifically addressing the issue of employee theft.
The past few months have been hectic (the good kind), but, now that I'm able to breathe a bit, I get reminded that I need to do things besides just work. I've probably said it a few times in the past, but when you get down in your work it's easy to forget. Last month, I learned I was nominated and named a finalist in the Phoenix Business Journal's Top Tech Exec awards. With a project winding down and a free weekend, I decided it would be a good time to get out and reflect a bit.
When it comes to crafting a platform for a new business, concept, or digital product, it's easy to find developers that claim they can build you the best system. Hit up oDesk or any freelancing site, and you'll probably find plenty of people at bargain prices. When you do, however, ask yourself whether it's worth building your entire business on a bargain when your goal is to do more or "scale up".
I'm often asked about my opinion on search engine optimization (SEO) and paid online advertising (usually pay-per-click or PPC ad campaigns). The short answer is that it can certainly help, but ultimately you should make the decision based on what your business needs are.
Security was on everyone's mind last year, including mine. One of the things I was keenly aware of was that most people talk about it fearfully - including me. I wanted this article to be different. We all know there are people out there who want our information - that hasn't changed. As a web development company, however, we must do our part to make obtaining that information more difficult.
Plenty of things can change in a week and I find it easy to forget I need to do things besides work when deadlines are looming, but I made sure to take time out for some important events last week. Thanks to some great events that carried celebration through the weekend, I hit the ground running on Monday.
Last year, we had the opportunity to work with one of our clients to put together a site that did a great job explaining financial planning in plain English. I stress those last few words because most of the financial advisors I've met in my life think that throwing out big words is better than a client who understands what's going on and the strategy involved. While creating that site, we created some prototype financial calculators (with plans to put some more together over time). On February 19th, we released the refined version of those calculators, easily installed into any Joomla Web site.
Getting an ecommerce site up and running is anything but a small feat. There's products information, descriptions and photos, pricing considerations, not to mention the typical stuff you need for a Web site (policies, company profile, awesome landing page). It's easy to get caught up in the excitement of launching and forget to plan for the things that come after.
When it comes to email marketing, there's plenty of good information from a lot of sources about how to your email should indulge the customer to get a click. I recently came across a great article that was a bit different. I wanted to share that could change how you go about your email marketing.
It seems like there's a data breach at some large company nearly every day. I'd rather my readers be informed, but I don't want to dwell on the events themselves. In our third series to launch in the new year, we'll be summarizing some of the events and let you know about fixes that may apply to you. You may already be aware, but it's important to stay on top of fixes for both your home and work computers to prevent problems. So, last month in security news...
I'm a music nut. I love all genres and I'm often slow to answer my phone because I need to mute the music streaming out of my tablet station behind me in my home office. This may not have much to do with business, but does everything have to? This is a new monthly blog segment in which I'll be talking about non-business things and how they link to your business.
It's no surprise that technology is on everyone's mind, particularly small businesses who face a unique challenge. In order to stay relevant, they need to update their technology, but often that means bootstrapping a solution better suited to large enterprises or costly custom development. Neither is appealing to small businesses who often have small technology budgets. The solution lies in MVP.
This week, we'll be holding our first training workshop to help small business owners entrepreneurs with their email marketing. During the rise of social media, you may have heard "email marketing is dead". Well, I assure you it's not - and many experts agree with me.
This is the final week to sign up for our first training workshop. We'll be teaching small business owners and entrepreneurs how to build or increase their email marketing list without adding more tasks to their plate. Interested in email marketing in 2016? We'll help you get started and build your list or grow your existing list doing the same things you're already doing - networking with other business owners.
You can register online at www.tektalk.co.
Many small businesses get overwhelmed when faced with all the components necessary for a successful marketing plan. They hear about SEO and social media and email marketing, but it's daunting (and expensive) to implement a complete marketing solution or to break it up into manageable pieces. To help our fellow entrepreneurs out, we are now offering hands-on workshops which break up the marketing into something less daunting.
Beginning with our first session in January, we will begin hosting hands-on training workshops which help small business owners and entrepreneurs leverage technology to help their business without adding to their to-do list. The format is simple: 60-90 minutes of hands-on training and everyone walks out with the automation taught by the class in place so they can build their business.
In my previous blog, I talked about how we updated our client's technology platform and increased their site's visibility and conversion. Marketing was just one aspect of that project and it all tied together with necessary upgrades to address new regulations and reporting in the mortgage industry. We needed to meet a specific deadline to update the forms their platform generates.
I don't often blog about our accomplishments, but I wanted to this time. We recently rolled out an update for one of our clients, coordinating major upgrades to their technology platform (the application itself that drives their business), deployment process (how we get that application to their servers), and an entirely new marketing site. Needless to say, it was big deal and we've learned something about marketing and technology.
At one of my events this week, there was an great discussion on ways to keep "filling the funnel" during the busy season. We all have those times when we forget about nurturing prospects and business development because we're heads-down working in our business. That doesn't mean marketing has to stop. As a business owner, you're always marketing anyway - why not let your conversations lead right into your online efforts.
Well, maybe not literally, but I started to really focus on getting things done after a great presentation by Nicole Spracale, a management consultant and executive coach I met during my involvement at the Tempe Chamber. The presentation was about time management and productivity and, at the time, I was struggling to get everything done because so much was happening at once. After the presentation, I started looking for a to-do list manager that worked for me.
When you embark on the journey of creating something, it's important to remember your audience. Whether it's coming up with a great blog or presentation, a re-designed or completely new Web site, or a brand new product or service, it's important to keep in mind that, without an audience, you're really just talking to yourself.