Category Archives: Help Desk

21 Actually Inspiring Quotes For Entrepreneurs

iStock_000022815570SmallOkay, okay – we know it’s a little cliché to let yourself be inspired by quotes from famously successful people. But come on – they were so good at what they did, and being who they were, that people quote them. Surely they must know something worth listening to. It can’t hurt to hear them out. Go ahead, be inspired – we won’t judge.

  1. Success is the sum of small efforts, repeated day-in and day-out. – Robert Collier
  2. All our dreams can come true if we have the courage to pursue them. – Walt Disney

Responsive Design: Web Design Trend #1

2014_01_29_10_20_10_Home_Light_Source_Inc.The consensus among website design pros, regarding industry trends for 2014, is fairly cut and dry (well, at least for now.) And most agree the significant styles for the year will likely fall under the headings of responsive design, story, and simple.

Throughout the week, we will be highlighting all three, but today, we will take a closer look at responsive design – the most critical for small business. Why? Because it is quickly because it is becoming the standard, and if you don’t comply, it will negatively affect your Google ranking.

When a Small Business Loan is Better Than an Investor

iStock_000015182591XSmallWhen starting a small business, or taking one to the next level of development, one thing that just about every entrepreneur needs is capital. Money is the thing that takes great ideas and cunning plans into a successful reality – and it’s always the one thing that small businesses can never seem to get enough of. Most commonly, capital is acquired through one of a few channels: personal funds (hey, I bet your kids don’t even want to go to college), loans, and investment capital. More often than not, small businesses are fueled by more than one of these three.

Is Facebook Over? No, But Look Elsewhere Anyway

iStock_000021938397XSmallThere was a time (it feels like last week, and honestly, that’s not too much of an exaggeration) when it seemed like Facebook was the insurmountable king of social media. In the last few years, businesses across all markets have finally caught on to the fact that social media, far from being just a social playground for teens, is now the main stage for marketing and audience engagement. Businesses that previously wouldn’t have thought that social media had anything to do with them finally understood the erroneous nature of that way of thinking, promptly built themselves a Facebook page, and learned how to make the most of it.

Understanding Credit Card Compliance

payment-securityThe Payment Card Industry Data Security Standard (PCI DSS) helps to ensure the security of cardholder data that is stored, processed or transmitted by merchants and processors. PCI DSS has 12 outlined requirements that businesses must follow and complete proper measures to become compliant. While PCI DSS helps protect customers and the business, there are still myths that need to be dispelled:

One vendor and product will make us compliant

There are multiple vendors that offer a wide range of software and services for PCI, but no single vendor or product will address all requirements of PCI DSS. A well-rounded security approach should be instituted.

How to Conquer the Ever-daunting Elevator Pitch

business travelHere’s the thing about writing: it’s always easier to say something with 1,000 words than it is to say the same thing with 10. So it’s no wonder that writing and delivering an elevator pitch is something that even the savviest small business owners struggle with. How do you elegantly balance all the different information that needs to be included? How do you do it without blabbing for too long? How do you hook someone into being on your side and interested in hearing more when you only have 60 seconds or so? Undoubtedly, it’s a big task, and more than anything, trial and error will illuminate what works and what doesn’t for your particular business’ elevator pitch. That said, there are a few points you can things you can do, no matter what your business, audience, or industry, to make your elevator pitch work well.

Ditch the Sales Pitch, Start Asking Questions

iStock_000019618204XSmallThe biggest barrier to successful selling today is that salespeople still see their job as one of educating their prospects and customers.

“This was a necessity years ago when customers relied on salespeople for product information and industry trends,” says Jim Dunn, expert sales trainer with the Whetstone Group. “Back then, salespeople and the businesses they represented held all the cards. They controlled information their prospects needed and, through their salespeople, shared it a little bit at a time, softening up prospects for the eventual sale.”

Tips for Handling a Late-Paying Customer

iStock_000008843974XSmall-1One of the challenges of operating a small business or consulting firm is making sure you get paid. Some customers understand the basic equation—you provide them with a valuable product or service and they compensate you in return. Other customers seem to either forget this or never really get it. Unfortunately, it’s nearly impossible to predict ahead of time what type of customer you’re dealing.

Nearly impossible—but not completely. If your business is still just getting off the ground, you may be tempted to take on anyone who claims to be willing to pay for your offering. But you can save yourself a lot of aggravation (and unpaid invoices) later on by doing some “due diligence” before signing a contract or agreeing to move forward on a project.

The Unwritten Law of Logo

Operation_logo_LOGOYou know that old saying, “Don’t judge a book by its cover?” Well, when it comes to your logo (basically your company’s book cover) we’re judging.

Someone mentions Nike, we immediately think “swoosh,” Disney, its their fantastical cursive, and McDonald’s, those famous golden arches.

Yahoo’s Chief Marketing Officer, Kathy Savitt, told USA Today, “The logo is your calling card, identity, manifestation.”

So why not make your logo the best it can be?

In simple terms, your logo should be speaking to the public, telling them what your business is about. It’s the face of your brand and sets the standard once the customer decides to open that door and see what sits behind the pretty face.

How Worried Should Small Businesses Be Regarding Cyber Security?

Screen Shot 2013-08-20 at 8.39.25 AMThis isn’t breaking news: cyber attacks are on the rise. 

By some estimates, network-based attacks, such as DDOS (short for Distributed Denial of Services), which have the ability to take down large computing networks, have increased by 700 percent this year.

Targeted DDOS attacks against internet service providers, domain registrars, web hosting providers, and individual businesses have been known to cripple thousands of websites simultaneously for extended periods of time.

Instances of hacking—or cyber intrusion tactics—have also become increasingly brazen and widespread. In July, 2013 federal prosecutors indicted five hackers in what is being called the largest data-theft ring in U.S. history, their victims as varied as J.C. Penny, JetBlue, and NASDAQ.