communication

Internet rage – is your business at risk?

My website was hacked recently. I’m really quite ignorant when it comes to all things about my website, so when I received an email from my host telling me that they’d had to pull the site down until I fixed it (me, fix it? are you kidding?) I confess to being quite shocked and upset. Particularly as the wording of the email went along the lines of “you agreed when you signed up to being hosted that you would not cause any disrepute to our site”. Of course I agreed that and was rather upset that they felt I had knowingly done something that would. Anyway…

I duly spent a small amount of money to subscribe to a security firm in the US that was affiliated with the host, then a larger amount of money to pay to have the malicious code (“malware”) removed line by line, which apparently wasn’t part of the smaller subscription.

Two days after I had been assured that it was now over and I could breathe a sigh of relief, I received an email from a young guy in the UK that he had sent through the “contact us” capture on the website. Let’s call him Josh, since that was his name. His email went along the lines of, “stop sending me emails” and signed off by referring to me as a “c*!%”.

Most language doesn’t offend me, I’ve worked in heavy industry for too long. Of course when it’s directed at me it’s never pleasant, but the “c” word really does bother me whenever it’s used. So, I duly responded to Josh, asking if it was really necessary to use that language and apologising that he had received spam but my website had been hacked.

Top 5 Things VOIP Can Do For Your Business

VOIP is an acronym for Voice Over Internet Protocol, or in more common terms phone service over the Internet. If you have a reasonable qualityInternet connection you can get phone service delivered through your Internet instead of from your local phone company.

 

1)With VoIP, you can make a call from anywhere you have broadband connectivity. Since the IP phones broadcast their info over the Internet.

2)They can be administered by the provider anywhere there’s a connection.

Why are some people successful using Social Media and some aren’t?

This is a question that I have been pondering for a while now and cropped up again in conversations last week so I thought I’d share my ideas and thoughts with you.

I think there are several obvious answers.

When a business comes to me and says that they aren’t getting the return from Social media that they see others (and in particular their competitors) getting I usually assess what they’re doing by asking the following questions:

Do they have a specific strategy for what they want to achieve?

How to Write a Winning Funding Business Plan

Part 2: Getting Started

This month’s blog is going to concentrate on how to get started when writing your funding business plan. Staring at a blank page and trying to get inspiration is often very daunting, especially as most people have never had to write a funding business plan before.

Does technology help or hinder your business?

We all assume that smart phones, tablet pcs, netbooks, even laptops will make us more efficient in our businesses. But is that really true? Have you ever added up the amount of time you spend checking messages, facebook page updates, LinkedIn status changes, tweets and of course grabbing for the phone every time it beeps.

I’m a huge fan of technology when it can help a business owner or employee. But I’m not so sure that our reliance on these devices doesn’t produce a negative effect on our businesses.

The Unexpected Outcome

I know social media still has such a buzz about it in the business world and when I joined twitter it was purely for business reasons as I was looking at developing business opportunities. However as I was new to it I played with it a little before I sorted out a business twitter account.  The unexpected outcome from this is that it really has had an impact on my personal life as well.  All for the better.

I have been using twitter for quite a while now after much persuasion and encouragement   from @EssexSocial I have grown a substantial following resulting in some great friendships and business opportunities.  In fact I have found some people I actually feel closer to online than some people I know offline.

This last month has been an interesting time for me with lots of positive outcomes, some of which were totally unexpected. This has been both on a personal and professional level.

C’mon I Want to Know Now!

Five quick communication tips

Here are five quick communication tips for new businesses that, from recent experience of talking to very unhappy customers, more established service providers seem to have forgotten.

  1. Do invest in an answerphone. It may seem an incredibly obvious thing to say and do but I’m still amazed at the number of business owners/managers that think it’s fine to let customer hang on the end of a phone until they lose the will to live. Customers do not want your product or service only between 10am and 4.30pm. Make sure you have some way they can leave you a message so you can get back to them – or risk losing them to a competitor.

With Banks not lending what alternative sources of funding are there?

This is the question that many SME’s are asking in ever increasing numbers. If the Banks will not lend to them who will? The answer is that there are many alternative sources of funding that many people are totally unaware of. There are even some products from main stream lenders that seem to be forgotten. Here are just a few examples, but remember these are ‘alternative’ sources and as such are more expensive than High Street lenders.

Should forums be used for doing homework?

I look at a lot of forums or applications. People ask questions and answers are given, like if you need to create a complicated excel calculation for work you can post the question about how to create the calculation and someone usually posts the solution.

But should students be allowed to do this?

It reminds me of an owner of a large business networking site who was so happy that her daughter was giving answers to homework to all her friends online.  Does this not defeat the object of education?

How to create SUSTAINABLE CHANGE in your future (Part 2 of 2)

“How can you say that the sky’s the limit when there are footprints on the moon?”

 

  This post is by Brian Light                                                            

Your KNOW HOW “know how to get to where you want to go”
Getting this step right means making ‘real decisions’ and deciding what it is you’re going to achieve and then, and only then, close off all other possibilities. 

 

How much do you really want to get there?

  • It doesn’t matter what your goals, dreams or outcomes are . . . if you do nothing about them
  • It doesn’t matter how much you talk about changing you company . . . if all you do is talk
  • It doesn’t matter what changes you want in your life . . . if all you do is delay and delay

 

So it’s time for you to ask yourself, privately and honestly and with absolute certainty:

  • What dreams, what hopes or what ambitions
  • What team openness, what project success or what professional fulfilment
  • What new confidence, what relationships or what decisions

 

How much do you really want it will decide whether you do anything about it or not, and when?  If you don’t want it then do nothing about it, that’s fine, because it’s your decision.

 

Your KNOW HOW “your skills gap”
There are two areas that your professional COACH will help and support you: 

  • Your Skills Gap
  • Your Company’s Skills Gap

 

Your Skills Gap
One-to-One Management Coaching has, over the years and using coaching techniques, helped and supported numerous Business Owners, Directors and Managers who:

  • have challenges with getting the best from their people
  • recognise the need to improve business performance
  • have a problem with getting steady and consistent growth from their company
  • feel that they could be making a more leadership contribution

 

Each coaching session lasts three hours and whilst there is a clearly defined outcome(s) for the programme each session will take into account the clients specific requirements or difficulties.

 

 

 

 

 

 

Your DO IT “just do it”
The final step in the formula is the simplest piece of common sense.

 

  • Implementing your dreams is the most difficult thing to complete successfully and requires many important values.
  • The one value that is amongst the most important is persistence’

 

Thought:  “individuals who succeed at anything, be it business or relationships always show persistence that wipes failure off their radar.”

 

Therefore, whenever you do anything ask yourself: “does it help me, my team, my company?”

If it helps, do more of the same; if it doesn’t, do something else.

 

How to create SUSTAINABLE CHANGE in your future (Part 1 of 2)

“How can you say that the sky’s the limit when there are footprints on the moon?”

 This post is by Brian Light

                                                                  

YOUR FUTURE – “know where you what to go”

As the boss of you and the boss of your company you are responsible for your future therefore. .

  • Have a massive dream 
    Be very, very clear what the outcome of that dream should be.
  • Focus on what you want not what you don’t want
    This is not merely positive thinking.

If you focus on what you want you’ll move towards it and if you focus on what you don’t want then you’ll move towards that.

  • Reveal your biggest ambitions to a stranger 
    Why? . . . Research from Warwick Business School shows that:
    • If you make a commitment to yourself you have an [8%] chance of seeing it through
    • If you make a commitment to a loved-one it climbs to [18%]
    • If you make a commitment to a stranger, or a business colleague or even a COACH that you don’t see each and every day it soars to a massive [79%]

 

YOUR FUTURE – “go SECURE it”

Coaching provides the space and environment to define WHERE YOU WANT TO GO and explore the way you are NOW (Part 1), provide the tools to enable you to MAKE THE CHANGE and help you DO IT (Part 2) IT

The results of your changed thinking will lead to new behaviours, both in and outside the work environment, and will impact on you and those around you to form the foundation of a new beginning.

The S.E.C.U.R.E. model is the first Coaching Model that provides the important focus, and ongoing support, for you to achieve your vision of your future.

It will support and challenge you through the programme helping you to consider:

 

S tatement:                               What is your real goal expressed in the present and positive tense?

E vidence:                                   How will you know you have achieved your goal?

C ontrol:                                      Is the goal within your control to initiate and maintain it?

U nderstand:                             What are the costs and benefits of reaching your goal?

R esources:                                What resources do you have and what do you need to find?

E xecution:                 When will start and when will you reach success?

 

Your Goals/Outcomes will remain just Dreams if you don’t ‘Plan to Change’.  The SECURE model is the beginning of your journey to change. 

 

Who is your ideal client?

 this post is by Ruth Thirtle

Often when networking, I ask people to tell me who their ideal client is. I am amazed by how many people have no idea or really don’t know how to answer the question. So for this week’s blog I have included a subject I talk about in one of my Business Booster videos. To gain access to the entire FREE video series, go to www.business-booster.co and fill in the form.

Knowing who your ideal customer is will save you time, money and effort as you will be able to focus your efforts to attracting them. When you try to be all things to all people, you will end up being nothing to anyone. On the other hand, when you know your ideal customer you will be able to get totally focussed on your sales and marketing efforts – and you will therefore get better results. Knowing your ideal customer and being specific in talking about what you do will make you more memorable, which in turn makes it easier for people to refer business to you as they know exactly what you are looking for.

When you know who your ideal customers are you will be able to:

  • Understand their problems and challenges and therefore more clearly define how you can help them
  • More easily undertake market research as to what your customers are looking for
  • Build trust and rapport as you truly understand their wants and needs
  • Take a more targeted approach with your marketing and produce more exact results
  • Develop a memorable and engaging business introduction that will have people talking about you
  • Build word of mouth within your target market as they will tend to associate with one another
  • Be more comfortable and confident talking about what you do

 

The 10 Questions to Help Reveal Your Ideal Client

You can only control what you measure…

There is a saying that I have often heard “You can’t control what you don’t measure…”, I like to express things in more positive terms so I would prefer to say you can only control what you measure. It would appear that this is an abridged version of a much longer phrase;

“Measurement is the first step that leads to control and eventually to improvement. If you can’t measure something, you can’t understand it. If you can’t understand it, you can’t control it. If you can’t control it, you can’t improve it.” Dr. H. James Harrington

Community or Loneliness?

This post is by Ruth Thirtle

 

 

One of the biggest issues that people can face when they start working for themselves is loneliness. Having the choice to not have to work with the people we don’t like or respect may seem like a positive reason to strike out on our own but the loneliness can still influence us. For me, the time that this hits home is Christmas. When I worked in corporate we had hundreds of people at our Christmas party or dozens out for a cruise on Sydney Harbour (just had to drop that in there!!). Taking myself out for Christmas lunch and telling cracker jokes to myself just does not have the same appeal.

Fire up your automatic success mechanism

Are you making the most of your ASM, your automatic success mechanism? Did you even know you’ve got one?

You have, and you can get it primed for action quickly and easily. What have you got to lose?

The whole concept of ASM is the brainchild of the late Dr. Maxwell Maltz, an American cosmetic surgeon who…wait a sec, is this just another mad I’m-a-guru-and-can-make-you-rich-while-relieving-you-of-your-life-savings scam?