pictures

What’s behind your website?

A colleague of mine recently asked me for advice on social media strategy which resulted in us exposing some serious flaws in her company’s on-line presence which left me wondering – just what lies behind most websites and how effective are they?

Who’s been tinkering again?


This post is by Karen Wilson

Would you let Jim the office junior attempt to fix electrics if they went bang in the middle of the working day? Would you let Paula on reception mend a broken gas pipe in the office kitchen?

I’m guessing (or rather hoping) the answer is no. So why oh why do companies let Jim and Paula have a little tinker with their IT systems???

We appreciate that in (as we hear so often) “the current climate” companies need to keep tight hold on the purse strings and that every penny needs to be justifiably accountanted for .

Now when Jim has that little tinker with the server because “he’s a whizz on a computer” or decides to download several printer drivers trying to find the right one to network the new printer what he’s actualy doing is potentially causing the company downtime, running the risk of viruses and slowing the hardware down as it fills with unesscesary software

So whilst the company thinks they’ve just saved themselves £150-£200 it may have actually cost them £1000’s in down time and loss of productivity.

Nowadays most businesses cannot function without their IT systems and business can quickly grind to a halt.

It’s really not uncommon for businesses to call an IT company in a blind panic when the systems have gone down and no amount of tinkering can bring them back up. Guess what?? Experienced, qualified IT people don’t generally tinker….what they do and how they work comes from years of experience and hours of studying.

A good solid IT infrastructure can help a business improve productivity and work smarter. If a company is tendering for large contracts (particularly in the public sector) then a good solid, secure infrastructure is an absolute must. As a business there are several options that can be considered to help you keep you and your team keep working seamlessly and efficiently

Websites and Legals…

It is strange how so many small business owners behave very differently online from their everyday working environment.

For example, take websites and their compliance with legal requirements and standards. Most owners of a small business will be reasonably aware of the legal guidelines which they must adhere to in the day to day operation of their business in whatever field they operate. However, once they venture online many businesses have a presence which does not meet legal requirements. Partly this is because the internet is relatively new and regulation is still developing, partly because of a shortage of good advice as to what is required. Unfortunately, although “No-one told me” is not a defence” it is often a reality.

We live in a world which is increasingly regulated, and if you have an online presence you need to be aware that the legal scrutiny of websites is becoming more rigorous, more regulated and at an increasing frequency.

So what should you do?

Is your email address or phone number costing you business?

This post is by Helen Stothard

 

What email address or phone number do you advertise for your business? Chances are you may be losing custom if you do not portray the correct professional image.

Frequently we come across businesses advertising yahoo, hotmail or gmail email addresses on the Internet.  Why? For example, Joe Bloggs is a plumber by trade.  If he advertises joebloggs@hotmail.com or joe@joebloggs.co.uk which do you suppose will be treated more seriously?  Which gives the perception of a professional business?

What happens on the web stays on the web, or not?

There have been many cases of people who put something onto the web thinking that no one would find it, only to find that it comes back to haunt them. When you tweet, blog, add comments and write in other sites those words can be seen by more people than you think.

Many years ago it was email, someone would send a private email and the recipient would forward on, and it would be forwarded on etc until it went around the world. Now people write short comments, or long blogs that is attached to their name.

Warning: SEO at work!

This post is by Hazel Walker

 

You’re no doubt familiar with SEO, search engine optimisation. If you’re a widget maker in Essex and you’ve had your site optimised, people who put “widget maker in Essex” into Google have a much better chance of finding you than if you didn’t have your site optimised.

Fine and dandy, if all you’re looking for is a high ranking in Google. If you’re looking for customers, however, you might want to bear in mind the cautionary tale of my client, I’ll call her Freda.

Google Apps for Business – is it right for business?

This post is by Elliott Zissmann

This post consists of  2 parts

 The top 13 things to consider – Part 1.

You may have heard of Microsoft Cloud 365, where the software giant is offering hosted versions of its popular Office Suite, as well as Exchange for email and SharePoint for collaboration. From meetings with Microsoft we know they are doing this in direct response to competition from Google with the Google Apps Premier Edition.

But is this a service they should worry about? Is this something businesses should consider?

Is your website legal?

This post is by Paul Evanson

It is strange how so many small business owners behave very differently online from their everyday working environment.

For example, take websites and their compliance with legal requirements and standards. Most owners of a small business will be reasonably aware of the legal guidelines which they must adhere to in the day to day operation of their business in whatever field they operate. However, once they venture online many businesses have a presence which does not meet legal requirements. Partly this is because the internet is relatively new and regulation is still developing, partly because of a shortage of good advice as to what is required. Unfortunately, although “No-one told me” is not a defence” it is often a reality.