Cut Costs: Online Conferencing and Screen Sharing with Skype for Small Business

Every time I work with a client, inevitably either they want to show me something on their computer screen, or I need to show them something on mine — and talk about it. You can do this using WebEx.com, GoToMeeting.com and NetMeeting are popular corporate solutions.  If you are a small business, however, you want to save money. How to do this without spending a lot of money on some web conferencing service?!?  The answer is Contine reading

Cloud Computing for Small Businesses

Cloud computing, “What the heck is that?!?” I get this a lot from people. Yup. It’s the new favorite buzzword for technorati — and it’s has so many meanings. So how can this help the average small business?

The description of cloud computing I like most comes from a Wall Street Journal article I read a while ago:

” Cloud computing uses the Internet to access data and applications based in remote data centers.  A private cloud is a data center set up and run by a company for its own use.”

What this means is that Contine reading

WordPress Basics for Small Business – Plugins and Widgets and Themes? Oh, my!

Ok. So you’ve discovered WordPress, the most popular software for managing a website. You’ve heard it’s easy to pretty easy to install. You’ve heard it makes managing your website super easy. True. If you can use web-based email like Yahoo!Mail or GMail, you’ll be comfortable with using WordPress … but that’s not the whole story. To get the most out of WordPress you need to extend and personalize it so that it’ll do all of the things you want in the way that you want. Wha…?!? Let’s take a closer look. Contine reading

Managing Your Own Website: “Look Ma, No Hands!”

Getting a website for your business is one thing. Maintaining it by adding new content, promoting it, and using it to really support your business is another.

Today, in order to really have your website be ranked by Google and other search engines it needs to be updated frequently (on a weekly basis or more). It also needs to be optimized for search engines – a whole different story. Your site also likely needs to be worked on by someone who isn’t super technology savvy  — e.g. yourself — or a small team of people. It needs to look friendly, present your image, the list goes on. This is challenging for the average small business to do.

So, let make it simple: instead of getting a static website, a shingle on the web, consider using a Blog or Content Management System that you can maintain yourself. Contine reading

Demystifying the Internet

One of my favorite authors, [thkBC height=”700″ width=”1000″ anchortext=”Arthur C. Clarke” title=”About Arthur C. Clarke” url=”http://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Arthur_C._Clarke” type=”ajax”] is supposed to have said that “any sufficiently advanced technology is indistinguishable from magic.” I’ve discovered this is true as far as the internet is concerned for a lot of people. The Internet is the a magic source of information and entertainment. If you are using the Internet for your business (inescapable these days), it’s helpful to understand some of the magic because it will help you figure out where to invest your time and money to improve your business. So let’s walk through some of what happens when you get on the internet and try to find …. Contine reading

Options for hosting your website

If you’ve read the article on the basics of Establishing an Internet Presence, and know what type of site you would like, there are several options with widely varying costs for for hosting your website. The reason for the increased cost has to do with control and performance. The best analogy I can come up with is the difference between bicycles (free services), scooters (low cost services), and cars (semi customized services). All of them get you from one place to another, have different associated capabilities and maintenance costs. None of them are inherently better or worse than the others. It’s a matter of what you need for your business and how much you can afford.

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So you want your own business ….?

I keep getting approached by people with great business ideas. Some of the ideas have great potential. Some ideas, not so much…. How do *you* tell the difference?  Having been in the tech industry during the dotcom bubble, here are some basic questions I have learned to ask before investing time or money: Contine reading

Establishing an Internet Presence

Just starting a business? Trying to to launch a website for an existing business? You might be a little intimidated, not to mention overwhelmed by the options available to you. There are several different options with different pricing models, requirements, and do you need to to learn HTML or hire a web-site programmer…. Your head is about ready to explode.

FEAR NOT! Getting yourself and your business on the internet is easier than you think.

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