Technology & Productivity Weekly

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Aug. 1, 2014 Headlines

How Small Businesses Can Use Cloud-Based Virtual Desktops
Five Email Habits You Need to Break NOW
Eight Ways to Build a More Welcoming Homepage
12 Ways to Get Quick Feedback From Customers Online
Under the Counter
Business Owners Increasingly Reliant on Mobile Technologies
Target Better Email Responses With This Mind-Set Shift

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How Small Businesses Can Use Cloud-Based Virtual Desktops

AccountingWEB (07/22/14); Lehrer, Natalie

Cloud-based virtual desktops are a great solution for small businesses on a budget. Virtual desktops allow SMBs control while eliminating costs, while offering scalable solutions. The ability to customize solutions for SMBs' needs is another unique feature of cloud-based virtual desktops. Since applications require less server resources, SMBs save energy and storage costs. Hosting applications are available to SMBs via providers like RemoteApp and Citrix XenApp, and Microsoft Technet supports SMBs with instructions on creating a cloud-based virtual environment. Through virtual environments, users also have the ability to backup data automatically and stored securely. Read More


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Five Email Habits You Need to Break NOW

Small Business Computing (07/10/14); Moran, Joe

There are five email habits small businesses should break, starting with failing to craft clear and short emails. Employees should write clear subject lines indicating the level of urgency. Requesting message delivery is another mistake email senders make, since knowing when a recipient reads an email is not necessary helpful. Using carbon copy or C:C in excess is another common pitfall of emailing, since each additional recipient increases the likelihood of "Reply All" messages. Failing to turn on an Out-of-Office autoresponder is a common bad habit employees should break. Finally, using legal disclaimers at the end of email are unnecessary since these disclaimers only are biding between the sender and recipient. Read More


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Eight Ways to Build a More Welcoming Homepage

Entrepreneur (07/01/14); Handley, Ann

Businesses can follow eight tips for building a more welcoming homepage. The first recommendation is to speak to an audience. Determining the kind of audience a business seeks will automatically tailor Web content. Homepages should convey a sense of understanding and knowing customers, and the message should be simple. Inserting words audiences are familiar with is useful for engaging with potential and existing clients, and businesses should use the word "you" frequently to emphasize an audience-centered approach. Businesses should indicate clear calls to action, which can be solutions-oriented to meet a client's needs. Offering incentives for signing up to a site is another great suggestion, while businesses that convey trust via social media are more likely to attract and retain clients. Read More


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12 Ways to Get Quick Feedback From Customers Online

Small Business Technology (07/01/14); Young Entrepreneur Council

The Young Entrepreneur Council recommends 12 ways to receive instant feedback from customers online. Feedback tabs are the first part of the customer feedback process, with sites like Get Satisfaction that allow businesses to embed feedback links in a site. Using live chat, personal email, and surveys are ways to receive fast feedback. Social media tools are useful, too, via platforms like Facebook, LinkedIn, and Twitter. The site FiveSecondTest.com provides businesses real-time feedback within five seconds from customers that visit a site. Using autoresponders allows businesses to follow-up with clients that might not have completed a transaction online and to determine why a transaction might have been incomplete. Forum discussions are a great way for businesses to engage with clients and for clients to interact with each other. Finally, handwritten notes allow businesses to shine through an exceptional level of customer service. Read More


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Under the Counter

Accounting Today (07/01/2014); Hood, Daniel

A world increasingly dependent upon mobile devices has resulted in the need to constantly charge batteries. Battery Park-based Starbucks in Manhattan is one example of a location where individuals clamor to charge their devices to the only available plug under a barista counter. This particular example represents the necessity for businesses to equip their employees with devices that are loaded with the software and hardware necessary for completing work remotely. Firms must consider whether cloud solutions are best suited for their business or whether on-premise software is a strategic investment. Conducting backups regularly is an important part of mobile computing and data should be synchronized across platforms. Since security is another critical part of mobile working, employees should ensure devices are encrypted and remote wipe features are enabled on mobile devices. Read More


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Business Owners Increasingly Reliant on Mobile Technologies

CPA Practice Advisor (07/01/14); O'Bannon, Isaac M.

According to a Sage survey of small- to medium-sized businesses, more than half of SMBs equip employees with mobile devices. Mobile technologies assist SMBs with management, sales, and client services, among other tasks and operations. SMBs noted that improved customer service was the greatest advantage of using mobile devices. The ability of mobile devices enabling employees to work remotely was also cited as beneficial to SMBs. Sage notes that mobile devices are increasing business' productivity while streamlining overall operations. However, the survey also noted that most businesses are not incorporating mobile devices into their budgets. Read More


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Target Better Email Responses With This Mind-Set Shift

Entrepreneur (07/01/14); Womack, Jason

As email becomes a primary mode of communication among businesses, crafting email that elicits immediate responses can be challenging. Mission-critical information in an email includes a sender and subject line. By creating a compelling subject line, senders will be more likely to receive an immediate response. Instead of writing nouns in the subject line of email, writing verbs might incite a faster response. Examples of verbs include "review" and "confirm." Writing action-oriented subject lines is more likely to generate a response that is translated into a to-do list for a recipient. Read More


 

LAST UPDATED 8/1/2014