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Web Design - its not Rocket Science

Jethro Consultants - Mon, 25/05/2015 - 4:12pm

Web design seems to be considered rocket science and a mythical art form by many small business people, who simply have no understanding of what’s involved. What is worse there are numerous web developers and design agencies that continue to perpetuate this myth, charge exorbitant amounts of money and deliver poor results. Ok the websites might look spectacular, but for a small business (any business actually) results mean delivering sales.

So lets get started. I’m going to debunk several myths, try and explain the methodologies that should be used in web design and give business owners some empowering questions that they can use to either vet potential developers or quiz their existing one.

This article isn’t intended to be a rant at either business owners or developers, but to simply try and help both achieve their goals. Business owners want a cost effective investment in a website and developers want to be paid fairly for what they do.

First lets start from a business perspective. Unfortunately it seems the majority of web developers do not do this.

A websites primary function is to to one of three things.
  • For an e-commerce (shopping) site it should provide a seamless experience for a customer to enact a transaction and the business owner to fulfil the order and meet all accounting requirements. The cost of the site and its ongoing upkeep and maintenance should be factored into the cost of goods sold as a direct cost. Sales less direct costs = gross profit. Simple formula to work out the profitability of a site.
  • A brochure-ware (usually just a few static pages – about, contact, products and services) site’s primary reason for existence is to simply state who you are and how to contact you. It should if done right have as good as possible SEO and you should be able to measure the number of enquiries received from the site. The cost of the site and its ongoing upkeep and maintenance should be factored into the cost of acquiring these new customers with a ratio of customers won over total enquiries.
  • A educational and news site (often utilising a blog) is really just a better brochure-ware site with more opportunity for SEO and also social engagement. Blog and news posts can be constructed to deliver keyword searches, and generate enquiries and contact for your products and services. The cost of the site and its ongoing upkeep and maintenance should be factored into the cost of acquiring these new customers with a ratio of customers won over total enquiries.

A business MUST approach this with the same business intelligence they would approach any other marketing or advertising opportunity. The marginal gain from new customers MUST be more than the overall cost – or the ROI is negative. No one is in business to lose money. Yet it seems common-sense decisions go out the window when choosing a web developer. A web developer should be able to help a business make the decision based on the economic value of the site to the business. And a business owner (who wouldn’t employ a sales assistant to stand in a corner doing nothing) shouldn’t be buying an expensive selling tool only to leave it standing in the corner doing nothing. To be fair to web developers many business owners are their own worst enemies here and do not understand this paragraph. Thus they allow developers to charge way to much for ineffective websites that do not produce $ results.

Understanding the Software Development Life Cycle (SDLC)

SDLC chart

Unfortunately it seems many developers also have forgotten this – or conveniently ignore it when talking to gullible business owners (of which there are plenty waiting to have their wallets lightened). I’m not going to explain the SDLC in depth here – use Google or Bing for that!

While some take a waterfall approach to design, the more accurate approach is the circle – with an ongoing cycle that can span years.

As a minimum I would expect a web developer to follow this basic outline – and for a business owner to be prepared to pay on these approximate milestones.

  1. Requirements Analysis and Design. If a business owner is not able to do this themselves then they should definitely be prepared to pay their developer to assist them to do this. Setting out up front the goals for the site, the functional requirements and the actual stages of development provide a sound platform that any competent developer can then quote to – giving the business owner the ability to play the field. A good business analyst will develop a design requirement that they can quote to as well as any other developers.
  2. Initial development – usually a 50% or similar deposit is required to get the large amount of backend work completed. Host setup, often domain registration and business name registration, graphic design and image and other site asset compilation and generation, back end configuration and very importantly documentation.
  3. Go Live. the point where the site is up and running and visible to the public. At this point all social media connections should be made, search engine optimisation complete (for what is there now)
  4. Ongoing maintenance. This is all too forgotten component. Web software is constantly being updated and patched for security issues, additional features, bug elimination and so on. It should cost less with a good Maintenance Service Level Agreement (SLA) to keep o a site updated than to repair it when something goes wrong or to to do a massive number of major upgrades several years later.
Theming – function and form.

While it is possible to have function and form, e.g. great looking websites that provide great UI for the user as well as looking great, it has to be said function is more important than form. If budget is a consideration than definitely drop theming and focus on function. its not good having a snazzy looking website with poor navigation, difficult shopping cart completion etc. These days a professional quality theme can be purchased for WordPress, Drupal or Joomla for around US$50 and a good developer should be able to configure that to suit your site in 1-2 hours. And to be honest if you are a small business owner looking to invest less than $5K into a website than there is no reason to choose anything other than one of these solutions. They are popular for a reason.

Finally great content beats pretty graphics every time. People will be attracted to your business by what you say not what you look like.

So what can a business owner do to ensure they don’t get ripped off?

First, understand your own business, and set goals for the website. What does it need to do to assist your business grow, attract customers, sell products and so on? What results do you need to measure this by? And over how long? Calculate your own ROI.

Second, ensure that the web developers you are looking at can answer these questions:

  • Can you assist me to develop a requirements specification that i can take to any web developer for quoting?
  • What measurement tools can you put in place to ensure that my goals for this site are being measured?
  • What stages of development do you require payment on?
  • What is the total component cost of my site in theming?
  • What documentation do you provide?
  • What training do you provide and how much does it cost for additional training?

Authors note and disclaimer. We have been developing software and websites for over 20 years. While we approach all our clients development needs with best practice in mind, many clients choose to cut costs by cutting corners, don’t complete projects and in many cases don’t choose to follow all our advice. That is their prerogative.

Categories: Jethro Websites

Stop the Chance of Losing Your Cloud Data, Quick Office Tips and Sales Seminar News

Jethro Consultants - Tue, 19/05/2015 - 4:37pm

Did you know that if you save newsletter emails into Outlook then all the text is indexed? That means if you search in outlook for anything mentioned in a newsletter you will find it. You don’t even have to read it now! You can save all your newsletter emails from me or anyone else into a “Research” folder and the content will be a resource for you to search whenever you need to know something.

Stop the Chance of Losing your Cloud Data

2010-01-26 Eggs 009

You probably know the adage “Don’t keep all your eggs in one basket”. Well it applies to your data as well. Don’t keep all your data in one cloud!

Your cloud data may be vulnerable to loss or corruption. Most of the “free” services have had failures at some point. Making sure you have numerous points of backup including physical backups is very important. In addition ensuring that you have the right security settings in place for data shared with staff or other people is critical.

There is a very good cloud backup service also called CloudHQ We use this to backup various cloud services from one to another. For example Evernote is backed up to OneDrive, and Box is backed up to Google Drive. For a small cost of US$99 a year that’s great peace of mind.

SharePoint is an even better solution. Microsoft’s multi geo-location data storage system ensures that your data is replicated in multiple data centres around the world and the OneDrive for Business application syncs your SharePoint libraries to your local machines.

We can sit down with you and talk about your current data storage and how to ensure that you are protected against data loss in the most cost effective and efficient manner. Call to discuss today on 0414 770 002.

Windows 10 Free Update Clarification

Some more clarification around the free update offer:

  • Microsoft will offer a free upgrade to Windows 10 for qualified Windows 7, Windows 8 and Windows Phone 8.1 devices in the first year. After the first year, upgrades will be purchased.
  • Windows 8/8.1 and Windows 7 Home Basic and Home Premium devices upgrade to Windows 10 Home
  • Windows 8/8.1 Pro and Windows 7 Professional and Ultimate devices upgrade to Windows 10 Pro
  • If upgraded within the first 12 months following launch, the device will receive ongoing Windows 10 updates for free for the life of that device
  • The free Windows 10 upgrade is delivered through Windows Update; domain-joined machines can manually get the update via Windows Update. The upgrade cannot be deployed through WSUS.

outlook ignore conversationTypically business users should not be using the retail versions (e.g. Windows Home Basic or Premium). If you have devices in your network that are incorrectly licensed please talk to us about fixing that. There is simple way to upgrade to Pro now inside Windows 8 in order to qualify for the correct version of Windows 10.

If you are interested in previewing Windows 10 we can show you some devices with it running and then talk about when your business will migrate to Windows 10 and take advantage of the under the hood features that will make your staff more productive.

5 Quick Tips in Microsoft Office

Fast tips following:

  1. Ignore a conversation in Outlook by right clicking the email and clicking Ignore. Note all further emails in this conversation thread will be deleted.
  2. Instant calculation in OneNote – simply type a formula in OneNote followed by a = and a space and the answer will be calculated for you. E.g. 3*sqrt(pi)= .
  3. In OneNote you can dock the pages list to the left by changing one option in the display options. Click File and Options, Display and then tick the option for Page tabs appear on the left.onenote display options
  4. In Excel quickly see options for your chart data by using the quick preview feature. Select your data to chart, then click Insert and Recommended Charts to see the quick previewsexcel recommend charts
  5. In OneDrive start a quick survey that can be shared easily with people and the answers will come back into Excel for you to analyse. Take my Favourite food and drink survey to see what it looks like. Here’s how to do it. From OneDrive online click New and Excel Survey. Follow the prompts to create your survey and then share it.onedrive new excel survey

Let us know if you like these tips or want to know how to use any of the Microsoft Office Products more effectively. Training your staff in how to use office more efficiently and effectively is a small investment that can make them more productive. Call us today!

Sales and Website Seminar

Jerrod Smith is the Attitude Coach. If you haven’t heard him speak then you must come along to this seminar just for that. An experienced Sales Professional, Jerrod is going to provide a number of key resources and skills for improving your businesses sales by adjusting your company’s attitude! And Tim from Jethro will be providing some productivity hints and tips as well as a couple of short sessions on web marketing and digital strategy.

Book your tickets for this event now – the location is still to be determined but it will be somewhere in Pine Rivers / Moreton Shire. The cost is $79 per person and includes refreshments. Time is 7am to 9am on the 10th June.

Book Now

2 hour seminar flyer_rev_01

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As always Jethro is your web, cloud and technology specialists. I am constantly learning new things and spending time researching, playing and testing new systems and reading about other people in the IT world doing the same thing. If you want to follow along with what I share in various spaces then connect with me:

Categories: Jethro Websites

Google Mobile Friendly Test and Cloud Accounting

Jethro Consultants - Tue, 05/05/2015 - 12:06pm

clip_image012

Did you know that email newsletter campaigns are more effective than any social media campaign as a way to grow your business? If you want help writing and sending newsletters like these that you can send to your mailing list then just talk to Tim today. Let me know if these are useful for you – and if you have a burning “how the heck do I do that?” question then ask that as well and we can write about it next newsletter.

Advance Notice

We will be running a Seminar early June with Jerrod D. Smith Attitude Coach. Pre-register your interest as we expect to sell out early as seats are limited to 25

Cloud Management Tips – Accounting systems

One of the easiest places to find potential time and therefore cost savings is in shifting your business accounting into the cloud. There are numerous advantages, but also some things to watch out for.

Advantages of cloud accounting

This isn’t an exhaustive list but some of the more popular features that most cloud accounting packages will offer or use as promotional or sales features:

  • Access to your data anywhere on any device (note this isn’t always true – many do not have apps that work on all mobile platforms and many have plugins that are also similarly hampered.)
  • Access to your accountant for live data review. Not having to close off your accounts, send them to your accountant and then wait for them to finish with them before carrying on working (or go and make the same end of year journals they just made) is a huge advantage. Your accountant can login (usually free) and make the changes while you can continue to operate.
  • Up to the minute reporting. This sounds good but isn’t necessarily so. As a management accountant for many years I know the danger of providing inaccurate data to business owners. GIGO or Garbage in garbage out is a software development acronym that also applies to Accounting packages. If you don’t have all the data entered in correctly then the reports you might be relying on could be inaccurate.
  • Licensing cost means updates are “free” and you are only paying an easy monthly fee. This has a catch for some systems – if you stop paying – your stop having access to your data. Some systems have offline data, others will allow you to download into excel. But this can catch people out so make sure you choose the right package.

So how can you choose? We are partners with Financials for Office 365 so our advice could be biased but we can certainly give you some broad level advice as to which package might or might not be right for you. However for true unbiased advice feel free to get in touch with one of our customers Dianne Kennedy from Small Business Know How on 07 3343 3796.

We can sit down with you and talk about your current accounting system and how to migrate this into the cloud in the most cost effective and efficient manner. Call to discuss today on 0414 770 002.

Windows 10 is Nearly here – crazy amount of news being released

Windows 10 will be released later this year. And if you upgrade from Windows 7, Windows 8.1 or Windows Phone 8.1 in the first year from its release you will get the upgrade free*.

I'm not going to try and talk about everything Windows 10 related that has happened in the last 2 weeks. There’s been an avalanche of news both from Microsoft itself and also from the media speculation and hype growing around release dates, inclusions and exclusions and so on.

w10-solitaire

Here are a few key points:

  • We are telling customers to hold off on Win 8.1 upgrades now. There is no point in spending money on that when the Win 10 upgrade from Win 7 will apparently be free and “painless”. Of course we will be testing that thoroughly before we start assisting our customers to upgrade. However if you want to be a test dummy then feel free to let us know. There is a 12 month free upgrade deadline from release date so you do need to factor that in.
  • The new apps store will include carrier billing – that means not having to enter credit card details on a mobile device – it will bill your mobile carrier instead. And there’s a rumour that iOS and Android apps will be ported into the store.
  • A release date was “leaked” for July – still not confirmed officially but seems pretty likely. A second release of October will likely be for the first major refresh with features that didn’t make the cut in July being implemented in this one.
  • Solitaire is back – hooray! The best time waster of all. Where is the productivity tip here?

If you are interested in previewing Windows 10 we can show you some devices with it running and then talk about when your business will migrate to Windows 10 and take advantage of the under the hood features that will make your staff more productive.

*Doesn’t apply to customers running Windows Enterprise or on Software Assurance.

Office 365 Introduces Outlook Clutter Feature

o365-clutterClutter is a new feature being progressively rolled out to Office365 customers. If you want to try it ask me and we can see if it is available for you and turn it on. It is turned on organisation wide but off by default and needs to be enabled per user account.

How Clutter works

Clutter learns from your actions to determine the messages you are likely to ignore. As less important messages arrive, they are automatically moved to the Clutter folder. Clutter does this by leveraging Office Graph’s sophisticated machine learning techniques to determine which messages are Clutter. It gets smarter over time, learning from your prior actions with similar messages, and assessing things like the type of content and even how you are addressed in the message. The Clutter experience is personalized to each individual and reflects an email experience that adapts to your actions and preferences without you having to do anything. The information Clutter learns from each user’s actions are only applied to that user’s experience and are not shared with anyone else.

More info here http://blogs.office.com/2014/11/11/de-clutter-inbox-office-365/

Let us know if you get a lot of email per day. There are smart ways to work with your inbox that can help save you time and money. Training your staff in how to use email more efficiently and effectively is a small investment that can make them more productive. Call us today!

Using Absolute References in Excel

Excel uses a powerful vector system for managing formulas. Each cell can be linked to many others using formulas. In a simple way of explaining this, 2 cells can be added together in a third cell using a formula that references them. Most people do not know how to use absolute references to speed up their formula development time, and ensure accuracy of formulas in a table. I have a comprehensive article online detailing what they are as well as how to use them. Read all the instructions on how to use absolute references in your formulas at http://spyjournal.biz/back-basics-using-absolute-references-excel

If you want to know more about using some of the more powerful functions in Excel to improve your productivity then give us a call.

Google Mobile Friendly Test – do you pass?

 

In case you haven’t heard the biggest thing in recent times in search engine optimisation happened back on 21 April 2015 (22nd for Australia). Google implemented a major search engine ranking algorithm change for mobile search. With a huge rise in the use of mobile devices for search, and the high likelihood of local search using these devices it makes sense for Google to deliver localised results. However they are now saying for a mobile user the results should be optimised for the mobile device. So if your site is not optimised for mobile (passes the mobile friendly test) then it will automatically drop down the rankings in preference of sites that are friendly.

Test your site today https://www.google.com/webmasters/tools/mobile-friendly/ Enter your domain name.

If you fail the test talk to us about if you even need to pass. And if you do then we can work out the most cost effective way for you to achieve that. It doesn’t need to cost thousands of dollars.

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As always Jethro is your web, cloud and technology specialists. I am constantly learning new things and spending time researching, playing and testing new systems and reading about other people in the IT world doing the same thing. If you want to follow along with what I share in various spaces then connect with me:

All content © Tim Miller. Feel free to share or send these emails on. If you want to unsubscribe just reply with Unsubscribe in the subject.

Categories: Jethro Websites

Tips for Migrating your Data to the Cloud and Get Windows 10 Free

Jethro Consultants - Tue, 21/04/2015 - 5:50pm

Did you get Skype for Business installed? The recent upgrade for all Office 365 users should have taken affect by now. Talk to us if not.

Remember you can find the Lync app for iPad and iPhone in the iTunes store, Android app in the Google play store, and the Windows phone app in the Windows Store. In all cases you just need to sign in using your Office 365 credentials.

Cloud Management Tips – Migrating your data to your Cloud Storage

clip_image001You might have files on your computer that you want to copy to your cloud storage areas. Before you just start copying them én masse you might want to consider some important things first.

Storage Limits

There are more storage limits on services than just the total space although that is critical to think of. Many services what file types can be stored. There are also usually limits on the number of files, and individual file sizes. Usually the retail or free service is limited more than the business or paid service as well.

Accessibility

Not every loud storage solution makes it easy to access your files. Ensure that the app is available on your platform of choice, that files can be selectively synced and that you can access your files when you need them by testing with a few simple ones first.

Editing

Not all services or apps allow editing of the documents in a browser or on a mobile device. If you need to edit documents on the go then check this feature out first.

Sharing and Security

There are different ways to share with each different service. Some like SharePoint can share a single file as read only or edit. Others like Dropbox can only do that a folder level. Check what you need before deciding which to use.

We can sit down with you and talk about your current data storage and how to migrate this into the cloud in the most cost effective and efficient manner. Call to discuss today on 0414 770 002.

Windows 10 is coming – Free Upgrade from Windows 7 or 8

windows 10 logoWindows 10 will be released later this year. And if you upgrade from Windows 7, Windows 8.1 or Windows Phone 8.1 in the first year from its release you will get the upgrade free*.

Some of the features from Windows 8 that some people found annoying have been removed or changed in Windows 10. These include:

  • Full screen modern app windows can now be moved and resized like regular resizable windows and are no longer full screen or docked in the sliding panel. Each has the familiar resize icons on the right hand side for minimise, restore and close.
  • Internet explorer is now going to be one version – not two – and never knowing which is which will be gone! The new browser is codenamed Project Spartan. Stay tuned for this one.
  • The Start screen is fixed. There is a start menu just like in Windows 7, and the revised start screen can be customised to show apps that you choose so you can have the best of both worlds. It can be toggled to full screen or work just like the old Windows 7 one did – your call!
  • The corner based navigation system is gone. When you stick your mouse in the corner the apps and charm bar wont display. In fact the entire charm bar has been replaced by a really cool notification centre similar to what windows and android phones have that can be pulled up or down, and used to see notifications and dismiss them as necessary.
  • VERY COOL – a multiple desktop function built in. you can have multiple desktops with different applications open on each one and switch between them. Excellent for laptop users.

office 365 on the go survey detailsSpecial Deal – If you are interested in previewing Windows 10 we can show you some devices with it running and then talk about when your business will migrate to Windows 10 and take advantage of the under the hood features that will make your staff more productive.

*Doesn’t apply to customers running Windows Enterprise or on Software Assurance.

Office 365 gives You more Mobility

Have you ever checked your mail in the bathroom? What about taken a business call while at the beach? While we all need balance in our lives, being more mobile can both be a curse and a blessing.

Check out this info graphic that shows some interesting stats. Can you identify with any of these? Or are there some other spots they missed? What about the movies? Ever responded to email while munching on popcorn? I’ll post this on Facebook for you to respond with your plugged in confessions! Confess now!

Let us know where you need better access to your data and we can help you design a solution that works for you or your team. Telecommuting can save you money and make your staff more productive. Call us today!

Using The Round Function in Excel

The ROUND function is extremely useful to truncate calculated values with long decimal places to the 2 decimal places we need with currency calculations. Typically where this is a problem is where you have calculations on financial figures being added up and the sum at the bottom “appears” to be wrong. Solve the problem of a board member adding the figures on a financial report with a calculator and then calling you out on the total (this happened to me once).

Read all the instructions on how to use this powerful function online at http://spyjournal.biz/excel/ROUND

If you want to know more about using some of the more powerful formulas in Excel to improve your productivity then give us a call.

Social Media Tips and Information – What not to do!

I bet you have heard of someone who shared something inappropriate on social media who now wishes they hadn’t. Maybe it adversely affected their employment, relationships or even got them fired. While there are (maybe not as obvious as they should be) levels of TMI (too much information) that personal sharing from our friends and family can cause us to cringe, it’s just as bad for business.

Having a social media policy is one thing. But do you have a strategy documented for dealing with the worst case scenario, an employee upsets customers or even without that provocation they just go rank on you. Do you know what you should, and equally important, shouldn’t do?

If managing social media seems like a scary prospect for your business (and it can be) then try out sourcing it to us. Our global team of social media experts can work with you to successfully represent your business in social media.

Follow us on Social Media

As always Jethro is your web, cloud and technology specialists. I am constantly learning new things and spending time researching, playing and testing new systems and reading about other people in the IT world doing the same thing. If you want to follow along with what I share in various spaces then connect with me on these platforms:

· Twitter https://twitter.com/spyjournal technology, cycling, social media, management, business, and web

· Linked In http://www.linkedin.com/in/jethromanagement

· Delicious https://delicious.com/jethrocon saved links

· Blog http://spyjournal.biz/ all sorts of stuff including personal and family updates

· Spyjournal Facebook https://www.facebook.com/spyjournal.biz tech, cycling, and other stuff

· Subscribe to our daily Newspaper https://paper.li/spyjournal/1345852972

· Subscribe to our weekly Newspaper https://paper.li/spyjournal/1345853288

· Jethro Management Facebook https://www.facebook.com/JethroManagement business, management, web

· Jethro Marketing Facebook https://www.facebook.com/JethroMarketing social media, marketing

· Dreamcoat Photography Facebook https://www.facebook.com/DreamcoatPhotography

· Dreamsport Photography Facebook https://www.facebook.com/DreamSportPhotography

· Red Hot Snapper Facebook https://www.facebook.com/redhotsnapper roller derby

All content © Tim Miller. Feel free to share or send these emails on. If you want to unsubscribe just reply with Unsubscribe in the subject.

Categories: Jethro Websites

Should you invest in theme design or content for Googles Mobile Friendly SEO Changes

Jethro Consultants - Wed, 08/04/2015 - 3:59pm

Hope you had a relaxing and safe Easter break. Did you check your email while you were away from work? Typically most people do. Did you set up an out office email response? If you didn’t remember how to do that then check out this previous newsletter where we showed you how to do it.

All our previous newsletters can be found online at www.jethroconsultants.com

As always I am available to respond to your requests, queries and provide you with information.

Cloud Management Tips – Protecting Data in the Cloud?

Cloud data is just like computer storage in one respect – but with some big differences.

All data is subject to accidental or deliberate deletion.

If you have an adhoc approach to cloud usage, where employees bring their own cloud storage, no policies on where data is to be stored and accessed then you have potential issues if that employee leaves or accidentally or maliciously removes or deletes data. Even with a corporate storage solution like SharePoint, Box or Dropbox for Business, data can still be deleted.

2014-11-26 Walk to Park 050-580So how do you protect against that? We have numerous different solutions we can implement into a customer’s business to safeguard against that. SharePoint has some very good built in protection levels including major and minor version history with different permission levels. Access to data can be read only or edit to certain user groups. Dropbox for Business and Box Enterprise also have similar features. Putting in external backup solutions can work or implementing a cloud backup service that backs up your cloud and non-cloud data to a repository like Amazon web services or even another cloud service like google Drive can also be setup for minimal cost. Peace of mind for a few cents a day.

There is no one size fits all solution – we tailor each solution to the customer’s specific needs and risk levels.

We can sit down with you and talk about your current data management, disaster recovery and backup services you could be using to protect you against data loss. Call me to discuss today on 0414 770 002.

Office 2016 for MAC

2012-01-14 DDU2012 010-387Finally a refresh of Office for our clients using Apple Macs is close. The preview is out for those who want to take advantage of that. The current version of Office for Mac 2011 is very dated and its functionality is very limited compared to what the PC users get with Office 2013. For the last 12 months I have been suggesting users use SharePoint and Office online or the apps on the iPad for a better experience.

Watch the video https://www.youtube.com/watch?v=6SKGIJ2brzg to see all the updated versions of the Office programs for Mac.

Special Deal – If you are a Mac user and you currently don’t have the 2011 version installed at least let us help you with that. We can connect remotely and install it for you for $44*

*Qualifying Office 365 subscription required

Using The SUMIF Function in Excel

excel logoThe SUMIF function is one the most powerful and easy to use functions in Excel. It is used to sum the values in a column when the value in another column is equal to a certain value. E.g. In the table below you might want to know the number of casual staff in Victoria. The SUMIF function is the key to unlocking this data easily.

excel sumifRead all the instructions on how to use this powerful function online at http://spyjournal.biz/excel-function-week-sumif

 

If you want to know more about using some of the more powerful formulas in Excel to improve your productivity then give us a call.

iPhone and iPad Apps for office 365 Email and Calendar

outlook logoIf you have an iPhone or iPad then check out either OWA or Outlook from the Apple store. Both of these free apps will connect to your Office365 Exchange email account and give you a much better experience than the standard Apple mail and calendar apps. If you are a power email user than the Outlook app is probably the best. If you need access to colour categories in calendar and tasks than the OWA app is probably better. If you are not sure install them both and trial them. I would love to hear your feedback on these Apps.

Social Media Tips and Information – Advertising on Facebook

facebook_logo-200Social Media Marketing (SMM) can be hard to understand. Facebook advertising is one of the places for businesses to be investing money – but how do you know you aren’t just throwing away your cash when you Boost posts. We recently presented an article on how to use Facebook Advertising to a business group. Feel free to view it online.

If advertising in social media seems like a foreign world or nightmare to manage (and it can be) then try out sourcing it to us. Our global team of social media experts can work with you to successfully represent your business in social media with cost effective measureable results

Web Design – Should you invest in theme design or content?

NEWSFLASH

Google has announced that from 21 April sites that are not meet mobile friendly will be penalised in search. More information on what that means can be found at this site http://searchengineland.com/everything-need-know-googles-new-stance-mobile-216870

If your site is not going to pass the test than a simple resign refresh might be the answer.

It used to be that to have a great looking website you had to spend thousands on a designer creating a theme (graphical content, visual layout and navigation elements, buttons, menus and colours) in order for you to stand out from the crowd and visually represent your brand.

However that is no longer the case. Any website developer who tells you otherwise (at the expense of creating good quality fresh content) is just feathering their own nest at the expense of your pocket. While it is true that good design is important, spending large amounts of money to get it isn’t necessarily needed. And it should never be spent in place of creating content.

Here’s why.

A responsive mobile design theme that meets Googles mobile design requirements as well as showcasing your brand and company can be purchased for as little as US$50. Within a few hours a good developer can customise (with no coding required) this theme to your needs including adding your logo, changing the colour scheme and utilising one of the several built in templates to give you a unique look. You can then spend the rest of your web development investment budget to generate the good quality content that will rank you in search engines, establish your expertise in your field, and give you great content to share in social media.

Here are some sites we have built recently or installed new themes in which in all cases the theme budget has been a maximum of $500 including purchase and configuring. In no case has there been custom code meaning that ongoing upgrades can be applied for minimum of effort and cost (in most cases covered by our maintenance SLA and performed automatically).

Note; most of these sites have plans for content creation that have yet to be implemented.

· http://attitudecoach.com

· http://sentinel-erm.com.au

· http://irlabs.com.au

· http://opalhatblocks.com.au

· http://jonomiller.com

· http://narangbabaptist.org.au

· http://kinshagold.com.au

· http://paintplaceburpengary.com.au

· http://psychscreen.net.au

Contact us today if you need help making your site mobile friendly, or for a whole new refresh! Mention this newsletter and we will provide a free site review – normally worth $199.

Follow us on Social Media

As always we are your web, cloud and technology specialists. I am constantly learning new things and spending time researching, playing and testing new systems and reading about other people in the IT world doing the same thing. If you want to follow along with what I share in various spaces then connect with me on these platforms:

· Twitter https://twitter.com/spyjournal technology, cycling, social media, management, business, and web

· Linked In http://www.linkedin.com/in/jethromanagement

· Delicious https://delicious.com/jethrocon saved links

· Blog http://spyjournal.biz/ all sorts of stuff including personal and family updates

· Spyjournal Facebook https://www.facebook.com/spyjournal.biz tech, cycling, and other stuff

· Subscribe to our daily Newspaper https://paper.li/spyjournal/1345852972

· Subscribe to our weekly Newspaper https://paper.li/spyjournal/1345853288

· Jethro Management Facebook https://www.facebook.com/JethroManagement business, management, web

· Jethro Marketing Facebook https://www.facebook.com/JethroMarketing social media, marketing

· Dreamcoat Photography Facebook https://www.facebook.com/DreamcoatPhotography

· Dreamsport Photography Facebook https://www.facebook.com/DreamSportPhotography

· Red Hot Snapper Facebook https://www.facebook.com/redhotsnapper roller derby

All content © Tim Miller

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Categories: Jethro Websites

Good Web Design Principles Who owns the cloud and Windows 10

Jethro Consultants - Tue, 24/03/2015 - 5:35pm

The first quarter of 2015 is almost done so let’s get straight into it.

Cloud Management Tips – Who Owns the Cloud?

cloudLast newsletter prompted a question of “Who owns the cloud?

The answer is it depends – on what sort of cloud you are talking about.

Common public cloud scenarios like drop box, or Flickr, or Office365 the infrastructure is owned by the company involved. The data is always yours. Always check the terms and conditions!

Common private cloud ones like all your online banking for instance are owned by the bank – but you can access your data – though I suspect it’s not actually ours.

And then you can own your own private cloud. For as little as a few hundred dollars, the right router and some hard drives you can create a private cloud structure where you can access your data anywhere – while it is stored right at your house or office. Mind you this is not a safe a scenario as using something like Office 365. For instance your encryption layers will not likely be anywhere near as good as Microsoft’s. Neither will physical access to your premises be anything like as secure as theirs.

We can sit down with you and talk about your current business technology usage and what cloud services you could be using that could benefit you in one or more of these areas – cost reduction, efficiency, data security and access, and business continuity. Call me to discuss today on 0414 770 002.

Windows 8.1 and Windows 10

windows8I think all of our customers are finally off Windows XP. Hopefully there are none left using Vista – please contact me if you are! We still have quite a few customers using Windows 7 and in some cases we have plans to migrate them to Windows 8.1 soon. However many people don’t like change and think Windows 8.1 is strange, scary or confusing. So this section is a little bit about why you should be thinking seriously about upgrading to Windows 8.1 now and Windows 10 soon.

First of all here are some of the major reasons Windows 8.1 is better than Windows 7.

  • Improved Start-up times – the same PC will boot up a LOT faster with Windows 8.1
  • Better Battery Life – laptops get longer battery usage with Windows 8.1
  • Faster PC – your existing PC will run faster with Windows 8.1
  • More stable – Windows 7 was pretty good – Windows 8.1 is even better
  • Synchronisation – Windows 8.1 synchs your data, settings and desktop through OneDrive – it’s the same on every PC you log into
  • More secure – Free antivirus and anti-malware built in
  • Designed for Touch – if you have a touch screen or device you will rapidly find speed gains over using the mouse – especially useful for tablets

We recommend Windows 8.1 Pro for all businesses as there are some significant additional features over the standard (consumer) edition including:

  • Join a domain – required to network to your company server
  • BitLocker – encrypt your hard drive against theft – very important with laptops
  • Remote desktop application – connect to another PC remotely
  • Hyper-V – ability to run virtual machines inside your computer

Windows 10

http://blogs.windows.com/business/2015/01/21/windows-10-an-exciting-new-chapter/

Office 2016

http://blogs.office.com/2015/02/04/next-chapter-office-windows/

Skype for Business

http://blogs.skype.com/2015/03/17/welcome-skype-for-business

Windows 10 builds on Windows 8.1and according to Microsoft “is their best enterprise platform yet enabling our enterprise customers to be more productive, simplifying management and deployment, working with all of their existing apps, and helping to protect corporate data better than ever.”

More on Windows 10 in another edition. Right now we are trialling the developer previews of Windows 10, Office 2016 and Skype for Business in a virtual machine and learning about them.

Typically we upgrade a computer to Windows 8.1 from Windows 7 for $150 plus the cost of the software - $189 for Pro and $129 for Standard. All your existing programs and data will remain in place.

Special Deal – mention this newsletter and get a 5% discount off our Windows 8.1 upgrade price. Call us and we will help you identify exactly what you need and what benefits you can achieve with an upgrade to Windows 8.1.

Using Paste in Excel

excelCopying and Pasting is an important PC skill to know and learn. Office 2013 has built on previous versions of Office and provides many options for pasting.

Some examples include just pasting the formats, just he values, just the functions or more esoteric things like column widths in Excel, and even utilising mathematical functions. This article gives you some great tips and information about pasting in Excel.

http://spyjournal.biz/pasting-office-2013-newsletter

If you want to know more about improving your spreadsheet design for more efficient use and ensuring your results are accurate then give us a call.

Other office 365 News and Updates

Office 365 continues to pump out updates, improvements and features.

The latest news is that OneDrive for Business comes to Mac and iOS devices

onedriveSometimes One Drive stops synching correctly. If you have One Drive folders that are not synching correctly try this Repair tip.

Right click the blue cloud in the task bar and click Repair. Follow all the prompts.

Social Media Tips and Information

Today we are just going to give you a list of some great information that has come across our desk in the last 2 weeks. If you want to get more regular updates, follow us on twitter, or our daily or weekly newspapers.

If social media seems like foreign world or nightmare to manage (and it can be) then try out sourcing it to us. Our global team of social media experts can work with you to successfully represent your business in social media with cost effective measureable results

Web Design - What should your website be trying to achieve?

Many websites are confusing. Why do I say that? Because if you stand back and look at the site there is no clear purpose or intention of the site. A businesses website should be very obvious. Either its purpose is to inform and educate, sell product, or provide a mechanism for the enquirer to quickly and easily contact the business. Sometimes it is a mixture, and when that occurs the separation should be clear. E.g. a blog should be used for the education and information component. It should be used as a tool to drive customers to calls to action either on the site or directly with your business. Sales and shopping pages should be obvious and easy to navigate.

When considering a basic website for a small business the primary purpose of the website is effectively marketing. It is to create a way to bring customers into the business and add sales revenue and profit. If the website does not do that it should be retrained or sacked just like you would with a non performing sales employee.

Spending sometimes several thousand dollars on a “brochure ware” site that contains some outdated historic information about the companies past, a google map and some very bland generic product or service statements is basically a waste of money. The first and foremost goal is to create a way for prospective customers to actually contact you. This should be done through sales messages, advertising images and text, calls to action and contact forms. Showcase your company’s offers, deals and discounts, provide easy access to virtual sales people, real world online chat or at the very least a telephone number and email address.

The first marketing action we perform is to first find out what exactly the clients goals are. We ask the client about what they want the website to deliver to the business in terms of sales, contacts or enquiries. We then do some market research – search keywords, audience insights from social, competitive analysis. This allows us to set the site up correctly for SEO analytic tracking and measurement. Finally the customer has something that can be used to effectively replicate them in an online world.

webdesign

Here are our basic design principles:
  1. Keep it simple stupid – KISS - Don’t make it hard to find things. One layer of navigation, front page calls to action, side bar enquiry forms and information.
  2. Clarity, Conciseness and Care - Short simple sentences work best. Say exactly what you mean. Spellckecha evyrething!
  3. Use The Correct Heading Hierarchy - Websites have structure. We use this because SEO loves it and it reads better.
  4. Limited use of colours - We use colour palette generators by much smarter people than us who have thought these things out already. Readability for vision impaired is smart as well as thoughtful.
  5. Keep people on your page - We use content sharing tools to recommend further content from within the site
  6. Keep people coming back for more - Regular updated content is extremely important for SEO, and keeps people coming back. It is a great driver for ongoing social engagement and interaction.
  7. Be Social - We use simple recognisable tools to make it easy for people to like and share your content as follow you on social media

Contact us today if you need help fixing your site, or for a whole new refresh! Mention this newsletter and we will provide a free site review – normally worth $199.

Follow us on Social Media

As always we are your web, cloud and technology specialists. I am constantly learning new things and spending time researching, playing and testing new systems and reading about other people in the IT world doing the same thing. If you want to follow along with what I share in various spaces then connect with me on these platforms:

Categories: Jethro Websites

Is the Cloud safe? Why do I have to patch my PC? Advertising for Facebook and more

Jethro Consultants - Tue, 10/03/2015 - 2:17pm

Did you know that in a study of 200,000 ostriches over a period of 80 years, no one reported a single case where an ostrich buried its head in the sand? Yet we use that expression to describe people who want to ignore the future. In technology the future is in cloud. Most of the major growth that is occurring in technology (above industry trends) is in the various cloud services out there. We talked about that last newsletter and it has sparked numerous interesting discussions with a number of our clients.

As always I am available to respond to your requests, queries and provide you with information.

I don’t charge by the phone call – and as I often say “it’s cheaper to ask me then it is for me to fix something after its done wrong”.

Cloud Management Tips – Where is my data? Is it safe?

clip_image002We are going to keep writing tips on cloud management as there is just so much misunderstanding out there as to what the cloud is and how to leverage it in your business safely and effectively.

One of the biggest fears our customers have is storing their data off their PC. There are various questions around who has access to it, if it’s safe, and so on.

Let’s bust a myth but also add some words of caution.

Is it safe? The easy answer is not only a resounding yes – but also its much safer. Your PC has a single point of failure – the hard disk. And they fail all the time – in fact more than any other PC component. We deal with them all the time – I have two clients pcs here right now with failed drives from the last week. So storing your data on your hard drive is not safe. Even having a local backup may not ensure your data is safe if that gets destroyed, e.g. in a fire or theft.

The cloud is designed to be always accessible, always backing up and constantly redundant.

Different organisations do different things but the big ones (Microsoft, Google Amazon etc.) all have geographic redundant storage duplication ensuring your data is spread all over the world for safety sake.

clip_image003Security. Now don’t be alarmed by that last statement. The word document you just made with all your user names and passwords in it cannot be seen by technicians in data centres all over the world. Microsoft Office 365 data duplication is done at a very basic level – way below encryption. No one could steal drives from a data centre and recover your data. It’s just not physically possible. Physical access to centres is tightly controlled and access is never given to physical entry as well as user information. In fact user access is only ever granted to an engineer with your specific permission. Any other technician can only ever see data as encrypted information for which they have no access.

If you want to read more about Microsoft’s security then check this website. Other storage providers have similar security in place. Check their sites if you want to know more.

http://products.office.com/en/business/office-365-trust-center-cloud-computing-security

We can sit down with you and talk about your current business technology usage and what cloud services you could be using that could benefit you in one or more of these areas – cost reduction, efficiency, data security and access, and business continuity. Call me to discuss today on 0414 770 002.

PC Patches – managing your computers’ security.

clip_image005Many of our customers wonder why they constantly have to patch their Windows PCs. Often they think that Apple Macs don’t have patches. They find it frustrating and confusing.

Hopefully I can explain some points here.

Microsoft has committed to delivering an operating system in Windows 8.1 that is extremely flexible, and has world class security levels (e.g. hackers find getting access to these systems very difficult compared to previous OS (Windows XP for instance). However with millions of lines of code there are always going to be flaws. Code is written by programmers with not enough sleep and too much caffeine after all. Someone once said a programmer is just a tool that converts caffeine into code! As hackers look for flaws and ways to exploit them so Microsoft is constantly releasing patches to resolve those flaws. However that’s not all. They also release patches to provide updated driver lists to pcs for ease of adding new hardware, provide upgraded options, speed and performance updates and new features.

For individual users running patches once a month (Microsoft have what is called Patch Tuesday when the bulk of patches are released) it isn’t too onerous. By the way Apple also releases patches for Macs and their other products. See this website https://support.apple.com/en-au/HT1222

However for business users with more than one pc on premise – and particularly those with upward of 5 – who haven’t implemented a pc management strategy will definitely notice their internet slow to a crawl as 5+ machines simultaneously attempt to download and update.

Businesses with multiple computers should either be using WSUS – a patching tool that resides on a local server and downloads the patches once and then distributes them to the pcs on the network, or a cloud delivery service called Intune that is the new way of doing this. Both options also have many other features and benefits that business users can take advantage of to improve their users’ productivity.

Special Deal – mention this newsletter and get a 1 hour PC Management consultation free. We will help you identify exactly what you need and what benefits you can achieve with either an on premises server or Intune Subscription.

Using SUM in Excel

clip_image007 Have you ever used Excel? It is the most used business intelligence tool in the world. It is an extremely powerful spreadsheet tool but often people use it as little more than a glorified back of the envelope scratchpad.

We have hundreds of articles on www.spyjournal.biz relating to using Excel in many scenarios.

Today I want to show case just how to use the Sum function and the Sigma short cut in the ribbon.

The article was written for Office 2010 but is still current to 2013. http://spyjournal.biz/excel/SUM

If you want to know more about improving your spreadsheet design for more efficient use and ensuring your results are accurate then give us a call.

Social Media Tip – image sizes and advertising for Facebook

Facebook is the world’s largest advertising platform. If your business is not active and advertising on Facebook then you are definitely falling behind your competitors – they are!

However there are some tips and tricks to advertising effectively in Facebook. As a Facebook Agency account we have access to be able to help you manage your advertising, and if you have a budget of over $1500 per month then we can get you access to a Facebook account representative to assist you to maximise your results.

For the rest of you – there are some tips and tricks.

clip_image009

Links

https://www.facebook.com/ads/tools/text_overlay

https://www.facebook.com/business/ads-guide

If you need us to manage this for you just give us a call. We would be happy to assist you with your advertising, graphic design and photography needs and questions.

Web Design – are your contact details easy to find on your website?

One of the most frustrating things about websites is not being able to contact the company. Having an easy to find phone number, email address doesn’t seem too hard. But many business websites do not display them at all or hide them away in multiple menu layers.

If your website doesn’t have an easy way to contact you – then we can guarantee you are sending your potential customers away. And your opposition with a clear phone number and a fast response time on emails sent is happy to have them! See out site for an example of an easy to find phone number, email and multiple ways to contact us. www.jethroconsultants.com

Contact us today if you need help fixing your site, or for a whole new refresh! Mention this newsletter and we will provide a free site review – normally worth $199.

Follow us on Social Media

As always we are your web, cloud and technology specialists. I am constantly learning new things and spending time researching, playing and testing new systems and reading about other people in the IT world doing the same thing. If you want to follow along with what I share in various spaces then connect with me on these platforms:

Twitter https://twitter.com/spyjournal technology, cycling, social media, management, business, and web

Linked In http://www.linkedin.com/in/jethromanagement

Delicious https://delicious.com/jethrocon saved links

Blog http://spyjournal.biz/ all sorts of stuff including personal and family updates

Spyjournal Facebook https://www.facebook.com/spyjournal.biz tech, cycling, and other stuff

Jethro Management Facebook https://www.facebook.com/JethroManagement business, management, web

Jethro Marketing Facebook https://www.facebook.com/JethroMarketing social media, marketing

Dreamcoat Photography Facebook https://www.facebook.com/DreamcoatPhotography

Dreamsport Photography Facebook https://www.facebook.com/DreamSportPhotography

Red Hot Snapper Facebook https://www.facebook.com/redhotsnapper roller derby

Categories: Jethro Websites

What is the Cloud, more on DR and BCP and Web Marketing News 25 Feb 2015

Jethro Consultants - Wed, 25/02/2015 - 2:53pm

Where did February go? Is your year ripping along? I hope you have time to glance at the headings below and if anything is of interest read the whole piece. And we would love your feedback on how to make these newsletters more informative and useful to you.

As always I am available to respond to your requests, queries and provide you with information.

I don’t charge by the phone call – and as I often say “it’s cheaper to ask me then it is for me to fix something after its done wrong”.

Cloud Management Tips – what is the cloud?

We are going to keep writing tips on cloud management as there is just so much misunderstanding out there as to what the cloud is and how to leverage it in your business safely and effectively.

In laymen’s terms “the cloud” is just part of the internet. Specifically its part that provides a service. There are some common acronyms that are used. These are SaaS (Software as a Service), IaaS (Infrastructure as a Service) or PaaS (Platform as a Service). There’s a bunch more as well but these three are the most common. All they really mean is that you can buy something from an online service provider using their “cloud” technology.

Let’s look at the different types of cloud, and then come back to these acronyms to give you some examples.

There are three types of Cloud – Public, Private and on Premise. These are best explained using a transport analogy.

clip_image002

Public Cloud is like riding the bus. You have to put up with everyone else on the bus, you can’t choose where it goes or what route it takes to go there, how fast it goes or anything else about it. You pay a small fare to use it but pay nothing else.

Private Cloud is like hiring a car. You pay more to rent it than the bus, but you can drive it where you like when you like and choose who goes in it with you. You are responsible for petrol but not for the insurance, registration, tyres or maintenance on the car. You can do minor customisation – e.g. change the radio channel, the aircon temperature etc. but you can’t put mag wheels on or repaint the car.

On Premise is like owning a car. You buy it outright (or lease it) and then pay for all the running costs, registration and insurance etc. Regardless of whether you use it or not you pay for it. You can do whatever you like to it – respray it, upgrade the engine, or never maintain it and trash it; your call completely.

There is also a hybrid model which can combine elements of each of the others.

See this presentation for a bit more information

So the Cloud Service acronyms can all fall into one of these cloud categories.

SaaS or Software as a Service is simply a licensed software that is delivered over the internet. Common examples will include the Office 365 subscription to install Microsoft Office on your PC or Mac. Many other examples include Photoshop Creative Cloud, gaming software, accounting software and more.

IaaS or Infrastructure as a Service provides virtualised hardware systems – servers, virtualised networks and security systems amongst many other systems. For many businesses virtualising servers reduces the cost of physical hardware purchase and maintenance, reduces power consumption and when they are in the cloud can provide better BC (Business Continuity) and DR (Disaster Recovery) solutions.

PaaS or Platform as a Service is a development platform for software developers and used heavily by mobile application developers.

So how can your business utilise cloud? There are many ways. However the primary drivers for your decision making should be around cost reduction, efficiency and productivity, data security and business continuity.

This presentation has a section about migrating to the cloud cost effectively.

We can sit down with you and talk about your current business technology usage and what cloud services you could be using that could benefit you in one or more of these areas – cost reduction, efficiency, data security and access, and business continuity. Call me to discuss today on 0414 770 002.

Disaster Recovery and Business Continuity.

clip_image004Last newsletter we talked about building a plan for disaster recovery. Since then we have had a cyclone and considerable flooding affecting many businesses including a number of our customers. There are not always rainbows after a flood. We have had to assist many of them with temporary solutions to solve internet and phone connectivity issues. The main reason being that in many cases they had never invested in Business Continuity. That is the ability to keep working when services (power, phone, internet) are cut, access to business premises is compromised or equipment is lost or damaged. Don’t wait for the next disaster to strike before ensuring your business is able to cope. It’s too late then. We are able to help you identify your critical failure points, develop a plan, and test it.

This presentation will give you some details about building a digital strategy that can include DR and BCP.

Special Deal – mention this newsletter and get a 1 hour DR consultation free. We will help you identify exactly what you need and what it will cost you to do it versus the cost of doing nothing.

Windows Server 2003 is nearing end of Support

clip_image00614 July 2015 is the deadline. What that means is after that date Microsoft will no longer issue security updates for any version of Server 2003. If you still have a Server 2003 machine in your business then we can replace that for you – ether by shifting its load and applications into a virtualised server (either in the cloud or on premise) or by replacing it with a new server running Server 2012.

Contact us immediately so we can begin planning this.

Social Media Tip – protecting your name

clip_image008Have you thought about protecting your brand in social media by claiming your business name or brand name? It’s often forgotten. When helping one of our clients setting up a business we always search the domain names and help them secure them. And when we are helping then develop a social presence we also do the same in the social spaces Here is the website we use to identify if your name has been already claimed or not – and we recommend that if you find your name isn’t taken that you grab it now! You don’t have to use it – but by creating an account you can ensure someone else can’t squat there or worse use it for their business. http://knowem.com/

If you need us to manage this for you just give us a call

Web Design and Marketing

Would you trust your web design to a tech who can write code or a marketing expert who can design a site that delivers results? The back end mechanic work can be done by any competent web developer. However the structure and layout of the site, its purpose and its alignment to your company’s sales goals and strategies are completely different. Our expert marketing professionals can guide you in the decision making process around the structure and function of your website. Don’t just make another boring “brochure ware” website, but create a sales and marketing tool that delivers results.

Here are some questions to ask yourself if you already have a site or are thinking about a refresh or a new site.

  1. Does my site duplicate me (or my best sales person)?
  2. Does it clearly explain the specific things / products / services my business does or sells?
  3. Does it answer the common objections or sales hurdles I cross when talking face to face to a prospective buyer?
  4. Does my website have a clear sales path, call to action, cross-sell and upsell components?
  5. Does my web server / developer / host provide measurement and analytics showing engagement by customers and incorporating social media connectivity?

Contact us to day to see examples specific to your industry and we will provide a free 1 hr consultation.

Follow us on Social Media

As always we are your web, cloud and technology specialists. I am constantly learning new things and spending time researching, playing and testing new systems and reading about other people in the IT world doing the same thing. If you want to follow along with what I share in various spaces then connect with me on these platforms:

Twitter https://twitter.com/spyjournal technology, cycling, social media, management, business, and web

Linked In http://www.linkedin.com/in/jethromanagement

Delicious https://delicious.com/jethrocon saved links

Blog http://spyjournal.biz/ all sorts of stuff including personal and family updates

Spyjournal Facebook https://www.facebook.com/spyjournal.biz tech, cycling, and other stuff

Jethro Management Facebook https://www.facebook.com/JethroManagement business, management, web

Jethro Marketing Facebook https://www.facebook.com/JethroMarketing social media, marketing

Dreamcoat Photography Facebook https://www.facebook.com/DreamcoatPhotography

Dreamsport Photography Facebook https://www.facebook.com/DreamSportPhotography

Red Hot Snapper Facebook https://www.facebook.com/redhotsnapper roller derby

Categories: Jethro Websites

Using Dropbox better, Disaster Recovery and Outlook Out of Office: News 10 Feb 2015

Jethro Consultants - Tue, 10/02/2015 - 2:46pm

Welcome to February – the year is really kicking along fast.

This newsletter includes these topics – hope they are helpful to you. And if you want something specific answered we might be able to do that in the next newsletter so ask away!

As always I am available to respond to your requests, queries and provide you with information.

I don’t charge by the phone call – and as I often say “it’s cheaper to ask me then it is for me to fix something after its done wrong”.

Cloud Management Tips

As I mentioned in the last newsletter cloud storage is one of the fastest growing technology items for small businesses in Australia with most businesses having some form of cloud storage or app in use either on their PC or smartphone or tablet.

8 Tips to use Dropbox more safely and securely

As far as inexpensive and convenient cloud storage goes, Dropbox is the clear industry leader. With its ease of sharing and its dominance over mobile devices, users flock to this solution for its simplicity and functionality. These 8 tips are what most of them don't know:

http://blog.cloudhq.net/top-10-dropbox-tips-and-tricks/

Save yourself the headache, and ask us today how to get setup with cloud storage backups – back up your Gmail, Dropbox, Evernote, OneDrive and more. We hope these tips help you get the most out of your Dropbox service! Call me to discuss today on 0414 770 002.

Disaster Recovery.

Have you got a plan? What happens if you have a flood, fire, theft, lightning strike and computer failure, hard drive failure, virus infection, employee data theft etc.? A Disaster Recovery (DR) plan outlines the possible scenarios, grades them according to likelihood and level of catastrophe and then identifies the paths to recovery. Whether that is replacement hardware, data recovery, restore from backup, rekeying data etc., there is always a cost. And the longer a business or employee is not able to operate the more lost sales, unprofitable staff time etc.

TIP: Check your business insurance to see if you have a Data Recovery Clause – it is usually free to add to your premium and will cover the costs associated with recovering data from electronic media. Having dealt with several very expensive server failures in the last 15 months this is a very important clause to be able to claim against.

We are able to help you identify your critical failure points, develop a plan, and test it.

Special Deal – mention this newsletter and get a 1 hour DR consultation free. We will help you identify exactly what you need.

Social Media Tip

A lot of businesses rush into social media because they think they need to be on there. But think about this analogy for a minute.

Think about your existing physical business premises. You have a sign telling people it’s there, a carpark, a door for people to come into and a smiling receptionist ready to greet them. If they ring you answer the phone and your friendly phone manner assists you deal with their question, problem or even complaint.

Now think if your sign was there, the carpark was there and the front door was there, but the office was empty, there was no receptionist, the phone was ringing endlessly with no one answering it and worse some criminal had stolen some of your competitor’s outdoor signage and left it on the floor of your office.

This is what many businesses social media pages look like. Vacant wasteland with a sign, no responses to comments, queries or complaints, and often hijacked by spammers. Is this the perception you want your potential customers to have about you?

Let us help you step into social media for your business with the right understanding of what social media is, how it works, how businesses can leverage the power of relationship marketing to improve close ratios and increase customer satisfaction, gain access to customers they never could have otherwise marketed to and still keep your strong customer focus and brand.

And if you already have a vacant space then we can help you fix it today! Call us now 0414 770 002.

Out of Office Messages in Outlook

Using an out of office message is a valuable tool to let people know you have received their email and will respond, but that it won’t be immediately. This allows you to plan your day to be more productive rather than responding to email as it bounces in, or notify people who email you if you are away, on holiday or out of touch with travel etc.

There are some funny out of office messages out there – see this link for some examples. While I don’t recommend you necessarily make it too funny it is important to follow some tips.

Funny Out of Office Messages

Professional Auto responder Message examples

How to turn on “Automatic Replies (Out of Office)” or the “Out of Office Assistant” For Microsoft Office Outlook 2013 and 2010

1. Click the File tab, and then click the Info tab in the menu.

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2. Click Automatic Replies (Out of Office).

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Note If you do not see this option, you are not using an Exchange account. You have some limited options available using rules – but your PC must be on and Outlook running for these to work.

3. In the Automatic Replies dialog box, select the Send Automatic Replies check box.

4. If you want to specify a set time and date range, select the Only send during this time range check box. Then set the Start time, and then set the End time.

5. In the Inside my organization tab, type the message that you want to send within your organization, and in the Outside my organization tab, type the message that you want to send outside your organization.

6. Click OK.

7. If you selected the “Only send during this time range” option in step 4, the Automatic Replies (Out of Office) feature will continue to run until the date and time set for the End Time in step 5 is reached.
Otherwise, the Automatic Replies (Out of Office) will continue to run until you repeat step 1 and select the “Do not send automatic replies” option.

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