November 12th, 2013
According to a study by advertising consulting agency Borrell Associates, of 1,300 small-business owners, 72 percent planned to boost or maintain their mobile-ad spending this year. Of those, 65 percent expected to increase such spending by up to 30 percent.
With the near ubiquity of mobile Internet connectivity and a rapidly improving online shopping experience for mobile-device users, it’s clear there’s a major shift underway in how consumers choose to conduct their purchasing.
The small businesses that ride the crest of this new wave will put themselves in position to drastically increase their brands’ reach and gain new revenue streams.
But how do you go about properly implementing mobile advertising?
The article “5 Crucial Mobile Advertising Tactics For Small Businesses,” courtesy of openforum.com, provides helpful suggestions you can use today to open your storefront to countless new customers.
The entire article is worth reading, but one tip, “Think Local With Your Keywords,” is particularly noteworthy because of its simplicity and potential impact:
“Perhaps one of the simplest and most cost-effective ways to benefit from mobile advertising is to ‘not advertise’ at all and use local mobile searches as your form of organic advertising instead.
As smartphone users increasingly use GPS and apps like Google Maps, along with search terms to find local services and businesses, being optimized for these types of searches can benefit your physical foot traffic exponentially.
To give you an idea of how important local mobile search is to your business, consider these statistics:
- Mobile searches for restaurants led to a 90 percent conversion rate, with 64 percent visiting within an hour of the search.
- 74 percent of mobile users used their phones to get ‘real-time location-based information’ directions, up from 55 percent the previous year, according to the Pew Research Center.
- Mobile search will generate 27.8 billion more queries than desktop search by 2015.”
Powerful stuff, to be sure.
October 15th, 2013
A small business can be confident it’s doing everything right with regard to safeguarding its critical data, while overlooking one key vulnerability: the company website.
That’s the primary takeaway from this Small Business Computing article, which should serve as a wakeup call for any small business committed to preventing their data from becoming compromised.
Regardless of the security measures in place that provide end-to-end malware protection, network safeguards and a comprehensive BYOD-security policy, sufficient emphasis must be placed on ensuring a secure online presence.
According to the article, “The IT security battleground has a new front. Rather than launch fruitless attacks on fortified networks, hackers are targeting the websites of small business. And they’re succeeding.”
It seems that while a small business might be doing everything else correctly, when it comes to its website it’s often the basic default security settings that are implemented despite the more robust options typically offered by web hosting providers.
There’s simply too much at stake for such risk-taking.
From the piece, “The results of inaction can prove catastrophic. Nearly 60 percent of small businesses that fall victim to a cybercrime shutter their doors within six months … Like many consumers living paycheck to paycheck, many small firms can’t afford to have their cash flow interrupted.”
Another disturbing—and potentially fatal—outcome of a website-based malware infiltration is a small-business’ website being blacklisted by Google.
“On average, the search giant blacklists 9,500 websites each day. Getting blacklisted by Google can, in effect, render them a non-entity to the world at large,” says the article.
And while uncomfortable to ponder, the implications of such an outcome could prove irreparably damaging to a company’s reputation and bottom line.
I encourage you to read the Small Business Computing article in its entirety to learn more about the ways in which you can ensure your small business is doing all it can to stay protected from the countless outside threats that wish to do you harm.
Thanks for reading.
September 24th, 2013
I have exciting news to share.
Xerox has joined with other print providers to launch the Mobile Print Alliance.
To learn more about how printing on the go just got easier, check out the Real Business at Xerox blog post by Karl Dueland, vice president, Solutions Delivery Unit, Xerox.
June 17th, 2013
Defining today’s workplace is no longer as clear cut as it was a decade ago. Gone are the days of workers based at a main office, tied to their desktop computer. Today, thanks to the rise of smartphones and tablets, more and more employees are working wherever there’s a WiFi connection.
Although technology has helped make work simpler, it has also added a variety of new challenges. Xerox recently invited a group of entrepreneurs, technology innovators, emerging leaders and business executives to discuss just that. During the “Dreaming Session,” participants collaborated to create a picture of the ideal workplace, while also identifying areas for improvement in their own day-to-day business lives.
Steve Hoover, CEO of PARC, summed up the group’s common challenge best: how can we make technology and processes adapt to us, versus us adapting to technology? Whether it was the traveling business executive using WebEx in the airport to conduct conferences, or the young small enterprise staying connected with virtual offices around the globe, everyone looks to technology for creating a smarter, more agile workplace.
Creating an agile workplace is especially critical for small- or medium-sized businesses (SMBs) who cannot afford to divert attention away from core operations. Here are five tips for SMBs to become a more “A.G.I.L.E” workplace:
- Adapt – Business owners and IT departments need to be prepared to embrace the trend of workplace mobility. Identify or adapt technology that fits today’s “Bring Your Own Device” environment and allows employees to work from anywhere on any device.
- Go green – Reduce energy consumption with a single energy-efficient device that can print, copy, scan, fax and email. Turn off equipment when it’s not in use. Be selective about what you print, use both sides of paper and recycle the paper you use.
- Invest – Not only is it important to purchase the latest technologies, but the solutions should offer security options as well. This protects your most important investment: your business.
- Leverage – Take advantage of the latest technology and services that will streamline everyday business processes and improve productivity. Innovations like cloud computing make it easy to stay in sync between multiple devices and locations.
- Economize – Opportunities for savings can be discovered in nearly every area of business. Allow employees to work virtually to save office space and energy. Consolidate office equipment with a multifunction printer. Challenge suppliers and vendors to uncover and reduce the hidden costs in their products and services.
In honor of National Small Business Week, what are your tips for helping SMBs succeed and be more agile?
June 11th, 2013
You may or may not know that Xerox was the original patent-holder for many of today’s ubiquitous technologies. Of
course, the obvious example is the world’s first automatic copier, the Xerox 914. But did you also know Ethernet, fiber optics, the graphical user interface (GUI), the mouse, and even the PC workstation are all Xerox innovations?
Beyond disruptive technologies’ power to transform our economic, social and political landscapes, I think the most exciting outcomes arrive in the form of new business startups that pursue opportunities to bring innovative products and/or service to market that create broad, consumer-based appeal for the disruptive technologies’ real-world benefits.
Using one of the examples above, the graphical user interface was not invented with today’s computing, digital entertainment and mobile communications technologies as the envisioned outcome. But plenty of savvy entrepreneurs recognized how truly disruptive the GUI could become, and an entire industry was built around the technology’s implications for simplifying the everyday lives of billions of people.
For small-business owners in almost any industry, paying attention now to the innovations that promise to transform tomorrow’s economy is a critical priority when seeking to capitalize on emerging opportunities.
A report from the McKinsey Global Institute provides interesting insight into the ways in which new and/or evolving technologies will disrupt the status quo and present lucrative business opportunities for those in position to seize the moment.
The entire report is well worth reading, but in the interest of cutting to the chase, here are the identified “Twelve potentially economically disruptive technologies”:
- Mobile Internet
- Automation of knowledge work
- Internet of Things
- Cloud technology
- Advanced robotics
- Autonomous and near-autonomous vehicles
- Next-generation genomics
- Energy storage
- 3D printing
- Advanced materials
- Advanced oil and gas exploration and recovery
- Renewable energy
The report provides detailed explanations of those technologies, as well as the predicted economic impact of each.
I encourage you to read the sections of the report that cover the topics you find most interesting, and then return here to share your commentary.
May 7th, 2013
By Paul Criswell, Xerox Product Marketing Manager
We’re here in beautiful Scottsdale, Ariz. this week for an important printing-industry event — the Photizo Transform 2013 MPS Conference.
This is where we as Xerox (a printing technology manufacturer and solutions provider) come together with other vendors, Channel Partners and industry experts to talk about the current state of managed print services and the ways in which we see the industry changing.
People have been talking about the paperless office for years, and the fact remains that people still need to print. The printers, copiers and software are changing with the times and our products continue to evolve with the market. This week will be spent discussing the future of document technology and how we, the technology experts, can make you, our customers, more productive and reduce your business expenses.
The Xerox Mobile Print solution is a highlight at this year’s show and is the exclusive mobile print solution for the conference. Did you know you can print from your mobile device to all Xerox ConnectKey multifunction printers? Our software even allows you to print from your device to other non-Xerox devices, giving you the freedom to print when and where you need your documents.
Also at the show we are highlighting our newest ConnectKey MFP – the ColorQube 8900. The device combines our exclusive Solid Ink technology into a workhorse multifunction printer that not only gives you fantastic color output, but also delivers real cost savings with our Hybrid Color billing plans.
As Dylan once wrote, “The times they are a changin’,” and so is Xerox. Our Mobile Print solution, as well as our ConnectKey and Solid Ink technologies, allow businesses big and small run more efficiently, securely and cost-effectively.
We help you manage your documents so you can focus on what you do best – running a successful business.
May 1st, 2013
Now available for purchase in North America, the latest-generation ColorQube® 8700 and 8900 Multifunction Printers are the first letter-size devices to be introduced for workgroup productivity on the desktop, which also feature all the advantages of ConnectKey: unparalleled ease-of-use, industry-leading security, and easily integrated solutions that help mobile professionals work in sync with today’s on-the-go demands.
Plus, the ColorQube 8700 and 8900 also provide every advantage of our unique Solid Ink technology, including low-cost color printing and renowned sustainability advantages.
And there’s great news for those who already own devices from the previous generation of the ColorQube 8700/8900 family. Now you can download a free ConnectKey firmware upgrade. No additional hardware is needed.
Xerox and the ColorQube 8900 will be featured at the Photizo Transform 2013 Managed Print Services conference providing mobile printing for all conference attendees.
Visit the ColorQube 8700 and ColorQube 8900
product pages on Xerox.com to learn more about the many advantages of Solid Ink teamed with ConnectKey, and to download the ConnectKey firmware upgrade if you’re already a ColorQube 8700/8900 owner.