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What Small Businesses Need to Know About Google's Hummingbird Update

Posted In TECHNOLOGY

When word spreads that Google has changed its revered-and-feared search algorithm, you can bank on a big reaction. Google, an essential driver of web traffic for many small businesses, continues to dominate online search, with more than 70 percent of total visits. Its closest competition, Microsoft’s Bing, gets about 9.5 percent. So the internet was [...]
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How Google Helpouts Can Help Your Small Business

Posted In MARKETING

Google plans to launch yet another new service that may provide some exciting opportunities to small-business owners. Google Helpouts is a Google Hangout-like service that lets you charge a fee for providing one-on-one expert advice in a live video chat, Entrepreneur.com reports. Google Helpouts aims to support a marketplace that is increasingly moving toward freelance [...]
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How to Fire a New Hire Who Just Isn't Working Out

Posted In TECHNOLOGY

On her list of “5 Scary Small-Business Mistakes,” Suzanne Lucas — who calls herself the Evil HR Lady — cautions entrepreneurs not to make false assumptions about their employees. “Plenty of small businesses have been completely destroyed by a lawsuit when an employer thought the law didn’t apply because the company was too small or because [...]
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In the Trenches: Managing My Email

Posted In TECHNOLOGY

At Cranky Concierge, we help clients by whatever means of communication — phone calls, text messages, tweets, emails — is necessary. Email is our main method of talking with people, but it’s also a giant time sink. Right now I need to get a better handle on my inbox. Right before I started the company, [...]
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5 Problems to Avoid When Offering Free Wi-Fi

Posted In MARKETING

If you run a business where customers are likely to linger, offering free Wi-Fi access can help you build loyalty and boost sales. But you can’t just set up a wireless network and forget about it. You must be on the lookout for a few potential problems — and take steps to prevent and solve them. Here [...]
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Is a Virtual Phone System for You?

Posted In EMPLOYEES

Want the telephony capabilities of a giant corporation for a fraction of the price? Consider installing a virtual phone system. A virtual phone system delivers traditional business features (such as handling multiple calls from different lines in varying ways) without requiring any additional hardware. You can even operate the system, which connects calls via internet, [...]
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Inbox Zero: Improve Productivity by Emptying Out Email

Posted In TECHNOLOGY

As you read this, there’s an 80 percent chance that your email inbox contains between 72 and 21,000 messages, according to Dave Troy, CEO of software maker 410 Labs. Dealing with all that digital correspondence may seem daunting. What’s worse, important communiques may get indefinitely buried or permanently lost in the shuffle. If this scenario [...]
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8 Tips for Implementing BYOD

Posted In EMPLOYEES

Don’t have an in-house IT department? No problem. Your small business can still benefit from having employees bring their own devices to work. By joining the bring-your-own device — or BYOD — trend, you can boost productivity and save your business money. Meanwhile, you can mitigate the data-security risks by implementing the following best practices. [...]
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