BBP : Episode 56 – Capterra

BBP : Episode 56 – Capterra

In this episode we talk about how Capterra can help you find the right software solution to manage your business.

Subscribe to the BeBizzy Break Podcast on iTunes and Stitcher Radio

Tech News

Windows 10 Fall Creators Update released on Oct 17

  • As always, running updates has certain risks, as talked about on last week’s podcast
  • Make sure you have plenty of time to run the updates, possibly a couple of hours.
  • Always back up and know there’s that small chance the backup may fail and you’ll either have to revert back, or it could cause your system to become unstable.
  • Features.
    • People Integration – You can now pin friends, co-workers, business partners, family members, etc to the task bar for easy access. It can even be used to contact via Skype
    • Fluent Design – a new design language from Microsoft regarding animations and effects. Some included changes are blur effects, easier resizing of apps and windows and a “shinier” design for the Start Menu.
  • You can also pin website shortcuts to the task bar. This was available in previous versions of Windows, and now it’s back.
  • New emojis – dinosaurs, genies, zombies and more are part of the Unicode updates for the fall creators update.
  • Cortana – Cortana notifications can now be seen on your Android phone. And you can control Windows a bit with Cortana, including locking, signing out, shut down or restarting your computer.

Google Advanced Protection

  • Meant for high-profile celebrities, politicians and other possible targets for hacking.
  • Advanced security features for your account (gmail, google drive, etc)
  • Need a physical key to unlock your data (USB)
  • It also locks down your files and email to ONLY Google apps, eliminating the possibility of using 3rd party programs to attain the data.
  • This will make using Google’s products a bit more tough, but if you’re concerned about information security more than you are about ease of use, this may be a good solution.

Capterra

Capterra is a website with a mission to match up businesses with the right software to optimize any part of the operation. Whether it’s project management software, bookkeeping, marketing, testing or just about anything else, Capterra can suggest the right software taking into account budget, ease of use and more.

  • Guest : Claire Alexander – General Manager of Capterra
  • http://capterra.com
  • Facebook : https://www.facebook.com/Capterra/
  • Twitter : https://twitter.com/capterra
  • Website to help find a software solution for your business
  • Capterra has been around since 1999
  • Virtually any sort of software for your business organized by software type, then displaying the most used, best cost effective or easiest to use.

Have any questions or suggestions on going paperless? Leave them below, or send them to me @BeBizzy on Twitter!

Subscribe to the BeBizzy Break Podcast on iTunes and Stitcher Radio

BBP : Episode 55 – Have You Updated Today?

BBP : Episode 55 – Have You Updated Today?

In this episode we talk about managing your passwords and updating technology to stay secure.

BBP : Episode 55 – Have You Updated Today?

Tech News

Yahoo Email Hack – Now up to 3 Billion accounts, apparently every yahoo account. – announced by the new owner, Verizon

  • No credit card information in the breach, but
  • Suspect part is that the new intelligence was just recently obtained AFTER the deal closed to buy Yahoo.

Equifax update – there’s a good chance the company will have to pay penalties to affected consumers going north of $1B.

  • For the record, $1B comes to just over $7 per possible affected user.

Cortana is now rollout out into Skype. You should start seeing it appear in private and group chats to offer assistance for scheduling and other items.

  • Will also appear in the Android and iOS versions soon.
  • Still not sold on voice systems like Google, Amazon or Siri, but I hope to become more reliant on it when the new Pixel 2 phone arrives
  • Microsoft claims 141 million “monthly” users of Cortana. I use it only when I accidentally click the button on my desktop toolbar, so that probably counts at least once a month.
  • Siri – 41.4 monthly, 19% daily.
  • Google claims 20% of mobile searches are voice searches – couldn’t find a published #
  • Becoming more popular
  • Would love to discuss voice searches and voice control on a future episode, so if you’re an “expert” please contact me.

Today’s topic – You are Responsible for Updating Your Technology

  • In the last month, I’ve had to do the following:
    • Rescued three websites from obvious hacking
      • Two were hijacked by an out-of-date WordPress plugin and dozens of fake blog posts linking to a casino were placed on the sites.
      • One was using a password created several years ago and the FTP was compromised, with THOUSANDS (over 50k) web pages were created, uploaded and indexed by google.
        • The new index.php page and all the rest were the only ones showing up in Google searches because of the dominance.
    • About six months ago I got a call that a WordPress site built over five years ago had NEVER been updated, and now stopped working.
      • That required updating WP, finding out what, if any of the existing plugins would still work with the new WP, and we had to find alternate solutions for outdated, un-updatable, or costly upgrades to certain plugins.
    • Two months ago I worked on a computer that was full of malware. The client was still running Windows XP and didn’t want to update. Windows XP was abandoned by Microsoft in April 2014, meaning there was no further development on the operating system and it would be exposed as insecure.
    • In all cases, there was a massive cleanup, one new install of WP, and a complete forced re-indexing of the website by Google and other search engines.

ALL of these could have been avoided if the core functions would have been maintained. By following just a few steps, your computer, phones and other devices can stay up to date and minimize the danger of being compromised.

Remember, criminals will most always take the low-hanging fruit, like the computer not updated in over 5 years, the WordPress site with outdated plugins, or the FTP password that hasn’t changed in half a decade.

A word of warning… updates can sometimes fail, and even cause larger issues. BACK UP YOUR DATA before running updates, or just in general. However, the risk of something bad happening during an update is nothing compared to the possible issues that can happen by running an out-of-date system.

  • WordPress and Other Websites
  1. Back up everything on a regular basis – Always have a way to reset if something bad happens, even if you lose some data.
  2. Turn on automatic updates for plugins and incremental WordPress updates.
  3. Use a service to update multiple sites if needed.
  4. Turn on notifications for major WordPress or theme releases, and run them after you back up, update plugins and prepare for possible downtime.
  5. Also change your FTP and Cpanel passwords on a regular basis, or when someone leaves the organization.
  • Windows Computers
  1. Back up on a regular basis. Services like Dropbox, OneDrive, Google Drive and others offer cheap, or even free secure cloud services that will back up your data.
  2. Turn on automatic updates in the control panel. This will run in the background, and prompt to reboot when larger updates appear.
  3. If you can update your operating system to at least Windows 8.2 you will at least be receiving regular security updates. There was a time you could have updated to Windows 10 for free, but you most likely missed that if you’re still running an older version.
  4. Keep your software like browsers, office software and other major applications like Photoshop and others up to date by regularly checking, or selecting auto-updates if prompted.
  • Mobile Devices
  1. Back up on a regular basis (notice a theme here?). Most carriers have this available, but you can keep your music in the cloud, photos backed up to Google Photos for free, contacts saved to Gmail or Gsuite, again for free, and other data can use Dropbox, Carbonite and other services.
  2. Go into the Play Store or Updates on your mobile device and click Update All on a regular basis.
  3. Always accept operating system updates when prompted, your device is properly charged or connected to a power source, and you have the necessary allotted time to accomplish the update. Do a full reboot once in a while to clear the device and also to re-engage auto-updates when the phone reaches back out to the carrier or app store.

Updates are an easy way to keep your site and devices secure. Criminals are looking for the easy targets when you’re dealing with electronic crime, so stay on top of your systems and update regularly.

Don’t forget to send us any suggestions for apps to review or people to interview. And subscribe to the BeBizzy Break Podcast on iTunes and Stitcher Radio

And as always, leave the technical stuff to us!

Planning & Budgeting Your New Website – BBP EP 53

Planning & Budgeting Your New Website – BBP EP 53

In this episode we talk with Scott Wild from NISC about the budget and organizational steps in planning and developing a new website, the upcoming iPhone, and Twitter Night Mode

BBP : Episode 53 – Scott Wild Talks About Planning a New Website

Scott Wild, the Onboarding & Employee Engagment specialist at NISC and owner of the Wild Trivia Tour, joins the podcast to talk about planning and budgeting for a new website. Scott and I have done several podcasts and other projects together in the past, including working for the same advertising agency in the same role a few years apart, so there’s no one I trust more when it comes to planning and pulling out the steps for a new site.

Let’s Start with the Basics

Websites are now the storefront of most businesses. It used to be billboards, newspapers and then television ads, but now many consumers find you online. So it’s important to have a user-friendly site that funnels potential clients through the buying experience. It’s not unlike how grocery and department stores are set up in that you walk through the store to get essentials, then back through everything again before being shown the “add-ons” at the checkout. You should find  out what your visitors want, get them there quickly, then take them through the desired path while still serving their needs.

  • Planning Meetings : planning up front will decrease development time (and therefore cost) and get you the site you want.
    • Who is the audience(s)?
    • For each audience, “where do they itch?” Or what do they want/need to find on your site?
    • What do you want them to do right now? What’s the call to action?
  • Development
    • What CRM? WordPress? Drupal? A specialized CRM that’s built for your industry? Custom build? What’s the best fit for your business or organization?
  • Hosting
    • There are many criteria for hosts including cost, operating systems, server specs, bandwidth speed and limitations, and many, many more.
    • Choosing a good host can be a determining factor when Google and other search engines rank your site.
  • Domains
    • Pick a domain that matches your business name for the primary domain, then you can select “vanity” domains for landing pages
      • For example, my DJ business is BeLoudEntertainment.com, but I also own BismarckWeddingDJ.com.
    • OWN YOUR DOMAIN! This can be important when you want to move the website, or just to make sure the domain is handled correctly for updating.
    • Your domain name is just like your business name. Keep it safe!
  • SSL’s

Some Advanced Planning Tips

  • SEO (Search Engine Optimization)
    • Can be expensive
    • Can take a fair amount of time
    • Can be very punitive if “black hat” methods are employed, even to the effect of getting the domain shot WAY down the list
    • Is affected by proper titles, descriptions, keywords, page content, page layout, links (inbound, outbound and internal), page load speed, server response speed, and more.
  • Digital Marketing
    • Social Media sites like Facebook, Twitter, LinkedIn and YouTube are critical in sending good traffic back into your website. Use them correctly and often.
    • PPC – We didn’t really talk about this on the podcast, but a good Google AdWords or LinkedIn campaign can be a great way to generate leads
    • If you really want to make a splash, there are large volume marketing pieces like Spotify or other campaigns that can be fired up, but most have a minimum spend.
  • Security
    • Make sure the site is backed up and has some security apps or plugins monitoring the site. This is critical when, not if, something bad happens.

There were so many other items to discuss on this podcast, but in many cases it’s better to discuss in person or over the phone. If you have questions on developing a new website, or would like to discuss in more detail, please call 701-214-6271 or contact BeBizzy Consulting and let’s find out how we can drive more customers to your website.

Don’t forget to send us any suggestions for apps to review or people to interview. And subscribe to the BeBizzy Break Podcast on iTunes and Stitcher Radio

And as always, leave the technical stuff to us!

Joining, Participating In & Hosting Twitter Chats : BBP Episode 47

Joining, Participating In & Hosting Twitter Chats : BBP Episode 47

BeBizzy Break Podcast : Episode 47 – Joining, Participating In & Hosting Twitter Chats

Have you joined a Twitter chat? What has been your experience if you have? Are you ready to host a Twitter chat?

One of the biggest big advantages of the Twitter platform is for large groups of people to unite around a common topic to entertain, educate and provide a common voice. Leveraging that to learn about a topic is a great way to keep up with just about any category or specific subject.

But joining a Twitter chat can be a little tricky, and for many of us, scary. First of all, forget the scary part. You can join without anyone even knowing you’re there, so let’s just get that out of the way now. So that leaves the technical part. It’s usually as simple as following a hashtag. Tools like Hootsuite and others allow you to both follow a hashtag, and even create a seperate stream with only that hashtag, which makes it really easy to play along.

Joining a Twitter Chat

Some easy tips

  • Participate! Ask questions, submit answers, share slides and other media . The biggest waste of your time will be to sit and watch the chat go by with nothing contributed by you. Follow people to interact with you if the content is valuable, entertaining, or helpful.
  • When responding make sure you use the #Hashtag to ensure the admins and other followers can see your question, response or generate statement. This will allow everyone to use or respond to your post.
  • If this is a q/a chat, look for Q1, Q2 or something similar from the admins, then respond with a similar format A1, A2, etc. along with the #Hashtag
  • Follow the rules! Don’t promote your website, service or other items unless it’s allowed or requested by the hosts. Breaking these rules will 1) get you slapped on the wrist, or 2) get you banned from the chat

Creating a Twitter Chat

Maybe it’s time you’ve finally created your own Twitter chat. You have a following, you have a topic, now you just need a vehicle to get your message to the masses and maybe use it to drive education and maybe even revenue!

If you are looking to build a community and host a Twitter chat there are also a few things to consider.

  • Recruit a few ambassadors to help you with the chat by attending all of them, RT’ing invites and posts, and participating with answers and follow-up questions.
  • Pick a hashtag that is unique, easy to remember and is about the topic. Use the same hashtag on every chat, every notice, and every recap.
  • Schedule it when you think a large number of followers can attend. Many of the small business chats above are in the mid-evenings when fewer people are working, it’s after dinner and many of us would be watching TV or doing other leisure activities. Chats targeting moms might be mid-afternoon when the kids are at school or taking naps.
  • Prepare your questions, answers and related information in advance, and maybe even schedule in Hootsuite or other tools to make sure the timeline is followed.
  • Interact with other users as they share and respond to your questions. You never know what will come up or be revealed.
  • Prizes are a great way to get people to attend and interact.
  • Guest hosts can add a bit of energy into the chat with a new voice and their following.
  • Don’t be afraid to change things as they emerge. If you get some feedback that a different time/day will work better, or more or less of a type of content works better or worse, make changes.

Twitter chats can be a great way to stay informed of changes in a variety of topics. They can also be used to show your expertise in a subject, and network with a very significant group of experts in your field. Search one out and join a Twitter chat today and who knows, maybe tomorrow you’ll be leading your own Twitter chat!

Don’t forget to send us any suggestions for apps to review or people to interview. And subscribe to the BeBizzy Break Podcast on iTunes and Stitcher Radio

And as always, leave the technical stuff to us!

And as promised, photos of Medora, ND.

bison

#NetNeutrality Day of Action : BeBizzy Break Podcast EP:46

#NetNeutrality Day of Action : BeBizzy Break Podcast EP:46

BeBizzy Break Podcast : Episode 46 – #NetNeutrality Day of Action

Hosted by : Marv Dorner, owner of BeBizzy Consulting

Today’s episode is a quick view of #NetNeutrality.

If you’re unfamiliar with Net Neutrality, it’s simply the call to ensure the same speed, access and availability for all websites… basically what we have now.

Many companies, and of course some internet providers, would love to have priority access to the web, making their sites run at full speed, and throttling the rest of the websites.

Many people and companies are speaking out in defense of net neutrality, including Tim Berners-Lee, the man many credit with inventing the internet.

Join in the discussion and defend Net Neutrality by getting involved on Twitter using the #NetNeutrality hashtag, communicating with friends, family and elected officials, and supporting the companies listed on this article from the Verge.

Don’t forget to send us any suggestions for apps to review or people to interview. And subscribe to the BeBizzy Break Podcast on iTunes and Stitcher Radio

And as always, leave the technical stuff to us!

BBP : EP0039 – GSuite & Mailbird

BBP : EP0039 – GSuite & Mailbird

BeBizzy Break Podcast : Episode 39 – GSuite & Mailbird

Hosted by : Marv Dorner, owner of BeBizzy Consulting

Ever get the feeling that someone’s watching you?

That happened to me this week, as I started to look for a replacement for my Outlook replacement, Mailbird. The problem was that although I had hundreds of contacts saved in my various GSuite email accounts, there was no way to easily sync to or from GSuite. On many occassions I was either grabbing email addresses from my phone or having to log into the web interface to gather the email addresses so I could send.

Just this morning, I recevied an email from Mailbird claiming they had a new Contact Manager ready to roll out, all I had to do was update Mailbird, click a few things and BOOM!, contacts. The scariest part was that it worked EXACTLY like it was supposed to work, and now I don’t have to look for a new email system. Way to go, Mailbird! Check them out if you’re a GSuite or Gmail email user.

And if your NOT a GSuite user… here’s why you should be.

GSuite is a powerful email, calendar, document sharing, task & project management solution. Some other benefits are:

  • Uses Google secure and “always-on” hosting solution. I have had very minimal outages in many years of use.
  • The system is available from anywhere, so as long as you can get to a computer, tablet or phone and remember your login info, you can see you mail, calendar and documents.
  • Easy to share documents within the GSuite environment, so anyone with your domain email can easily receive, share or collaborate on documents.
  • You can still use Outlook. While I recommend getting outside the Office forcefield with apps like Mailbirdold reliable still works with GSuite.
  • 2-Step Verification security to protect your email.
  • 3rd party apps like CRMs, project management suites, mind mapping tools, and much more can be easily made available across the network.
  • Excellent support
  • Relatively cheap at $5 per email address per month.

Check out if GSuite is a good fit for you and your business by going to https://gsuite.google.com

Don’t forget to send us any suggestions for apps to review or people to interview. And subscribe to the BeBizzy Break Podcast on iTunes and Stitcher Radio

And as always, leave the technical stuff to us!

BBP : EP0037 – Wave Accounting

BBP : EP0037 – Wave Accounting

Happy Tax Week, everybody!

Episode 37 – Wave Accounting

This week I am happy to be joined by Rob Maurin from Wave to discuss this awesome, FREE, accounting and invoicing software.

We discuss some of the many features of this powerful business tool that will help you with your :

  • Accounting
  • Invoicing
  • Recurring Invoicing
  • Expense Tracking
  • Payroll
  • Mobile Invoicing
  • And much, much more.

I’ve been a user for several years and couldn’t be happier with the ease and completion of the system.

Check out the interview with Rob, then head over to http://waveapps.com and take Wave apps our for a drive.

Don’t forget to send us any suggestions for apps to review or people to interview. And subscribe to the BeBizzy Break Podcast on iTunes and Stitcher Radio

And as always, leave the technical stuff to us!

Website Launch – Mandan Memorial

Website Launch – Mandan Memorial

BeBizzy Consulting is proud to announce the launch of our latest website, MandanMemorial.com!

Mandan Memorial serves the Bismarck-Mandan area, and specializes in remembering loved ones with a custom memorial with products like monuments, headstones, benches, bronze markers and much more.

They even do landscape pieces like rock street number signs and other specialty items.

Check them out at MandanMemorial.com, or visit their location on Main in Mandan, ND.

Contact Form or Email Address?

Contact Form or Email Address?

One thing we’ve been told for years is that you need an email address in order to do business. I agree with that statement, but in regards to where that email address is used, I’m not in favor of listing email addresses on a website.

Email Address or Contact Forms?

I am, however, a huge fan of forms, and this week’s BeBizzy Break Podcast features an interview with Rich Brooks from the Agents of Change Podcast on that very subject.

What are the benefits of using a form?

  • Not divulging email addresses to potential spammers
  • Guiding possible leads by asking questions in the form.
  • Inputting form information into a CRM.
  • Pushing the form to multiple recipients, or to a specific person where applicable.

A few more things about Rich Brooks.

 

First, tickets for the annual Agents of Change Digital Marketing Conference are now on sale. The conference takes place in Portland, Maine, but it’s also streamed online and available via on demand video. Jay Baer is the keynote and more great speakers will be announced soon. The event is on 9/15/2017 and people can learn more at http://www.theagentsofchange.com
Second, he has a book called The Lead Machine: The Small Business Guide to Digital Marketing that’s available now. Your audience can download a free chapter at http://www.theagentsofchange.com/marv
Enjoy the interview, bad voice and technical issues aside, and don’t forget to send us any suggestions for apps to review or people to interview. And subscribe to the BeBizzy Break Podcast on iTunes and Stitcher Radio

And as always, leave the technical stuff to us!

BBP : EP 0027 – Is It Time To Dump Microsoft Office?

BBP : EP 0027 – Is It Time To Dump Microsoft Office?

New year, new tools!

Since I host my own email and use Office significantly less than I used to, it’s time to finally get rid of paying $10/month for Microsoft Office and find a more cost-effective solution. So the question to you is :

WPS OfficeIs It Time To Dump Microsoft Office?

Short answer? Yes!

I’ve decided it’s time to dump paying monthly for Microsoft Office and pay a one-time fee for WPS Office of $79. This provides a great office solution completely compatible with MS Office files for up to three years for 25% of the price!

So, if you don’t use Office very often and are looking for a great way to still conduct business with people who do use it, WPS Office has a great FREE version, or a paid version (pay monthly, quarterly, or annually).

I’ve been using it for a few months and recommend making the switch today.

By the way, if you’re using Microsoft Outlook for your Gmail or G Suite emails, Mailbird is a great product I’ve been using for that as well.

Don’t forget to send us any suggestions for apps to review or people to interview. And subscribe to the BeBizzy Break Podcast on iTunes and Stitcher Radio

And as always, leave the technical stuff to us!