Monthly Archives: February 2014

It Pays to Get the NEWT Word “Out There”

We have the best customers. Seriously, we do. From big names like Culligan, Bullfrog Power and Discount Car & Truck Rental, to smaller businesses like Gallagher’s Bar and Lounge they all have one thing in common; they are huge fans of the NEWT products and can’t wait to spout off about them.

So much so that our number one source of new business is the result of their word-of-mouth referrals. Our customers love to spread the word about NEWT to their associates, vendors and friends because they know how much time, effort and money having a NEWT Managed PBX or NEWT ANA saves them.

It’s both really flattering, and really great for our business. And because of that, we’ve decided to give something back to everyone who has helped us grow by introducing the NEWT Referral Program.

newt_referral_program2

For each new customer that we add, we are now giving them a brand new snappy, flashy, plasticy $100 bill to whoever provided the referral.

It’s our way of saying thanks! Now go out for lunch (or whatever) on us.

We’re not limiting it to our existing customers either. Anyone can refer a business to us, and they receive their own $100.00 as well.

It’s super easy. Simply submit a referral for a business you think will benefit from a NEWT product, (and frankly, that’s pretty much every business), and a NEWT Business Services Professional will contact your referral to setup an appointment.  Once they’re signed up, you get the cash. It’s that simple.

Know a business that is dropping its calls? Has an antiquated phone system? Needs better Internet access? Then you know a business that needs NEWT.

Check out our new NEWT referral program HERE.

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SEO for Small Business is a “Must Have”

SEOIt is staggering how business has changed in the 15 short years since Larry Page and Sergey Brin launched their school project named “Google.” Prior to 1998, we had to rely on advertising or let our “fingers do the walking” in the Yellow pages to find a product or service we required.

Now, 89% of consumers say they use search engines to help them make purchasing decisions. Since searchers seldom venture past page one on Google, if your company’s website is buried on page 10, meaning your page ranking is in the dumper, your business is suffering.

This is what Search Engine Optimization (SEO) is all about; getting your website on the first page of Google for people looking for you. Unfortunately, that’s not an easy thing to do. Google is very, very finickity. Its search algorithm is very rigid on how it ranks pages, and sites that it defines as trying to cheat, are punished severely. You couldn’t find them with the Hubble telescope. What Google loves however are sites that are honest brokers of their products and services. Here are some simple SEO best practices that will get your site in Google’s good books, and boost its rankings rapidly. 

Keywords

SEO pros always start here. They do an exhaustive keyword research to come up with a list of search terms prefect for a business. Here’s a secret for you: you can do this yourself. First thing to do: ask someone who is not in your business, “what term would you use on Google to find what we have on our website?” Their answer is your first keyword or search term.

Then plop that into Google and see what it comes up with. If your business isn’t on page one, you have some work to do. Here’s an example using “Brewery.”

Brewery

Our local brewery ranks right at the top, (as it should – they are awesome!) Down at the bottom of the page is where the good stuff is however – Searches related to Brewery:

Brewery_Bottom

Thanks to Google, that’s a pretty good start for your keyword list. Next, build out the list to include variations and geographical locations. e.g. “Cambridge Breweries”. Put all these keywords on a spreadsheet and then check where your site ranks for these keywords. (If it’s not on the first five pages, then it might as well not exist.)

Next, who are your main competitors? Where do they rank on Google? What search terms have them ranking above you?  Just a couple of hours of research can nail down a list of the best search keywords for your specific business.

Using keywords

Google’s algorithms may change, and change again, but the one key aspect of any website that Google has always put as most important is content. Content is king.

This is where your keywords come in. Not too long ago, websites had something called a “keyword metatag” where a site owner would list all the keywords that were salient to their business to help search engines out. Unfortunately these were serially abused by webmasters, so now Google all but ignores them. Today SEO is all about providing usable content for a visitor to make an informed purchasing decision. Fresh, interesting and useful, this is content that utilizes your keywords  – all in the goal of educating the consumer. One thing – don’t super pack in the keywords. Your content has to be readable. The standard rule is no more than 5% keywords.

  • Good websites have content that has been written with the user in mind.
  • Crappy websites have unreadable copy crammed full of keywords that was written for a robot.

Other keyword uses

Keywords are not just for your site’s content, they’re also for your site’s tags, descriptions and headlines for your content. You should also create specific pages for each of your search keywords and terms.

Finally, get Google + and Get Local

No too long ago Google introduced “Blended” results into searches. Blended include a blend of both websites and local business information – mostly from Google+ Local Pages and are typically displayed like this:

Blended search
For this “car insurance” search Google displayed location-based results in prime real-estate right on page 1. Creating a Google + Local page takes about 10 minutes, but Google will find it (Google loves Google +), and in a short while your business will pop up on page one for all local searches for your keywords and search phrases.

Another must for local search: Make sure you claim your listing and fill it out with as much information about your business as you can think of. Use keywords and highlight your products and service. Once you’ve done that, create a Local Google Page. Again, fill out the profile with business details, add a bunch of photos  and make sure you include your logo.

Finally, you have to spread that link to your customers, your personal and professional network, employees and friends and ask/beg them for business ratings and reviews.

Oh, and one last thing

Set up Google Analytics for your site so you can see how well you are doing.

You are off to a good start

Some of this may sound silly, but this is what Google likes – and let’s face it, since 1998, they’re running the show. That’s all you have to do to get going on SEO for your small business. A full blown SEO campaign for your site will be money well spend (as long as you sign with a reputable SEO company – there are many, many posers out there), but if you’re just getting going, take these simple baby steps to get yourself familiar with the process.

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NEWT mini – The “Goldilocks” business phone system

e-bk-easy-readers-04goldilocks-pic3-animWe all grew up on “The Three Bears” where this punk little girl named Goldilocks finds a house in the forest, breaks in, and proceeds to steal all the owner’s porridge but only eating the one she likes best. Then she tries the furniture and smashes the one she liked the most.

Full and exhausted from all that vandalism, she passes out in the kid’s bed, only to be awoken later by the owners.

Terrified at getting caught, Goldilocks screams, runs around the room and just manages to make her escape. Lucky thing as the Bear family, who were the victims of her crime spree, were not in the least bit amused.

This decidedly strange kid’s story has lead to a business theory named after this juvenile delinquent:

Testing three examples or any item, Goldilocks is able to determine that one of them is always too much in one extreme (too hot or too large), one is too much in the opposite extreme (too cold or too small), and one is “just right”. The “Goldilocks principle” states that something must fall within certain margins, as opposed to reaching extremes. When the effects of the principle are observed, it is known as the “Goldilocks effect.”

We introduced our NEWT Managed PBX business phone system it was designed for medium to enterprise sized business. A robust phone technology, it was designed to provide superior communications services to the majority of Canadian businesses, or so we thought. After being in the marketplace, we recognized that we were actually missing out on most of Canadian businesses.

Research showed us that, of the one million Canadian businesses, 610K have 1 to 4 employees, and another 219K have 5- 9 employees meaning approximately 80% of all Canadian businesses require four lines or less. Last year we introduced the NEWT Business Bundle, for companies that only needed a couple of phone lines. Today we’re introducing NEWT mini that brings big business functionality to organizations that only require four lines.

newt_mini_logoNEWT mini is designed with the same powerful feature set as our full fledged NEWT PBX but is a cost-effective alternative for single and multi-location businesses.

NEWT mini has over 60+ features included and is backed by our same 24/7 business class support. Like its bigger brother, mini runs on Fibernetics CLEC private voice and data network, not over the public internet. A fully managed hosted solution and the latest technology avoids headaches associated with older, less robust PBX systems. This hybrid end-to-end solution makes NEWT mini dependable and scalable, while delivering significant cost savings to a company’s bottom line.

Goldilocks might have been a hooligan first offender, but she was onto something. Products, to be suitable for all consumers, need to be flexible to address their specific needs. In other words, they have to be “just right”.

For companies looking for an enterprise business phone solution for their smaller sized organization, the NEWT mini is just that.

newt_mini_diagram2

For more information on NEWT mini, please call us at 1 (855) 366-1773 or set up a callback HERE.

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Businesses Should Show Some Love for Valentine’s Day

ChaucerAnother February 14th is here and that means another Valentine’s Day has rolled around; that “celebration of love” that sets a guy’s budget back a few hundred bucks (at least) in order to avoid the “look”.

Valentine’s Day has taken a bit of a hit of late as it’s being portrayed as just another “Hallmark holiday”; a corporate cash grab supported by the card, flower and diamond industry. While it has morphed into just that, its roots are centuries old, dating back to 1382 in Geoffrey Chaucer‘s Parlement of Foules

Chaucer wrote:

For this was on seynt Volantynys day

Whan euery bryd comyth there to chese his make.

[“For this was on St. Valentine’s Day, when every bird cometh there to choose his mate.”]


Somethings pretty legit if it has 14th century love birds in it don’t you think? Yet, it is what it has become – a guilt driven buying frenzy instead of its original intent – a reminder that it’s always a good idea to show your significant other some love.

The same goes for business. How about using Valentines day to remember that, when it comes to organizations, all relationships matter. And just like the personal variety, business relationships take work and need constant nurturing.

Bump your business relationships up a notch – get personal: Cold corporate communication is so 2000’s. With the onset of social media and the loosening up of the vernacular, a business that still positions itself as lofty, distant, aloof and impenetrable is shooting itself in the foot. Openness and transparency aren’t just a trend, they are an expected reality, and if your business is keeping itself distant from your customers, you could be in danger of a breakup.

It’s the little things that count: Not every customer contact has to be a marketing scheme. When was the last time you called up a key customer just to say, “hello”? Taking your partner for granted is the quickest route to splitsville.

Give something special to that special someone: Every business has their best customer. Why not express your gratitude with a special perk, a discount coupon, a deal or a co-promotion? If you want your partner to keep you happy, keep them happy.

Develop your listening skills: “He never listens to me” is the No.1 complaint women have for men. It’s also the No.1 customer service complaint as well. Tuning out your customers leaves them no alternative but to look elsewhere.

Share the love: Use social media to promote your customers. On Twitter, say thanks to new or loyal followers  in a “Follow Friday” tweet. Say thanks on Facebook and promote their businesses to your followers. Feature them in newsletters. Create unsolicited testimonials for the businesses you do business with. Nothing says “I love you” more than shouting it out loud.

Finally, love the one you’re with: Your organization is happiest when your employees are invested in making your relationship work. Keeping them happy will ensure that they will help spread the love… and stop straying.

Valentine’s day has certainly changed since Chaucer’s day. But the spirit is – more or less – still there. It’s heart is on the right place as it were. Use it as a reminder that your significant other, in whatever part of your life, deserves attention, care and respect.

Now if you’ll excuse me, I’m off to the store to get my special someone something really special.

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We’re Hiring: Do you want to be in Control?

Want to Join our Team?

Want to Join our Team?

Fibernetics Corporation is searching for an energized Controller to join our finance team during a period of growth.  Reporting to the VP Finance, the successful candidate will be responsible for complex accounting analyses, reviewing month-end working papers prepared by other members of the finance team, managing cash flows, developing internal controls and submitting all tax filings on a timely basis.  The Controller will also assist the VP Finance with budgeting, forecasting and other ad hoc reporting as requested.

Desired Skills and Experience

This is a hands-on position requiring strong organizational and time management skills to effectively plan and prioritize workloads in order to meet deadlines.  The successful candidate must be able to work independently as well as part of a team, show initiative and possess a positive attitude.  Candidates must be designated (CA or CGA designation preferred) in combination with a minimum of 5 years of relevant experience.  The successful candidate will demonstrate strong analytical and technical accounting skills as well as the ability to identify opportunities for improvement in internal controls.  The ideal candidate will have experience in the telecommunications industry.  Strong systems skills, including advanced Excel, are required.  Experience with Dynamics GP is a definite asset.

  • Term: 1 year contract (to cover a maternity leave)
  • Benefits: group life, health & dental, vision
  • Vacation: 4 weeks per year
  • Services: Internet and/or home phone for $5 month
  • Onsite gym

Apply here

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