Category Archives: Canadian Business Tips

If you don’t know what “Mobilegeddon” is, your business is in trouble

MobilegeddonChange is upon us. As of April 21st, Google shook up the world of search results. This revolution, nicknamed “Mobilegeddon”, has the potential to be extremely destructive to many brands, especially small businesses.

Google has determined that about 60% percent of online users are using a mobile device to access web material. In reaction, Google rolled out their latest search algorithm which ranks websites higher based on how mobile-friendly they are. If a brands online material doesn’t adapt properly when being accessed from a mobile device, web traffic and online engagement will diminish significantly. Even small businesses or brands with a separate mobile site ­that redirects users to a different domain ­will be negatively impacted in their page rank.

Google Page Two: Where Brands go to Die

Google announced the change to the algorithm on the 26th of February in their webmaster blog and many companies either weren’t paying attention or couldn’t redevelop their site in just two-and-a-half months.

Plus, this was a surprise so few had the foresight to allocate the budget for a complete a redevelopment of their site to be responsive.

Quality content that educates the consumer has been the focus for Google over the past several years. Their insistence that brands be honest brokers when it comes to their products and services has resulted in a sea of change on how information is presented online. Richer, deeper, better, brands are rewarded with higher page rank based on their content.

Now, Google is adding in an emphasis on the user experience with this change. This transition is occurring because mobile usage continues to become more dominant within our technology based society. According to research from comScore, “smartphone usage is up 394 percent, and tablet usage is up a whopping 1,721 percent as these platforms now combine to account for 60 percent of digital media time spent…Mobile-only internet usage is also becoming more common, driven predominantly by Millennials, of which 21 percent are no longer using desktop computers to go online.”

This algorithm will focus on sites that have large text, easily accessible links and ones which can sufficiently resize based on the mobile device being used. Businesses need to embrace the change and adapt quickly if they desire to remain relevant within their respective market. In order to make a website consistent with Google’s new guidelines, they need to focus on adjusting the size of content, its configuration and the contextual spacing of the site.

To learn more about how to make a website mobile-friendly or to test the functionality of a site, visit Google’s Mobile-Friendly Guide.

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Business Tip: Cut editing times by tricking MS Word

GrrrIt’s been driving me crazy for years, and this morning I’d had enough. There’s simply has to be another way!

I’m talking about when I’m given the job of rewriting or updating something from a PDF and when I copy & paste it into word, my first task is to take all the time I’d originally allotted for the whole job, to get the text ready to do the job. I’m talking about those pesky invisible line breaks and paragraphs that make formatting such a pain in the butt.

How to instantly remove unwanted line breaks when copying from a PDF

If you just grab the text and paste it straight in, you will often get these sorts of effects, where the lines don’t reach the right-hand edge of the page:

In order to make the process relevant and

accessible to industry, stage two has seen the

group working on two case studies with a

Or:

The opinions expressed in this publication are those of the authors, and do not represent the views of the Institute
of Materials, Minerals and Mining, its Council or its officers except where explicitly identified as such. This publication
is copyright under the Berne Convention and the international Copyright Convention

Richard Cooper is Web & New Media Development Manager for IOM3 and he posted this handy and easy way to trick Word into that making the job simple.

replaceBasically all it does is automatically replace all the unwanted line breaks with a single space, making all the text run together into a single paragraph:

  1. copy the text you want from the PDF
  2. paste into a new Word document
  3. click “find” then “replace”
  4. make sure you’re in the “find what” field
  5. click “more” then “special”
  6. select “paragraph mark” (top of the list)
  7. click into the “replace with” field
  8. press the space bar once
  9. click “replace all”
  10. click “ok” then close the “find & replace” box.

That’s it. Instantly you’ll be left with all the text and nothing but the text that you can instantly start manipulating as you see fit. Hope this helps you out as much as it will for me.

I just can’t believe I’ve waited so many years to look it up

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It turns out, Steve Jobs wasn’t such a jerk after all

st_2133673bDon Melton was the guy who oversaw the creation of Safari, Apple’s web browser.

That meant that on a day to day basis, he worked with Steve Jobs, and his dealings with the greatest product development genius of our times runs contrary to the image that most of us have of him; that he was a jerk, a slave driver, and not just a terrible boss, but a terrible person.

Jobs’ negative image, painted by third and fourth party stories, are legend in the tech industry, but like most legends, while there is some truth there, most of it is fiction.

Melton, who left Apple in 2012, has started a new career as a writer and is blogging about his encounters with the late Apple co-founder. “Memories of Steve,” reveals Jobs the leader, thinker, and colleague in vivid first-person detail. Jobs’ reputation as a brilliant but difficult person to work for is well known, but Melton’s you-are-there accounts paint a more nuanced picture of a man consumed by the intensity of his vision. Melton says Jobs wasn’t a jerk. Inventing the future means you just don’t have much time to waste.

“I wanted to get the intensity but humanity across,” Melton told WIRED Magazine after his post had become an online hit–attention he says he wasn’t actively seeking. If there is some higher purpose, he says it’s to convey that life at Apple was regular people trying to do marvelous things, sometimes succeeding, but sometimes failing big time.

“I want people to just see a glimpse inside the factory,” he says, “not to tell the company secrets but to let people know this was real people–just a bunch of folks standing around talking, trying to figure out how to change the world.”

Learn more about how Steve Jobs built and managed Apple from a guy who was actually there.

 Memories of Steve

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Is it time to upgrade your Business Phone System?

Maybe it's time for an upgrade...

Maybe it’s time for an upgrade…

Considering how rapidly things have advanced in the past few years, chances are good the answer to that is, “yes.”

For over a century the phone system has been the key tool for acquiring and retaining customers. It is what business people have been using to make or keep whoever is on the “end of the line” happy. Simply put, the business phone is the backbone for any successful enterprise.

That said, no one in their right mind would dream of using century old technology to get and keep in touch with customers. And due to the fact that technology has advanced so rapidly and fundamentally, today the same can be said for even decade old technology.

Today’s business communication technology advances are greatly enhancing the ability of people to communicate and coordinate with one another, both within and among organizations. These powerful new tools are nothing short of revolutionary, and if your business isn’t taking full advantage of them, you are falling behind.

So – what are the signs that your business phone system isn’t up to snuff any more? Here are probably the top five:

  1. Inability to handle call volume: Success comes with a lot of baggage, one of which is an exponential growth in the number of both incoming and outgoing phone calls over time. Verify that you have sufficient capacity on your local services and if your system has a predictable problem in keeping up with increased demands, it’s time to start your search for a new business phone system now.
  2. Inability to scale: You intend to keep growing your business – not to remain where you are. Yet for many companies on the verge of expansion, a constant barrier is a phone system unable to accommodate the addition of more extensions or users without being too expensive to justify the investment. If your business phone system can’t easily scale, neither can you.
  3. Lack of multiple-location support: Multiple offices no longer means multiple phone systems. Adding and managing extensions to external sites should take minutes, not months. If your current phone system can’t manage this simple, (by today’s standards) function, you need to upgrade.
  4. Incompatible with VoIP telephony: Simply put Voice over Internet Protocol (VoIP) is the present/future of both business and personal communications. Introduced in 2003, in ten years it’s gone from a cheap telecom alternative to best-in-class level of service. The feature set and flexibility of these systems separates them from traditional phone systems, and the ability to make voice calls via Internet produces significant savings for long-distance calls between the company branches or to non-local clients. If you’re company doesn’t support VoIP, you are missing out on a business advantage.
  5. Unsupportive of a mobile workforce: How do you define “in the office” today? Today’s business environment allows for constant communication regardless of where an employee is. Remote work forces are becoming more and more common. Your phone system should simplify the lives of your employees by making their jobs easier and more productive wherever they are. Tomorrow, it will be even more so, meaning if you’re not allowing for an expanded workplace and workforce, your business is falling behind.

These are just five of the many reasons to upgrade your business phone system and therefore your ability to communicate. Of course, the number one reason to always be striving to keep ahead of the curve is – if you don’t, your competition will.

For more information on upgrading your current phone system please call NEWT‘s business communication team at 1-888-996-6389 or email newtsales@fibernetics.ca.

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Communication Is At The Heart Of A Successful Business

attendant console toronto

Communication is the heart of every success business.  That statement has gone from being just a “general rule of thumb” to a really powerful business model.  Why?  Because technology has evolved our communication process and tools.  Your business isn’t just about your phone system anymore.  In today’s business world, you have to be accessible and informed.

That means you simply have to have the most advanced technology out there.   But if you don’t communicate effectively, all the hi-tech gagetry in the world isn’t going to give you an edge over your competitor.

Here are a couple of reasons why.

1.  The purest definition of communication is “imparting information or news”.  What kind of communication are you imparting when you speak with your clients?  Do they see your number come up and groan inwardly while simultaneously hitting that decline call button?  Your client is, well, your client.  They don’t want to hear about your dog, your wife, your hangover or your trip to Atlantic City.  And they certainly don’t want to hear how stressed out or busy YOU are.  You don’t want to be the caller they avoid.  Use your time wisely and communicate the information they need in a friendly but informative way.  Stick to the point.  It will go a long way in your business relationships.

2.  You know how busy you are?  Well, so is your client.  Their time is valuable – treat it that way.  Sure, you might have a ton of information for them.  But is a phone call the best way to impart that?  Sometimes, but not always.  Consider how critical your news is.  Is a quick call sufficient?  Can you leave a voice message?  Would an email be more efficient?   If there is a lot to cover, ask your client if they have the time to talk now.  If not, schedule a block of time in the future.  Don’t assume that just because YOU are calling and THEY answered, that they are available for a lengthy conversation.  Be aware and be considerate of your clients’ time.

Regardless of where you are, from Victoria to Toronto or anywhere in between, communication is truly the heart, or lifeblood, of your business.  Take a minute and consider how well you communicate.  Do you have the best tools?  Is your phone system outdated?  Do you have an attendant console, conference bridge, DID and voicemail to email capabilities?  If not, you might be losing customers because they can’t communicate with you.  And beyond your devices, how are your communication skills?  Do they need some updating, too?  Always remember that relationships are about people.  Learning to communicate efficiently, effectively and considerately will help you forge better and stronger relationships with your clients.

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Getting to Work Faster, So We Can Work Better

Virtual PBX Waterloo

Virtual PBX Waterloo – Helping You Work Faster and Better.

We need to get people moving.

That should be the mantra of the Waterloo city council next year. The city has a love/hate relationship with transportation. The stream of 10,000 cars, vans and delivery trucks takes people from point A to point B but the delays, traffic jams and stop and go traffic make short trips longer. The environmental impact is scary with that many cars making longer trips to hockey practice and work. Estimates say 52% of free hydrocarbons are from transportation related sources.

Another negative impact from sluggish transportation is productivity. The time lost to transportation for a worker with a traditional 9-5 office schedule may be up to three hours in traffic per workday. That quickly multiplies to 180 hours per fiscal quarter. If that time were decreased by just an hour a week, how much could you and your coworkers get done?

  • More days working after hours without fear of getting home at midnight.
  • More willingness to make trips outside the workplace for brainstorming sessions.
  • More face to face talks with clients and associates.
  • More time to use in informal research and development.

A faster way of getting from A to B would mean more time to produce ideas. More time to ask questions and look for answers. Less time commuting would increase a worker’s job options and increase potential employees. An increase in supply brings more competition into the job market, i.e. better, more qualified candidates.

Virtual PBX Waterloo can provide a state of the art call handling system but if the employees are not there to get the calls, business can suffer. What is a fast, efficient and environmentally sound way to move people? Buses and carpooling are no longer the best alternatives.

Monorails are clean, fast and efficient public transportation. If Homer Simpson is not conducting. Maglev and other forms of monorail trains have been safely in use for decades. If tracks are elevated it does not block common traffic. The 10 minute cross town commute alone should be reason enough to look into it.

http://business.fibernetics.ca

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Canadian Business Tips: Get All Your Employees to Ask Questions

success-pano_15320According to Hal Gregersen, a leadership and innovation professor at INSEAD and co-author of the book “The Innovator’s DNA,” asking questions is a practical tool to help you come up with new ideas, solve problems, and gain different perspectives.

To that end, Gregersen developed a questioning method, which he calls “Catalytic Questioning.” In a recent article in the Harvard Business Review, he describes how you can use Catalytic Questioning to nurture creative brainstorming, unearth new directions for your team or business, engage your employees, and determine innovative solutions.

Here’s how to implement this strategy

 

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