Is Your Small Business Using Social Media to its Greatest Potential?

March 19, 2012 by · Leave a Comment 

This guest post was submitted to The Anywhere Office by Dominick Frasso of Vistage International

The way businesses connect with their customers has changed dramatically in the past 20 years. The Internet completely revamped the way we do business. Today, however, another trend-within-a-trend is once again changing things up. Social media have taken the consumer marketplace by storm. Rather than looking to the yellow pages or calling up a friend for a recommendation, customers are seeking others pinions on Facebook and Twitter. 
The smart small business will put social media to work for them, bringing in new customers and providing new avenues for customer service and customer referrals.
Yet, simply having a social media strategy isn’t enough. You need to use social media in the most effective way possible if you’re going to see a true social media ROI.
 Here are some things your small business needs to be doing if you want to get the most from social media:

  • Choose a central social media hub around which all else revolves. For some businesses, Facebook makes sense. For others, it will be Twitter. Small businesses can easily spread themselves too thin across several social media platforms, and wind up making effective use of none of them. Figure out where your target market is, and build your social media presence there. Channel all of you social media efforts right there. Read more

Cloud Constraints: Relieving the Pressures Working at Home Creates

June 22, 2011 by · 6 Comments 

This is only the second guest post we have had here on The Anywhere Office. I was delighted when Ripley Daniels approached me about writing this for the blog. As someone who has been working virtual for years and now works with a company that is completely remote she has some great lessons learned to share about making the shift to virtual work.

I was just talking with someone the other day about when I first started working primarily from my home office.  The adjustment period took at least 6 months for me to find my workflow and adjust to my space (or adjust my space to my work).  Ripley shares some essential strategies here to help make the transition easier.

Thanks for the great article Ripley . . . take it away . . .

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Being a telecommuter may seem like a dream come true but there are often many aspects of working from home that can cause tension, stress and even depression. For most people, transitioning from an office environment to a home office is both daunting and difficult. The office environment facilitates a social setting where you interact with your co-workers throughout the day. Working from home immediately limits your opportunity to socialize and at times can create a sense of isolation that can be hard to adjust to. Another possible change you will undergo is balancing your work and home life. This can be extremely challenging as working from home blurs the lines.

In order to get the most out of your telecommuting experience, it’s important to have a strategy. Here are some simple steps to help relieve the pressure and tension that working at home might create:

  1. Create a specific work space. There is nothing more distracting than trying to work in front of the television or in a common area where the children might be playing or your spouse might be on the phone. If possible, turn a guest room into a home office where you can set up a desk, computer and other office supplies as well as where you can hold conference calls and teleconference calls without any distractions or disruptions. If you do not have an additional room or space, designate a Read more

Catch my video chat with Dave and Brian on Freelance Jam

June 14, 2011 by · 4 Comments 

A few weeks ago I had the pleasure of joining my friends Dave Yankowiak and Brian Casel on their awesome web video show Freelance Jam. Dave runs AnywhereMan.com and once we met on Twitter and chatted on Skype we knew we had a lot in common! The show is targetted toward independent professionals who build the web but anyone who runs a small business can learn a lot from their guests and discussions.

In this edition of the show we talked about things like how to build trust with clients you may never meet face to face, working in virtual teams, what effect technology has on the shift from employee to freelancer and the future of the “anywhere lifestyle” – being able to do the work where and when you want. Read more

Announcing the Winner of the Signed Copy of The New Small

April 4, 2011 by · 2 Comments 

Phil Simon's book on small business technology - cloud computing, Saas, Open Source Software, Mobility, Social MediaI’d like to thank everyone that entered the contest to win a signed copy of Phil Simon’s book The New Small.  I asked you to share  your 2 “must-have” free or open-source tools that help you run your business in the comments section of the video interview I did with Phil. There were lots of good suggestions and hopefully you discovered some new tools to explore. I hope even though the contest is over you will continue to contribute your suggestions and essential tools.

Today I chose one comment at random and I’m please to announce that Russell Milland will be the proud owner of The New Small – congrats Russell!

If you didn’t win – you should definitely get yourself a copy of Phil’s book.  It is a hand in a glove with all the tools, strategies, and shifts we talk about here on The Anywhere Office.  And if you haven’t watched the interview yet – check it out.  Phil and I had some great discussions.

BTWIn looking for a way to pick a random comment as a winner I used one of the 5 enablers Phil mentions in the New Small – Free and Open Source software!  I went to the iPhone App store and found Random NumGenerator – a great free app that let me put in the number of comments and then with one tap choose a random number.  Gotta love it!

 

‘Work doesn’t have to suck…’: My conversation with Phil Simon about The New Small, mobile work technology, and workshifting (book giveaway)

March 28, 2011 by · 22 Comments 

I had the pleasure the other day to sit down virtually with author and small business technology expert Phil Simon for a skype video interview to talk about his book “The New Small“.  I recently finished it and in my opinion is a must read for any small business owner, entrepreneur, or solo professional or those thinking about making the jump.

At the end of this post (and the video) I explain how you can enter to win the free signed copy of Phil’s book that he graciously gave me for a lucky reader of The Anywhere Office!

In his book Phil Simon describes “The New Small”: a dynamic breed of  small businesses using 5 key emerging technologies to grow, thrive, and compete with larger companies. Phil breaks it down to these 5 enablers:

  • Cloud computing
  • Software as a Service (SaaS)
  • Free and open source software (FOSS)
  • Mobility
  • Social technologies

I have long talked about these technologies here on The Anywhere Office – but I love the way Phil Simon codified these 5 as the core that level the playing field. By making smart, strategic use of these 5 enablers, your small business can be flexible, lean, and fun. And as he points out – meaningful work is a big part of what makes up The New Small. Read more

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