Is Your Old, Outdated Phone System Causing You More Problems Than It’s Worth?

If you think you have outgrown your current phone system and are tired of constant downtime, dropped calls, repairs and maintenance, it might be time for you to consider a VoIP system for your office.

The right VoIP system can likely save a considerable amount of money AND give you more features and flexibility to support customers, drive sales and manage calls throughout your office.

Here Are 3 Big Reasons Why Thousands Of Small Businesses Are Trading In Their Current Phone System For VoIP:

  1. Drastically reduces your phone bill. If you have multiple offices, or even remote workers, new voice-over IP technology integrates your data and voice networks to drastically reduce long distance and lease line charges you are currently paying.
  2. Eliminates expensive technician visits. These new systems are built so that your current IT person or company could easily maintain it in-house. No more waiting around for high-priced phone technicians to show up or paying high service call fees.
  3. FREE voice mail, auto attendant, call processing, automatic call distribution. New VoIP systems come with all features included. À la carte add-ons are now a thing of the past. Imagine a phone that can automatically get to you anywhere and everywhere with a click of the button and much more.

Free Phone Audit Shows You How To Save $1,000 to $3,000 Guaranteed In 2015

If you currently have an old PBX legacy system, sign up to receive a Free Phone Audit and we will come out to your office and do a complete communications analysis for your company. At the end of our audit, we’ll summarize our findings and show you exactly where we can save you a bundle this year.

Call our office today at 724.235.8750 to get started.

 

Social Media Marketing Tools: 8 Picks

OK, everyone knows Facebook, Twitter and LinkedIn. You should already have a social media plan for your business that includes these, but what others might be useful to your business?

New social media marketing tools seem to pop up every day, so here’s some help sorting the best from the rest:

  1. Mention: Google Alerts for the social web. Mention helps you monitor your brand’s presence on social networks, forums, blogs and more. It also includes social features that allow you to respond to men-tions of your brand and to share industry news that you find.
  2. Buffer: Social media pub-lishing plus powerful analytics. Buffer is a powerful so-cial media tool that lets you schedule your updates to Twitter, Facebook, LinkedIn, Google+ and App.net.
  3. Feedly: Content discovery. Finding great content to share with your audience is easy with Feedly. Not only can you subscribe to RSS feeds to keep on top of industry blogs and news sites, you can also use Feedly to discover new content related to your topics of interest.
  4. Twitter Counter: Track Twitter progress. It can be easy to lose track of how your Twitter account is growing; that’s where Twitter Counter comes in. It’s a free service that tracks changes in your follower count and predicts future growth over time.
  5. Zapier: Link favorite social services. Zapier connects the services you use independently. For example, if your team uses HipChat to keep in touch, you can use Zapier to set up automatic notifications inside HipChat rooms for Tweets, Mail-Chimp campaigns or new RSS items.
  6. Bottlenose: Intelligence for social networks. Bottlenose features a real-time search engine that queries all public information from social networks and groups and displays it in algorithmic order of importance. The result is a stream of content ranked by most to least important.
  7. Followerwonk: Follower analysis for Twitter. Although you can use a tool like Twitter Counter to watch the growth of the number of your Twitter followers, you may need to analyze your followers more carefully. Followerwonk breaks down your followers into demographics so you can understand them better.
  8. Quintly: Social analytics for brands. Quintly is a powerful tool for in-depth social media analytics, helping you track your business’s social media performance on Facebook.

 

Take Your Profit First, Always

The formula for profitability has been established for ages. Every business owner, CEO, freelancer and entrepreneur knows it. It is required by Generally Accepted Accounting Principles (GAAP), which is enforced by the SEC in the US and the International Accounting Standards Board internationally. GAAP’s fundamental formula for profit is simple: Sales – Expenses = Profit

There is just one problem…the formula hurts profitability. There is a reason that 21 million out of 28 million small businesses in the US are surviving check to check. It’s not that 21 million people are smart enough to start and build a business, yet not smart enough to turn a profit—it’s that they are relying on a flawed formula. “Sales – Expenses = Profit” is a lie. The formula doesn’t yield a profit.

Logically, of course, the formula is sound. A business must first sell in order to generate inbound cash flow. Then the business deducts the expenses utilized to deliver its product or service and to run its operations. What remains is profit.
While the GAAP formula makes logical sense, it ignores the fact that it is managed by people. We are, first and foremost, emotional beings, prone to ignore (or even defy) logic.

Arguably, money is the ultimate resource. In GAAP’s “Sales – Expenses = Profit” formula, the business owner sees the cumulative deposits (resource) from sales and has a propensity to conclude that all the money is available for expenses (the demand expands to match the supply). The new equipment purchase is justified because the money is there. A new hire starts, because the money is there. Profit? It is an afterthought. Therefore, there rarely is any.

Now consider a new formula, where a business takes profit first: Sales – Profit = Expenses

Mathematically, the formula is identical to GAAP’s. But from the perspective of human behavior, the Profit First formula is radically different. In the Profit First formula, a preset percentage of deposits generated through sales are first allocated to profit. The remainder is used to pay expenses.

In practice, as deposits from sales come in, a predetermined percentage—for example 15%—is immediately transferred to a separate profit account. The remainder is available for the business leader to run business as usual. The business owner will see his available cash (which has had the profit already deducted) and make decisions accordingly. The new equipment purchase may be delayed, or a more cost-effective alternative may be found. A new hire won’t be made because the money is not there, and perhaps the entrepreneur will conclude it was unnecessary in the first place.

GAAP offers so much more in business insights than most entrepreneurs could imagine, but it does fall short on working with an entrepreneur’s “bank balance” habit. I have become an advocate for the Profit First approach to cash management, because of the one thing it does do extremely well. It works with the natural habit of business owners.

Profit First has transformed my own businesses for the better (if you consider consistent profits better). Admittedly, Profit First is not the panacea to all cash-flow problems, but it surely makes profit a habit.

MIKE MICHALOWICZ and IT Princess of Power Leia Shilobod. Mike is the CEO of Provendus Group, a consulting firm that ignites explosive growth in companies that have plateaued; a former small-business columnist for The Wall Street Journal; MSNBC’s business makeover expert; a keynote speaker on entrepre-neurship; and the author of the cult classic book The Toilet Paper Entrepreneur. His new-est book, The Pumpkin Plan, has already been called “the next E-Myth!” For more infor-mation, visit http://www.mikemichalowicz.com/

Internet Vigilance

Despite constant development in security and stability, the Internet still remains like the wild West. Cybercriminals want information, with no regard to the damage they do.

FYI: This morning, in the period of one minute, there were hundreds of cyber-attacks originating in China, targeting the United States.

What can you do? Stay vigilant.

Visit web sites you know and trust: This is the simplest and most effective way to keep safe. Keep your web browser and computers up-to-date with the latest patches and security updates: Although your office computers are kept up-to-date with Worry Free IT, don’t forget your home computers. Know web sites you input personal information or credit card information into are secure: Look at the address bar. If you see “https” you are on a secure web page. If you see “http” you are not on a secure web page.

Shiny New Gadget Of The Month:
iPhone Binoculars

If you’ve ever wanted to add more utility to your Apple iPhone, SkyMall’s iPhone Binoculars might be what you’re looking for. These binoculars, featuring 36mm lenses, attach onto the back of your phone via a sturdy and specially designed case. The case lines up the iPhone’s camera with one of the binocular’s lenses, giving your camera 8x magnification.

While it’s not going to blow any optic aficionados away, it increases the usefulness of your iPhone’s camera. Just open up the camera app to see the magnified image. Turn your phone into a viewfinder to take pictures or record video. Or just watch what your binoculars capture. You can even use the binoculars separately from the iPhone for doubled utility!

The binoculars also come with a travel case and cleaning cloth, and are currently compatible with the iPhone 5/5s and iPhone 4/4s.

GET IT DONE

Do you feel overwhelmed because of the massive amount of tasks you have to get done? Do you ever wish your staff could just ‘get it together?’ You need David Allen and his book “Getting Things Done.”

David Allen developed a system based on brain science that helps us to get and stay organized, and the ability to reach a truly productive state he calls “mind like water;” a state of clarity and flowing thought.

His methods have been used by high powered CEO’s, celebrities, and every day business people to help them find success in their business and personal lives.

When I heard him speak, I knew I had just found what I needed to get that extra edge I to skyrocket my productivity. I have personally found these concepts so valuable that we have been reading and implementing Getting Things Done (which we fondly refer to as GTD) as an entire company…. And the results are already fantastic.

As we look to a new year full of exciting changes and growth in our businesses, consider reading and implementing GTD with your staff.

To your continued success,

Who Else Wants To Win A $25 Gift Card?

The Grand Prize Winner from last month’s Trivia Challenge was Thomas Sylvester of Commercial Bank and Trust!

Here’s this month’s trivia question. The winner will receive a $25 VISA Gift Card.

To ring in the New Year in Spain, it is traditional to do what on each chime of the clock?

a) Eat a grape
b) Take a sip of wine
c) Clap your hands
d) Light a candle

Email us right now with your answer! info@intechit.net