Let’s Network

3bd653325fa2e2b1e3d63181db592b9aIt is important to be able to network around with associates, people in your field of business, and people that could help with you any part of your life. I have learned through my usage of the internet and other various business activities, that networking with others is very important and that it is one of those pass times that I do enjoy. This post may be a little different but I enjoy it and it’s something that can still be used online. Everyone networks in many different mediums. Online, at events, on the street, in meetings, and so many more forums. Here, I will be talking about two forums that I was just involved with this past two weeks.

The first event is the Third Annual Build Your Network For Success  event that Delta Sigma Pi put on at the Student Union in Reno. We networked with those at our tables, which were both students and professionals, over a nice dinner. Afterwards, there was a panel of professionals invited to the stage for a question and answer session between the students and the professionals. There was also a keynote speaker, Mark Babbitt, CEO and founder of YouTern. While not fully participatory, I was a part of the event by helping to run the Twitter feed that the questions were posted on and later displayed during the panel’s allotted time. From this, I personally spoke with Babbitt and made connections with other member’s of the panel.

The other event I was a part of was the Enactus Regional Competition yesterday in Seattle, Washington. During the time that our team was not giving a presentation about our projects, we networked with professionals and other teams from around the country. There was a career fair with businesses like AT&T, Home Depot, PepsiCo, Sam’s Club, Walgreens, and many others. It’s important to talk to these people and get as much information as possible about the company and what sort of positions they are looking for. Besides the job fair, there was also a luncheon where members of Enactus and the professionals sat together and discussed a specific topic while also learning about each other. I absolutely love the discussions that are had and the views of other people that aren’t from my own field in business or region of the country.

Of course, as a reminder, make sure that you follow up with anyone that gave you a business card to say thank you and to keep on contact with them. That always leads to important and sustaining relationships with people that could easily help you in the future.

How do you network? Do you feel that networking is an important component to the business world?

 

Picture Source: Enactus

The System

We have talked a lot about businesses and their way to advertise and expand their customer base through online tools. Now, we’re going to take a step back and go back to basics. When first starting with IT in your business, there is a big question that is necessary to answer: What computer system should I use? Now, this question can’t have a universal answer because businesses have different needs to attend to. Here we shall go through some of the most popular of the systems that businesses use for their computers. These are Windows, Apple, and Linux.

Microsoft Windows

3D-Windows-7From all the classes I’ve taken, all I’ve heard is that Microsoft Windows is the computer system to use. While it is definitely one of the most common systems for businesses, there are still problems that can’t be glossed over. Currently, businesses that have been around a decent time work with Windows XP. The problem is that Microsoft is soon not going to be protecting users with Windows XP. This means that businesses will soon be more susceptible to cyber attacks. This is just an example of how much Windows changes over time and the consequences for not being up-to-date are extensive. When it comes to new updates, Microsoft users must once again purchase the program. Still, there are good qualities of Microsoft Windows for businesses. With the new improvements to the system, Windows has become more user friendly, mobile, universal, and expansive with their programs. Windows has become available with computers, tablets, and other mobile devices. Windows is currently one of the top computer systems for businesses along side our next system.

Apple

appleApple is becoming bigger and bigger in the market as the years go by. In the past years, more and more people can see more and more iPads in the hands of business people in the world. The market growth is rising slowly in the business world but it is still relatively small. While the system is less popular than Windows, it is growing. Many of the programs come in both Microsoft format and Apple format so many business people can use the same software while on different systems. Still, Apple is still small enough that businesses still have their reservations about the company and system. Apple is slowly changing though after the death of Steve Jobs now that they are catering more towards businesses as well as the consumer.

Linux

content_3This final platform is one system that is good but isn’t used often due to reluctant business owners. There are many advantages to using windows but it is understandable that businesses don’t use it. While some of Linux’s systems are user friendly, there are still some that are not easy to use. The programs that are run with Linux are not the same as Windows and Apple in most cases which allows for problems. Still, there are advantages to the system. The system is open source which allows for businesses to get their programs for free, create their own programs, and give allowance for the businesses to be able to create their very own customized system.

Photo Credit: Microsoft Windows | Apple | Linux

What system is the most popular, most used? What is your opinion on the choices?

Signing On

social-media-buttonsThere are always those important components to a business that groups preach about. There’s the need to advertise, the need to have community outreach; with the I.T. department and also marketing/management department, there is social media. Social media is an important and fundamental tool for a business that wants to have their brand online. While we have discussed how important it is to have a website, it is also necessary to know how important it is to have eyes in ears in social media as well. Now, this isn’t a rundown of what I have learned in my own class about social media. This is what I have learned from personal experience and a little addition to fill the gaps from class. I have always believed that social media is one of the most important tools for a business to have and have preached it to the businesses that I have helped with online work.

There are multiple websites that businesses should be located on. These include Facebook, Twitter, a blogging platform, Google, Yelp and LinkedIn plus many others. There should be a way for online customers to be able to contact the business and a way for the business to get their brand out to those customers. Social media can be used for so many different things to help a business. Customers can send private messages if there are any questions, businesses can post any promotions that are being held, customers can post up reviews about their experiences, and one of the most important uses, the business can get their name out by customers sharing their pages around.

An article for Business 2 Community has shown that social media has actually helped budgets for different businesses. Having a decent strategy for marketing your website is fundamental for success. The article also gives factors that are needed to be considered to have a positive result that can help budget your business.

  1. Prepare your social media strategy
  2. Preparing and optimizing the social profiles
  3. Content development for social media platforms
  4. Running and managing the social media campaign
  5. Monitoring the progress on the social media platform

If you aren’t good at getting social media set up, keep a look out for companies that will help out. One example is Business Breakthroughs International. They will help with different tools to help your business grow and flourish online for the world to see.

Now, say you are an individual but you have a brand that you want to promote, you can easily use these social media outlets as well in the same manner. Take these tools and turn them into what you need and can use for yourself.

Picture Credit

How do you interact with businesses through social media? Does social media help your business? Need any help with social media for your business or need tips and tricks, just comment below!

Build a Website

They way I help the business world is through the use of Information Technology/Systems. This is what I will be talking about for the rest of the time with odd articles here and there about other business information.

A big question is, Do businesses need to have an online presence? This can be discussed at more length in Global Market. For now though, we will talk about the website dedicated to the business. Why should you make a website for your company? According to an article in Business Daily, there a company should have a website and if the site is more interactive there will be more visitors and customers.

While I agree with this, there are many different ways to make a presence online for your company. There are definitely businesses that are small enough that they don’t need an online presence. In my perspective, if your business is like this, get a Facebook like page. That way you can post your hours, contact information, new products, and any deals going on. I see this happen a lot for small town businesses that only have one shop and is owned locally. An example of this would be The Treasure Chest which is located in small town Salina, Utah.

For those that are big enough for a website, there are many tools available to make them. To begin with, there are many sites that host websites. My personal favorite is GoDaddy.com. It’s very inexpensive and subscriptions last a year. Once you get an account on GoDaddy, they ask if you want to download wordpress.org or any of the other tools they are linked to that help build your website. If you know internet programming as well, it gives you a boost. Some important languages would be HTML, JavaScript, ASP.NET, PHP, and Cascading Style Sheets. There are also other websites that have done the code already and you can add attributes easily without having to worry about messing something up in the code. Such websites would be Weebly.com or Wix.com.

The following are some tips to use when you are in the designing stage of your website:

  • Don’t have too many pictures to clutter the page(s)
  • Don’t have a lot of Flash items on your page as that will slow the page(s) down
  • Make sure your navigation is understandable, correct, and available
  • Make sure your color palette looks good. Don’t do something too bright, dark, or colors that just don’t go together.
  • Make sure your links and information are correct and up-to-date
  • Check spelling and grammar
  • Use a template if you aren’t confident about your color scheme or design

There many other tips to look at as well. Many of these are from personal experience and other websites like about.com and cyberindian.com.

If you want to sell items online, make sure that you have a decent look for your online store and that your shopping cart and third-party payment system is correctly working and secure. If your website is starting to boom and your traffic is decent, start thinking about investing in advertisers on your website and advertising on others. This brings more traffic and if you do it right, your business can get money for advertising other businesses and websites on your page. Finally, say you are a blogger and you make a webpage. Ask other bloggers to advertise this way as well. It’s a win-win situation.

Have you made a website before? Comment below to give any personal tips. If you haven’t, leave comments with any questions or comments.

A Heart in Business

For those that have read my blog before today, you can probably deduct that I am once again changing around my blog as I have done multiple times since I began blogging. For those that are just starting to read now, welcome! Hopefully this shall be the last and final time that I completely change around my blog as I have finally be driven in the right direction of what exactly I want to do with this blog.

My love for community service has grown and evolved over the years. Now, it includes community service in the business world and in my personal life. Most people view community service as helping in soup kitchens, cleaning up trash, etc. but I view it in a different light. Through my experience I have learned that community service is also about helping businesses be self-sufficient and help the local economy. Community service is also about being a part of the local community. I have meshed these two together to create my brand that I believe embodies what my message about my beliefs is.

Now you may be asking, What exactly is her purpose for this blog now? This blog is a mix of personal posts to add to the local melting pot and professional posts that can potentially help businesses that are local or attempting growth or are looking to be self-sustaining with help in the IT department. The blog shall be laid out in different categories such as professional posts or personal posts. You may click on the category you want to view on the left hand side. There will also be times when I post a set of professional series on a certain topic that seems to be of interest to my readers.