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Articles Related to Small, Medium Businesses, and Startups

Archive for 2011

Small Business Website Tips for Increasing Your Online Sales

Thursday, November 17th, 2011

Directing traffic to your website is only the first part of increasing your online sales. In the past we have often discussed the various methods for targeting your potential customers but what happens when they are actually on your website. Do your visitors follow through with a purchase or do your leads tend fizzle out? With this question in mind we offer the following suggestions to increase the likelihood of a sale once your customers are able find you on the Web. Increasing Website Sales

Ease Your Customer’s Fear:

With most transactions there are associated risks. It is very important to address these risks because they may immediately deter your potential customers. Having a secure website, a customer privacy policy, and offering a money back guarantee is just a few ways that you can put your customer’s fears to rest.

Create Value and Offer Incentives:

One of the great things about the Internet is that it allows people to easily explore their options however this can also make it hard for a business to stand out amongst competitors. It will help if you offer additional value whether it is through better pricing, a higher level of quality, or better customer service.

Display Genuine Testimonials:

The past positive experiences of your current customers can help encourage new customers to choose your products or services. People love reviews because they help them to predict their level of satisfaction based on the experiences of others. A positive and genuine customer testimonial can often prove to be a major factor in a visitor’s decision to choose your company over one of your competitors.

Build a Relationship:

Be sure to express product or service recommendations based on the information that your customers provide. Making a one-time sale might be your initial goal but you should always strive to build a long term or an ongoing business to client relationship. Nurturing this type of relationship will not only influence future business with that particular customer but it will also increase your reputation and show your potential customers that you care. Follow up emails, subscriptions, memberships, loyalty programs, customer satisfaction surveys, and product recommendations are all great ways to continue positive communication with your customers.

Additional suggestions include:

  • Allowing your customers to focus by limiting the number of products offered on each page.
  • Creating an attention grabbing headline for your products page.
  • Clearly expressing your products, how they work, and how it will benefit the customer.
  • Focusing on your visitor by using terms like “you and your” while avoiding “we, me, and I”.
  • Creating a sense of urgency without being pushy. For example use “limited time only” or “Available while supplies last”.
  • Using various color schemes and text formatting to grab your visitor’s attention.
  • Determining what methods, prices, or product features work best for your business and attracts more customers. (Split Testing)

These are just some basic suggestions that can be implemented to increase your online sales. I urge you not to stop here and continuously explore your own ideas to discover what works best for your business.

For additional tips please visit How to increase sales and 6 Sure Ways to Increase Sales!

Thanks for reading and Good Luck with increasing your business’s sales.

Dustin

CDTek.com

 

Dealing with Distractions and Staying Focused at Work

Thursday, November 10th, 2011

dealing with workplace distractions

Distraction can be a major obstacle for most people in the work environment. Filtering out the noise and staying focused on your daily tasks is often much easier said than done. Our daily routines, electronic devices, and environment all have the potential to stand in the way of us completing crucial assignments. The average distraction takes a person anywhere from 2-15 minutes to recover from once the distraction is actually removed. In order to overcome these distractions and conserve your precious work time you should try to incorporate some of the following suggestions into your work habits. For the purpose of this article the daily distractions that we encounter have been broken down into three categories mental, physical, and environmental.

Dealing with Mental Distractions:

Have a Firm Stance-

Dealing with and overcoming distractions is no easy task which is why it is important for you to stand your ground. Know that your time crucial, understand that what you are working on is important, and recognize that it needs to get done.

Stop Procrastinating-

It is important that you break the habit of procrastination. Continuously pushing back work will only push it further from your mind and will make completing it even more stressful. People who say that procrastinating helps them because they work better under pressure are most likely just trying to justify a poor habit and would most likely work just as well if they were motivated to complete the task sooner.

Relax-

If you find that you are too stressed to work there is no point in stressing yourself out any worst. Find something that you like doing or and put your mind at ease for a little while. Try taking a few minutes for you by staying loose, listening to relaxing music, or reading un-work related material.

Be Well Rested-

Ensure that you get a good night’s sleep and that your body and mind is well rested, flexed, and ready for work. Exercising, reading the morning paper, and solving puzzles will help wake and keep your brain in gear.

Dress the Part-

What you wear often reflects how you feel. Wear the clothes that exude your confidence because it will most likely be shown though your work as well.

Reward Your Self-

Celebrate your accomplishments don’t just move immediately onto your next task. Have some kind of system that lets your brain relax and take a short break from work. Moving from task to task without any acknowledgement is a surefire way to burn out quickly. Going out to party every time you finish your work is a little much but perhaps you can do something small and personal like check out your favorite website, get coffee, take a walk, or call a friend.

Dealing with Physical Distractions:

Take on Bite Sized Chunks-

Start with the easiest assignments. Once they are completed feel good about your work and carry forward with that same momentum onto your next job at hand.

Watch out for Menial Activities-

Menial activities like washing out your coffee cup, opening mail, and sharpening your pencils can be used as a welcomed distraction from work but they can also unintentionally take up too much time. Reserve some time in your schedule to complete these activities or you could also use these tasks as breaks in between your other job assignments.

Be Prepared-

Make sure you have what you need before you get started so that there are no excuses to take any unnecessary break.

Eat, Drink, Sleep and Exercise-

Make sure your body has fuel and is well rested. Exercise is a great way to stimulate your mind and body as well as to stay energized throughout your day. Drinking too much coffee can often make it hard to focus so you may want to consider drinking tea.

Filter out the Noise-

Soft music, soothing sounds, and static noise can be helpful with relaxing because it helps to filter out the other noise distractions that you might encounter.

Minimize Interruptions from your Coworkers-

Use your email auto-responders to let others know that you are hard at work on something that requires your full attention. If a coworker does stop you from working avoid being rude, try saying something nice, then explain to them that you need to get back to work and maybe set up a time to catch up later.

Set aside your Own Time-

Schedule some time to take care of the stuff that would normally cause you to be distracted while working.

Organize and Prioritize-

Use a calendar or project management software that lets you create task reminders and set priorities to your specific assignments.

Complete Tasks as they Present-

Try to avoid picking up the same assignment twice. Make sure that when you receive something, that you complete it and then move on, don’t do part of it and then come back to it later because that can cause more distractions.

 

Dealing with Environmental Distractions:

Close the Door-

Close your office door, close the blind, and concentrate on your work. Cutting out visual distractions lets you keep the task at hand in sight at all times.

Turn off what you don’t Need-

The computer, the Internet, and your cell phone can all be a huge distraction. If they aren’t being used turn them off so that you can maintain your focus on your work.

Check the Temperature-

Maintain a decent temperature in your work environment. Too hot can put you to sleep where as too cold will make it so that you can only think about how cold it is.

Clean up the Mess-

Clean your office and organize your files so you can easily find what you are looking for and aren’t subconsciously impacting your productivity.

Get comfy but not too comfortable-

Be comfortable in your workspace but if you find that your desk chair, temperature, or lighting arrangement causes you to be drowsy then you should change it.

Hope some of these tips will be able to help you regain your focus and stay motivated while working.

For additional help for relaxing in your workspace check out 10 ways to relaxify your workspace!

Thanks for Reading!

Dustin

CDTek.com

Tips for Cold Calling Your Prospective Customers

Thursday, November 3rd, 2011

Are your phone lines ringing off the hook with potential clients or are you with the majority of small businesses who have suffered a decline in customer activity? You have a business, you offer a product or a service, and you have a business goal but now what?

Rarely do customers seek out a business unless they are familiar with its background and brand reputation. If you need the customers, it is up to you to find them. It is your responsibility to target your audience and capture the attention of prospective customers. Advertising and marketing play a vital role in making your business appeal to a specific audience. Lately social media has provided companies with a tremendous, free, and effective marketing tool, however social networking sites are not the only tools available. There are plenty of offline marketing techniques, one of which is Cold Calling. Although cold calling doesn’t have the best reputation, if done correctly it can be a valuable sales tactic for your business.

Cold calling is the marketing technique of reaching out to possible future customers via the telephone. The term cold is used because the potential buyers are not expecting to be contacted nor have they had any prior communications about the product. Cold calling is the opposite of warm calling which is where the potential client directly expresses their interest in your services. Companies that warm call their customers typically gather information using post cards and website information surveys or subscriptions. Compared to warm calling, cold calling relies much more on guess work, calling the right person at the right time, having the right solution, and a little bit of luck.

Some might think that cold calling is only disliked by consumers however sales associates often dislike this technique just as much. For many companies cold calling customers can be one of their greatest weaknesses.

Why consumers dislike cold calling:

  • The majority of the time you can easily discover that the cold caller is uninformed about what they are selling.
  • These types of calls are often unwelcome interruptions and can distract from actual work.
  • Most of the time we probably aren’t interested in the products being sold.
  • Sometimes the callers can appear as being manipulative, too resilient by not taking no as an answer, and too chummy or fake in order to get the sale.

Why sales associates dislike cold calling”

  • They have to call someone they don’t know.
  • They have to call someone they that probably won’t be interested in their product or service.
  • They are discouraged easily because the high number of people who reject their sales pitch.
  • They have to perform a task that usually brings the worst out of people.
  • Cold calling can feel uncomfortable and repetitive, and the cold caller is often lousy at it.

 

Companies that rely on cold calling as their primary source for generating sales are fighting an uphill battle. However this doesn’t technically mean that it doesn’t work, it just requires more effort and the right skill set. The following are some important tips to follow when you are using cold calling for your business.

Be educated, prepared, and sell the appointment:

Know what you are selling and how to properly sell it before you attempt a cold call. Research the company that you are cold calling and try to identify the decision maker prior to calling. Develop a proper opener and possibly a call outline of the topics and key items you want to emphasize during the conversation.

Always be courteous and display confidence:

Sales calls can often bring out the worst in people but it is extremely important for you to remain polite and respectful to all parties that you encounter when conducting a cold call.

Don’t underestimate the “Gatekeeper”:

The person situated between you and the decision maker is known as the gatekeeper. This person is usually a secretary or assistant that screen callers for the decision maker. When talking to this person don’t lie, or be rude, just be straight forward with them. In order to reach the decision make you must first produce a positive impression on the gatekeeper.

Respect the prospects schedule:

Ask them if it is a good time to talk with them about the opportunities that your organization or products can provide. If they are unable to talk with you at that moment then suggest a specific time to reach them, avoid general lines like “I will call you back at another time”. Instead ask “Would it be more convenient if I called back tomorrow morning at 10am”.

Carrying the conversation:

If you manage to make it through the gatekeeper and the prospect has the time to meet with you then it is extremely important to capture their attention early in the conversation as well as maintain it throughout. Try to utilize their name throughout the conversation to strengthen and develop the bond.

  • Be professional but enjoyable

Don’t be afraid to make them laugh or deviate to the occasional small talk. Being honest about a sales call situation can also provide some levity and small talk can help establish a relationship with the prospective customer. For example a cold caller may introduce themselves by saying “Hi my name is Jane and this is a sales call, I know most people hate sales calls, so I’ll be brief but I feel that there are some important opportunities that our service can provide for your company.

  • Project Emotion, Create Excitement, and provide value

Use past positive anecdotes and success stories to inspire positive feelings for the prospective client. For a physical product you can suggest a product demonstration and you can refer to past customer experiences.

  • Discuss their problem

Try to ask what a common problem for their company is and offer several ways how your business can help eliminate that problem.

  • Push past no, but know when to stop pushing:

Being resilient is a necessity that a cold caller must have, they will frequently be faced with rejection and being able to move on and push past “no” is crucial to success. When making a call, if they tell you that they aren’t interested without hearing you out try to jump start a conversation by asking a question. For example you can ask them what problem they face and how much that interferes with their everyday business productivity. If you sense the prospect is upset and is becoming unreasonable you should politely thank them for their time and move on to your next call.

 

Asking for an appointment:

Even if the conversation has gone well, this is still a sales call and it is very unlikely that the client will ask for an appointment. It should always be you who closes the call by requesting a meeting with the person to discuss in more details. Remember to ask in a way that assumes that they want to meet with you, avoid “would you like” and go with “are you available on Tuesday at 3pm”. The words you choose to say something matter and in this situation they will help make it more difficult for the prospect to say no.

The best way to achieve success is to rehearse prior to the call, analyze your strengths and weaknesses following the call, and improve for the next call.

Hope that you find these tips helpful.

Thanks for Reading!

Dustin

CDTek.com

 

Offline Marketing Techniques for Your Online Business

Thursday, October 27th, 2011

With marketing today it is absolutely necessary for a business to develop a strong advertising plan and utilize a diverse set of marketing strategies.  In most cases, businesses tend to spend much more on the their company advertisement or the promotion of their products than the actual cost of production. In the past we have emphasized the different ways to market your company online however you should also keep in mind the opportunities that offline advertising has to offer. Marketing Word Cloud

The basic principle behind promoting your business is to express and convey the company’s goals, products, or ideas to the targeted audience. Businesses use marketing methods in order to maximize their brand recognition and customer awareness. With today’s technology it is fairly simple to market your business online with email, blogs, and social media sites. However, a well-designed marketing campaign should actually incorporate both online and offline promotional strategies. Due to the intense focus that has recently been directed to online marketing, some companies may have lost focus and have possibly missed out on attracting offline consumers. The following is the more widely used offline marketing strategies. Each of these methods can be used to increase your company’s brand and reputation.

  • Place your website’s URL in emails, letterheads, and business cards.

  • Give out complementary promotional items. For example you could give T-Shirts, fliers, bumper stickers, pens, and magnets all with your business logo or company website listed.

 

  • Advertise your company and the website’s URL in newspaper or magazine press releases.

 

  • Using QR codes so mobile users can access your website

 

  • Create window or storefront signs that display your website’s URL for both customers and potential customers passing your store.

 

  • Join local community groups to spread information about your company. (Business associations and Chamber of Commerce)

 

  • Create and Send Business Post Cards that provide contact information about for your company.

 

  • Contact your local business direct mailing advertiser. Design and create an advertisement for your local audience.

 

  • Sponsor local Events, Fundraisers, and Charity Functions.

 

  • Make sales calls or hire someone to perform “cold calling”.

 

  • Attend Business Trade Shows or Seminars to network with other industry professionals.

 

  • Use Word Of Mouth by reaching out to your contacts and spreading promotional information to friends, family, and acquaintances.

These are just a few tips for marketing your online business offline, for more examples visit 37 Original ways promote your Business . In conclusion, marketing should be a blend of online and offline techniques. The internet may offer a good environment to market your business but that doesn’t mean that you should limit your company’s reach to the internet and restrict your marketing potential. Almost every business on the Internet is performing online marketing which is why adding some offline promotional strategies can potentially help distinguish you from your competitions.

Thanks for Reading!

Dustin

CDTek.com

 

Using a Facebook Fan/Like Gate to Attract and Retain Customers

Friday, October 21st, 2011
Facebook's Like Icon

Facebook’s Like Icon

Could your business benefit from utilizing a Facebook “Like-Gate”? A year ago most people were unfamiliar with the term Like Gate and those who were familiar with it probably where critics. The primary reason for why this technique first caused controversy was because it basically begs and bribes someone to like your Facebook page. Additionally this technique also faced criticism because it only ensures the initial “like” and doesn’t necessarily generate loyal customers. Nonetheless it seems to have now become one of the more common practices for businesses on Facebook. The concept behind a fan/like gate is to offer exclusive content to your Facebook visitors once they have “Liked” your page.

Benefits of a having a “Like-Gate”:

The main benefit of utilizing a “like-gate” on your business’s Facebook page is that it helps attract new visitors and gains your company page more fans. The fans that you acquire using this method can also later turn into valuable customers. A “Reveal-Gate” can also help with increasing your brand awareness and gives you the opportunity to build a better customer relationship with those who decide to like your page. Having a “like-gate” can also help you weed through the visitors and determine which of them will actually be customers. Most of the time the people who “like” your page are doing so in order to learn more about your company or the products that you offer. However this can also become a negative reason for having this type of barrier.

 

Negatives of having a “Like-Gate”:

As we mentioned, a like gate can filter out the customers from visitors but because the “Like” barrier often promises some kind of reward, customers may temporarily accept your conditions in an attempt to gain access to a one time deal. There is no way to guarantee a loyal customer using this technique unless you continue to offer them deals or create a positive and lasting first impression. Some feel that a “Fan-Gate” will devalue true fans of your company and that it also cheapens the notion of actually liking something. Customers are often quick to click the “Like” button when they know that they are going to receive some kind of benefit from this action. By offering an incentive it lessens the value of the customer instead of giving them the chance to experience and like you on their own terms. Another problem with a “Fan-Gate” is that it can be expensive, not necessarily to create but to maintain the promotions promised. If your page is able to offer an incentive as well as sustain the customers future business it could potentially be worth it, however the problem occurs when customers have no intention of being a returning customer without the promise of future discounts.

 

If You Choose To Use a “Like-Gate”:

If you find that is beneficial for your company to use this kind of customer generating device then you should try to follow some of the following tips.

  • Let them know that liking the page will give them access to special offers, news, tips or other information your audience is interested
  • Visually tell the visitor what to do when they land on the page. Some use arrows pointing at the “like” or you can also copy and paste a picture of the “Like” button on your page design.
  • Avoid gimmicks and stay true to your brand.
  • Strive for authenticity and exclusivity.
  • Monitor your results and utilize the method that works best for you.
  • Focus on quality over quantity and reward loyalty.
  • Deliver a Strong Call-to-Action & Compelling Reason to “Like”
  • Try to avoid begging or seeming desperate to have the user “like” your page.

 

Designing a “Like-Gate”:

  • Decide what type of incentive you want to offer in order to attract fans.
  • Design the look of your “Like-gate”. Design two web pages, one for “non-fans”, who haven’t yet clicked “Like” and one to show to those that have.
  • Implement the “Like-gate” on your Facebook Page.

Some common “Like-Gates” offer things like having a First glimpse access to new content, Exclusive access to register for events, special coupon discounts, free shipping, and Giveaways.

 

How to Get a “Like-Gate”:

There are two different ways a company can employ a gate, they can either create one or purchase a pre-existing template. Creating one is more complicated and will require some coding knowledge. Creating a “Reveal Page” requires the use of an iFrame to pull in PHP code from a separate site. For business less computer savvy they can easily purchase a Facebook Building Application from a company like North Social. Customers can these applications on Facebook. The suite costs about $20 a month and comes with a 14 day free trial. Once purchased, there are over 15 different types of apps to choose from and each can be easily assigned to your company’s Facebook page. Some of the applications that North Social offers include the following.

Deal Share -Create and launch a viral deal on your Facebook Page where you can set the number of registrations required to unlock a group discount.

Exclusive – Visitors unlock a “fan exclusive” download by sharing a wall post (supports audio, video, documents, printable coupons, and more).

Fan Offer – Convert visitors into fans of your Facebook page by rewarding them with an exclusive coupon or invitation to a special event.

Sign Up – Create contact forms, online surveys, and invitations to capture valuable information directly from your Fan page.

Sweepstakes – Launch a sweepstakes on your Facebook Page in minutes with this all-in-one app.

This is just one of the many companies that create these types of applications. There are also plenty of other free alternatives that can be found in the Facebook’s app section.

 

Bottom Line:

In either case, with or without a “Like-Gate” it is always better to create content or products worth Liking rather than ones that are worth a “Like”.

For some examples of “Like-Gates” visit Examples of Like Gating from the Hubspot Blog.

Thanks for Reading!

Dustin

CDTek.com

 

Tips for Your Blog and Sources for Generating More Blog Topics

Friday, October 14th, 2011

There are some days when you can sit down at your computer and immediately come up with a topic to write a blog post on, but then there are the other days when you’re just stuck. One of the hardest things about blog writing is maintaining a steady influx of topics to write about. Constantly generating blog topics can be a huge challenge. We created this blog post to provide other blog writers with tips and resources so that they never run out of topics to talk about. Sources for blog topics

The best topics to write about are the ones that the writer is passionate or knowledgeable about. Generally, topics that generate discussions or friendly debates can the most significant impact on the audience. Additionally, topics where your enthusiasm can be felt by the audience will spark the best interest and reactions from your readers. When writing a blog you should always remain focused on your audience as well as the purpose of the article. Your blog posts should have an appropriate tone and be consistent with the rest of your blog. Furthermore, be persistent with your blog entries and try to establish an inviting environment so that your readers are engaged.

Additional Blog Tips Include:

  • Target Your Niche Audience.
  • Plan and research your topics.
  • Keep a memory bank of future blog topics.
  • Separate larger blog topics in to a series of articles.
  • Find and successful format and stick with it.
  • Create eye catching titles.
  • Use a photo to separate too much text.
  • Engage your audience with questions and comment sections.
  • Respond to user comments.
  • Focus on your audience.
  • Make it relevant and worthwhile.
  • Proofread
  • Use your keywords.
  • Provide links.
  • Keep your posts simple and relevant. (Readers like lists and infographics)

 

Blog topics are everywhere and to find them all you need is to keep your ears open throughout your day. If you are still fresh out of ideas you may want to consider some of the following sources.

  • Read other industry related blogs:

Reading related blogs can influence your own blog topics, whether it’s an extension of their thoughts or an opposing argument. If you write for an Internet Marketing Blog then you might check out other blogs like Search Engine Land, SEOMoz, or SEObook)

  • Read blog comments:

The comments that readers post on other blogs as well as your own can often spark a new idea. You will also be able to get a sense of how popular a subject is by judging how many people responded with comments.

  • Watch the news, listen to the radio, and read the latest headline:

The topics that make the news are usually the latest trending topics and can be great source to contribute your own thoughts to the topic. (Google News, Huffingtonpost.com, and CNN)

  • See what is popular on social media sites:

Most of the time when you visit a social media website like Digg, Twitter, and Stumbleupon you are instantly introduced to a full set of topics to choose from.

  • Revisit past blog post:

The majority of topics that bloggers write articles about can often be revisited, updated, or re-written from a different point of view. Knowledge is always expanding and sometimes we may not have all the details during the initial post. It may be beneficial especially if you revisit one of your most popular blog topics.

  • Survey your Audience:

Your audience may want to learn about a specific topic or have you expand on a previous article. Give them an opportunity to make article suggestions by asking them.

  • Check out question and answer websites:

Visit websites like Quora and Yahoo Answers to find out what readers are asking about. Write a blog article providing that information and then provide a snippet along with a link to your blog in your answer.

  • Read forums and discussion boards:

The communication that takes place here is usually informative, fast paced, popular, and perfect to help generate your own blog post.

  • Read some recent interviews:

Interviews provide a lot of important information. Creating a blog with background information and interview details provide readers with another medium for that information.

  • Seminars, Case Studies, and Experiments:

Your own personal ventures can be another great place to start for a blog topic. Something you tried, something that worked, something that didn’t, it’s all relative and could be beneficial for your audience.

  • Create Google Alerts:

Google alerts will enable you to set alerts for industry key words. Read the headlines that it captures and see what is interesting.

  • Ask the people around you:

You can always ask co-workers, family, and friends to suggest a blog topic for you to write about.

  • Major company blogs:

Companies like Google, Microsoft, Apple, or any other major company that makes the news daily can be a great resource for blog topics.

 

If you are still unable to generate a blog topic from the previously mentioned sources then try tackling some of these generic blog suggestions.

  • Write a post by examining the pros and cons of an issue.
  • Write a tutorial.
  • Make a top 10-100 list.
  • Conduct an interview with a person from your industry.
  • Posting about current events in your niche.
  • Invite a guest author.
  • Post an “advantages/disadvantages” post.
  • Update an old post with new ideas or findings.
  • Debunk a myth in your post.
  • Make a post for beginners.
  • Create a guide for your niche.
  • Post about frequently asked questions in your niche.
  • Post about what’s popular in your industry.
  • Write about generally unknown secrets in your niche.
  • Make a post that expands on another author’s post.
  • Make a post about what not to do for your niche.

Still don’t have a blog? Check out Why having a blog helps your website.

Thanks for Reading!

Dustin

CDTek.com

 

Digital Housekeeping – Tips to Deal with the Digital Clutter

Friday, October 7th, 2011

Small businesses can often be overwhelmed with the amount of digital information that they have to retain for their business to operate correctly. Over time, the buildup of work documents, project files, client proposals, and employee information can often get out of hand. Which is why a few weeks back we wrote an article called “Organizing Your Office Equipment and Improving Your Work Environment”. This article proposed several solutions to maintain a file organization system for small businesses. However in the article we neglected to mention how digital data clutter can be just as hard on the stresses of our everyday job tasks. This is why to keep your office running proficiently it is important to perform routine digital housekeeping.
computer recycling
Digital housekeeping is the sorting, organizing, and discarding of old or unused electronic data. There are many elements to this type of cleaning. Although easy to do tasks like emptying your computers recycling bin are a good start there are many more layers that are often overlooked. Digital housekeeping isn’t only meant for your computer, it also covers mobile devices and other electronic office equipment. The following list is some suggestions to help you manage your office’s digital clutter.

 

Clearing Your Desktop:

  • Remove unused shortcuts from your desktop and desktop toolbar.
  • Keep only important and frequently used programs on your desktop or on the desktop toolbar.
  • Put the programs that you use occasionally in a desktop folder.
  • Empty the Recycling Bin.

 

Cleaning Your Hard Drive:

  • Routinely perform the defragmentation process. (Start /Programs/ Accessories/ System Tools)
  • Use Disk Cleanup to search out and remove unused files and folders. (Also in System Tools)
  • Uninstall unused programs.

(To edit your programs enter the Control Panel, open the Add or Remove Programs function (Windows Vista and 7 “Programs and Features”). When the list of programs populates, select any program that you wish to amend. You can even sort by the last used date or installed date. Follow the uninstall procedures for each individual program and restart your computer if necessary.)

  • Manager your Startup Folder.

(In order to fine-tune the startup folder you will need to access the system configuration folder. This can be done by expanding the Start menu, Clicking Run and then typing MSCONFIG. (Windows 7 uses the Search application instead of RUN.) Once the Configuration window appears click the Startup tab and carefully select the programs that you are positive that you do not need for startup.)

 

Updating and Using Malware:

  • Use programs like McAfee Protection Software or Norton Security Essentials to identify and eliminate threats that can cause your equipment to run slower.
  • Keep windows up-to-date using Windows Automatic Update.

 

Organizing Your Media Content:

  • Delete duplicate file or files no longer being used.
  • Keep the different types of media grouped together in separate folders.
  • Create sub folders for extra organization and navigation.

 

Cleaning Your Internet Browser:

  • Access your internet options to clear history and cache.
  • Delete unused bookmarks.
  • Add bookmark folders for easier navigation.

 

Organizing Email:

  • Delete junk mail, outdated emails, sent mail, and old drafts.
  • Create sub folders for emails so they don’t build up in your inbox.
  • Establish rules in Microsoft Outlook so that emails are automatically delivered to the correct subfolder.

 

Managing Your Smartphone:

  • Remove unused photos, movies, or music files.
  • Delete unused applications.
  • Clear out old notes in the text editor.
  • Clear browsing history and map locations.
  • Delete old and unneeded emails.

 

Cleaning and Disposing of Electronic Devices:

  • Computers and external equipment should be cleaned routinely in order to prevent unnecessary problems caused by dust.
  • Clean the area surrounding the device before cleaning it.
  • Always spray the cleaning solutions on a rag first. Never apply directly to the electronic device.
  • Avoid throwing out electronics with your everyday garbage.
  • If you are getting an upgrade or newer model, donate or sell your old device.
  • Shop with companies that use a “Take Back” program.
  • Make it a priority to shop with companies with “Green Principals
  • Locate local e-waste recycling and disposal centers.

It is important to make a routine time to clean up your office’s digital clutter. Letting electronic data overwhelm your office will often only make it more difficult to focus, locate important information, and much more difficult clearing it away in the future.

Thanks for Reading!

Dustin

CDTek.com

 


 
 
   
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