Articles Related to Small, Medium Businesses, and Startups
Posts Tagged ‘Mobile’
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Thursday, August 18th, 2011
Lately More and more companies have begun to use Quick Response code or QR codes to promote their products and services. You may have noticed that recently some of your favorite companies are now displaying these 2-D barcodes on some of their products or advertisements. These two-dimensional icons are known as QR codes and can be scanned by smartphone cameras to automatically pull up text, photos, videos, music, URLs, and even make phone calls or send emails. This form of brand marketing is now on the rise and is providing businesses with many new, creative, and effective marketing opportunities.
Internetbeacon.com QR Code
Quick Response codes are still fairly new and because they are just getting started in the United States many people are still unaware of what they can do or how they work. Most of the Businesses that utilize Quick Response Coded promotional material also provide directions for first time users on how to use them. To produce the codes a company must use an online QR code generator and in order for the customer to access the information contained in the code they need to have a mobile QR scanner. Some of the popular QR generators include Kaywa Code Generator, iCandy, StickyBits, QR-Stuff, plus many other Mobile Barcode generators. Customers can download their free QR scanner from their smart phone app store.
According to a recent comScore Survey 14 million mobile users in the US have scanned a Quick Response Code but that’s only 6.2% of all mobile users. 60.5% of the code scanners were men that were mostly between ages 18-34 and had an income of over $100k. Around half of the participants said that they scanned the QR codes from a magazine or newspaper and roughly 35% scanned from product packaging. As consumer awareness for QR codes increases the number of uses for the codes also expands. The following are 10 creative places Quick Response Codes can be used to promote your business.
Business cards can only contain a small portion of information without looking too cluttered, with a QR code placed on your business card the contacts you meet can quickly access your all of your information and even store it on their mobile device. Business cards can accumulate and are often ignored which is why having the QR code automatically call or store the contact information will increase the chance of the new contact retaining your correct information.
- Mail advertisements or Postcards:
With mail advertisements or postcards your potential customers may be more inclined to check out your business. Most of the time people carry their mobile device on them and because it only takes a couple of seconds to scan and access your content the QR advertisements could prove to be very valuable. The majority of people discard mail newsletters but a QR code may peak their interest enough to discover more information.
- Magazine and Newspaper ads:
Magazine and newspaper ads also provide great space for Quick Response Code placement. Readers or skimmers will be able to see your advertisement and quickly acquire more details through the QR code. Sometimes readers don’t always own the newspaper or magazine that they see your advertisement in and having a QR code available would be a great way for readers to hold on to information. For example, the waiting room at a doctor’s or dentist office may have a magazine with an interesting business advertising that you want to learn more about. A Quick Response Code would enable you to scan, access, and store that information for later whether it is a phone number, website, or one of the many other possible uses of a QR code.
If you already run coupons in the newspaper you can add a QR code that provides users with more information such as store locations, directions, and additional promotions. Quick Response Codes can also be used to gain customer feedback. Companies can place a code on their customer receipts that provides their phone number and website or be used as a way to acquire customer feedback. For example the receipt code can offer a future discount in exchange for a few moments of the customer’s time.
Having a store display with a Quick Response code on it can allow a customer to access more information and reviews about a specific product. In addition QR codes can also be displayed in a window or on a company door for the people passing by. These codes can be especially helpful with providing store information during the hours that the business is closed.
QR codes on product packaging are also a good way to reach new and existing customers. Customers who purchased the product can easily learn more about it, send feedback, or call customer service. Quick Response Codes can be extremely useful for food delivery services, for example Papa John’s includes QR codes on their pizza boxes so customers can easily visit their website, place an order, and leave reviews.
- Stickers, magnets and Commercials:
Stickers and magnets with your QR code can be placed anywhere you or your customers wish to stick them. Again food delivery services can greatly benefit from this because users can quickly scan their fridge magnet when they want to place an order. Television commercials and YouTube videos can also be used to showcase your company’s Quick Response Code. At the end of the video you can use this code to direct people to your company website or initiate a phone call.
Having QR codes located in or around your business will allow your customers to do a location login. The codes can be used to log into Facebook locations or Foursquare so people can tell their friends where they are and what they are doing.
Some companies have even begun to include Quick Response codes on clothing. Placing these codes on clothing is an interesting way to have the public and company employees perform their advertising.
Although Quick Response Codes are usually used to direct users to a website including them on a website or email isn’t necessarily a bad idea. Placing the code on an email or website can allow users to quickly and effortlessly call your company, follow you on a social media site, and get directions sent to their mobile device. QR codes on a website can also be useful for users who want to continue viewing the information after they leave their computer.
Visit the link to learn Additional locations for Quick Response Codes
These are only some of the many different uses for QR codes and Even though it might be a while before Quick Response Codes are fully integrated into our advertising it is always better to be ahead of the trend than it is to be behind your competition. Quick Response codes can be used to increase sales, increase incoming calls, build a subscribers list, advertise promotions, get more Facebook likes, get more Twitter Follows, and connect and engage your existing or potential customers. QR codes seem to only offer more company and product exposure, so what do you have to lose? Start creating QR codes today and see all the ways this new promotional tool can help your business!
Thanks for Reading have a Great Day!
Friday, June 10th, 2011
Over the past couple of years the number of resources available for small businesses has grown tremendously with the growth of new technology. With innovative technology like Smartphones and tablet PC’s, businesses now have access to a number of applications that are designed for a variety of professions. Cutting costs are important for most businesses but it is also important that they retain their quality which is why many companies have begun to utilize the free or low cost applications to assist with day to day operations. When using these applications, business professionals are able to elevate their service and productivity to a whole new level.
from http://www.apple.com/ipad/, June 2011
The Apple iPad is a great example of how mobile technology has revolutionized the manner in which both large and small businesses can operate. A recent commercial from Apple showcases the iPad in use in different work and social environments. The commercial really speaks to how we can successfully integrate technology into our daily lives and expand on all our experiences. The iPad commercial sets a positive tone for the future of our technology as it advertises that this is only the beginning and this type of technology is “just getting started”.
The following applications are completely free and cover a wide range of uses. These innovative developments cover activities like business development, communication, marketing, payment and sales, customer management, and much more. Many of the mobile applications listed below work across different devices and platforms like the BlackBerry, iPhone, iPad, and Android devices.
Email Marketing: Communicate with your customers. Don’t wait for them to come to you, go to them.
- Tiny Letter– This is an easy to use service that lets a user type and design email newsletters. The service will send them out according to the specifications set by the customer.
- MailChimp- With MailChimp you can Design, send, share on social networks, and track your email campaigns. This service lets you send up to 20,000 emails and have 2,000 subscribers completely free.
Professional Development: Add, follow, and manage professional relationships with clients, co-workers, and associates.
- NoteLeaf– After scheduling a meeting on your Google calendar this phone app will send out an alert prior to the meeting. The alert provides the user with important meeting information like who you’re meeting, a picture of who you’re meeting, where you’re meeting them, directions how to get there, the time of the meeting, a link to quick contact in case you’re running late, and other specified information.
- Card Munch– With this service you can take a picture of a business card and it will be transcribed into a contact format. The actual transcription is reviewed by real team of individuals to ensure accuracy. Card Munch not only places the new contact in your phones primary contact folder but also adds the contact in its own in app contact folder. This app also backs up all scanned contacts for an easy sync process and uses the logos on the business cards as the person’s picture.
- Bump– Lets two individuals exchange contact info, pictures, videos, music, and other information just by bumping their phones together.
Presentations: Prepare notes, design, and execute presentations flawlessly without spending.
- Slideshare- With Slideshare customers can create, upload, and access a presentation from anywhere with an Internet connection.
- 280 Slides- Allows users to create or upload existing presentation directly in the browser. These presentations are stored on a server and can be accessed from any location at any time. Customers can upload images or videos and include them in their presentations. They can also export the created slideshow as a PowerPoint presentation.
Backup and File Sharing: Backup your information on cloud storage and easily share files with other users.
- Amazon Cloud Drive- Amazon offers 5GB free of online storage. Users can store, share, and access their data from anywhere.
- Dropbox- Dropbox Lets users places up to 2GB of content into their drop box and automatically syncs their drop box contents to their other devices. The content is also stored on the Drop Box site so that it is never lost and can be shared easily with other users.
- Box.net- Box.net offers 5BG free data so that users can upload, manage, and share business resources online.
Customer Relationship Management: Acquire and keep your customers satisfied.
- SalesForce Mobile– Keeps your customer records and information at your fingertips where ever you are. The mobile version of this is free but users will need to pay a minimum of $2 to be an actual Sales Force web customer.
Video Production: Create and Share marketing videos with your audience.
- Ustream.tv– Easily stream live events, build an audience, and express your message to your customers.
- Live Stream– This is a broadcasting platform that lets you connect and engage your audiences as you share your message across the web and mobile devices.
Social Media Monitoring: Stay connected with your following and monitor your social media impact.
- Postling- This service helps customers create content, stay organized, and reach out to their customers.
- Crowdbooster – Measures your social performance on Twitter and Facebook and helps customers optimize for social media marketing.
Time Management and Note Taking: Increase your efficiency by knowing what is going on and when it is happening.
- Workflowy- Organize all of your thoughts in one place, categorize them, and review them easily. Workflowy is as easy to use as a simple text editor and can increase productivity and organization.
- Evernote- This web app allows users to save or make note of virtually anything imaginable. It also offers several compatible mobile apps that expand on the experience. With Evernote users can save anything, organize it, and access it anywhere.
Legal Advice: Get your Legal questions and find out the latest new on legal cases.
- Law Pivot- U sers can find answers to all their confidential legal questions at Law Pivot. After a user submits their questions the Law Pivot team identifies qualified lawyers to answer the question. They then send back multiple answers to the user.
Communications: Don’t limit your business to expensive phone services that lack options and important features.
- Google Voice- This service works with any existing phone service plan and offers some great features like one number, this option lets users choose one number for multiple phones. The Google Voice number will control which ever phone(s) the user selects. The service can be customized for specific callers or calling times, also the service transcribes voice mail to a written and organized communication record.
- Skype– Is an Internet phone company that offers free Skype to Skype calls, one to one video calls, instant messaging, and screen sharing. Skype also offers a ton of other features with their payment plans.
Customer and Employee Training : Teach your customers and employees through online courses and videos.
- Mindflash- Create employee training courses from scratch or existing material. Mindflash enables employers to track the progress of their trainees and also includes tests and quizzes.
- Udemy- Lets users create online teaching videos for any subject matter. These videos can be used as promotional tools to generate customer awareness or as an educational resource for customers and employees.
Customer Support: Connect with your clients
- Zopim- Provides a live chat widget where the business can perform live sales and provide customer support. The widget works across multiple browser and even works across mobile devices.
Group Building and Collaboration: Create an effective and collaborative environment where people enjoy communicating with each other.
- Teamly– Connect and share with co-workers. This online communication platform lets workers prioritize their daily task and communicate any problems or progress.
- Yammer– Provides a private internal corporate communication system for employees to develop group communication and organization. The network works similar to the social networking site Facebook.
These are only some of the many online and mobile applications available to you and your business. Free alternatives are always a good option especially if they are able to provide the same value and benefit as those with expensive price tags.
Thanks for Reading have a Great Day!
Friday, April 8th, 2011
In the past decade the development of mobile devices has dramatically advanced and has become a major trend for competing technology companies. Companies like Microsoft, Apple, IBM, and Dell have spent years laying the groundwork for the latest mobile technologies and continue to impress us all with the progression of their products. Not only have these mobile devices gotten smaller and more portable, but they have also become more powerful and have come pretty close to matching the user experience of a desktop system. Today we rely on these devices for virtually everything from phone calls, texting, shopping, directions, weather, internet, email and more. It is clear that technology plays a powerful role in our life and continues to make our lives more efficient and easier.
Microsoft Mobile Office 2010from http://office.microsoft.com/en-us/mobileApril 2011
Companies are not only creating new mobile devices but they have also begun to create mobile versions of their primary software applications. The Windows Phone 7 operating system created by Microsoft is doing just that with their integration of Microsoft Office Mobile. Microsoft Office Mobile is a perfect example of how companies are focusing in on the mobile experience and providing a user a similar experience to a desktop environment. While the majority of Windows devices come equipped with Office Mobile, anyone whose Windows phone did not come with Office Mobile pre-installed can purchase and download the software through the Microsoft mobile marketplace. In addition anyone who is using an older version of Office and has a Windows phone that is operating on Windows Mobile 6.5 and above can also upgrade to version 2010 for free.
Small businesses are always on the lookout for a new technology and tools to help them with their day to day operations. Most professional environments utilize Microsoft Office in one form or another whether it is Microsoft Outlook for their Email and scheduling or Microsoft Word for their text editing needs. Given its popularity and the uses of its many programs, Microsoft Office Mobile clearly illustrates the potential value that a mobile software companion can provide to a business and its employees.
The Windows Phone 7 mobile device not only has all of the basic functions of a phone but it also manages to incorporate some of the power of a desktop computer with a few minor exceptions. Microsoft Mobile Office 2010 was released to coincide with the release of Windows Phone 7 and is only available on devices running Windows Mobile 6.5 or later. With these mobile device users can now enjoy a valuable portable alternative to their most employed software applications. By having the Microsoft Office Mobile software installed on the Windows Phone 7, a user can access these programs as needed without being confined to an actual office or having to lug around a laptop. Programs included in the Microsoft Office Mobile 2010 bundle include Word Mobile, Excel Mobile, PowerPoint Mobile, OneNote Mobile, and SharePoint Workspace Mobile.
It is understandable that working with a mobile device doesn’t always translate the same comfort and ease that it would from desktop or laptop computer. The mobile aspect does however provide the necessary convenience but it still does not quite live up to the user experience of the traditional MS Office software. Besides the slight trade off between convenience and usability it is evident that the Microsoft Office Mobile programs manage to capture the basic functions and operations of Microsoft Office. Provided below are some of the basic pros and cons associated with the mobile version of Microsoft Office 2010.
Microsoft Office Mobile PROS:
- Supports touch gestures
- Easy document sharing using SharePoint
- Improved desktop syncing
- Quick note taking with OneNote
- New Text Reflow view looks good
- PowerPoint Mobile can control a laptop presentation and display notes remotely via Bluetooth.
- Incorporates the main and most essential word processor features
- Free upgrade for anyone operating Windows mobile 6.5 and above with previous Microsoft office mobile software installed.
Microsoft Office Mobile CONS:
- Small screen size
- Device needs touch screen or stylus capabilities
- Buttons are too small for fingers (needs stylus)
- PowerPoint is view only, there is no creation allowed
- Can’t drag and select text
- Layout and look is not what we have come to expect compared to tradition Microsoft office
In conclusion the basic functions of Microsoft Office remain intact on the Mobile version but as expected the software does not encompass the full power that the traditional version offers. Nonetheless even lacking the usual user experience the mobile version can certainly prove to be an asset to any organization that uses Microsoft Office on a regular basis.
Check out more details and find out how Microsoft Office Mobile can help your business and employees at Microsoft Office Mobile 2010 and How to Buy Microsoft Office Mobile 2010!
Please share your opinion and comments below.
What do you think about Microsoft Office Mobile?
Thanks for Reading have a Great Day!
Thursday, March 10th, 2011
Even with the major advances in the smartphone industry, one thing that continues to hinder customers is the small keypad. Whether the keypads are used for texting, typing an email, searching the Internet or dialing a phone number many users still have issues with the size of the buttons. Despite the iPhone having nicely sized touch screen buttons when compared to most of the other mobile devices, they are still less than ideal for typing out longer text. This is why Verbatim has recently released the Wireless Bluetooth Mobile Keyboard.
march 2011 from verbatim.com
The Wireless Bluetooth Mobile Keyboard is a portable keyboard that is compatible with the iPhone and the iPad. The mobile keyboard is wireless and operates using Bluetooth. In order to achieve maximum portability the keyboard folds in half and comes with a carrying case for travel or storage. The ultra compact design is thin, light weight and allows user to carry the keyboard wherever they would usually take their mobile device. In addition to the carrying case the keyboard also comes with a built in iPhone stand that enables users to dock their device so that it works similar to a desktop environment. The keyboard connects quickly and makes it possible for a user to quickly and efficiently complete the work that entails typing. Once docked, the keyboard can also act as a control for the mobile device’s media player.
The Verbatim Wireless Bluetooth Mobile Keyboard costs $100 through the Verbatim website but can be found for as low a $64.99 at Amazon.com. Powered by two AAA batteries it only weighs about 16 ounces and measures to about 9.2” x 6.4” x 2”. This device is a great tool for any iPhone user who needs to execute a lot of typing when on the go.
So, stop struggling to hit the right keys on your mobile device and check out the Verbatim Wireless Bluetooth Mobile Keyboard today!
Similar devices for other types of mobile phones include:
Universal Freedom Pro Wireless Keyboard
iGo Stowaway Ultra-Slim Bluetooth Keyboard
Samsung I9000 Galaxy S Portable/Foldable Wireless Bluetooth Keyboard
Have a Great Day!
Providing Tech Support for Businesses in Maryland
Friday, November 12th, 2010
from iTag.com (Nov 2010)
Hello and welcome to Chesapeake Digital Technology´s blog. We’re an information technology firm in Maryland. We provide two primary services, Internet Marketing / SEO and Technical Support for business.
It’s 2010, and almost 2011. The fact of the matter is that we live on our mobile devices. We keep our calendars, contacts, and family pictures on them. They make our lives easier and provide us with a valuable tool. Now, have you ever lost one? It’s terrifying, isn’t it? One of the first realizations to dawn on you is that your whole life is on that device. Well, fortunately smartphone makers know this is the case and there are ways to get your device back.
If you have an iPhone, you likely know that you can set your device to wipe data off of it in the event that the incorrect password is entered after X number of tries. That’s a start, but if you lost the device and didn’t enable the password, then you are at a higher risk of data theft. To this end, Apple released “Find My iPhone” as part of their MobileMe suite. It allows you to find your iPhone on a map, as well as lock it or delete data from it remotely. This means that if you just happen to leave it somewhere and there’s no chance you’ll get it back, or if you’re just being extra careful, you can remove all trace of your ownership. Bear in mind, MobileMe costs $100/year.
As far as I know, there isn’t an official app to help you find your phone. However, there are many apps created by other developers. One of these apps is iTag. iTag provides you with the same features of Apple’s “Find My iPhone”, but for free. The big concern here, in my opinion, is using a third party to handle this matter. I would recommend waiting for Google to release an official app.
Friday, October 29th, 2010
Hello and welcome to Chesapeake Digital Technology´s blog. We’re an information technology firm in Maryland. We provide two primary services, Internet Marketing / SEOand Technical Support for business.
Anyone will tell you that a lot of business is done on the go these days. You’re out at a meeting or just traveling for work and you need to get some stuff done. Mobile devices go a long way in enhancing human productivity. However, it can get complicated when half of your staff wants one device and the others are splintered. It will be a nightmare for your IT department.
An important part of planning is setting up a standard for your business. Just like anything else, you need to have a framework in place to facilitate these areas of your company. It’s best to let the IT department work their magic here, but you definitely have input.
Stick with something that everyone can get their work done on. For some companies, it’s Apple’s iPhone. For others, RIM’s Blackberry line gets the job done. Both have perks and drawbacks for different types of businesses. Meet with your staff, if your company is small enough, or take a poll to see what your employees NEED, not want.
By establishing a standard for smartphones in your organization, you will prevent a lot of IT headaches. At the same time, you’ll squash the deluge of requests for personal phones or special requests for cutting edge tech.
Thursday, June 10th, 2010
Hello and welcome to Computer Fitness’ Blog! My name is Josh. Computer Fitness is a tech support firm for small and medium businesses in Reisterstown, MD. Our areas of expertise run the gamut from workstation repair to server maintenance.
You’re a businessperson on the go. You travel from place to place to place and therefore live on your laptop and wireless device. You’ve got yourself a laptop and that is a great start. As someone who’s lived through mobile devices for a while, I have some suggestions on travel/laptop accessories for all you travelers.
Let’s be honest, most trackpads aren’t up to the challenge of letting you get work done. While there are a few that can make life a little easier, your best bet is to get a Bluetooth mouse to meet your pointer needs. While you could opt for a standard 2.4GHz wireless mouse, the downside there is usually the massive USB dongle you have to plug into your laptop. That makes space a bigger issue. Also, you lose a USB port. However, most modern laptops have Bluetooth built-in. If, for some reason, you don’t have Bluetooth in your laptop, the adapters are so small you barely notice them. Bluetooth devices are a win here.
This might seem like something you don’t really need, but have you ever really let a laptop sit on your lap for an extended period of time? They tend to get pretty hot, especially if you are doing a lot of processor intensive computing. A lap desk will keep you from burning your legs with your laptop. Plus, you can use the extra space to use your wireless mouse. These are incredibly handy if you’re traveling on a train, etc. for a long amount of time.
Headset with Microphone
While most business can be done on your mobile phone, there are a lot of really cool and free online voice communication programs. Skype comes to mind as the most popular. This program allows you to use your computer as a phone, and call others with the same program or even call real phone numbers for a fraction of the cost. This program is great for international calls and also supports video chat.
That’s all for this week. Come back next week for more computer fitness tips!
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