Are you staying inside your box or learning outside the box?

Many businesses are local and operate local – but are you learning from outside the locality or staying the same?

#OutOfTheCity #ThinkOutside #LocalBusiness #LocalBiz

When you look at your business, the majority of businesses operating around you and business generated, is operating within a 5 to 10 mile radius of your locality. The question is, how do you succeed?

You are no doubt (in the majority of cases) purchasing your stock not within walking or bike ride distance but 30, 40, 50 or more miles away – why? Simple, what you need it not local and thus you have had to adapt and source your requirements much further away from. Also, you need to have these services or products delivered to your business and that by purchasing through these companies you can no doubt get better purchasing deals than if you brought directly from the manufacturer.

Now when you look at what you have brought and require, how did you find it?

Did you know these companies?

Were they recommended to you?

Was it via research you found them?

Whichever way it was, the information was sourced from what they had done. How they had positioned their company, services and products? This was all done with the intention of reaching a much wider audience. And it worked – didn’t it? Otherwise you wouldn’t be using them….

So are you taking their approach as to how you promote yourself and your company?

With the majority of businesses maintaining, operating and supplying a customer base within 5 to 10 mile locality – the issue is, so are all the other businesses located around you!!

What are you doing to work with them or for yourself? Quite often the answer is the same – you all use the same local people or person but is this right?

#WhoIsYourAdvisor #WhoIsYourExpert

What they are providing to you, is it exactly the same as your neighbour or competitor around the corner?

Is this right for your business?

Whilst they maybe sat in their home office or office, looking and researching the information to really blow your mind away or make them look knowledgeable, is this the really influential, knowledgeable advice you want?

You need to actually deal and work with advisors who have the experience of working outside of your town or city, attending events, seminars and industry gatherings and in actual physical/verbal communication with the people that actually know what is happening.

When did these people actually meet and attend events with major businesses or industry experts to hear what is going on around the world? So many people actually listen or watch events via YouTube these days, that they feel they are expert – yet the really experts are the ones that were in that room, actually meeting their competitors and Peers to ask and share comments an discussions based around what they hear at that event.

This is not something you are able to get from behind the computer screen or a book! Putting it simply, afterall, anyone can sit behind a computer and do research or exchange on-line messages or emails but can they survive in the real world of business?

#Im-not-an-expert #SocialMedia

If you actually look at many organisations such as newspapers, radio or television, they use these people for their reports or items because they are experts from a research background and can give a balanced view.

However, when they or medium, large or international companies seek advice or require assistance, they actually use people that have worked in industry, in their market sector or are from another part of the country or world with real hands-on experience and knowledge.

Why?

Simple – because they are experts, have experience and more important – they have interaction skills that will help their audience and/or business because they travel, speak and deal with companies out their locality or industry.

This means they have the advice that is “really tried and tested” and can actually add not only knowledge but experience to their business.

So, the question – are you prepared to take your business to the next level?

Are you wanting to stand out of your locality with new ideas and deliver new things to attract your local audience?

Well if you are ready to the next step, just ask your “advisor”, “consultant”, “expert” or “trainer” that you have helping you with your business, why not ask these questions:-

        • What they have done besides all their local work?
        • Can you see what they have done with these companies?
        • How much of it is the same as what they are giving you?
        • What events and where were they, that they attended?
        • Which major companies have they and are they currently working with, consulting with or collaborating with?

Afterall, don’t you want to stand from the crowd and be able to offer your local audience something different? If you are different and local, your local audience will be willing to pay that little bit extra as opposed to using the major companies/chains as you are actually reaching out to them – just like your suppliers reached out to you!

And we haven’t even touched on Location Marketing utilising BLE or NFC…..let’s save that for another day…..

#Blue-Sky-Thinking #Out-Of-The-Box-Thinking #Boardroom

So, isn’t it time you used  “Blue Sky Thinking” and/or “Outside of the Box Thinking” to bring into your boardroom to promote your business via using “Outside of Your Locality Experts” to really assist and help move your business forward locally…..

 

This Guest Blog was written by Ian Calvert and for further information, you can visit his website here or alternatively, if you want to discuss this more or what we can do for either you or your business, then please complete the form below:-

Note – all images used in this article have been sourced via searching on words, phrases and terms via the images section of www.google.com

Is #WYOD of the future arriving sooner?

Has Google taken a huge step forward in bring WYOD to the forefront even sooner?

#GoogleGlass #Bloomberg #Google #SA #ServiceAddress

With the announcement that over the next few weeks that Google are releasing tools to developers to help them bring forward new App’s and integration of platforms to WOYD‘s – what will this actually mean?

Whist this may start allowing App’s to be more widely available on item’s like Glass and may other devices appearing on the seen, the real question you need to start thinking, this is now but how can I be ready for all this?

Yes the devices can offer the ability to have navigation facilities, be able to record events, take photos, read texts and answer calls, are you thinking behind this? Content marketing is now becoming the real important factor in helping you to get your services, offerings and products known to the wider market but again, are you thinking beyond this?

The opportunity for you to add further developments to how you really promote your company is huge and whilst you may not be able to jump on board with this now, you really need to start laying the foundations.

Many companies and organisations are already having to play catch up by offering daily updates via Social Media, adding and changing photos frequently, the endless possibilities of video integration and even what you are doing now – reading this blog post – many aren’t using blog postings as an added dimension….

Many things are being revealed and discussed at SxSW but will you be taking notice of what is being said, released and shared? This and CeBIT have both seen major announcements this past weekend (8th & 9th of March 2014) plus with Gartner taking placing today and tomorrow (10th & 11th of March 2014) as new ideas, technology and applications are brought to the wider arena.

So, don’t get scared or worried by all this technology, the present is here now……

#IBMSocialBiz #IBMAnalytics #SocBizShakeUp #IBM #SxSW #SA #ServiceAddres

and……

#GoogleGlass #Bloomberg #Google #SA #ServiceAddress

the future is arriving……

For more information on WYOD and other aspects of this article, please contact us here or complete the form below:-

 

Why Cloud? 2nd of 3 simple understand guides to help you…

CLOUD COMPUTING FOR MIDSIZE BUSINESSES

#IanCalvert #Ian-Calvert #Service-Address #ServiceAddress #Mobile-Marketing #Social-Media-Process

DELIVERING INNOVATION AND EFFICIENCY

2nd of 3 simple understand guides to help you to discover:-

PART TWO:- WHY CLOUD….

  • There are a number of reasons why midsize companies should consider cloud as an option for meeting their challenges and addressing their priorities. Cloud is simple to deploy quickly. You pay just for what you use. It allows internal resources to focus on higher value IT services to your business. How does it do this? By offering:-
    • Single virtual appliance workloads
    • IT development and test environments
    • Mature packaged offerings, such as email, collaboration, salesforce automation
    • Web application assessments for security and compliance
    • Isolated workloads where latency between components is not an issue
    • Desktop, storage, backup and restore solutions and services

Using these Cloud capabilities and solutions, you can:-

    • Increase agility
    • Turn information into insight
    • Protect data, application and systems
    • Connect and empower people
    • Drive effectiveness and efficiency
    • Enable your internal resources to focus on providing higher-value IT services to your business

banner-cloud-556x140

The following sections describe how:-

Increasing agility

In this complex and uncertain world, midsize companies  struggle to keep pace with change. This becomes difficult when business processes cannot be altered as fast as the market demands. Also, the high cost of maintaining the infrastructure that supports applications and services can make it difficult for midsize companies to accommodate market changes. Because Cloud computing simplifies infrastructure management and builds inflexibility, it helps increase business agility because applications can respond immediately to new business requirements. Cloud computing makes it possible to manage service levels in a controlled fashion, route traffic based on changing demands and run more workloads with fewer servers. In addition, you can significantly speed time to value when you deploy business process management (BPM) solutions and other workloads from the cloud. In short, the increased agility provided by cloud can help you roll out new products faster.

Turning information into insight

Having access to the right information at the right time is what enables smart businesses to make the right decisions in a timely fashion. Yet, a recent IBM Institute for Business Value study discovered that one in two business leaders do not have sufficient information from across their organization to do their jobs. Business analytics and reporting can help. With business analytics, companies take information that is either isolated or scattered all over their organizations and transform it into insight that can improve decision making and company performance. However, many business analytics solutions are compute intensive, requiring a great deal of processing power.

Cloud computing offers an alternative to acquiring the power, servers and applications for business analytics by making it possible to access a single business analytics environment capable of supporting all users in the company. Midsize companies can take a self service approach to delivering business analytics services to new divisions, departments and users that reduces time, resources and costs.

Protecting data, applications and systems

Midsize companies understand the need for information security, but still struggle to manage the cost and complexity of a myriad of security technologies for everything from threat prevention to email security, vulnerability scanning and security event and log management. However, it is possible to secure data, application, systems and infrastructure at a lower cost—by taking advantage of security solutions that are available on the Cloud.

Cloud-delivered security enhances the security of the IT network in a practical way, requiring fewer IT resources and providing access to security experts whenever it is needed. In addition, there are no hardware and software licenses to purchase and no associated maintenance fees. The cloud delivery model also helps reduce security complexity because companies do not have to manage, configure and patch a proliferation of security devices and  technologies.

Because Cloud providers manage the data center that the cloud solutions are delivered from and those providers and centers are shared by multiple customers, Midsize companies can feel confident that their systems are secure. Cloud helps provide a valuable backup to on-premises computing.

#TheCloud #BuildingYourBusiness #TSP #TheSocialPiggy #ServiceAddress

Connecting and empowering people

A new generation of social media savvy workers has emerged. They prefer to use communities, forums, wikis and blogs todiscuss and refine ideas with one another and with customers.

In fact, more and more, an organization’s brand is experienced through its people. As a result, there has been a significant rise in demand for social networking capabilities in midsize businesses.

Cloud is an easy and cost-effective way for Midsize companies to provide social networking and other collaborative tools such as email and instant messaging. By moving applications that connect employees, companies and customers to the Cloud, midsize companies can empower employees without the responsibility of maintaining applications and infrastructure. Everything can be done with a web browser. As a result, everyone can work more efficiently and effectively.

Driving effectiveness and efficiency

Improving the economics and elasticity of infrastructure and development processes can help midsize businesses achieve new levels of business efficiency and effectiveness. Moving activities such as developing, testing and accessing applications to the cloud is one way to reduce cycle times, improve quality and lower the costs of these activities. When development and testing is delivered from the cloud, Midsize Businesses can save on most capital and licensing expenses, reduce operating and labour costs with automated provisioning and configuration and improve quality by reducing defects from faulty configurations and poor modelling. Cycle times can be reduced with reuse of codes and images.

When application and business services are provided from the cloud, Midsize Businesses can benefit from efficient desktop management, application monitoring and lower user IT support costs. When they are not being hampered by difficult access to the applications and environments they need to get their tasks done, developers and workers are not only more productive, but also what they produce is higher quality.

Cloud really is ideal for midsize businesses

When you take into account the needs of Midsize Businesses  – doing more with less, reducing risk, higher quality services and breakthrough agility – Cloud is an ideal fit. Accessing business services, software, platforms, infrastructure and security from the Cloud provides all kinds of benefits to Midsize companies who often must work with limited resources and budgets. With Cloud solutions, midsize companies can:-

    • Reduce capital expenditures and operational expenses.
    • Ensure the right levels of security and resiliency for all business data and processes.
    • Improve quality of services and deliver new services that help the business grow and reduce costs.
    • Increase ability to quickly deliver new services to capitalize on opportunities while containing costs and managing risk

With these kinds of benefits, it makes sense to adopt cloud as an integral part of your IT strategy.

Savvy Midsize Businesses are already pursuing the use of Cloud Computing, primarily because it helps them transfer capital costs to operational costs, reduce operational costs, improve product and services time-market and raise levels of quality. The key to achieving these benefits is to be precise about which of your capabilities can benefit from Cloud and move specific workloads rather than simply trying to “cloud enable” an entire IT infrastructure all at once.

How to get onto the Cloud……

1) Finding a trusted advisor with Cloud experience to assess your business processes and architecture and make recommendations –  here are a few examples of people for you to speak

2) Try it for free for one month with SoftLayer, an IBM company. This free one month trial of CloudLayer Computing from SoftLayer allows you to deploy public cloud instances with exceptional features in as little as five minutes.

This is the second part of a three step guide that was produced for Service Address  by Simon Porter who is the Vice President for Mid-Market Sales, Europe for IBM ( for connecting Simon via Twitter – @SimonLPorter ) and thus as a result, it enables Service Address to share the answers to questions that we are commonly asked. We do hope you have found this blog informative….

To learn more about how we can help you understand The Cloud. better, then contact us via here or complete the form below:-

Mobile or Location Social Media – are you there yet?

Social Media via Mobile or Location Marketing………

Have you even considered or thought about this?

#IanCalvert #Ian-Calvert #Service-Address #ServiceAddress #Mobile-Marketing #Social-Media-Process

Following an interesting event last week (Thursday 12th December 2013) with Robert Scoble and then reading his book (co-written with Shel Israel) – Age of Context – it gave us a lot to consider. We had chance to see wearable technology including glasses and goggles to demonstrate how wearable technology is going to become part of our future.

Previously, we have seen and read about pop up displays that can appear on the visors of pilots, displays on the windows or the airplane cockpits or popping up the windscreen of of cars. All these are providing various bits of information including information of the performance of the engines etc together with details like satellite navigation as to where you are going. We have all seen the publicity (whether this is right or wrong) surrounding Google and their Street View recording plus their Maps Application, but have you ever considered where this could all be leading?

Currently (to my knowledge and others I have spoken too), Google do not seem to be planning to re-do this again, well to update these recordings soon or at all, so you have consider when it is used in the future, that the data maybe out of date. But you say roads and locations don’t change – yes you maybe correct but the the businesses filmed may have relocated or closed down, so the image of the place you are looking for, could be wrong…..

Are you putting two and two together yet?

When we were children, we used cut up newspapers, magazines or catalogues to form scrapbooks or collages of the things we wanted, we used a felt tip or pen to mark the photos of what we wanted to identify and leave clues to as to what we wanted as presents or as people do today, posting to the new thing that is “Pinterest” – the modern day version of the previous methods….

You are using the internet (most likely Chrome which happens to be the home of Google) to search for something, it could be items for kitchen, the house or garden; maybe you are looking for clothes – either way, your device you were using for browsing, will have noted the sites you visited and the items you looked at, to enable you to find them faster the next time you look….

As you can see our devices and now applications like Pinterest are becoming today’s version of our scrapbooks or catalogue marking. Do you think this is really happening? Well just think back to something you were looking at recently on line and just see what starts popping up as you are typing in the information to the toolbar or search box….now isn’t that spooky, the details of what you searched for are appearing before you finished typing…..

Now you have TWO and TWO and TWO – what have you got……….

We mentioned wearable technology, Street View/Maps and now internet searches/applications and this all comes together in to the simple formation of Mobile and Location Marketing……

Mobile and Location marketing is becoming the future of linking all the elements together and thus creating the next generation of forming and facilitating our we are marketed to or the way we begin to shop…….

A brief overview from last week’s insight to this, what did it show? How about this for starters:-

  • Showed that the searches we looked at, are stored on our mobile devices.
  • The devices whilst we are out and about, are checking at regular interviews with the internet to download your emails, Facebook/Twitter updates, plus providing data to update all the other applications you have running on your device.
  • Your device it fitted with location services, so via GPS applications are able to pin point your location.
  • At the same time, the internet is holding the details of what businesses are available (if they have placed themselves on-line) or if those companies are on-line promoting themselves, the details of their products and services are placed on-line and being broadcast too.

So, place all four points above together, and then you have everything being delivered to you via a mixture of Mobile and Location marketing. How?

You are driving down the road or walking down the street, when you device pings or an icon appears on your glass; yu then look at the notification, only to be informed that the item you were looking at, is available at X plus has it in stock and is at price Y compared to price Z when you were looking on line.

#IanCalvert #Ian-Calvert #Service-Address #ServiceAddress #Mobile-Marketing #Social-Media-Process #Oakley #Airwave #Googles

With all this in mind, start to think about what you are planning to do next year and in 2015, as wearing technology will be here sooner than you think, plus as we already have mobile devices – the concept above, is not that far away……

#IanCalvert #Ian-Calvert #Service-Address #ServiceAddress #Mobile-Marketing #Social-Media-Process #GoogleGlass

yet how far away are you?

If you wish to discuss this further or any other issues, please contact us via here or complete the form below:-

This is Guest Blog written by Ian Calvert

Are you in front of everyone?

You see me here but can you find me elsewhere?

#IanCalvert #Ian-Calvert #IanMCalvert #Ian-M-Calvert #ServiceAddress #Service-Address #TheSocialPiggy #The-Social-Piggy #SocialMedia #Social-Media

Here you are reading this posting on our blog page which is on our website and you may have noticed is called www.service-address.co.uk and you know we are Service Address but are you looking elsewhere….

One of the things, that is something we discover quite often, is that many companies don’t have a consistence presence in place. whilst they say they have their brand but they don’t seem to embrace it. For example, we have the name Service Address not just here, but also on Twitter, Facebook, Google+ amongst so many more – but is it important?

There is two avenues to explore here….

One avenue is that when people are looking for you and they have found your website, they are also wanting to discover more about your company as well as discovering more from your company, so they will be looking for you. If they go on to YouTube we have our channel there and it is the name of Service Address so people can find our channel quite easily. And the same can be said for TwitterFacebookGoogle+  etc etc – now can you say the same? Have you got the various media channels branded in your company name? The major benefit here, is that when people or companies are a specific platform, they can just search for your company name and discover you. It may be just the holding page, a few posts or full of lots of information – either way, they have discovered your presence and this is important. With more and more focus being placed on Content Marketing, by placing your content on the various channels, you will be enable more facilities, platforms and applications to discover you and your company….

The second avenue, is how you deliver the information you want to share with people. This information you have to decide on is how it will be seen not just now or in a few months times but in the future too. This is why it is so important that the placing of information is done correctly, in the right place and by the right name. This may seem straight forward, but what you have to think is the person posting it and how long it you want it to be seen for? Whilst they say that people buy from people, people also want credibility of a company and a brand. So, if you have staff (say for example Paul) promoting your company (in this example Joe’s bakery) on Twitter via @JoesBakeryPaul which happens to be his account, what happens when he leaves? You won’t a) have control over that account as it his and b) all the information he posted on your bakery will be lost. Therefore, you need to make sure that all the accounts that are posted from, are ones created by you (thus you have ownership and control) and branded in your name too, thus the information being posted is your content and related to your company too.

 

So remember, make sure what is being posted is via:-

  • Platforms in your name
  • Applications in your name
  • Sites in your name
  • Postings are in your company
  • The postings are delivered from facilities owned, maintained and controlled under your companies’ Social Media policy
  • The information posted and shared is only information and related to your company

Thus, with 2014 just starting, quickly identify where you want information posting from and on and even if you may not need other platforms now, you may in the future, so grab those applications,, platforms and sites now with your company or product names on.

 

For further information on how all this is relevant and how we can help you, call us or complete the form below:-