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How To Revolutionize Your Business In 6 Minutes A Day

What if I told you with one simple change, I could add another 26 hours—or 3 1/4 days—of time back into your life? And what if I told you I could give that back to every single employee you have working for you instantly, without having to master a new time management program or making any changes to the way you work. Would you want to implement that change immediately? If you said “yes,” then read on… Tiny Hinges Swing Big Doors In order to understand how this is done, you have to understand one very simple principle: losses in productivity and progress are not lost (or gained) in big, obvious blocks of time. The silent killer is the culmination of a multitude of tiny, seemingly insignificant “leaks” of minutes and progress over an extended period. The “Latte Factor” Author David Bach explained this phenomenon as it pertains to retiring rich in his book, “The Automatic Millionaire.” He calls it the “latte factor,” and it can be the difference between retiring financially independent or broke. Here’s how it works… Let’s suppose you spend $7 a day for your fancy cup of coffee at Starbucks along with something to eat. On the surface, this seems like a very small, harmless expense. However, add that up over 30 years and if you had invested that money instead of spending it, you would end up with over $1.2 million dollars in your pocket. But here’s where it gets significant… MOST of the people who are spending $7 a day on trivial items are NOT investing ANYTHING into retirement. Why? Because they don’t understand the principle of the latte factor; because it’s such a small amount of money, they don’t think it would make any difference if they invested it—classic short term thinking. These are the people who end up working under the “golden arches” in their golden years because they can’t live off their meager savings. So what does this have to do with giving you 3 1/4 days of your life back? How 6 Minutes Turns Into 3 Days The same “latte factor” applies to tiny losses in time. Let’s say you lose 6 minutes a day in a 5-day workweek to computer problems, dealing with spam e-mails, slowness or other technical issues. Spread over a day it’s only a few seconds here or a minute or two there. On the surface, this seems insignificant and completely harmless. However, you add that up over a year and it comes out to 26 HOURS of lost time, not to mention the aggravation of dealing with these issues. Yet when we talk to most business owners about preventative maintenance to significantly REDUCE downtime, problems, slowness or hang time, they aren’t interested. Like the folks spending $7 a day, they think that time improvement in performance really won’t translate into more profits or revenue for their business. Stop The Slow Leak An ill-maintained network is far more susceptible to viruses, hackers, spyware, data loss, hardware failure and other malicious threats. Minute by minute, all of these issues waste your time. To prevent this “slow leak” from impacting your bottom line, check out these 3 tips: 1. Keep Your Virus Protection Up-To-Date. New threats are released every day so staying on top of this maintenance is critical. 2. Update Windows. Hotfixes, patches, & security features prevent system crashes and slowness. 3. Get New “Firm ware”. Firmware is the updated software for your firewall. It protects you from the latest hacker invasions and other online threats. FREE BOOK: “Hassle-Free Computer Support” Our latest book (free while supplies last) reveals what you need to know to prevent computer issues from stealing your time and money. Don’t let another minute go by. GET YOUR FREE COPY NOW AT: http://www.hasslefreebook.com/

Shiny New Gadget: Asus Videophone Touch

It’s the next generation of mobile phone: The mobile video phone. For the busy entrepreneur on the go this device could mean more face-to-face meetings and a more personalized conference call experience without being confined to the office. In addition, the device may even contribute to better communication with staff, vendors, and clients since the video aspect allows you to see and react to both verbal and NON-verbal cues. The Asus Videophone Touch AiGuru SV1T, as it’s called, is certified to work over Skype, an Internet calling service that provides free or inexpensive calls all around the world. About the same size as a small hardcover book, the device is easy to carry and sports a 7-inch screen. Set-up is easy too. Just turn on the Asus AiGuru SV1, set the date and time, and let it search for wireless connections in the area. Typically, it can find an available wireless network within seconds and connect right away. Once it’s connected to the Internet, you simply sign in with your Skype user name and password, and call away. The device costs about $235 and can be purchased online or through most office supply or electronics superstores.

STOP! Don’t Upgrade Your Server Until You Read THIS

A new breakthrough in technology may change the way you think about traditional computer networks. It’s called “Cloud Computing” and could save your business quite a bit of money on software, hardware, upgrades and services. Here’s how it works… Instead of purchasing hardware and software to be hosted at your office, cloud computing puts your programs and data on a highly secure “super server” (also called a data center) online. These servers have huge amounts of storage space and power that no small business could ever fully utilize. The data center then “rents” a portion of the space, power and software licenses to multiple businesses, giving you top of the line resources at a fraction of the cost. All you need is an Internet connection and you’re in business. This is not a new concept and companies like SalesForce, gMail, Google Apps, Constant Contact, and many other online applications have been offering their services this way for years – and because it’s so much more economical than installing, hosting and supporting a network in-house, the concept is catching on fast. Still skeptical? Here are 9 reasons why this concept is catching on FAST with small to medium business owners, and why you might consider it too: 1. You have an INSTANT virtual office. Cloud computing allows you or your employees to access and work from any secure PC, laptop or device. If you have employees that travel, are in remote locations or who need or want to work from home, this is an ideal solution. 2. You’ll save hard dollars on software, hardware and support. First, you won’t have to purchase, install or maintain servers or other network equipment. You also won’t need “super computers” to run the software, allowing you to purchase lesser-expensive laptops and PCs. Second, the software will be cheaper as well because you are renting it instead of purchasing it. Finally, IT maintenance and support costs will drop because the server is being maintained by the hosting company, not you. 3. Less Downtime and Problems. Software in the cloud runs on extremely fast and reliable systems that include some form of redundancy. What that means is if one server or component stops working, another server or component will instantly take over without you even realizing something happened. Compare that to your own server going down; until you get it fixed, you’re unable to work. 4. Automatic Disaster Recovery. If we’ve said it once, we’ve said it 100 times; make sure you back up your data. But when your data is hosted in the cloud, the backup is done automatically for you. Since your software and data reside on an offsite server in a data center, you already have a way to access it even if you couldn’t get into the office. 5. Less Expensive To Scale Your Network Up Or Down. If you start to run out of space on your local office computer or server, you’ll need to purchase an additional hard drive and pay for the installation. In a cloud computing environment, you just pay for the amount you need and increase your storage plan when necessary. And if you want to scale BACK, you can do that without penalty. 6. Hassle-Free Software. If you’ve ever had to search for software disks you know what a pain it can be. With cloud computing, all your software is loaded on a server in a datacenter and then shared over the Internet. There are no software disks to manage, organize or file. 7. Environmentally Friendly. Because resources are shared, cloud computing uses significantly less power. You also won’t have to upgrade your hardware as often, which means fewer PCs, laptops and other components piling up in landfills. 8. No More Expensive Software Upgrades. Networks in the cloud benefit from automatic software upgrades; best of all, they are done FOR you. When a software upgrade is needed, only the server “in the cloud” gets loaded up with the most up-to-date software versions. Then each computer accesses this software via the Internet. 9. Reduced Maintenance. When your software is in the cloud, patches are automatically applied, meaning fewer reboots and downtime for maintenance. It’s all taken care of for you.

“How Certain Are You That Your Business Could Be Back Up And Running After A Disaster?”

Have you ever lost an hour or two of work on your computer because it crashed? Now imagine if you lost days or weeks of work – or imagine losing your client database, financial records, and all of the work files your company has ever produced or compiled. Imagine what would happen if your network went down for days where you couldn’t access e-mail or the information on your PC. How frustrating would that be? Most small business owners have no idea of the importance of disaster recovery planning because they are already swamped with more immediate day-to-day fires demanding their attention. If their network is working fine today, it goes to the bottom of the pile of things to worry about. In most cases, no one is watching to make sure the backups are working, the virus protection is up-to-date, or that the network is “healthy.” This is like saying you’re too busy driving your car on the highway to put your seatbelt on. Taking that simple preventative step doesn’t really show its true value until you get into a head-on collision; at that point you are either extremely relieved that you had it on or incredibly sorry that you didn’t. The same holds true with your data backup. Obviously the information on the disk is far more valuable than the disk itself. If your company depends on having access to the information stored on your server or PC, then it’s time to get serious about protecting it from damage or loss. Want To Make Sure Your Backups Are Working? Then Call Us Now For A FREE Backup Check! During the month of May, we’re giving away a FREE Backup Check to review your backup procedure and uncover any problems or failures you might not be aware of. If we find anything amiss, we’ll let you know and make a few recommendations on how to remedy the problem. You are under no obligation to purchase anything or to take our recommendations. Don’t wait for a disaster to find out if your backups are working! Contact us now and gain peace of mind: 508-992-2541

Coming Soon: Interchangeable Cell Phone Chargers

When it’s time to upgrade your cell phone, there’s a cost you probably don’t think about until it’s time to pay the bill: the charger. Sure, your new purchase comes with a wall charger. But if you want to charge your phone in the car, that old one you have just won’t work. Fortunately, all that is about to change. Seventeen wireless handset manufacturers have agreed to make interchangeable chargers that will work for the majority of new cell phones, according to USA Today. This is expected to take place by 2012. Hurray! One less expense at the cell phone store!

3 Turnkey Ways To Learn More About Your Customers

These days, getting up-to-date information from your contacts isn’t easy. On top of managing your e-mail and phone calls, now you have to check Facebook, Twitter, My Space, and Linked-In just to make sure you don’t miss something. It’s enough to make your head spin. But Microsoft Outlook may have the solution. Outlook Social Connector (OSC), a recent add-on to Outlook, puts all your social media communications and emails in one place, eliminating the need to check multiple sites for the info you need. Both avid fans and rare users of social media will likely find the new OSC tool to be a big time saver. Here are 3 reasons why: 1) Communication History. Can’t remember the last time you e-mailed a certain contact? Looking for an attachment referenced in an e-mail? Your mailbox is searched and recent messages, as well as a list of attachments you’ve exchanged with that person, appear. A quick look at the OSC reveals the last time you received an email from them, and one click opens it up. 2) Updated Contact Info. In real time, your OSC will go out to social networks and let you know what your colleagues and friends are up to. If your contacts update their profile or change their status, OSC will tell you that too. 3) Adding New Contacts. With a simple click, you can request to be someone’s friend or colleague on any social networks you’re connected to. The OSC then automatically saves them as contacts in Outlook.

ThinkTech Is Growing – In More Ways Than One!

As some of you may know, in 2009 ThinkTech added another C.E.O. (Chief Executive Offspring) to the family. (That’s Pam, Nathan, Zachary (3), and Brody (8 months) in the picture). In addition to growing our literal family, we’ve grown our client family as well. We now have locations in the following three areas: Southeastern MA ( headquarters ) Southwestern FL Central TN We will be busy continuing to expand all three locations this year and providing exceptional support to our wonderful clients. If there is ever anything we can do to make your “WOW” experience with us EVEN BETTER, be sure to call us at 508-992-2541. FREE FRESH FLORIDA ORANGES OR TENNESSE GOO-GOO CLUSTERS Know any businesses that could use computer and network support in either of our two new support areas? Call us at 508-992-2541 or send an e-mail to jessica@thinktechonline.com with the name and contact information of any of your business friends who are looking for a good, reliable IT support company…and get “paid” in oranges or chocolaty goo-goo clusters!

Paper Chaos: “Good Riddance”

Paper is expensive. Ink, supplies, cabinets, storage, and payroll to handle the paper; it all costs money and time. Just 15 minutes a day of paper shuffling equates to a FULL work week of non-productive time per year. Want to get that time and money back? Then consider a document management solution. By using document imaging, your paper piles are converted into organized, easy to find electronic files. Good document management systems can also streamline processes, eliminate redundancy and increase the ability for your employees to collaborate on documents. Say “Bye-bye, paper…Hello, technology.”

If Your Ex-Employee Deleted All Of His E-mails, Would You Know What To Do?

Though sometimes necessary, letting go of an employee is never easy. No one wants to think that their employees would do any-thing inappropriate when they leave. But the fact is…it happens. When you think about all the company information that person was privy to—and the damage this person could do – it’s downright scary. Thankfully, Microsoft Exchange 2010 protects you from that. This popular e-mail system uses a feature called the “legal hold” to prevent an unscrupulous employee from deleting important messages to cover his tracks. If any employee in your company deletes or alters an e-mail, this new version of Exchange can save this message for you. To help prevent any funny business from happening in the first place, you can even have the e-mail system warn the employee that the “legal hold” feature is on. In addition to protecting you from a bitter employee, the new Exchange can help with other legal matters, too. Let’s say you are having a disagreement with a vendor. To support your case, you need to gather all the e-mails your company has sent to them. The new Exchange makes that a snap. With a few clicks, you can search everyone’s mailbox for relevant e-mails without going to each employee looking for it. How do you get your hands on this software? 2 options. Option #1 – Own it. You buy the server, software & pay for set-up, but retain all the control. Option #2 – “Rent” it. Coined, “Hosted Exchange” this gives you the flexibility to “share” the software and hardware costs with other businesses thereby greatly lowering your upfront costs. Which Option Is Right For You? Call Us: 508-992-2541

Could Facebook Ruin Your Business?

Warren Buffet said, “It takes 20 years to build a reputation and 5 minutes to ruin it.” Nowhere could this idea be more true than on the Internet. With lightening-fast speed, one negative post about your company on Facebook or other social media site can travel to hundreds or thousands of potential customers or employees and ruin your reputation. On top of the humiliation of “losing face,” from negative online feed-back, you could lose customers, sales, and vendor relationships, too. The Un-Truth While some “company-bashing” comments might be warranted, here’s the worst part: some are completely untrue. Obviously, there’s no way to fact-check everything posted about your business. Most online comments about any business are actually just pure opinion. Think negative online opinions on Twitter or Facebook will just “blow over?” Not likely. Posting something online makes it available for anyone to copy and distribute instantly. So even if you delete the initial post, the same information may already be posted in 18 different places. Once something is online, it’s pretty much there to stay. How Your Reputation Could Be Tarnished There are four ways potentially damaging messages could be said about your company. 1. Competitors. It isn’t difficult to hide your true identity online. All your competition has to do is pose as an “average Joe” and pretend to be your customer. Then he can post negative reviews, damaging comments, or horrible customer experiences that never happened. In a matter of minutes, he can make your loyal customers have their doubts about continuing to do business with you and ward off potential new clients. When this happens to you, proving these comments are posted by your competition is no small feat. Even if you could prove who the culprit was, you wouldn’t be likely to nail him. Since social media is a relatively new phenomenon, there is very little case law available. What is available pertains more to employees’ social media activity than to your competitors. 2. Employees. Without intending to, employees could post or comment about confidential company information and put the business at enormous risk. Merely commenting on a project or a particular customer could cause the competition to steal business away, or could make the customer leave, upset that your employees are writing about their dealings with you for all the world to see. Then there’s the disgruntled employee. According to a recent survey by Deloitte, 74% of employees say it’s easy to damage an employer’s reputation using social networking sites (Facebook, MySpace, Twitter, etc.). Recently, a bank sued one of their ex-vice presidents after he posted confidential company documents online. Allegedly, the documents exposed illegal activities. The law suit requested the forceful removal of the documents. The bank lost the case, saying that the website and the ex–vice president had a First Amendment right to keep the documents online. In addition, the judge pointed out that taking down the documents would do little good, since they could have been copied and re-posted by other sites. 3. Employees’ “Friends” And Family. Turns out it’s not just employees you need to worry about…but their circle of friends and family, too. In a recent U.S. court case, a restauranteur was quoted in a newspaper article as saying that he treats his employees with “dignity and respect.” When the father of a former employee read this article online, he was not too happy. He left a comment that the company had been sexually harassing his daughter and that the owner condoned the behavior. The company looked for justice by suing the father for defamation, but the case got thrown out. The reason? The court sited these comments as opinion and not applicable to defamation laws. 4. Customers. Social media and other online chat has made it easier than ever for customers to let the world know about negative experiences with your company. Of course, the best thing to do is work diligently to keep your customers happy and avoid this issue altogether. But just one “minor” incident can send a bad vibe to all your prospects at the speed of light online. Though you can’t prevent customers or competition from posting whatever they want, you can have some control over what your employees do. How To Prevent Online Company Bashing First, make sure you have a computer use policy. In it, you can dictate what employees can and cannot do online and include a section on banning any conduct that could damage your company’s reputation. Second, monitor your employees’ activity online. Newer content filtering appliances allow business owners to keep an eye on where their employees are going and even what information they are posting online. FREE 2-HOUR SERVICE CALL HELPS YOU PROTECT YOUR REPUTATION During the month of April, we’re giving away 2 FREE hours of service to use as you wish. You can have us review or begin writing your computer use policy, help you develop a plan for monitoring negative online comments or review your firewall for other Internet threats. Don’t miss out! Call us for your 2 FREE hours today! 508-992-2541