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Verizon Business Markets Blog

Displaying articles for: November 2011

Employee ‎11-29-2011 11:46 AM

The holiday shopping season is upon us.


If you operate a small business or retail operation that sees increased sales during the holidays, protecting your customers’ information is essential to a successful season.  Check out some security tips to help protect your business:

  • Retailers should not make—or allow—any significant changes to their IT systems leading up to the holidays. They should focus instead on establishing a stable, secure snapshot-in-time of their network to establish a baseline should a breach occur. 
  • Traffic moving between stores and between headquarters and stores is commonly overlooked in retail environments.  During the holiday season lockdown, network traffic should be closely monitored for activity that might characterize a security incident.  If possible, consider blocking all non-essential store-to-store and store-to-headquarters traffic.
  • Businesses often do not have a keen sense of their own data – what is vital to the business, where the data is stored, where it flows and who has access. It is virtually impossible to protect data if a business does not know it exists or where it resides. 
  • Unnecessary data retention is a major trap for retailers.  Sensitive data such as consumer- and identity-related information are a goldmine for data thieves, and therefore can be a retailer’s greatest exposure. Unnecessary sensitive data should be purged.
  • While interactions with business partners are part of everyday business, they can also expose organizations to heightened risk. To enhance security within third-party interactions, retailers should only allow third parties to connect to their network with specific approval and/or a trouble ticket, and they should require unique IDs and use two-factor authentication, such as a user name/password and token.

These steps for your business or your customers are not onerous and can provide that measure of precaution that will allow you to focus on running your business during the holidays and not on data breaches and/or theft.


This may be a good time to also check out some of our short Security Matters video, click here to see one on visitors or go to the Verizon Small Biz Blog to see others.


Click here to see a short video on the security solution Verizon offers small businesses.


What other safety measures do you put in place for your business during the holidays?   

Paul_Macchia ‎11-28-2011 06:55 AM

Don’t you think it’s time to get a jumpstart on resolutions for 2012?  As an SMB you are now in a position to amp up your 3G and 4G business tools.  Affordably.  From Verizon Wireless.


Check this out!


Beginning November 28, Verizon Wireless is offering special promotions to SMBs and Corporate Liable End Users (CLEU) – with 5-9999 lines – as the holiday shopping season gets under way.  Two things to keep in mind:


  • Offers are for new lines and renewals on two-year agreements only
  • Verizon Wireless representatives will apply the discounted device pricing at the Point of Sale (POS) when device and plan conditions are met.

B2B Cyber Monday Discount

On "Cyber Monday," November 28, Verizon Wireless is offering business customers select device discounts on two-year activations and renewals through MyBiz when certain price plan conditions are met. Eligible devices and prices are as follows:


  • HTC ThunderBolt (with additional extended battery) - $129.99
  • Motorola DROID 3 - $129.99

NOTE: This offer applies to standard plans only (voice $34.99+) and for MyBiz Online only.


SMB Special Promotions

From November 28 through December 2, Verizon Wireless is offering business customers select device discounts on two-year activations and renewals when certain price plan conditions are met. SMB special device pricing is as follows:


  • 4G LTE Mobile Broadband
    • MiFi 4510L 4G Mobile Hotspot - $29.99
    • USB551L 4G USB Modem – FREE


  • 4G LTE Tablets and Netbook
    • Motorola XOOM - $199.99
    • Samsung Galaxy Tab 10.1 32GB White - $529.99
    • Compaq Mini Netbook - $299.99


  • 4G LTE Smartphones
    • LG Revolution - $49.99
    • Samsung DROID Charge - $149.99
    • Pantech Breakout - $49.99


  • 3G Smartphones
    • BlackBerry Bold 9930 - $149.99
    • Motorola DROID Pro – FREE


NOTE: Applies to standard plans only (voice $34.99+, tablet $30+, Mobile Broadband $50+); This offer applies to all direct locations: B2B, Retail, Business Telesales and online.

So, show your customers you are on the cutting edge and have the best business tools to accomplish your mutual goals.


For additional information, please contact 1-800-2JOIN-IN

I hope you had a Happy Thanksgiving weekend.  Check out these articles that caught our attention with a focus on prepping for 2012.   Read this article for some expert advice on how to prepare for 2012… with a focus on e-commerce.


Has your company finalized your business plans for 2012?  Did you consider a strong communications plan in it?  Read this article to learn why this is a critical factor you should consider.


Are you looking for a little inspiration on running your business?  Have you asked yourself what would Lady Gaga do?  Read this great article for some not so foolish tips you might learn from the pop star.


Here’s an infographics on building authority for your website… it involves writing – having good content; so, here’s some tips for writing magnetic headlines


Lastly, if you haven’t done so, do share a marketing tip with us to get a $25 Amex gift card which we hope you’ll use at another local business.  Click here for more information.


Happy reading and act fast to get that gift card, while supplies last!


Today’s roundup was compiled with the help with Maureen Burch, product strategy manager for Verizon.



Employee ‎11-22-2011 10:59 AM

QR codes have been around for quite some time.  In case you didn’t know, QR stands for “quick response.”  The QR code looks like a barcode that you can scan using a smartphone equipped with a camera and some QR code-scanning software (I’m using the app called QR Droid on my Android (Bionic) smartphone).


QR codes have been around since the 1990s but are just now becoming popular, spurred on by the growing proliferation of smartphones.  When you scan a QR code that you find on a product, a brochure, a shop window, a billboard or other place, you are automatically connected to a web page that gives you more information.  The information ranges from discounts, to product specs, invitations to events, exclusive content and more.


Recently a number of stories came out about the wonders of the QR code.


The New York Times ran an in-depth feature about the different uses that businesses, individuals and organizations have made of QR codes.  From Fashion Week promotions to department store makeup demonstrations, charitable donation solicitations and museum displays, QR codes are connecting people with information quickly and easily, wherever they are.  According to the Times, they’re even being used in place of business cards or bar napkins by people who want to make business … or personal … connections.


Blogger Maegan Carberry at Mashable speculated that QR codes could become integral parts of presidential candidates’ 2012 campaigns in the same way President Obama leveraged You Tube, Facebook and Twitter in 2008.  The Deseret News reveals how QR codes are even being used on tombstones to link mourners to web sites with videos, photos and other records that document and celebrate a person’s life.


Earlier this year Fast Company offered 13 creative ways to use QR codes for marketing.


Check out the QR code I just made, there are many websites that will allow you to make one for free


Does your business use QR codes?  If yes, please share how you are using it to drive sales or to engage with your customers. 


Check out this QR code below to get a free Amex gift card, supplies limited.



Employee ‎11-18-2011 11:29 AM

This week we got some great advice on small business loans from Tanya Brockett, a former adjunct professor of Entrepreneurship and Book Publishing at the University of Virginia and author of The Loan Solution. If you missed the live webinar with Tanya, you can get the archive here.

The Web was full of news about the protests on Wall Street, prime ministers losing their power and the latest gaffs by political candidates. In the small business blogosphere however, we found several articles worth sharing to our entrepreneurship-focused friends. So here they are, with everything from franchising to social media:

Lastly, if you missed this week's security video on how to avoid sending rogue "poopy-pants" emails, click here


Have a great weekend!

This week’s Weekly Roundup was contributed by Ryan Morris, Social Media Manager to Verizon.


In this video see what happens when Michael doesn’t secure his computer while “away” from it.


After watching this video it is also a good time to discuss with your employees remote access to your company’s information and networks.  Your employees need to understand that the flexibility and availability of access remotely presents additional risks to the confidentiality, availability and integrity of your company’s data.


Be mindful to lock your screen when you step away from your computer and have an unique password to protect company systems, computing equipment and data from easy access by unauthorized individuals.


Bottom-line, when not in use, lock and protect your computer… laptop… smartphone… and/or tablet.



What other security tip do you think of after watching this video?

Employee ‎11-15-2011 03:58 PM

Guest post from Tanya Brockett this month’s featured author from the Verizon Author Series. Tanya is a former adjunct professor of Entrepreneurship and Book Publishing at the University of Virginia; 15-year advocate of and consultant to entrepreneurs; and author of The Loan Solution.



When a small business falls into financial trouble nowadays, what does it do? Loral Langemeier, author of the national bestseller The Millionaire Maker, says we think small and retract. Additionally, because the credit markets have been so adept at increasing our reliance on them, we look to who we can borrow from to get out of the hole. Do you see the flaw?  We don’t say, “How can I create more cash to change things?” We ask instead, “where can I borrow from to turn things around?”


We need to shift our money consciousness to start thinking creation rather than just borrowing or trading. We are trading time for money, trading interest fees for money, or trading our first born for money. Though there are times when leveraging ourselves with debt capital makes strategic sense, small businesses should also be thinking of creating cash in multiple ways.


Changing the money mindset


In order to shift our small business mindset from indebtedness to cash creation, it requires a shift in perspective. Many success teachers tell us that if we cannot see our business thriving instead of just surviving, it probably won’t. If we cannot see ourselves being successful and working with great clients/customers who see our value and are willing to pay for it, we won’t.


So the first step in creating Money Solutions for your business starts with you. You have to believe that you have something of value to offer and that you have every likelihood of being successful offering it, or there is no point in continuing to struggle!


In my entrepreneurship classes, I have my students visualize their ideal business and its success. They literally close their eyes and see the clients, the employees, the money flowing in, the products shipping out, and the positive impact that they are having on the community and their customers. I want them to feel what it would feel like to be successful doing what they are passionate about doing. If they can’t see it or feel it now, how will they recognize it when it happens? How will they continue to strive for it when the going gets tough? If they can’t see success now, what is the chance that they will ever make it a reality?



Get on the right path                     


For those of us in the line of business that makes a difference in the lives of our clients and for whom working is a pleasure, getting in alignment with our true intentions of providing service is a necessary first step. Whether you are a plumber or an accountant or a consultant or a professional speaker, your customer’s needs must be met by the service you provide, or you are wasting your time and your customer’s money. And yours too.


Knowing that we are doing what we set out to do, and recognizing that we must “be in business to make money” in order to continue providing that great product or service for our clients, we should then open our minds to a variety of streams of income, not just those tied to the sales of our primary products or services.



First, review your results


Sometimes we continue to operate under the status quo just because it is the way we have always done it. In this economy, that is simply not good enough. In Jack Canfield’s book, The Success Principles, he shares an equation that states that E + R = O. Simply put, events and our responses to those events, create our results or our outcomes. So, from a business/money perspective, if business is slow and we spend $1,000 on an ad in a news periodical, that only generates $200 worth of business, our outcome is a loss of $800. Yet, because we don’t often measure the results of our business decisions and we figure running ads is what businesses do when they want clients, we run that add four more times, yielding similar results, and lose more than $4,000. We keep responding the same way and get the same or worse results.


If, instead, we recognized that the E (slow sales) was still there, and our original approach (the news print ad) caused us to lose more money, we can change our response for a different outcome. So we change our R (our approach) by choosing to sponsor an event that directly impacts our target customer, and our outcome (O) changes. We pay $5,000 to sponsor an event that leads to $20,000 in additional sales, and our outcome is much improved simply by thinking out of the box and responding to the results. If we look at where we have spent our money and evaluate the return on that investment, we can choose a different path that will lead to different results. If we don’t change our response (R), we have no right to complain about how much money we wasted (or how bad the economy is, etc.).


Know what you want


If you have specific business/financial goals that you want to achieve and you write those goals down and revisit them each day, you are much more likely to achieve those goals. Brian Tracy talks about this very specifically in the book Eat that Frog. Jack Canfield takes that a step further, and offers several success principles for achieving your goals, like applying the “Rule of 5s.” The Rule of 5s means to take five steps or actions towards your goals each day. To do so, you have to know what you want, and have it written down so you can refer to it each day to have a target to shoot for. This includes money for your business.


Knowing what you want is also essential for receiving it. One example I have often given my entrepreneurship students: I can’t write a check to you for “somewhere between $20,000 and $50,000.” I have to know a specific number to write on a check before I can give it to you, so you need to know what that number is so you can tell me!


So after you have analyzed your business results and have established goals for the upcoming fiscal year, be clear on what it is you need to make those goals happen.



Visualize its attainment


As mentioned earlier, if you cannot see yourself achieving a goal, financial or otherwise, you are not as likely to bring it to fruition. So, once you have set a business financial target, you should see yourself successfully achieving it each day until it comes to pass. You’ll be amazed at the actionable ideas that come to mind as you do so.


If you think that visualizing is silly, ask the top Olympic athletes if they see themselves crossing the finish line before they run their races. Ask pro golfers if they see themselves hitting that long putt and winning the match before they play. As Secrets of the Millionaire Mind author T. Harv Eker might say, if you feel stupid doing this, ask yourself: would I rather feel normal/smart and be poor, or would I rather feel stupid and be rich? You decide.



Stay open for something new


We have entered both challenging and exciting times. It is from the depth of recessions that millionaires are born. Necessity is the mother of invention. When challenged with obstacles, view them as opportunities to create new ways of doing things, new ways of making money, and new ways of creating meaningful business relationships. Open your mind to new thought processes and possibilities. Learn to collaborate with others in your industry for the good of all concerned, instead of operating purely on the competitive plane. It is my belief that doing so will offer up to you new opportunities for Money Solutions that you would never have thought of on your own.


I’ll review these and offer more insights during my webinar tomorrow, November 16 at 2 p.m. ET. Click here to sign up for this live free webinar or go http://bit.ly/rU6ATO.



[Editor’s note: To win your free copy of The Loan Solution be one of the first 15 people to send an email to vzsmallbiz@verizon.net telling us you’d like a copy of Tanya’s book.  Of course, in the email, do share with us how you handle your company’s cash flow.]


The Verizon Author Series was designed to bring experts to offer insights and advice to small businesses.  All this month we gave away featured author, Tanya Brockett’s book The Loan SolutionWe will give away more of Tanya’s book the rest of this month and during her live webinar and live Twitter chat.


Tanya Brockett is a dynamic speaker, published author, entrepreneur, and small business consultant.


Tomorrow Wednesday, November 16, at 2 p.m. ET Tanya will host a live (free) webinar presented by the Verizon Small Business Center and then be available for a whole hour on Twitter on Thursday, November 17 at 12 p.m. ET to answer questions and offer more tips and insights.


I urge all businesses to seize these two opportunities to get insights directly from Tanya Brockett. Consider these as free consultations with a business expert; so, why not use it to your advantage? 


During tomorrow’s webinar Tanya will focus on ways businesses can raise cash, with or without debt.  


To register for this live free webinar click here (or go to http://bit.ly/rU6ATO).  Towards the end of the webinar feel free to ask Tanya your question(s) or save your question(s) and ask her on Twitter


For more information about the live Twitter chat and how to participate click here (or go to http://bit.ly/edjtQT).  To follow along the conversation search (http://search.twitter.com) for #bizbooks or follow @VzSmallBiz (www.twitter.com/VZSmallBiz).


Of course, feel free to post your questions in the comments section below and we’ll make sure Tanya answers it during the webinar or on Twitter.


The first 10 to ask Tanya a question or post a comment below will get a copy of her book.

Are you looking to improve the quality of your social media content?  Read this article for some great tips.  This article offers insights into how to create a social media marketing schedule.


Many of us utilize location based applications on a daily basis from our mobile devices.  Are you aware of the risks involved?  Read this article for tips on how to avoid them.


2012 is almost here.  Read this article for some tips on how to make the most of what remains of 2011.


To celebrate Veterans Day here’s an article on helping Vets become entrepreneurs.  Check out this video (or see it below) on how Verizon helps veterans (filmed at a recent Be a Hero, Hire a Hero career fair).



Lastly to show our support of SMBs, share a marketing tip to get a $25 Amex gift card while supplies last.  Click here for more information.  We encourage you to shop at a local business.


Enjoy the weekend!






Today’s roundup was compiled with the help with Maureen Burch, product strategy manager for Verizon.

Small Businesses Here’s Your Chance to Support One Another Again



Last year we supported American Express’ national movement called Small Business Saturday SM, urging the public to support the local businesses that help to create jobs, boost the economy and preserve neighborhoods around the country. 


Verizon is proud to join in again as a leading provider of products and services to businesses of all sizes.


Verizon already supports small businesses through the Verizon Small Business Center, a best in class one-stop portal offering free resources like our free webinars, news and tips to help any small and mid-sized business (SMB) grow their business by utilizing new tools to engage customers and potential customers.


As the holiday shopping season commences, Verizon joins the Small Business Saturday movement to urge small businesses to support one another and to shop at a local business in their neighborhood. To further support Small Business Saturday, Verizon will give a $25 American Express gift cards to the first 600 small businesses that take action. 


It’s simple, share a marketing tip with us and the other SMBs that view our Verizon Small Biz Blog and tell us how you will market your business on November 26 – Small Business Saturday – or throughout the holiday shopping season.  Go to http://www.smallbusinesssaturday.com/ to find marketing resources you can use to help get you started.


Just click here (http://bit.ly/rt6yF6) to complete the form. 


Be sure to complete the form and include your full address (so we can mail you the $25 Amex gift card), your business’ website (if you have one and if you don’t… please read this blog post) and lastly tell us which small business you’ll shop at with your gift card.


This is a great opportunity to do your small part to help another small business.


This $25 Amex Card Giveaway is open to U.S.-based small businesses only.  The first 600 small business owners who completes the qualifying form (click here or go to http://bit.ly/rt6yF6) with all of the information requested on the Verizon Small Biz Blog on or before November 30, 2011 will receive a $25 American Express gift card.  Limit one gift card per business, address and/or email address.  The gift card will be mailed within 8-12 weeks.  Verizon employees, contractors, directors and officers are not eligible.


So go on, take action.  Do your part to help another small business.  And be sure to tell your friends or family – non-business owners – to check out this post on the Verizon AtHome Blog for their chance to get a $25 American Express gift card.


To support Small Business Saturday, Verizon is also giving away a $500 Amex Gift Card to 100 lucky winners who enter on our Small Business Facebook pageIn total, with the help from American Express, Verizon will be giving away $90,000 in Amex gift cards in various denominations to encourage our customers and business owners to support their local businesses.


We urge you to take the time to spread the word that you will be shopping at a local business and encourage others to shop at a local business too.


Thank you and happy shopping!



Employee ‎11-13-2011 08:06 PM

Guest post from Tanya Brockett this month’s featured author from the Verizon Authors Series. Tanya is an adjunct professor of Entrepreneurship and Book Publishing at the University of Virginia; 15-year advocate of and consultant to entrepreneurs; and author of The Loan Solution.




Oftentimes we choose to avoid the evaluation of our spending because we are afraid of what we will find. If we examine our spending habits, we may see that we spend way too much on, say, office supplies than we need to. We overspend on every new gadget that comes along without looking at the return on that investment. We spend mindlessly on marketing...just because. We couldn't quantify the results of the advertising campaign if we wanted to. And, in reality, we didn't even have a campaign, it was just a series of spending actions that led to...well...we don't know because we didn't measure our results.


Year-end is a time to recognize that we cannot accurately set financial goals for our new year if we don't look at the spending of the previous year. At least, if we do, we won't know if it is better or worse, realistic or not. Small business owners, heck all individuals, need to take a look at their performance over the past year to set a new strategy for the year to come.


Now is the time to get a jump on entering the months' worth of transactions that you have avoided entering into your accounting system. Now is the time to record all the deposits, and document all the spending. Don't wait until the year ends to do this. Your accountant is going to have enough rush work to do without adding yours to it. Give them a break, and give yourself a heads up, by ensuring that all of your transactions are entered into your system and accounted for.


After you have done so, go ahead and pull up your preliminary income statement and balance sheets: your financial statements. These will help you to analyze your business activity from a financial perspective. Yes, you should have been looking at these monthly; but that is water under the bridge now. Pull up your statements now and evaluate what you see, so you aren't surprised by what your accountant finds after the year has ended.


If you find that you are in a better cash position than anticipated, you might ask your accountant about whether to buy the equipment that you need to run your business, in order to take advantage of new tax credits this year. It may mean you have to take possession of and put the equipment into service before December 31 to take the tax credit for the whole year. Find out now so you can take advantage of it.


If you find that you are in a cash-strapped position, what led to this? Can you identify areas of overspending or loss of inventory or poor pricing strategies that negatively impacted your cash? Have you made investments into marketing in a slow market? If not, why not? A down market is the time to be seen amongst the usual advertising clutter. It is also when customers may see you, consistently, rising above your competition.



After you have evaluated your financial position and discussed it with your accountant or business consultant, use your new knowledge to chart your course for the upcoming year. What will you do differently to improve your cash position? What will you keep the same because it is working well for you? What new income streams can you produce to boost sales? What fresh perspective can you take on your existing business and service areas that will breathe new life into your financials and the excitement you enjoy in "doing" your business? There is nothing like bouncing ideas off of others to help you stimulate your thinking. So plan to get together with others to share ideas, share best practices, and explore industry trends. It is likely to make a positive difference in your business, regardless of your current position.


Armed with all of the new insights and ideas, quantify your revised approach by developing a cash budget. This is not the same as creating financial statement projections (pro formas). Creating a cash budget helps you to literally see each dollar (or penny) going in and out of your business each month.  On page 40 of my book The Loan Solution, you will find a twelve-month cash budget spreadsheet that helps you to clearly identify each cash expenditure that your business will make (find the spreadsheets at www.loansolutionbook.com/CashSalesPage.htm).


In many ways, this is better than an income statement projection, because you can follow the movement of money, not just expenses (which may or may not require actual cash to claim).


My book recommends a very practical approach to budgeting that you should consider: put the actual dollar item where it will actually fall in your year, rather than just taking an annual total and dividing it by twelve for a monthly amount. For example, if you know you only pay your business insurance bill quarterly, put the quarterly amount into the four months that you will actually pay the bill. It sounds simple, but many business owners do not know what their monthly cash outlay is likely to be, so they cannot respond quickly when sales dip or when a great supplier discount can be realized.


If numbers are just not your thing, offset your weakness with someone else's strength. Seek out someone who can assist you with the collection, reporting, and analysis of your financial position. You, your business, your customers, and your employees will all benefit greatly by your willingness to evaluate and plan.  No matter what you find in your analysis, having your eyes wide open will allow you to have a better year in 2012.


To win your free copy of The Loan Solution be one of the first 15 people to send an email to vzsmallbiz@verizon.nettelling us you’d like a copy of Tanya’s book.  Of course, in the email, do share with us how you handle your company’s cash flow.


For opportunities to get more insights from Tanya click here.


It’s November and we’re excited to introduce another expert in the Verizon Author Series: Tanya Brockett adjunct professor of Entrepreneurship and Book Publishing at the University of Virginia; 15-year advocate of and consultant to entrepreneurs; and author of The Loan Solution.


The best part of the Verizon Author Series is that we’ll be giving away Tanya’s book The Loan Solution all this month.  You’ll want to read this book because Tanya will share insights into how to manage and create your cash flow instead of borrowing to turn things around (and more).


Previously, Tanya served as director of operations for a non-profit micro-lender and as an SBDC Center Director, and has helped her clients to acquire millions in capital throughout her career. She is also the owner of Hallagen Ink where they help clients to prosper on purpose through corporate sponsorships, entrepreneurship, and publishing. Tanya is also a speaker and presenter of workshops and lectures. Tanya’s upcoming books include Money Solutions for Small Businesses and The Enlightened (New) Writer: Tips & Tools for Creating a Joyous Publishing Experience.


To get money solutions and insights from Tanya this month, be sure to check back as she will share a couple of guest blog posts.  Also, join us for a live (free) webinar presented by the Verizon Small Business Center which will feature Tanya as a guest presenter on Wednesday, November 16 at 2 p.m. ET.  This will be a great opportunity to ask Tanya your questions.  Register now (http://bit.ly/rU6ATO) .


Lastly, we give you another chance to get real-time tips and advice directly from Tanya during the live Twitter chat we’ll have with Tanya on Thursday, November 17 at 12 p.m. ET.  Just follow us @VZSmallBiz (www.twitter.com/VzSmallBiz) or search for #bizbooks.


To win your free copy of The Loan Solution be one of the first 15 people to send an email to vzsmallbiz@verizon.nettelling us you’d like a copy of Tanya’s book.  Of course, in the email, do share with us how you handle your company’s cash flow.


Should you have any questions for Tanya, don’t hesitate to post it below, we’ll do our best to get Tanya to answer your questions so you can get insights to help you grow your business.


To reach Tanya, email her at Tanya@ProsperOnPurpose.net or follow her on Twitter.





Monday closed out the final day of National Cyber Security Awareness Month. After a solid month of posting blogs and tweets about methods to improve your security online, we feel you should have a better understanding of steps to become more vigilant.  While we heavily focused on security last month, it should be top of mind every day.  If you missed it check out the short Security Matters video we shared earlier (click here for the one about knowing your visitors or click here for the one about passwords).  Security is everyone's responsibility.


Speaking of security this recent article speaks about how you can prevent data breach.  This article gives speaks about cyberthreats targetign SMBs.


The blogosphere this week was awash with tasty nuggets of small business methodology you can use to improve profits, prepare for the future and even reinvent your own company:



Have a great weekend!



Today’s Weekly Roundup was contributed by Ryan Morris, Social Media Manager to Verizon.

Paul_Macchia ‎11-04-2011 10:47 AM

Power, Speed and Business Efficiency on America’s Fastest and Most Reliable 4G Network


If you are an entrepreneur or work for an SMB, in all likelihood you think of your smartphone along the lines of the once prominent American Express Card theme:  You DON’T leave home – or your office – without it.


There are so many articles about how smartphones are usefulness for businesses.  In a sense it’s like a miniature computer, but with telephone capabilities and it is small enough to easily carry around wherever you go.


With a smartphone you can answer a call and check your email or browse the web for news or search for a vendor.  You can take a photo or a short video and easily upload it to your company’s Facebook page or Twitter.


Plus there are many apps that are made especially to help business owners. Verizon Wireless recently introduced the ideal business smartphone -- the DROID BIONIC™ by Motorola, the first Verizon Wireless smartphone to combine 4G LTE with the power of dual-core 1 GHz processors, 1 GB of RAM and a stunning 4.3-inch qHD display using scratch-resistant Corning® Gorilla® Glass with dual-layer anti-reflective coating.


The raves for the DROID BIONIC and its 4G technology just keep coming!


For example, the DROID BIONIC introduces a host of groundbreaking applications and accessories that turn the device into a productivity hub, a ruler of remote access and a purveyor of virtuality.   A must-have feature is ZumoCast™, an app that lets customers bring their digital world of pictures and documents stored on their computers at home or the office to their handset via remote access.  Cool, no?


With its revolutionary Webtop application, DROID BIONIC can beam a full-featured Firefox® Web browser 4.0, email or documents to a TV or monitor using accessories like the separately purchased Lapdock™ with a 11.6” screen, keyboard and integrated trackpad. 


Accessories such as the HD Station let DROID BIONIC users turn the phone into an entertainment center or home office.  Customers can view pictures, video, and content from the DROID BIONIC on any HDTV or monitor by connecting a separately sold HDMI cable.  And, of course, the DROID BIONIC lets customers share their 4G LTE signal with up to five Wi-Fi-enabled devices (tablets, laptops) when they activate the Verizon Wireless Mobile Hotspot.  The device of the future today, the DROID BIONIC also includes the following features:


  • Business ready with advanced security policies; resizable and scrollable email, calendar and task widgets; device and SD card encryption; and Citrix® GotoMeeting® and Citrix Receiver™ for Android
  • 4.3-inch qHD screen using scratch-resistant Corning® Gorilla® Glass with dual-layer anti-reflective coating
  • 8-megapixel autofocus camera with flash and 1080p HD video capture
  • Front-facing camera for video chat over 4G LTE, 3G or Wi-Fi
  • Adobe® Flash® pre-loaded
  • HTML 5 capable
  • Supports wireless chargers


On a personal note, having had no electricity for five whole days during the recent October snow storm, I was truly thankful for my DROID BIONIC which not only allowed me to check my company emails and make phone calls, but it gave me access to the web allowing me to get the latest news on the weather condition in my area.  While only depending on my smartphone, I truly realized the importance of the network and the speed of my connection.  For businesses, consider 4G speed especially when working in a remote environment, on the road or unable to be in the office on a regular basis. You need the speed to get work done.


Click Here for more information about availability, features and accessories for the DROID BIONIC. If you don’t have a smartphone, is it time you consider getting one to amp up your productivity.


We are always interested in hearing great stories from our readership. If you have a smartphone or a DROID BIONIC, tell us how it has changed the way you run your business.

Employee ‎11-02-2011 09:30 PM

You run a small business and you like to keep things casual… people coming and going, but you also handle confidential information.  So it’s important to protect your data… and equipment from breaches and possible theft.  If you are in an office setting or operate a retail shop it’s important that you and your employees keep an eye on these contractors, shoppers, vendors, and/or visitors.


Watch what happens when the character in the video lets his guard down and grants the ‘plant lady’ full access to his office.





In an office setting, should visitors need access to your company facility consider these guidelines to help secure your data and help protect against theft:


  • All visitors must be signed in (consider issuing a visitor’s badge) and escorted around by an employee while on the premise. Be sure to escort the visitor out the door too.  If you do issue a visitor’s badge be sure they are returned at the end of the day.
  • If you don’t see a badge or recognize the person, find out why the person is there or call security.


Security is everyone’s business.  If you missed the video on the importance of password click here and click here for the video on the importance of encrypting email and or data.


Feel free to share any security issues you may have experienced and what steps you took to prevent it from occurring again.


Employee ‎11-01-2011 09:36 AM

Guest post from Penelope Trunk, serial entrepreneur and co-founder of Brazen Careerist.


After I founded two startups, I took a break. It was not an intended break. I was at the World Trade Center when it fell, and I was so traumatized that I had a hard time leaving my apartment for anything, let alone work, for about a year.


But I had to support myself, so I decided that I’d try writing. I had been writing a little, for the tech press, about what it’s like to be a woman running startups. I had never really been published for anything else. And it was going to be hard to write about my life as a business owner when I was scared to leave my apartment.

So I started writing career advice. And miraculously, my career as a writer took off immediately. I got a column in the Boston Globe, then it was syndicated to more than 200 newspapers, then I got a big book deal, then I launched a blog that Business Week called “the number-one career blog for generation Y.”


As soon as I felt like I could function normally in the world again, I though, I should be doing more with all this writing stuff. I should start a business. I just didn’t know what to start.


So I kept building the brand. I promoted my book, I did speaking gigs, I grew my career blog, and I kept focused on the title of my original print column: Brazen Careerist.


The focus was good. Because by the time I had an idea for a company – a career management platform for generation y - I had a solid brand name to attach to that company to grow it quickly.


Today the company, Brazen Careerist, has been able to expand to offer a range of services – for example, virtual events for recruiting – because the brand gave us a jump-start in marketing and PR.


Many people are able to build for themselves, but turning it into a company is something they get stuck on. Your brand does a lot more for you at the helm of a company. 


Sure, it’s hard to launch a company, but the benefits to being able to run a business that is not completely focused on you are innumerable. And now that I’ve launched three startups, it’s clear to me that having an established brand and a starting point allows the company to gain traction much faster.


So how do you do it? Here are five steps:


1.    Build a brand that stands for something. It can be anything, really, but it needs to have a life of it’s own, besides just your name. This way you can take the part of it that is not just about you and grow it. In my case, Brazen Careerist was my unique take on career management, but it was career management.


2.    Find your paying customers. Most brands have brand enthusiasts, but not all enthusiasts have money. You need to focus on the demographics that are energized by your brand vision but also have money to spend as a result of that.


3.    Figure out what your ultimate goal is. If you want to work at the company for a very long time, then creating a company that you don’t sell is fine. But if you want to sell the company, and ultimately go do something else, then you need to have a vision special enough that someone else can incorporate it into their own company- as an acquisition.


4.    Accept the reality of a paycut. To build something big, you have to take risks, and one of those is hiring people to help you. By this time, you probably got used to siphoning all the extra cash in your business to your own bank account. Now you will have to start putting that money back into the business because you need high growth to fully leverage a brand’s established market presence.


5.    Check your ego. Building a great brand about your own personality and intellect is a huge achievement. But to get to the next stop in your career, you’ll need to let other people get out in front of that brand. One of the most rewarding moments in my own company, Brazen Careerist, was when my co-founders starting going on TV to talk about our field with equal authority to my own.


Want more information on this topic? Tune into my LIVE webinar, presented by the Verizon Small Business Center: How to Turn Your Personal Brand into a Company on Wednesday, Nov. 2 at 2 pm ET.  It’s free!  You can click here to register or go to http://www.brighttalk.com/r/VLv.



This article originally appeared on OPEN Forum: http://www.openforum.com/articles/turn-your-personal-brand-into-a-company.


[Editor’s note:  If you can, do join this live - FREE - webinar with Penelope where you can ask her your questions on how to start your business or build your business’ brand.]

About Verizon Business Markets
Get news from Verizon about Business Markets services and market trends that affect your bottom line. Here, you'll find tips and commentary from the Verizon Business Markets group and other experts to help keep your business growing.


Contact the editor: tumara.r.jordan@verizon.com

About the Authors

Sandy Lee

Social Media Lead: Verizon Business Markets

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Sandy is a member of Verizon Business Markets marketing team where she leads social media marketing.

Tumara Jordan

Senior Manager: Verizon Business Markets

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Tumara is a contributor to the Business Markets Marketing team and she currently manages Social Media marketing campaigns.


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