Displaying articles for: April 2010
Your small business may be running along smoothly, but can it do better? For small businesses that transmit and receive large files constantly, do you have a fast-enough Internet connection? For a business that accepts credit cards, again, is your credit card processing machine attached to a dial-up or high-speed Internet connection? Or is your current broadband connection limiting your business potential?
You may think it doesn’t matter, but it does. Internet speed is important in running almost any business today, and the right network will better support the applications you will one day very soon rely on. Take for instance the explosion of HD and soon-to-come 3D content and the popularity of Internet applications like streaming video – broadband demand is still growing. Recently, Verizon leveraged its super-fast FiOS Internet connection to bring Verizon Concierge, enabling the “digital-lifestyle”, to properties free of charge.
It’s best to be prepared and know all your options so you are not left behind, trying to catch up. Take, for instance, property owners who own buildings which they rent or lease to residents or tenants. One way many property owners are attracting new occupants is by having available the latest cutting-edge technology, namely Verizon FiOS all-fiber-optic network, at their building.
Starting today and running until April 28 Broadband Properties Magazine will host the 7th annual Broadband Properties Summit where the main topic under discussion will be how broadband and, more specifically, fiber-optic technologies are transforming the way we live, work and play.
Attendees from all across the country from property owners to engineers to telecommunications and technology experts will gather to examine the latest broadband strategies of cities, communities, and carriers, enabling attendees to learn from the experience of their peers and gain insight into how to leverage broadband technologies to increase the appeal of their service offerings, their properties, their cities, and their towns.
You too can leverage broadband to make your business run more efficiently.
Small businesses have a lot of incentive to adopt greener practices. Consumers are more concerned than ever with how eco-friendly the products and services they use are, and the government is moving fast to institute energy and carbon emissions caps for companies big and small. Most of all, however, “going green” stands to save small businesses a substantial amount of money.
There are three clear strategies for becoming greener: Increase your efficiency (in regards to energy, resources like gas and water, and waste produced), change the types of energy sources you use (consider solar, wind and biofuels), and modify your behavior and the behavior of your employees to be more environmentally-conscious.
These are the topics explored in a recent live webinar, “How to 'Green' Your Small Business,” presented by the Verizon Small Business Center. Watch the replay here to learn about:
- Services and devices that can help you track how much energy you are using, how you are using it, and how much you are paying for it in real time.
- Simple and affordable best practices for slashing how much energy you are using every day, how much carbon you emit, and how much waste you produce.
- Government programs you can enroll in to further your green goals.
- How to transition to rooftop solar and other alternative sources of energy at a low cost.
- How to encourage your staff to embrace "going green" as a core value.
- Web tools you can use to keep tabs on your employees' green practices, allowing you to offer appropriate incentives.
The goal of this webinar is to equip small businesses with a comprehensive set of tools for you to reduce the amount of energy and other resources your company uses. And all of these recommendations are tailored to save you money in office supplies, and more importantly, off your monthly energy bills.
To find out more about the topics discussed in this presentation, check out the U.S. Department of Energy, the Energy Star Certification program, and VentureBeat.com, where we cover a full range of clean technology companies -- many of which can be tapped to help you on your way to becoming greener.
This spring, small businesses looking for the most value can enjoy fast Internet free (after applied credits on qualifying services) for one-year by signing up for the Verizon total business solution which includes Verizon High Speed Internet, Internet security solutions, 25 GB of online data storage, and unlimited nationwide calling with five of the most popular calling features starting at $53 per month for the first year with a 3-year bundle agreement – a savings of over $300! Plus, customers signing up for the total business solution get a free standard router.
Add award-winning DIRECTV service to the above total business solution and bundled packages starts at $87.99 per month for the first year with a 3-year bundle agreement.
Small businesses can afford big business bandwidth with Verizon’s FiOS Internet for Business service at symmetrical 25 Mbps/25 Mbps speeds; when bundled with Verizon unlimited calling – prices for this powerhouse package starts at $79.99 per month with a three-year bundle agreement. Add FiOS TV Prime HD with up to 170 channels to superfast Internet and unlimited calling and prices for all three services start at $109.99 per month with a three-year bundle agreement.
New FiOS Internet small business bundle customers are eligible for either 12 months free of Verizon Internet Security Suite and 25GB of Verizon Online Backup Storage or a $100 American Express Rewards cash back card for double plays and a $150 cash back card for triple plays.
Small business customers can easily tailor their bundled packages by adding additional phone lines or other services like email encryption, the ability to host online meetings and more.
All small business customers who use self-service ordering tools and sign up for any of Verizon’s business bundled packages online at www.verizon.com/smallusiness will receive an additional discount of $5 a month for 12-months for a total of $120 in more savings.
All of Verizon’s small business broadband bundles include access to thousands of Wi-Fi hot spots nationwide at no additional charge.
For more information on Verizon’s small business solutions visit www.verizon.com/smallbusiness or call 888-481-0387.
To learn more about Verizon’s Spring bundles for your home click here.
Morgan Stanley Research has just released a comprehensive Internet Trends research report on the growth of the mobile Internet market and how quickly it’s growing in comparison to the adoption rate for the ‘desktop’ Internet that came of age at the turn of the century. And, it’s no secret that social networking is driving business advertising in new directions.
But how do you capitalize on these trends for your business and where do you fit in with sites like Facebook - the #1 mobile app download? Starbucks, Coca-Cola, Oreos and Skittles have found their niche and so has the NBA with fan pages on Facebook, but where does that leave small business? See what small business expert Anita Campbell had to say about this on her recent webinar with us.
When you look at the top categories for e-Commerce penetration in the U.S. retail market, computers have been at the top of the list with event tickets, books, music and gift cards/certificates rounding out the top five. By the way, social networking surpassed e-mail at the end of 2007 as the preferred method of online communication and now is used twice as much as email!
According to Morgan Stanley report, the growth in data traffic driven by access to social networking, video and VOIP will continue to be exponential, and a robust 3G network like the one you find on Verizon Wireless is a big part of that – with 4G just around the corner as we noted in a previous post.
Finally, Wi-Fi has come into its own as a means for people to connect their smartphones and portable computers for apps and downloads. Verizon offers access to thousands of Wi-Fi hotspots nationwide at no additional charge to businesses and consumers who bundle their broadband and voice services with us.
So, if you haven’t already, start thinking advertising, social networking and a powerful broadband connection – Your customers are waiting!
Here are some of the resources that will give you a start to help you build customer loyalty using promotions and amplifying them with social media. These resources are intended as a companion for the webinar, “Keep Current Customers Loyal: Offer coupons/incentives and do it right so you generate buzz.”
Loyalty program technologies:
Search at Business.com for loyalty program technologies
Verizon Business Link Rewards (example of a points-based loyalty program)
Distributing coupons and online discounts:
FanMinder.com – using text messages to send promotions
MixMobi – mobile coupons
Yowza – mobile coupons solutions for merchants
Location-based apps to promote local businesses:
Booyah.com – game-style approach
Guest blog from Anita Campbell, founder and CEO of Small Business Trends, an online resource for small businesses.
The cost of acquiring new customers is “typically three to six times that of retaining existing ones,” says Lawrence Friedman in his book The Channel Advantage. According to Bain & Company, just a 5% increase in your customer retention rates will increase your average lifetime profits per customer.
With those kinds of numbers, there are clear advantages in keeping your existing customers loyal and staying with you or coming back for new purchases.
But in today’s environment, customers are looking to save money. And if they can’t do that with your services or products, they’ll go somewhere where they can. And with the Web it is much easier to find your competitors and buy from them.
One solution: offering customer coupons and incentives to reward loyalty. That is what we will explore in the free webinar, “Keep Current Customers Loyal: Offer Coupons/Incentives and Do It Right To Generate Buzz”.
We’ll go a step further and will discuss how to amplify your message and create buzz, using today’s social media.
During this live webinar presentation you’ll learn about:
- Coupon trends — including the growth of online coupons, and how they compare with printed coupons and loyalty programs
- Ways to distribute coupons — we’ll look at the different methods of getting your coupons and incentives out to your market
- How to spread word of discounts, including the use of social media sites such as Twitter, Facebook, Yelp and Foursquare
- How to get others to spread the word — empowering and encouraging satisfied customers to become your advocates to spread word of mouth
Please join us for this free event presented by the Verizon Small Business Center — here are the details:
When: April 7, 2010 at 2:00pm EDT
Where: This is an online webinar so you can participate from the comfort of your own office and computer.
Register: Sign up now to attend.
Archives: This event will be archived for later viewing, if you can’t make the live event. To watch the replay visit www.verizon.net/webinar.
In recent years, small businesses have adopted smartphones like the ubiquitous BlackBerry® to keep in touch with their companies through email, document-sharing and other capabilities once confined to computers. Increasingly, smartphones have become mini-computers and workstations for many, so questions naturally arise about their security features.
Media reports have caused some customer concern about the potential for spyware (software that obtains information from a user’s computer) or malware (malicious, harmful software) in wireless devices. So far there only have been a few isolated incidents reported in the United States.
BREW-based phones (non-smartphones) have closed systems designed to protect them from unauthorized software, viruses and worms, so users do not download outside applications that could be harmful.
Smartphone owners should be more vigilant because you’re most likely to be using your device to go online, explore the web and download applications. Verizon encourages smartphone owners to install anti-virus software from reputable third-party providers, such as VZAppZone, BlackBerry Apps, Symantec or Handango.
To protect your smartphone you should:
- Beware of permitting others easy access to your phone to guard against
tampering or installation of unauthorized programs.
- Not visit or download anything unless it’s from a trusted Web site/source.
- Know and use the security features on your phone, such as password locks.