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Displaying articles for: April 2011

It’s been a busy week for the Verizon Small Business team.  If you are a regular reader of this blog or if you follow us on Twitter or is a fan of the Verizon Small Biz page on Facebook, then you knew about these activities:

 

For more information go to www.facebook.com/verizonsmallbiz and click on the ‘Small Biz Mom’ link on the left of the page.

 

  • We held our first live Twitter chat with our featured author, Alan Gregerman.  He offered many tips on how a business can give their customers the best experience.  To read the tips Alan offered during the live Twitter chat click here.

 

  • We also hosted another free webinar with Alan Gregerman who provided some many tips from his book Surrounded by Geniuses.  The replay is already up, click here to watch it.

 

NOTE: Next Wednesday’s (May 4th at 2 p.m. EST) our free webinar features Scott Belsky founder of Behance will offer tips to build up and engage with your customers.  To register for this free webinar click here.

 

  • Reminder: Businesses in the real estate industry can enroll in Verizon’s referral program where agents and brokers can earn $100 gift card.

  

Below you’ll find some interesting articles I found that you may want to read:

 

It may be an extra expense for small businesses to offer a wellness program for employees, but it looks like it pays off as it’ll lower health insurance costs and boost workplace productivity.  To read the full article from the Wall Street Journal click here.

 

Here from John Jantsch, a regular guest on the free webinars presented by the Verizon Small Business Center, five reasons why effective marketing makes your business more valuable.

 

This should be a good read for every small business – real life lessons in the delicate art of setting prices.

 

Lastly, the majority of data breaches are avoidable. Is your company’s data protected?  I say this as I’m reading an article on attackers attempted to wire more than $20 million stolen from SMB accounts to China over the past year and managed to successfully transfer $11 million, according to the FBI.

 

To get some more details on how your company can avoid data breaches and insights into the recently launched 2011 Data Breach Investigation Report join this free webinar next Thursday (May 5 at 11:15 p.m. EST) hosted by Wade Baker, Verizon’s director of risk intelligence and Bryan Sartin, Verizon’s director of investigative response.

 

Have a great weekend!

 

With Mother’s Day fast upon us, it makes sense for us to recognize some of our entrepreneurs who do double duty as moms. If you’re a mom and a Verizon customer who owns her own business, we have a contest that recognize all your hard work.

 

Verizon’s ‘Hardest Working Small Biz Mom’ contest from Verizon begins April 29th and runs until May 22.  It’s simple to enter just share your story with us… how do you manage running your own business and your household?  To enter just upload a short video or submit a blog post.  This contest will be up on the Verizon Small Biz Facebook page on April 29th and we’re giving our dedicated blog readers a heads up… so you can start preparing your entry now.

 

The ‘Hardest Working Small Biz Mom in America’ will win $5,000 cash, 6 months of Verizon Websites powered by Intuit or Verizon WebListings, and free cleaning service for an entire year!  Just think of all the other things, projects or errands you can tackle if you don’t have to worry about cleaning your house.  The cash can go towards anything you desire, whether you put it towards your business or invest in a nice pair of shoes or handbag… It’s your call. You deserve it!  Also, the winner will get a one-year premium membership to Ladies Who Launch, a company that provides resources and connections for women entrepreneurs.

 

Below you’ll find details on the contest and don’t worry if you want to submit a video, but don’t quite know how; the lovely ladies at Ladies Who Launch prepared a tutorial video to show you how (Thanks, Ladies!). 

 

Contestants need to be a Verizon and Verizon Wireless customer and submit a brief video (not to exceed 2 minutes with a URL link to their video submission) or a blog post (maximum 325 words) to this particular blog post in the comments section below.  You will have to establish a log-in if you have never logged in before.  Once a log-in is established you can submit your blog post.

 

In addition to the $5,000 and free cleaning service for a year grand prize, second prize will be a free iPad and $1,000 prepaid gift card.  Third prize is a $500 prepaid gift card.

 

Again, those ‘mompreneurs’ planning to submit a blog post, you must submit your blog post in the comment section that is at the end of this blog post.  For ‘mompreneurs’ submitting a video, upload it to a video sharing site like Youtube or Vimeo and then share the link to your video in the entry form (alive on April 29th on the Verizon Small Biz Facebook page).

 

Good luck!

 

~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~

Update (May 27, 2011):  It's great to see the blog posts (entries to this contest) below.  Please be sure you have also completed and submitted your application at www.verizon.com/smallbizmom.  After you submit your blog post click on the permalink and enter that URL in the application (see image below).

 

We can not wait to announce the winner... stay tuned!

 

 

The Verizon Authors Series was designed to bring experts to small businesses.  All this month we gave away featured author, Alan Gregerman’s book Surrounded by Geniuses.  We will give away more of Alan’s book the rest of this week.

 

On Wednesday, April 27th at 2 p.m. EST Alan will host a live (free) webinar presented by the Verizon Small Business Center and then be available for an hour on Twitter on Thursday, April 28th at 2 p.m. EST to answer questions and offer advice.

 

I urge all businesses to seize these two opportunities to get insights from Alan Gregerman. Consider it a free consultation with a business expert so why not participate?  Alan is an internationally-known expert on business strategy, innovation, providing amazing customer service and differentiation.  During this webinar Alan will offer tips so you can provide the best customer experience.  No matter the business you are in, providing good service matters.  Good service helps you keep your customers or clients loyal. 

 

To register for the webinar click here.  Towards the end of the webinar feel free to ask Alan your questions or save your questions and ask him on Twitter.  For more information about the Twitter chat click here, just be sure to include #bizbooks and follow @VzSmallBiz (www.twitter.com/VZSmallBiz).

 

If you missed Alan’s last webinar where he offered tips to unlock the genius in you and bring success to your business, click here for the replay.

 

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

 

 

Employee ‎04-26-2011 11:56 AM

Guest blog post by author Alan Gregerman who wrote Surrounded by Geniuses, he has been helping companies and organizations unlock the genius that exists in all of their employees. 

 

Greetings!  

 

If you're like most businesses you realize that providing excellent customer service is essential to your success.  While you might win customers based on the quality, reliability, and price of your products, services, or solutions, you're likely to keep them by delivering the best customer experience in your marketplace.  And you don't have to be a large company to provide world-class service.  In fact, as a small or medium-size business you have some distinct advantages in building a more customer-centric business.  First, you're closer to the customer and can engage in an ongoing "conversation" to understand their evolving needs and the best ways to meet them.  Second, you can tap your entrepreneurial spirit to do new things more quickly and effectively without breaking the bank.  But it all begins by acknowledging the importance of customer service and your potential to be innovative and remarkable.

 

And that's what this Wednesday’s webinar is all about.  I will begin the webinar by looking at a couple of companies that have two different and very successful customer service models to give you a sense of how you can create your own winning customer experience.  Then I go over  service from the customer's perspective and show how you can identify the critical "moments of truth" in your relationship with customers--moments when you have the opportunity to make a powerful and lasting impression.  Next, I'll explore six big ideas that could provide a framework for enhancing your customer experience and provide practical guidance on how to bring them to life.  These ideas can be adapted to your budget and industry to achieve brilliant results.  And last, I'll review the eight keys to building stronger relationships with your customers.  And if you have questions at the end I'll tried to offer as much specific help as possible.

 

So please join me on this free live webinar tomorrow Wednesday April 27th at 2:00 p.m. Eastern time for "Customer Service -- Winning in Your Market by Creating the Most Compelling Customer Experience."  

 

PS, if you can’t make the live, free  webinar, watch the replay as my webinar will be taped and archived so you can view it later.  And follow @VzSmallBiz or fan VerizonSmallBiz to get a copy of my latest book titled "Surrounded by Geniuses" which offers even more ideas for unlocking the brilliance in yourself, your colleagues, and your company.

 

 

 

Employee ‎04-26-2011 11:33 AM

Guest blog post by Steve Ross, corporate editor for Broadband Properties magazine.

 

So, what does it take to survive and thrive in an ultra-connected world?

 

That’s the question being addressed this week for a broad spectrum of businesses attending Broadband Properties magazine annual summit, sponsored by Verizon and others, in Dallas, TX.  With a focus on multi-family communities, the summit brings together representatives from broadband, cable, real estate and property management and state and local governments.

 

They’ll learn how developers are using broadband to help their properties standout among communities and how service providers are increasing revenues with high-bandwidth services.  There will be discussions of how cities connected with fiber optics are using this fiber to attract new businesses and why broadband will be a key in the evolution of the so-called Smart Grid and the Smart Home.

 

It’s a lot to crowd into a three-day conference and Broadband Properties is calling on the experts from business and government to spell out the new developments in technology, law, economics and uses of broadband that are changing the way we live, work and play.

 

This year's revamped and expanded program was necessary to fit in all the latest developments for fiber-to-the-home (FTTH) and more. The summit's daylong, blue-ribbon economic development program is ideal for service providers and real estate managers, as well as for state and local government officials.

 

Operating management and staff will hear about the latest from consultants, competing vendors, and our editors. And staffers will get a unique opportunity to prepare for FTTH Council certification by taking the Light Brigade two-day certification course.

 

Top management and consultants will want to hear the latest on legal and regulatory matters, and the opportunities provided by the new regulatory environment.

 

Entrepreneurs on the multiple-dwelling-unit and Internet service provider sides, will discover case studies on new ways to generate revenue, while rural operators and public officials will hear and see the latest - including work on a toolkit for activists - at the Rural Telecommunications Congress conference-within-a-conference at the Summit. 

 

To learn more, please visit http://www.bbpmag.com/2011s/.   If you are at this conference let me know what topics you are interested in.

 

We’re excited and ready to host our monthly Twitter chats with a featured author from the  Verizon Author Series.  For those who don’t know what a Twitter chat is, it is simply a conversation on Twitter.  You’ll find our one-hour conversation on Twitter by following the @VZSmallBiz username (www.twitter.com/VZSmallBiz) and searching for the hashtag #bizbooks.

 

We will post a reminder about the upcoming Twitter chats the Tuesday before each chat.  Our Verizon Author Series Twitter chats will held on a Thursday (times will vary).  We will also ask you to post questions for the author in the comments section of the blog.  Or you can ask the author your question directly during the live Twitter chat.

 

All are welcomed to join the Twitter Chat. You will need a Twitter account to ask the author a question and or to add your comment during the Twitter Chat.  Just be sure to include the hashtag #bizbooks in your Tweets so we can find your Tweets and know you are joining in the chat.

 

Here are some tips for joining the Verizon Author Series Twitter chat:

 

1. Follow @VzSmallBiz from your Twitter account.

 

2. Log in to Twitter a few minutes prior to the chat. Enter #bizbooks in the search box. TweetChat and TweetDeck are two Twitter tools you can use to follow the chat.

3. Make sure you use the #bizbooks hashtag in any of the tweets you are posting to the chat. To start the chat, @VzSmallBiz will post questions in the form of Q1, Q2, Q3, etc.  The author will respond to the questions (and include the answer number A1, A2, A3) etc. so it’ll be easy for you to follow along.  At any time you can join the conversation, ask the author any follow up questions or make a comment – just be sure to include #bizbooks so your Tweets can be tracked and responded to.

4. You may submit questions for the author by ”@ing” your questions to @VzSmallBiz or the author, DM-ing your questions to @VzSmallBiz, or simply ask your question as a status update in Twitter while including the hashtag #bizbooks. We will do our very best to get your questions answered.

We hope you’ll take advantage of this opportunity to get some of your business questions answered by one of our experts.  During the Tweet chat we’ll also give several copies of the author’s book away, so join in!

 

 

 

 

Employee ‎04-22-2011 10:14 AM

This week saw the reemergence of the iconic Volkswagen Beetle – the quintessential small car for Boomers (known as the Bug in the 1960s) that enjoyed a resurgence in the 1990s. My first car was a green Vee-Dub that took me many places. Years later I remember reading that the Beetle’s engine actually put out more carbon monoxide and nitrogen dioxide (key components of smog) per mile driven than a Cadillac El Dorado.

 

Another counterintuitive idea this Earth Day is that large businesses are cleaner than small ones.  Probably not true, but large companies are intently focused on things like energy management, fleet fuel efficiency and USGBC guidelines for new and retrofitted buildings.  At Verizon we have an ongoing full-court press to reduce energy consumption in everything from the amount of data (=electricity consumption) we need to run our networks and paperless billing to telework for our employees.

 

But what about small businesses – are they lean, clean green machines these days? Well here are five green things you can do with your home office technology. Did you also know there are grants for small business green initiatives?

 

What are the primary drivers for any business to “go green?”  This survey tells you what you might have surmised – cost savings, community goodwill and employee morale top the charts.  Check out Greenbiz and learn more about what small businesses can do Earth Day and every day!

Employee ‎04-19-2011 01:26 PM

Cybercrime… does it affect your business or you, personally?  These series of  

Q & A from Wade Baker, director of risk intelligence at Verizon and principal author of the 2011 Data Breach Investigations Report , offers some interesting insights.  To see key findings, get access to the full DBIR report, listen to an audio podcast on this topic or to see additional graphs click this link.

 

Q:  For those that aren’t familiar with the report, what is the Data Breach Investigation Report?

 

A:  It is an annual study into the world of cybercrime that analyzes computer forensics to uncover how sensitive data is stolen from organizations, who’s doing it, why they’re doing it, and, of course, what might be done to prevent it.

 

And this year, we have the privilege of working with the U.S. Secret Service and the Dutch High Tech Crime Unit, which drastically increases the scope and depth of the report.

 

Q: What were the major findings from investigations during the past year?

 

A: In 2010, we analyzed more incidents than ever in which consumer data – payment cards, bank accounts, personal information, etc – was stolen. And cybercriminals appear to be changing the way they accomplish this. Rather than massive breaches against large organizations like we’ve seen in the past, we saw a huge number of lighter, faster, and more surgical strikes against smaller organizations. Since many of the criminals behind those larger thefts are in jail, this trend may represent a tactical shift toward less risky and lower-hanging fruit.

 

Q: It sounds as though you are suggesting that cybercriminals are pretty organized and savvy – is that true?

 

A:  Absolutely. What many don’t realize is that there’s a very well-organized criminal underworld build around data theft and fraud. They want your information because they can sell it for profit or drain your bank account, make fraudulent purchases, conduct identity theft and all manner of evil. It’s definitely a business for them.

 

Q: How do these groups steal information and who is vulnerable?

 

A:  Not to sound overly-dramatic, but they’ll use any tactic that works and pretty much anyone is vulnerable. We see everything from hacking into corporate networks, tricking employees, bribing insiders, and even physical theft and tampering. Some of these attacks are very sophisticated, but most of them less so than you might think. You’d be surprised at the kind of stuff used to successfully steal data from corporations and part of the value of this report is identifying what kinds of attacks occur most often and are therefore most critical to combat.

 

Q: Speaking of combating cybercrime – what are your top recommendations to businesses?

 

A:  After studying thousands of data breaches, I can say with confidence that the overwhelming majority of them are avoidable through relatively basic countermeasures – ones that the victims probably thought were in place. Therefore, the most useful thing organizations can do is to implement procedures to check and recheck and even triple check that they are actually doing what they intend to do consistently and comprehensively.

 

Next, organizations need to increase their visibility into what occurs in their networks, systems, and applications. It usually takes a very long time for victims to know they’ve been breached and it is usually someone else that tells them about it. This is evidence of very poor situational awareness and that really needs to improve.

 

 

Q: And in similar fashion, what would you recommend to consumers?

 

A: Without a doubt, the most important tip I have is to be aware.

 

First, be aware of what MIGHT happen. Understand the risks doing business in the online and offline worlds. A lot of people ask me if I’m afraid of buying things online and my answer is always “No – but I am definitely wary of it and act accordingly.”

 

Second, be aware of what HAS happened. Check your bank and credit card statements. Monitor your credit. If you see something out of place, look into it. This is very important and can save you huge headaches and expense.

 

Third, use a credit card rather than a debit card when possible. There’s nothing wrong with debit cards per se, but there’s typically less risk to you if your CC# is stolen than your debit card.

 

Fourth, be stingy with your personal information. Don’t give or store more than you need or want to. For instance, I opt out of storing my CC# when making a purchase online unless I buy from that site frequently. The way I see it, the fewer entities that have my information, the less likely it is to be compromised.

 

Five – When using an ATM, gas pump, or any public payment kiosk, look for signs of tampering or components that don’t belong. These are common targets for thieves trying steal your payment card info and PIN.

 

It’s started… Moving Season.  From April through September each year, Americans are on the move.  Either to upgrade or downgrade their home; move for a job or to be closer to a loved one - many begin the search for a new home now.  {Note: the #1 reason people move is to be in a better school and/or area.}

 

For brokers small businesses in the real estate industry it’s high season, and we’re offering you a monetary boost – a mutually beneficial arrangement if you want to take on the assignment (incentive: $100 gift card).  In addition to a rewards card, our program helps real estate brokerages retain their most valuable assets: top performing agents!

 

Real estate agents are a 24/7 group – They do sleep, but are ready for their clients almost anytime day or night.  Homebuyers look to you to give advice on the community, the neighborhood and the available service providers.  Finding the Internet and entertainment provider rank highest among movers and what a great time to refer your clients to consider Verizon services.

 

Verizon has created a unique opportunity for real estate brokers, agents and their clients (homebuyers) called the Verizon Agent Rewards Program (www.agentrewardsprogram.com).

 

When a real estate agent refers a client (homebuyer) to Verizon and the homebuyer purchases Verizon’s services; the referring agent will receive a $100 Verizon value reward card.  And, your client will receive a $50 Verizon value reward card.

 

You’ll be providing additional value to your clients when you suggest the availability of Verizon’s fastest network and best home entertainment available in a FiOS double play or triple play bundle, as well as Verizon High Speed Internet double and triple plays in non-FiOS areas.

 

It’s Verizon’s way of making the business of moving a little easier for everyone and adding value to the deal. If you’re a real estate agent, it’s time to get growing with the Verizon Agent Rewards program today!  Just register and we’ll send you a welcome kit to help you get started!  For more information watch the short video visit (www.agentrewardsprogram.com).

 

 Could you use a $100 Verizon value reward card in your pocket? Let us know your thoughts.

Employee ‎04-19-2011 11:39 AM

Just like a car needs a tune up every so often, your business needs one too.  If you’re in business, it’s a good idea to review your business plans quarterly.  Perhaps it’s changing the layout of your retail shop or updating your menu.  With each quarterly review, it’s also a good time to review your business’ telecommunications service and determine if you have the right services.  Do you need faster broadband speeds?  Do you need more phone lines?  Perhaps your dental office could use TV service?  Or perhaps it’s finally time to get a website for your business?

 

If you are looking to upgrade your current services or shopping for new services, consider Verizon.  We offer many products and services for businesses of all sizes.  Any of our services can be purchased in a bundle or individually, with or without a term agreement.

 

For Verizon’s small business bundled customers who are growing and seeking to add four phone lines or more, the company is now offering even greater savings starting on your 4th featured (qualified) line.

 

Many small businesses need additional phone lines to handle the credit card machine, alarm systems, a dedicated line for the fax machine and to keep the main business line clear to capture all incoming calls.  The savings can be substantial from $8 in savings to $10 or more per line – and of course, bundled customers save a whole lot more than those who choose a la carte services.

 

For businesses that don’t need to add more phone lines, but are interested in shopping for broadband services…Verizon’s latest online exclusive promotion for these businesses that subscribe to our FiOS Internet or High Speed Internet service is a free activation – a value of $149.99 – and $5 off per month for 24 months with a 2-year commitment. 

 

A note that all of Verizon’s business bundled services include the business essentials (businesses can select 2-year term or no-term (month-to-month) options): online security; online backup; an easy do-it-yourself website design software; Google Apps; complimentary Wi-Fi and more.  Bundled services ordered online will get $10 off per month for 24 months with a 2-year commitment.  For additional information visit http://smallbusiness.verizon.com.

 

Let us know if you bundled your telecommunications services.

 

 

 

This past weekend I was at the NSBA (that’s school boards not small business!) annual conference in San Francisco and happened to wander into a restaurant with a couple of colleagues. I was checking in on Foursquare with my smartphone when I saw the notice about ‘nearby specials.’  And, sure enough, if you ordered food, you could receive a free beer or glass of wine at the restaurant.  I told my colleagues to sign up on Foursquare on the spot to get the special – and it worked for the three of us!

 

This post on whether or not small business understands the value of social media and geo-location services like Foursquare, Gowalla or Facebook Places gets to the heart of the matter – customers use them, so you should, too!  The reality is that small businesses do use social media in their marketing as noted here.

 

Although small business sentiment has seen a drop in optimism about the economy according to the NFIB in this LA Times article, hiring continues to be on the rebound as noted in the American Express Open Forum.

 

There are many ways to fund a startup business from family to banks but had you ever thought of using your 401(K)?  Well, there’s a way to do it without incurring the early withdrawal penalties and taxes you’d normally pay.  Read more about it in the Wall Street Journal. 

Guest blog post by author Alan Gregerman who wrote Surrounded by Geniuses, he has been helping companies and organizations unlock the genius that exists in all of their employees.

 

  

Greetings!  If you're like most businesses you realize that innovation is essential to your success.  Customers want to do business with companies that consistently bring them the most valuable products, services, and solutions.  And that means always thinking about how to improve your current offerings and, over time, create new offerings that do an even better job of helping those you serve to achieve their objectives.  It also means developing new ways to meet the needs of customers – by being more responsive, convenient, flexible, available, and easy to do business with.  And also by making customers smarter so they can gain greater value from what we offer and their relationship with us.  

 

But as small and medium-sized businesses, we often face challenges in making this picture come true.  First, because it's tough to find the time to be more creative and innovative; and second, because we often get bogged down in the press of our day to day responsibilities and unable to stretch our thinking in order to get "out-of-the-box."  And that's why I've designed today's webinar on innovation.  As a quick way to help you see that it's easier to be innovative than you think.  By putting in place a simple process for innovating consistently and then unlocking your innate curiosity in order to find ideas for delivering greater value and setting your company apart from the pack.  I'll begin by explaining why most companies have trouble innovating and what you can do about it.  Then I'll teach you some easy and powerful techniques for regaining your creative edge.  And I'll also show you how to find remarkable ideas in the world around you that can be used to transform your business, including two of my favorite ideas for dramatically increasing your value to customers.  Then, I'll share seven simple steps for greater innovation and business success.  Steps you can think through and implement as soon as the webinar is over to help your company reach its full potential.  

 

So please join me today, April 14th, at 2:00 p.m. Eastern time for "Innovation -- Unlocking the Genius in Yourself and Your Business."  To register for the free live webinar click here or visit http://business.verizon.net/webinar.

 

PS, if you can’t make the live webinar, watch the replay it will be taped and archived – just view it later.  And follow @VZSmallBiz on Twitter or check out Verizon Small Biz on Facebook to win a copy of my latest book titled "Surrounded by Geniuses" which offers even more ideas for unlocking the brilliance in yourself, your colleagues, and your company.

 

 

 

 

Guest blog post by author Alan Gregerman who wrote Surrounded by Geniuses, he has been helping companies and organizations unlock the genius that exists in all of their employees.

 

 

Greetings.  During the next three weeks I’ll be giving two upbeat and practical webinars on the topics of innovation and customer service as part of the Verizon webinar series and as part of the newly launched Verizon Author Series.

 

I’ll be covering two essential topics for small- and medium-size businesses in these challenging times. The sessions are based on my latest book titled Surrounded by Geniuses which is all about unlocking the brilliance in ourselves and our companies in order to create the most remarkable experiences for those we have the privilege to serve.  And, as I’m sure you realize, business success is all about bringing the right products, services, solutions, and ways of doing business to the right customers and offering greater value than any of our competitors.  So I look forward to the chance to share some ideas that will help you stand out from the pack.

 

And here are a few things that I’d like you to think about…

 

First—that companies and the people in them don’t have to be brilliant to win in the most competitive marketplaces.  Instead they need to be more talented at unlocking their own genius and the brilliance in the ever-shrinking world around them and turning it into new and compelling value for the customers they choose to serve.  We often think that innovation is the work of a few “geniuses” who wear lab coats and wander around solving difficult problems.  But, in fact, 99% of all innovations are based on ideas that already exist and an ability to pay attention to the insights of others.  So the only critical skill that you need to be more innovative is a sense of curiosity and openness—which is a gift we all possessed as small children.  So I’ll spend some time in these sessions showing you how to get it back and use your curiosity to ask the right questions and create real breakthroughs for your business. 

 

Second—that the best business ideas, and the best insights on how to execute them with skill and passion, are likely to be found in some of the most unlikely places.  The problem is that most small and even large companies don’t realize this.  Instead they try to “reinvent the wheel” when faced with a problem or opportunity.  Or they look at the best practices of the leading competitors in their own industry.  While this might be helpful in putting your business on a more even footing, it doesn’t enable you to be different and remarkable.  And how can you stand out in a crowded marketplace if you’re not different in a really positive way?  So the real challenge is to cast a wider net in our search for new ideas which, combined with what we already know, will enable us to meet customer needs in uniquely valuable ways.  And that means looking at other industries as well as history, popular culture, other cultures, nature, science, and even science fiction.  And in each of these webinars I’ll show you how to get started and tie it to your key business objectives.

 

Third—being remarkable is easier than you think if you are committed to raising your game.  And all it might take is one brilliant idea executed well.  Ideas like offering an unconditional guarantee of satisfaction, or making customers smarter and “healthier,” or being faster than the competition, or being available and helpful 24/7, or having conversations with customers that really matter, or anticipating the customer’s needs, or being as responsive as the world’s finest concierge, or using technology and the internet in new ways.  All ideas based on the practices of world-class companies that you can adapt to your business to achieve greater success.  And ideas that we’ll explore in each of the webinars.

 

For more insights, join my LIVE free webinar presented by the Verizon Small Business Center this Thursday, April 14 at 2 p.m. EST.  During the webinar you’ll have the opportunity to ask your questions and even the chance to win an autography copy of my book: Surrounded by Geniuses. For additional ideas for enhancing innovation and delivering greater value to customers visit my blog at www.alangregerman.typepad.com.

 

 Cheers!

 

 

How has your week been? Lots of interesting stories in the news these days.  Check out these articles below that may be pertinent to your business.

 

All business knows customers are key, but some customers are just toxic… this article offers tips on how to handle them.

 

Your company like my may have a Facebook page… the biggest challenge is to keep your fans engaged and to get more fans.  This article has some interesting facts about when to post and how to engage.

 

For years I’ve heard about the paperless office… I know I’m not there yet, but I want to be.  Best to take action if invoices, checks and customer orders are buried… this article offers some solutions.

 

If you like watching videos more than reading then check out the Harvard Business Review channel on Youtube. 

 

This video from Entrepreneur offers tips to find customers on social media… best to go where your customers go.

 

If you weren’t aware, Verizon offers free webinars (available on replay) featuring key experts offering tips and insights that we hope may help to enhance your business.  The next free webinar (Thursday, April 14 at 2 p.m. EST) features author, entrepreneur, and consultant Alan Gregerman.  Alan will show you how to unlock the brilliance in yourself and your business.  To sign up, click here.  

 

The first three to post a comment, sharing a story that might be helpful to other businesses will get a copy of Alan Gregerman’s book.  And in case you weren’t aware, Verizon just launched the Verizon Author Series, making experts available to answer some of your questions.

 

 

Have a great weekend!

Employee ‎04-07-2011 06:27 AM

We’re excited to kick start the Verizon Authors Series with this month’s featured author Alan Gregerman who wrote Surrounded by Geniuses.

 

Alan has been helping companies and organizations unlock the genius that exists in all of their employees.  He is a big proponent of challenging oneself and learning from other people and places to get a better handle on life and business. 

 

An avid traveler, he just got back from exploring India for 11 days.  Alan says travel allows us to discover new places, meet new people, which may give us a new perspective on how we handle everyday matters including how we run our lives or business.

 

To get more insights from Alan Gregerman, an internationally-known expert on business strategy, innovation, providing amazing customer service and differentiation or even tips to unlock the genius in you, be sure to sign up for the two live free webinars presented by the Verizon Small Business Center that Alan will host this month.   

 

The best part of the Verizon Author Series is that we’ll be giving away Alan’s book Surrounded by Geniuses all this month.

 

To win your copy of Surrounded by Geniuses, tell us in the comments section below why you want to read this book.  The first five to post a comment will get the book; others who post comments will be entered into a random drawing to get a copy of the book.

 

There are other ways to win a copy of Surrounded by Geniuses –  follow VZSmallBiz on Twitter (www.twitter.com/VZSmallBiz) or check out the Verizon Small Biz Facebook (www.facebook.com/VerizonSmallBiz) page to see how you can win this book!

 

 

 

Starting this month Verizon’s small business team will launch the Verizon Authors Series featuring a book a month that we hope will provide additional insights to help you run your business better.  We’re excited to launch this series that will bring you even more resources.

 

Books are another great tool to learn more about a topic, get ideas, insights or even give you an idea that just may be the breakthrough you need.

 

The author of each book we will feature every month will provide a guest post on our blog, the Verizon Small Biz Blogwww.verizon.com/smallbusinessblog), offering you information on how they got started with their business, what their book is about and some key tips that you may be able to incorporate into your business.

 

Each author will also be a guest on our webinar series presented by the Verizon Small Business Center.  Additionally, we will make the author available to you LIVE on Twitter (#bizbooks) for one hour to answer questions you may have regarding their book or webinar. 

 

This LIVE event is really exiting as you can ask and get free business advice from these busy experts to help you run your business; so get your questions ready!  When the time comes, we’ll take questions in our comments section or if your question includes some sensitive information, we’ll also include an email where you can send questions.

 

In the following months, in no particular order, we’ll be working with esteemed authors such as Gene Marks, John Jantsch; Don Tapscott, Alan Gregerman; Jennifer Prosek, Frank Swiatek and Denny Strigl; and Tanya Brockett.

 

SWEET DEAL à The best part of the Verizon Authors Series is that each month we’ll be giving away each author’s book.  So be sure you are following us on Twitter (www.twitter.com/VZSmallBiz); fan us on Facebookwww.facebook.com/VerizonSmallBiz); catch one of our webinars, and of course, read our blog to learn how you can win your very own copy… and if you are lucky, a signed copy. 

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

Tumara Jordan

Senior Manager: Verizon Business Markets

Photo of Tumara Jordan

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


Kelly Boyd

Marketing Analyst, Verizon Business Markets

Photo of Kelly Boyd

Kelly is a member of the OOF Verizon Business Markets Creative & MarCom team where she leads social media marketing.


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