This post resides on the Verizon Wireless News Center, by Ken Muche. The rise of mobile technology in business. Scott Carter was in high school when he founded Carter Services in 1974. That was enough of a feat; however, not long after, the Torrance, Calif.-based company became one of Southern California’s top service providers for all things heating, cooling, refrigeration, electrical and more.
Back then, Carter would service appliances whenever he could schedule the time, mostly between classes and after school. Mobile phones were decades away, so he made do with the high-tech tools of the era: landline phones and word of mouth.
“When I first started, I just had an answering service,” said Carter. “If I wasn’t in the office, [customers] would sometimes have to reach out to [other] customers in their homes to try and find me. As you can imagine, it wasn’t the best system in the world.”
To read the rest of this post and learn how Scott grew his business click here or go to http://vz.to/1oJsiKf.
This post is by Paul Macchia: Best Practices in Fleet Management.
Fleet management technology is essential for small businesses to manage vehicle deployment and maintenance. Making day-to-day decisions based on real-time data instead of the usual guesswork cuts down on profit losses and boosts a small business’ efficiency.
Below is the second half of my conversation with Abdul Abdullah, director of transportation solutions at Verizon Enterprise Solutions, focusing on recent changes in fleet management technology and a few ideas of what to expect from the industry in the coming years.
Part 1 of this interview is available here.
What is the biggest change in fleet management that you’ve seen over the last year?
When it comes to technology, small businesses are adopting more machine to machine capabilities enabling a more efficient business practice. As they rely more on smartphones and tablets, they continue to look for new ways to improve efficiency, including managing their vehicles and personnel. Over the last year, the biggest change in our industry is that business owners are capitalizing on the incredible data speeds and connectivity of 4G LTE networks through a combination of devices and apps.
Not only does a reliable connection allow mobile workers and their vehicles to provide more concrete information about performance to fleet managers, but as technology has been further integrated into vehicles, drivers are now able to operate in a smarter digital environment. Our machine to machine technology allows the SMB to have actionable information that will provide visibility into an operation to help improve their ROI.
This post is by Paul Macchia: Best Practices in Fleet Management.
For many industries, such as transportation, healthcare and legal, fleet management is a concern of many small business owners looking to streamline vehicle and driver operations. Volatile fuel prices as well as prevailing legislation affecting safety measures make it imperative for fleet managers to streamline and improve their vehicle and driver operations, while delivering value and service to customers and remaining profitable.
Recently, I had an opportunity to sit down with Abdul Abdullah, director of transportation solutions at Verizon Enterprise Solutions. He shared his thoughts on transforming fleet management and the challenges many managers face today.
In what areas can fleet management systems help transform a small business?
Efficiency, accountability and visibility are most significant areas of opportunity. With a smarter system for cars, trucks or vans, SMB owners can reduce costs while also optimizing the fleet’s operations. Effective fleet management systems that focus on these areas give small business owners ample resources and methods for tracking, monitoring and routing their vehicles.
Guest post by Mario Acosta-Velez, director, State Government Affairs for Verizon. Mario manages external relations with key stakeholders, business organizations, and diverse communities in the Mid-Atlantic region.
Last month, while attending the Greater Washington Hispanic Chamber of Commerce’s 3rd Annual Hispanic Business Expo at the Washington, DC Convention Center, I talked with many small business owners who visited Verizon’s exhibit to learn about the latest communications technology for small businesses, such as 4G and FiOS. Some of the common questions asked by small business owners were:
- how do I develop an effective communications and marketing strategy?
- does my business have the right communications tools in place to maximize its potential?
- how can I effectively use voice and internet services to better reach customers?
- how can I ensure my business comes up first in a Google search?
One thing was clear as part of these conversations: small business owners want access to real communications solutions that will help them be more productive, retain and find new customers, create or expand their online presence, and run all aspects of their businesses on the go.
Think about these three key topics below and ask if you have addressed these within your business:
Aligning communications solutions with marketing strategy. As small business owner, you want to ensure that you do not miss any contacts, inquiries or leads from current or potential customers (calls, emails or clicks), that potential customers can find your business and easily reach you, and that your business comes up first on web searches. More than 90% of consumers research online before making decisions on products and services in their local area. As you increase your online presence, your business needs to have an effective business website to market your services or products when customers find you online.
Leveraging Cloud technology to effectively run your business. How you ever thought how cloud (or online) services can benefit your business? Cloud technology allows you to access, organize, manage and share business data from any online source, provides the most current online security, and helps ensure contingency planning via online backup and storage to ensure continued business operations. This type of technology can definitely help maximize business efficiency so you can have more time to run your business.
Using Wireless Machine to Machine (M2M) technology to grow your business. Through M2M technology, which wirelessly connects machines and devices through the network, your small business can gain better visibility and control over asset and inventory levels. For example, the Mobile Router Broadband Solutions feature allows multiple devices to share a wireless wide area network (WWAN) connection to minimize risk, set up failover protection, and quickly connect job sites.
So, whether you are a one-person business or a company with more than 200 employees, the power of our technology will help your business achieve better results, innovate, drive productivity and stay continuously connected to your customers.
Please share your comments or questions below. For those in the DC-metro area, Verizon will have a booth at the Vienna/Tysons Corner Regional Chamber of Commerce Annual Conference to be held this Friday, April 13 at the Hilton McLean Tysons Corner. I, as well as other small business experts from Verizon will be onsite to answer your questions or show you how some of our latest technologies can help you run increase your business productivity.
The Verizon exhibit booth is at the Trade Show floor right across from the main ballroom.
To learn more about the power of wireless and broadband technology for small businesses, please visit http://www.verizonbusinessmadeeasy.com/, the Verizon Small Business Center or http://www.verizonwireless.com/b2c/businessSolutions/index.jsp
It started in July 2010 when Verizon Wireless’ HopeLine Program launched an innovative program to provide Domestic Violence Entrepreneurship Grants to domestic violence survivors to help them start or expand a small or home-based business.
One of the first to receive a grant is Ebony Fletcher who almost lost her life to an abusive ex-boyfriend after he sat on her back and shot her in the head. The $5,000 grant she received from the Verizon Wireless’ HopeLine Program in 2011, allowed Ebony to grow her business by purchasing new equipment and expand her line of hair products.
Over the years the program expanded and even more survivors were offered a grant to start-up or expand a business.
Last week, Verizon launched entrepreneur training programs in New York City, Buffalo, Rochester, Syracuse and Albany to continue to support domestic violence survivors and help them rebuild their lives.
Verizon’s $500,000 in grants to five workforce development organizations across New York State will fund the development of training programs to help survivors start or expand their own small or home-based businesses, which can lead to greater financial stability and independence, crucial factors in breaking the cycle of violence.
These five organizations, in partnership with local domestic violence advocacy agencies, are developing programs to educate and mentor survivors to develop a viable business plan for their venture.
Participants who complete one of the five entrepreneurship training programs will be eligible to apply for a Verizon Domestic Violence Entrepreneurship Grant, up to $5,000, through the HopeLine program. To date, 14 grants totaling $57,500 have been awarded across New York State, with more planned in 2012.
Below are the five organizations currently recruiting participants for their local program. Each program builds on existing ones and align with the needs of the local community. Courses include financial literacy, taxes, legal issues, time management, conflict/problem resolution, professional etiquette, and more.
For more information on the Verizon Domestic Violence Entrepreneurship Grant click here or visit the organization’s website below.
• New York – Sanctuary for Families, Inc.
• Syracuse – WISE Women’s Business Center and Vera House
For information about domestic violence in the workplace and why it’s your business click here.
If you received a grant for your business, share your story with us.
[Photo from left to right: Dorothy Cucinelli, Equinox, Inc.; Richard Bennett, Hudson Valley Community College; John O’Malley, Verizon Wireless; Kathy Magee, Equinox, Inc.; Ebony Fletcher, Owner, Ebbies Hair and Nails Salon, Inc.; Amy Barasch, New York State Office for the Prevention of Domestic Violence; and Heather Briccetti, The Business Council of New York State.]
Guest post by Craig Staley, Verizon's small business digital communications specialist.
At Verizon, we’re always striving to bring additional value to our small business customers whenever and wherever we can. That's why we're committed to helping small businesses to save money through the Verizon Discount Program. With partners such as FedEx, Office Depot, SuperMedia.com and more, we're helping you to save money on the things your business needs to function every day. The benefits of being a Verizon small business customer is that you can sign-up for any of the offers by visiting www.business.verizon.net; look for the Verizon Discount Program link (under ‘Quick Links’).
If you haven't bookmarked the Verizon Small Business Center website, please do so, as we're adding new small business-related content and offers all the time. In fact, why not just make it your homepage!
Just as we're adding new partners and new discounts to the Verizon Discount Program, we're also creating new offers from Verizon from time-to-time for our small business customers that can save time and money for their telecommunications needs.
Most recently, we launched a wireless discount for our small business customers. If your company is an eligible business and activates 5 new lines of Verizon Wireless service, you may qualify for an 8% discount off of your monthly access fees.
These discounts are being made available to business customers so that "as your business grows"--so can your discounts! Plus, you'll be able to receive a 25% discount for select accessories and business pricing on wireless equipment. Even better, your employees may qualify for these same discounts.
To see if you qualify for this discount, click here (or copy and paste this URL to your browser http://www.verizonwireless.com/b2c/businessSolutions/contactUs.jsp), or contact a sales representative at 1-800-899-4249.
We're proud to make this exceptional offer to qualified small business owners, and their employees, because we know how important it is for you to stay connected to your business and your employees, no matter when or where your work happens. Plus, today's smartphones can keep you connected to your customers, your business and personal email accounts, your calendar, and so much more! And remember that with wireless service from Verizon, you're conducting your business on America's largest and most reliable wireless network. So, call 1-800-899-4249 today to see if your business qualifies.
Have you taken advantage of any of the discounts through the Verizon Discount Program?
A few posts back, I talked about our GoPayment solution in conjunction with Intuit and how it made it easy for the entrepreneur or small business owner to accept credit card payments anytime and anywhere. Today, I’d like to share a success story. Verizon Wireless customer, YiShaun Yang, owner of AdoraPet, conveys a good business case below.
In her own words YiShaun wrote:
While I was working as a corporate attorney in a Manhattan law firm, I made the decision to take a leap of faith and start my own business. I believe children are full of potential and possibility, and it was important to me to create a business that nurtures children’s dreams and development.
I started a business in the children’s products industry called AdoraPet (http://AdoraPet.com).
As an entrepreneur, my business is nimble, but we still need the same tools that an enterprise may need, though in a different version.
I didn’t think I would be able to accept credit card payments without going through the hassle of entering into an onerous credit card processing contract that had termination fees and other obligations.
I had my first holiday fair of the season coming up and time was running out to find a suitable solution. But one day while in the Verizon store, I saw the GoPayment credit card swiper, and it changed the way I do business and allows me to easily serve my customers better.
I found the online set up process to be incredibly quick and easy. I plugged in my information online and was able to find out very quickly that my application had been approved.
Before the fair, I was able to enter in my different products, their prices, and whether or not to accept tax for each item, which made the actual sales process much faster and more streamlined.
I decided to have a special holiday set of all 8 of my children’s books, and even though I was offering a special holiday price, it was more than most people carry in cash.
I was so happy to have GoPayment, especially when a woman came by at the very end and bought 5 holiday sets right on the spot because she was able to pay by credit card!
Now, I carry the GoPayment swiper with me wherever I go. It’s light and compact and comes with its own plastic case, so I can easily toss it into my bag or pocket. I love the versatility it gives my customers and me, and it helps make running a small business easier.
[Editor’s note: If your business is like YiShaun’s where you can sell your products at fairs or on the go; then you will seriously want to consider getting a mobile credit card processing solution so you can accept payment – for your product(s) – no matter where you are! For more information click here or go to http://bit.ly/wD8LJI
This post is from Paul Macchia, a one time small business owner and now national PR manager for Verizon Wireless. Paul is at CES and sends this update.
As we hit the ground running in 2012, small and medium-sized business (SMB) owners and entrepreneurs are contemplating how to streamline their workflow operations and increase revenue. One key area on the short list of considerations is implementing and enhancing mobile technology to amp up business capabilities this year.
This week, at the International Consumer Electronics Show (CES) in Las Vegas, Verizon Wireless unveiled new devices, including tablets, smartphones and mobile hotspots,that are sure to capture the attention of SMB proprietors. Here are a few great options:
- The Verizon Jetpack™ allows the sharing of blazing fast Internet connectivity via the Verizon Wireless 4G LTE network with up to 10 Wi-Fi-enabled devices. This is ideal when the need to work remotely becomes apparent. Those who travel internationally can access the Web in more than 205 countries, including more than 125 with 3G speeds, on their Wi-Fi-enabled devices to stay connected no matter where business takes them.
- The first global-readyBlackBerry® Curve™ 9370is ultra sleek and lightweight, but super powerful. Running on Verizon Wireless’ 3G network, it’s equipped with the latest BlackBerry® 7 operating system, which means business doesn’t stop when you’re away from the office.
- Powered by Verizon Wireless’ 4G LTE network, DROID 4 by Motorola is another deceivingly slim smartphone. It offers small business customers a full five-row QWERTY keyboard along with government-grade encryption to keep sensitive business data secure.
- Spectrum™ by LGoffers one of the brightest and sharpest displays available on a mobile device, which is great news for small business customers who need to view images and videos while away from a computer. The device also features a Qualcomm® 1.5 GHz dual-core processor combined with 4G LTE connectivity, ensuring your company continues to operate while you’re on the go.
- The Samsung Galaxy Tab™ 7.7 is a great option for small business owners, ranging from realtors to restaurateurs, looking to implement tablets this year. Powered by the Verizon Wireless 4G LTE network, this tablet offers a 1.4 GHz dual-core processor and HTML5 Web browser that are sure to fire up any business.
If you are at CES, stop by the Verizon booth (Las Vegas Convention Center, South Hall, Booth #30259) to check these devices out. For information about products and services for small businesses, visit www.verizonwireless.com/smb. Customers can also go to any Verizon Wireless Communications Store to speak to a small business specialist.
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:
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:
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:
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.
For additional information, please contact 1-800-2JOIN-IN
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.
Verizon Wireless Brings Discount Program for “My Business Customers”
Special Savings Designed for the SMB World, Exclusive to Verizon Customers
Starting today, Verizon Wireless’ business customers have access to significant discounts on business products and services they use regularly such as:
- Office Supplies
- Printing and Shipping
- Merchant Services
- Promotional Products
- Custom Forms
- Online Advertising and Development
- Credit Reporting Services
The Verizon Discount Program was created to help our small- and medium-sized business customers reduce costs, drive sales, and enhance productivity. A boon for users includes significant savings on frequently purchased products and business services from companies such as FedEx, FedEx Office, Office Depot, Verizon Merchant Services, and Rainbow Advertising, plus others.
Based on an example of a typical SMB purchase throughout the year, customers can expect to save over $1,500 in the first year of enrollment in the Program:
- Shipping four overnight packages per month with FedEx and spending $2,500 annually with FedEx Office
- Spending $200 a month at Office Depot
- Utilizing Verizon Merchant Services to accept credit card payments
- Spending $2,500 annually in promotional products
Getting into the discount program is easy. Simply visit: http://b2b.vzw.com/support/splash/mb/discount_program_overview.html and sign up. Verizon’s business customers who subscribe to the company’s broadband, TV or phone services can access the discount page here. Oh, and enjoy the savings!
Verizon Wireless was recently honored as a Small Business Influencer 2011. As a nominee in the “Corporations” category, the company was selected as a “Champion” through a combination of an online poll and a judging panel. The award is under the auspices of Small Biz Technology and Small Business Trends, plus several other sponsors.
The Small Business Influencer 2011 honors companies, organizations and people who have made a difference and impact on the small business market in North America. One of the driving factors behind the selection is HOW the success of small business was influenced in a meaningful and lasting way.
At the award ceremony at the NYIT Auditorium on September 13, Mike Schaefer, Executive Director, SMB, Verizon Wireless, accepted the accolade and stated Verizon Wireless was committed to the SMB market.
For additional information, check out www.smbinfluencer.com or http://influencers.smallbiztrends.com/news/champions
Guest post from Paul Macchia, national PR manager - Enterprise and Government for Verizon Wireless. For the latest and greatest Verizon Wireless news, please follow us: @VZWnews.
I don’t have to tell you that today it’s all about mobility. For businesses – particularly small- and medium-sized businesses – you want to be able to reach your customers and in turn have them reach you even if you are out – half way across the country.
Not all networks are created equally… depending on your mobile service provider you may or may not get service. If you are pitching a customer your service via your cellphone, you do not want to drop that call or have bad reception where your voice is broken up. Period. It’s a deal killer.
Verizon Wireless has been upgrading its network to the latest 4G LTE Technology. More than 100 markets in the US have 4G LTE, and we are rolling out more markets at regular intervals. Essentially, 4G is 10 times faster than 3G. It is not about speeds but capability. 4G will let us work faster, smarter and more efficiently.
We are working as fast and as hard as we can to deliver smartphones and tablets that work on our 4G LTE network. Click here to see some of these products.
Now, don’t take my word for it. Verizon Wireless continues to get solid accolades for their 4G LTE Technology. Sascha Segan of PC Magazine recently wrote an article, “The Fastest Mobile Networks 2011,” sharing the pluses of the 4G LTE Verizon Wireless network. Click here to read this article.
Is your business mobile?
Guest blog post from Amy Grant, Verizon Wireless small business marketing manager.
As a business owner, I bet you are always on, a problem solver, constantly doing… and very, committed? I’m sure these traits sound familiar. It’s probably because you are the engine that makes your business go. You have a passion to succeed and will overcome any obstacle to make your dreams come true. When it comes to any business, it is important you have the best and the right technology to keep up with your pace and help make your vision a reality.
More and more small business owners like you are realizing the importance of technology. According to the Executive Council on Small Business, smartphone usage has experienced double digit growth over the last three years, and tablet usage is expected to increase rapidly over the next couple of years among small businesses. Whether you’re downloading apps, checking emails, sending invoices, browsing the web, accessing files, or managing employees in the field, small businesses are using the latest technology to drive growth and increase productivity.
Check out this video below to see Jeffrey Beecroft of White Bay Company who built two sets for a Victoria’s Secret shoot. Jeff discussed how Blackberry is his smartphone of choice which allows him to synch up with his partners scattered across the country. He uses his Blackberry to send pictures for real-time input from his partners in an effort to meet set building time schedules. Watch their story.
The partners, Jim and Ian, at Yellow Dog Fly Fishing Adventures also shared their story of how they are using technology to run their business. The two run a 10-person fly fishing travel agency specializing in remote vacations to exotic destinations so they have to be sure their wireless network gives them global coverage. Watch their story.
To see how other small businesses across the country use wireless technology every day to improve their business visit www.verizonwireless.com/smallbusiness. These videos prove the small businesses with the best technology rules.
Which technology is your business using? If you need help selecting the right technology for your business, let me know in the comments section… my team and I will be happy to help.
The question of speed is always of interest to anyone in business – how fast can my product get built? How fast can it be delivered? How long do my customers have to wait? How quickly can I put together a meeting?
Yes, the old adage that time is money is true everyday for a business of any size. Often you have to think about a tradeoff between time and money when considering how you’ll deliver your product or service. So what exactly is 4G LTE and where does it fit in?
The term is simply shorthand for the 4th generation of wireless broadband networks and, in the case of Verizon, it’s the fastest, most advanced 4G wireless broadband network currently available from any carrier. Mobility continues to be a key part of most of our lives and, for businesses, it’s a must. 4G brings you download speeds of 5-12 Mbps and upload speeds of 2- 5 Mbps. This is a substantial increase over current network speeds. With 4G you’ll get speeds up to 10x faster than 3G. Some other 4G providers consider 1.5 Mbps downloads their top speed.
What exactly does this mean for you? Well, basically, Verizon’s 4G can connect you at speeds that are faster than typical DSL or cable modem high-speed internet options and, of course, you can take it with you. In addition, the real ‘up’ side to this is the upload speeds that can go as fast as 5 Mpbs! If you’ve got files to share or have to connect for meetings over the Internet, this is a real timesaver.
Verizon 4G LTE may be part of the solution for your business – the more you travel, having a reliable, fast Internet connection can help you keep that edge on the competition. Today, there are 38 major cities with the fastest 4G service available. Watch for more to be added this year.