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Are You Making These Common Social Media Mistakes?

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Social media engagement done correctly is a great marketing tool. Social media is about informing, educating or entertaining your readers. Far too many businesses spend too much time selling and not enough time engaging with readers on their social media accounts.

Here are some common mistakes you may be making online, along with effective ways to adjust your approach!

  1. Spreading Yourself Too Thin – Building a presence on social media takes time, focus and effort. You should be  consistent in your messaging and engage with people by sharing important information that can help you stand out from your competitors. It’s hard enough doing this on a single platform let alone two, or five, or ten! Understand your market and direct your engagement to the one or two social channels that are relevant to your target demographic.
  2. Selling Not Telling – The hard sell is so over! Social media users are savvy consumers who can see a hard sell coming. The key to social relevance is informing, entertaining or educating your readers. Address your reader’s pain points in an informative way and offer solutions. You’ll build trust, gain thought leadership, and increase your brand awareness. Build relationships, don’t sell!
  3. Posting Too Little – Social media success relies on consistency of message and regular engagement, If you are only posting sporadically you will get lost in the sea of users. Develop a regular publishing schedule to show dependability and consistency in your messaging.
  4. Ignoring Negative Comments – Negative communication happens. Ignoring or deleting negative comments is a big mistake. Always respond with empathy, listen to what your reader has to say with an open mind, and converse in an honest way. Social media is about building relationships. Always respond!
  5. Make Sure to Measure – The only way you can know if your message is effective is to look at the numbers. Follow relevant metrics! Many on social media have no idea how it’s working (or not working) for them. Metrics can tell you. Track page hits, social shares, brand mentions, engagement through comments, page views and clickthroughs.

Using best practices can help you to establish thought leadership, build relationships and increase sales. Be honest, offer solutions and address your readers’ needs. When done correctly, social media can help you grow your business.

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MPS Can Help Non-Profits Gain Control Over Printing

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Non-profit organizations often have a high demand for print – from internal memos all the way to creating high end marketing materials. At the same time, budgets are often tight and resources can be scarce, making it hard to balance between ease of use, cost and needs.

Managed Print Services can help your non-profit get the most value out of your print environment by focusing on your technology, streamlining workflows, and increasing efficiencies all while addressing and cutting costs.

Today’s Challenges Facing Non-Profits

Many non-profit organizations need to get by with reduced funding levels and cutbacks. Because of these issues, budgets can fluctuate and become unpredictable. Often many organizations are already operating on a shoestring and as a result have few opportunities to reduce or control costs. Add to this often underutilized or old technology and you can begin to understand how controlling print costs is important!

MPS Can Help!

Managed Print Services can help you to get your print costs under control. An MPS provider will work with you to develop and maintain predictable operating budgets while controlling costs.

They will perform an assessment of your current environment to help you manage and improve your printer fleet to make it more user friendly and efficient. Their job is to keep your print environment running smoothly, which can be a huge asset when your funding is limited and every dollar counts. You’ll also have a single point of contact for all of your consumables, service and billing needs.

Today, data security is important.  An MPS provider can help you to secure your important data. Options like digitization of your document workflows can improve data security, increase productivity, lower document management costs and improve workflows.

Working with a Managed Print Services provider makes good business sense. You’ll improve your workflows, increase productivity, enhance security and reduce costs, which can help your non-profit organization to better allocate already tight budgets. If you’d like to learn more, contact us today and see if your organization qualifies for one of our special non-profit programs!

Reach Your Customers Where They Are With Google My Business

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When a customer is in need of a product or service, their first stop is most likely at their computer or mobile device to do an online search. Using websites, consumer reviews, and other online information, customers are making more informed and deliberate decisions than ever before. If your business doesn’t show up on their search, you may lose their business. Having a Google My Business listing helps you target your customer base.

Google My Business

Google is one of the most popular Internet search engines, with associated services including Google Maps and Google+. Consumers searching on Google can quickly access a map of your location, your website, phone number, and other information – but only if you have provided that information. Google My Business is a free, simple, and convenient solution for small and medium businesses.

With a Google My Business page, you can easily update your business’ profile, including hours, location, website and photos. You can also interact with consumers via reviews and inquiries. GMB provides analytic services that allow you to visually see the benefits of having a competitive web profile.

GMB and Your Business

Google My Business targets your customers where they are – online. When a consumer searches on Google, Google Maps, or Google+, your complete profile will show up, allowing them instant access to your information. Before even visiting your website, they can learn about your business and services.

The ability to upload photos of your business provides great value. Studies show that businesses that have photos on their profile are 42% more likely to get requests for directions and 35% more web traffic. These are tangible benefits from the simple step of adding your business photos.

Customer reviews and interaction also help boost your reputation, and GMB allows you to manage this all in one place. Good reviews will also increase your ranking on Google searches without you having to pay for sponsored or ad space. The higher your ranking, the more likely customers are to see your business.

Google My Business is a free service that could prove invaluable to your SMB. With the ability to post relevant business information online, interact with customers and access analytics, your online presence will be more robust and competitive. Without an online presence, your business can get easily passed by. Google My Business puts your business right where your customers are.

3 Tips to Help You Maximize Your MFP Purchase

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We don’t spend a lot of time thinking about our printers. Often, it’s not until there’s a problem like an old machine that needs replacing that we focus on our print needs. But even then, a replacement is often the result of a crisis with little thought put into the purchase.

Today, 40% of business processes in virtually every office rely on printing as an essential part of daily office routines. If you’re relying on a multifunction printer to move information throughout your office, when it comes time to replace it, isn’t it a smart business decision to purchase one that can grow with your business?

Here are three tips to help you maximize your next MFP purchase!

  1.  The Right Printer Can Reduce Costs – While you can pick up an inexpensive multifunction print device at almost any big box store, over the long-term it may not be the best choice for your business. Print makes up about 15% of the average small business budget. Buying a slightly more expensive machine that is scalable can offer a lower total cost of operation and grow with your business needs.
  2.  Get The App! – With advances in technology today, you can find a printer that does more than just print, copy, fax and scan. For example, Xerox’s ConnectKey technology offers users an app that can help manage your workflows and extend the capability of your multifunction printer.
  3. Increase Productivity, Grow with Your Business – Scalability is important when considering an investment in new technology. ConnectKey can grow as your business does. Using simple tools you can:
  • Remotely scan documents with smart devices like tablets and smartphones.
  • Scan content directly to email for easier sharing
  • Wi-Fi Direct Certified boosts productivity by allowing users to print directly from smart devices with no network connection needed.

Want to learn more? Give us a call and let us show you how Xerox ConnectKey technology can benefit your business!

Take our SMB Office Challenge today and find out how you compare with other SMBs like you!  You’ll receive a copy of our Office Print Policy Guide full of money-saving best practices you can start using today!

SMB Office Challenge, GDM, QC

Why You Need to Secure Your Wireless Printer, GDM Xerox, QC

Why You Need to Secure Your Wireless Printer

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Today almost every office has a wireless printer, copier or multifunction device. Wireless brings a lot of benefits to the table like the ability to share workloads using fewer physical resources. Unfortunately, if unprotected, wireless devices can expose you to an increased risk of data breach.

Hackers can access the wireless printer’s hard drive. If the printer is in Accounting or HR the results can be catastrophic. Hackers can also do general mischief like scrambling your drive, installing malware or viruses and in extreme cases take down your network.

You need to take a proactive approach to secure and protect your network. Here are four areas to consider first:

  1. Install a Firewall – A firewall adds an extra layer of protection to your network. If a hacker gains access to your print device, a firewall can prevent them from accessing your entire network.
  2. Erase Data from Printer Hard Drives – Frequently erase data from printer hard drives, daily if possible. This way, if you are compromised the thief will get little or no usable information and move on.
  3. Encrypt Your Network – Encryption protects data as it travels through your network. Use strong encryption like SSL. This ensures that even if access is gained, any data stolen will be undecipherable.
  4. Limit Device Access – Control your network properly. Make absolutely sure any device given access is protected and secure. Never allow unauthorized or unverified devices access. For example, an unprotected cellphone can harbour and install malware unbeknownst to the user.

Taking a proactive approach to security is smart business and can protect your entire operation from attack. Keep your wireless devices protected and secure and safely enjoy the benefits they bring to the workplace!

Have you taken our SMB Office Challenge yet?  Find out how you compare to other SMBs just like you and receive a FREE copy of our Office Print Policy Guide full of money-saving best practices!

SMB Office Challenge, GDM, QC

Want to write an effective print policy? Ask yourself these questions, GDM, QC

Want to Write an Effective Print Policy? Ask Yourself These Questions!

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With so many other important aspects of business to contend with, it’s little wonder that printing often falls to the bottom of the list. However, your print infrastructure can yield a number of opportunities for cost savings, increased efficiency and improvements in document workflow that warrant a second look. One of the best ways to realize these benefits is through the implementation of an office print policy.

Here are some questions to ask yourself to get started:

How are printers acquired? Uncoordinated purchasing can make your print environment difficult to manage. Guidelines around procurement can help streamline the purchase of printers and consumables and help alleviate costs.

Who is looking after maintenance? Reduce unnecessary service calls, associated expenses, and excessive downtime, by having a clear plan in place for printer troubleshooting, repairs and maintenance.

What should printer defaults be set to? Default settings throughout the office should be set to double-sided, black and white printing. Settings can easily be overridden as needed, while setting defaults will result in instant savings.

Should colour printing be restricted? Certain departments such as marketing, require the use of colour print, while other departments like finance can easily make do with black and white only printing.

How can I control print volumes? Volume restrictions can be determined by department. Typically, once a print policy is put into place, employees become more aware of how much they print, automatically lowering print volumes.

What is the best way to inform staff about our policies? Be proactive with periodic reminders or weekly emails updating employees on printing statistics and tips for reducing print.

There are a number of significant benefits to implementing and enforcing a print policy in your organization. Ask yourself these vital questions, to ensure you’ve covered every area of your print environment and to maximize savings. Give us a call today to learn more about what an effective print policy can do for you.

Have you ever wondered how your printing practices compare to other SMBs?  Take our SMB Office Challenge today and find out!

SMB Office Challenge, GDM, QC

Have You Thought About What Happens to Your Copier at the Lease’s End?

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If you’re like most customers, you’re probably not expecting to receive an invoice for the removal of your copier at the end of your lease. This unpleasant surprise can happen if customers don’t have a clear understanding of the “end of lease” term commitments that they signed at the start of the lease agreement.

The typical lease for a copier is either three or five years in length. Once the lease term is completed, customers usually have one of two options in regards to the removal of the equipment:

1. They can return the copier themselves to a location specified by the leasing company. However, many leasing companies will want the copier returned to a warehouse on the East coast, which can be a large expense depending on where the copier is coming from.

2. They can pay the vendor to remove the copier.

Here is how removal fees are typically broken down:

First, before the copier can be packaged, the liquids inside of it must be removed, and the data stored on the hard drive must be decommissioned. Considering the tremendous amount of confidential data that is stored on the hard drive, this step is critical to prevent a third-party from gaining access to it.

Next, there will be a cost to insure the copier during transit.  The actual shipping of the copier can cost as much as $600 alone.

If you’re currently leasing a copier, do you know if you’re obligated to pay such a fee? Some vendors like Xerox offer deals or advantages in this area. Please contact us to learn more about your options at the end of your copier’s lease.

Have you ever wondered how your office’s printing practices compare to other SMBs?  Take our SMB Office Challenge today and find out!  You’ll receive a free copy of our 2016 Office Print Policy full of money-saving best practices you can start using today!

SMB Office Challenge, GDM, QC

Tips for Deciding to Lease vs. Buy a Copier

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If you’re currently in the market for a new copier, you’re faced with the decision to buy or lease it. Is one option smarter than the other? It really all depends on your organization’s needs, goals, and budget.

Today’s copiers offer the ability to copy, scan, print, and fax, making this technology one of the most important staples in the workplace. Whether you choose to purchase a copier or lease one, you’ll want to go through a reputable agent that can help you decide on the best model to suit your needs and your budget.

To help you determine whether buying or leasing a copier is better for your business, here are some of the biggest differences between the two options:

Leasing 

  • Copier technology is constantly changing, and leasing provides you with a great way to keep up with these rapid changes.
  • You can think of leasing a copier as if you were to lease a car. Every few years you are able to upgrade your copier with very little hassle.
  • While the monthly cost is typically higher to lease a copier, you can benefit from the increased energy efficiency (and lower utility bill) that comes from having the latest technology.
  • Smaller sized businesses can acquire more sophisticated technology than they otherwise would not be able to afford.

Buying 

  • The big benefit to buying a copier is that you own it and don’t have to deal with leasing terms. When your needs change, you can sell the copier, recoup some of your costs, and upgrade to a new one.
  • Purchasing your equipment will also give you a write-off that can help your company with this year’s taxes.
  • However, many businesses don’t have the capital to purchase a copier and often require financing. This can add to your organization’s liabilities and make it more challenging to get financing for other business needs.

There are certainly benefits to both leasing and buying a copier, but the right choice really comes down to your organization’s needs and goals. Contact us to today and we’d be happy to discuss both options to help you decide what is best for you and your business.

Have you taken our SMB Office Challenge yet?  It’s not too late!  Find out how your printing practices compare with other small and medium-sized businesses just like you and get a FREE copy of our 2016 Office Print Policy guide!

SMB Office Challenge, GDM, QC

 

 

 

 

 

 

5 Actionable Ways SMBs Can Improve Customer Support

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Today’s businesses are investing an enormous amount of money on branding in an effort to create a positive image. However, a critical part of this equation that is often overlooked is customer support.

In order to give your customers the help they need when they need it, here are several ways that you can improve your customer and tech support strategy:

1. Provide 24/7 customer support.

If you have the capacity to handle it, offering customer support 24 hours a day, 7 days a week can help to relieve a tremendous amount of customer frustration. It can also greatly differentiate your brand from the many other businesses that offer a recording telling customers to call back during business hours.

2. Make use of text-enabled customer service.

While the concept of providing customer service via text messages may sound overboard to some, it’s very effective with the millennial generation that prefers to text versus picking up a phone. If the bulk of your customer base consists of millennials, this is a unique customer service tactic to consider.

3. Offer a live chat option.

By incorporating a live chat feature into your website design, you’ll make it extremely easy for customers to quickly reach you with questions. You can take this one step further by including a link to a live chat page in your email signature, which can help to eliminate time-consuming email exchanges.

4. Turn social media into customer support channels.

With consumers spending so much time on social media these days, your business can’t afford to not use social media to provide customer support. However, to do this right, it’s necessary to have the resources in place to be able to deliver prompt responses to customers’ questions and issues. Some businesses even create a dedicated social media account specifically for customer support.

5. Offer a self-service option.

This could include an FAQ page on your website where customers can easily get answers to common questions or building a help forum around engaged brand advocates.

As you plan to improve your own customer support strategy, be sure to incorporate these five elements to set you apart from your competition.

Have you taken our SMB Office Challenge yet?  It’s not too late!  Find out how your printing practices compare with our SMBs just like you and receive our 2016 Print Policy Guide full of money-saving best practices!

SMB Office Challenge, GDM, QC

Are You Having Problems With Your Printer? Might Be Time to Update Your Printer Driver!, GDM, QC

Are You Having Problems With Your Printer? Might Be Time to Update Your Printer Driver!

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Technology is constantly evolving and improving. To keep up with the latest functionality and to improve security, software makers will issue upgrades or updates. Your print devices are no different – they too may need an update from time to time in order to keep operating efficiently.

Why Your Print Driver Matters

The print driver acts as a translator between your application and your printer. When you send a document to print, the driver translates it into data that can then be output by your device. Keeping your driver up to date allows your printer to continue functioning at optimal efficiency.

Knowing When to Update

If your driver is not updated when it’s necessary, your printer may begin to experience performance issues. However, keep in mind that there is a big difference between updating when necessary and performing regular updates. If you are not experiencing problems and your printer is running smoothly there’s no need to update just yet. Updating drivers unnecessarily can potentially hamper your printer’s performance.

There are several important signs to watch for that may indicate an update is necessary. They are:

  1. Quality Declines – If you begin to see a noticeable decline in your output quality and it is not due to toner levels (always check this first) you can probably benefit from a driver update.
  2. Projects Get Lost – If your documents are not showing up in the printer queue it may be due to a translation problem between your application and print device. First try re-booting the print device, if the problem persists, try updating.
  3. Network Connections to Devices are Inconsistent – If devices become difficult to find or disappear from your network it may be a sign of a printer driver communication issue.
  4. Printer Becomes Unresponsive – When your printer becomes unresponsive it’s time for a driver update.

Make sure to update drivers on all of the workstations in your office to avoid any potential issues. Keeping your printer drivers up-to-date is a necessary step to keep your printers functioning smoothly and your employees productive.

Have you taken our SMB Office Challenge yet?  Find out how you compare with other SMBs and receive a FREE copy of our 2016 Office Print Policy Guide full of money-saving best practices you can start using today!

SMB Office Challenge, GDM, QC