Monthly Archives: September 2016

Needless Meetings

Needless Meetings: Cut them out

Recently talking to a networking friend; mentioned how at start of business networking used to go all the time. Have tapered off needless meetings since those days.

Life is busy enough as it is, then enters the needless to & fro of where we go.

She asked if it was worth it; when I used to go all the time.
Well, I answered..was new to town & new in business, not knowing anyone.

So, I just started going out all the time. I met many professionals but it didn’t lead to money always.

Now being a newbie, I knew nobody who could show me how it was done.

And well…I was just helter-skelter & so were my needless meetings.

I wasn’t busy back then & a new start-up with just me at the time.

Things have changed hugely since then & now there’s a team of virtual staff at VYA.

You don’t have to be new in business to have needless meetings; have seen it with people who have been in the business community for a long time as well.

And in the first 3yrs of business, was in the above boat.

We were contacted by a past potential clients who didn’t hire & yet wanted to have a meeting?

They didn’t hire us & weren’t ready when they contacted us again.

MOST business experts are quoted as saying: Keep 80% of your meetings professionally related to your business.

Recently contacted by potential clients & they were offered option that IF NEEDED to meet to conduct the business transaction that it could be done.

Nowadays, with website testimonials, Facebook business pages, Yelp & addition of LinkedIn even; they can avoid a needless meeting by viewing references online.

Even contracts can be sent & signed digitally. (That’s a future Tech Tip).

We are more productive when our professional meetings are about expanding our business profits.

This doesn’t mean you can’t have a leisure day/evening. It means you don’t need to have meetings when neither person wants to buy.

PDF – What is that?

What is a PDF?

It’s short for Portable Document Format.

Basically, it compresses your files such as a Word Processing document into a different format.

PDF’s give the document an easier to read finished look.

You may have heard of Adobe Reader which is a Free commonly used program.

It is becoming the more common way to send a Word file, particularly cover letters & resumes.

Images can be inserted to be aligned with written text in the document & it isn’t easy to edit; unless they have a program with those capabilities.

Among the feature benefits is that no matter which operating system that you use: PC or MAC you can still open it without having to worry about compatibility between the two different systems.

Nor being unable to open due the version of the program it was created in being older or newer version than the one that you have. Or even if you don’t have a font.

With a PDF, the file can be zoomed in to view as larger text.

Many programs nowadays also allow to insert markup notes or allow you to fill in form fields without needing to print or having an editing program.

Aside from Adobe Reader, there is another popular Free PDF Reader called FoxIt.

FoxIt I discovered when at a friend’s home once.

They are a lighter in size program that takes up less space on your hard drive.

PDF

PDF stands for Portable Document Format

Social Media Posts

Let’s face it, most people are making social media posts.
Entrepreneurs especially embrace it to help market their business.
As one business owner put it, it’s Free Advertising.

You’re a busy entrepreneur building your business & chances are you may not get this new marketing avenue.
We can help!

Many have come to us to assist them with making sense of the social media confusion & to help with your postings get out more consistently.

Too many get busy & their accounts become dormant.

They post one week or maybe two; then get busy so it’s put it off.
Next thing you know it’s been three months since they last posted & it continues in the same way.

Chances are your fans & followers will drift or turn away due to the infrequency. They may even choose to follow a competitor instead.

How often you post is really up to you.

Many post on their social networks daily while others choose to only do so two or three times a week.

Whatever you decide, we can help you keep it consistent.

You might be wondering; how do we know YOUR BUSINESS & what to post.

We were asked this question before & the answer is simple.

Firstly, you give us the guidelines of what you’re looking to post. It could be your own blog posts, videos, newsletters, articles you’ve written, seminars you’ll be at & more.

Most times we are sent the content or told to pull it from their website.

If just starting then posted will be considered “new” to your followers.

Now, with that being said…Social Media posts shouldn’t be just be focused on your business & particularly always sales.

You wouldn’t go to work or out with a friend & “push a sale” & you can’t on social media.

We’ll help balance it out & avoid driving followers away.

Grammar.ly your proofreading companion

Proofreading while you type

Proofreading; everybody needs it.

None are master spellers or punctuation PhD professors.
You can hire a proofreader to help you with a professional document.

What about for the small needs where you have to watch your spelling & punctuation? Such as an email, resume, even your online postings or even blog posts.

The solution; Enter Grammarly the time-saving app!

Free web based app that catches more errors than spellcheck in Microsoft Word.
That is what they say.

After months of hearing that claim decided to test it out.

Once you add the app to your browser it watches for those pesky spelling, grammatical errors and punctuation mistakes. This is all done in real-time as you type.

How do you know it needs correcting? It gives a red line underneath what it considers to be an error.
Then you have options of words that it thinks you’re trying to write.

If you create an account; there’s even more proofreading customization (haven’t done that).

Now, I’m a decent speller but there are times when in need of a proofreader or when I find mistakes in my documents.
Spellcheck never appealed to me.

Having tested Grammarly; will say it’s quite effective at catching multiple errors needing correcting.

Now while it has worked quite well; in the end, it’s still a machine trying to pick out your grammatical mistakes.
And that means it’s not 100% and shouldn’t replace a proofreader.

It should be used complementary to the human eye of a regular proofreader or even yourself.

Highly recommended app for your browser. However at the same time don’t rely on it solely.
Make sure that either yourself or another give the document a look over after; to find any mistakes it may have missed.

Learned that lesson myself when it didn’t catch a few spelling mistakes.

Saturday Geek – Screencasts

Saturday Geek is about helping you ease Technology frustration.

Technology newbies and those who understand basic use alike will benefit.

New to VYA is Screencasts (Screeners); demonstration videos of actions on your screen.

The very first one made by us was an example of how to start making a Visual Goals Board also known as a Vision or Dream Board.

Since then we’ve made a few about using YouTube as well as about how to use Facebook. With many more to come.

The program that we were using saves as a file type that would open on some machines but not on others.

Not to mention our usual conversion process doesn’t accept this file type.

So, did some researching and found a ways to convert it.

Next step was to put them on YouTube & restrict viewing to only those that it was for.

In fact, that brought up another dilemma.

When making video demos of Tech How To social media demos causes an issue.

You don’t want the world to see in a video, your friends list, updates & what’s shared on your personal page.

Thanks to another who does demos we learned about a program allowing blurring.

Also, another industry professional suggested one they use, less expensive than the one suggested above.

Since we’re just starting out making screencasts & back from summer slump season; opted for the less expensive one that has most of the needed features.

Now, when people need help or a refresher they can watch our videos. They will be kept to a length of under 3 mins.

Here’s our first screener.

Some of the audio isn’t great; but hey it’s our first attempt. What a learning curve it’s been!

This one is almost 6 mins; the rest for Saturday Geek will be kept under 3 mins.

Happy Geek Life!

TeleFriday Customer Contact Centre

TeleFriday is all about the calling industry.

The industry particularly Telemarketers are misunderstood.

In telemarketing; telephone agents can deal with much abuse from callers on the other end of the line.

Yes, we realize there are not so nice telemarketers as well.

Both sides need to be aware of this.

Telemarketing or cold calling is a way of gaining new prospective customers for a business product or service.

It can be utilized as a way to reach consumers which is called B2C.
Example: Long distance services, plumbing, heating & renovation or other home services.

When it is utilized for Business Products; that is called B2B.
Example: Cash registers, product display cases, metal shelving, Point Of Sale products & more.

The Calling Industry is much more than Telemarketing.

Many call centres; also known as customer contact centres provide a variety of other services.

Those services range from Inbound or Outbound sales to Answering service to market research opinion polling to information lines such as are found with Government or Health Services.

Call Centres are quite popular in North America and in recent years Europe & Asia.

They provide a service to the general public, business owners and create employment for others.
While primarily known as employment for women, more & more males are seeking employment in this sector.

Small contact centres can have anywhere from 10-40 seats, while larger ones can have as many as 200.
The work is project dependent, some centres may have regular work & services offered can depend on time of year.

When we do B2B telemarketing;generally starting August to mid-September aren’t good times to call.

Same goes when the second week of December until mid-January rolls around.

TeleFriday serves to educate about the calling industry including Do & Don’t procedures.
Contact Centres policies for employees become a routine.

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