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Does Your Small Business Need a Culture Fairy?

You’ve heard of the tooth fairy. But what about the culture fairy? Could your small business use such a thing?

We at Davinci Virtual Office Solutions seem to be doing pretty good with our culture fairy. Let me explain how this works and you can decide for yourself if your very own small business would benefit from a culture fairy.

First, consider that Davinci Virtual, a leading provider of global virtual office solutions, has witnessed incredible growth since its launch in 2006. How incredible, you ask? Well, in just five years, we grown to over $10 million in revenues. We now employ more than 100 people. And our unique corporate culture helped us get there.

Now, we’re making it official. Katie Fronk, a key manager with the company for several years, has been promoted to a curiously unique position titled "The Culture Fairy." As such, Fronk’s only responsibility is to make sure we have a great company culture and total employee happiness at all times and at all costs.

"Our employees are our absolute greatest asset," says Bill Grodnik, CEO of Davinci Virtual. "It is critical that we create a work environment where every single team member is happy, healthy and has the tools to succeed—in their career as well as in life.”

Fronk was the unofficial culture fairy until now, having launched initiatives like the organic garden club, an after-hours employee education program, childcare and gym membership discounts, a sponsored weightwatcher program for employees, monthly team building events, a company library, game rooms, free healthy snacks and fruit, employee initiated community support/giving efforts, a new company newsletter and much more.

“Our new culture initiative is by far the most important thing we have ever done and it is the only way this company will be able to continue to grow in a healthy and enjoyable way,” Grodnik says. “We are so pleased with Katie's work. I am convinced that happy employees make for happy clients.”

So what about your company? Do you need a culture fairy? Do you have an unofficial culture fairy in place that makes the workplace brighter and cheerier? If not, it may be time to look around your small business and see if employees are happy and make some changes, if necessary. Even if your small business is only you, reward yourself for your successes. You deserve it.
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Survey: Tablets a Boon to Mobile Entrepreneurs

As a small business owner, you wear a lot of hats. At least that’s the cliché we’ve all accepted in our entrepreneurial lifestyles. So what about work-life balance?

We’ve seen several studies this summer about small business owners who take working vacations and surveys about work-life balance are endless. Everybody wants it. Few small business owners achieve it. It’s almost an oxymoron.

Could a tablet computer help? Yes, it could, according to a new survey from Staples Advantage, the business-to-business division of Staples.

The Staples survey reveals that more than 60 percent of tablet owners admit to powering on their tablet during vacation to check in with the office or do work. But about 80 percent of tablet owners claim they are experiencing improved work-life balance because of the new technology. Here are some of the specific benefits to consider if you are thinking about taking the tablet plunge:

  • Almost 60 percent of survey respondents say they get more work done using a tablet.

  • More than 40 percent said staying connected with colleagues and clients was the primary motivator for buying a tablet.

  • About 75 percent of tablet users check e-mail.

  • One-third review and edit documents on their device.


All compelling benefits. But there is an overarching motive for purchasing a tablet computer: More than 90 percent cite the convenience of portability as their primary motivation. It’s so convenient, in fact, that tablet owners tend to take the device almost everywhere. Seventy-eight percent use a tablet in bed, 35 percent use a tablet in the bathroom and 30 percent at a restaurant. More than 60 percent of current tablet owners think tablets will someday serve as their primary computing device.

"Tablets offer fantastic convenience and a better work/life balance, making it easy for employees to keep information with them and utilize business apps, no matter where they go,” says Ed Ludwigson, vice president and general manager for Staples Technology Solutions, the technology products and services division of Staples Advantage. For employers, the benefit is having a more productive workforce that's always connected to what's happening at the office.”
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Davinci Virtual Offers Final Clue in Treasure Hunt Contest

Cisco WebEx Offers Small Businesses Killer Deal

Are you using online meeting software? If not, you are probably traveling more than you need to or missing out on valuable face to face contact with coworkers, clients and prospects.

In a move to help small business owners make the most of their time, Cisco is rolling out a special deal worth blogging about. Small businesses can now tap into Unlimited WebEx meetings for up to eight people for just $19 a month.

In case you aren’t familiar with WebEx, it’s a Web conferencing solution that lets you connect with anyone, anywhere, in real time. It combines desktop sharing through a Web browser with phone conferencing and video.

Citrix’s GoToMeeting is a similar product. But Cisco is undercutting the popular service with its new pricing. GoToMeeting costs $49 a month, or $468 a year.

“While executives are clear they need a powerful communication’s arsenal … smaller businesses and individuals aren’t yet reaping the rewards,” Cisco wrote in a blog post. “WebEx wants to make video conferencing accessible to everyone in any sized company—from the 90 percent of employees who work offsite cited in the report, to freelancers, home businesses, start-ups and more.”

Essentially, Cisco is offering WebEx 8, which offers all the same features and functions of the traditional WebEx product, only with a smaller meeting room and a smaller price. You can host up to seven people with WebEx 8, and it also works with WebEx Mobile, which means you or your participants can join in from a mobile device.

Here’s some of the cool stuff your small business can do with WebEx 8: share your desktop or a single file for faster collaboration and communication in a group, record meetings so you can replay it later or publish it online somewhere, and schedule WebEx meetings tools like Microsoft Outlook.

At $19.95 a month, this is a no brainer for many of you. If you aren’t sure it’s right for you, you can take a 14-day spin during a free trial period. But this is the wave of the future, for sure.

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Top SEO Tips for Small Business Owners

For those who are just starting to learn how to do internet marketing, SEO is one of the most important topics to cover.

SEO, or search engine optimization, is all about getting your Web site to the top of the search engine results. Different SEO techniques will increase the visibility of your Web site to search engines, usually by increasing the amount of Internet traffic that it receives.

Most SEO tips and methods are focused on Google. That's because Google continues to be the leading internet firm in the world. A large fraction of web users rely on Google as a search engine and also for many of its other services. It also offers a lot of applications that can help in finding a reputable spot for your Web site in search engine results and listings.

Before taking on a myriad of SEO tools that are available online, it would be best to know the SEO basics. A good grasp of the SEO basics will help you climb your way to the top despite constantly changing rules and search engine functionality. Start by learning how search engines operate then create a checklist of the things that you can do to boost your ranking. Your checklist should include the top keywords that can lead to your website, getting lots of links and creating quality content.

Here are Tips on Getting Started with SEO

If you're getting started on how to do internet marketing, you've probably run into the term 'search engine optimization' or its common abbreviation 'SEO'. SEO is the practice of optimizing your website so that it ranks well in search engine results like Google. The target is usually to get into the first page since many studies show that most internet users don't go beyond the first page of results.

As an internet marketer, SEO is definitely something you should be interested in. Here are five SEO tips that should help you get started.

Know what keyword phrase to optimize your site with.

The first step to SEO is finding out what keywords you are optimizing your website for. For example, if you are marketing your dentistry practice in San Francisco, the likely keyword phrase that your potential customers use for searching your service is 'dentist san francisco'.

Don't fret, knowing the right keywords don't need to be guess work. Google Adwords Keyword Tool can give you a list of the most searched keywords that are related to your niche.

Article distribution.

The easiest way to do article distribution is by setting up a blog. All you have to do is write articles that are related to the company or product you are marketing and post them while including a link back to your Web site.

You can also submit these articles to Web sites like ezine.com, but be sure that they have your Web site links.

Get into social media.

Search engines love social media. Having a page on Facebook or an account in Twitter is a great way to boost your ranking. Just remember to place a link back to your website.

Submit your Web site to Google.

Google allows for free submission of URLs if you want to be added to its directory. While it doesn't guarantee a listing, it certainly doesn't hurt to try.

Submit your home page URL to the Google directory and the Googlebot will explore (or crawl) the rest of your links.

These tips were submitted by InternetMarketing-Alchemy.com.

Check out this YouTube video for even more tips:

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