Survey: what technologies or APPs help your single operator small business the most?

Most entrepreneurs face the issue, home based, single operator or small businesses face the issue. How can one person do it all?

What technologies or APPs do you use to improve the efficiency of a signal person operation? What are your top 5 tools or tips for running a lean and efficient single operator business?

Remarketing- Useful marketing tool or cyber stalking?

Andrew McIntosh CPA, Optimize Business:

Re-marketing: There is a point where the marketing technology becomes a little creepy and it is a fine line. As I sat down at a restaurant last week my phone pinged and Foursquare welcomed me to the restaurant and recommended my dishes…. big data and ethical usage are yet to be settle on what is right, but in the meantime it can be a bit creepy knowing that the “system” knows so much about you.

Originally posted on Digital Marketing:

“You’ve seen them. The shoes you browsed an hour ago on Missguided are now staring at you while you watch a video on Youtube. They pop up again when you log into Facebook and now on a celebrity site like SkinnyvsCurvy.”

Remarketing is a feature that lets you reach people who have previously visited your site, and show them relevant ads across the web or when they search on Google. When people leave your site without buying anything, for example, remarketing helps you connect with these potential customers again. You can even show them a tailored message or offer that will encourage them to return to your site and complete a purchase.

Whether you’re looking to drive sales activity on your site, increase registrations, or promote awareness of your brand, remarketing can be a strategic component of every campaign. It can drive return on…

View original 175 more words

Swearing in a new Governor-General, reflecting on Australia’s Indigenous Accountants

Australia is saying goodbye to our first female Governor-General, Her Excellency Ms Bryce AC, and swearing-in General Peter Cosgrove AC MC (Retd) as the new Governor-General of the Commonwealth of Australia. By the end of the day, one will be a Dame and one a Knight.

In the remaining minutes of our current Head of State’s term, I think it is worth reflecting on the current Governor General’s thoughts on the lack of Indigenous Australians in the accounting profession. Typed below is the dispatched Vice Regal (hand written) message to a roundtable on the issue from late 2011.

Described as a “serious issue” and a “grave disadvantage”, Her Excellency stated it was “vital to ensure that talented young ones in particular are given every encouragement and every opportunity to prepare for a career in accounting.” Hence the importance of role models, but also noting it is “essential to business operations, leadership hopes and aspirations and secure futures.”

Two and a half years later, Australia and it’s a major accounting bodies, corporations and every accountant should reflect and ask: have we done enough, can we do more, should we have done more?

I think having very few Aboriginal and Torres Strait Islander Peoples, less than 100, is a sad reflection on our past, a warning for the future, but also an exciting opportunity for energetic and passionate Indigenous Australians make to their mark as business accounting role models and leaders.

The accounting bodies, educational institutions, individuals and others are actively working on the issue… slow but steady. Can we do more to address this “grave disadvantage” to Indigenous Australians?

IAA-GG

#socialmedia: the new word of mouth

INTHEBLACKWow, I can’t believe it is two years since I took the entrepreneurial leap and founded Optimize Business. An exciting time for any small business, it is enjoyable, exhilarating and I love meeting new people everyday: exploring their ideas, developing their ideas into strategy, strategy into a plan and plans into action.

Expanding from business coaching and strategy services, my clients value my financial background and being a CPA gives an added credibility and weight to suggestions about running their organisations. What I enjoy most and now do most is help business with their social media. I diversified my skills with photography, documentary video and writing for the web.

Most of my clients now come from the “new” word of mouth – #socialmedia. I just signed a contract with a North Eastern US company to provide regular social media content… they contacted me from Connecticut, I do not market to the US but social media is global, so be ready! Most people find me through LinkedIn or as a result of my social media engagements.

So give it a go. Try flying solo. Ensure you have enough cash-flow up-front, a good strategy, a good plan, and go for it…. oh, and a good business coach or mentor to guide you along the way :-)

If social networks were more honest about privacy, this tool wouldn’t exist

Originally posted on Gigaom:

The Israeli software firm CallingID is best known for its LinkAdvisor safe browsing tool, which has been integrated into antivirus products such as Avira, but as of late 2013 it’s also offered a tool with the rather unwieldy name of My Face Privacy .

My Face Privacy manages the privacy settings of social networks on behalf of the user. It works with Facebook(s fb), Twitter(s twtr) and LinkedIn(s lnkd), and on Wednesday CallingID revealed Google+(s goog) integration as well. Instagram is next on the agenda, CallingID executive vice president Yair Nissan told me.

“Social networks are trying to make as much of your information visible to as many groups as they can,” Nissan said. “They have set a default set of privacy policies which is not restrictive at all. They’ve complicated the way that you can change and manage your privacy settings – you have to go through many screens…

View original 230 more words

Crews in Kansas working long hours to try and keep roadways clear

Andrew McIntosh CPA, Optimize Business:

Good luck to the home of Sprint in Overland Park, Kansas! While we battle extreme heat here is Australia, school are closing in the US due to snow storms (again).

Originally posted on fox4kc.com:

[ooyala code="l1OThqazpBwtpLbITnmpMHGN5UZvFDg3" player_id="null"]

OVERLAND PARK, Kan. – If you live or work in Johnson County, city snow crews are working around the clock to try and make your morning commute an easier. FOX 4’s Eric Burke gives us a look at what crews on the Kansas were dealing with from Tuesday’s storm.

View original

Social media companies dominate the ‘best places to work’ for 2014

BPTW14_largeSocial media companies are the best technology employers to work for. According to employees, Twitter, LinkedIn and Facebook are the best three technology employers for 2014. Google is ranked fifth, with Interactive Intelligence the only ‘traditional’ tech company in the top five best technology employers to work for.

Not only did social media providers dominate the technology sector, they also seized the majority of positions in the overall top five rankings.

Social media is transforming lives in more ways than we could have expected. From record initial public offerings to the birth of the Arab Spring, these companies are now setting the standard as the employers of choice.

When Glassdoor, a free online jobs and career community, revealed its 2014 Employees’ Choice Awards this month, it also provided a snapshot of the ever-growing influence of social media beyond a screen.

In 2010 Southwest Airlines led the rankings, joined by a mixture of manufacturing and business services firms. A year later, things began to change in when social media companies began wowing their employees:

  • 2011: Facebook entered the top five with a bang, as the number one employer in Employees’ Choice Awards. Facebook had bumped the much acclaimed Southwest Airlines to number two, followed by business services and manufacturing leaders Bain & Company, General Mills and Edelman;
  • 2012: Unseated by consulting behemoths Bain & Company and McKinsey & Company, Facebook ranked third and was joined by Google just scraping into the top five. With MITRE taking the fourth place, business services and consulting firms clearly ruled the day in 2012, but Google and Facebook were giving rival employers a taste of things to come;
  • 2014smBestEmployers2013: Facebook, the only social media company in the top five, reclaimed the number one ranking, amongst a diverse range of employers from business services, technology and health sectors;
  • 2014: While Bain & Company has stolen the 2014 crown, social media companies dominate the top five, filling sixty percent of the top five positions: Twitter, LinkedIn, then industrial Eastman Chemical, followed by Facebook in fifth position.

Glassdoor has aggregated millions of salaries and anonymous company reviews, surveys and other “employee generated content”. The US rankings of the 50 best places to work in 2014 is now in its sixth year and provides a unique confirmation of social media pushing the boundaries in more than just the technology industry.

The top five of the last six years is like a storybook of our change in our society: 2009 did not include a single social media company. Traditional industries dominated, with General Mills, one of the world’s leading food companies, with 100 consumer brands, topping the employee rankings.

Business services firm Bain & Company was ranked number two and is noteworthy in that it is the only employer to be consistently listed in the top five for the last six years. Bain & Company went on to claim the leader’s jersey in 2012 and again in 2014.

The lessons for 2014?  Watch this space: social media companies are innovators in more than just technology and IPOs, they are disrupting many different aspects of business and society. And their employees love it.

Social media for pharmacies: let Optimize Business guide you

Optimize Business understands pharmacyCommunities
As your business pushes through the scripts, orders the retail and behind the counter stock, balances the cash, pays the bills, drops off the banking and tries to spend time with talking with every customer….  should you be embarking on a new marketing strategy to embrace social media in your pharmacy?

Social media for pharmacies
Social media can be overwhelming at times: content (photographs, images and text), online communities, tone of voice, moderation, legal considerations, time management, public verses personal posts, timely responses to customers… Facebook, Pinterest, LinkedIn, YouTube, Twitter… a blog? Where should you start? Do you even need to start using social media?

We understand social media
Pharmacy is a unique business and every pharmacy is unique. Don’t jump into social media with out carefully selecting what best suits your needs. Nothing is worse than a business that started Facebook or Tweeting but has not done an update in the last year or two. It is part of a pharmacy’s public face, just like a shop window, it is either neat and tidy, or run-down and tired. Even worse perhaps, there is no shop window for your Pharmacy! We have great experience with social media, let us help you!

Let us guide you through the process
Pharmacists are called on to do a lot of things. Let Optimize Business help you assess your business needs for social media. We’ll sit down with you to understand your customers, your opportunities for social and then we either train up you and/or your staff or you can hand it all over to Optimize Business for a complete outsourced solution.

Our approach
We are flexible and will work to meet your individual needs. We will also tell you straight out if we think social media is not right for you. We will also talk to you about social media advertising, it is constantly changing but provides direct access to local customers you choose to communicate with.

  • Needs analysis
  • Strategy development
  • Initial account configuration
  • Content creation
  • Outsource 100% or in-house training
  • Build & engage your community
  • Social advertising
  • Grow your business!

To take advantage of current promotional offers, enter your details below and we will contact you:

What is Global Entrepreneurship Week? #GEW

#GEWNovember 18 – 24 is an exciting time each year for the start-up, innovation, education, entrepreneur and broader communities of the world: it is Global Entrepreneurship Week (#GEW). And it is really “global” in every sense of the word.

The growing popularity of these events is partly due to the global connectivity of social media networks. Never before have so many buddy entrepreneurs had so much opportunity to use ‘free’ global communications tools to inspire, share and make connections, experiences and ideas. Twitter is buzzing with the hashtag #GEW, #GEW2013 and other country specific hashtags and LinkedIn provides opportunities for targeted networking: social media helps develop international relationships, introduced through #GEW, that many innovators will find as they pursue their goals.

So what is #GEN? Perhaps the best way for me, as a social media strategist, is to use social media (YouTube) and let the international organisers explain for themselves:

#GEW is here. Jump on, jump in or take that first step – it may just change your life! If nothing else, you will find following all the tweets and other social media posts and events an inspiring spectacle in its own right! So, enjoy and feel free to contact Optimize Business if you have any questions or queries. Here is the Australian GEW page link:

#GEW

Global Entrepreneurship Week 2013

Optimize Business is excited to be a 2013 Partner of Global Entrepreneurship Week (GEW) and is offering special one on one coaching sessions Friday November 22, 2013 to celebrate the week. Optimize Business is based in Melbourne, Australia, but will be utilising social media to offer the personalised sessions globally via Skype.

#GEWNow, a little about GEW from the GEW website: “Global Entrepreneurship Week is the world’s largest celebration of the innovators and job creators who launch startups that bring ideas to life, drive economic growth and expand human welfare.

During one week each November, GEW inspires people everywhere through local, national and global activities designed to help them explore their potential as self-starters and innovators. These activities, from large-scale competitions and events to intimate networking gatherings, connect participants to potential collaborators, mentors and even investors—introducing them to new possibilities and exciting opportunities.

Millions who had never before considered launching their own ventures soak up advice and inspiration from the likes of Richard Branson, Michael Dell and Muhammad Yunus. Thousands of brand new startups spring to life through bootcamps like Startup Weekend and competitions like Startup Open.

Hundreds of universities strengthen connections that help them commercialize research from their labs. Researchers and policymakers engage in discussions around the world to examine the underlying policies necessary to promote entrepreneurial growth. And serial entrepreneurs share their expertise through activities like EO24, run by the Entrepreneurs’ Organization, and practical training courses like FastTrac.

Meanwhile, world leaders and local elected officials alike have embraced the campaign as they look to fuel the economic engine of high-growth startups in their own countries and communities. During 2012 alone, presidents and prime ministers from 20 countries supported Global Entrepreneurship Week while 93 ministers from 54 countries participated by speaking at activities during the Week, filming statements of support or otherwise endorsing the national campaigns in their countries.

GEW is more than just an awareness campaign. It is a platform for connection and collaboration—engaging all players along the entrepreneurship spectrum in strengthening ecosystems around the world.”

Business Coaching or Social Media Coaching for your entrepreneurial idea

Optimize Business will be offering discounted executive coaching session during #GEW week: Usually with a cost of $165 AUD, it is just $33 AUD with code GEW2013 including GST. The low cost is to support and encourage buddy entrepreneurs. Consultation is via Skype: andrewlmcintosh. These are one on one sessions private sessions. Once 5 individuals or organisations have filled these time slots (via with promo code GEW2013), the event will be filled.

#GEWSession 1: 10:00am – 11:00 am AEST
Session 2: 11:30 am – 12:30 pm AEST
Session 3: 1:00 pm – 2:00 pm AEST
Session 4: 2:30 pm – 3:30 pm AEST
Session 5: 4:00 pm – 5:00 pm AEST

REGISTER HERE

Consultation will typically be by Skype. In person consultations may occur in the Melbourne area (Australia) if pre-arranged. Limit of five consultations, one per business or individual. Complete one hour consultation on November 22, 2013. (Note claimable to 20 December 2013, limit of 5 only if these times do not suit).