Business Services Blog
Our Business Bytes program in June was Twitter for Business. Not familiar with Twitter? Twitter is a social networking site with over 200 million users. Content of 140 characters or less is created and "tweeted" to followers or located through a simple search. Businesses and customers are enjoying the benefits of communicating in short, precise messages to share store sales, coupons, hours of operation, specials, jobs, customer service and thank you's. If you would like more information on using Twitter for your business contact the Answer Center to set up an appointment. You can also check out the slide presentation below.
I just came across an interesting post, "Cracking the Q.R. Code," on the New York Times' small business blog. It highlights how a California Thai restaurant is experimenting with QR codes to help create a unique customer experience and generate more business.
QR codes are not a household term yet, but there are signs that they are becoming more popular as more people make the switch to smartphones. Even if you don’t know what QR codes are, I’m guessing you’ve seen them around. They are popping up on products, promotional materials, storefronts, and basically anywhere you can place a sticker.
Most people scan them using special apps on their smartphones. The apps decode the scanned image and usually provide a short message or a link to a website or online video. It's a way to pack a lot of information into an image and save people the trouble and time of reading and typing information into a browser.
If you own a smart phone and want to jump on the QR code bandwagon, check out this list of QR code readers that might work for you. Keep your eye out for QR codes everywhere and I think you’ll find that scanning them is pretty fun!
Want to generate your own QR codes and share them either in print or digitally? It couldn’t be easier. Check out this QR-Code Generator and start figuring out creative ways you can use them for your business.
What are some ways you can use QR codes for your business? Share your ideas by leaving a comment below! Make an appointment with us if you need help starting out.
Forbes.com has an interesting blog post, "Apple Store 2.0" Why Customer Experience Leaders Should Care," about how Apple has created meaningful customer experiences in their retail stores. Recently, Apple added iPad displays to provide customers with information about their products. What interests me, though, is the point made about how Apple understand the value of a human connection, even in our increasingly technological world.
Here's an excerpt from the blog post:
"Whether it’s the greeter at the front door or the gal teaching a free iTunes class, these frontline employees play a critical role in the in-store experience – and Apple obviously knows it. While beefing up self-service capabilities within the store, Apple simultaneously made live human help even more accessible and transparent than it was before."
So, what are you doing with your business to enhance customer experience? How are you making sure your customers have a way of connecting with you and not just your products and services?
By now, it's no secret that most people who are online use Google to search for information about local restaurants, shops, and other businesses. As we presented in a recent Business Bytes program, it's simply common sense for most businesses to verify their listing on Google Places. But have you ever wondered what came before Google Places? Many of you might remember Google Local and, of course, Google Maps is still around.
This presentation by Mike Blumenthal provides a brief history of features Google has implemented in Google Local, Google Maps, and now Google Places. What's most interesting to me is Google's shift to develop content and information for mobile device users. What types of features are you hoping for in the next year?
If you missed our most recent program in the Business Bytes series, check out the slide presentation below and contact us if you'd like to set up a personal appointment to get training.
The Business Bytes series is designed to introduce technology topics to local business owners and employees. Next month's topic is "Twitter for Business" so be sure to register now.
If you haven't checked out the video tutorials on Lynda you're missing out. Most of their tutorials are software related, but there are a few other topics hidden away in there. Just the other day they released a new one on making an effective resume; complete with exercises, cover letters, and thank-you notes. So if you are job hunting, or just want to rewarm your resume, check it out!
According to a recent PEW research study, 48% of Americans have researched a product or service online and 24% have posted reviews or comments about the things they buy. If you're a business owner or manager, it's definitely worth spending a little bit of time learning how to monitor what people are saying about your business online.
Our latest "Business Bytes" program focuses on review websites like Yelp.com and Angie's List. If you're interested in learning more, please take a look at the presentation slides below. Afterwards, schedule an appointment with a librarian who will be able to explain the finer details of each website and help you get started!
The Daily Herald recently published an article about what might attract businesses (both national and local) to communities like Arlington Heights. According to the article, some businesses look beyond tax incentives and consider factors such as good schools, transportation, and a village that will work with new businesses to give them the best chance for success.
The New York Times has been making their own news lately, but they've also been working on some interesting things to help small business owners. Recently, they began asking struggling small business owners to send in videos for their new "How I Saved My Business" section.
The first video features Yuki Mark Lim, who owns a business that furnishes and decorates apartments for short-term renters in Manhattan. He talks about what he did to reduce expenses (including moving his office into his living room) and how these steps helped him keep his business afloat.
Do you have your own story of how you kept your local Arlington Heights business afloat during these tough times? Let us know and we'll post it on our blog right here! Email us at firstname.lastname@example.org.
Harper College's Career Center hosts two job fairs every year and their next one is this Friday, April 1 from 11am-3pm. This event is free, open to the public, and will be held in the lower level of the Wellness and Sports Complex.
If you're planning to attend, or even if you can't attend but are interested in connecting with potential employers, be sure to check out their list of employers (pdf) expected to attend. Their job fair webpage also has some great tips to prepare for the job fair.