Author: gmorris87

Business Cards and Website Design

Central Illinois business owners: I have a bone to pick with you. Your business cards need help! They’re either incomplete, or they reveal your company’s advertising priorities. Firstly, let’s take a look at what goes in a good business card. There are 7 pieces of absolutely essential information, that must be on your card. Your Name Your Company’s Name Your Company’s Logo At least 1 phone number Physical Address Email address (at your domain!) Website URL and/or social media   Before going too much further, the acquisition of a domain name and creation of your website are not going to be explored too deeply here. This will be covered in depth at another time. However, let’s look at what each element says about your company. Identity Information Your name, company’s name, and logo, should be a given. Yet a lot of people don’t include all of these bits, especially logo. Surprised someone would omit their name? Don’t be. It’s common to see cards for businesses that are named similar to “Jack’s Handyman Service” and they’re assuming that people know to ask for someone named Jack. Jack who? First and Last name are imperative! Don’t forget a logo! I get it, it costs money to have one made, and not everyone has the creative eye to make a logo. There are free tools out there to make a basic simple...

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Let’s Talk About Computer Maintenance

We need to talk about something very serious. Chances are you haven’t done any cleanup or maintenance of your computer since you got it. You probably notice that it’s not the spry, fast, computing machine it once was. Like all machines, they require maintenance to stay running their best. Proper maintenance routines can prevent and even identify problems before they crush your business’s productivity. Let’s go over some common maintenance tasks that should always be done on a regular basis. Scheduling and Regularity Regularity is the key to a lot of maintenance and upkeep routines. We recommend placing every computer you have on a schedule for every 60 days to go through a complete tune-up. Other tasks have a different schedule and we will go over them here. Physical Maintenance Your computer is a dust magnet. Dust buildup is the leading cause of overheating. Computers are designed to cool themselves by air, which requires proper airflow. If this airflow is blocked by dust, you will experience frequent shutdowns due to over heating; this is called a thermal shutdown. Most processors will slow down their clock speeds to generate less heat at this point, causing your computer as a whole to slow down. Desktops should be inspected and cleaned for dust between every 60 days to a year, depending on environment. A quiet doctors office would typically have less dust...

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How to Be a Better You: 10 Steps to Self-Improvement

A lot of people don’t understand the value of self-improvement, or they would rather sit and complain about their problems and not do anything about it. In case you’re one of the people not doing anything because you don’t know what you should be doing, perhaps this can help you. Strangely enough, some of these rules apply for business, just as well as for personal use. 1. Compete only with yourself Seriously, a lot of people screw up, and try to compare what they’re doing against something someone else is doing. You know just as well as I do, how awful and annoying it is for someone else to say, “well, so and so does it THIS way”. If it makes you mad, chances are you want to say “but I’m NOT that person!” which would be rightfully so. So don’t do it to yourself. Focus only on being better at the same thing than you were the day before. Rinse, wash, and repeat. 2. Take Charge of Your Life I hear a lot of people complain how they feel they’ve lost control of their lives, but nothing about how they’re planning on taking control back. Even fewer will ever admit to the things they did to lose that control, if they even know the cause. The first step towards correcting this problem, is to stand in front of...

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Having a Success-oriented Mindset

Ever since I graduated college, I realized that it was really important to learn from successful people, things like their habits, goals, and philosophies, because these are keys to your own success. So much of what makes a person successful, or not, has to do with their thought process. While most of these people have their own businesses, not everyone successful is necessarily self-employed. But there are a lot of traits these people have in common. Positive Outlook on Life Doesn’t let bad things knock them down They don’t spend a lot of time watching TV They don’t waste their time partying or doing anything that doesn’t contribute to success They set goals, and never stop pursuing them. Never being complacent, they set new goals They don’t waste time being depressed, or waste time/energy on things that hold them back   While there is a longer list, these are the most common ones that they do differently than non-successful people. It’s so easy to get lost in negativity when bad things happen, and oftentimes it’s our first reaction to just sit there and wallow in self pity. It’s such a waste of time to do that, and you could be spending that time working towards your goals instead of feeling sorry for yourself. Did I mention goalsetting? Never lose sight of that. Anything that doesn’t help you reach your...

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Separation of Business and Friendship

There are lots of people who struggle with this, and a few who don’t understand my own approach to this. Just because we’re friends doesn’t mean you’re entitled to any lax interpretation of the rules. I’ve worked for companies like that and I vow to never be like that. Going into business with a friend, or even just working for one, can be tricky territory. Family has a similar problem, but in both cases, these people generally feel entitled to special treatment. That just isn’t fair, whether they want better pay, or more liberty to do as they please. That doesn’t fly. If you’re my friend, I know some things about you already and we can probably skip the interview. Other than some nuts and bolts questions like start date and pay expectations, I know I don’t have to interview a friend or family member. They may not even need to apply. It doesn’t mean they aren’t bound by the same rules as someone else. Just because we’re close doesn’t mean you get to disrespect me, my company, or my staff. One way to disrespect all three is to act as you please because you’re the owner’s friend. Business partnerships are even worse. There’s often at least one party that doesn’t want to put in the work, and commit to the same effort as the other. I still don’t...

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