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Adding Value to Your Small Business

Adding Value to Your Small Business

As a small business owner, I think it’s important to learn and grow a little every day to be more valuable to not only your current customers/clients, but also for any prospective clients. I enjoy learning new programs or new tricks to help my clients reach their goals. There is a lot said about having a “specialty” when you run a service based business. This is something I struggle with when people ask me, “What is your specialty?” I can honestly say that I specialize in many different software programs and skills. It’s hard to just select one or two things and I love just about everything I do. Sure, we all have tasks we prefer over others, but in the end it’s about customer/client satisfaction and knowing at the end of the day you solved a problem, answered a question or made life a little easier for someone.

As my business is growing, I am becoming more interested in offering packages to simplify things not only for me, but for prospects as well as it takes the guess-work out of “How much will it cost me?” I am currently in the process of increasing my Word Press skill set by taking some online courses. In the next month or so, I will be offering starter Word Press website building packages as well as Word Press monthly maintenance programs at great prices. Sign up to receive my blog updates as I will announce the additional services there.

If you have any questions about anything you see on my site or services that I offer, please email me April@aprilrhunter.com and I will get back to you asap.

Virtually Yours,
April

Keeping Your Website & Online Presence Secure

Keeping Your Website & Online Presence Secure

Many small business owners create a new website to introduce themselves to the online world, showcase their skills, sell their goods, post blogs and interact with potential and current clients among other reasons. In order to do that with regularity, online security should be your top priority.

When you create a website in Word Press and possibly other web creation sites, the default username assigned to you is ‘admin’.  User names of ‘admin’ are often targeted by hackers. Unfortunately, user names cannot be changed. If you want to keep your website secure and safe from hackers and bots, it is imperative that you add a new username inside your Word Press (or other website) admin panel; one that cannot be easily guessed and that you will remember. You would then delete the user called ‘admin’. Here are instructions for changing your website username:

  1. Add a new user with a username that is NOT ‘admin’ or a variation of ‘admin’
  2. Set role to Administrator.
  3. Set personal information carefully; this will be your new main Administrator account.
  4. Select a strong password (see more below). Mix uppercase and lowercase letters, use numbers and allowed punctuation marks.
  5. Check the box to have Word Press email the user info to you.
  6. Log out of your admin username account.
  7. Log in with your new account.
  8. You can then delete the user named ‘admin’

Along with changing the username, it is important that you select a password that is difficult to guess or interpret. Your password should have different variables; uppercase, lowercase, numbers and symbols. There are random password generators online that will issue you ASCII character passwords. This site will give you a random 64 character password containing the type of characters you need for all of the sites you access that need to be highly secure. Gibson Research Corporation is a secure, safe site, which randomly generates passwords every time you refresh the page.

If that is too much for you (however, the longer the password, the harder to get hacked), there are many other sites online or you can just create your own, but make sure to use a combination of characters without a pattern.

lock-156641_640Of course, when you have 64 digit passcodes, you cannot possibly remember them.  Yes, you can write them down and keep them in a safe place. Another option is to sign up for a  password management system online that you can use to store all of your passwords, with one master password to access the program. I use Roboform and I love it. There are others as well and many free like LastPass and an open source program called Keepass. The basic features of all of the programs are the same, but vary slightly in some ways.

Having strong usernames and even stronger passwords, not only for your website(s), but also for your social media, banking and bill-paying sites, will keep you from having to re-invent your online presence, which costs tons of time and maybe even money. If you have any questions or I can help in any way, feel free to email me April@aprilrhunter.com

Virtually Yours,
April

 

 

 

 

 

Photobucket Revisited

Photobucket Revisited

It’s been many years since I have used Photobucket. Recently I volunteered to help out a connection on LinkedIn by beta-testing a new feature on Photobucket.  Photobucket now offers personal hashtags that when used on Twitter, Photobucket and/or Instagram, the photo(s) appear in your Photobucket library. I tested this feature out and it’s amazing!

Not only can YOU add photos and VIDEOS to your Photobucket library by adding your hashtag, your friends can add photos and videos to your library as well by using your hashtag!

Since it has been many years since I have used Photobucket, I found some other features I love:

  • Option of making an album private or public
  • Custom titles for your photos and/or videos
  • Photo editing! – You can add effects, frames, stickers; change the brightness, contrast, orientation, resizing, etc.
  • Browse other members public photos and videos and “like” them, comment on them
  • Mobile app provided

Check out Photobucket today to store all of your images and videos, whether you share them publicly or not. I am glad I signed up again. I didn’t know what I was missing!

Virtually Yours,
April

What Should You Look for in a Virtual Assistant?

What Should You Look for in a Virtual Assistant?

When looking for a virtual assistant, you want someone who will take an interest in YOUR success, someone who understands that sometimes business isn’t just run Monday through Friday, 9-5. A virtual assistant who is interested in what you do and can be proactive versus reactive will make you more successful in the long run.

Your virtual assistant will at times think outside the box and see your business from a perspective different than yours and will come up with ideas to make the operation of your business more efficient, saving you time and money.

Read this great article to find out what you should look for when it’s time to hire a virtual assistant.

Virtually Yours,
April

 

 

Visibility in Your Business

Visibility in Your Business

Connecting with your customers is one of the best ways to keep your customers loyal.  Loyal customers will refer you to their friends, family and co-workers. Connecting and interacting with customers through social media is a priority in this age of technology.

Small business owners, service oriented businesses such as landscapers, auto repair, plumbers, electricians, etc., many times don’t have the time or desire to manage social media accounts, not even realizing how that interaction can grow their business by leaps and bounds.

Hiring a virtual assistant for just a few hours a week to manage your social media, can increase your profits exponentially, saving you time and increasing your exposure.

Read this article to see how one small business increased sales by adding social media marketing to their budget.

http://www.socialmediaexaminer.com/social-media-case-study-victory-auto/

Virtually Yours,

April