Archive for March, 2010

Password Strength

Tuesday, March 30th, 2010

All of you reading this have passwords of some sort. ¬†While some of you might have very secure passwords, like y&3uEY0(“329Hf1d, most of you have easier passwords, like “password”, your name, birthday, etc. ¬†You probably also have the same password for a lot of different sites, like Facebook, MySpace, your email account, or even your online banking. ¬†I just read an interesting article, however, that brings up a very interesting point: hackers don’t aim for your accounts at banks, where there’s high-security; they aim for the low hanging fruit, like a greeting card site, then use the password they figure out from there to get into your bank account.

Make a stronger password for yourself, and use a password checker to see how strong it is. ¬†Try to come up with good passwords so that people don’t hack you–anywhere.

Don’t Do It Yourself

Tuesday, March 23rd, 2010

This post is a bit technical in nature, but if you’re wondering about what I do for a living, this might give you a little insight into how I approach potential business. ¬†I also want YOUR business.

I’ve been stepping up the networking lately in an effort to increase my workload. ¬†In addition to the usual goal of “getting more business”, this has had a couple interesting benefits I hadn’t really thought of initially. ¬†I get to learn more about other people’s businesses, I see how people view the web site business as a whole, and I gain understanding on what might be the tipping point into spending money on a web site.

Learning about other peoples’ businesses is actually very important. ¬†In the end, it’s generally about making money. ¬†But how some people do it is very different from others. ¬†I’ve noticed that a lot of people at these mixers tend to be very proactive–they follow up, they act on almost every lead, and they do whatever it takes to close a deal. ¬†At the same time, there are those who believe in the “if you build it, they will come” concept. ¬†It’s almost a sense of self-entitlement. ¬†Showing up is not 80% of the task–really, it’s both 0% and 100%… ¬†If you don’t show up at all, not showing up guarantees you won’t do any business. ¬†At the same time, follow-through is supremely important.

As that goes, I look at every contact’s business card, and see whether or not they have or list a web site. ¬†If they don’t, well, that’s a great contact for me–unless they don’t feel they need a web site at all. ¬†Tonight, I spoke with a potential business contact, hell-bent on irrigating everyone’s asshole in the room (she’s a colon cleanser). ¬†After exchanging cards, she said, “I don’t need a web site. ¬†My industry has one, and I’m fine with that. ¬†Plus, I have all the clients I need.” ¬†My first thought was, gee, if you have all the clients you need, why are you out here looking for more assholes to tube up? ¬†Instead, I said, “Gosh, if I do a Google search on your name, what am I going to find?” ¬†She didn’t know. ¬†Yikes. ¬†If I decided to get a tube shoved up my butt, the first thing I would do would be to look for a web site… ¬†The fact of the matter is that a web site is NOT a guarantee of anything. ¬†Anyone can have a web site. ¬†But it’s like a business card with as much information as you want. ¬†She didn’t have one. ¬†No tubes up the butt for me.

So what makes people want to have or redo their web site? ¬†Usually, it’s the sense that they need something that they’re not getting from their current business plan. ¬†The personal trainer I spoke to said she has a blog, and that seems good enough. ¬†“Is it?” I asked. ¬†“What if my company made a web site that helped track your clients’ goals while they were at home, or at work? ¬†What if you could reach out to them on a regular basis and give them personalized tips?” ¬†She apparently didn’t even think about the flexibility of web sites. ¬†And maybe that’s the problem. ¬†There’s this notion going around that web sites have to either be simple or too expensive for a small business. ¬†That’s not the case. ¬†They can be perfect solutions for any company of any size or type. ¬†If you want something as simple as an online brochure about your business? ¬†Easy. ¬†Inexpensive. ¬†You want a tracking system that will account for clients and customers, internal processes, and other proprietary actions? ¬†Just ask. ¬†We can do it. ¬†Affordably.

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