Small Business Tip: Free Small Business Security Guide

How secure is your business computer system?
 
October is Cyber Security Awareness Month, and there is a special offer for SBTV.com viewers and small business owners from  the National Institute of Standards and Technology. 

It is a free guide to help small businesses and organizations understand how to provide basic security for their information, systems and networks. 

The guide, Small Business Information Security: The Fundamentals, was authored by Richard Kissel, who spends much of his time on the road teaching computer security to groups of small business owners ranging from tow truck operators to managers of hospitals, small manufacturers and nonprofit organizations. The 20-page guide uses simple and clear language to walk small business owners through the important steps necessary to secure their computer systems and data.
blogpainPlease follow me on Twitter to learn more about small business trends and events to give you a competitive edge in business at http://twitter.com/danitablackwood

Small Business Tip: McAfee to Launch New Online Support Community

Small business owners and entrepreneurs will soon have the opportunity to link online with the world’s largest dedicated security technology company. 
blogpainMcAfee is working to launch an online support community so users can interact with each other to share ideas, discuss emerging trends and help resolve problems.  McAfee technicians, developers and product managers will be able to engage customers in new ways to enhance products and improve processes according to a media release.

Barry McPherson, executive vice president of worldwide support and services at McAfee, said the online community “will enable us to evolve beyond traditional phone and e-mail based services and focus more on collaboration with our customers through discussions, blogs, wikis, user groups and community polling.”

McAfee already monitors Twitter and Facebook. The online community, which will launch in the fourth quarter, will run on Jive’s social business software platform. Please follow me on Twitter to learn more about small business trends and events to give you a competitive edge in business at http://twitter.com/danitablackwood   To learn more about vital technology issues impacting your enterprise; head to http://www.sbtv.com/Technology

Small Business Tip: New Mobile Payment Processing from Amazon

Small retailers and businesses there are new mobile payment options! Amazon is rolling out a new offering bringing mobile payment processing for partners.  This new suite of payment processing tools for mobile devices makes online shopping easier and faster for consumers and allows cell phone users to quickly pay with their devices at partner retailers.

A number of mobile payment providers are currently servicing retailers; but Amazon is a major player in e-retail and the new service could be an excellent option for businesses exploring options to easily accept mobile payments. Amazon’s new service will automatically detect the request origin, meaning a Web or mobile browser, or a mobile application so that developers don’t need to re-work their applications. Consumers will be able to make purchases on third-party mobile sites using the payment information in their Amazon accounts.

 (Amazon MPS process:(Credit:Amazon Payments)

Please follow me on Twitter to learn more about small business trends and events to give you a competitive edge in business at http://twitter.com/danitablackwood   To learn more about vital technology issues impacting your enterprise; head to http://www.sbtv.com/Technology

Small Business Tip: Entrepreneurs Lead the Way in Green IT

The second annual Green IT trend survey by CDW Corporation is out and entrepreneurs are not letting the current economic downturn stall green IT initiatives.  In fact, researchers found small businesses are the most likely to invest in Green IT in the coming months, even in light of the recession. Small businesses came out on top for green IT plans over other sectors including government and large corporate initiatives. 

 

Nearly a third (31 percent) of small business IT decision makers say their companies plan to implement Green IT initiatives in the next two years!—more than any other corporate or government sector. More than half (54 percent) still report cost as the greatest barrier to implementing Green IT solutions.
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Small business is also driving green technology on the nation’s highways!  Small business owners and self-employed professionals are taking part in a two year test of hydrogen fuel-cell powered vehiclesClick here to hear from one of the test-drivers and see what the hydrogen fuel test cars look like.

Small business owners are also starting from the ground up in going green in business. Government incentives and energy savings are two reasons small business owners are choosing to build green. Click here to learn more about green building initiatives and incentives on the small business level.

Please follow me on Twitter to learn more about small business trends and events to give you a competitive edge in business at http://twitter.com/danitablackwood

Small Business Tip: Fighting the Flu with Free Shots & Wellness Help

Small business and mid-sized companies are increasingly developing initiatives to help employees develop a healthier lifestyle. With a rising number of sick days taken by employees and increasing health care costs, employers have a vested interest in the health and wellness of their workers. More business owners are working to create low cost wellness programs and the authors of the book, “Discover Wellness: How Staying Well Can Make You Rich”, offer some suggestions in this short video interview.

Putting an emphasis on healthy behaviors in your enterprise can help workers be more productive.  A number of simple ideas can help steer staff toward healthier choices. Click here to see just a few in a free video of “Your Healthy Biz.”

Effective wellness programs do not have to be expensive. Changing vending machine selections or offering health training such as smoking cessation programs or weight loss clinics can help workers make better choices.  Steering staff toward a healthier lifestyle can begin with free, seminars from community health agencies or a wellness fair.

One drugstore operator is pledging to provide 100,000 free flu shots starting Monday, October 5, 2009. CVS pharmacies in sixteen states will give away vouchers to unemployed people for three million dollars in flu shots. The vouchers will be given out at some One-Stop Career Centers starting Oct. 5. The vouchers can be redeemed at CVS pharmacies that are running flu shot clinic events, or during regular business hours at walk-in MinuteClinics inside CVS stores.
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More information on contacting the individual employment centers participating in the free flu voucher program can be found at www.cvs.com/flu.

The CVS free flu shot vouchers will be available in Washington, DC, California, Connecticut, Georgia, Illinois, Indiana, Maryland, Massachusetts, Michigan, Minnesota, New Jersey, New York, Ohio, Rhode Island, Texas, and Virginia.

Please follow me on Twitter to learn more about small business trends and events to give you a competitive edge in business at http://twitter.com/danitablackwood

Small Business Tip: Firms Working to Take Some Pain Out of the Workday

This is the last day of the month and a close to Pain Awareness Month. Not a big small business event? You’d be surprised. Thousands of small business owners are taking steps and making accommodations to help employees living with chronic pain stay productive.

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Fibromyalgia affects more than five million Americans and is one of the most common, chronic widespread pain conditions, yet it is often called an invisible illness. The disorder is one of the most common chronic widespread pain conditions in the United States.

This short streaming video reveals some of the ways small business owners and entrepreneurs are making changes to help the millions of Americans living with chronic pain.

Please follow me on Twitter to learn more about small business trends and events to give you a competitive edge in business at http://twitter.com/danitablackwood

Small Business Tip: Consumers Spending More Time on Social Media

Web savvy consumers are spending about three times as much of their time on the Web on social networking and blog sites like Facebook and Twitter as they did a year ago, according to new research from The Nielsen Company.  The research reveals the time spent by Americans on social networking went from 6 percent of all time last August on the Internet to about 17 percent last month!   Small business owners and entrepreneurs are ramping up the time they spend on social media reaching millions of people with their business brand in 140 characters or less: Twitter! 

As more people spend time on social media, more ad dollars are flowing to these sites. Advertising spending on social networking sites and blogs more than doubled despite the recession, going from about $49 million in August 2008 to about $108 million in August 2009 according to the Nielson research.
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Ad spending on entertainment blogs and social networking sites grew the most, up 812 percent, with travel sites showing the second highest rate of growth at 364 percent. Spending on business-to-business sites grew 184 percent to $1.9 billion at a time when such spending fell by 8 percent elsewhere on the Internet.  There are signs the spending on social media will increase.

More than 56% of marketers plan to incorporate social media into their businesses next year, according to the Center for Media Research.  Many savvy business owners and entrepreneurs I’ve met in our SBTV.com community already seeing amazing results and we’ve got their stories! Please follow me on Twitter to learn more about small business trends and events to give you a competitive edge in business at http://twitter.com/danitablackwood