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A Fresh Approach to IT Services

Our Mission - to deliver custom Web, IT Consulting, Photo, Video, and Training services that are specific to our clients' needs and which enable our clients to exceed their objectives.

We are based out of Monument, Colorado and intend to stay small so that we can know and personally take care of our clients. We partner with other professionals to extend our capabilities to serve our clients, and we often work through our partners to help them serve their customers.

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helpWe live in a short attention span society so I'll keep this brief.  People are inundated with input - hundreds of emails, dozens of blogs and news sources. You need to get your point across, with few words, with details for those who want to know more.

My son Adam is taking a writing course this spring and much of what he is learning is "old school" - appropriate for writing essays that people will read, then re-read and digest. When writing to your boss, to your customer, and you are just one of a hundred that they will read that day, they need you to get to the point.

I am putting together a class proposal for a client on Effective Written Communications. This course will focus on how to increase the response rate to emails, generate action from status reports, gain approval for project proposals, and when/how to use short-format messaging for business.  Participants will learn a four-step process to create effective written communications. 

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Tagged in: email Writing Short
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red-bellOne of the fun things I do as a member of the Monument Hill Kiwanis Club is to spend a few hours each year ringing the bell for the Salvation Army.

I spend two hours each week from Thanksgiving to Christmas Eve, standing with the kettle and raising a portion of the $40K+ that our club brings to the Salvation Army each year.

In addition to being a good thing to do, I learn a few lessons while standing outside Walmart, Safeway, or King Soopers that help me and my clients be better at what we do.

 

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hutzlergirlI have a pet rock, in the original box. I have a pair of Kelso Earth Shoes in the back of my closet. Roberta and I even have a very nice Kitchen Aide mixer which we use regularly, but until recently, my life is was yet complete - I did not have a Hutzler 571B.

The 20-person Hutzler Manufacturing Company has many products, primarily plastic kitchen utensils and food handling products.  The model 571B is said to "Slice an entire banana in one quick motion. Safe and fun for children. Dishwasher safe."

As of January 15 (2013), it was the #2 selling product in Amazon's "Mandolin and Slicers" category per a recent Businessweek article (update - it has since fallen to #97 in the category - fame is fleeting).  It is a hit on Pinterest and a darling the literati. Hundreds of people offer suggestions for the next product release, to be called either the Hutzler 571C or the 572.

How did this $1.29 plastic slicer become a top banana? It is truly a social media success story, even if it came as a complete surprise to Hutzler Manufacturing.

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slepping-emailHow many emails do you receive in a day? How many do you open? How many lead you to do something?


Like pointless PowerPoints, endless emails are time wasters and and a burden. Just as I spent years creating ineffective PowerPoint presentations before learning how to do better; I am working this fall to improve my emailing skills for my benefit and for my clients.


And so should you.


I write 10-20 emails per day. Since leaving HP/Agilent, I communicate more via email than through any other medium. Whether proposing a service to a potential client, asking for permission to proceed, or explaining what went wrong, emailing is a critical skill that I need to keep working on.


Geoffrey James gives six helpful tips for "How to Write a Convincing Email" in a recent Inc. magazine article.  Of his six tips, I am working on two of them this month.

 

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hunting"No matter how good your product is, customers aren’t just going to magically start knocking at your door. There are two main reasons for this: First, the initial version of your product is almost certainly wrong. Second, your customers don’t know they should be looking for you--and even if they do, they're probably too busy to try your product. This is why you need to go hunt."

 

Bastiaan Janmaat writing in Fast Company

http://www.fastcolabs.com/3015583/open-company/looking-for-customers-be-a-hunter-not-a-gatherer

When the phone is ringing regularly, as it has been for me lately (thank you all very, very much), it is easy to move from actively looking for new business to letting the business come to you.  This works well - until the phone stops ringing.  If you are just starting up your endeaver, you need to become a hunter.

Of the six items on Bastians list, two stike me as being especially helpful for getting back on the trail of hunting for business.

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