FREE Tools for Small Businesses: Google Your Business Part #1

If you own a small business, you know how important it is to stay organized. Small business owners wear many hats. Balancing life-life and work-life can be overwhelming. In many cases, work-life becomes life-life. Well Google is here to help. Google offers a wide selection of FREE tools that can help you run your work-life more efficiently so that you can have more time to enjoy your life-life. In fact, Google has so much to offer, we’ve had to divide this into a two part series. Let’s start with the basics…

Google Chrome

Google Chrome is a browser that’s built for speed, simplicity and security. Using a Chrome browser is very important because it enables all your information to link into a cohesive and intelligent tool to help you run your business. You can set the browser to open to specific pages each time you open it, “click” and “Boom!” you’re already where you need to be. You can find this feature in the Chrome browser advanced settings.

Google Calendar

Google Calendar is a MUST for scheduling and events. This calendar merges your documents, contacts, reminders and  appointments with Google maps to make sure you make to your appointment on time. Access your calendar when you’re away from your desk with two-way syncing to your phone or tablet. Stay on schedule with reminders, and get notified by email or receive text messages directly to your mobile phone. Google calendar and Google maps using real-time GPS satellites to send you a notification to tell you that “it’s time to leave” for your appointment based on the current traffic conditions and your current location. Never be late again!

Google Maps

Google Maps for Android shows you where you are and gets you to where you want to go. Get free, voice-guided turn-by-turn navigation. Check-in at a place to share your location with friends, and see if any of them are nearby. Guess what…this is a tool many of your customers and clients use to find you! Do a reverse examination of your Google presence to see how accessible you are to your customers.

Gmail

Gmail is a Google’s email application, which includes 15GB of free storage. You need a Gmail account to access the Google suite of apps listed here. If you don’t have a Gmail account, it is safe to say you are not up to date with the latest FREE business tools available to your through Google.

Google Contacts

This is a no-brainer. Save all your contacts in Google via your computer or your cell phone. This is vital to you ability to communicate with your customers in a timely and reliable manner. This also helps you keep your customers and clients on the ball with their appointments. When you “invite” one of your contacts to an appointment or meeting, they will receive all the information they need for the event in one handy email. They will also have the opportunity to accept or decline the invitation.

Google Business Hangouts

Face-to-face meetings with employees and colleagues can be an inefficient use of your valuable time if not formatted and conducted correctly. Think about the amount of time spent before, during and after a meeting that is NOT used to accomplish your goal. Travel expenses and idle chit chat can really suck the productivity right out of a work day. Google Business Hangouts is FREE and it allows you to hold meetings and make presentations all without leaving the comfort of your office.

Google My Business/ Places for Business

Ensure your business is found on Google Search, Maps, and mobile. Make sure your customers find the right information about your business. Google Places for Business generates the listing that pops up for a business when consumers search for related terms through Google Maps. By default, Google includes what it knows about a local business, including customer reviews from across the Web. But you can beef up your listing — and attract more customers — by submitting your own information to Google Places. Creating a Places page on Google Maps is free. In addition to basic business information, you can post updates about coming events, describe specials and more — anything that might attract potential customers who may be searching for certain kinds of nearby businesses.

Google Voice

Google Voice enhances the existing capabilities of your phone for free, regardless of which phone or carrier you have. Use a single number that rings you anywhere, get transcribed voicemail messages delivered to your inbox, and make free calls and text messages in the U.S. and Canada. Use your personal cell phone for all your business interactions without giving away your personal phone number! That’s right. Google Voice lets you be completely mobile and, of course, it link with all of your Google information including your contacts and Google Hangouts. The best part? You can TEXT using Google Voice as well!

Resources:

 

22 Free Google Products for Small Business Owners

 

Top 10 Google Tools for Small Business

 

http://www.inc.com/hollis-thomases/8-hidden-but-powerful-google-tools-for-business.html

CMC Office Center Carmel – Best Haunted Houses 2016

There is nothing like a really scary haunted house to get you in the Halloween spirit.  The great thing about being in the Carmel/Indianapolis area is that there are some really good haunted houses to visit, and get your socks scared right off of you.  So let CMC Office Center Carmel steer you in the right direction, and tell you where all the best Indianapolis haunted houses are!

  1.  Indy Scream Park –  voted as one of the best haunted houses in the nation, Indy Scream Parks offers up different haunted attractions to choose from.  It’s technically located in Anderson, IN., but trust me when I tell you it is well worth the drive.  It is one of the scariest places to visit this Halloween!  http://www.indyscreampark.com/
  2. Hanna Haunted Acres –  this huge complex also provides different haunted attractions to chose from.  You can get scared on a hayride, inside a haunted carnival, or get run down by zombies.  That all sounds like fun right!?  http://www.hannahauntedacres.com/
  3. The Asylum House – located at the Marion State Fairgrounds, this haunted house is truly terrifying.  And with their 20th Anniversary happening this year, be ready to experience the best interactive haunting maze around!  http://theasylumhouse.com/
  4. Necropolis: City of Perpetual Darkness – the name alone is scary enough!  One of the biggest haunted houses in Indianapolis, be prepared to be spooked as you go through 4 different phases of Necropolis.  http://www.darkarmies.com/

Daniel J. Lewis “The Audacity to Podcast”

The Perfect Small Office – Turfway

Most of his listeners probably don’t realize it, but one of the foremost gurus in the fast-growing world of podcasting operates right here in Greater Cincinnati.  His name is Daniel J. Lewis and he operates out of CMC’s The Perfect Small Office in Florence, KY.

To read more about Daniel and the ever growing podcast industry, visit the link below.

http://www.bizjournals.com/cincinnati/news/2016/09/27/exclusive-cincinnati-podcast-guru-launches.html

Tenant Spotlight: Lee Side Wellness, LLC

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Welcome the newest CMC’s the Perfect Small Office tenant Dr. Ronald Lee Tyson, of Lee Side Wellness LLC!  He recently opened his office in Mason.  Lee Side Wellness is a mental wellness center with a focus on healing anxiety, depression, ADHA, and substance abuse, among other conditions.  Dr. Tyson is currently accepting new patience beginning October 3rd.  His practice officially opens on November 1st.

After over 20 years of counseling students and their parents in youth ministry, he found there was the need for a safe, compassionate mental health healing service.  In an accelerated 6-year program, Lee obtained a nursing and advanced nurse practitioner degrees and certifications.  He has spent several years with acute care residential, then additional time seeing outpatients, in preparation for opening his own practice.

He chose CMC’s the Perfect Small Office in Mason for several different reasons.  First, the location can’t be beat.  “The attractive, easily accessible location in suburban Cincinnati provides my clients a convenient office to obtain mental wellness services.”  Dr. Tyson also enjoys the ways that CMC helps his business grow.  “The decision (to choose CMC) was easy.  The location, the cost, and the accommodating office management allow me to focus on growing my practice.”

Lee also understands that it is important to be passionate about what you do.  “I love helping people find their way to a healthy, fulfilling life with their family, friends, and work colleagues.”  He had good advice for those starting out, though, since we all know passion can only take you so far.  “Make sure you do lots of research, planning, and thought before jumping in to it.  Also, make sure you have a contingency plan in place and expect a lot of hard work.”  He is happy to impart any knowledge about starting his business, because there are many things he wished he had known before getting started.  “In my case, I did not have a business background, outside of church.  I needed advice on marketing, budgeting, and general business fundamentals.  I rely on many professionals to advise me.”

All the hard work and late nights are worth it, because he does it all for his family.  He and his partner, Dustin, were married on March 14, 2015 by their church pastor.  They had a four and half year old son, Emory and a just over one year old daughter, Lottie Rose.  In his spare time he watches basketball and is obsessed with The Lakers.  He also has three Weimaraner dogs.

If you would like to reach out to Dr. Lee Tyson, you can call him at 513-204-1910 or visit his website www.leesidewellness.com.  Please join me in welcoming him to the CMC family!

How Interactive Content Can Help Grow your Business

Small businesses are always trying to find the next big thing or the next new way to market and promote their business.  The traditional world of marketing is becoming less and less effective, which is making way for a better way: enter content marketing.  First, what exactly is content marketing?  Content marketing is a strategic marketing approach focused on creating and distributing valuable, relevant, and consistent content to attract and retain a clearly-defined audience – and ultimately drive a profitable customer action.  However, interactive content marketing takes this to the next level by involving your customer in the experience, and making it more likely that they will take desired profitable action.  This blog aims to give you ideas to create and use interactive content marketing to help you small business grow.

Quizzes and Assessments:  Quizzes, and their more in-depth cousin, the Assessment, are an amusing way to get potential customers thinking about your product.  They get buyers focused on not just your business, but specific area or product you are trying to promote.  Customers are used to being bombarded with cheap deals or direct marketing fliers.  They are not, however, used to fun, interactive ways that introduce products, which can be based on their answers. 

Interactive Infographic:  No one knows your products and services better than you.  Why not use your knowledge to educate customers or potential buyers?  An interactive infographic will encourage people to learn about your business, explore the market, and share that with their contacts on social media.  This will not only expand your brand, but it can also widen your social media reach to help get your name out there. 

Personalization:  Data analytics have become an important part of most business decision, marketing savvy small business owners are learning to create interactive content that makes the customer feel involved.  Everyone wants to feel like they belong and are part of a club.  Content that meets a buyer’s personal preference, rather than being part of a larger marketing blast campaign, will be more effective.  Making people feel involved will make your company more memorable, and, potentially drive sales.

Interactive Videos:  Interactive video is very different than normal video advertisements.  These videos are helpful because, as the name suggests, the viewers have the option to interact with the video rather than simply watch it passively.  By nature, it all but requires a call to action to get your audience involved with your site or product; and more easily converting leads.  Create intriguing stories through different scenarios and inviting the viewer to click on different choices to find out how the story ends. 

There are some things that will remain constant for marketing in 2016 – visual media is still dominant and making sure your sites are mobile friendly is essential.  Being innovative will strengthen and promote your brand by higher engagement with your customers.  However, finding new ways to engage customers in an entertaining way will make you stand out from your competition and help drive sales.  

Networking Luncheon(BABA)-March 3, 11:30 am to 1:30 pm

Parkers Blue Ash Tavern            Directions

 

RSVP