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Monthly Archives: February 2011

Cal Net Technology Group Selected as Microsoft Gold Certified Partner

Southern California IT consulting and computer services firm will serve businesses in need of Windows 7 migration utilizing Microsoft’s System Center Software
Leading Southern California-based IT consulting and computer services company Cal Net Technology Group is pleased to announce its selection as a Microsoft Gold Certified Partner with a competency in systems management.
The company will join a prestigious group of IT consulting firms that hold the “Gold Certified Partner” title.
The selection comes fresh on the heels of a report by Forrester Research that predicts a mass exodus from Microsoft XP to Microsoft 7 over the next twelve months.  IT firms holding the Microsoft competency in systems management will be poised to capitalize on the migration opportunity.
According to the report: “As firms naturally refresh their PCs, IT managers are already deploying Windows 7 on 31% of new PCs today, and within a year the number will increase to 83%.”
“In the past, the requirements for gold certification were not specific to skill,” remarked Luca Jacobellis, chief operating officer of Cal Net Technology Group. “For example, when a customer was searching for help with an Exchange Server, we ended up getting mixed in with other partners that were not relevant, such as software developers.  The Gold Certified Partner status allows us to target and align with small to medium size businesses who are looking for firms capable of the Windows 7 migration utilizing Microsoft’s System Center Software.”
Added Zack Schuler, founder and CEO of Cal Net Technology Group: “The requirements to earn this particular competency were challenging.  We are extremely excited to have reached this goal as a company and believe that through this program we have the opportunity to serve our current clients and future prospects with a much needed competency.”
More About Cal Net Technology Group
Founded in 1995, Cal Net Technology Group provides small-to-midsize organizations in Southern California with technology consulting and IT services. When clients choose Cal Net Technology Group, they don’t simply hire a single IT professional; they gain an insourced IT department. Better than a stand-alone in-house IT department, Cal Net Technology Group deploys ongoing IT services and technology projects to help companies communicate effectively and protect their critical data while saving time and money. Its signature services, TECManage and CoManage, give clients cost-effective options to manage all or part of their IT functions, with specialized resources at their disposal, getting IT projects done quickly and efficiently.
We have written about these guys before and it is with pleasure that we are posting this press release for them.  This is an outfit you can trust to address your small business technology needs.

If You Can Do This Your Business Will Thrive

If you can keep your head when all about you
Are losing theirs and blaming it on you,
If you can trust yourself when all men doubt you,
But make allowance for their doubting too;
If you can wait and not be tired by waiting,
Or being lied about, don’t deal in lies,
Or being hated, don’t give way to hating,
And yet don’t look too good, nor talk too wise:

If you can dream – and not make dreams your master,
If you can think – and not make thoughts your aim;
If you can meet with Triumph and Disaster
And treat those two impostors just the same;
If you can bear to hear the truth you’ve spoken
Twisted by knaves to make a trap for fools,
Or watch the things you gave your life to, broken,
And stoop and build ’em up with worn-out tools:

If you can make one heap of all your winnings
And risk it all on one turn of pitch-and-toss,
And lose, and start again at your beginnings
And never breath a word about your loss;
If you can force your heart and nerve and sinew
To serve your turn long after they are gone,
And so hold on when there is nothing in you
Except the Will which says to them: “Hold on!”

If you can talk with crowds and keep your virtue,
Or walk with kings – nor lose the common touch,
If neither foes nor loving friends can hurt you,
If all men count with you, but none too much;
If you can fill the unforgiving minute
With sixty seconds’ worth of distance run,
Yours is the Earth and everything that’s in it,
And – which is more – you’ll be a Man, my son!

Rudyard Kipling (1865-1936)

By |February 22nd, 2011|misc|4 Comments

Making Facebook Work for Small Business

MerchantCircle is reporting that 70 percent of small businesses surveyed are now saying that they are jumping on the Facebook bandwagon in 2011. This is compared to 50% for 2010. That puts Google (66%) behind as an online marketing channel for the first time in this annual survey.

The fact is that Facebook (once you familiarize yourself with it) is cheap and easy to use. Although with the recent changes taking place there have been cries of despair with people begging Facebook to bring back some old features. (Chronological wall posting is a big one).

So how do you make this work if you are challenged with time and budget as all small businesses are?

First, decide how you want to use it. Don’t just get into it without thinking about what you want out of it. This is way way easier said than done. You actually have to stop and think. Just ask yourself what the best possible outcome could be and work from there.

Second, decide if you have the kind of employees or support system to make it happen and build some momentum. You can get started by attracting friends to your page but the problem with that is they are not your customers. If you have a decent email list you can put a link to Facebook on every email you send and ask for a Like. This may also be the time to consider Twitter and a blog. Twitter is a different animal for customer acquisition and you can leverage it to push those people onto your Facebook Page. The blog matters because it gives you another outpost for content and allows you to go beyond short messaging. Anything that can help your customers in terms of informing, inspiring and entertaining is what you are after. You have to think like a media company. That is what we all are now.

What About Facebook Ads?

We know for a fact that they work very well for the right business. If you are in a business that is driven by relationships, like the jewelry business (think weddings, valentines day, anniversaries), we know it works. Because you can drill down into a target group within your buying radius that is either engaged or married, you can advertise to them very effectively. We have seen jewelry stores generating on average 80-100 qualified leads per month using Facebook ads. And sales are coming with those leads.

Managing a Facebook ad campaign is simple, affordable and flexible. You can turn the ad on and off at any time and set a daily budget.   Creating an ad is easy too.  Although it does require some creativity and some things work better than others.  If you have the right business you can make it work.  If you need help with Facebook or would like more information on how you can leverage social media to build your business click here.

Small Business Owner Thinks Facebook is a Fad

How Marketers Do Marriage Proposals

There is no success without love. Have a great weekend and a Happy Valentine’s Day.

By |February 12th, 2011|misc|7 Comments

It’s a Facebook Amazon Google Apple World

…and we all just live in it.  The sooner small business owners accept this the better.  Block out every other brand except those four in the picture above.  It’s the fastest way to grasp what is happening. You must adapt or it’s going to be a constant struggle.

Your Competitive Advantage

Know that you have something to offer that your competition doesn’t.  Even if that competition is Amazon.  Namely, that you are local and live and probably have a huge amount of goodwill built up in your community.  If you can leverage that on Facebook and Twitter and start building up your online community you are going to save money on advertising costs and eventually increase sales.

Commit Like a Spartan

But you have to be committed to getting up to speed in the new and changing world of online marketing.  You can not just put a toe in the water.  Every day we see small business owners abandoning their Facebook pages and Twitter accounts, sending the message that a) they did not see an immediate benefit  b) could not devote the resources to maintaining a presence or c) did not know how to be effective at engaging customers online.

For whatever reason, it’s a mistake not to make this transition.   The world is moving into a mobile social universe and you need to move with it.  Check out Digital Nation, a documentary on Frontline (PBS) that came out this week.  Read the latest statistics on email usage for the population under 20 (down last year 56%!).  Kids don’t use the phone to talk any more and they don’t use email.  You need to be where they are.

Facebook or Google May Buy Twitter

The big rumor yesterday was that both Facebook and Google were in talks to acquire Twitter. Twitter is being valued somewhere in the range of $8 to $10 billion.  Twitter, like YouTube and others is just going to become part of the Google stable of companies or Facebook is going to grab it.  So one of those Big 4 we mentioned in the title just got that much more powerful.

What Can You Do Today?

Take online very very seriously.  Don’t just hand your website off to your nephew and let the intern manage your Facebook Page and determine your social media strategy.  Drop the notion that you can just throw anything up online and that a long as you are there, that is all that matters.  We call that shovelware.  And the term has been around for 10 years.  This is not a magazine online or a book or a press release.  It is a game of engagement and community building and becoming a master of media and creating engaging content.  Every company is a media company now.  It’s become a much tougher game.  But you can win.  Just accept the world as it is and get moving.