Wednesday, April 27, 2005

No Seeds - No Business

Some people come to me and ask why isn't their business doing well on the net. After a few conversations I learn that they haven't done anything to promote / grow their business. For some reason they think that business will just magically appear. This of course couldn't be further from the truth. Without constantly planting seeds (promoting), your garden will not produce anything. Sure on occassion you may get a plant or two but you will never get a crop.

Tomorrow we'll start our conversations on preparing your garden.

Monday, April 25, 2005

Hopefully you enjoyed your weekend. Something weird happened here yesterday... it snowed. 70 -80 degrees during the week and then snowed some on the weekend. Some of it actually stuck on the grass and cars. No snow storms scheduled for this week but who knows.

Friday, April 22, 2005

Couple of notes to wrap up the week -

Congress is looking at extending the ban on internet taxes -

A good blog for seo information -

Have a great weekend.

Wednesday, April 20, 2005

How your business is like a garden.

For the next bit we're going to be using the analogy of your business as a garden. We're going to cover a variety of topics and hopefully as you relate it to a garden it may just make things clearer to you.

Here's an overview of the lessons.

Preparing your garden.
- tilling the soil
- what makes a garden grow
- choosing your seeds
- rouge plants
- watering your garden
- fertilizer anyone
- tracking growth
- harvesting your crops
- getting more from your harvest
- starting the process again

We hope you'll enjoy it - we'll start tomorrow with preparing your garden. Please note that each topic may take a couple of days to cover.

Have a good one.

Tuesday, April 19, 2005

This week.... if I can get this crazy thing to work we're going to talk about planting seeds. Spring has sprung and it's a perfect time to think about growing your business in terms of planting a garden. One thought to get you started. If you don't plant anything (advertise / promote) how can you expect anything to grow. Something to think about.

Friday, April 15, 2005

I really hate paying taxes... I don't guess that many people do. I give you permission to take the weekend off. My wife though has a good way of looking at it - she said it could be worse.... you could have not made any more. So I guess that is true, still I really don't like writing out the checks much. I guess the April 15th one makes it worse, because you pay the double whammy - taxes owed and the first ES form. So enjoy your weekend... you deserve it!!

Thursday, April 14, 2005

So how do you make it easy for new customers to shop at your site -

1) Explain everything - then explain everything again. While shopping on the net is easy for you, this will be the first experience for them. Explain exactly how the process works. Explain what happens after they push a button.

2)Inspire confidence - even though they may not have shopped - I'm pretty certain that they have heard horror stories about the web. Make them feel secure - offer them an alternate means of ordering your products - the phone.

3) Explain what happens after the order - how long does it take the order to be processed, when will it be shipped etc.

4) Detail how you will communicate with them.

Have a good one.

Wednesday, April 13, 2005

I had someone ask me how that gas prices could relate to increases in web traffic. Here goes a simple but worthwhile explanation.

1. I live in a very small town - while we do have a Wal-Mart :o) - say I want something that isn't mass produced / but unique. Lets say I want a certain video game.

2. I now have a choice - I can drive two hours to the nearest "big" city that may have it - or I could buy it online. If I drive the four hours I'll spend an extra $20 or so dollars in gas. Online I find the game - same price as the store in the big city - shipping is four bucks.

I don't know about you but I would much rather save the $16 bucks. Next time I need to make the purchase I'll think about the video - how easy it was - didn't have to drive - came to the door - no traffic hassles - no big gas expenditure - so I buy something on the web again.

Once you do things a few times it starts to be a habit. So even if gas prices do come down after my happy experiences of buying on the web, I'm more likely to continue that.

Tomorrow we'll talks some about dealing with these first time buyers, to make their experience a pleasant one.

Monday, April 11, 2005

Hope your weekend went as planned. It was great here - for once it didn't rain and temps were in the 70's. In fact we had to turn on the AC. Have you noticed the price at the gas station lately - filling up your tank is getting a bit out of control. What isn't great for your car, may be great for your website. Personally I think this will increase web sales - where folks may have only visited your site around the holidays - they may actually come by more often for other purchases. Just something to think about.

Have a great Monday.

Friday, April 08, 2005

If you have a site that caters to kids - you may want to make sure your site is listed in the search engines that are at the following url - especially pay attention to those that are near the bottom of the page - starts with - "Other Children's Search Engines".

Have a great weekend.

Thursday, April 07, 2005

I got another update on the Google Auto Link program. I don't really see much wrong about how they're doing things now... but what could happen in the future. Take a moment to check out the following article -

Pay particle attention to code you can add to your site to kill the auto link.

Even if you don't have links to books - I think this move by Google definitely bears watching.

Wednesday, April 06, 2005

Someone asked about how we got rid of the spyware / viruses.

After trying various methods (and none of those working), I decided that it would be much easier just to reinstall xp - but this time to include service pack 2 - and to stay far far away from windows explorer.

1) I made sure all the important files were backed up - emails, code, programs I own that are downloads only, passwords etc. I backed all these up to an external hard drive. You don't want to back up settings etc., because these might have been compromised by the malware.
2) Check again to make sure you have everything. Don't forget your bookmarks, you may also want to include your address book.
3) Format the hard drive. There is a fast method - which I've found doesn't do the job, and a slow method.
4) Reinstall XP
5) Reinstall all the drivers and programs that came with the computer.
6) Install and update your virus protection / firewalls.
7) Install SP 2.
8) Download any additional windows updates.
9) Install your other programs and make sure they work.
10) Run a virus scan.
11) Take a break.
12) Setup your email.
13) Install Mozilla.

I have a slow internet connection - not by choice we just live in the boonies - the whole process took about six hours or so. I figure though that it was time well spent since my computer runs faster and the spyware doesn't take over things (knock on wood).

I had the leisure of planning my reinstall. Sometimes you won't have that luxury. Make sure if you haven't backed up things in a while that today (or this week) you do it.


Tuesday, April 05, 2005

Recently our computer got infected with some nasty spy ware. We have the the firewalls, blockers, etc., but for some reason we got them anyway. One of the first things I do when this happens to me is to check out what kind of windows processes are going on (by hitting ctl - alt - del with xp). Some of these processes I have no clue what exactly they are. Now you can find out what they are and what you may need to do to stop them.

Just enter the process in the search box and you'll find out what the process is. They do sell a product - which I don't own yet which is supposed to remove some of the pesky ones.

Monday, April 04, 2005

Hopefully on the blogging forefront this week will go better than last (ie I couldn't post). If you didn't move your clocks ahead last weekend then you're late.... was kind of funny on Sunday I thought I woke up early till I logged on my computer and found that I hadn't. Have a great Monday.