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Small Business Blog

daily small business software blog

:: Top 10 in 10 Categories

Take a look at the top 10 search terms in 10 different categories.

:: Top Business Cities

A look at the cities that top the 2007 list of Inc.'s Best Cities for Doing Business.

:: The Importance of Customer Service

The phrase, "the customer is always right," is an age old adage. When you work with others all day that concept can be a bit frustrating. Customers come with a host of concerns, questions, and expectations. They often also come with bad attitudes, frustrations and complaints, which the customer service representative gets to work out. Because people call when they need something or do not like something rather than when they want to compliment and praise, the process of helping them can be difficult. Feelings of frustration after a string of difficult people are common and understandable. On the other hand it is the customer service representative who is responsible for diffusing problems and answering questions with a smile (yes you can smile on the phone and it will make a difference). Because the customer service representative is the only, or one of the few contacts that an individual may have with a company, it is important that that person has a positive experience. A positive experience will keep them happy and coming back. By identifying challenges for the customer service representative, solutions are given to help them increase skills in helping others, which will increase customer satisfaction.

The Importance of Customer Service

:: How to Locate Podsafe Music

Fortunately the popularity of podcasting has spawned an industry of "podsafe" music. All podcasters need is an Internet connection, and they can have access to a variety of songs and musical clips that are deemed podsafe and available for use in podcasts.

How to Locate Podsafe Music

:: Buy Google Ads on AOL

AOL on Monday launched a program that lets companies use Google's advertising system to buy ads targeted to AOL sites. The program stems from AOL's 2005 agreement with Google, in which the search leader expanded its partnership with AOL and agreed to invest in the company. It's the first time Google is offering the ability to target search ads on specific sites.

:: Business Logos

A unique new web logo directory has launched. The Logo Search directory, found at , is designed for businesses struggling to establish an online presence, a brand, or an identity. Logo Search uses a unique new model that allows companies or individuals to purchase a subscription for 1 year for only $99.00. With the full subscription, subscribers have unlimited access to all the logos in the directory or single logos can be purchased for a fixed fee of $19.95.

There are currently more than 1500 logo images in more than 45 categories, available on Logo Search, and new logo images are added on a regular basis. Subscribers are granted access to download zip files containing the selected logo in a variety of formats including (.bmp, .gif, .png, .jpg and .tif).

Search features are available for individuals who do not have the time to browse the categories. The keyword search retrieves all the logos related to the searched topic, and each graphic provides alternative keyword searches that are related to the original search term. This allows webmasters to preview all related logos prior to making a decision.
Logo Search is a perfect solution for webmasters struggling to create a brand and identity for a new website or business.

:: Call Center Location Disclosure

"Hello, my name is John, and I'm speaking to you from Bangalore, India, today. How can I help you?" That's a phrase that we may start hearing when we make calls to customer service centers, if a recently-proposed bill by House Representative Jason Altmire (D-PA) goes into effect. The bill, HR 1776, is titled "Call Center Consumers Right to Know Act" and would require call center employees to state their physical location when a customer calls in.

As the title indicates, the bill is designed to make customers aware of the widespread nature of call-center outsourcing. Once discovering that a large majority of their calls are being redirected overseas, customers would theoretically be more willing to take action and let companies know how they feel about the hot issue of call center outsourcing that is often blamed for a portion of lost jobs in the US.

complete article

Another reason for the disclosure is privacy. The fact is the US government does not control how records in foreign companies are kept. Issues surrounding privacy are a big factor when call centers are outsourced to non-US companies.

:: Building an Image with a Logo

Website design can be elusive to even creative individuals. Sadly some webmasters do not realize their incompetence and they post websites that have grainy graphics and turgid colors. If you are one of these webmasters and have seen the error of your ways, consider this. Your website is a sales tool. A professional layout and design can significantly increase sales and conversion rates, gaining you customers. Businesses can greatly benefit from a professional and unforgettable logo that sets them apart from their competition. Logos are not just fancy graphics that adorn websites or letterhead, logos are a representation of a businesses' philosophy. Logos are a critical component of brand development.

Building an Image with a Logo

:: .XXX Is Voted Down

The overseer of the Internet's addressing system rejected for the second time the creation of a .xxx top-level domain, supported by some as a way to isolate adult content on the Internet.

Nine board members for the Internet Corporation for Assigned Names and Numbers (ICANN) voted against the proposal on Friday at ICANN's 28th International Public Meeting in Lisbon, Portugal.

:: Is Your Business Growing?

You set out to build a successful company...and you've done it! Now, it's time to make sure the world knows about it. Apply for the Inc Top 5,000.

All 5,000 companies will be profiled on the website. As always, the top 500 companies will be profiled in the magazine's Inc. 500 issue in September.

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