Kamis, 28 Februari 2013

Just Food For Dogs uses Google Business Photos to show off their state of the art dog kitchen

Just Food For Dogs (JFFD) is a dog food company that produces healthy, whole foods for dogs in a human-grade dog food kitchen. In an effort to attract customers who would appreciate the care and attention they put into their high-quality dog food offerings, JFFD decided to get Google Business Photos: a virtual tour of their business interior with Street View technology.

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Justin Bonatto, marketing coordinator for JFFD states, “We can’t see anything else that provides more value than a customer interacting for thirty seconds with Google Business Photos. It conveys everything we would want to communicate about the value of our company.”

For a more in depth look at JFFD’s success story using Google Business Photos you can read the case study in its entirety here.

If you are a business owner and would like to create and publish a virtual tour of your business, learn more at http://maps.google.com/help/maps/businessphotos

Selasa, 26 Februari 2013

Has Change Management Changed?

Change management is a structured process to help public institutions, private companies and individuals adapt to extensive change of all kinds. For example, if a large military base is closed in an area that depends heavily on the installation for employment and economic health, there will be many extensive changes that are both complicated and difficult to predict in advance. Such attempts to have an organized approach for coping with a changing business, government and financial environment have understandably provided mixed results. Is there a better way to deal with change? If any attempted solution is not dealing satisfactorily with a specific problem, even change management strategies should realistically be changed in an effort to find workable solutions. Managing change successfully requires a delicate balance of the following elements: Flexibility Creativity Collaboration Management (one of only two words in "change management") Planning While there are multiple results which are not identical, the lack of effective management and planning is frequently a major contributing factor when change management efforts do not succeed. Some pertinent planning and change management advice from an individual often referred to as "The Man Who Invented Management" is provided in the following Peter Drucker quote: "Trying to predict the future is like trying to drive down a country road at night with no lights while looking out the back window. The best way to predict the future is to plan it." Changes in the banking industry provide an illustration of why change management strategies are frequently not the answer to many situations involving extensive change. Few industries have changed more than banks during recent years. Individuals and companies faced with bank services that have been restructured are faced with uncertainty as to what their new financial choices are. In some ways it is a situation that is not so different from the previous example of how a community was impacted when a military base closed. Banks have been a core member of communities for many years, but banks have suddenly changed and there is not an organized change management strategy to help. In this banking example and many other similar situations involving change without a formal change management process, individuals and businesses of all sizes are left to manage and plan their own strategic response. This uncertain and confusing scenario is almost certain to result in many different paths being followed. Some are likely to do nothing while others will do their best to produce an improved outcome via planning and managing. For example, many small business owners are still having difficulty in obtaining needed commercial loans and working capital from their bank. Some of these small businesses will formulate a plan to solve their financial problem and some will not. Whatever we call change management, alternatives need to be evaluated and choices must be made. As is often the case in many complex situations, individual results may vary.

Senin, 25 Februari 2013

The Business February 27th 2013: The Songs to O’Shea By Edition- Now with 2x the Kevin!

There are Kevins, and there are O’Sheas.  But there is only one Kevin O’Shea.  At least there is only one that we know of.  I mean the odds are good that there is someone else that has both the name “Kevin” and the name “O’Shea”, but that guy (or rather unfortunate girl) would never be the Kevin O’Shea that Kevin O’Shea is.  

This week, we all Kevin to the O’Shea beat.

Established in 1984 following the mergers of Steven and Cathy O’Shea, Kevin O’Shea has been one of San Francisco’s leading manufactures of mirth, laughter, hilarity and all around good times! Kevin has been commonly described as clever, absurd, awkward but in a funny way and too smart for his own good. He has been seen on the Independent Film Chanel and ComedyCentral.com. He is a favorite of comedy festivals such as: The SF Sketch Fest and the Bridgetown Comedy Festival. Go see him now as his 4thquarter productivity has never been higher!

And more KEVIN! Kevin Camia will join us this week as well. He has been featured on Comedy Central's "Live at Gotham", Aspen Rooftop Comedy Festival, AZN's Asia Street Comedy and the San Francisco Sketchfest. His comedy is a mix of dry wit, strange observations and social satire delivered in a "tell it like it is" performance. 

Bringing the beat to Kevin by will be KALX DJ and musical auteur Spencer Owen! Owen arranges all the compositions and performs all of the vocals, instruments and production himself for his home 6-track audio-cassette recordings.  (Which means he does more with his afternoons that I do, but can he say he watched all of House of Cards in 15 hours?  No, I’ll bet he can’t)

You regulars this week are the fearsome foursome, Sean Keane, Nato Green, Caitlin Gill and Bucky Sinister, who is made of steel and one pound Fuddrucker burgers.  

This whole spectacular show is just $5! You can even bring a friend for free!  http://thebusinesscomedy.blogspot.com/

Get there early, we sell out.  

BYOBurrito and we will top it with Business.  Or salsa*, your choice.

*The Business does not have salsa.  They probably gave you some at the taqueria.  Check under your chips. 

Kamis, 21 Februari 2013

The Difficulties, Challenges and Problems Of Teleworking, Telecommuting and Working at Home

Working at home, from home, in your pajamas, in the nude, at the beach, working from bed or the easy chair - these are all the images and joys of home working that Kate and I enjoy and many others too. Kate and I sell Real Estate; that is perhaps the most popular telecommuting, work at home; pick your own hours job, in the country. There are some difficulties that go with working at home. Perhaps half of the people who start working from home don't succeed, mostly due to lack of personal discipline or family discipline. There are freedoms of working from home and along with freedoms go responsibilities. Those freedoms of working at home can also be challenges to responsibility which will lower your production and moral as you fail to meet deadlines and quotas. I have been telecommuting or teleworking; since we imported the term teleworking from the Brits and it's now used by our Federal Government; and believe me I would rather work from home and my car than from a cubical. Since I entered the work force, I prefer me as my boss and get more done that way. I get to decide importances and have seldom found a boss that is not prone to wanting sillier busy-work than I'm willing to do. One boss I had, my brother, had over 150 pieces of paper to fill out for selling a mobile home. On my own, I used two - the sales contract and the certificate of title. In the 8 hours it took me to fill out the 150 pieces of paper, I'd get "interrupted" by sales calls and showings of homes, so the paperwork of one sale took a week at times. As a home-worker I get to determine what works and what doesn't. One boss I had, a client who bought about 50 properties from me, was convinced that I should advertise her properties for sale with no price - so I would get calls. That was, and is, stupid. I did not want calls. I wanted prospective purchasers. One of my clients wanted me to run these blind ads, ads with no price and I wouldn't do it. So, he placed an ad in the New York Times and another in The Wall Street Journal. "Waterfront home, 3 BR, 2BA, Fireplace, Boat Dock, Scrn Prch, at the Beach -- $39,000" and put my phone number on the ad. I got several hundred phone calls and not one, that's right not one, was a prospective purchaser. Why? Because it was a trailer on a rented lot in a trailer park and it was 500 miles from New York City. His idea was to make the phone ring; an altered priority. Now, when you go to my web site you will find properties for sale that tell everything about the property and usually with a map. You see I don't want calls that are not interested in what I have to sell at the price I need to get. As my own boss I do the ads my way and not based on somebody else's "idea" of what is right or workable. These freedoms, chief among them the freedom FROM idiocy of bosses, are precious. However, I also have to find out what works and take chances without a boss to blame the errors on. Working at home is great, but not easy. To excel; to make it even, you must have exceptional personal discipline, organizing skills and persistence. Those who work less at home than in the office will certainly make far less working at home than working in the office. In the office you may take a thirty minute coffee break and not get caught. At home, with that sort of discipline, your coffee break may go on for hours or even days. Or you may just sleep in and not even get up to make the coffee. for hours, days or weeks. And there goes the rent or mortgage payment and there goes the house. Working at home is freeing. There is no dress code. You can work in your pajamas, your shorts, or even work at home in the buff - naked. However, we all know that when we dress up, at least some of us act more professional. And with no bosses slipping by the cubical to check over your shoulder - what are you working on? I will tell you this: when I did some work as a business consultant for a large consulting firm - the PRIMARY CAUSE OF BUSINESS FAILURE WAS COMPUTER GAMES. Believe it or not, almost every one of the businesses that was going under and had to hire us had one or more people playing Solitaire or some other computer game dozens of hours a month. Most of the time it was the boss, his wife, his girlfriend, or all three that were bankrupting the business with solitaire or Doom. When no one else is forcing you to produce - some people won't. Here are some reasons that those who have failed at telecommuting have failed. Lack of Family Discipline: When you work at home you can also tend to family and that is great. I love it. However, it also allows for magnified interruptions. Child care can easily consume more than an entire day, if you don't learn to discipline your children in an effective and nurturing way. If you just yell "Be quiet I'm working." They will find a way to get your attention - no matter what - and it will often be at just the wrong time - like when Mr. Big is on the phone, or when you have procrastinated and the deadline is NOW. If you must fix dinner for your husband, change the baby, take the other three kids to all those dozens of lessons, meet them at the bus, do the dishes, vacuum the floors, do the laundry, wax the floors, oil the antiques, sweep the driveway and talk to your several unemployed friends on the phone. then you won't likely succeed as a telecommuter. Older kids are even more of a challenge if you are not willing to raise disciplined kids - and there are very few of those these days. If you have no kids, but have dogs, parrots, hobbies, books, TV shows, and all sorts of other interests that take you away from production - you won't make it either. How would you like to employ someone who could only work when there was nothing else taking a senior priority in attention? Food: Snacking, gourmet cooking, coffee making, refrigerator door swinging and ice-cream eating can take a huge amount of time in a day. And, then you either must set aside twice as much time for exercise, or set aside money for the new and larger wardrobe. Many people, who work at home, could be said to be working Chip-Side. Chips, dips, sodas, candy, a few extra snacks beside the computer and soon you will need a larger, wider, more powerful chair and reinforcing slats under the mattress. The upside is that your social life will die and you'll have more time to work and pay for the food and larger clothing. Can we say Tent Clothing? Sloth: Laziness, slow motion, procrastination and self-interruption are killers of the home worker. If one of your motivations is to sleep in, you had better be similarly motivated to work late. You will need to learn to produce, to promote yourself, do market yourself and your product and procrastination is self-destructive. Snooze and loose. One of my very productive friends sleeps until 2:30 pm every day. He calls me on his way to his first cup of coffee and I welcome him to the day with "Good morning Lee!" he chuckles but in about 7 minutes he is off the phone and planning his day over his next cup of coffee. He allows no interruptions from any phones until 5:30 pm and works every night through until about 3 am when he answers his e-mail and then goes to bed a little after 4 am. He is a home designer and his clients are builders who take care of building during the day and talk with him from their home to his, at night. He is not sloth. He just works the night shift and does it well. My youngest son is an artist, a very successful one: http://www.AbraxasArt.com He works best from afternoon to early morning as well. There are many who work at home that work the graveyard shift and find that working when others sleep, allows them to be more productive and creative. So sleep in if you will or take off early if you will, but doing both will knock you out of business. When you work at home, you work from to-do lists, appointments scheduled, and goals set. But, if you don't get enough work done in a unit of time, you won't get paid well. You must learn to plan your work and work your plan, or else. Communication Sins: If you spend any time on frivolous e-mail, phone calls, faxes, meetings, stops at the coffee shop, golf, tennis, poker - and they are not planned to produce income - you will soon chat, gossip, play and fritter your income, savings and life away. Yes, I WORK at a coffee shop nearby. They have high speed network lines for my laptop. I also wear my Logo hat, my business name pin on my chest, and have a large name and business card taped to my computer lid, so that it can be easily read from a distance as I work. I also make a couple of phone calls a day to those in related businesses, such as my friend the home designer. I do a lot of e-mail and anyone who sends me forwarded junk is chastised, every time. Anyone who sends me hoaxes is sent back the hoax reference and I send it to "Reply All" as the sort of people who send that stuff send with everyone's address visible about 99% of the time. I also get quite a little bit of email, unsolicited, from some of my contacts about things which I'm not interested in. I thank them and let them know what I AM interested in and that I only want that, in a nice way. I get a few hundred SPAM a day. My filters handle all but a few. The rest; I speed read most of it and often find something I can use for my own marketing, not often, so I spend an average of about 2 seconds on each mailing. I stopped by another home-worker a few months ago and he was playing solitaire, taking calls about jokes and gossip, and was constantly involved in frivolous e-mail. Last week he got a salaried job, at just about minimum wage, he made almost nothing working at home. Communication sins include incoming and outgoing communications. Television, talk radio, music, telephone, entertaining web sites, porno, dating sites and chat, social calls coming or going, are all time stealers and production killers. Slovenliness: When you work in a multi-tiered, hyper managed, upper-management, middle-management, worker bee, hierarchy and each level checks and double checks all the levels below and edits everything on the way up the line or out the door - you may find much of that missing when you work at home. You must learn to be your own editor. You must learn to be your own manager. You must learn to be your own Quality Control and Efficiency Expert. If you let slovenly work out your door, off your desk, in the mail or e-mail; you certainly and simultaneously send a bad message about your worth and professionalism. Doing slovenly work will result in slovenly pay. Home Sweet Home Syndrome: If you are accustomed to turning off the productivity switch when you arrive home, it may be nearly impossible to learn that home is where the job is. If you are used to kicking off your heels, slipping on your robe, lounging in a hot tub with a book and candles, lying on the couch with the paper or any of the myriad activities of a leisure home life; you may not be able to work at home productively. And we get right back to the crux of it all - self-discipline. Drugs, Alcohol, Tobacco, Sex and Even Music: A glass of wine at home, after work, can be wonderful. A glass of wine while you work at home can be horribly anti-productive. A smoke break at work is at worst embarrassing, at home, you can easily develop a two, three or four pack a day habit and you slide into chain smoking and larger and larger ashtrays. If you are a "recreational" drug user and work at home, you can easily get "hooked on that feeling" and that feeling is not one of accomplishment. And, oh the wonders of staying in bed with your lover, of afternoon delight and hot nights - but it can soon eat up the day. Many, many folks enjoy relaxing to music, dancing to a tune or otherwise letting good music of their choice take their mind into the sublime. That is not where work gets done. If your mind is on the music, it is not on the job. Concentration is a primary requirement of working at home and without it you will soon be incompetent and unpaid. Workaholism: Workaholics are often stressed out and need to go home once in a while for a break, or perhaps a break-down. If you are driven to work day and night, as I am, make certain that you love your work so much that you'd do it as recreation. Fortunately I love my work so much that it is not work to me at all. Part of the reason is that I only do the kind of work I love and not any other kind; there are a few things that other Realtors do that I don't do. But, I take the energy that I could use doing those things I don't like and put that much more energy into the other 99% of my profession that I love. Yes, I'm up before dawn and work often past midnight - today is one of those days - but there is no part of today or many other days that I do anything I don't love. Yes, I was out with a prospective client from 5 pm to 9 pm, came home to 83 e-mails and now I'm pounding out another article and NOT ONE SECOND of that time was I unhappy about what I was doing. I love it all. Darned good thing!!! If you are a workaholic and don't like what you are doing - you are doomed to ulcers, early death and perhaps a sad family. Don't work at home if you're not qualified. OR, get qualified on someone else's time and then when you've got the drive, determination and discipline - stay home and get more done, more happily. And, if you've got what it takes, do it. Perhaps you will choose this area, Southern Delaware, and perhaps you'll choose me to help you find a place to buy and live and work at home. I hope so. If you already work at home and would like to write an article or a response to this one - please do and send it to me - I'd possibly like to publish it on my site.

Selasa, 19 Februari 2013

The Business February 20th 2013: The Koll into Diamonds Edition

Alex Koll.  Original Business Man.  Air Guitar Demigod. General All Around Incredible Human Being.

San Francisco has been lucky to have him, but it's time to let the Koll Diamond shine somewhere new.  New York!  He's moving to the Big Apple, but not before The Business sends him off in style.

Joining us for the big Bon Voyage will be Sam Tallent.  Out all the way from Denver, Sam has been described as 'the Black Flag of comedy' and a zine in Denmark said 'Sam is the surreal voice of an earnestly silly generation'. Reggie Watts, TJ Miller, Kyle Kinane, Sean Patton and other quality gigglesmiths have worked with Sam and not complained to management.

We are also pleased to announce the return of Bobby Joe Ebola and the Children MacNuggits!  Difficult to categorize, awkward on a flyer, and impossible to forget, the “pretty songs about terrible things” of Bobby Joe Ebola have become the soundtrack of the “Great Recession” & civilization’s “Slow Apocalypse”. Longtime friends to The Business and even longertime friends to Alex Koll, there is no better guest to play Alex' San Francisco swan song.

The Business is gonna miss Alex.  This is gonna be a special show.  You wanna be there.

We sell out.  Arrive early for a seat.

Just $5!  You can even get a coupon to bring a friend for free right here http://thebusinesscomedy.blogspot.com/

Jumat, 15 Februari 2013

Sign up for Learn with Google's upcoming webinars!

You're invited to upcoming Learn with Google webinars!

Video Advertising 101: How to Build your Business with YouTube Video Ads
Wednesday, 2/20/2013 9am PST / 12pm EST

YouTube video ads can help you to increase awareness of your business, to establish and deepen relationships with your customer and to drive sales. In this webcast, we'll cover how to get started on YouTube as well as best practices that help you reach your business goals. Register

From Awareness to Sales: Making the Most of Video Remarketing
Tuesday, 2/26/2013, 9am PST / 12pm EST

Learn how you can maximize relationships with people who have watched your videos or subscribed to your YouTube channel. We'll show you how to use Remarketing and automatically customize video ads to capture the attention of viewers most likely to buy your products. Register

These webinars will be presented by Google product experts and will include live Q&A.
Tuesdays thru Thursdays, at 9am PST / 12pm EST.  To see the schedule and register for upcoming webinars, click here!

Rabu, 13 Februari 2013

The Business- The Mrs. Doubtfire 3- The Bitch is Back And This Time She Means BUSINESS Edition

This week, The Business welcomes guests from sorta near and pretty far! Visiting us from the capital city of our glorious state are two golden boys. John Ross was born to be a comedian. In that he was born addicted to drugs. Geez John, way to be born with a silver spoon… IN YOUR PARENTS' HANDS (I know, that was a little strong. I just wanted to prepare you for the subject matter of the evening’s event, which may include junkie parents, spoons and needles. Coincidentally, John Ross played bass for both Junkie Parents and Spoons and Needles). Nick Aragon has the funny bone of the Fellowship of the Ring in his DNA. The comedy is strong with this one. He really beams up the funny. I’m just gonna keep mixing nerdy metaphors until the hate mail really starts flowing). And all the way from London, we are always happy to have the stellar Scott Capurro on the bill. Described by San Francisco Weekly (free press, edited by lesbians and designed by trannies with large hands and hidden agendas) as "stand-up in the very best possible sense - deadpan, ever-alert and hilarious". Scott has appeared in Mrs. Doubtfire, where, effortlessly, he played a homosexual; and Star Wars: Phantom Menace, where, breathlessly, he wore a body stocking. And of course, your regulars! Sean Keane, Caitlin Gill, Bucky Sinister and Nato Green! We sell out, so get there early for a seat. BYOBurrito but make it dress up like enchiladas and clean your house.

Kamis, 07 Februari 2013

Help Desk Hangouts: Google Engage for Agencies

Editor’s note: Each week on the Google+ Your Business page, we’re putting you in touch with Googlers and users who can help you as a business owner get the most out of our products and features.

In our latest Help Desk Hangout On Air, we chatted with the Google Engage for Agencies team, who walked us through the resources available through their program. We learned how agencies can benefit from free online and in-person trainings about various Google products, including AdWords, through the Google Engage program. Take a look at the Google for Agencies website (http://www.google.com/intl/en/ads/engage/) to learn more about the resources available and how to join the program.

Miss the event? You can watch the whole thing on the Google and Your Business YouTube channel.

Check out the video description on the YouTube page for a minute-by-minute breakdown.

Some of the questions we answered during the Hangout:

How do I know if I’m eligible for Google Engage? 
All agencies that apply to Google Engage are subject to a final review, but basic requirements include:
  • Your agency must have an active My Client Center (MCC) account.
  • Your agency must have a website.
  • Your agency must specialize in helping small and medium sized businesses advertise online.
  • Your business must also comply with the Google Third-party policy and Google Engage Terms and Conditions

What kinds of resources are available through Google Engage?
Online training courses, webinars and events: Whether you’re a newbie or a seasoned pro, our online and in-person trainings will keep you ahead of the curve with AdWords and other Google products.
Adwords introductory offers for your new clients: Give your new clients a boost with introductory offers for AdWords. With your help, their investment in finding customers will go even further.
Sales tools and marketing collateral: As an Engage member, you'll get access to AdWords case studies, sales pitch techniques, and other resources to help build relationships with your clients.
Dedicated phone support: We're here to help you with everything from setting up your account to sharing best practices.

Sign up for Learn with Google's latest webinar on February 12!

Sign up for Learn with Google webinar "Brand Building in a Multiscreen World" (Feb 12, 9 am PT).

Join us to learn innovative ways to build awareness and influence consideration for your brand in today's multiscreen world. We will show you how YouTube, the Google Display Network, and the Google Mobile Network can together offer brand-building solutions that will drive engagement and ensure you have a spot in the new living room.

Senin, 04 Februari 2013

The Business February 6th 2013, The "SF Sketchfest means BUSINESS" Edition

The best time of year is here once more!

Christmas? Heck no, we drank our way right through though the holidays (Bucky was drowning in Cherry Coke Zero).

Summer time? Nope, too sticky. Also, The Business has core competencies, not competent cores, so bikini season is right out for us.

Valentine’s Day? Gross. Who are you, anyway? Ug.

It’s Sketchfest time! The best time of all! When comics from all over the country come to San Francisco for three weeks full of incredible shows!!

The Business is very happy to be a part of this annual cavalcade of comedy once more, and we have some of our favorite guests on for the FESTivities.

Chris Knutson is joining us, he is the winner of ACME's Funniest Person in the Twin Cities award in 2010. Plus Joe Tobin, a comedian, writer and Flyers fan based in our own back yard!

We are also happy to have SF star turned LA sensation, Drennon Davis.

From his elaborate characters and sketches, to his provocative songs and animation, Drennon has made name for himself as one of the most innovative minds in today’s comedy scene. His live performances of the Imaginary Radio Program combine live music and beat-boxing with one-man sketches into a shot that the Los Angeles Comedy Bureau writes "not only lives up to its name, but exceeds expectation in that you could possibly think it is." Drennon was featured on NBC's Last Call and was a semi finalist on Last Comic Standing. His new animated show The Long Legs can be seen on MTV's rebirth of Liquid Television.

Your regulars Sean Keane, Bucky Sinister, Nato Green and Caitlin Gill will also be there, all full of Sketchfest cheer!


We sell out. So if you want a seat AND YOU KNOW YOU DO, get there early.

BYOBurrito and we will autograph your foil.