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Tips for managing interruptions in the workplace

Lori Mahoney

How many times are you interrupted during the work day? Are those interruptions impeding you from getting work accomplished? Many workers who feel overloaded by their workloads feel this way because they spend so much time dealing with interruptions, they don't have time to actually focus on their work.

Did you know that it takes an average of 25 minutes to get back on point after an interruption? If you consider how many times you’re interrupted every day by coworkers, phone calls, emails, texts and the like, that can certainly add up to a great deal of inefficient work time. We all deal with interruptions every day, and for a lot of us, it’s hard to say “no”.

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Topics: Owners & Managers, The Workplace

The importance of outstanding customer service

Dianne Porr
For many years I thought that customer service was a dying art. However, in the last couple of years I’ve found that has changed. More recently, I've noticed that customer satisfaction has gained a lot of importance. Customers have begun to expect a lot more from companies, knowing that customer loyalty is a hard win. Customer service and customer satisfaction are truly what differentiate you and your company from the competition. Putting yourself in the shoes of your customers and understanding their needs is one of the most forgotten secrets to developing excellent customer support service.
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Topics: Owners & Managers, The Workplace

The cost of doing nothing

Chris Vilim

Getting a sleek, shiny, brand-new computer is an exciting experience. You have the opportunity to customize it to fit your needs perfectly. You have so much space for everything you’re going to need and seek to accomplish. Every program and web page works instantly, making each task feel effortless. However, technology doesn’t stand still. Innovation constantly materializes and propels the industry forward. Within just a few years, computers become incapable of keeping up with the latest updates and applications. Users start to find them moving arduously slow. The next time you find yourself or your employees in this situation, don’t just suffer through the frustration. That outdated computer may be costing you more than you think.

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Topics: Equipment Purchases, Owners & Managers

Set some SMART goals for your small business

Alyssa Sisco

2017 was a lot of work. And maybe you thrived; But maybe you're just ready for 2017 to end. Either way, I think we all still want to make 2018 even better. Planning goes a long way toward creating a great year for your business. Let us help you set your goals, so you can start crushing 2018 right out of the gate.

Start by refreshing your knowledge of SMART goals. In order for a goal to be SMART, it needs to be specific, measurable, attainable, relevant and timely.

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Topics: Owners & Managers, The Workplace

Why data backup is essential for your business

Alyssa Sisco

If you were to sell your company tomorrow, what exactly would you pass on to a buyer? More than just a company name on a building; You have records, contracts, contacts, financial data and more that go into making your business unique and valuable. It takes an incredible amount of time to acquire, develop and build that network of information. If disaster struck and your computer crashed, how long would it take you to get all that information back? Your data is one thing you should never gamble with.

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Topics: Data Breach, Owners & Managers, The Workplace, Network Security

Give meaning to meetings

Alyssa Sisco

As you race to meet a deadline, your calendar notification goes off. You have a meeting in five minutes! 

This is the absolute lowest priority on your totem pole, but attendance at all meetings is required. You then spend the next 30 minutes listening to someone ineffectively probe for anything to discuss, to make this meeting seem like it has a purpose. After a vast amount of time wasted in awkward silence, you are dismissed.

Finally free to be constructive, your motivation has been completely diminished. You're left frustrated after spending that half hour contemplating all the things you could have been accomplishing.

As you can imagine, this is not the best environment to inspire productivity. But all too often, this seems to be the outcome of our daily routines.

Our professional lives certainly don't have to follow this pattern. There is such a thing as an effective meeting. We just need to find what we're doing that's not working and transform it into something advantageous. Below, I have listed some essential factors in giving your meetings, meaning.

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Topics: Owners & Managers, The Workplace

Does your IT provider scare you?

Chris Vilim

When choosing an IT provider, you are probably looking for a reliable company who understands your business needs and is properly prepared and ready to assist. You may think you have found the perfect fit, but things can start to get spooky. So what are some things you should look out for to determine if an IT provider is not right for you?

1. Do they require long-term contracts?

Although you don’t want to change providers frequently, it is far worse to be stuck with someone who is not meeting your needs. Your IT provider should not hit you with a 3-year contract or any long-term contract for that matter. You wouldn’t enter into a 3-year agreement with a contract employee and how would this be any different? Be certain they continually earn your business with a 60-day out or similar contract. Technology is important for small and midsize businesses (SMBs), strategically and day-to-day, so be sure you are not latched into a contract that doesn’t satisfy your needs.

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Topics: Owners & Managers

Top 3 internet browsers for your business

Megan Thiemann

With so many choices how does one decide which browser is best for your business? Today’s popular browsers compete on a level playing field. Internet browsing has become an essential part of our day-to-day lives, and you need a safe and secure browser that will get the job done quickly. With so many choices are you getting overwhelmed? Don’t worry, here’s CoreTech’s top three browsers for your business.

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Topics: Owners & Managers

The Windows 10 upgrade process for your business

Chris Vilim

In my prior post I addressed the question, “Should I upgrade my business to Windows 10?” If you read through the checklist and walked away thinking, “Yes, I should potentially upgrade to Windows 10” then the next logical question is “How do I go about upgrading?”

The upgrade process to Windows 10 is one that requires some research and planning to avoid problems and headaches. Here are the basic steps:

  1. Hardware requirements check – You need to make sure you have enough hardware resources (processor, RAM, drive space) to run Windows 10. If your computer is less than three years old, you should be pretty safe.
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Topics: Microsoft Products, Owners & Managers

Working from home is easy (and productive)

Vee Figueroa

So here we are on the verge of spring (thank goodness), and I do have to say this winter gave us some perilous drives to work. In fact, one so icy that my boss declared it a “work at home” day. I was relieved as I live on a hill that is not forgiving and there were no snow plows in sight!

In years past, working from home would have not have been as productive as I had files and software that I need available to get my work done. Now, there are so many different avenues to tap to be productive away from the office that working from home was not an issue!

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Topics: Staff Training, Owners & Managers