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Hype, The Cloud, and Why Small Business Should Move Now

Just a little over 3 years ago (July 2009), Cloud computing was at a stage of the Gartner, Inc. Hype Cycle called “Peak of Inflated Expectations.” Gartner has since segmented Cloud technology into several components, most of which they now (October 12) show on the “Slope of Enlightenment.”

I believe several components of Cloud computing are now at the“Plateau of Productivity,”especially for Small Business.

At the beginning of the hype cycle, many different but related technologies are lumped together in one big family and given a catchy name. While this may be necessary in order to generate the excitement or “buzz” that motivates investment and product development (the trigger), it confuses many potential customers, especially those without ready access to technical knowledge – small businesses.

Later in the hype cycle, each technology begins to be scrutinized separately and the group fragments into different components again. But, it can still seem to the less technical, like an all or nothing proposition. Small businesses need to understand what pieces of cloud technology are important to them and which pieces can be left for service providers and others to worry about.

Cutting through the hype

All small businesses use electricity, but most don’t need to understand how it is generated. Virtually none of them generate it for themselves. Cloud computing can be thought of as a utility, much like electricity. Cloud computing encompasses many different outsourced data processing services. There are three major categories of services:

IaaS – Infrastructure as a Service

Infrastructure includes server and network hardware, operating systems software, backup systems, data center cooling, fire suppression and operations services like monitoring and maintenance. Companies that use only IaaS have to provide platform, application and other software, as well configuration and maintenance of the software.

One of the promised benefits of IaaS is “on demand,” scalable processing power. It is hoped that when this technology matures, a more cost effective “metered” approach to billing for IaaS services will develop. IaaS customers will likely be larger businesses. They will migrate slowly by business unit and application. Some will deploy “private clouds” and many will adopt a hybrid of private and managed services clouds.

PaaS – Platform as a Service

Platforms are database systems and middleware – application, web, email and groupware servers. Companies using PaaS will also need IaaS. Like most technologies, once widely adopted, IaaS and PaaS services will move down market as they become more and more affordable.

SaaS – Software as a Service

SaaS includes applications like Salesforce.com, Google Apps for Business, and Microsoft Office 365. Accounting, finance, customer relationship management, expense reporting, project management and many other types of business software are available as SaaS.

SaaS can be thought of as “off the shelf” application software. Most small businesses will be able to find all the SaaS applications they need to run their business. It is configurable and customizable, just like other “off the shelf” software, but with the major advantages that come with not needing to provision and maintain platforms and infrastructure.

Businesses using SaaS only need to worry about inputting, processing and retrieving their data. They access their applications via the Internet. Their employees need only a computer, web browser and Internet connection. Businesses large and small will benefit from greatly reduced costs for information technology. Existing IT staffs will need to become more business oriented and use their skills to focus on integration, solutions and training.

Many SaaS cloud offerings available today are already in the “Plateau of Productivity” stage of the hype cycle. SaaS is secure, reliable and affordable. Remote computing, real time collaboration, and video teleconferencing are just some of the affordable features included in many SaaS products and services.

Small businesses should start taking advantage of the cost savings, flexibility and capabilities of cloud computing now.

Why to Invest in Property Management Services?

Without costing a fortune, property management firms relieve the landlords from the load of being stressed out and overworked. The professionals appointed by these firms are capable of managing all types and sizes of properties, while working on various official matters as well. Thus, property owners can leave, almost every job pertinent to the management of a property, in the hands of these companies. Apart from some basic tasks, like collecting the rent arrears, ensuring that the property functioning properly etc, property management firms also proffer advertising services which are basically aimed at marketing the property of their client. They show the property to a number of prospective tenants and also handle negotiations regarding the monthly property rent.

For all their hard work, they only charge around ten to twelve percent of the amount a landlord receives. If you seriously consider the benefits of hiring their services, then this may not sound as costly as you think. They would not only save a great deal of your time, money and energy but also save you from the hassle of generating various reports, in order to keep record of your earnings and expenses on the property. The property managers create periodic financial and custom reports which include expenses, deductions and all other transactions related to money.

The best advantage a landlord can have by investing in the property management services is being able to focus on other important aspects of their business and increase the earnings exponentially. In case the property owner wants to venture in some other field or set up a new business firm, then he can easily concentrate on his new plans without worrying about the overall maintenance of his property. The property management firms are known for managing development areas and large estates. With their highly experienced team of qualified experts, they set the minds of their clients at ease. Good agencies strive to assist the tenants as well by making sure they never feel threatened and can relax. After all, what your tenants feel about you and your property matters a lot. They may not stay in your property forever but would definitely contribute negatively or positively to the reputation of your rental property.

A nice reputation would not only help your property but also make it easier to look for new tenants. Property management services which aim at retaining customers take care of tasks like repairs, monthly inspections, maintenance, twenty four hour services and many more. Some companies also manage developments and improvements that can be done on the property to enhance its overall appeal and value. In short, they treat the property of their client as their own property and successfully address all sorts of property related issues. With their professional approach they may help you create a long-lasting bond with all your tenants, which were once held back due to lacking time and communication between both the parties. So, to capitalize on all these advantages, go ahead and invest in the property management services.

How to Generate Leads for Your Home Business

One thing I have learned about our industry are the varying degrees of commitment that people wish to put into their home business. We have tire kickers that just aren’t sure yet, we have those that treat their business as a hobby, and then we have the money makers.

These are the serious home business entrepreneurs that invest in their development and take action. To this last group, this article is for you! So let’s delve into how we can make some money and grow our businesses.

First, we know we need to generate leads. Without leads, our business stagnates, dwindles, and withers away to nothing. Let me ask you these questions first. Are you tired of talking to your friends & family about your products and business opportunity? Are you finding yourself constantly posting on your social media sites about your business and noticing that no one is responding? Have your friends & family started avoiding your calls? Have they even removed you from their social media contacts such as Facebook or Twitter because they’re tired of seeing you post about your opportunity? Well, all of the above happened to me to me until I learned what I did.

The truth is, many network marketers jump on the Internet to get connected with and hopefully recruit people out of the billions in cyberspace. Is this you? It’s nothing to be ashamed of because I did the same thing before I learned what I was really in business for. Surprisingly enough, when you really figure out what you’re actually selling, it’s not your MLM products or opportunity like you think… I’ll get into more on this later.

New network marketers are turning to the Internet every day to get more leads, recruit more people and build their businesses and you can to. But I am going to teach you how to do it the right way.

Once you turn to the Internet your challenge becomes how to communicate and reach all those billions of people out there. A daunting task indeed, but thankfully, you’re in the right place!

Most new online marketers can quickly become overwhelmed and frustrated by not understanding where to start. Without realizing you can quickly waste a lot of time and money if you don’t know what you’re doing.

I’m a huge fan of organic search engine traffic. This is done by writing articles or content to blogs, article directories, video marketing, social media marketing, etc. While these methods are free, you still pay for them in a way. You pay for them with the time and commitment you make to remain consistent with your marketing plan. This method is by far the absolute most powerful marketing monster that paid methods such as PPC could never come close to.

A person who is actively browsing and searching for content that they are interested in or in need of that solves an issue they have are in a completely different frame of mind vs. the person who absently notices a PPC ad that you have paid for.

FREE Marketing Methods Work to Generate Leads and Make Money Online

You absolutely can generate leads for free on the Internet to grow your business. There are many different options and one favorite of mine is Blogging. Blogs provide you with options to post valuable content that people are wanting to read.

Educational marketing, is extremely powerful. Imagine posting educational blog posts to your blog on a daily basis. Posts that connect and educate people in your target market on how to achieve something. Perhaps your main business is weight loss.

You could post content 4 to 5 times per week with educational ‘how to’ articles.

• How to lose weight over the holidays

• How to chose the right gym

Could you imagine how quickly you could establish yourself as an authority in knowing all about your niche? People naturally gravitate towards people that have knowledge of the information they need. This is attraction marketing at its best.

Would your business grow if you had a model to follow to generate leads?

Here is your model:

1. Target market

2. Marketing strategy

3. Free offer

4. Squeeze page

5. Follow up process

6. Sale

7. Introduction to your home business opportunity

First, you need to know who your target market is. If you’re selling weight loss products, then your target market is likely to be those that want to lose weight. And your marketing strategy is going to be providing education on how to lose weight.

Your free offer might be an eBook, webinar, video training, or maybe even 1 hour coaching with you on weight loss. But to get this free offer, they need to give up their information on your squeeze page. This is typically the name and email address.

This is where people join your ‘list’ and your email marketing kicks in. This is the relationship building process. People continue to be slowly dripped information on your product education and they continue to read the educational articles that you post to your blog. They begin to trust you, see that you’re clearly an expert.

Then, your email marketing strategically introduces them to a premium product that you have for sale. By now the people receiving this information trust you and believe in what you have to offer. Now all of a sudden, you’re making sales.

Lastly, once you have made some sales, people have qualified themselves to really be interested. They see the process you took them through, and your marketing informs them that they can do this too and you can teach them.

See where this is going? Then, by this time your prospects are so fired up, interested, and have belief in you and they are primed to start their own home business and learn the marketing strategies that you’re now going to teach them.