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Hold Yourself and Your Staff Accountable with MANAGEgoals March 15, 2010

Posted by Jim Locke in IT Business, Promotions.
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The process of managing a business on a day-to-day basis is no easy task. Many of us set goals for the year but fail to revisit them until it’s time to establish next year’s goals. It is a multifaceted problem of process, follow-up and making time to get those important things done that you need to in order to advance your business. It’s not simple.

That is why I was so pleased to have the opportunity to sit down with David Russell of MANAGEtoWIN last week. I recently completed David’s book, “Success with People” (which I highly recommend), and checked out his MANAGEtoWIN employee management system. I was so impressed that I wanted to see how I could put it to work at my company and introduce it to other SMBTN members. That is when David introduced me to his latest product, MANAGEgoals.

MANAGEgoals offers a way for individuals or companies to manage goals, career paths and best practice processes for as little as $19 per month for a single user. It is basically a lite version of MANAGEtoWIN that provides the growing IT business owner with the goals management and best practices features he needs  at a fraction of the cost. However, David has arranged for a special offer for SMBTN members that includes the following for just $29 per month:

  • Access for up to 7 users
  • 3 Success with People Automated Best Practice Modules, including
    • Hire the Best, Avoid the Rest Hiring Process ($99 value)
    • Goals That Work Goal  Management System ($99 value)
    • Halftime Reviews Employee Evaluation System ($99 value)
  • A 30-Day, Total Satisfaction, 100% Money-Back Guarantee

If you order before the end of the month, you can also integrate the product with Autotask for just $99 (a savings of $396). For details about this integration, check out David’s recorded webinar here. You can also view his webinar on the MANAGEgoals Best Practices module here.

For more information about MANAGEgoals, please visit their website or, if you are already committed to improving your business processes this year, you can place your order for MANAGEgoals here.

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TelAssistant Offers Virtual Assistance to SMBTN Members November 16, 2009

Posted by Jim Locke in Benefits, IT Business, Productivity.
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TelAssistant Virtual Assistants for ITDo you ever wish you had a real, live person to answer your phones, track you down in an emergency or just enter a service ticket into Autotask or Connectwise for you? Ever had a client complain about getting your voicemail or a delayed call back? Most IT professionals would like to have this kind of support but fear that they cannot afford it. However, much like managed services and outsourcing has changed the way we do business as IT service providers, it has impacted the way offices run in general too. Many businesses and professionals are beginning to outsource the work of receptionists and assistants to virtual assistant companies like TelAssistant.

TelAssistant is the nation’s premier provider of remote receptionist services for small to medium IT companies, entrepreneurs, small businesses and home-based businesses. SMBTN recently partnered with TelAssistant in order to permit its members to focus on taking care of clients and growing their businesses, knowing that they have a professional support staff behind them to make sure no important opportunities are missed.

TelAssistant uses the latest in technology and tailors their service to your needs. They will greet your callers, announce calls to you, route calls to any number you designate, schedule appointments, fill out work order tickets, take sales leads and even follow scripts that you put together. Best of all, you can have this level of professional support staff for less than $10 per business day.

TelAssistant Features:

  • Fast & Easy Setup: Use your current phone number or select a new one.
  • Work Ticket Completion
  • Dedicated Account Manager
  • Unlimited Talk Time
  • Voicemail to Email: Listen to your voicemail right from your email.
  • Other Included Features: Call Screening/ Announcing/ Routing/ Patching/ Auto Attendant, Appointment Scheduling, Sales & Work Order Form Completion, Local or 800 Number.

Best of all, SMBTN members can try this service for two weeks without obligation. Setup is complete in just 3 easy steps. For more information on how to take advantage of this free trial, please check out the details of this offer on the SMBTN Community.

Download the SMBTN Community Toolbar! December 2, 2008

Posted by Jim Locke in Productivity, SMBTN, Tools.
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We continue to seek out new ways for SMBTN members to connect with each other, access SMBTN programs and resources, and make your work day just a little easier and more profitable. Our latest effort to this end is the new SMBTN Community Toolbar.

This toolbar is compatible with both Internet Explorer and Firefox browsers and includes:

  • Quick Links to SMBTN Sites, Communities and Portals
  • Google Search
  • Custom searches of the SMBTN Community and key SMB websites
  • Links to many SMBTN Partner Programs
  • Links to Technical Tools like EventID.net, DNS Reports, and MX Toolbox, as well as, key technical knowledgebases.
  • An RSS Feed Reader, prepopulated with SMB news and information
  • A chat client that permits you to communicate with any other SMBTN Member who has the toolbar installed.

This is our first release of the toolbar, so I encourage you to comment on it and its features so we can make future improvements to it. In the meantime, check it out. I don’t think you will be disappointed.

Download the SMBTN Community Toolbar

Repair Windows XP in 30 minutes with ReImage October 21, 2008

Posted by Jim Locke in IT Business, Partners, Productivity, SMBTN, Tools.
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Get a 3-day Trial of ReImage Free!

Get a 3-day Trial of ReImage Free!

As we head into a tougher economy, it makes more sense than ever to work smarter not harder. With this in mind we have partnered with ReImage, a software tool provider that promises to repair broken Windows XP installation in as little as 30 minutes.

But don’t confuse this with some of the freeware or end user tools you have seen before, this software was designed as an expert system for the IT professional. It gives good feedback on problems found and repairs most of them within about 30 minutes. But don’t take my word for it, try it yourself or read the case study about the experience that Computer Troubleshooter’s franchisees have had with the product.

Reimage has been dubbed the “Domino Pizza of PC repair” (repair in 30 minutes or less) by NetworkWorld. Reimage provides online operating system repair automation in minutes while safeguarding user data. Reimage has developed the first ever technology that offers software that repairs XP operating systems automatically (Vista coming soon). eWeek raves: “Reimage works like magic to repair problems with XP“.

ReImage:

  • Provides automated, online, repair which fixes a damaged XP OS.
  • Works remotely, on site and on multiple PCs, simultaneously
  • Takes about 30 minutes, per fix.
  • Safeguards all user data, settings and applications.
  • Requires no set-up (we download a 3MB ActiveX).

By using a remote access tool an automatic repair can be initiated from any workstation. The old fashioned practice of an onsite or manual online repair for software problems is now history. Reimage is all about saving you time.

After a few mouse clicks and 30 minutes you get:

  • A PC that is as good as new no viruses, malware, software clashes or blue screens.
  • Saving you hours of guess work, or having to reload the OS.
  • No loss of any applications, settings or user data.  

To learn more about how ReImage works, please click here or join SMBTN on Tuesday, October 21, 2008, at 11:00am PST for an online webinar about the product.

Windows Mobile Tools for Consultants October 17, 2008

Posted by Jim Locke in IT Business, Mobility, Productivity, Tools.
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I am always on the lookout for tools that will make me more productive in the field. As my Windows Mobile device is my main connection to the outside world, I have selected a Samsung i760 with Windows mobile 6.1 and several specific application to give me an edge. Here is what I have on my device:

  • Autotask LiveMobile – Permits me to access my Autotask information from the field. Well worth the minimal $10 fee I pay each month for access to it. If you haven’t tried it, call your Autotask sales rep and have them set you up with a trial.
  • mVisualVoicemail – connects me to my VOIP voicemail system. It downloads my messages using Outlook and Activesync and places it on my SD card for payback. Cost is $25.
  • Google Mobile – My favorite Google Mobile apps are Google Maps and Google Reader. Google Maps helps me to get where I need to go. I use Google Reader to keep me up to date on industry and technical news.
  • LogMeIn – I am still shocked at how many people I meet that don’t know that LogMeIn works over a Windows Mobile device. All you need to is logon to your account and access the computers in it. Use your stylus to manuever the desktop, etc. It is simple. It works. Really comes in handy some times when you need to use a Windows Mobile device to access a computer. Best of all, its free.
  • Sprite Backup – You are backing up your Windows Mobile device, right?
  • Spb Communication Pack – Includes the Spb Mobile Shell, Spb Phone Suite, Spb GPRS Monitor and Spb Insight (RSS reader). The Mobile Shell and Phone Suite are the strengths of this package. I really don’t make much use of the other products in the package because I don’t care about how much GPRS data I am transferring and I prefer Google Reader for RSS feeds. Still a great value at $49.95. Depending on your needs you may also want to take a look at the Spb Business Pack for $69.95.
  • Windows LiveSearch – While I am still partial to Google Maps, Live Search is great for mapping, as well and offers manyother freatures. (Free)

I am still looking for a few more apps to perform some of the mundane tasks I dont like to do like expense reporting, phone logging and mileage logging. Still testing a handful of apps in tis arena. I report back on what I find.

Still playing with a number of other