Navigate

Thursday, October 30, 2014

Why Should I Hire a Professional Web Designer?


Well, to tell you the truth, there are many reasons to hire a professional but there are times that you
Your nephew might not be the best option.
can settle with a DIY website. But avoid your geeky nephew that can throw up that a bargain website. Unless he is a professional, that is one situation I suggest you avoid.

Companies need a web presence. They need to have their information available to their customers such as products, services, hours, contact information, ordering, menus, specials, and much more. With a simple site, this might be workable on your own. There is no doubt that software and websites with templates and stock images makes it much easier today than even just a few years ago.  But if it is too much, call a professional.   If you are looking at e-commerce, call a professional. If you want custom features, call a professional. Just my suggestion.

You might also consider just doing a consultation with a designer. They might be able to help you organize your site plan and make sure you are marketing yourself online appropriately. A few dollars spent up front could save you considerable headaches in the future.

As a small business owner, I know that spending time on building a website will take the owner away from other important aspects of  their business. You might be surprised at the cost of a basic website even from a designer. Look at their work, ask their other customers and talk to them about your ideas. Their experience and expertise just might make the difference between success and frustration. :)






Wednesday, October 29, 2014

School's Out and DMC is Back!

Good Morning, Daily Mouse Readers!

I am back and ready to go, sharing information for your business, your online presence, marketing, social media and using your computer productively and effectively for your business.

Building your business online is just as important as your personal presentation, sales pitch and branding. Do you have your information online to support your customers coming to your location?  Do you provide them with your products, menus, specials, hours and directions?  Do you want to encourage them to contact you or to look elsewhere? Let me give you an example.

Coffee is a morning ritual.
I need my coffee in the morning!
I love coffee and my coffee maker died last week. I went looking for a new one that had the features I wanted.  Yes, I am a little finicky about my coffee maker. I prefer a thermal pot so I don't burn the coffee. My experience is that coffee makes last longer if they don't have a burner running for hours daily, not to mention keeping the cost down for electricity.  I wanted at least a 10 cup capacity (none of that individual cups or pods, please) and I didn't want to spend an arm and a leg. I saw that a big store (starts with a W) showed online that the model I was consider was in stock nearby.  So, I went out of my way to find it. But they were wrong. Not only did they not have that brand, it wasn't even marked in that aisle that they ever had that brand in-store. The clerk, that wasn't from that department, said that they often didn't have what the inventory said online but I could order it.  REALLY??  If they don't know their inventory, why would I trust them with an order?  If I am going to order it, I can get it cheaper from Amazon and know that it will arrive promptly.  Three other local stores were less than helpful finding the perfect coffee maker.  Amazon got my order.

Melitta 46894A 10-Cup Thermal Programmable Coffeemaker

Building your presence online is more than just providing an online brochure. Be sure you provide the information your customer needs and wants. This  may be their first impression of your company and your product or service. Is your website a reflection of how you want your company to be portrayed? Do you want to talk it over?  Consultations are available (shameless plug!).

Friday, May 30, 2014

Taking a Hiatus

Due to a heavy work project load, an internship and homework (I will be graduating in the fall), I am taking a hiatus from the DMC for the summer.  I will still post links on occasion and write articles as I find time but it won't be daily until September.  I promise to come back with new information, great tips and maybe even some audio and video blogging to mix things up a bit.

Blessings! <><
Becky


You can now ask Google to remove links about you - CNET

You can now ask Google to remove links about you - CNET

Thursday, May 15, 2014

Net Neutrality

What is net neutrality?

Net neutrality is the concept that all Internet traffic should be treated equally.

I am an advocate for Net Neutrality where the startups, and the little guy has as much of a chance at success at the big guys such as Amazon, ESPN or Google The fact is that without that neutrality this tiny speck of a blog may never see the light of day.   This is a big BIG issue and you need to be aware of the potential changes to the Internet that could be happening. Voice your opinion, let them know.

Please send your thoughts to openinternet@fcc.gov or post your comment on the form: http://apps.fcc.gov/ecfs/upload/display?z=p0e2m


More on the hearings can be found here: http://mashable.com/2014/05/15/fcc-net-neutrality-live/?utm_cid=mash-com-fb-main-link

Wednesday, May 14, 2014

Getting a Higher Education at a Lower Cost

This morning I was in "dialog" with a friend on Facebook about higher education. In Finland, people have universal "free" access to higher education* and also receive a monthly grant while attending school.  So, now I will get on my soapbox.

Unless you are going for a doctor or lawyer, a liberal arts degree should be purchased within your financial means. And there are exceptions here with less expensive school, Peace Corps, military nursing loan repayment and medical loan forgiveness programs. If you can't afford to attend a high cost college, don't take out a loan! Find a way to get an education that fits your budget. 

If you are low income, you have access to the PELL Grants. In Georgia (my state) there is the HOPE grant and HOPE scholarship.  If you don't have money to pay for going away to school, do your first two years at a community college or technical college where your grant money will go much farther and pay for all those core classes at a much lower cost per credit.

You can also get credit for studying a subject on your own. CBE (Credit by Exam) is a great way to take classes,  and the tests are less expensive than a class, you don't need an expensive book and you can work at your own pace (faster or slower).  There are tons of free resources online for studying a wide range of subjects and many, MANY schools do accept the DSST and CLEP exams.  There is also Mooc credit which is now becoming available through ACE (American Council on Education) and other ACE coursework.

And when you find you really can work better on your own you can even do the majority of the degree at a fraction of the cost at legitimate acredited colleges such as Thomas Edison State College and Excelsior College.  Self motivation is an incredibly valuable skill to have in life.  Distant learning saves considerable housing funds and allows students to actually save for their future home or family instead of spending or borrowing.

There are also work colleges that  require academics and work. What a way to gain experience!  Check out the Work College Consortium. Berea College, for example, doesn't charge for tuition, so the only expenses are living expenses if your teen wishes to go away to college. Even our local college, Berry College, has the the Gate of Opportunity Scholarship which allows lower income students to work, cover tuition and gain experience.


None of this is new information, but it does have a lot to do with our values as a society. We are so used to having what we want "right now" that we will borrow ourselves into a hole they can never climb out of in their lifetime (including bankruptcy). We need to think about higher education in a different, more affordable and realistic manner. Only then will higher education truly become valuable.

This just scratches the surface of the options for higher education, but it can be done. ☺

~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~

*Government paid education is not FREE!  It is paid for by the citizens that pay taxes.   In Finland, the tax rate is 49.2% on income over $87,222

Tuesday, May 13, 2014

Typical Tuesday: Busy

This has been an extremely busy day with clients, a real estate closing and more, so I am passing on a little bit of fun instead of some computer tip. Hey, we have to have fun sometimes!  I was a courier for 10 years and this one just struck me as absolutely funny.  Enjoy! ☺