Everything goes wrong.
It’s obvious but many of us work as if our IT equipment is faultless. That it will never go wrong. We act shocked when all the information that our business requires to operate disappears with the failure of a hard disk or a USB stick or a theft. This normally means the end of the business, too.
So it is refreshing to know that some IT suppliers take a sensible approach.
For instance, here is a recent email from Salesforce.
What is a site switch and what action is required to prepare?
Each Salesforce instance is built and maintained in two geographically separate locations. An instance is actively served from one location (the active site) with transactions replicating in near real-time to the other completely redundant location (the ready site). During a site switch, we swap the locations of your ready and active sites; the ready site becomes the new active site and vice versa.
So if one of their data centres fails you continue working based of another data centre.
None of your data is stored on your computer, so a theft does not matter.
If only everything in life was as reliable as Salesforce. (And when it fails it still keeps on working!)
As I say to our customers: if two data centres fail, you probably have even more important things on your mind than your data.
Does this picture of a pair of shoes hanging on a telephone cable mean anything to you?
To some cultures, shoes are thrown over power lines to commemorate the end of a school year.
What do you think it means when your blog isn’t updated for long periods of time?
So here, in ascending order are 4 reasons why you should keep your blog up-to-date.
Let people know that you’re still alive
How many times have you gone to a website of a company that provides a service that you’re interested in, only to find that their blog hasn’t been updated for eight months. What does that tell you about the company? Are they still in business? Do they keep in touch with their customer base?
Making sure that your blog is updated regularly is a really good way of showing potential customers that you’re still around.
Keep everyone up to date
A blog is a great way to keep your clients and potential customers updated on anything that happens with the site or with the business in general, such as if the site is going to be down for refurbishment or, if your organisation is moving. If your website sells products or a service, updating your blog can also be a great way of letting everyone know about any deals, new stock or limited time offers.
The ideal place for sharing tips
Sometimes, you might hit a dry spell where nothing new will happen with your website or your business. Maintaining a blog while there’s nothing interesting going on can be extremely difficult, but the great thing about a blog is that you can put anything on there as long as it has something to do with what your business does.
Many companies that have a blog use it as a way of sharing helpful hints and tips and any news that they may find interesting and is worth sharing, (a bit like this one actually).
Most importantly… it improves your ranking on Google FOR FREE!!!!
Every time you update your website with a blog article it should (if set up properly) nudge Google and say, ‘I’ve just been updated’. Google loves relevant, up-to-date content. A quick blog here and there can do the equivalent of spending £1000’s on Google Adwords. Save yourself money AND get top ranking.
Make this your New Year’s Resolution and make sure that your blog stays up to date!
Why is Salesforce Charities such a good fit? We are in the process of bringing on some more charities and non profit organisations.
For a start, as a charity you not only get Salesforce, but Salesforce provide lots of customisations that help you carry out your work as a charity. So, you need to track donations… sorted. You want to look at ‘soft donations’ where you take into account the giving of a household, rather than an individual… it’s there. Along with memberships, customisations to help you keep track of people rather than the need of businesses, where they tend to keep track of other businesses.
Of course, you have the massive backing of Salesforce.org. This gives you 10 licences for Salesforce (at the Enterprise level) to use in perpetuity for free. The Non Profit Starter Pack, the customisations that help you track households, memberships and so-on. All free. All you need to do is get the system set-up and configured for your own staff. (That’s where we come in – we will listen to your needs, configure the system, train users in its use and support you in your Salesforce journey.)
One of our clients is using their website to take appointment bookings for refugees in order to gift them bikes. The charity sends the appointment to the refugee by email or text. All this is automated, tracked and managed in Salesforce. We set up that customisation.
We have also taken on a new member of staff, Aaron Williams.
We are registering for VAT, supporting the new Salesforce in Wales user group.
How do we manage to do so much? We have Salesforce managing everything from initial contact, through opportunities, via project management, through to support and billing… leaving us to do the things we enjoy!
One of the internet’s terrifying statistics is that in 2014 72% of emails were spam. (Source statistica.com)
In other words, nearly three quarters of emails sent were rubbish.
In 2016, it is down to about 55%, but it is still too high.
THIS IS TO BE REDUCED STILL FURTHER, BUT IT MIGHT AFFECT YOUR EMAILS – THEY MAY NEVER ARRIVE.
Big email providers, such as Google and Microsoft have been working hard to reduce this still further. To this end, they have been introducing several standards (SPF, DKIM & DMARC).
Some of them have been widely implemented for a number of year (e.g. SPF)
But with the coming of DMARC, you may find that your emails do not get to their intended recipients.
You need to be using an email provider that supports these modern standards. That is why we recommend Office 365. It supports all these standards and will continue to work into the foreseeable future.
Many low cost solutions may fail.
You will not be aware that your emails are not getting through until you phone the recipients.
If you need more information, contact us!
How great would it be if you could take credit card payments directly from you website.
It’s not as if you have an online store, but there are just one or two services that you would like to charge for. You could use PayPal, but their fees are 3.4%.
Stripe is a really good credit card processor. (After all, even billion-dollar businesses like Salesforce use them.)
Their fees are as low as 1.4% + 20p per transaction at the basic level. Much cheaper than PayPal.
The downside is that they require a website that meets the standards of TLS 1.2.
We can set you up with a secure website.
If you use our Safe and Secure website service, we will ensure that it meets the security standards of the future.
(BTW we do full e-Commerce websites, too.)