Friday, October 30, 2009

MyFax Enhancement: Fax from Windows Business Applications

We’re constantly reviewing customer feedback, looking for ways to improve MyFax, my1voice and Campaigner, so this week we were excited to announce the ability to fax from Windows business applications! The new, free feature is aPrint-to-Fax option included in the print menu of Windows XP, Vista and 7 applications. So now there’s no need to exit the application you’re working in to fax a document.

Our own VP of marketing, Steve Adams, recently commented that MyFax customers love the faxing option within Microsoft Office and MyFax users requested the feature be extended across all applications.

MyFax customers can download the print driver from MyFaxCentral. From there, faxes can be sent to multiple recipients. The option to add recipients directly from Outlook, and billing codes, are also available.

This is just another way we’re making MyFax a tool you can use with just a few clicks. Hope you like the new feature!

Friday, October 23, 2009

Social networks coming up small for small businesses

Are you using social media tools such as Facebook, Twitter and LinkedIn to promote your small business? If not, apparently you’re not as far behind the curve as the so-called social media gurus would have you believe.

At least not according to the results of a new Citibank/GfK Roper survey. The owners of 500 businesses with 100 or fewer employees were interviewed regarding their use of social media, and the results were anything but a glowing endorsement. In fact, three-quarters of those interviewed said they haven’t found social media helpful for generating new business leads or expanding their businesses, and 86 percent said they haven’t used social networking sites for information or business advice.

That’s a pretty stark contrast to what we’re hearing in the media, where we’re often led to believe if you’re not taking advantage of social networking you’re hopelessly behind the times.

One point of speculation regarding the lack of success with social networking sites is that the small businesses may not have the manpower or the time to take advantage of them. Maybe. But it could also be that that’s not where their customers are.

Like any other form of advertising, social networking sites are tools. You have to use them intelligently in order for them to work. You don’t see a lot of ads for laundry detergent during football games, and you don’t see a lot of beer commercials on Lifetime.

So what has your experience been with social networks? Are you using Twitter, Facebook, etc.? And have they helped you either generate new business or increase business with current customers?

Friday, October 16, 2009

D’oh! Simpsons show one of the problems with fax machines

So there I am last week, watching The Simpsons 20th season premiere episode, when I hear Homer call out one of the problems with fax machines. After the movie company he’s working for (long story behind that) asks him if he got the changes to the script they sent over, he says “No! My stupid fax machine ran out of ink!”

That is definitely one of the problems with a fax machine. It can run out of ink, or toner, or paper. If that happens, you won’t receive the fax (or your fax to someone else won’t go through) until the problem is taken care of. It’s sort of the “for the want of a nail” scenario. You have an important document that has to get where it’s going right now, but because someone didn’t check on the machine it’s stuck in the nether world between sender and receiver.

That doesn’t happen with MyFax, because there’s no ink, toner or paper involved. Documents are sent and received electronically, so there’s nothing to be out of. About the only thing that can hold it up is if you have the wrong fax number – which is certainly a “D’oh!” moment. Even then, though, you receive a notification that it didn’t go through so you can fix the situation. Ah, if only Homer had known about MyFax.

What’s your fax horror story? Ever had a fax fail to come or go through because of something simple like a lack of toner or paper?

Thursday, October 08, 2009

Tips to Help Small Businesses Run In a More Organized and Productive Environment

Susan Ward, of recently wrote about the need for small businesses to be more organized and productive. Her post caught my eye because we often hear from small businesses that there aren’t enough hours in the day!

She says “Do you spend your day in a frenzy of activity and then wonder why you haven't accomplished much? Time management skills are especially important for small business people, who often find themselves performing many different jobs during the course of a single day.”

Some of her good tips include:

1) Realize that time management is a myth.
2) Find out where you're wasting time.
3) Create time management goals.
4) Implement a time management plan.
5) Use time management tools.
6) Prioritize ruthlessly.
7) Learn to delegate and/or outsource.

It seems like we could all use a few more organization and time management tricks up our sleeve. What daily business practices do you employ to keep your head on straight?

Friday, October 02, 2009

Small Businesses Jump on Green Technology Bandwagon

I was perusing the small business conversations on Twitter recently (@MyFax_) when I came across CDW’s new findings on green IT adoption. It looks like small to medium sized businesses will lead the pack in the next six months!According to the findings, 31 percent of small business IT decision makers say their companies plan to implement green IT initiatives in the next two years—more than any other corporate or government sector.

The nice thing about greening your small business technology is that you don’t need a CIO, or even an IT department, to make eco-friendly changes in the office. Are you surprised that small businesses are greening their technology faster than any other sector? What green changes has your business made?