5 Email Essentials

5 Email Essentials

by Matt Harryman

Many businesses use email to correspond with clients, employees, and other businesses. In fact, billions of emails are sent every day. Clearly it is an effective means of communication. How can you make the most of your emails, though? Here are 5 email essentials.

IT Support

Your Email Address

Many business owners don’t consider their actual email address when it comes to email communication. It is important, though! Your recipients need to clearly know who you are and/or what business or brand you represent. The ideal email address is one that has yourname @ yourbusinesswebsite. This really makes it clear who you are and what business you represent. If you do not have domain based email set up and are using a free email service such as gmail or yahoo, be sure you still use a professional name or your business name. Keep something like a personal email with your nickname for personal use only.

Your Subject Line

Your subject line is key. It’s the first impression the recipient gets when they see your email. Often times the subject line alone determines whether the recipient will read the email or delete it. Some subject lines like those using specific phrases or multiple characters can cause it to go straight to Spam. In fact, HubSpot wrote a great article – “The Ultimate List of Email SPAM Trigger Words” It includes words and phrases such as: buy, as seen on, clearance, order, opportunity, anything with the “$” character, money making, earn extra cash, affordable, no cost, no credit check, and SO many more. Don’t write a subject line that is misleading or full of fluff. Make sure it is appealing and do be sure it is interesting enough that the recipient will be curious and want to open the email to find out more. Read More

5 Reasons Small Business Owners Rock

5 Reasons Small Business Owners Rock

by Matt Harryman

It’s National Small Business Week and you are the owner of a small business. You love it. You want to serve the people in your community the best you know how. Over 600,000 new small businesses pop up across the country each year. Small business ownership is growing and will continue!

In honor of National Small Business Week here are 5 Reasons Small Business Owners Rock…

1. They Put America to Work

small business owner

Small Businesses are responsible for 63% of the American workforce according to the SBA. Read More

End of Support for Word 2003

by Matt Harryman

IT SupportLast month we wrote about the End of Life for Windows XP, which was the end of technical support from Microsoft for the Windows XP operating system. At the same time, though, Microsoft also ended support for Microsoft Office 2003 which includes Word 2003.

Many business have continued to use both Windows XP and even more common, they have continued to use Office 2003 and Word 2003. A word processing program without support may not seem like a big deal, but continuing to use Word 2003 could open your computer to security breaches that might compromise your business from your own business personal information to client information. Should client information be breached for certain businesses, this may mean violating HIPAA, which is very serious.

Plus, Office 2003 just doesn’t compare to Office 2007/10/13. It is lacking many features that the newer versions of Office offer. For example, in Word 2003, features such as comparing documents and tracking changes were so bad that many businesses ultimately found it necessary to buy third-party programs to handle those functions.

The features that were lacking completely were added in Word 2007 and following versions. Many other extremely useful new features were added as well. Plus the Office interface was much improved. Needless to say, it’s time to move on to Office/Word 2007, 2010, or 2013.

If you have not yet made the move from Word 2003 to Word 2007, Word 2010 or Word 2013, you may need some guidance. At TLC Office Systems, our Houston IT Support service experts are here to help. Give us a call today!

5 Ways to Make your Business Environment Inviting

5 Ways to Make your Business Environment Inviting

by Matt Harryman

No matter what line of business you’re in, having an inviting business environment for both clients and employees is important. Clients who feel comfortable in a business environment are more likely to remember it and return. Employees who feel comfortable are often more productive. So what can you do to make the most of your business environment? Here are a few ways to make your business environment more inviting.

office furniture

1) Having Comfortable Office Furniture

Whether it’s the chairs in your lobby or the chairs in your employees’ offices, comfortable office furniture can make a big difference in how people feel. If the office furniture is uncomfortable, clients that may have to wait in a waiting room or lobby may become impatient and are more likely to remember they had to wait a while whereas if they are comfortable the wait time seems to pass quickly.

Likewise, employees who are uncomfortable during the day are more likely to feel unmotivated particularly by the end of the day. They may have to take more frequent breaks to get up and stretch and move around. Providing comfortable office furniture will ensure they feel comfortable and motivated and less likely to take frequent breaks.

2) Get Organized

Nobody likes clutter. It makes for a hectic work environment and is unappealing to clients. It doesn’t necessarily have to be immaculate, but controlling clutter and keeping things tidy is important. Make sure everything has a place and is easy to find. Employees, clients, or even you shouldn’t have to dig through a mess to get to what you need. Read More

Has Heartbleed Put you at Risk?

Has Heartbleed Put you at Risk?

by Matt Harryman

 

heartbleedThe talk all over the Internet this week has been about Heartbleed – a widespread encryption bug that can capture passwords. It has left some websites running SSL encryption vulnerable. These sites include a long list that varies from social media sites to banks, which could potentially put you at risk. Many of these sites already did their due diligence to look into whether or not they were affected by Heartbleed and sent out emails informing users whether or not they were and what actions they have taken. Even those that haven’t been affected still recommend changing your password for guaranteed protection.

Not sure what all of this means? TLC Office System’s IT Support Houston team has been following updates to bring you the latest information.

What is OpenSSL?

If you’re not familiar with the term “OpenSSL” you may not understand the severity of Heartbleed. OpenSSL runs on 66% of the web. It is a free, out-of-the box solution for providing SSL functionality for a website or app. Because of this, it is the appealing choice, which is why so many use it. It is not only used by websites and apps but also instant messaging, network routers, email clients and even some printers.

The scary thing about Heartbleed is that it goes right to the heart (as you might guess by the name) to encryption. Encryption makes sure when information is sent from one computer or server to another it is protected and secure. It’s like a secret language that would have to be decoded to be understood. Read More

Good Food. New Technology. Great Times.

Good Food. New Technology. Great Times.

by Matt Harryman

Office Furniture150+ participants representing over 50 companies joined the Houston office furniture & technology experts TLC Office Systems for “The Technology ER.” This open house was held March 27th at our offices here on Fallbrook in Northwest Houston.  Attendees were greeted with Texas-style BBQ, massages, vacation giveaways and much more.

“We were excited about showcasing the latest in office solutions to the local business community. Whether you were an entrepreneur just starting or a large corporation we have something for everyone. ” – President Wayne Harryman

 

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