As any college student living on-campus knows, having a public printer and scanner is a very big deal. All of those hastily jotted down summaries on scraps of rumpled paper need to be scanned and saved, notes need to be exchanged, and the endless assignments need to be printed out.
Of course, while convenient, a central printer/scanner can also come with challenges. For example… What happens when the wait in line takes up too much studying time, or everyone in line seems to have whole books to print out and copy? What if the printer jams or the ink runs out? No one has time for these hassles, especially not a busy college student!
Well, things like this have happened to me more than I like to think about. That’s when I turned to the trusty internet and looked up “printer and copier service in Richmond“.
I wasn’t sure, at first, what to expect, but I found plenty of nearby places to check out. There were so many different options! When I found a store that suited my needs, I paid them a visit. They were so helpful and understanding! I could choose to print in whatever color I wanted desired, which was a big improvement over the black-and-white option at school.
With so many options, I knew I could really capture my professor’s attention with a pop of color or add a picture printed on a high-quality sheet of gloss paper. What better way to show my dedication to my assignment? In next to no time at all, all of my notes were printed up and ready to go neatly into my binder. One thing’s for sure, I’ll be enjoying the time I’ve saved with this discovery!
When I returned to my dorm after one such visit, I found that the printer was still jammed (as it was an HOUR before when I left!). The students were pushy and on-edge. I called over my disgruntled classmates and shared my assignment sheet with them. Not only did I get my work done early and turned in on time, but I was practically a hero to my classmates!
A lot of what we write in this blog centers around the big tech items and gadgets: computers, smart phones, home entertainment devices. That’s because there are about a million options out there for each of those categories, with more coming every day. New, cool features are added constantly, and we want to know about ‘em. And let’s face it: these technologies are dead sexy.
But there’s one area where the technological advances don’t come so rapidly, and that area is the home heating and cooling thermostat. Once upon a time, all you got was a round dial on the wall in your hallway, with numbers on it and maybe a switch to go from heating to air conditioning. This worked great for decades.
Then the digital, programmable thermostat was invented. You could call your local Richmond HVAC company, for example, and pretty soon you’d have a fancy new model on your wall. The big update was the ability to program the thermostat for energy efficiency – different settings at night or while you were at work during the day. How awesome! But nobody used it. Whether it was too complicated or not flexible enough, the new-fangled programmable thermostat just became an LED version of the old dial.
The next logical step was to build a thermostat that programmed itself. Enter Nest, created by the the former Apple employee who led the teams that create the iPod and iPhone. With minimal setup, this thermostat will learn your schedule and adjust temperatures accordingly. Not only that, you can adjust it from your smartphone. With increased efficiency comes lower utility bills and a greener household. So maybe this isn’t as sexy as some of the gadgets we highlight here – it’s a total game-changer in its field, and that doesn’t come along every day.
One of the big challenges electronics consumers face is gadget obsolescence. Things move so fast in the technology realm that a new computer purchased today can be outdated in less than a year. Your current iPad is just a stepping stone to the next, greater version. Your smart phone today is the dumb phone of next year. For serious techies and gadget-heads, this isn’t any sort of a real problem: we get excited about the latest and greatest thing, so we’re usually happy to move onward and upward from old technology. Cost is a secondary consideration.
But we tend to forget that the everyday consumer is not like us. Most people buy gadgets and electronics with the hope that they’ll last for several years. Cost is very often a primary consideration, and the newest laptops, desktops, and tablets are usually at the top of the price scale. Having the best can be a costly endeavor.
One solution to consider, though, is rent to own. Some of the same companies that offer rent to own furniture also offer rent to own computers and other electronics. They typically have the most up-to-date versions and require a much smaller investment up front than buying something brand new, which will help anyone on a budget. Easy payment plans make this a viable option for techies without a fat wallet.
So if you’re looking for the latest and greatest iPad, laptop, or flat-screen TV, don’t forget that you don’t have to lay down the equivalent of a mortgage payment to get what you need. There are alternatives.
If you are in a technology industry or simply need to communicate and stay connected with your customers, you must be extremely organized when it comes to communication. I’m not sure how many times in my life I have made a call to make a purchase or talk on the phone with customer service with a business and have been cut off or transferred to the wrong person. Much of this problem can be attributed to disorganization and poor business management but not all of it. The other part of the problem can often be blamed on an outdated, improperly installed, or broken office phone system.
Its amazing how some companies can let something as important as communicating with their customers slip under the radar in priority. The most common brands of office phone systems are Nortel and Avaya office phone systems. One of the problems these companies are having with these systems is that there is not always an easy way to repair or replace these phone systems for businesses. Companies are often forced to put up with a broken phone system for years until they finally have to buy an expensive new system which works for a short amount of time before they start experiencing complications for which they have no solution for.
Along the way, these companies either have to contact a large provider, such as Avaya, Octel, or Nortel and pay a large sum of money while waiting for service from a technician they bring in or hire an individual or small company. Both of these options have some drawbacks. With the larger company it can be expensive and can take a long time for the office phone system to be fixed. With an individual or smaller company you will probably not be getting someone who knows the system inside and out. So while they may be willing to work for cheaper, you may not always get the best results. A company like Phillips telecommunications, large and specialized enough to handle large phone systems yet mobile enough to work with the demands of a fast paced business that needs quick results.
Technology is a wonderful thing, and the advancements in the past 20 years have been a true gift for the independently-minded businessperson. Entrepreneurs have benefitted in practically every way imaginable, from easy-to-use accounting and inventory management software, to desktop publishing programs that raise do-it-yourself marketing to a level that… well, doesn’t look like do-it-yourself marketing anymore.
And let’s not forget the power of the internet, which has had the effect of evening the playing field in many ways. It is now easier than ever for business owners to find the least expensive material supplier, or the most qualified employees. Even more importantly, the internet has opened up exponentially wider markets for the sale of goods and services. No longer are sales subject to the same geographic limitations they once were. Practically every aspect of business has been impacted by the openness of the internet and its phenomenal reach.
It doesn’t stop there, either. For entrepreneurs trying to purchase a business, the process was once tedious and lengthy. Now, if you’re looking to invest in Salt Lake City, for example, a quick Google search like “find a business for sale in Salt Lake City” will yield a list of results to get you quickly on your way, from business brokers to listing services. And, of course, there are tons of additional, helpful information at your fingertips as well: tax records, zoning, available utilities, and many more sources of data that are necessary in the due diligence phase of buying a business.
Yes, it seems that technology has really brought the dream of business ownership and financial independence a lot closer to reality in the last two decades. It will be exciting to find out how technology will continue to make an impact for the mavericks and dreamers.
Lately we’ve been getting quite a few questions about how to get into the electronics business. Of course, you can always go the traditional startup way. You know; build the next big thing in your garage, find investors, and hope to make it big. There’s nothing wrong with that, but it’s pretty risky and worse yet, if you create something amazing someone else can just copy it and sell it cheaper. Even with patent protection, a person in country where the patent is not valid can make a knock-off.
An easier option, and less risky is to consider buying into a franchise. There are a lot of great electronics franchises out there to choose from, but most are very expensive. Of course, electronics development has come a long way and there are some more affordable options out there. That said; consider getting some free advice from a franchise consultant. One company offering these services is Fran Info and it might be worth giving them a call.
Another option is to take it in steps. Having a technology company is a great introduction to taking care of a full-blown electronics business. Consider doing a low cost software business start-up to get the lay of the land. You don’t even need to know how to program. For a small investment you can have a freelance developer do the coding for you. This is actually how I got started back in 2003. I used a service called Rent A Coder that has since been bought out by freelancer.com. But there are plenty of them to choose from. Just Google “freelance software developer” and you’ll see dozens of good options.
The $300 investment I made ten years ago was the start of my now $380,000 per year small business that just gets better with age. Good luck!
I can’t tell you how happy I was when an associate told me about “Richmond based marketing company”. My business was holding its own, but I had much higher hopes for it. I didn’t know where to start. I knew my business was something that was needed, but I had to find a way to let people know about it. Marketing was my weakness.
I hired a professional to help me in the area where I knew I was weak. They came in and did research, anything they needed to know about the brand and target client. Once they discovered this information they were able to translate them into strategies to help my business.
Once I understood that a marketing company’s job is to translate and help consumers understand what my business is about, that helped me to proceed in the right direction. There are many forms of advertising available these days and I hardly knew where to start. But, having a marketing agency help me with my individual needs made all the difference.
I was able to see that a specific print advertising campaign was exactly what would help my business reach potential clients. I got help with my logo, my brand, and the detailed wording for my advertising. The advertisements were placed in the newspapers and magazines that were the most likely to be seen by my potential clients. We also started an email newsletter for clients and potential clients, and set up a blog for my business.
By following the recommendations of the marketing agency, I did not waste time and money on other forms of media that would not draw the clients my business needed. If I had done this on my own, I probably would have gone with a more expensive radio or television advertisement campaign that would have not reached my desired audience and cost me much more money. Instead, I can now use those funds to continue to build my business with the new clients I have thanks to the help of a trained professional marketing company.
There are an endless number of factors that make picking the right house to live in a daunting task. What is the job market like? How far away is your family? Is the house big enough for a future family? How big is the yard? Is the architecture visually pleasing? And these are just the basics. Investing in a new home is a big decision. There has to be a way of knowing when you’ve found the right one.
Start broad before you drill down to the details. Imagine yourself looking out of your kitchen or living room glass window one sunny afternoon. Anything in the world could be beyond those double hung energy efficient replacement windows just on the other side of the wall that separates your new house from the outside world. If you had it just the way you wanted it, what would you see out there? For some it will be a calm suburban street or a quiet wooded area near a creek. Others might wish to see palm trees or a bustling cityscape. This exercise will help planning a big move to a new location. You can even find surprisingly diverse styles of living within a commutable distance around a city with plentiful job opportunities.
Now think not about what is outside of your gorgeous awning windows, but what is around them. When you visit houses for sale, are the rooms laid out so you could make good use of them? The architecture needs to match your personality, as the house will become an extension of who you are.
Finally, is the price right? You can save a significant amount of time by looking at houses within your price parameters, but don’t forget that strong negotiation skills can bring an otherwise unattainable house down within your grasp. The insulation capabilities of the existing windows will seriously contribute to your future expenses in the form of energy bills. The size of the house also creates additional heating and cooling costs. Find a balance between buying with your future purchasing power in mind and living within your means.