Vector of virtual data computer

When we think about servers, a few things may come to mind. In the past, the first image was often of stuffy server rooms that constantly needed to be kept cool and dry, and where a small problem could send a business into free fall for hours or days until the system could be repaired.

Today, however, many companies have never even seen their servers, because server virtualization is rapidly becoming the dominant model. Physical servers have proven to be too great a problem from an infrastructural upkeep standpoint.

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money

Today’s post comes from Webs’ Lead Analyst, Alex Mitchell.

In today’s tech-enabled world, there are hundreds of startups and established companies trying to simplify the way businesses collect money Online and Offline from customers.

In the blog, we’ve talked about specific Online payment solutions and tools for business owners with something to sell, but we believe it’s time for a definitive top 5 list of the best Online and Offline payment solutions.

Before we dive in, it’s worth noting that solutions on this list may be better or worse options for your particular business based on your product, sales volume, or number of employees/locations.

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Today’s article is a guest post from Gregory Ciotti of Help Scout. 

As you well know, having lackluster customer service is a surefire way to get passed over by the demanding customer of today.

The question then becomes, what actually makes customer service truly memorable?

Each experience is different from the next, but there are some iron-clad rules of great service that every support team should put in place.

Below, I’ll outline 8 proven laws of outstanding support that your company should apply today.

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Perhaps in a perfect world, small business owners would be able to turn on that “Out Of Office” notification, punch out, and enjoy a week or two completely offline just like everyone else.

But until that utopia manifests, entrepreneurs know that in order to keep their small businesses running smoothly and growing continuously, they require regular attention. Does this mean that small business owners should resign themselves to years of cancelled vacations and missed holiday celebrations? Certainly not. This is where the right tools and tech can make all the difference.

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In the modern world of business, the reality is that most customers are shopping with credit cards, not cash or checks. This means that owners of brick-and-mortar small businesses have one more element to prepare for in their business plans: how to accept credit card payments.

The good news is, as mobile technology has advanced and the number of small businesses nationwide has grown by leaps and bounds, a number of great options have emerged. One of the most exciting right now is LevelUp, a Boston-based startup.

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Today we wrap up our discussion of time management and efficiency with one final strategy for boosting productivity for yourself and anyone you work with: changing your environment.

Finding ways to incorporate the advice we’ve shared over the past month into your work routine can have great long-term effects on the quality of your life and work. Looking for something that can make a big change right away? Try rearranging the furniture and putting up a fresh coat of paint.

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We’re continuing our series on time management and efficiency for small business owners with advice from the folks here at Webs who have some of the most demanding schedules in the company. If they can do it, you can do it!

We hope these tips and tricks — ranging from very logical to somewhat obscure (keep reading) — will help you feel more productive and less stressed as you work toward your goals. Please share your own tips and tricks in the comments below!
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Our discussion of time management for small business owners wouldn’t be complete without addressing the huge time sink that is social media marketing. Because part of being a good Facebook and Twitter administrator is sharing great content with your followers on a regular basis, this part of your marketing program can take up a lot of time.

The good news is, our friends at Pagemodo have created a tool that can reduce the amount of time you spend search for and posting engaging content dramatically. It’s called Pagemodo Posts, and it’s available to all Pagemodo users. It can be used to find, post, and schedule content from around the web to your Facebook and Twitter accounts from the Pagemodo dashboard, or through their new +Post bookmarklet. Here is an excerpt from the announcement of Posts on Pagemodo’s blog last month:
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Our series on time management for small businesses is almost finished, so let’s take a minute to talk about the consequences of bad time management. One of which is not being able to find time for personal health and fitness. Many small business owners would like to be more active, but after a full day at the office that often runs into the evening, it’s hard to fit in fitness. And if you weren’t already worried about this, check out this great/alarming infographic featured on Lifehack.org.

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