Traditional PBX or Virtual PBX: What’s Better For Your Business?

Virtual PBX DialpadEverywhere you look nowadays, the digital revolution is overtaking old communications technologies. While social media and smartphone apps get all the press and buzz, core technologies that many businesses have long forgotten about are being replaced as well.

Traditional PBX systems, which for years have been the backbone of business communications architecture, are being challenged by newer virtual PBX cloud phone systems.

While it may seem like “one more thing”, the technology your business uses to communicate plays a significant role in how the business operates, and how customers interact with it.

Businesses that are still utilizing a traditional PBX system may not be aware of the the limitations their hardware is placing on them. They may not realize the potential cost savings they could generate by moving to a virtual PBX. (more…)

SACOG Local Transportation Initiatives

SACOG Transportation InitiativesSACOG (Sacramento Area Council of Governments), which has a planning area that correlates closely to our market area, is an association of 22 cities and six Sacramento Area counties that works on transportation, land use and regional issues.

As one of its functions, SACOG assists in planning for transit, bicycle networks and clean air.

There are currently 47 similar organizations across California that are members of CALCOG.

As you’ll read below, some of SACOG’s transportation-related initiatives provide opportunities for local nonprofit and for-profit businesses. (more…)

Sacramento Area Business Technology Meetups And User Groups

Sacramento Meetups & User Groups: Business TechFor employees and owners of Sacramento Area businesses, attending a user group meeting or Meetup is a great way to network with peers and learn the latest about technologies that are important to career growth and to the success of a business.

Some user groups are niche in terms of the job role that they attract. Other user groups span a wide range of roles—from application admins to marketers to business owners & executives.

Partly due to technology cycles, a given user group can eventually become challenged with getting enough regular meeting attendees. Some groups go dormant. In fact, we have had to remove several listings since the original version of this post was published.

Other user groups and Meetups have no problem attracting a consistent number of regular meeting attendees. In many cases, the dedicated efforts of the group’s organizers is what drives a sustainable attendance level. (more…)

8 Signs You May Be Ready For A New Business Phone System

Old Business Phone SystemWhen you bought your small business phone system over a decade ago, it was cutting edge. Brands like Comdial, Norstar, Vodavi, Panasonic, Toshiba and Tie prevailed at the time.

Back then, bandwidth to most buildings was not enough to support voice traffic over the internet connection. The now thriving business VoIP (Voice over Internet Protocol) business telephone industry had not yet been born.

At many companies, the on-premises phone system hardware is paid for. However, the system is running at less than 100%. There is a risk to it running at 0%.

Here are some of the signs that you might be ready to move to today’s technology in business telephone systems. (more…)

Sacramento River Cats: Take Yourself Out To The Ballgame

Raley Field Backdrop

A great source of local entertainment is a Sacramento River Cats home game. Being at the ballpark is an enjoyable experience, even for those who aren’t die-hard baseball fans.

For those with only a passing familiarity with the team: The Sacramento River Cats is a minor league baseball team that’s in the Pacific Northern Division of the Pacific Coast League. The Pacific Coast League is one of two Triple-A leagues in the United States. The other league is The International League.

The combined 30 teams in these two leagues match up with the 30 major league teams as Triple-A affiliates.

The River Cats are the Triple-A affiliate of the San Francisco Giants. (more…)

Before You Sign a California Commercial Lease Agreement…

California Commercial Lease AgreementThere are a number of things that a small business owner or a representative for the business should consider before signing a California commercial lease agreement.

Unlike a click-through agreement on the web, which many people click their acceptance for without reviewing in detail, it’s important for a prospective tenant to understand each paragraph of a commercial lease. An understanding of the language in a commercial lease agreement can be important for avoiding future expenses.

In fact, it would be prudent for any prospective commercial tenant to seek the advice of a real estate attorney before signing a commercial lease agreement. This is especially true for someone whose business is leasing commercial space for the first time.


Security Alert: Protect Your Business From The Latest Crypto-Ransomware Threat

Network Security AlertThere is a severe new variant of Dharma ransomware that encrypts all data on local and shared drives on your company’s network. It renders local backups useless.

The criminals behind the attack then ask for between $4,000 and $20,000 to decrypt your data. Sometimes they’ll ask for even more.

This ransomware has two primary vectors (ways that it can enter your network):

The first is via an email attachment. This is usually a Microsoft Word document (.doc or .docx) posing as an “invoice”. Once an employee opens the document, encryption of your network’s data begins. (more…)

How to Find Files Faster – Locally & In The Cloud

Search in Windows, MacOS, CloudOne of the biggest and most frustrating time wasters in business is trying to find files in Windows 10, MacOS or in a cloud drive such as Google Drive.

How many times have you scoured your drives looking for an important file, only to sometimes never find it at all?

Not finding a file can mean recreating a document, spreadsheet or presentation from scratch.

There are two important factors that make finding files easier. They work hand in hand.

  1. How files are named
  2. Using search tools to their full capabilities

We’ll take a closer look at each. (more…)

10 Ways Your Small Business Can Get Paid Faster

Invoice Paid FastAs a small business owner or manager, you know how important it is to the business for invoices to be paid on a timely basis.

Today, it’s rare for an accounting department to mail out physical invoices to business customers. Most invoices are emailed. While emailing means instant delivery, there are several potential pitfalls with emailed invoices that should be addressed.

Physical payments—i.e. checks—are still common, as there are no fees associated with checks. However, alternate ways of accepting customer payments can help with timeliness.

The more efficient you are with your internal processes and the better your business leverages today’s technology, the faster invoices will be paid.

Here are ten ideas for how to get paid faster. (more…)

Help a Reporter Out And Help Your Small Business

Help a Reporter Out: The PitchJournalists and bloggers are in constant need of relevant, authoritative and timely information.

When a reporter decides to write about a topic, there’s no substitute for getting input from experts on whatever they’re writing about.

As a small business owner or manager, you are, by definition, an expert in your field.

You’re probably also an expert in some of things that are related to your business. For example, you might be highly knowledgable in a facet of business technology or business finance.

How can your expertise get matched up with the needs of a reporter in a way that will benefit both your business and the reporter’s career? (more…)