World Synergy® receives Weatherhead 100 Award

World Synergy is honored to be recognized by Case Western Reserve University Weatherhead School of Management as a Weathe2014 Weatherhead 100rhead 100 winner for 2014. The Weatherhead 100 award recognizes the region’s top 100 fastest growing companies over the past five years. Since its inception in 1988, the Weatherhead 100 commemorates Northeast Ohio’s spirit of entrepreneurship and recognizes companies that exemplify innovative success.

Read our press release to find out more about this remarkable award and to learn more about our marketing, technology and application services please contact Joanna Zinna.

“Win The Fight Against Cyber Criminals: Protect Your Data.”

Many celebrities have been the victim of smartphone hacking, and you need to know that your smartphone could be hacked as well. Your “selfies” and explicit photos could be stolen and uploaded all over the Internet.

Think about all of the data that’s currently on your phone or in your iCloud account that could compromise your personal and professional life if it got into the hands of a criminal. You may think that famous people are the only victims of such a crime, but small businesses are actually preferred targets among those who wish to cause financial harm.

Small businesses are often unprepared for criminal activity. In fact, over half of small business owners do not even believe a criminal would be interested in targeting them. This makes them perfect targets. Small businesses often lack a formal, or even an informal, cyber security plan. Unbelievable statistics show that 83 percent do not have a formal plan in place, and 69 percent do not even have an informal plan.

The average amount of damage that a cyber attack can cause is an incredible $188,242 per attack, and two-thirds of those attacked experience a business shutdown within six months. Most cyber crime victims are attacked because they have poor network security.

You can win the fight against cyber criminals by reading a free report called “What Every Business Owner MUST Know to Protect Against Online Identity Theft.” This report is easy-to-follow, and it has several vital pieces of important information you need to know in order to make your network more secure.

Receive the free report at worldsynergy.com/onlinetheft, or call us today at 440-479-9818.

Five Tips to Setting Worthwhile Marketing Goals That You Can Reach

If you’re like most people, creating a list of goals is essential to establishing where you’ve been and where you’re going. Without goals, you’re just sailing in the wind with no measurable objectives to confirm if your marketing tactics are effective.

Here are five tips to set realistic marketing goals:

1. Clear cut. Be specific about exactly what you want to achieve. The point of setting goals is to define exactly where you’re aiming, so avoid vague generalities.

2. Calculable. Use hard numbers when setting goals. Even if you don’t reach them, having a set of measurable objective gives you something to shoot for.

3. Credible. Don’t overreach. Only set goals that you know can feasibly be reached. If you feel they aren’t attainable, you’ll give up almost before you even start.

4. Concrete. Set goals you feel are necessary, and then stick to them tenaciously. There’s no reason to take the time to design objectives that you don’t feel are needed. When choosing your goals, set them in stone in your mind so that you will be more likely to stick to them.

5. Cut-off. Create a deadline for yourself, and then evaluate your results. Without a deadline, your project has no sense of urgency, and you can go indefinitely with little incentive to achieve your goals.

Setting goals is important in any business, and by following these tips, you can maximize the effectiveness of your goals and your likelihood of reaching them.

World Synergy is here to help clarify your marketing goals. Give us a call (440) 349-4940 or visit our Marketing Section for more information.

TechTips – Replacing Windows 2003 Servers

Keep Your Windows Server 2003 Safe from Security Threats

Time for an Upgrade

If your office network is still running on the Windows Server 2003 system, it’s time for an upgrade. While this older server setup may be stable, there is a new security threat that puts these servers at risk, and upgrades should be completed by July 14, 2015. The reason this upgrade is necessary is because Microsoft will no longer be providing any type of security patches or upgrades for this system, which could make the server vulnerable to cyber criminals. Therefore, even if you love the nostalgia of using this older Window server, this is a great reason to upgrade to the latest and greatest Microsoft server platform.

What’s at Risk?

Unfortunately, there are people out there who target computer systems that have a weak spot in their network, allowing them to take the information. Microsoft has a team of highly trained programmers whose job it is to keep up-to-date with the latest hacker methods and release updates to help prevent your data from being stolen.

The great news is that you don’t have to go through this server upgrade alone. World Synergy is here to help you make this transition as easy and painless as possible. We will come to your business and inspect your network to evaluate what type of upgrades are the best options and prepare a customized Server 2003 Migration Plan. You’ll be able to rest assured that your company’s information is no longer at risk when they’re through.

To secure your FREE Server 2003 Migration Plan. Call us today at 440.479.9818 or visit: worldsynergy.com/server2003

Using Psychology to Improve Your Marketing Strategy

Reaching your customer base has never been so easy with today’s technology. From smartphones to tablets, consumers are often connected to social media. Using social media for your marketing strategies is a lesson in psychology, allowing you to befriend thousands of people for possible profits in the near future.

1. Make Them Feel Special
Regardless of your industry, customers want to feel special and set apart from the crowd. Use social media to start conversations. Ask an interesting question or ask for a “photo of the day” challenge. You simply want to breed familiarity into all your friends or followers for instant brand recognition. If a customer has a choice between your company and another brand, they’ll choose the one that serves them consistently and with a level of comfort.

2. Limited Time Only
Although the concept of a limited-time special is a traditional marketing tactic, it still plants a psychological seed inside the minds of consumers. The urgency of a lost sale prompts them to act now and not later. They may still contemplate the purchase, but the limited factor still plays a strong role in consumer habits. Send out emails, texts, status updates and tweets about these sales to see a profit impact.

Don’t be afraid of the newest marketing platform. Social media has a small learning curve, allowing you to master one website before trying another outlet. Stay with one social media type until you’re comfortable with using another. The key to any communication is consistency with customers.

Are You Scared to Death Of The Thought Of Your In-House Computer Expert Leaving?

What do you do if your computer guy suddenly quits? Want to know how much you are at risk? Most business owners think it would only be a brief inconvenience when, in fact, the opposite is usually true. We want you to ask yourself the following 6 frightening questions:

1. Where is all your software stored, do you know?
Taking a minute to organize and store your software in a secure place can save you a considerable chunk of money in the event that you need to restore a program on your systems. Bad things can happen to servers and computers, and the situation can be made worse if you are not ready. If you don’t know where it is located or don’t have access to the software, you might be forced to buy the software again.

2. If a disaster happens; do you have a plan to restore your network in a timely manner?
Having a disaster recovery plan for your office is vital and if you don’t have one, you could be in serious jeopardy without ever knowing it until something happens.

3. If your in-house computer expert leaves would you know how to protect yourself from an ugly security breach?
What do you do if your in-house expert happens to leave without any warning AND has access to your company’s network? Quickly, you must disable his or her access, including all cloud based applications and all remote access to your network.

4. Do you know where your backup files are stored and if they are being stored properly?
If your database happens to get fried and your tech is nowhere to be found, you might be in a lot of trouble. Many business owners are too busy dealing with the “crisis of the day” to stop and think about system backups and just leave tasks to your internal expert.

5. Can you provide written documentation about your computer network?
Are there cloud vendors for email, online storage, hosted line of business applications, etc. that you don’t currently have? What hardware do you own and when do your equipment warranties expire? What are the critical administrator passwords to your systems and devices? How is your computer network structured? What software licenses do you own? You should NEVER allow a single IT person or company keep this information under their full control over your network and company. If they suddenly leave for any reason, this could lead to huge consequences for your company.

6. Do you know what routine maintenance is being done on your network?
If your in-house expert leaves, who will take over? The very idea of keeping track of all the servers, learning about workstations, and peripherals on your network is about as welcome as a black cat crossing your path, but it is important information to maintain.

If you answered “no” to even one of these questions, you’ll then want know about our MANAGED SERVICES PLAN. This ongoing maintenance and monitoring service will keep your computer network up and running by preventing downtime, outages and securing your data from spyware, viruses, loss, hackers and a host of other problems.

The first 7 businesses to respond will receive a FREE Network Security Audit (a $497 Value)! Offer Expires on Halloween, October 31, 2014. Call Us Today: 440.479.9818 or visit worldsynergy.com/NoTricks

Contemporary Concerns: BYOD or COPE

Do Your Employees Use Their Own Devices or Do You Supply Them?

Personal mobile devices have been omnipresent throughout all sectors of business in the 21st century. Because of this, small business owners are increasingly being forced to choose between two basic scenarios for their employees’ devices: Bring Your Own Devices or Corporate-Owned, Personally Enabled.

BYOD (Bring Your Own Devices)
A recent survey by the CDW found that 89 percent of small business employees bring their own devices to the job. This certainly saves money, but it raises the following logistical issue: How can the company support and secure all of these independent devices?

Most of them do not even try to. The same CDW survey also revealed that only one in five businesses have any plans to secure all of their employee’s various devices.

COPE (Corporate Owned, Personally Enabled)
A small number of businesses have recently developed an alternative strategy. The COPE strategy involves business owners purchasing and securing the devices that their employees use. The company then allows employees to customize the devices with the applications that they need to perform their jobs.

This strategy certainly gives the company several advantages. The company owns these devices outright and can limit their employees’ access to apps that fall outside of the company’s interests. However, these devices can be quite costly, especially if they are being purchased one at a time for each employee. If you are going to go the COPE route, it is advisable to find a bulk deal.

Security Concerns
If you are dealing with client information that absolutely must be kept secure, it is best to go the COPE route. It is better for the company to be able to confiscate and secure any devices that an employee may have willfully or inadvertently leaked information through. In this regard, the COPE system is far superior to BYOD.

For more information on this process, contact Joanna Zinna (440) 479-9818

How High is Too High? 5 Tips for Setting and Achieving Your Realistic Marketing Goals

When it comes to setting marketing goals, we all know that we need them. The problem comes, however, with knowing exactly what the goals should be and how high to set them. Here are five tips for setting and achieving your realistic marketing goals.

1. Analyze Your Past Performance.
We suggest you start with a 90 day look back. If you have always fallen short of your goals, set them lower this time. If you have added additional staff or expertise, set them higher. Your past performance is your baseline that you will want to exceed.

2. Evaluate Your Company’s Current Condition.
Are you currently short staffed, overbooked or going through a restructuring? If so, set your goals a bit smaller than usual.

3. Evaluate the Market Conditions.
Your business does not exist in a vacuum. You will also need to evaluate how the market is doing in general. Do your sales have seasonality to them? If so, adjust them for the next 90 days. Accomplishing a goal can be all the motivation your team needs to exceed expectations after the goal is met, but you will need a realistic goal in the beginning to make that happen.

4. Make Your Goals Specific.
It is not enough to merely hope to gain more clients or make more sales. Your goals also have to be specific, measurable and written down if you want to have a chance at making them. For example, you may want to increase your online conversions by five percent or you may want to sell 10,000 widgets. Get specific. We want to increase sales by 10% for product X within the next 90 days.

5. Develop a Plan.
Lastly, you will need a plan. Determine all of the steps you need to take to accomplish your goals, and list them with dates and specific action steps. Be sure to review your analytics weekly to make sure you are moving along on the right track. In most cases, you will need to define how what the micro conversions (white paper downloads, webinar signups) will need to be in order to achieve your macro conversions (leads, sales).

Knowing how to set realistic marketing goals is crucial to your success, but that does not mean that you have to do a perfect job the first time. Use these steps again (wash) and again (repeat) until you have discovered the right tactics and actions that work the best for your individual company.

Let us know if we can help clarify your marketing goals. For more information, contact Glenn Smith (440) 349-4940 x110

Guidelines to Successful Social Media Marketing

Social Media Marketing can sometimes be hard to grasp, especially for business owners getting started. Luckily, this article, “10 Laws of Social Media Marketing,” grasps an understanding of important social media marketing fundamentals, which will start you out on the right track:

1.The Law of Listening.To be successful with social media and content marketing it requires research, listening and engagement to spark conversations that add more purpose to the content.
2.The Law of Focus. Stay focused on a social media marketing strategy, rather than a broad one that will not focus on the intended target.
3.The Law of Quality. As they say, quality trumps quantity.
4.The Law of Patience. It will take time to achieve the results you desire, be patient.
5.The Law of Compounding. If you put time and effort into your plan, by publishing content that is meant for the target audience, they will share it with their own audience and new opportunities may arise.
6.The Law of Influence. Connect with online influencers in your market, who have an established audience that could be interested in what you have to offer.
7.The Law of Value. Create value in what you say online. Make it mean something that will build a foundation of potential customers.
8.The Law of Acknowledgment. Acknowledge every person that reaches out to you. One of the most vital parts of social media marketing is building relationships.
9.The Law of Accessibility. Do not just publish content and walk away, be there and engage with your followers.
10.The Law of Reciprocity. Share content published by others do not just always talk about yourself.

Social Media Marketing takes time and patience. The bottom line is to be engaged and listen to your target audience. To learn what is really important to them.