Sunday, August 21, 2011

From the Mouth of Babes!

Becoming a business owner will and I mean WILL take time away from your family. The most important thing to ease the so-called distance is to make them aware of what you're doing and the positive effect it can have on them. Telling your kids things like Mommy is a little busy because she's trying to make a great future for you or Mommy is busy now so she can spend more time with you later may help ease the pain of being distant at times. There were many of times myself as a mother in which I felt guilty, sad and almost gave up starting my business for the fear of alienating my child, however, as of yesterday all of the feelings changed as I realized my biggest supporter is my child!

My mother always told me the truth comes from the mouth of babes, although my daughter is 13 she's still my babe and I'll take the truth from her just fine! This epiphany of a moment came about as we prepared for her first day of school with the prim and proper check of getting her hair done at Hairtage Studios here in Charlotte, NC. As most women know a trip to the salon is a good couple of hours out of your day spent (wink, wink). Well in our 2nd hour I decided to run out and get my daughter some brunch. Upon my return one of the customers turned to me and said "Um, excuse me, I hear you design websites". My first instinct was who told her, I hardly know anyone here except my daughter and the owner and yes while we had conversations earlier regarding current events, celebrity gossip, relationships and all the things women talk about in a salon, there was never once a mention of my business. So, where is she getting this from??? Her response was your daughter told me! I was like huh, she then went on to say that my daughter told her how I created my own website, own a training company and how I'm co-founder of QC Hustle! I immediately looked over to my daughter who was brimming with pride! She had that look like yeah, Mom I'm shouting you out cause I know you can do it; I'm shouting you out cause I'm proud; I'm shouting you out cause I support you and have your back! Aside from my child telling me she loves me, which at 13 years old is hardly heard these days (womp, womp), this was the most endearing show of support and understanding that I ever experienced. Not only did it show me she got it and she knows what I'm doing, but it showed me I have someone in my corner who is extremely important, who believes in me and wants me to succeed just as much! What more can I ever ask for!

Her spirit has given me a newfound encouragement to succeed. It's true what I've been saying that I'm doing this for us, but now it's really TRUE! I love the fact that my daughter looks up to me and that she sees something in me that I feel but sometimes is unsure of. As we make the sacrifice of time with our children and loved ones just know it's not done in vain and they are watching. It's up to you to make good on what you're saying and you can only do so by trying and succeeding! Trust me from the mouth of babes you will reap the greatest reward!

Wishing You Prosperity,
QC Hustle

Tuesday, July 5, 2011

Happy Independence Day!

As the nation celebrates their independence from the British rule, I ask where is our individual independence? Well Ladies and Gents I have recently found mine. As of last week my freelance contract with a huge technology corporation expired. As I told friends, family and colleagues about my upcoming unemployed status I was met with the usual "oh my god, what are you going to do?" face. What was most puzzling to those concerned was my response, which was "Don't cry for me Argentina", Yes, I got all Evita Peron on my peeps. However, what I was trying to say was I am ALRIGHT!!! No really I'm ALRIGHT and I'm INDEPENDENT.

Being released from my contract was exhilarating to say the least! Most would think I'm suffering from a delusional bohemian syndrome, but I'm not. Actually I was suffering through a stressful, 9-5, micro managing, checking into the Quarry situation. Every Monday I damm near wanted to cry and every Friday I was happier than a fat kid who loves cake :). As I reviewed my situation a sense of excitement overwhelmed me. I can now take the time to focus wholeheartedly on my business and focus on the following:

Instead of marketing myself for that next interview, how about I market my business for that next deal.
Instead of creating a product for someone else, how about I focus on creating products for my company.
Instead of strategizing for someone else, how about I strategize my own business needs.
Instead of revamping someone else's website, how about I revamp my own.

This free time has given me a sense of independence in which I can focus and execute my dream. There's no job holding me back; the only thing that can hold me back is ME and right now I have so much excitement in me that I doubt that's going to happen :). Now folks please don't think I'm saying it's all good to be laid off but what I am saying is be useful with your time. While searching for that guaranteed income still focus on what's dear to you. Heck, you never know guaranteed income could be staring right at you, all you need to do is stare back and give it some attention.

Wishing You Prosperity,
QC Hustle

Monday, June 27, 2011

It's All About the Words! Ad Words that is!

The most fascinating aspect of the internet aside from social networking, celebrity scoop or emailing is the ability to reach millions and millions of people. On average there are 184,000,000 clicks per minute on the Internet, pretty impressive! However what's not impressive is if not one of those clicks makes it to your website!

One of the first "must" when starting a business is establishing an online presence, it's basically rule number #1 along with a phone number. The sad thing is as we drain ourselves designing our site or hiring a contractor to do it for us, we ultimately may end up leaving this beautiful well crafted site in Internet Hell, a place where nobody goes! While we may be savvy with our business in terms of product and specialty it is unfortunate to say but many of us aren't sales people and with that being said how do you emerge your site to become one of the 184,000,000 clicks per minute?

Search Engine Optimization (SEO) is a term that has been frequently used in conjunction with internet advertising. Depending on your market, hiring a SEO strategist can be rewarding as well as costly. An aspect of SEO is the use of Ad Words. Both Google and Bing offer the ability to create ad words for your company, if done properly your site can appear on the first page of a search result.

Here's a quick course on using Ad Words, however it is strongly recommended to view Google and Bing's Ad Words site to develop an acute understanding of how this affordable yet powerful advertising mechanism operates.

1) Create an Ad Campaign - An Ad Campaign is a brief no more than 3 lines, 5 words minimum each line describing your business, promotion, sale, etc. For example:
Customized Flavored Cupcakes
Dozen Cupcakes for $5.99
Buy now at

2) Landing Page - When advertising using ad words also known as keywords, make sure whatever you're talking about you send the consumer to the right page. For example the above scenario indicating cupcakes for $5.99, in this case when the customer clicks on they should "land" on the page that has the cupcakes that are $5.99 a dozen. In this scenario a customer should not land on the home page; nothing frustrates a customer than an irrelevant page popping up.

3) Negative Words - And no this doesn't mean cursing :). Using the cupcake scenario, let's say you want to ensure that your site isn't misinterpreted for a cooking class, then you may want to add "cooking class" as negative words. This will help reduce unnecessary clicks to your site which can result in accruing higher costs leading to lost fees.

4) Tracking - Both Google and Bing offer excellent reporting on how your ads are performing. Both providers recommend running several Ad campaigns and through reporting determine which combination is a proven success.

Creating internet Ad campaigns is quite the trial process. There's lots of potential to be part of the "click" and easy enough to be left out. The important thing is to keep on it. The goal here is to use the internet to leverage your business sales; this can be done by positioning your company using ad words to the Internet forefront and have your site become part of the 184 million click happy world.

Wishin you Prosperity
QC Hustle

Note: Bing and Google are mentioned for informational purposes and example of search providers. QC Hustle does not endorse any product or manufacturer.

Sunday, June 12, 2011

Priority Status

For many of us starting and running a business requires an immense amount of sweat equity and sacrifice. I wish I could say to everyone who's starting a business that it's a piece of cake. Many of us know running a business is no piece of cake as a matter of fact if you get some frosting in your first year consider yourself lucky. One of the most important elements of being a successful entrepreneur is selfishness. Ultimately to run your business at least in the first year you will have to be selfish with your time, priorities and commitments. When you look at these elements it seems similar to being a parent and in actuality it is, your business will become your baby. This is not to say that us parents will stop raising our kids; it means that if you're in it, try all that you can and know there's no turning back!

Setting goals is essential, however, prioritizing the tasks that will enable you to accomplish those goals is equally important. There will be times that you'll be required to cancel on social gatherings, miss important family events, even apologize to those who think you're being non-supportive, ultimately they will be lots of "I don't see you as much" and honestly that's going to have to be OK. Many of us have to realize that if we have true friends/family members who are supportive of our aspirations they won't get offended. On the other hand we too have a responsibility to ensure the actions of others do not deter us or overwhelm us with worry. I know this sounds harsh but this is the one time in our lives where we can't apologize for making our business a priority. This is not to mean to sacrifice your family but it means to improve your family! It is also means holding yourself accountable. Recently I purchased a mug that stated Do or Do Not, try is not option ~ Yoda. Yep, I’m quoting the fictional Star Wars character Yoda and some may think I’m going off the deep end ☺. When looking at this quote it makes it all seem simple, either you do what you got to do or you don't. If you're just trying then that's all it is a try out and like any other try out, you could be cut!

Just remember when starting a business do not be afraid to make it a PRIORITY to COMMIT!! Without these two attributes you'll be in tryout stage for the duration of your so-called business.

Wishing You Prosperity,
QC Hustle

Sunday, June 5, 2011

Holla - Building up the 1-800 Calling Experience

Sometime ago QC Hustle published an article titled Look at You and Your Fancy Business which outlined the importance of having a physical business presence. Having a physical presence serves a dual purpose in 1) your clients may take you a little more seriously and 2) you're not giving out your personal home information. As vital as this prescence may seem, the actual presence of contacting a business on a national level is as equally important.

Many of us who are starting a business may use our home phone or cellular number, unfortunately being contacted in this fashion is quite a drawback. For one you could rack up on some pretty expensive cellular minutes and 2) your personal time at home could be compromised as well as you can really damage your business credibility especially when your cute 3 year old picks up the phone and gaga googos thru a hello. The answer to these business perils is securing a business phone number.

Business phone numbers can be achieved through your local phone or cable company. While these are accessible options they at times can be somewhat inflexible and expensive. More recently a couple of virtual providers have emerged that can aid in giving your business that national contact clout through the use of 1-800 numbers. When looking for a virtual phone number provider the following should be considered.

1) If you're starting out small meaning you don't have lots of customers then look for the cheapest plan. The most important aspect when starting small is getting some visible presence. A 1-800 number regardless of the means will give you that.

2) Look for 24x7 support. Make sure before you sign up via their web form that you call the company and see how quick support is given. Remember your phone number is your NCC (National Contact Clout) and should be treated as vital as your business product/service.

3) Try to find a phone service that connects to your mobile phone or existing service. Google Voice is actually a great alternative in which you can secure a local number to your cell phone which then can be forwarded from a 1-800 service.

Most providers will provide a leased phone number and a trial period. The following are standards that are included with most services: multiple extensions, voice mail, call forwarding and transcribing messages to text. Rates usually beginning around $9.99 a month plus additional fees per minute per incoming calls. The crew here at QC Hustle did a little research and have come up with a couple of providers that have caught our attention.*

1) eVoice - Plans start at $12.95 and include, Auto Attendant features, Conference Calling, Music on Hold, and Dial by Name Directory options.

2) - This service is a bit different from the others in which you can own your number. This serves a host of advantages in which you can 1) always keep your number and 2) change to another service but keep your existing phone number. Other services provide you with a leased phone number. If you cancel that service you will lose that number. With the number is yours forever. However, there are some exceptions 1) there's a one time $49.99 activation fee and minutes are charged by .05 cents a minute per incoming call and 2) there's a $9.99 monthly Maintenance and Recovery Fee. This particular plan is limited in terms of voice mail and some other standard features. You can also look at the unlimited minute plan which is $49.99 a month and includes a host of features.

3) Callture - Offers forwarding to Skype at 2.8 cents a minute, Memo on call - allows you to record notes after a call, After hours mode, Click to call - allows calling from your website, Voice Studio - enables a professional voice talent for greeting, music on hold and dial name by directory plus a host of other features.

4) - Includes all of the features listed from the above providers plus, Do Not Disturb - your phone will not ring for that specified time, Schedules - set employee schedules meaning designate when the phone will ring to them, Call Tagging - say Sales and your customer will be directed to the person(s) in your company who handles sales, Block Surcharged calls - these are calls made from a pay phone in Canada and 911 service.

The decision in choosing a provider is not easy and should be determined based on your needs and later on down the road your wants. The most important thing is start researching which vehicle would be a best fit for your business. Regardless of what you do you can't go wrong!

Wishing You Prosperity,
QC Hustle

*QC Hustle does not endorse any of the products mentioned. Products are mentioned solely for informational purposes.

Tuesday, May 17, 2011

Show Me the Money!

Ah the allure of starting your own business usually means being your own boss, setting your own hours, waking up when you want to, blah, blah, blah, but one of the best perks of being a business owner is MONEY!! Yep the almighty dollar. We want to make money, yes our passion is a driving factor but the reward of MONEY will definitely drive many of us to propel our business. However as much as we want money some of us aren't quite sure how to make it. Basically some of us are not sure on how to make a profit and what it takes to charge our clients while remaining competitive.

When it comes to business, pricing is everything. You can have a fantastic business model, a great website, a niche market everything and anything that can help your business succeed, however none of that will matter if you're not savvy at how you should be selling/pricing your products and or services. Unfortunately there isn't a concrete formula on how you should be pricing your goods, however there are some suggestions that perhaps can lead you in a suitable direction.

1) Production Pricing - Don't just look at what it cost to produce a product but also consider the behind scenes that comes with this product. For example, operational expenses, the time you took to create the product, how much should you pay yourself for creating the product, licenses, taxes. All these items should be taken into consideration when pricing your product, don't rely on the typical 20% overhead as your pricing, you may have more or less to consider. You want to be fair to your customers but you also want to be fair to yourself!

2) How Low Can You Go? - This where researching your competitors comes in, whatever you do try to stay on par with your industry. Our instinct tells us to compete with money we should go lower to get the business. However there are some drawbacks in doing this: 1) You can cheapen your industry, which wouldn't be fair for anyone and 2) Some clients may believe if you're charging too cheap you may not have much to offer. Think of this way, would you rather shop at Marshall's or Neiman Marcus? The other issue with going too low is your customers become accustomed to low prices and in the event that you have to raise prices they may view it as an insult and go elsewhere.

3) Rely On Your Service - These days with automatic everything from customer reps to tellers, putting a price on service is hard but it can be done. You may not have the best product in the world, let's face it you're a small business, competing with Wal Mart wouldn't make any sense. Yet you can still compete by offering niche services, being attentive and keeping your customers informed, essentially service the heck out of whatever you do. You'll find that in this penny pinching economy service is one commodity that is still valued and is actually top dollar!

For more tips on pricing check out this article and video from the Wall
Street Journal
which offers some real life mistakes/perspectives on pricing.

Note: QC Hustle does not endorse or advertise any products mentioned in this article. Article is solely for informational purposes.

Wishing you Prosperity,
QC Hustle

Monday, May 9, 2011

The Mommy Factor

This Mother's Day edition of QC Hustle is dedicated to all the mothers who work hard in their everyday job of parenting but also for those who dream big and want to succeed success for their future babies (descendants).

Any mother would tell you starting a business ain't easy, no ifs or buts about it! Starting a business takes diligence, creativity and support. Sometimes when you're the mother you're the supporter of your family and you wonder who's there to support you! When I look at my family and the demands I have as a mother, wife and business woman there is no doubt that feelings of being overwhelm at times appear. I learned to combat some of these feelings and still work at pursuing my dream by ensuring the following:

1) Don't Drive Myself Crazy - Having a "drive" is great but not when it runs you over. If you're feeling overwhelm chances are you are overwhelmed! Breathe, take it easy and know there's always tomorrow and the day after but today is your current and live in the moment. At times the moment may be to just chill.

2) The Tug of War - My daughter wants me to hang with her, my husband wants me to watch a game with him, everybody wants me but I don't want any of them, ( I know that sounds mean) but sadly for many of us at certain times especially when our creative mojo is going at full force this is exactly how we feel, what's a gal to do? First of all set some parameters but more importantly communicate with your family regarding your dreams, demonstrate it, keep them abreast. Basically get them in the moment. At times they'll understand and sometimes they won't but they'll never take it personally because they'll know they too are a part of your dream and sometimes that's all they want.

3) Be Your Own Boss - Take advantage of being an entrepreneur, control your schedule. If you have a PTA meeting then don't schedule a business meeting at the same time. Easier said than done, I know, but the fact is it can be done. Let's face it we all go into business so we can control and fulfill our lives, this should not only be in a profitable sense but a life worthy sense as well. Basically you are the Boss so do you and manage your destiny and time.

At the end of day a working mother and a business woman are all the same thing; we never rest and we are always creative whether its with our business or family. The best part is we can make it happen :)

For more information on how to be a productive business mom check out these few tips from Working Mother magazine.

Wishing you Prosperity,
QC Hustle

Tuesday, May 3, 2011

Using Social Media Optimization (SMO) to Increase Your Business Prescence

The term social media is relatively new considering Facebook the mammoth of social media just took off around five years ago. Yet this evolving technology has morphed, dominated and made us so dependent on information that we cannot live without it. Aside from social media plaguing our daily lives, it has also leveraged many smalll businesses to compete with the "big boys"! One advantage a small business owner has is the ability to be personable. We do not have directors, managers, sales people, for the most part when we start out we are all this and then some! With this being said a customer will know when we're conveying a message it will be from the heart and not from an employee meeting a goal. So, how do you use Social Media to promote your brand, gain loyalty and let your customers know the real you?!?! Some of our QC Hustlers have provided suggestions on various Social Media avenues that can possibly help you in getting your word out!

1) Create, Release and Don't Stop - If you haven't done so already create a page for your business on Facebook, Twitter and Linked In for starters. When doing so use the same bio and profile for each, this lends to consistency and stability for your brand. The main exercise with social media is keeping up on it. Post every day, don't be ashamed if you post more than once. Chances are your customers are on more than once. The more you post the higher of a feed your status will become. Note: Facebook has a link which allows you to post your exact Facebook post to Twitter, a great time saving feature!

2) Social Media Bookmarking - While Facebook and Twitter are great, there are some of us who want all our information in a consolidated place. Delicious, or Stumble Upon? provide the capability of creating traveling bookmarks with up to date information. This way your customer doesn't have to go to Facebook to see what you're talking about, with anyone of these bookmarking sites they can "bookmark" you and see all your post regardless of the social media being used.

3) Start a Conversation - The word "social" means the interaction of the individual and the group, so why not get social?!?! Ask a question on your post, solicit opinions or survey your customers. Chances are if a potential customer likes what you have to say or hate it, they will still remember you, which in all cases is a good thing! SideNote, check out Quora a website designed to help you build online questions or SurveyMonkey for building online surveys.

4) Show Your S&P (Smarts and Passion) - You may not be on the Fortune 500 list today (mind you I'm saying today, you WILL be there one day!), but this doesn't mean you don't know your stuff. Show your smarts and passion for your industry, post trade articles, videos, upcoming news. Remember social networking is about keeping in touch and keeping your customers in the loop! Just imagine the combination you're offering of being affordable, personable and brilliant within your field!

5) RSS Feeds - I'm sure many of us have heard the term RSS Feeds and like me it sometimes seems to complicated and not friendly at all. Well contrair mon frie (sp) trying to be French for a minute :) RSS Feeds are a good thing, it allows your readers to get information directly from their Outlook or other email services. Check out your website parameters on creating an RSS Feed link.

6)Freebies and Rewards - Just like when you're hanging out with a friend and treat him/her to a cup of coffee, why not treat your customers. Depending on your business you can offer discounts or referrals on your Social Media page. You can also create triva games by using a virtual prize reward system like Badgeville, which allows your customers to answer questions and then reward them with badges. You can determine the hierachy of a badge and let them work their way up in points which ultimately can reward them a gift for their winnings.

Lastly Social Media Optimization (SMO) is a term you should get use to, almost like the web buzz word of Search Engine Optmization (SEO), honestly without the two you don't stand a chance in the world wide web.

For those of you who are still unsure about Social Media and possibly afraid of the privacy backlash take a look at some big companies who have used this mechanism and the awareness they have gained from it.

Au revoir my fellow QC Hustlers, look forward to socializing and seeing your business on Facebook, Twitter, etc.

Note: QC Hustle does not endorse any of the products listed. Our articles are for informational purposes only.

Monday, April 25, 2011

The Goody Bag – Affordable and Free Software to Help You Manage Your Business!

One of the best aspects of being a sole proprietor is the innate ability to really watch those pennies, with that being said take a look at some really useful affordable software QC Hustle has found for you!

• Busy, Busy, Busy and you have 5 calendars to help stay focus. One can only imagine with 5 calendars they’ll be a slip up somewhere, if this is you, then check out This nifty FREE software is a scheduling application that allows you to sync with your calendars. Never double book or miss an appointment ever again! starts off as a free service but also includes a Premium personalization package staring at $4.99 monthly.

• Help I Need Somebody (in harmony with The Beetles)! – Owning a business and doing it solo at least at the beginning can be daunting and exhausting. Let’s admit it, some us give “keeping track” a whole new meaning! Reduce the stress and clutter that comes with managing a business by using HighRise a CRM (Contact Relationship Management) application. According to the Washington Post, “HighRise is like a having secretary with the exception of getting coffee and picking up dry cleaning”. SideNote: For all you secretaries out there starting a business this comment alone should incite you :)

• If you’re like me putting every thought you have either on a post it or in my case my trending little organizer then like me you might be in some trouble. I can’t tell you the countless times I wrote something down and a week later I have no idea why, I could say like Jamie and “Blame it on the Goose”, but I’ll just keep it real and fess up to real issue, disorganization and unfocused. Well, to my surprise, guess what, there’s an app for that! Omnifocus is a new software that serves as a personal task manager to quickly capture your thoughts and allow you to store, manage, and process them into actionable to-do items. Omnifocus synchs with the iPhone and iPad.

• It’s all about Social Networking these days. If your business is not on Facebook or Twitter then you’re not using one of the most popular advertising channels of our current day. One of the issues with having your business on these sites is monitoring. Companies are starting to hire Social Media Strategist to read comments, bad, good or indifferent and work hard at keeping a company in good customer standing. All this may be cool for GE or Microsoft but what about the QC Hustler, we don’t have that ability or resource to track all this. Well like everything else there’s an app for that. Check out Batchbook a social CRM built for small businesses and entrepreneurs. With Batchbook you can get a holistic feed of your Social Networking sites, who needs a Social Media Strategist afterall?!?!

QC Hustle does not endorse the businesses mentioned in this article. The businesses mentioned are for informational purposes only.

Wishing You Prosperity,
QC Hustlle

Sunday, April 17, 2011

Facing the FEAR Element

Everyday I wake up with the passion of starting my own business. I fantasize about being interviewed by Oprah regarding my humble beginnings, which will be turned into a prosperous venture. I dream about my descendants talking about how fortunate they are cause of me their great grandmother. I DREAM! Yet with all this dreaming I am SCARED! Yes, that’s right scared!! What if I fail? What if I’m not good enough to venture out in this field? What if others are better than me? Will my family think I’m living a pipe dream? How do I deal with haters? Are the haters right? Yes my fellow sistahs seeking success I the one who preaches “Just Do it”, gives advice on how to do it, is one chicken shizzit when it comes to fulfilling her dream.

I’ve come to learn this fear that I have and that many of us share is not really fear at all. It’s passion; it’s love and concern for something we really want to succeed. Yes there will be those who doubt me, there will be those in my industry far successful than me, and yes some of my family members will think I’m full of it; but what really matters is not what anyone thinks including me but it’s what I do to turn this fear into an energizing factor that will propel me to success!

As I examine the shameful feeling of fear, I’ve taught myself that fear is just the unknown. An unknown that shouldn’t control me. What needs to control me is the faith I should have in myself. With this being said I’ve developed a mantra whenever I feel the dreaded fear trying to take over. Every time fear approaches I think of it as Faith Evolving Action into Reality! The Faith I have in myself will be an Evolving Action that will convert into the Reality I’m seeking!

For those of you who are pursuing your dream don’t let unknown fear take over you! Remember you can control your reality the way you can control your thoughts. Whenever “fear” begins to creep in just think of it as your ammunition to move forward and be strong my fellow entrepreneurs, fear comes in many forms, the important thing is turn that fear into faith and defy the unknown!

Wednesday, March 23, 2011

The Name is Bond, James Bond….

It may be just me and my corny self but every time I find a new feature on my Blackberry I am utterly amazed. The convenience, size and magnitude of what this little device can do at times leaves me speechless. It's like when I was a kid and I'm probably dating myself here, but when I was younger and a new James Bond movie came out, we would run to theaters not to just see how Bond got out of whatever evil mess he got into, but to see on the live screen the gadgets that got him out of that mess! Like the exploding pen or the sun glasses with the video camera. All these gadgets to a child of the 70's seemed like an elusive fantasy. Yet with the advent of technology and all its recent innovation the fantasy has come to life at least in the world of Smartphones!

Smartphones like a James Bond movie gadget can do just about everything and anything we can think of with the exception of a blowing up a car, I'm sure they'll be an app for that pretty soon J. But lets' think about it for a minute, can a small business entrepreneur run a business without a Smartphone? Instead of letting you ponder, I'll just let the cat out the bag and give you a big NO!!! Having a Smartphone whether it's an Android, Blackberry, iPhone, etc. is essential to any small business. These gadgets have become your mobile office, from, emailing, contacts, sending documents, serving as a receptionist and oh yeah making phone calls, without a Smartphone you'll basically be out of touch.

According to Devon & Associates, our small business financial consultants, the most successful tip in sustaining a small business is to be cognizant of your overhead. Unlike huge corporations with shareholders, small businesses have to rely on every little penny, which means you have to make those pennies, translating into being proactive with your customers. Smartphones allow you to conduct this very facet whether in or out of the office. Using your mobile device you can keep in touch with your employees and customers; respond to inquiries, diffuse and intercept certain situations, plus countless other things that I haven't even found on my gadget J. The point is without a Smartphone you will be somewhat ineffective in running your small business.

One of the biggest issues with obtaining one of these most needed devices is cost. I will not fool you the days of a monthly $20 cell phone bill are all but gone. You will be spending a pretty penny, depending on the carrier somewhere in the range of $75-$150 a month. But when you average the cost which you should be considering an investment versus the productivity you'll be achieving, you'll actually think you've gotten a steal. QC Hustle in no way endorses a carrier or phone type. However, we do encourage that you take the time look for a carrier and a phone that meets your needs and your budget.

Lastly another tip, when you have a Smartphone make sure you keep it charged. I know this probably sounds like your mom talking to you,- but it's true. Make a conscientious effort to have your "mobile office" functioning at all times. My tip buy several chargers, one for the car, one for the office, one for home and one in case you lose all three J Chargers normally run anywhere between $25-$40, if you want to save some money but one at a time or shop e-bay for a compatible charger.

Running a business is certainly not easy, it takes time and commitment. Thankfully we can all act like James Bond or in our case Jane Bond and use these nifty gadgets to get us out of trouble, in trouble or just some good business trouble J

Wishing you Prosperity,
QC Hustle

Monday, February 7, 2011

Back That Thing Up!

Courtesy of Melanie Gregory from

Work combined with effort and creativity are the things magic is made of. Unlike magic we don't want these things to disappear, that's why backing up your data should be one of the most essential things you ever do when it comes to running your business. I know first hand how beneficial backing up can be. For years I was somewhat negligent in the exercising of preserving my data. Recently I took the plunge and backed up my website and good thing I did. A week later I couldn't access my website files and my all essential backup was my savior J

Backing up your data can be as easy as using a flash drive or an external hard drive. In my case I had purchased a 500 gigabyte Western Digital hard drive a few months ago and finally decided to copy of all my files to this drive. It was easy as 123, just plugged in the USB cable, selected my files and selected copy and paste. As a confirming precaution I checked the files correctly copied, even opened a few to verify and I was done! My way of backing up is probably considered the easiest, but sometimes not considered the best. Huh, you say, well let's talk about computers, hard drives, flash drives, etc. All of these peripherals run the risk of becoming corrupted and damaged, if so, I'm sure you've guessed it, your data will disappear like a Magic trick, except it won't be as entertaining.

By now you may have heard of the term "Cloud computing", this term refers to virtually operating your business on the internet. It also refers to backing up your files online. There are two benefits from doing this:

  1. Your files are safely secured on a virtual server, meaning you'll never have to worry about losing them. In the event the company goes belly up you will be notified prior to and have the ability to move your files elsewhere.
  2. You can access your files from anywhere as long as you have an internet connection, even from a smartphone (iPhone, Blackberry, Android, etc.). This option also allows you to easily collaborate with employees or deliver a knockout sales presentation right on the spot!

In my research of virtual back up systems I've come across a few services that may be of interest to you.

  • Dropbox – This service creates a folder on your computer that allows you to copy all of your data to this folder. Once the data is copied to this folder it is automatically sent to the online service. You can access these files by visiting, accessing your account and presto it's all there! Dropbox offers two gigabytes of storage free space. If you need more space you can purchase 50 gigabytes for $10 a month or 100 gigabytes for $20 a month.
  • SugarSync – Similar to Dropbox this service lets you add data/documents to a folder and synch up to SugarSync. One great feature that differentiates this service from the others is "Magic Briefcase". The briefcase feature enables synching data across devices. Access SugarSync through; the average costs is $5 a month for 30 gigabytes of storage and up to $40 a month for 500 gigabytes of storage.
  • ZumoDrive – This service is ideal for accessing music and photos via mobile devices (i.e., iPhone, Blackberry, etc.) as well as post these files to blogs or social networking sites such as Twitter. Similar to the other services you can copy your data to a Zumo folder and synch up to the website. Access ZumoDrive through ZumoDrive offers 2 gigabytes of storage for free as well as additional storage plans ranging from $2.99 - $79.99 whereas you can obtain 10 to 500 gigabytes of storage.

In conclusion regardless of what method you choose, you should at the very least choose. While we love our laptops, PCs or Macs we must remember they are just machines, it's what you put into it that counts. With that in mind always secure your work, preserve your ideas and back that thang up!!!

Note: Article is solely for informational purposes only. QC Hustle or does not in any way represent, advertise or recommend these services.