Emerald Business Systems Blog

How to Drive More Customers to Your Local Business With Social Geotagging

Do you run a local business? Maybe a restaurant, coffee shop or retail outlet? Do you want a fun way to encourage repeat traffic to your business? Does the idea of your customers talking about your business to all their friends sound interesting? If so, you need to pay attention to Foursquare and Geotagging.

What is Geotagging?

Simply put, geotagging is the process of attaching geographical data longitude and latitude to photographs, videos, websites, status updates and even emails. This geotagged data shows where the photos, videos, etc., were created or modified.

via How to Drive More Customers to Your Local Business With Social Geotagging | Social Media Examiner.


How Credit Card Payment Processing Works

Posted in Bars and Taverns,General Business,PCI,POS,Restaurant,Retail by ebs4pos on March 12, 2010

Credit cards have become so popular today as a means of payment that they are accepted by almost every merchant that exists today. With the credit card being so popular, there have been a lot of banks that issue credit cards of either own and most of the credit cards that exist today make use of either Visa or MasterCard. However, even though there are various credit cards that can be found these days, all of them actually work in the same way.To start a payment process that uses a credit card, a merchant should first calculate the total amount of items that a buyer is purchasing. Then, after the merchant has received the credit card from the buyer, he or she will then swipe the card by passing it through an insertion line in a point-of-sale unit that has been designed especially for credit cards. At this point of time, it is necessary to determine the total amount to cut off the credit card in use.There are usually 2 ways of determining this total amount. The first way is that the merchant enters the amount manually by typing it into the point-of-sale machine. Another way is to transmit the amount digitally by means of transmission from the cash register. Either way it will usually work just fine since they are basically used for the same purpose.After this process has been completed, the merchant then sends the transaction and credit card details to the acquiring bank of the credit card. This bank then forwards the information to the issuing bank of the card. The issuing bank will then check whether or not there are sufficient funds for payment. If not, transaction is rejected. Otherwise, the issuing bank will generate and send back the authorization code so that payment can be made. Then, the acquiring bank forwards the authorization code to the merchant’s point-of-sale machine.After all the above processes have been completed, a proof of purchase by means of a credit card will be printed. Then the payment process is thoroughly done.

via How Credit Card Payment Processing Works – American Banking News.

Ten Keys to Negotiating Your Restaurant Lease

Posted in Bars and Taverns,General Business,Restaurant,Retail by ebs4pos on March 9, 2010

For the most part, restaurant owners lease their property, at least when starting out and often permanently. As such, negotiating a lease can be a stressful experience. To reduce some of that stress, we’ve put together the following Ten Keys To Negotiating Your Restaurant Lease.

via Ten Keys to Negotiating Your Restaurant Lease.

Scoble, Secretariat and Mister Ed | Business is Personal

Posted in General Business,Online Business,Restaurant,Social Media Marketing by ebs4pos on March 7, 2010

A while back, Robert Scoble wrote a terrific post on Scobleizer about the worst things that startups do.I suggest you hop over there and check it out even if you aren’t in the technology business. When you’re done, come back so we can apply Robert’s comments to your not-a-startup small business. Psst…While you’re over there, I suggest you subscribe to his blog, even if you aren’t in the tech world. You’ll be glad you did.Now that you’re back, let’s look a little closer at Robert’s list because it isnt just startups that make these mistakes. Here’s a small business angle on his list of mistakes:

via Scoble, Secretariat and Mister Ed | Business is Personal.

Social Media Posting problems

Used to be, workplace gossip and tales of weekend carousing were shared at the water cooler, in the break room or over beers after work.

Now, through the miracle of the Internet, such news can be posted on sites such as Twitter, MySpace and Facebook and shared instantly with friends, virtual and otherwise, along with the rest of the world.

This brave new world is raising a host of concerns for employers, who want to tap into the power of social media to connect with customers and clients, but who can’t always control how it is used and what is said.

The lines between personal and professional are easily blurred with social media, prompting some organizations to adopt policies providing guidance on how and when employees post status updates or tweet their friends— or in some cases, banning social media sites outright in the workplace.

via Business: Home | “Posting problems” | The Register-Guard | Eugene, Oregon.

Create a policy for social media

Question: I am concerned about potential problems for my business from use by my employees of social media such as Facebook and My-Space. What should I do?

Answer: The key step for a business is to avoid leaving a vacuum. Adopt a social media policy, tell employees what it is and enforce it fairly and uniformly. The policy must cover two aspects of social media: potentially damaging personal use and the business uses of social media.On the personal use side, you want to address five core concerns: 1 personal responsibility, 2 possible confusion of personal comments with company positions, 3 compliance with other company policies, 4 protection of the company, its employees and customers and 5 interference with job performance.

via Business: Home | “Create a policy for social media” | The Register-Guard | Eugene, Oregon.

Profit Margins – Project Management Awareness Needed | MyProjectTracker – The Blog

Posted in General Business,POS by ebs4pos on March 6, 2010

“A profit margin on my project? – sure I got paid, isn’t that all that matters.” — End quote.

I’ve heard this four times in as many days and it is the theme tune of many small and not-so-small enterprises who are grateful for having cash flow. Big, big mistake. I call it Profit Margin Shame (PMS – what did you think I was talking about?)

When people (outside of big business) are asked about profit margins the reaction can be one of embarassment on the part of the business person. It is considered to be politically incorrect to even recognise the possibility that your company is making a profit and by inference a margin on every sale that you make.

Why is this? Margins are key to every businesses survival . Margins enable your business to grow and to continue to give your customers the quality of service that you aspire to deliver.

I would much rather know that a business I was dealing with was doing well as it instills a confidence on two fronts;

* the rather obvious “well at least they are going to stay in business while they are doing my job”

* but also the rather less obvious ” they are making money so therefore they have provided good service to their previous customer”.

Many believe that if a customer is aware of the fact that they make money/profit, that the customer will squeeze them on their delivery costs.

Really? Will they do that too much? Sure – they will haggle because that’s what is expected, but most customers are happy with value and will not contest a bill if they believe that they are getting this.

The trick for margins is to make sure that you deliver value and this is factored into your price.

How many times have you “covered your costs” to win the business (including your own time)?

More importantly, how many times have you not actually figured out how much it is going to cost you to do a job and just gone with the flow – this absence of margin calculation is a common theme amongst small enterprises in particular.

If you had considered a margin, how would your business have improved? How would your customer have benefited? What new concepts could you have researched and developed….? Oh, and how will you stay in business?

Margins – you need them!

via Profit Margins – Project Management Awareness Needed | MyProjectTracker – The Blog.

10 Things You Can Do to Make Your Online Business Money | Small Business Trends

How’s the first quarter of 2010 — and the rest of the year — looking for you and your business?

Are you primed and ready to make money this year?

Have you put a plan in place to promote your business and maximize your success?

Here are ten quick, easy-to-implement things you can do that will guarantee your online business will be making you money this year:

Write down your personal affirmation for the month and the year.

The goal here is to help you step back from the hustle and bustle and stay focused on what’s important to you.

Get your story, idea, product, or service announcement out into the marketplace seven different ways, all at once.

Choose from these options to make a powerful impact:

via 10 Things You Can Do to Make Your Online Business Money | Small Business Trends.

Do You Know Your Customers Enough to be a Social Media Hit | Guest Posts | Social Media Consulting – Convince & Convert

Posted in General Business,Online Business,Social Media Marketing by ebs4pos on February 27, 2010

Being relevant to customers isn’t about just using their first name in an email. True relevance grows from a deep understanding of what motivates your customers, and ensuring that every contact they have with your organization shows to what degree your company values their reasons for choosing you. That deep respect for what drives your customers and prospects can’t be faked, either – you either live it or you don’t, and they can tell the difference.

The best example I’ve ever seen of this is from a company called ThinkGeek, which prides itself on carrying the most robust collection of unique, thought-provoking products with the biggest nerd appeal on the planet. They have 3 million unique visitors and 35 million page views every month.

ThinkGeek has a robust involvement in social media, with over 68,000 followers on Twitter, 50,000 fans on Facebook and over 11,000 subscribers to their channel on YouTube, which features company-posted videos demonstrating items like their proximity-meter t-shirts and fake-blood-filled, realistically gummy heart for Valentine’s Day.

They are successful because they unabashedly have the same interests as their customers, and they are incredibly consistent across all outposts. Here’s what they’re doing right:

via Do You Know Your Customers Enough to be a Social Media Hit | Guest Posts | Social Media Consulting – Convince & Convert.

How To Get More From Google Alerts

Posted in Bars and Taverns,General Business,Restaurant,Retail,Social Media Marketing by ebs4pos on February 20, 2010

As a small business owner, I prefer simple tools. I like having one tool that I can push to the limits over a slew of them that I have to manage. It makes my life a little easier and m processes more streamlined. Which is why I’m a huge fan of using Google Alerts.You’re probably already very familiar with Google Alerts. Google lets you set up as many Alerts as you’d like on as many different topics as you’d like. You tell them what to track, what kinds of content to track News, Blogs, Video, Groups, or Comprehensive , how often you want it and they’ll create you a list every day and send it to you via email or RSS. Google Alerts have always been a super easy way to track brand mentions and listen in to conversations, but that’s not all they can be used for. I thought I’d break down a few of my favorite ways to use Google Alerts and see if maybe some of them could help you as well.Here are six ways I use Google Alerts.

via How To Get More From Google Alerts | Small Business Trends.

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