Final Assignment – Adam Mickelsen

To Mr. and Mrs. Smith,

So Johnny has brought to my attention that he has asked if you would be willing to consider establishing a bigger presence online for your store, but that you have some concerns and are wary of how technology would help your business, much less trying to maintain it constantly.

Let me start by saying that I know it’s a daunting concept to put your business out there on the Internet not sure of what might happen or whether or not it would even work, but I can also say beyond a shadow of a doubt that it worth the risk because if done correctly you could improve on your existing customer loyalty, and gain some word of mouth which would lead to new customers not just locally but maybe even state or nationwide.

As an example of this I would like to show you what my business plan would be to help you advertise your business on various social networking services, bear in mind these are all simply ideas:

Facebook: This would be the start of the framework, as I would make a lot of the other services I would suggest all feature here for all your customers and potential followers to see. Here you could focus on customer loyalty being your company has been around for a long time with a great deal of history. Wouldn’t it be fun to share some of the stories you remember of your customers while also getting to see their point of view?

This would be the focus as loyal customers would immediately wish to friend you just to see if maybe you have some kind of anniversary or seasonal sale that they can capitalize on and therefore get the chance to come visit you again. Or you could possibly even reward their loyalty as a customer not just through a gift card or something like that, but by asking via facebook what are your best moments in life that we have been able to help you enjoy like say a wedding and then ask them to share the story via a kind of contest and the best story gets some kind of coupon or one free repair job.

Twitter: Twitter would be a great way to focus in on gaining new customers, and being most buyers these days like their sales pitch to be “short, sweet, and to the point” this would also be a great service to test out new slogans and catchphrases which could be broadcast out via twitter. This would also be a great venue to advertise a sale in the store on this day this could potentially get new customers to check out your store, where you can also pamper them a bit by saying since they found out about you on twitter they get a coupon for say 10% off on their first purchase.

Now just as this could work locally you could also do this concept online where you could broadcast that on Valentine’s Day were selling unique custom-made diamond earrings but only over the internet. This would work in two ways for you first it lets the niche market of custom jewelry fans out there that you do that as well, and second it’s a great way to test out new custom designs for jewelry to see how popular they would be. Heck you could probably start with just 5 of them and see how they sell if they don’t it’s not a horrible loss, but if they sell out then you can provide them again say with only 10 available.

Pinterest: This is the place I would do a lot of the online advertising I was talking about with twitter and would definitely emphasize your custom-made items. There is a niche market for these kinds of objects especially if you’re willing to accept ideas of what a customer may want, so for example if a customer gets to design the piece themselves or one of your employees got creative one day and you liked what he/she came up with. You could then in turn put it up on Pinterest in short quantity for a short time and see how well it would sell. This is also where you could potentially start gaining some state or even nationwide sales as people might want to come to you for other jobs they want to do and like the work you’ve done for them on other projects.

Vine/YouTube: This would be a two-pronged venture on my end simply because small companies these days like to give their customers a “behind-the-scenes” perspective on how said company works. The same could be applied to your store as you could use Vine to do a quick reveal on the latest new designs you’ve come up with that would go on sale on Pinterest. Or at anniversary time you could ask your customers to answer a few questions of why they love your company in front of a camera, then post it on YouTube to later show on your Facebook page. This would be a concept to help your customers get to know your employees and feel even more attached to your company and want to continue to buy jewelry from you.

Flickr: This would be yet another way to advertise either your current products or possible new custom designs for jewelry, being you can take a picture of them and show them off via Flickr to your Facebook and Twitter feeds. This would again work more in the favor of having sales increase locally if say you were only selling this design for 7 days, or if you sold them online only via Pinterest. This could also be a way to broadcast whom the employee of the month is or if some major event is happening to them like say Joe is a father for the second time.

Now I know I’ve only shown how this could positively for you but it can also go negatively as well. Specifically if you’re wishing for an instant profit on this you might be mistaken sure it could happen but more than likely this would take time to create the framework and possibly even the interest in what I have been suggesting to do.

The advice that I would on this matter again if I was the person to do this is I would advise you to start in a small way and gauge the interest as you go along that way your company isn’t suffering a horrible loss in the process and you can still keep business as usual. At the most for a while you would have to treat this as a side project and let things build with time for how long it will take them to build. Also there is a possibility that this wouldn’t happen at all that’s why if you start small it won’t hurt your company that badly, so this protects your business while also testing the waters for a new potential audience for your product.

Well I think I’ve talked your ear off at this point but if you wish to speak with me more on these concepts I would be more than happy to answer any questions you have on the matter I’m sure Johnny has given you my contact information as I asked him to do. In the meantime consider my ideas and see if you would like to try and implement something to this effect or also at the end of this E-Mail I will leave some resources for you to look into as well. Thanks so much for taking the time to listen to my ideas!

Sincerely

Adam

P.S. Here are the Articles I told you about:

5 Ways Social Media Helps Small Businesses Grow

5 Ways Twitter Chats Can Help Your Business

Dropbox and MediaFire

By Angela Ang

I’ve used Dropbox for several years now. I have two web app accounts on it: one for personal and one for business/school purposes. The desktop app only works for one account so I chose the business/school account to have a place on my computer; the desktop app allows you to treat the Dropbox folder as one of the folders on your hard drive.

On my business/school account, I started with 2 GB of space and have earned 750 MB so far. I am using 2 GB of 2.75 GB total. I have a couple of shared folders and find it very convenient when collaborating and sharing large files with supervisors, coworkers and classmates.

Dropbox does not work well though as a player when viewing uploaded HD video files so I avoid using it as that. I also noticed that Dropbox does not show you how much time is remaining when uploading large files. You only know a file is uploading via a blue icon (and via a green icon when it is finished uploading).

I recently tried MediaFire and 10 GB of storage is very nice to start with. MediaFire’s interface is also very nice. Any photos you’ve uploaded is put on a gallery with thumbnails and an active feature photo. Video and music file players are clean with prominent social media sharing icons. One feature I particularly like is when uploading files, unlike Dropbox’s simple “yes/no” icons, MediaFire has a progress bar so you know exactly how much time is remaining. However, like Dropbox, MediaFire does not play HD video files very well either.

I like MediaFire’s interface very much and the amount of free storage they give you from the start. I will start using MediaFire for my professional/school accounts (as these files tend to be larger) and keep Dropbox for my personal account.

Working with Cloud “Dropbox vs Skydrive”

I chose to use Dropbox and Skydrive. Why? Dropbox is something I’ve been using for a while now so I am familiar with it. Skydrive because I learned that you get more storage space from the get go. That plus it is the name of the street I grew up on, so of course I had to look into it.

I first got into Dropbox when I was looking for a way to share files with someone I was building a website with. It didn’t make sense to email files back and forth soo much. Dropbox was easy to sign up and get going. Their UI is laid out in a simple way that is easy to understand. It is pretty much a folder from your desktop. Within this folder is any project and folder you feel like throwing in there. I like it because it is extremely easy to get access from anything (including Linux). It is also worth mentioning that there is no limit to file size when uploading from the desktop app which is nice. The only real downside I see is that it starts you with only 2GB which is significantly less than some of the other cloud services. You can get much more space by either paying (which I won’t do) or by referring more people to drop box (which I should do but haven’t yet).

Skydrive is pretty awesome when it comes to storage space. It comes with a whopping 7GB right from the start. Besides that paying to get more space is cheaper than other cloud services. It comes with a Microsoft Web App which is nice for doing some quick changes to documents. Skydrive allows you to remotely access all files on your PC (I have not tried this yet but plan to). There is not much of a downside to Skydrive. It seems to be in its early development stages and hopefully will continue to do well. However I personally find the UI to be more difficult to use and navigate. For this reason I will continue to use Dropbox more. It is powerful, simple and gets the job done without much clutter.

– Nick Weight

“My Experience with the Cloud” by Adam Mickelsen

So my experience with the cloud has really only begun this year but since then I have been very glad to have it as it has become a fail-safe in storage for me. Usually the way that I use the cloud is simply that’s kind of a preliminary storage place until I am able to decide and create a final destination for the files I’m working on whether it be a 90-second contribution to a podcast, a full 2 hour podcast, or even a 25-minute to an hour long video. Here’s my viewpoint on some of the cloud services I have been using over the past year:

 

Dropbox: This is the service I’ve had the most experience with and have thoroughly enjoyed, granted it doesn’t give you too much space to work with but for me it worked perfectly for its intended purpose. I have like Dropbox so much I have recommended it to friends a few times and have earned more drive space by doing so, as well as I have also integrated it heavily into my work routine. An example of this is that me and my brother-in-law use it to relay videos to each other for critique and fixing in order to create a more polished final product for our YouTube channel. All in all this is the cloud service I recommend first off to any who ask my opinion.

 

Google SkyDrive: This is one I haven’t used so much and am kind of on the fence on simply cause I mainly use it hand-in-hand with concepts like Google Docs and Spreadsheets. My complaint is not necessarily with the docs or anything it’s more that SkyDrive hasn’t been integrated well with other devices yet, for example I can’t access it very well on my Surface tablet for some reason. Mainly because sometimes I can see my files and sometimes I can’t, the same thing goes with manipulating said docs and it’s just become a point of frustration. So I wouldn’t recommend this on other devices just yet but it does still work fine on a desktop PC.

Holiday Traditions

Well guys with the holidays upon I’m just curious if anybody has any fun and unique traditions that either your family or just you do during this time of year?

For example gaming has been a big part of our childhood for me and my siblings so around this time of year we all kind of wax nostalgic and dig out old games from our youth and play them on Christmas Day(mainly because that is probably when we got said game). This is now even more fun because my brother has 3 daughters whom love to join in the fun!!