Tuesday, September 24, 2013

6 Ways to Find a Mentor

6 Ways to Find a Mentor 

Community Manager at LinkedIn
We all could use a mentor, but how exactly do you find one? Succeed members offer their tips for finding the best mentor for your small business needs: http://lnkd.in/biDyxap

• “Join a community service group of professionals and make friends with someone whose work ethic and style resembles what you hope you will be like in a few years. In short, find a good role model and ask them to be one. It has worked for me.” – Suzanne Caplan http://www.linkedin.com/pub/suzanne-caplan/1/11/328/

• “Connect with a person who has been there, done that. Don't pay anyone. Successful mentors don't want money— they want to help others reach their success level.” – Rich Unger www.linkedin.com/pub/rich-unger/5/280/a96/

• “Contact your local Small Business Administration (SBA) office and ask for contact information for the local SCORE group. These are people who have already run successful businesses, and are willing to share their experiences and help guide in the right direction.” – www.score.org

• “If you are an alum of a major university, most of them have alumni mentoring programs.” – Don Maker http://www.linkedin.com/pub/don-maker/16/861/102/

• “Your local chamber of commerce has more experienced members who may be able to help. I know a lot of business coaches who are associated with one or more chambers of commerce.” – Paul Chernick http://www.linkedin.com/pub/paul-chernick/a/566/63b/

• “Before you start looking, I encourage you to get clear on a few things: What do you want a mentor to help you achieve, create or learn? Do you want periodic support when you need it, or ongoing support? What mentoring style works best for you? Someone telling you what to do and how to do it, or someone who helps you figure out what you need? Once you have these answers, it will be easier to find the right mentor for you.” – Melanie Yost http://www.linkedin.com/in/melanieyostlcsw/

Do you have a mentor? If so, how did you connect with him or her? Join the discussion here: http://lnkd.in/biDyxap


• How to Develop Authentic Relationships on Social Media for Your Small Biz, with tips from Candace Pilk Karu of Cabot Creamery http://lnkd.in/bnpB5qk

• How to Drive Sales Through Social Media, with advice from Julie Cole, co-founder of Mabel’s Labels http://lnkd.in/bnaqcF

• How Instagram Can Connect You to Your Small Biz Customers, with insight from Susan Petersen of Freshly Picked http://lnkd.in/X9nPuU

Monday, September 23, 2013

9 Habits Of Productive People

It doesn’t matter what you do or where you work – everyone is looking for ways to be more productive on the job. But excessive amounts of caffeine and list-making won’t get you any closer to reaching peak productivity levels today.
So, why are we all so obsessed with productivity? It’s probably because in this digital age, staying on task and avoiding distraction is harder to accomplish than your actual work. Not to mention the feeling of a productive workday is somewhat euphoric.
This search for a more productive workday has led to a certain misconception about what productivity really is — and it’s a lot more than checking tasks off your to-do list. Truly productive people aren’t focused on doing more things; this is actually the opposite of productivity. If you really want to be productive, you’ve got to make a point to do fewer things.

To find out the secret to a more productive workday, I spoke with project management and productivity expert Tony Wong. He provided me with some excellent insight into what he and other like-minded individuals do during their work week.
Make room for increased productivity by putting these habits into play:
1. Cut your to-do list in half. Getting things done during your workday shouldn’t mean fitting in doing as much as possible in the sanctioned eight hours. Do you really need those 30 tasks on your to-do list? Take a less-is-more approach to your to-do list by only focusing on accomplishing things that matter.
2. Take more breaks. The ache in your brain after several long hours of work should be your signal to take a break. Since your brain has used up its glucose, give yourself a moment to refresh by going for a walk, grabbing lunch or a snack, or just meditating. You’ll come back recharged and ready to achieve greater efficiency.
3. Follow the 80/20 rule. Only 20 percent of what you do each day produces 80 percent of your results. Eliminate the things that don’t matter during your workday — they have a minimal effect on your overall productivity. For example, break your next project down into steps and systematically remove tasks until you end up with the 20 percent that gets the 80 percent of results.
4. Use your morning to focus on yourself. It’s a big productivity killer to start your mornings by checking your email and your calendar. This allows others to dictate what you accomplish. Start your day out right by ignoring your emails in the morning and getting in a good breakfast, reading the news, meditating, or working out. This will ensure you’ve got the necessary fuel for a productive day.
5. Tackle your challenging tasks before lunch. Knock out your most challenging work when your brain is fresh. If you have any busy work or meetings, save them for the afternoon. By scheduling your day this way, you’ll be able to create a new and more productive way to manage your time.
6. Improve your email etiquette. Email is a productivity killer and usually a distraction from tasks that actually matter–don’t fall into this productivity trap. For example, people often copy multiple people on emails to get it off their plate, but this is a sign of laziness and actually distracts everyone else by creating noise against the tasks they’re trying to accomplish.
As a rule, if you receive an email where many people are CC’d, do everyone a favor by BCC’ing them on your reply. If your email chain goes beyond two replies, it’s time to pick up the phone.
7. Create a system. You’ve probably developed a few productivity-ruining habits over the years. Manage your distracting ways by creating a system. For those of you who check your emails compulsively, plan a morning, afternoon, and evening time slot to manage your inbox. Otherwise, you’ll get distracted from accomplishing more important goals throughout the day.
8. Stop confusing productivity with laziness. While no one likes admitting it, sheer laziness is the No. 1 contributor to lost productivity. In fact, a number of so-called time-saving methods – take meetings and emails for example – are actually just ways to get out of doing real work. Place your focus on doing the things that matter most as efficiently and effectively as possible.
9. Stop multi-tasking. Stop trying to do 10 things at once! Changing tasks more than 10 times a day drops your IQ an average of 10 points. Get things done more effectively and efficiently by focusing on one task at a time.
Less is more when it comes to being productive during the workday. Stick to the basics for reaching productivity.
What do you do to stay productive at work?
Image courtesy of Sean MacEntee, Flickr

Tuesday, September 10, 2013

New EFI and Sharp Alliance Brings Fiery Digital Front End to Market for Sharp Pro Series

FOSTER CITY, Calif., Sept. 6, 2013 (GLOBE NEWSWIRE) – EFI™ (Nasdaq:EFII), a world leader in customer-focused digital printing innovation, today announced that it has established an agreement with Osaka, Japan-based Sharp Corp. to develop versatile, integrated Fiery digital front ends (DFEs) for high-quality production printing.
As a result of this new agreement, EFI will provide its Fiery® DFE with Sharp® Pro Series Digital Color Document Systems. These Fiery Driven™ production systems will make their worldwide debut September 8-12 in Chicago at North America’s largest printing trade show, Print 13, in the EFI booth, #2602.
The Sharp® MX-6500N and MX-7500N Pro Series products are the first in the industry to offer full control of EFI’s Fiery Command WorkStation® job management interface right from the print engine operation panel. Sharp’s unique, 15.4-inch, high-resolution touch screen display serves as the primary operation panel for the Pro Series, giving operators convenient access to the Command WorkStation interface.

“This integration combines Sharp’s unique feature set with EFI’s high-performance Fiery technology for a complete solution to fulfill the demands of today’s print professionals,” said Mike Marusic, senior vice president, Marketing and Business Solutions Group, Sharp Imaging and Information Company of America.
“We are excited about the alliance with Sharp in the development of innovative new products in the production space,” said John Henze, vice president, Fiery marketing, EFI. “We have worked closely with Sharp to create the ultimate integrated printing platform for on-demand print environments that need precision job management.”

Unmatched versatility with Fiery’s powerful, flexible foundation

Sharp’s flagship Pro Series consists of two models, the MX-6500N and the MX-7500N, offering the Fiery Server MX-PE10 running the latest Fiery FS100 Pro system software. Designed for busy in-plant and on-demand production environments, these new models’ Fiery servers provide a powerful and flexible platform for managing environments with distributed operations, demanding turnaround times and different operator skill levels. The printers – which offer edge-to-edge printing for professional, full-bleed work and an exclusive, triple air-feed paper handling option supporting a wide range of media – help businesses produce more jobs in-house and improve profitability.

This new EFI/Sharp integration lets operators easily manage and prepare jobs at the press and virtually eliminates the need for multiple workstations for job management. The operation panel integrates a tactile keyboard with a touchpad-pointing device for PC-like operation.

The display itself has the look and feel of a large tablet with flick, tap and swipe operation. With this touch-screen operation, users can drag and drop print jobs, select print attributes and perform other actions. The tactile keyboard and touchpad offer more precise control over advanced workflow tools such as Fiery Image Enhance Visual Editor, Fiery Impose or EFI’s new Fiery JobMaster PDF-based job-preparation software.

Fiery Ticker, accessed directly from the display, gives operators control to set alerts for other operators for unattended printing and allows them to see warnings about the engine, including alerts to load media, when away from the engine.

The Fiery Server MX-PE10 includes Adobe PDF Print Engine (APPE) support for PDF preferred printing environments. Plus, the DFE supports industry color, variable-data print and JDF standards and seamlessly integrates with EFI web-to-print and MIS solutions, third-party prepress solutions and other existing environments.

The new Sharp Pro Series MX-6500N and MX-7500N Digital Color Document Systems will be available from Sharp in September 2013.
For more information about EFI Fiery Driven products, visit www.efi.comor contact 800-875-7117.
About Sharp Electronics Corporation
Sharp Electronics Corporation is the U.S. subsidiary of Japan’s Sharp Corporation, a worldwide developer of one-of-a-kind home entertainment products, appliances, networked multifunctional office solutions, solar energy solutions, LED lighting and mobile communication and information tools.
About Sharp Imaging and Information Company of America
Sharp Imaging and Information Company of America, a division of Sharp Electronics Corporation, markets the advanced, color MX Pro Series document systems that help companies manage workflow efficiently and increase productivity. Sharp® document systems feature the Sharp OSA® development platform, which seamlessly integrates network applications to create a personalized MFP that can meet virtually any business need, and Scan2 technology, which scans two-sided documents in a single pass to enhance scanning reliability and preserve document integrity. To keep documents safe from unauthorized users, Sharp is a leader in the MFP industry in security by offering the most secure suite of MFP applications.
For more information about the complete line of Sharp workgroup document systems, contact Sharp Electronics Corporation, Sharp Plaza, Mahwah, N.J., 07495-1163. For online product information, visitwww.sharpusa.com/documents.

About EFI
EFI™ (www.efi.com) is a worldwide provider of products, technology and services leading the transformation of analog to digital imaging. Based in Silicon Valley, with offices around the globe, the company’s powerful integrated product portfolio includes digital front-end servers; superwide, wide-format, label and ceramic inkjet presses and inks; production workflow, web to print, and business automation software; and office, enterprise and mobile cloud solutions. These products allow users to produce, communicate and share information in an easy and effective way, and enable businesses to increase their profits, productivity, and efficiency.
Follow EFI Online:
Follow us on Twitter: @EFI_Print_Tech
Find us on Facebook: www.facebook.com/EFI.Digital.Print.Technology
View us on YouTube: www.youtube.com/EFIDigitalPrintTech
NOTE TO EDITORS: The EFI logo, Fiery and Command Workstation are registered trademarks of Electronics For Imaging, Inc. in the U.S. and/or certain other countries. EFI and Fiery Driven are trademarks of Electronics For Imaging, Inc. in the U.S. and/or certain other countries. All other terms and product names may be trademarks or registered trademarks of their respective owners, and are hereby acknowledged.
Nothing herein should be construed as a warranty in addition to the express warranty statements provided with EFI products and services.
This news release contains forward-looking statements, that are statements other than statements of historical fact including words such as “anticipate”, “believe”, “estimate”, “expect”, “consider”, “plan” and similar, any statements related to strategies or objectives of management for future operations, products, development, performance, any statements of assumptions or underlying any of the foregoing and any statements in the future tense. Forward-looking statements are subject to certain risks and uncertainties that could cause our actual or future results to differ materially. For further information regarding risks and uncertainties associated with EFI’s businesses, please refer to the risk factors section in the Company’s SEC filings, including, but not limited to, its annual report on Form 10-K and its quarterly reports on Form 10-Q. EFI undertakes no obligation to update information contained herein, including forward-looking statements.

Thursday, September 5, 2013

Managed Services Continues Evolution, Growth

Managed Services Continues Evolution, Growth

Everyone wants to talk about the growth in cloud computing. By the end of the decade, cloud computing will generate more than $200 billion in annual sales for vendors and solution providers.
Pretty good, but guess what? Managed services is doing better. A new study by analyst firm MarketsandMarkets pegs the global managed services marketplace hitting $256 billion annually by 2018 as it follows a 12 percent annual growth rate.

Managed services is the success engine of the channel, as it gives solution providers predictable revenue and profit. Its ability to scale technical resources across multiple customers helps contain and drive down solution provider operating costs.

Driving managed services growth is the merging of the model with cloud computing. Businesses adopt cloud services and resources at an accelerated rate. What they don’t want is the management overhead that comes with administering all these services. They’re turning to solution providers to manage their clouds in the way they manage their on-premises infrastructure and applications.;

This is trend is opening up a host of new opportunities for solution providers around the world.
The 2112 Group and our British partners, CRN UK, want to know how your managed services is growing and evolving. Please take 10 minutes to complete our managed services survey. The results will reveal the best practices MSPs are taking to evolve and grow their businesses in this multi-billion market opportunity.