1 BUSINESS JUNE 2014 VOLUME 1 ISSUE 3 CONNECTIONS Fiber is Purr-fect for Silver Creek Animal Clinic Small Businesses Have Big Impact 3 // Spotlight on Silver Creek Animal Clinic 4 Hosted IP Phone Service from All West 5 // Look Over the Social Media Menu 6 Safeguarding Your Wireless Network 7
2 JUNE 14 BUSINESS CONNECTIONS Do you know how important small businesses are? The facts can t be denied: small businesses employ over half the U.S. private workforce; they contribute a significant portion of local tax dollars; and they provide a personal touch that larger companies often lack. In this issue of Business Connections, we take a closer look at the contributions of small businesses, starting on page 3 with the article, Small Businesses Have Big Impact. Business Connections is a publication of All West Communications, 50 W 100 N, Kamas, UT No part of this publication may be reproduced, stored in a retrieval system or transmitted in any form, electronic, photocopying, recording, mechanical, or otherwise without the prior written permission of All West Communications. All rights are reserved. Editorial and circulation contact: Bobbi Whitehead All brand names and product names used in this publication are trade names, service marks, trademarks, or registered trademarks of their respective owners. Extra copies of this issue are available to our business customers on a limited basis while supplies last. Contact Bobbi Whitehead at or to make a request. Copyright 2014 by All West Communications and Cornerstone Publishing Group, Inc. Postmaster send changes to: Bobbi Whitehead All West Communications 50 W 100 N Kamas, UT On pages 4 and 5, we feature a Business Spotlight on Silver Creek Animal Clinic. Small businesses that care for residents (including furry ones) are essential for any community. Located near popular tourist destinations, the clinic has the opportunity to serve visiting clients as well as locals. On page 5, you ll find information about Hosted IP Phone Service from All West. With many useful features and no-maintenance service, it can help any business make the most of voice communications. Another key to success for small businesses is effective marketing on a limited budget. Look Over the Social Media Menu on page 6 to get a sampling of how social media can help build relationships and get sales messages out to customers. Finally, on page 7, check out tips to help keep your business secure by Safeguarding Your Wireless Network. All West Communications supports the growing businesses in our community with products and services to enhance your success. Please contact Corporate Sales Executives Phil Marchant at and Bobbi Whitehead at with your ideas or questions. We re here to help. Sincerely, Matthew Weller President All West Communications L to R: Phil Marchant, Bobbi Whitehead, and Matthew Weller 2 JUNE 2014
3 Business Connections Small Businesses Have big Impact They create most new jobs and help strengthen local communities Small businesses employ over half of the U.S. private workforce, and there are nearly 28 million small businesses in the U.S., according to a recent Forbes article 1. The article also notes that the small business sector is responsible for creating 65 percent of new U.S. jobs since Impact on Communities The positive impact of small businesses doesn t stop there. They often sponsor youth sports teams, support area nonprofits, and contribute to the growth and vitality of local economies. Small businesses pay a share of taxes that would otherwise be shifted to homeowners and many provide leadership in such areas as environmentalism and ethics. In addition, they offer a special personal touch that is hard for larger companies to replicate. Small Business Success It s a well-known fact that, within five years of starting, about 50 percent of businesses fail. Yet, that means that 50 percent succeed. How they do it depends on whom you ask. Some business managers claim their companies have succeeded due to strong leadership, innovation or luck. 2 Some researchers have other ideas, including a strict focus on revenue, the ability to change with shifting circumstances, financial understanding, or marketing ability. Supporting Small Businesses Though much of the responsibility for the success of a business is on the owner and employees, consumers can do a lot to support the small businesses they believe in. In 2010, American Express launched an initiative to help individuals and companies do just that. Named Small Business Saturday, the initiative falls on the Saturday after Thanksgiving each year and encourages holiday shoppers to purchase from small and local businesses on this day. Participating in Small Business Saturday is one way to support small businesses; another is to remember to support them throughout the year. If you work at a company that purchases products or services from small businesses, let others know when they do a great job. This can be done through word of mouth, by posting positive reviews on the company s website, or via Facebook, LinkedIn, or Yelp. Make it a point to work with local and small businesses, even if it costs a little bit more. In doing so, you re helping your local economy and community to thrive Surprising Statistics About Small Businesses, Forbes, accessed March 21, 2014, 2 What Really Makes Companies Succeed in the Long Run? Forbes, accessed March 21, 2014, what-really-makes-companies-succeed-in-the-long-run/. JUNE
4 BUSINESS SPOTLIGHT Silver Creek Animal Clinic The right technology enhances services for animals and their people Silver Creek Animal Clinic in Park City, Utah, is a small animal veterinary clinic that cares primarily for cats and dogs. Dr. Lisa Pasquarello and her two business partners, Dr. Tyler Steins and Dr. John Artz, handle all kinds of healthcare needs for their furry clients from routine vaccines and ordinary treatments to more complex issues such as injuries and internal medicine. The clinic serves the entire Park City area, including Coalville, Kamas, and Heber City. Silver Creek was opened by Dr. Randy Barbe about 15 years ago. When Barbe retired in 2012, Pasquarello, Steins, and Artz took over the practice. In their work, the vets appreciate the challenge of medicine and the unexpected satisfaction of helping people maintain long-lasting relationships with their pets. Pasquarello says, The bond between people and their pets can be incredible. They don t tell you about that in vet school. The backdrop of Park City is part of what the doctors and staff like about their business location. Living in this area is a priority for them, and they enjoy being part of the lifeblood of the community. That is, Silver Creek Animal Clinic is one of the stable service providers that keep things going while visitors come and go. Pets Are Tourists Too The clinic is somewhat unique in that it is located in a popular resort town with three major ski resorts. Many people come in both winter and summer for extended visits, and bring their pets with them. In many cases, Silver Creek becomes a secondary clinic to clients pet healthcare providers at home. Pasquarello comments, We re often in contact with the primary clinic. With visitors, we see a big variety of cases and clientele. For example, a visiting wildlife professional recently brought in an injured owl for help with respiratory problems. Affordable Quality Care Compared to other clinics in the area, says Pasquarello, Silver Creek offers more experience. Dr. Steins and I both come from 24-hour referral clinics, which provided us with the opportunity to gain familiarity with a wide range of situations. Our other partner, Dr. Artz, offers a very compassionate touch that also differentiates us from other clinics. Though they offer top-notch care for pets, the clinic is affordable. Pasquarello says, The ability to offer 4 JUNE 2014
5 Business Connections lower prices for clients is partly based on the affordability of services from All West. They have helped us minimize costs, so we can pass that on to our clientele. businesses to have affordable high speed broadband, so they can enjoy the country atmosphere of Park City and still have state-of-the-art technology. The Right Technology Since September 2012, Silver Creek Animal Clinic has used fiber broadband, TV, and hosted IP phone services from All West. The broadband service includes Wi-Fi, which is useful for clients while they re waiting in the lobby, as is the TV service. Phil Marchant, All West Sales Representative, comments, Silver Creek Animal Clinic is located in an area of Park City where the choice of Internet and phone providers was limited to one or two prior to We approached them and other businesses in the area to determine interest in access to All West s fiber services, which would offer many more options for broadband, phone, long distance, and digital TV. As it turned out, the clinic did want the higher bandwidth and affordable pricing that fiber could provide. Now 90 percent of the businesses in the Park City Business Loop have switched their communication services over to All West s fiber solutions. Marchant says, Fiber has allowed these All West has helped us minimize costs, so we can pass that on to our clientele. DR. LISA PASQUARELLO, VETERINARAN AND CO-OWNER, SILVER CREEK ANIMAL CLINIC With the hosted IP phone system, clients get a faster response and more personalized care from doctors. This is because they can leave messages with individual doctors, which wasn t possible with the clinic s previous system. In addition, Marchant notes, The hosted IP phone system will grow with them. They won t have to worry about upgrading years down the road because All West performs all upgrades at no cost to customers. For Pasquarello, going to All West to provide these services for the clinic was a no brainer based on the positive interactions she s had when using All West services for her own household. Hosted IP Phone Service from All West Hosted IP phone service from All West is an affordable business phone system for any size business. This high-efficiency system has many useful features including voic , auto attendant, conference calling, and music on hold. Thanks to All West s totally hosted and managed IP PBX phone system technology, no maintenance is needed on your part; it s all taken care of from our central office. We connect your office through our 100 percent fiber-optic network to our data center, which is equipped with batteries and backup generators. So, even if the power goes out, your phones stay up. Our multi-platform user interface, CommPortal, allows you to manage calls and from any computer with an Internet connection. It can also grow along with your business; easily add one or more phones anytime you need to expand. As we upgrade our data center, your system gets updated automatically, for FREE. Victor Worley, Veterinary Technician, processes an in-house laboratory sample. For more information about All West s hosted PBX phone system, call All West at JUNE
6 Look Over the Social Media MENU Get a taste of what these platforms can do for your business Hungry to grow your business? Building a social media presence is a cost-efficient way to communicate directly with current or potential customers. It also helps generate website traffic and provides opportunities to promote special offers. You don t have to bite off more than you can chew, however. Pick just the platforms you enjoy and that appeal to your target audience. Facebook has been described as a social media juggernaut and businesses of all sizes now maintain Facebook pages. Use it to post photos of your products, share news about your business, ask questions of your customers, and much more. Twitter is a real-time microblogging service that lets you post updates (tweets) of up to 140 characters. These short-and-sweet tweets might contain things such as exclusive deals for your Twitter followers or last-minute changes to store hours. LinkedIn is a professional social networking site where users share their expertise and accomplishments and explore business opportunities. Creating a strong LinkedIn profile for yourself and your company can generate sales leads and help with employee recruitment. YouTube enables users to upload, manage, and share videos publicly or with their networks as well as comment on the videos of others. Through videos, you can take customers on a tour of your business, show how to use your products, or introduce employees. Blogs allow users to self-publish posts of a longer length than is generally practical with other social media platforms and can help establish you as an expert in your field. A blog on your website also has the added bonus of generating the kind of content that places your business higher in organic search results. Google+ is more than Google trying to replicate a Facebook experience. It offers unique features such as Hangouts and Hangouts On Air. Hangouts is a video conferencing tool that allows up to ten users to video chat with one another. Hangouts on Air lets you live stream your video chat and automatically record it on your YouTube channel. Pinterest is a content-sharing service that allows members to pin images, videos, and other objects to their pinboard. If your content is highly visual (and your audience is mainly women), Pinterest may be a good choice for your business. Choose compelling photos or translate your data into infographics. Vine and Instagram are both platforms that allow users to film short videos up to six seconds or 15 seconds, respectively on wireless devices via apps and then share the videos on Facebook and Twitter. The brevity of Vine and Instagram videos makes them easier to digest than full-length ones. Regardless of what you pick on this menu, the most important ingredient for social media success is valuable content. Make sure your content inspires people to engage. 6 JUNE 2014
7 Business Connections Safeguarding Your Wireless Network A secure network means a more secure business Wireless networks definitely add convenience to the workplace. Employees can work from anywhere in the office using a laptop, and your visitors can access the Internet as well. As the technology continues to develop, wireless networks are becoming easier for even not-so-techsavvy individuals to set up. However, it s important to pay attention to security. An unsecured wireless network allows people outside your building to leech off the services you ve paid for and get free access to the Internet. These individuals could also use your connection for illegal activity such as identity theft. When this happens, your business runs the risk of being prosecuted. Whether you re able to add an extra layer of security to your wireless network on your own, or you re getting the help of a professional, here are a few guidelines: Change the default password. Routers typically come with a very weak default password like the manufacturer s name. Be sure to create a stronger one that includes 14 characters or more, and combines both letters and numbers. Enable security on your router. Most wireless routers come with this option turned off, so you ll need to activate it. Follow the instructions included with your router or find this information online. Place your wireless base unit in the center of your workspace, if possible. Doing so will spread coverage evenly throughout your space while limiting the range of potential signal leakage outside your building. Disable SSID broadcasting and lower your transmission power. Many times, wireless routers automatically broadcast your network s name or Service Set Identifier (SSID) to make it easier to locate the network. When choosing a name, don t use anything obvious, such as your name, home address, or other personal information. Better yet, disable this feature to make your network invisible to neighboring businesses and people driving by. Think of WEP encryption as only a partial solution... Wireless Encryption Protocol, or WEP, offers a basic level of security with an encrypted key made of numbers and letters. In order to use your network, people will need to have access to that key. While WEP is better than nothing, be aware that it s still not entirely secure. That s because hackers can easily use systems to decipher what your assigned WEP key is based on simple number/letter patterns. and choose WPA encryption for more security. Wireless Protected Access (WPA) protocol and WPA2 have replaced WEP as the most secure option. It adds greater security because you assign a personal password that s harder for hackers to crack. For information about setting up a wireless network at your business, call All West at JUNE
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