How To Get a Free iPhone 3GS

I would consider myself a gadget freak. One of the benefits of being an entrepreneur is that buying gadgets that are used for business purposes is tax deductible. However, getting the latest cool gadget, the iPhone 3GS-for free-is even better. Here's how I did it.

I bought the first generation iPhone for $500 and I thought it was really expensive (comparatively between weight and cost) but I wanted it bad enough to pay for it. I have had the original iPhone for almost 2 years now.

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Line of Business Software

As your business matures to the point that you have begun to develop systems, processes and methodologies, your business will need to decide on tools to manage these processes and enforce the best practices.

For example, my business is a professional services company, so the following are key processes for us: performing estimation, authoring proposals, tracking time, invoicing for time. This is effectively the "Operations" of our business, and therefore the software that supports these operations could be referred to as "line of business" software.

If your business has any data associated with its operations (yes, this means 100 percent of you), you need line of business software. This software will, over time, accumulate the data that you will study and analyze to learn about your company's effectiveness as well as to identify shortcomings and opportunities for improvement.

For example, in my business, I might like to know the following:

  • How much administrative time do we spend each week?
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Virtual Office Models (Part 2)

In my first “Virtualization” post, I looked at the idea of a virtual office at a very high level, starting with some of Ubertor CEO Steve Jagger’s ideas and then outlining three distinct models. Today I will drill down a little more on the models and characterize them in a bit more detail.

Full: Totally Virtual with Zero Office Space

The Totally Virtual model has employees loosely banded together and all working from remote locations via multiple enabling technologies. Collaboration takes place through web conferencing, screen sharing, RSS feeds, and other remoting platforms. Often location transparency is provided by a combination of local number forwarding and internet-based telephony services such as Google Voice or Skype. Most roles in the company are probably filled with non-employee outsourced solutions, and therefore the company must rely heavily on repeatable process to have any scale. Technology clearly plays a huge part as an enabler in this model.

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An Introduction to “Going Virtual” with Your Technology Business

As the co-chair of Membership for EO Houston, I recently attended our Global Leadership Conference (GLC) in New Orleans, which is an annual summit for EO chapter board members from both North and South America. During one of the breakouts, Steve Jagger, founder and CEO of Ubertor (and several other companies) spoke about virtualizing and decentralizing your business using new technologies to manage the information.

In his talk, Steve covered several reasons that his company outsources/off-shores/automates everything they possibly can. And “it’s working for them, but could it work for me?” I began to question.

So as my company’s (www.entrancesoftware.com) lease in pricey downtown Houston (Google Map: 1001 McKinney St. Houston, TX 77002) is coming up for renegotiation in 6 months or so, I’ve started thinking about this more and more seriously…Here are the issues I’ve been mulling:

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How to Sync Your Files

I rely on a combination of computers and devices at work, at home, and on the road. My collection consists of a Mac Pro at work and an iMac at home, both of which run Parallels, combining the Mac OS and Windows XP. I also have a Sony Vaio laptop that runs Windows XP, an iPhone, Apple TV, and multiple iPods.

With all of these various computers and devices, the chance that I would want to play a song on my iPhone that was only on my Apple TV, or the chance that I would need a file at home that's only on my work Mac is very high. I hated the idea that I would need access to a document, PDF, track, or movie, and not be able to have it locally, regardless of where I was at the time.

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Are Your Salespeople Using Twitter?

Twitter certainly has received a lot of media attention recently, with the Kutcher vs. CNN battle to see who would be the first to have a million followers. Oprah also had a show about the impact of Twitter on people's lives. According to comScore, Twitter grew 131 percent in March 2009.

Studies show that a lot of people visit Twitter a few times and never come back. Part of the reason for this is because the purpose of Twitter is not intuitive. Twitter is designed to be a conversational tool and as expected, it is difficult to have conversations when you first join, because you don't know what to do and do not have anybody following you.

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Six Ways to Get Your Employees to Use CRM Software

A guaranteed way to increase your company's sales is to have a system in place to manage your sales activities. Having a custom relationship management (CRM) system that is easy and gets used by the sales team is a great step towards that goal.

Businesses are constantly facing the challenge of convincing sales teams to adopt CRM as the daily vitamin for their sales routine. The sales force is likely already aware that CRM is a valuable and effective tool that can optimize the sales process and help strengthen customer relationships. The challenge is getting employees to accept new applications and processes in spite of feeling uncomfortable with the prospect of having to change their habits and conform to an unfamiliar system.

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