image source: pixabay.com
In a way, we all have virtual money in our pocket – our debit cards and credit cards. With smart phones, we’ve taken it even further with things like Apple Pay and PayPal. Bank wire transfers are another way to make digital transactions. The fact is, we can make transactions all day long and not touch a dollar bill.
The exchange and transaction of money today is done mainly via:
(1) physical currency in bills and coins
(2) using checks and debit cards
(3) credit cards
(4) digital wallet / payment apps
Apple Pay and Google Pay are among the transaction apps used more and more every day. To compete with these emerging transaction platforms (which don’t necessarily go through banks), some banks are aligning with companies like Zelle (www.zelllepay.com). Banks need transactions to make money, so you’ll see them breaking through the market with new technology of their own.
It’s a good lesson for businesses of all sizes to be aware and adaptable. We don’t know what technology will survive to become “de facto,” and even when something becomes mainstream, you never know when some new technology will pop up to replace it. Even our currency is evolving, as we’ve shared in previous blogs about cryptocurrency
and bitcoin technology
. It’s been suggested bitcoins are more of an investment option versus a cash stream option in today’s world, but you never know how that concept will change.
Being aware of what is trending in technology and adapting to what’s popular in our culture is important for all of us to succeed.
image source: pixabay.com
Bitcoin is probably the most commonly-known cryptocurrency today. Unlike US dollars, bitcoin doesn’t have government regulations or banks to back it up. Instead, it uses peer-to-peer technology to legitimize its credibility in a virtual world. Without government or banks, the fees are kept to a minimum, but bitcoin’s value is volatile if you wish to trade and exchange it for other government-issued currencies. To understand better, you might find it helpful to read our first two blogs on bitcoins
When it comes to our money, a central server prevents fraud and double spending. For cryptocurrency, however, a server doesn’t exist, instead there is a peer network of computers around the world that receive a complete history of all transactions, and thus a balance of every account. Every bitcoin unit is accounted for, and every peer in the network must have matching transactions.
The technology requires what is called bitcoin mining. The transactions must be validated and confirmed, and to do so, bitcoin miners do the calculations and confirm the transactions are valid, afterward adding the information to the database. This information creates what is called a blockchain -- a history of transactions. Bitcoin miners are rewarded with bitcoins if they are the first to calculate the validity of the transaction.
In 2018, the reward for successfully mining a block is 12.5 coins, which is equivalent to about $100,000 depending on the bitcoin trade price!
Today is our 31st Anniversary! Looking back over the years, we are so thankful for all the relationships that we've built with our customers. And we hope to continue growing as we serve you. Thank you for your support!
image source: wikipedia.org
Bitcoin is a kind of virtual currency, existing in the digital world. If you read our previous blog comparing bitcoins to gold coins
, it’ll help you understand. A bitcoin is a type of “cryptocurrency.” What is cryptocurrency, you ask? Let’s dissect the word.
As you may already know, the word crypto comes from cryptography. Cryptography comes from an ancient Greek word, “kryptos,” which means “hidden” and “secret.” Cryptography is the practice of making plain text and communication unreadable through “encryption” and then reversing it back to plain text through a process called “decryption.”
Cryptocurrency, therefore, is a digital currency where encryption is used to regulate the generation of currency so it doesn’t get out of control. The concept is similar to that of our federal government regulating the amount of dollars it prints.
The most famous cryptocurrency today is bitcoin, invented by Satoshi Nakamoto, an elusive figure whom not much is known about today. Bitcoin is digital money that you can buy, store, and transfer without needing a central bank. Instead, computers around the world verify the units of bitcoins in order to prevent double spending.
The bitcoin market has increased in recent years and is said to be worth the equivalent of a half trillion US dollars. If you're curious, Wikipedia put together a great visual showing where all currency, physical and digital, falls within the bounds of regulated and unregulated status, which we've published above.
Company Furthers Strong Growth
Momentum with 7th Acquisition in 13 Years
Web Hosting, Web Design and Marketing Services
Enhanced as PSPInc Continues to Expand Client Base Worldwide
Bellevue, Wash., July 2, 2018 – Award-winning internet company Pacific Software Publishing, Inc. (PSPInc) today announced its acquisition of California-based web hosting and design company YourHost.
As a result of the acquisition, premier provider of quality and affordable web service offerings PSPInc will grow its current client base of more than 40,000 customers worldwide further, while continuing to offer YourHost’s complementary e-commerce support, hosting solutions, Internet, virtual/shared hosting, LIVE streaming, and domain registration services.
“As our company continues to expand we’re thrilled about our latest acquisition of YourHost. With a ‘client first’ mentally, we strive to make it easy for companies of all sizes to create and maintain a digital ecosystem to help them do business—and this acquisition will further enhance our efforts to do so,” said Mayumi Nakamura, PSPinc CEO.
“As a result of our acquisition, YourHost’s customers can expect to continue receiving the same great customer-centric service they have become accustomed to, and we look forward to offering them even more services to be successful online,” continued Nakamura.
“As the CEO and one of the founders of YourHost.com, I am pleased to be able to pass the torch to PSPinc, a similar grass-roots company who focuses above all on the client needs,” said YourHost CEO Eric Kirkhuff. “It’s rare to find a company like PSPinc that can integrate with YourHost.com and retain a similar vision which is the true definition of a ‘symbiotic relationship’ in caring for the customer we worked so hard to acquire and maintain.”
With a focus on helping businesses succeed online, PSPInc and its sister company Dreamersi provide all the digital tools needed to run businesses of all sizes and in all industries, from online websites to web hosting, email accounts, custom hosting and e-commerce tools. The acquisition of YourHost represents the company’s 7th acquisition in 13 years.
About PSPinc: PSPinc was founded in 1987 by Ken Uchikura, who at that time was developing software out of a room in his apartment on Mercer Island, WA. Three decades later, PSPinc has grown into a full-service software company offering web hosting, web design, and marketing solutions. Headquartered in Bellevue, WA, PSPinc houses 50 employees with two additional offices in California. More than 40,000 companies worldwide trust them for websites, email, and online services.
image source: pixabay.com
Everything around us is becoming more virtual - virtual reality, virtual communities, virtual secretaries, virtual machines, virtual golf, virtual memory, even virtual currency. You might have heard the term “bitcoin” which is a form of virtual trading currency growing in popularity. Even though some people are making a lot of money with bitcoins, many people are still baffled as to what it is, so in the next few blogs we’ll go over bitcoin technology in more detail.
A bitcoin isn’t the same as your credit card. Your credit card is a means to make a digital transaction of government-regulated currency. A bitcoin is de-regulated virtual currency whose value fluctuates with demand and open-market bidding, similar to the stock market exchange. Think of it like owning a gold coin. The bank can’t put a set value on a gold coin like they do our currency. But it can still be bought, sold or traded for goods or services like cash.
A bitcoin isn’t a digital transaction of real money, it’s literally “virtual money” that can only be used within a virtual framework. Even though Monopoly money is a tangible thing, it still works as a parallel example of money that is only good for buying things within the framework of the Monopoly game. Another good example is when you use virtual money in an online game to purchase things like special powers or avatars.
Bitcoins work like these examples, they’re only bought and sold in a virtual world. But unlike play money, they have real monetary value attached to them. We’ll go deeper in our next blog.
image source: pixabay.com
1) Design a business process for your products and services. Even if the process seems common place, you shouldn’t assume everyone thinks like you do, especially in today’s diverse population. Your values and your common sense may not seem so common to everyone else. Think about what makes the most sense to protect your customers’ data – not only on your computers, but offline as well.
2) Write down the process, which then becomes your ‘employee procedures.’ These new procedures should be published and shared with your staff. Keep them consistent across the board and all departments so there is no confusion. Make sure they are in line with your core values as well.
3) Assign a person to be responsible for the new employee procedures. Policies and procedures on a piece of paper mean nothing until they are carried out. The person you put in charge (maybe it’s you) needs to make sure every employee understands the procedures how you envision it, and quality controls the business process.
4) Test and audit the process. Even with a point person in charge to keep the staff accountable, sometimes there are breaks in the system. That’s just life. Test your process and procedures, announced or unannounced (even better!). When you plan a test, it’s easier to pay attention to where the breaks are, at what point in the process, and make the appropriate fixes.
5) Prepare an emergency protocol. Even if you think you have the perfect procedures and process in place, accidents happen, and hackers are getting smarter. What would you do if your client data gets breached? Have an emergency plan in place and protocol for notifying your customers. Be honest and transparent about the issues, and have a plan to go forward.
image source: pixabay.com
1. Establish Your Goals
Before you overwhelm yourself and sign up for every social media platform, start a blog, or build a new website, you need to make some goals for your company. This will help you decide where your company needs to have a presence online and which platforms will help drive your success.
2. Get Online
The best place to start is your website. Even if you don’t think you need a website – you probably do. Once you have a website (or while it’s being built) decide which, if any, social media sites you need to be on. Set up your accounts with bright and clean pictures, add your company’s contact information and anything else you might find important.
3. Be Consistent (focus on providing value)
Just getting online isn’t enough anymore. You have to be consistent about updating your website and social accounts. Potential customers will look to see if you’re active online, and they can easily tell when a website or social media site is outdated. Focus on providing your followers and customers with valuable information, deals, updates, and pictures frequently.
4. Keep Track
You don’t need to be an analytics wizard to keep track of your data. Most social platforms include reports that are easy to read. Use this to your advantage by creating content similar to your highest performing post, blogs, or page visits.
5. Be Patient
Not getting any customers or followers yet? Be patient. Similar to most things in life – if it were easy, everyone would be doing it. Being consistent takes patience and dedication; try testing out new and different ideas to continue offering value to your customers.
image source: pixabay.com
In my previous blog on June 7
2) Once you have your main points, you can run through some common scenarios to see if you are missing anything that could jeopardize the data. It’s good practice to review it and practice the protocol as part of your business operation.
3) When your policy is confirmed on paper, share it with your team. Your policy is only as good as your people who have to follow it. And it only works if your guidelines are consistently put into practice.
Don’t assume your customers know your procedures for keeping their data secure. Some of the policies you write down may seem like common sense to you, but not necessarily common sense to everyone else. So, write it out, and publish it for you, your staff, and your customers’ knowledge. Everyone will be better off for having strict guidelines to know and follow.
image source: pixabay.com
Whether you’re traveling, need a specific service, want to try a new restaurant, or need some other type of information – at some point you've had to search for a business online. Scoping out a new company online can sometimes be a greater hassle than we’d like.
Within a few minutes, anyone can conduct an in-depth search of the companies around him or her. Searching for pictures, reviews, and websites can leave either a bad or good first impression on a potential customer.
This means within just a few clicks, your company could attract new customers by simply being online. What are the benefits to your business?
The main reason your small business should be online – that’s where your customers are. You may not know who or where they are but trust that they are there. And with a small amount of effort you can put your company’s name in the palm of their hands.
Most people search online the same way they would use a phone book. They use the web to check your store hours, find your phone number, or fill out an online form to contact you. With a little work, you can ensure their first impression of you is a good one.
You can do this by making sure your business information is correctly displayed on multiple channels (i.e. websites, Yelp, Google Business, social media). This will automatically increase your chances of being seen by more people.
Building A Relationship
With the rise of social media, consumers expect to have more two-way contact with businesses online – by developing relationships online with your customers you can help legitimize your brand.
This can be as easy as commenting back to customer comments or as tricky as replying to bad reviews online. The main point here is to reply when possible. Show your customers there is an actual person sitting behind the screen. Give them another way to get in touch with you; it may feel informal or strange, but the relaxed relationship can be very beneficial.
Free or paid – online marketing is a crucial part of doing business in 2018. Setting up your social platforms, updating your website content regularly, and sending email updates are all ways to advertise your business online for free.
Think of your website, your Facebook, and other platforms as your company’s virtual storefronts. Each can have basic information about your business so that no matter how someone finds you they can get the information they need.