Equally as fascinating as WordPress itself…

is the number of businesses it allows people to expand into. Often from home, but not always, it allows those who are so inclined a degree of freedom previously unheard of. This is very likely the biggest change that the Internet has brought upon us. And that is pretty big!

Along with this new freedom and way of working, WordPress offers a virtually unlimited number of niches. You can be a consultant, a designer, a trainer,  a programmer on any of many levels, a specialist in security, a specialist in that most fantastic of professions… WordPress Web Hosting (I take a bow here), and the list goes on.

Let it be known that the company responsible for the daily operations of WordPress, called Automattic, is a 100% “distributed” workforce. Yup. No office workers at all. And that is a billion dollar with a “B” company by just about any estimation. And you thought only one man operations (another bow) work from home 🙂

I myself work with people from Harwich MA to Harwich England on at least a semi-regular basis.

On another note, you may remember my recent adventures with the Mac mini, Windows 8, and the transition to a new machine. It is perfectly OK with me if you think I am simply a computer obsessed guy. Hey, a man has to have a hobby 🙂 However, there is actually a purpose to my rants. And it is to get you, the awesome reader, to shake up the technology box a little for yourself.

There have been such a vast number of technology changes in the recent years, both big and small, that it really serves us to re-evaluate our hardware/software/peripheral situation at least every few years, if not every year. For example, I finally found the perfect wireless printer at Staples for a wicked good price. I had been watching carefully for years to get one on sale. And although it was not a dire need sort of purchase, the fact that it was small and wireless (keeping the almighty office a little neater) does make my daily printing chores just a bit easier. Not to mention more placement options. Epson XP-400 for $69.00. It is also a scanner and copier!

I have a client who runs a small and very successful dual location business about 90% from their iPhone. I run my business about 85% from my desktop and 15% from the iPhone. What do you use to run your business? Talk to others to get ideas bout how you can improve your workflow and efficiency with your business. You might be surprised at how some of the newer tech can benefit your business.

One way in which I try to maximize my own productivity is by avoiding cavitation. You who have spent time with a motor boat, especially outboard motor boats, already know what I mean. For non boaters, cavitation is when the propeller of the boat is at the wrong angle or not deep enough in the water to provide effective propulsion. The water around the propeller mixes with air (kind of like an eggbeater “beating” plain water) and spins really fast and accomplishes almost zero forward motion.

The technical equivalent would be something like: A client sent me a file and I cannot open it because my software is out of date. Or not being able to find important contact information. Or not being backed up and losing important information. Or not knowing my password and wasting minutes doing the whole “where’s my password thing”. Or having computer issues that could have been avoided by proper maintenance. You get the idea.

Business is hard enough to come by so when the opportunity/need to get right down to it presents itself, I like to be able to rise to the occasion. I guess this could be summed up by: Less motion, more action.

Many of the fellow WordPress folks that I hang out with online also seem to share this fascination with business productivity enhancement techniques. How one approaches the act of “doing business” can be very educational.

One way you could increase your productivity would be to assess your current email situation. As you know by now, I am a huge fan of Business Class Email, which is my own marketing speak for Rackspace email.  You also know that one great feature is no ads. Ever. And this week in the news, it was revealed that Gmail has found yet another way to show you unasked for ads in your email. This time by disguising the ad as, yup, you guessed it, an email. Ouch! Here is a link to tell you more about that. Scroll to number 6 on that page to see how sneaky they are. Point: there are better ways to setup Gmail that can be productive. Think Outlook 🙂

There is also a new game in town that might work for you. It is called Office365, by Microsoft. You get their full Office productivity suite as well as special apps that are for the iPad and iPhone. It takes a bit to get setup, but can be worth it. Instead of buying expensive cd’s and upgrading every so often, you get access (depending on the version both online and offline versions) to the software you know and love. Yup, Word, Excel, Outlook. All for a small monthly fee per user. And with 24 hour support! And you can install them on multiple machines without breaking any laws! Aside: I actually did call Microsoft this past week at 1am on a different issue and got it solved. 10 points for India!

Have some fun, and look around at your technology. Is it time for a Mac? Will you need to run Windows on it for any reason? Have you tried Facetime with friends and family? Is it time for an online version of your accounting software? New smart phone?

You will be seeing much more about business streamlining in future issues of this blog. As well as major changes to the website!

One change I have noticed on my own new computer is that it boots up virtually instantaneously. I consider the pathetically slow boot times a thing of the past. About time!

In closing, another big tech change is that I now often recommend Apple laptops to clients because they are great hardware and can run either operating system. Windows laptops can only run Windows. Everything changes.