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How Microsoft helps my Small Business

I have been using a Microsoft Surface Pro 3 for over a year now, and I love it. I would have to say that it is the best machine that I have ever owned.

I co-founded Collab Space, an Entrepreneurial Community Centre here in Ottawa Canada over a year ago, and my Pro 3 was with me the whole time, day in and day out, and it has kept up with everything that I have thrown at it.

For the past month, I have been running the Surface Pro 4 as my daily driver and work horse machine, and it hasn’t skipped a beat. The Surface takes the best qualities of a desktop, a laptop, and a tablet PC and smashes them together into one amazing machine.

Why does this matter?

As a small business owner, I am constantly on the go, and I need my machine to come with me.
I have a Surface dock in my home office, and a dock at work, both attached to a dual monitor setup to maximize my screen real estate. When I need to run into a meeting, I can just grab it and go. When I have to run home at the end of the day to put my daughter to bed, I don’t have to close what I am doing, I grab and go, and plug in at home to continue working. I can work from the couch, the kitchen table, the bus, in the truck between meetings, and never have to worry about not having what I need with me.

What complements the Surface, and is a pivotal part of how my small business operates, is Microsoft Office 365. I have several employees spread over two locations, and O365 allows me to manage everything so easily.  I can quickly spin up new employee accounts and add all of the permissions they require, and have them up running quickly. O365 is also great that it can all be operated via a web browser, so if an employee forgets their machine, or if something happens to it, it minimizes the downtime.

We have just started to play with Microsoft Teams, and are excited at the possibilities and options included.

I have been writing this post on the Surface, and ended up switching to Word on my Microsoft Lumia 950XL to finished it up. I love the ease of access to my information, and how it can adapt to my working life.

I would like to thank Christine Bays, Commercial Digital Community Manager, and Jarrod Goldsmith of eSAX – The Entrepreneur Social Advantage Experience for providing me with access to the Surface Pro 4 for the month in order to review it, and the opportunity to let the Entrepreneurial community hear my story of how Microsoft assists me in running my business.

Blair Kilrea
Co-Founder – Collab Space

Storyline Productions

Networking Mistakes To Avoid

There is a lot to think about when networking, but it’s very important to make sure you don’t make any of these networking mistakes!

Transcript:

Some key habits to avoid at networking events are to 1) show up late. There’s nothing worse than going into a room where everyone is already sitting down because you’re missing some of the best parts of networking. 2) Not having business cards. It really is important to have somebody walk away with a physical representation of your business. Plus, it also makes it much easier for them to follow-up with you after the event is over. 3) Trying to ‘sell’ a person right away. For example, if you go up to someone you meet for the first time and give them your card then say “you need me because I’m so great at what I do” and then start listing off things for ten minutes on why you’re the best, or giving specific details about your products or services, technical specifications etc. These are all not good networking skills. Try to avoid talking too much and making everything you say a sales pitch. Happy networking everybody. See you at the next event. Because #eSAX makes networking work!

Do you have a networking question you’d like to ask? Email info (at) esax.ca or tweet your question using #eSAX!

Starring: Jarrod Goldsmith of eSAX and Sax Appeal.

With help from Wasim from Storyline Productions and Jessica from Hewett Ripley Communications!

Some Tips To Remember Names At Networking Events

Today our #AskTheFedora offers some tips for remembering names at networking events!

Transcript:

You go to a networking and someone tells you their name and all of a sudden it goes right out your other ear. I’m really bad at learning someone’s name. What I try to do, (if they are wearing a name tag), I’d suggest you do not just stare down at their chest (that doesn’t look very good from either party). If you’re talking to someone and the person looks away for a second then I think it’s ok to quickly look down to see if you can catch their name. I always try to look for something a little bit different about the person. Maybe they have a really cool pair of glasses, or they are wearing a really neat belt, and I’ll try to equate what they’re wearing to their name. Yes, it might be a little tough next time you meet them because they might not be wearing the same thing, but the more you see someone, the more likely it will be that you can connect their name to them.

Starring: Jarrod Goldsmith of eSAX and Sax Appeal.

With help from Wasim from Storyline Productions and Jessica from Hewett Ripley Communications!

What’s The Purpose of a Business Card

Today our #AskTheFedora discusses the purpose of a business card.

Transcript:

You walk out of a networking event with 30 business cards…what do you do? After many years of trial and error, I decided to put everybody I ever met on a database. On that database, I include where I met the person, what was said, when I followed-up with them. And then I connect with the person on LinkedIn. Then the business cards ends-up in a box. I rarely look at them again. The purpose of a business card is to get you to follow-up with somebody. Put them on a database so that you can easily access that person’s contact information in the future, to not only connect with them yourself, but to send referrals to other people.

Starring: Jarrod Goldsmith of eSAX and Sax Appeal.

With help from Wasim from Storyline Productions and Jessica from Hewett Ripley Communications!

Ask the Fedora: Some Smart Networking Tips You Should Use

Today our #AskTheFedora shares some smart networking tips you should use!

Transcript:

My philosophy to ‘smart’ networking is when you go up to someone for the first time, please don’t just say “here’s my business card; you need me, I’m so great and I’ll make your life so much better”. No. The purpose to a smart networking event is to connect with someone in a way that’s not a sales-pitch; that’s not a way to get them to hire you on the spot. To me, the smart way to network is to ask them questions about themselves. People like talking about themselves. It makes you in a better position when you become a good listener. That’s a very important skill in networking and I encourage you all to try talking less; listening more.

Starring: Jarrod Goldsmith of eSAX and Sax Appeal.

With help from Wasim from Storyline Productions and Jessica from Hewett Ripley Communications!

Rogers TV – From “Wantrepreneur” to entrepreneur with Jarrod Goldsmith

Jarrod got a chance to sit down on an “Ottawa Experts” panel with Rogers TV to discuss some tips for success as an entrepreneur.

Learn what it takes to go from a “Wantapreneur” to an entrepreneur in this live television panel discussion featuring some enthusiastic business leaders, all from Ottawa, Ontario, Canada.

 

Some Good Questions To Ask At Networking Events

Today our #AskTheFedora shares some good questions to ask at networking events.

Transcript:

My favorite questions to ask people at networking events is anything but business. A lot of the time I’ll go up to somebody and I know they are aching to give me their business card. But I’ll play around with it a little bit. I’ll ask them how did you get to the event? Was there traffic? Where you stuck in traffic? What part of town did you come from? I see you’re wearing runners…do you run? I ask them anything outside of business to really get to know them. Some of my favorite questions to ask is if you’ve been to this event before; have you met the organizer; is there anyone here I can help introduce you to? Because this doesn’t come across as a sales pitch. When you go out of your way to really connect with somebody in a way to help them connect with other people, those are really good questions to ask.

Starring: Jarrod Goldsmith of eSAX and Sax Appeal.

With help from Wasim from Storyline Productions and Jessica from Hewett Ripley Communications!

Why did you become an entrepreneur?

Jarrod Goldsmith was invited to speak with CBC Radio to discuss what it takes to become an entrepreneur, and sustain your success. He sat down with Marie-France Marquis (Half Full Glassware) and talked about his journey toward becoming a local leader.

 

Connect with Marie-France Marquis of Half Full Glassware and Accessories:
http://www.halffullglassware.ca !

Connect with eSAX:

Website: http://esax.ca
Facebook: https://www.facebook.com/eSAXentrepre…
Twitter (#eSAX): https://twitter.com/eSAXnetworking
Meet-up: http://www.meetup.com/eSAXentrepreneur
LinkedIn: http://www.linkedin.com/groups/eSAX-E…
YouTube: http://www.youtube.com/channel/UC68OF…

Connect with Sax Appeal:

Website: http://www.saxappeal.ca
Facebook: https://www.facebook.com/pages/Sax-Ap…
Twitter: http://twitter.com/SaxAppealOttawa
LinkedIn: http://linkedin.com/company/sax-appeal
Google+: https://plus.google.com/1013558079903…
Pinterest: http://pinterest.com/saxappealottawa
YouTube: http://www.youtube.com/user/SaxAppeal…

Edited by Storyline Productions: http://storylineproductions.ca
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