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Top Tips for Kicking Off your Online Marketing Program

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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customers will look to see if you’re active online, and they can easily tell when a website or social media site is outdated.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.
#ENnews #PSPinc #Blog #Advertising #OnlineMarketing #SmallBusiness #DigitalMarketing #Marketing #Websites #SocialMedia #WebMarketing

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The Importance of Publishing your Privacy Policy

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In my previous blog on June 7, we talked about writing down a privacy policy on how to handle your clients’ sensitive data. We know we need to have privacy protection in place, but why do we need to have it documented? Well, here are five good reasons why:

1) Putting your privacy policy on paper will help you lay out a procedure for protecting your customers’ data. It’s also a good way to review how you’ve been doing it thus far, and what needs to be added or changed.

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.

4) Publishing your privacy policy shows your customers how you plan to keep their data safe and secure. It adds an element of trust.

5) Your privacy policy shows the world you are a trusted company who cares at a time when people have a heightened awareness on the subject of data protection and sharing.

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.
#ENnews #PSPinc #Blog #Advertising #OnlineMarketing #SmallBusiness #DigitalMarketing #Marketing #PrivacyPolicy #EU #EuropeanUnion #GDPR #DataProtection #SSL

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Why you Need an Online Presence

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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?

Bigger Audience

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.
#ENnews #PSPinc #Blog #Advertising #OnlineMarketing #SmallBusiness #DigitalMarketing #Marketing #Websites #Webhosting #SocialMedia

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Go Above and Beyond SSL Privacy Protection

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If you think you’re protecting your client’s sensitive information by adding Secure Socket Layer (SSL) encryption technology to your website, you need to think again. SSL is important, but it’s only one layer of protection in a multi-layered system. First, let’s understand SSL.

If you see a locked key in your browser’s address bar, that means the website you’re visiting has SSL installed. Secure Socket Layer is technology that encrypts sensitive information between a web browser and your company’s server, making your clients feel more comfortable purchasing from you. It makes it less likely a hacker can steal passwords and credit card information. The SSL installed server will send you a key to unlock the encrypted information on your computer or device when you need to retrieve it on your end.

SSL is not only used for websites and online submission forms, but also for email and FTP files. The software for these programs often come with a default SSL setting turned on, which is a nice feature, but not necessarily guaranteed. SSL should be an important part of your company’s online transactions and communication primarily for security reasons. But as a bonus, you may be rewarded with a boost in SEO ranking since Google gives preference to sites that are secure.

SSL sounds like the perfect privacy protection solution. Well, not quite.

SSL only encrypts customer data between the browser on a computer (or device) to your company’s server, so unless you have some way to protect that data once it’s on your company’s computer server, the information is still vulnerable. You need strict policies in place so the sensitive data is still protected once it’s on your server. For example, you want to make sure the data is accessible only on certain computers, and strictly monitor and limit who gets to view and handle the information.

After all, a hacker might have a hard time stealing your customer’s data with encryption technology in place, but anyone with access to your server can easily misuse the sensitive information. Something to seriously consider as privacy concerns and regulations ramp up.
#PSPinc #Blog #Advertising #OnlineMarketing #SmallBusiness #DigitalMarketing #Marketing #PrivacyPolicy #EU #EuropeanUnion #GDPR #DataProtection #SSL

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8 Small Business Trends

8 Small Business Trends
When running your small business, it’s easy to get so wrapped up in the day-to-day management that you miss some bigger opportunities to help you grow. Let’s discuss some major business trends companies should be aware of in 2018. We’ll divide them into Tech, Management, and Marketing.


1. Personal data security has become an important topic of discussion recently. With the misuse and overwhelming size of personal data that is floating around, it’s not surprising. It may not seem like a small business issue, but if you collect any personal information from your customers – you are responsible for handling it correctly. Making sure your websites are secure with SSL is a good place to start. Read our blog about SSL to learn more.

2. Cashless payment options are popping up almost everywhere we go. Millennials are carrying less cash and instead are relying on electronic forms of payment. The barriers to entry are low and the benefits can far outweigh the extra payment it might cost your business. If you can offer cashless payments – do it!

3. AI and VR (Augmented reality and Virtual reality) have quickly captured the attention of consumers who are eagerly awaiting the prices to drop. It may not be the right time to invest your company’s money, but keep your eyes on AI & VR. They are the next great platforms and getting on-board early could make all the difference.


4. Millennials currently make up more than a third of the workforce and they are rising into management level positions (the oldest being around 35 years of age). Countless studies have been done on the millennial worker – they prefer engaging and responsible companies who value teamwork and open communication. Soon Millennials will be managing Generation Z workers who are just now beginning to enter the workforce.

5. Remote offices are increasing at a rapid pace. Last year, 43% of employees in the US said they spent some time working from home. Not only are more people telecommuting, but they’re able to be more productive by trading in a long commute for more working hours. As more companies recognize this tradeoff, they will attract and retain talent by allowing their employees to work from home at least part time.


6. Micro-influencers have become the new norm for small businesses to reach highly targeted groups of buyers. A micro-influencer is someone with a growing following of people online because they are an expert in some area such as food, lifestyle, wellness and such. You’ll see them on social media with a very engaged following of fans. With 700 million people scrolling through their phones, partnering with the right micro-influencer for your brand could prove a worthy effort.

7. Social shopping will continue to grow with apps like Instagram offering options to tag products on posts. Sync your Facebook shop with your Instagram account and tag your products in any pictures you post for more exposure. Brands using social media to generate new leads and boost sales is a fast-growing trend.

8. Live video content is a great way to build engagement with your audience and capture their attention while they’re online. Make sure to post reminders of when you’ll be going live so your audience can join you in real time. Try writing a general script with major points to make sure you stay on track while talking.
#PSPinc #Blog #ENnews #Advertising #OnlineMarketing #SmallBusiness #DigitalMarketing #Marketing #PrivacyPolicy #EU #EuropeanUnion #GDPR #DataProtection #SSL

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Why Everyone is Updating their Privacy Policies

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Have you noticed companies sending you emails lately about their updated privacy policies? Well, that’s because they want you to know they’re now in compliance with the European Union’s (EU) General Data Protection Regulation (GDPR) that went into effect late last month.

With much of our personal info now floating around the internet, this new regulation under EU law is unlike its previous directive where each country had its own regulation statement. The EU has created uniform rules for protecting and processing our personal data in which companies across the board must comply.

The affected companies are not only those in EU countries, but also companies who provide products and services to EU citizens. So, if you already have a privacy statement on your business website, you might want to read it again to make sure it falls in line with what GDPR defines for EU citizens.

According to the European Commission, "personal data is any information relating to an individual, whether it relates to his or her private, professional or public life. It can be anything from a name, a home address, a photo, an email address, bank details, posts on social networking websites, medical information, or a computer's IP address."

If you’re a business owner, a few basic rules should be followed for client data protection, for example, always secure your customer’s private information. Don’t leave client credit cards in an open place and make sure you shred documents with credit card info. Describe your privacy policies in an online privacy statement, and be transparent with your customers. How you handle your client data is a reflection of who you are as a business owner.

Under the new regulation, unless a person has consented to let their personal data be collected, retained, or shared to a third party, their info cannot be processed unless there is a legal reason to do so, including:

- For the legitimate interests of a data controller or a third party, unless these interests are overridden by the Charter of Fundamental Rights (especially in the case of children).
- To perform a task in the public interest or in official authority.
- To comply with a data controller's legal obligations.
- To fulfill contractual obligations with a data subject.
- To perform tasks at the request of a data subject who is in the process of entering into a contract with a data controller.
- To protect the vital interests of a data subject or another person.

This is a particularly good time to define and/or update your privacy policy for handling customer data. By doing so, you’re not only protecting your customers, you’re protecting your business.

#ENnews #PSPinc #Blog #Advertising #OnlineMarketing #SmallBusiness #DigitalMarketing #Marketing #PrivacyPolicy #EU #EuropeanUnion #GDPR #DataProtection #SSL

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What is a Digital Eco-System?

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When we think about an eco-system we often imagine natural settings. We think of water, soil, plants, and animals all working together to create a sustainable system - each relying on the others. They’re able to stand-alone and can be beneficial by themselves, but together they create something much bigger and can support more than they could individually.

The same can be said about a digital eco-system. A digital eco-system is an environment where programs are interconnected and interact with each other to complete a common goal. They rely on connectivity to accomplish hard and often complex tasks. The better connected these programs are, the better the eco-system.

Sounds simple, right?

But we often forget how many of these interconnected programs we use on a daily basis. When we ask Alexa to turn on music or to play Netflix – we are using a system of software programs that are connected to each other and working together. As you may already know, sometimes these eco-systems don’t work perfectly. That’s because the programs were not built together, which can cause disruptions in connectivity – to our annoyance.

Whenever PSP sets out to build or improve our software, we have our own digital eco-system in mind. We build our programs to work together and connect seamlessly in order to make your life easier.

Our website builder, Dreamersi, has settings to easily add your blog, connect your social media, or build/add forms into your website. These programs work interdependently with each other to achieve a shared goal: effortless connectivity for our customers so they can focus on the real task at hand – running a successful business.
#ENnews #PSPinc #Blog #Advertising #OnlineMarketing #SmallBusiness #Marketing #Dreamersi #WebHosting #Software

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Respecting Cultural Differences in Management Styles

Respecting Cultural Differences ...
In the U.S. time is money, so if a small error is made at work, or a minor miscalculation, oftentimes, it’s easier and more cost-effective to move on without investigating what went wrong. If it’s inefficient to struggle through troubleshooting, or if it costs more money than the problem is worth, we typically brush it off.

The same philosophy does not apply in Japan, especially in business. In Japan, if you make a mistake, the mentality is to investigate and learn from the mistake, regardless of its magnitude. The time it takes to figure it out may cost more than the actual mistake itself, but the Japanese place a high value on reducing errors and inefficient processes.

For example, in a retail store, if there is one dollar missing in the cashier’s drawer, many retailers here would say, “Don’t make the same mistake,” and move on. Because it would cost the business more than that missing dollar to figure out what went wrong. This is assuming the mistake won’t likely be repeated. But in Japan, although the cost to figure out a 100 yen (or one dollar) shortfall in the drawer may cost the company way more than 100 yen to figure out, it’s important this mistake is analyzed, learned from, and the process improved.

An improved process eliminates what the Japanese call “muda,” meaning “uselessness, futility, wastefulness,” and many companies, including Toyota’s well-known Total Production System (TPS), have adapted to a management system that eliminates such muda. The idea is for a streamlined process that eliminates any obstacles getting in the way of progress.

In the end, how you view muda is based on your own business values and processes. When working with international business partners, however, it’s best to keep an open mind. After all, my way of doing things is not the only way, and your way will probably be very different. But if we can respect each other’s unique process, observe and learn from each other, we’ll be a lot better off in our business relationships.
#PSPinc #Blog #SmallBusiness #Marketing #BusinessEtiquette #InternationalBusiness #GlobalBusiness #BusinessPartners #InternationalEtiquette

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Gift-Giving Etiquette for International Business Meetings

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Gift exchanges are very common in Japan. We already discussed the types of gifts you can give in a previous blog. But let’s go a little bit deeper and discuss how your gift may be received. For example, when you give a gift to an international business partner, it may not be opened in front of you. And that’s okay. It’s not a sign of a disrespect, it’s a cultural difference.

For the recipient of your gift, not opening it in front of you is a way of being polite and respectful. Some people are more Westernized and understand the difference in cultures, so they may ask if it’s okay to open the gift in front of you when they receive it.

You will also notice they won’t rip the wrapping paper. It’s considered rude if you rip it apart. Instead, they carefully open the wrap, unfolding the sides.

If you are the gift recipient, you might be surprised at how much effort went into putting your package together. Presentation is a very important piece of Japanese culture, so your gift box was probably wrapped and then placed into another nicely decorated bag before being carefully handed over to you.

When you consider the fine presentation of food at a Japanese restaurant, it shouldn’t surprise you how much effort goes into wrapping a gift. The presentation in itself sends an important message to the recipient.

Knowing this, here’s a word of advice when receiving a beautifully wrapped gift from your international business partner: don’t rip through the paper! And if you’re giving a gift, don’t toss it across the table. Wrap it up nicely and hand it over delicately. The extra effort will be appreciated!
#PSPinc #Blog #SmallBusiness #Marketing #BusinessEtiquette #InternationalBusiness #GlobalBusiness #BusinessPartners #InternationalEtiquette

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A Visitor’s Guide to Public Transportation Courtesy in Tokyo

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Visiting Tokyo requires some patience for navigating through a complex train and subway system, but once you figure it out, it’s actually very orderly. With the upcoming 2020 Olympics, Tokyo has been preparing to host the international crowd with directions and signage printed in English. This should help visitors, but we also want to hand out some advice on how to be a considerate traveler, which is important in Japanese culture.

Here’s what to know before you go to Tokyo:

Don’t block escalator traffic. One side of the escalator should be open for those who wish to rush up or down the stairs. If you’re standing still, keep to the left side in Tokyo, and stand on the right side in Osaka. Don’t ask me why it’s different, but the most important piece to remember is DO NOT block the side where people are walking/running up the steps!

Be patient, not pushy. The locals know to orderly stand in line before the yellow lines as they await their train. Follow their lead. Japanese trains arrive every few minutes, so even if you miss one, you will most likely be able to catch one soon after. Do not get pushy or cut in line.

Follow train etiquette. Don’t block the path for those who are getting off the train. Let them come off first before getting on the train.

Be quiet. Keeping quiet on the train is important etiquette so you should not engage in a loud conversation. Don’t talk on the phone. It’s better yet to sit silent while you’re on the train.

No drinking or eating. You will notice how clean it is in Tokyo. People don’t litter in the streets or the trains, and it’s considered rude to eat on commuter trains and subways. If you’re on the express trains and bullet trains, you will have tables where it’s okay to consume your food and drink.

Be seated properly. Don’t spread your legs, cross your legs, or leave your bag on the seat next to you. Seating space is limited so be sure to share it with others!
#PSPinc #Blog #SmallBusiness #Marketing #BusinessEtiquette #InternationalBusiness #GlobalBusiness #BusinessPartners #TravelEtiquette #InternationalEtiquette

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