SMALL BUSINESS TECH SUPPORT

Bob Rankin is a small business owner - a writer, computer programmer and ecommerce expert who enjoys explaining technology in plain English. His work has appeared in Computer World, NY Newsday, and other publications. Bob is also publisher of Ask Bob Rankin, author of several computer books, and owner of Flowers Fast, the online florist service.

Keeping Tabs On Competitors

It’s not enough in business to just do your own thing, even if you do it exceptionally well. You must also keep tabs on what your competitors are doing because their activities can directly and suddenly impact your bottom line. Here's how to see w … [Continue reading]

Are You Ready For Chipped Credit Cards?

U.S. banks are changing the security features of customers’ credit and debit cards in a long overdue measure to reduce card fraud. Cards will still work the old-fashioned way, but merchants who upgrade their systems to use the new security features w … [Continue reading]

Paypal or Square for Business Loans?

Competition is great unless you are one of the competitors. Paypal must be getting rather irritated as Square, Inc., launches new challenges to Paypal’s hegemony on a growing number of fronts. The latest Square encroachment on Paypal’s turf is bus … [Continue reading]

The Best Social Media Exposure?

Advertising online to bring attention to your small business is tricky. Maintaining an active presence on social media sites such as Facebook, Twitter and Google+ has been one inexpensive way to attract eyeballs, but that game is changing... … [Continue reading]

14 Smartphone Apps for Business

A smartphone is an essential business tool these days. Judiciously equipped with the right apps, it can be a great productivity tool. There are thousands of smartphone apps, and many “best for business” lists. Here are some of the most powerful and p … [Continue reading]

Google Drive for Work vs MS OneDrive for Business

Cloud-based productivity tools for businesses took a leap at the end of June, when Google introduced Google Drive for Work. Read on to learn how Google's new offering is putting the pinch on Microsoft, and why that's good for business users... … [Continue reading]

Tips on Buying a Domain Name

Have you dreamed of having your own business website? Are you planning to register a dot-COM domain name, but you're not sure where to start? Here are some helpful tips on how to pick a great name, register the domain, and get your new website up … [Continue reading]

Web Analytics: A Powerful, Free Tool

“What gets measured gets improved” is an old saying that applies to everything from weight loss to profit-and-loss. Measuring the many ways in which people interact with your website and adjusting the content or structure accordingly is a powerful way … [Continue reading]

So You Wanna Be a Webmaster?

I have a great idea for a website, but I'm not sure how it all works. I'm a quick learner with a limited budget, so I'd rather do it myself than hire a programmer. Can you recommend some good (free) webmaster training courses? … [Continue reading]

Which Online Payment Options Should You Offer?

There’s nothing as delightful to the ears of a merchant as the Ka-CHING! of a cash register. And offering multiple online payment methods to your customers is one way to increase the odds they'll shop with you instead of a competitor. Here are s … [Continue reading]


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