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Keeping Passwords Safe

by Administrator 7. June 2012 18:34

Its very easy in our busy lives to remember to change our passwords on some of the applications, systems and email facilities we have.

Simply changing your passwords on a regular basis is a great way to prevent or limit the chances of having your valuable email addresses and social media applications hacked or compromised.

It may sound like a tall order, especially as most business people have a growing amount of passwords to remember, but keeping each password different and not in a similar format is a great way to increase the security of your passwords.

There are sites on the internet that allow you to check the security of your email addresses by simply adding your address, it can be checked to see whether your email address has been compromised so that you can take the appropriate actions to protect you emails in the future.

Such sites as https://shouldichangemypassword.com are a credible way of checking out your details.

It is not just emails that we must protect, but for anyone using applications that include personal details such as date of birth and personal information, these should not be forgotten and passwords changed on a regular basis.


best working practices | Business

Solopreneurs – Keeping Sociable when working from home

by Administrator 9. November 2011 09:59

Working from home can be a rewarding and positive workplace, but it is not without its trying times!

Whilst getting up in the morning and walking into your office can be convenient there can be a time (especially for the sociable Soloprenuers) can feel quite cut off from the normal social elements of working in an office.

When you work hard in your office all day, sometimes the last thing you want to do is go out or organise something in the evening. Please do not get into this habit as you will find that all work and no play can soon build up and become quite a hard rut to break out of.

Whilst a majority of your time is probably spent in the office, keep to a strict timetable of scheduled work time and scheduled ‘down time’. When you feel you are feeling a bit cut off socially but should be concentrating on business matters consider arrange going to a networking group. This is a good way of getting away from the office, meeting new and likeminded business people and is still part of a business.

We spoke a business woman who works as a recruitment consultant. One of the things she mentioned is that she speaks to a lot of people during the day but doesn’t have the normal non work chatter that she missed in the office. One thing she recommended was to arrange once a week to catch up with another like minded business person to talk generally of any challenges that you both face.

Working from home works for a lot of people but making a strict schedule will stop it becoming all work and no play!


best working practices | Business

Don’t Blog for Blogs Sake!

by Administrator 8. November 2011 12:05

With the internet providing an extra window for customers to display their services and products, it is important to look at the importance of blogging and its effects on bringing quality internet traffic, rather than just window shoppers.

We have used our blog as a portal for relevant and sometimes fun articles based around businesses so that we can engage with people over business related matters. With a growing need for companies to promote their services using SEO sometimes there can be too much emphasis on quantity rather than quality. Although an article on say Justin Beiber may be a great way of increasing traffic, is this traffic absolutely relevant to your business? If you are a Justin Beiber memorabilia store, perhaps but if you are a financial advisor or IT consultant does it really benefit your business?

If you consider your website or blog as your shop window, what things would you put in it to attract passing trade? Obviously things that show what you do and what you are about and items that would attract passers by into looking into you further. With this in mind it is always a good idea to carefully think out what topics you want to cover on your blogs and what effect you hope they will have. Put it this way, if you were a shop store, say a greengrocer and you put sweets in the windows because it would attract lots of glances, how fed up would you be with people coming into your shop to ask you about sweets rather than what you do sell?

Enjoy blogging, it’s a great way to reach people that you wouldn’t normally reach but make it effective for you by concentrating on who you want to reach.


best working practices | Blog | Business


by Administrator 28. October 2011 13:27

We hope you enjoy this amusing list of 10 ways not to answer a call. Here at the Reception Bureau we can guarantee we offer a professional impression, but if any of the following you recognise in your business, please give us a call and our friendly P.As will show you how it should be done.

1) The Snacker

The Snacker is the person who likes to answer the call whilst eating. There is a moment of swallowing panic as they try to digest their mouths contents whilst trying to convince the person on the line that they always sound slightly muffled.

2) The Bathroom

There is something very unnerving when you get through to someone who is sounding very echoey and going through a whole conversation with a grand finale of a flushing sound.

3) The conversationalist

We always worry when we get through to someone who is having several conversations all at once, a) we never know when they are talking to us or the other person and everything gets very confusing! and b) it would be nice to get their full attention

4) The Multi tasker

Although we live in a chaotic world where multi-tasking is a must but sometimes people need to stop and make a real effort to listen to the caller. The Multi-tasker is someone who juggles a project, a cup of tea or coffee, whilst addressing a meeting with a precariously positioned phone under their chin.

5) The Marathon

The phones ringing and The Marathon answerer can hear its ring from the other side of the office. They take sprint to reach it in time, dodging various office equipment and finally reaching their goal, only to find the phone rings off or they are out of puff.

6) The Sneezer

The Sneezer is the die-hard of the office. Determined not to let the hayfever or winter cold stop them in their tracks. Whilst sniffing and stifling a cough they answer the phone making the caller feel a littl

e guilty to disturb them whilst they are ill.

7) The Chainsaw

The Chainsaw is the outdoor worker who balances their various tools whilst answering the phone. Although an amazing feat, sometimes it can sound like a horror movie when you call them.

8) The Bad mood

Theres something off putting when someone answers the phone ‘What do you Want?’ or just ‘hurrumph’. It not only puts you in a mutually bad mood but isn’t doing much for customer service.

9) The Silence is Golden

Hello, hello…..hello……….hello? You can never quite tell whether you have got through to a fax machine or the number you needed and theres an unnerving quietness before the person eventually answers.

10) The Fast Talker

The Fast Talker is the enthusiastic talker who considers that talking at 100mph is a great way of getting through a call quickly. Slow down!! Its very difficult to understand what you are saying!


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Call Answering Service

The Young Apprentice 2011

by Administrator 24. October 2011 13:59

The Young Apprentice is back for its second series starting tonight (Monday 24th October 2011) on BBC 1. Twelve candidates will battle it out over the next 8 weeks to be Lord Sugars new Apprentice. In the first episode of the series the candidates are split boys v girls in a race to come up with a range of frozen treats.

So who are the twelve candidates?

Boys Girls
Ben Fowler Gbemi Okunlola
Harry Hitchens Hannah Richards
Harry Maxwel Haya Al Dlame
James McCullagh         Hayley Forrester
Lewis Roman Lizzie Magee
Mahamed Awale Zara Brownless

You can find out a bit more about them on the BBC website www.bbc.co.uk 

After tonight's show I will be making some predictions as to who might win this years Young Apprentice.

Starting an online business

by Administrator 20. October 2011 15:25

In these tough economic times many people are deciding to start their own business, and what better place to start a business than online.  So how can you make money online? Well there are a number of ways but I guess they could be broken down into three main categories; e-commerce, subscription services and advertising.

E-commerce as you would expect involves selling products online, this may, or may not involve substantial start-up costs, depending on the types of products you are going to offer. If you are going to be selling something like cameras online, you will need to purchase your stock in significant volume to get the discounts you will require to make a profit, this will involve a hefty investment. But not all e-commerce sites need major cash investment. In this new digital age there are many non-tangible products that can be sold online, such as e-books, MP3's, stock images, the list is practically endless.

Subscription services can provide an income from your users, by paying a fee to access the content on your site, such as a subscription to 'the Times online' for a fixed period. Or the ability to access unlimited music on demand from companies such as Spotify. Obviously the content you provide to your users must be of a very high standard, for them to want to part with their cash.

Another route that some online entrepreneurs may take is to make their money from online advertising. This can be very profitable but you will have to have very high volumes of traffic coming to your site. This can be achieved by offering excellent content (usually for free) to attract visitors, who in turn will click on your ads. A site that springs to mind that uses this business model is Facebook, now I don't expect everyone to be the next Mark Zuckerberg, but a well written blog with up-to-date content will certainly get you started. Be warned, unless your site attracts millions of visitors a month The Pay Per Click (PPC) advertising approach is probably not going to generate enough income for you to be able to quit your day job just yet.

So what do you need to get started, well in my next post I will discuss getting your business online. From how and where to buy your domain name, to hosting your website and choosing the right software tools and applications to turn your business dreams in to reality.

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Blackberry Blackout Continues

by Administrator 12. October 2011 12:13

Blackberry have long since been known for their secure email, web browsing and messaging service (BBM), but what happens when it goes wrong? Well blackberry users across Europe, Africa, the Middle East, India found out around 11:00am on Monday 10th October 2011. The problems then spread to Brazil, Chile and Argentina during Tuesday 12th Oct. So what caused this widespread disruption? RIM place the blame with one of their core switches failing, this on it's own wouldn't  have caused widespread disruption, but when the fail-over switch failed to come online, Blackberry users were plunged into darkness. 


Many of Blackberry's customers feel let down by the company who have been very sketchy about the problems and when they are likely to be resolved. This will do nothing to aid the companies battle for market share in this very competitive market. It's perfect timing however for Apple as they launch their iMessage today (Wed 12th Oct) that works just like Blackberry's messenger.

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Business | Smart Phones

Annoyance of irrelevant sales calls

by Administrator 11. October 2011 14:39

We have known the annoyance of irrelevant sales calls for companies. For any company no matter what the size or industry category, sales calls can be an unwanted interruption to a business day.

We have always politely advised unwanted sales calls to send enquiries in writing or within an email so that their enquiries can be filtered and in persistent cases we take their details and politely let them know not to contact unless they are invited to do so in the future.

Lately we have had a rise in data companies calling to ‘substantiate’ company details such as names, phone numbers etc. We are always aware that giving details can open a flood gate of sales so please be careful what information you decide to make public.

The best ways to deal with sales calls (apart from signing up to us!!) is to make sure you are aware what information is listed in business directories both in paper form and on the web that people can readily access.

Always have a strategy for sales calls. For example if it’s a new enquiry let the salesperson know of an acceptable way to contact the company, such as email or in letter form but without giving extra data like contact names and positions away. We often give out an info@ or enquiries@ email if companies are happy for us to do so, but we wont give out a personal email address such as Nicola.Kent@.

When it gets to the stage that you remember or recognise a salesperson when they call, then they are probably bordering on nuisance. In these cases we tend to remind firmly but politely that if the company was interested they would have contacted them by now. We have only in very rare circumstances ‘bad listed’ a salesperson, but if it gets to that point we advise no contact at all.

Please do remember that sales people can be genuine and not all annoying! But be firm if what they are offering would have no benefit to the company at all so that they don’t waste their time calling you back.

Please let us know of any stories you have regarding bizarre sales calls and if you need our assistance please yell!

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Greatest innovator of our time

by Administrator 6. October 2011 11:23

Wednesday the 5th October 2011 will stick in my mind as the day we lost one of the greatest innovators of our time. Steve Jobs had been at the helm of the worlds most valuable (227billion) technology giant, Apple since he started the company 35 years ago in his parent’s garage, but due to failing health he resigned as CEO in late August 2011, sadly today he lost his battle against pancreatic cancer at the age of 56.

Social media networks have been flooded with tributes to the technology guru, so much so that Twitter was struggling to cope with the number of tweets being posted; early reports indicate that Jobs is likely to break the current record of 8,868 tweets per second, it’s estimated that the figure could exceed 10,000 tweets per second!

Steve Jobs has forever changed the way we use and look at technology, he made it sexy! His innovative products such as the iPhone and iPad which have revolutionised the way we communicate today are testament to this. 

Steve Jobs will be missed by many, but may his spirit live on in Apple…

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Smart Phones

Where is our iPhone5?

by Administrator 5. October 2011 10:16

Following an eagerly awaited announcement at Apple HQ in Silicon Valley there was some in trepidation yesterday over the possible launch of an iphone5 that sadly didn’t come into fruition. Mr Cook made his first major debut on the worldwide stage since his former boss Steve Jobs stepped down earlier in August this year to announce the new iPhone 4S.

But is this seen as a new member of the Apple family in its own right or is it just an upgraded version of its Apple siblings? And haven’t we been here before? There has been beforehand with the launch of the iPhone3G and upgrade to the iPhone3GS.

So what are the differences between the iPhone4 and the iPhone 4S. Well, the iPhone 4S boasts a faster processor and a better camera. A faster processor will allow for faster downloading.

Probably the most exciting part of the iPhone 4S is that it is ready to go with the new iOS 5 software being launched later this month on the 12th October. The whole experience of the iOS 5 software is to provide an easily accessible social experience, making it easier for the user to keep in touch with what is happening through their social media favourites such as Twitter, Safari and YouTube.

An upgrade for all Apple users will be available to download for free and will coincide with the much awaited iCloud.

iOS 5 has given the camera app a real user friendly twist allowing users to click on their pictures without having to unlock them and allowing features such as auto focus and exposure and all other facilities that you would expect from a digital camera. The iOS 5 also has a revamped gaming app making it a much fun user experience for gamers.

We await the launch of iOS 5 next week to see how the new iOS 5 makes a difference for Apple users.

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Reception Bureau Blog

So what’s this blog all about?

Well, this blog is going to be an useful resource for anyone running a small to medium size business.

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