Year in Review: ITbusiness.ca

itbusiness karim kanji

I really enjoy contributing to ITbusiness.ca. I have been doing so for a number of years and 2015 was no exception. I wrote 5 pieces this past year.

The first one ended up being the most popular post of all of 2015. Here is a list of the articles. If you have not read them, I encourage you to do so. And even if you have, this is as good a time as any to review them. I hope you enjoy!

Brands and U2 take to Periscope (and Meerkat) to reach fans and customers

Canadian smartphone use on the rise; but apps in decline: Report

What the recent announcements at F8 mean for advertisers

Twitter showcases best in class during Advertising Week Canada

5 Canadians to watch in 2015

 

9 Tools of the Trade

There are many reasons why a business owner and entrepreneur succeed: education, family, money, street smarts, friends, etc. There are also many tools of the trade that make success a little easier to come by. And they all can be accessed regardless of any of the above. Below are nine tools that I use on a constant basis that enable me to focus more on business and less on the struggle of building a successful company:

OrangeYYZ/Network Orange

Location. Location. Location. Having a place to call home is important when building a business. It promotes stability and allows you to focus on meeting prospects and getting things done rather than having to worry about where you will work that day. When we started our social media agency we used to work out of coffee shops and libraries. Although we are still small we have had our own office for more than a year now. Thanks to ING Direct’s community/coworking space at the corner of Yonge and Shuter in the heart of downtown Toronto. I have tweeted and written about OrangeYYZ/Network Orange numerous times.

As a location that allows me access to business tools (desk, scanner/fax, wifi, coffee and kitchen services, amazing staff!), meeting rooms and a prime location to hold meetings, OrangeYYZ and Network Orange have been a blessing to me and our business.

MacBook Air

I can’t believe I went a lifetime without a MacBook. Previously I was using generic laptops and notebooks. The speed and efficiency of my Mac Air has literally given me untold hours of life back.

iPad

I never realized how impressed people are when I conduct a meeting with a tablet computer rather than a laptop or paper and pen. In my line of business, first impressions count. And if I leave an impression that shows I am up to date with the latest technology and trends, then my clients and potential clients feel secure in working with me.

The plethora of great business apps also help too!

Smartphone

You’re not in business without a smartphone. IMHO.

Google Apps: Gmail, Calendar, YouTube, Drive

Where would many of us be without the “cloud”? Our ability to have our email, documents, and calendars accessible from any device, anywhere in the world is astounding. So much so that today, it’s a given and we don’t think of it as mind bending. I conduct a lot of business with Google apps.

HootSuite

The best social media dashboard hands down. This web-based product allows me to manage both my social media personal and business lives on one screen. From monitoring and moderating to creating content, HootSuite is my must-have social media tool.

Trello

As we grew our business there became a glaring need to use a project management tool to keep everyone updated and accountable. To the rescue came Trello. Trello is a simple, lightweight, yet powerful PM tool for teams as small as one and as large as you want. While Trello does have mobile versions, their web-based platform is the best.

Evernote

Evernote helps me remember. Everything. It is my go to notebook on the go. I can input notes into my tablet, smartphone or computer and then access it from any of these devices. And because Evernote helps me remember, it makes me look smart!

HighRise

Need to manage contacts and leads and don’t want to spend lots on a customer management tool? Want something simple, east and effective. Try using HighRise to keep you on the right track to closing those sales leads. I’ve been using it for the better part of 3 years and I must say that it is the most important business tool I use.  Without a pipeline (and a tool to manage this pipeline) any business will eventually dry up.

These are my 9 favourite business “tools”. what are some of yours?

Does Vine have it’s first Vine-Superstar?

I say yes. And his name is Adam Goldberg.

Many of you might know Adam from movies such as Saving Private Ryan and A Beautiful Mind.  Adam also happens to be an accomplished musician, designer and director.

And now, he’s using Vine as a creative outlet and to showcase his creative talents. (If you’re curious about Vine check out the blog post I wrote on my company website.)

Which is a good thing. He’s not making videos of cookies being eaten or cats playing with dogs. Not that I have anything against dogs. It’s those darn cats I can’t stand…

And Adam will not be alone for much longer. The Vine platform and format is simple to use. For anyone.

All you need is 6 seconds. A 6 second movie. About anything you want. Think about it. How many people wish they could create a viral video on YouTube? Many. But it’s not really the viral video people are interested in making unless they use the platform for business – “Hey Karim, can you make me a viral video?”

People are interested in the creativity of these videos. However, the masses have been stopped as a result of a continuous raising of the bar. With Vine, the barrier to entry is fixed. And it’s low. Only 6 seconds. Imagine what you can come up with in 6 seconds. Now all you have to do is grab your smartphone* and away you go.

What will you create in 6 seconds?

* = currently Vine is only on the iOS platform.