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Chamber Member Blogs

Welcome to the Official Blog Page of the Boca Chamber!
If you are interested in having your posts appear in this webpage, please contact Liz Diaz at ediaz@bocachamber.com

Interchange Optimization - What is It?
By Adam Moss

Visa and MasterCard, along with card issuing banks, set the cost of interchange or the base cost to process a credit card transaction. There are over 300 levels of interchange with rates ranging from as low a .05% to as high as 3.25% and everything in between. What determines the cost of interchange is based on many factors, including benefits given to the cardholder and perceived risk.
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Data Breaches Target Hospitality Industry - What Can be Done?
By Adam Moss

The Hospitality Industry has been and will continue to be a target of data breaches. Business owners need to assess the risk a data breach will have on their business. As you will see below, Clarity EPS, powered by CardConnect, offers a patented solution for tokenization and encryption combined with Point-to-Point Encryption.
Click here to read the complete blog post...

No Signature Required - Visa, MasterCard, Discover, American Express 
By Adam Moss

For as far back as we can remember, signing for a credit card purchase was simply part of the purchasing process. Customers signed the credit card receipt, the employee or business owner would check the back of the card to ensure the signatures match and the sale was completed. Ok, so nobody really checked the back of the card to match up signatures. However, signing the credit card receipt helped reduce the risk to banks that purchases would be disputed. As a result, the cost of processing an in-person transaction, with a signed receipt, was lower than transactions with no signature or those taken over the phone or online.
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Credit Card Processing 101 - The Major Players
By Adam Moss

For as far back as we can remember, signing for a credit card purchase was simply part of the purchasing process. Customers signed the credit card receipt, the employee or business owner would check the back of the card to ensure the signatures match and the sale was completed. Ok, so nobody really checked the back of the card to match up signatures. However, signing the credit card receipt helped reduce the risk to banks that purchases would be disputed. As a result, the cost of processing an in-person transaction, with a signed receipt, was lower than transactions with no signature or those taken over the phone or online.
Click here to read the complete blog post...

The Cash Discount - Is it Right for Your Business?
By Adam Moss

For years, consumers, have been offered a lower price when buying gas if they paid with cash. The reason is very simple; the fees paid for processing a credit card take a very big chunk out of gas station profits who already have low profit margins. As a business owner I am sure you have given thought to how such a program would help your business, but it wasn’t offered, until now.
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How Do Chiropractic Adjustments Help Optimize Health?
By Dr. John DeMutiis

While chiropractic care can relieve a number of pain conditions, it can also improve your overall health. Research shows that spinal adjustmens can reduce blood pressure, soothe stress hormones and boost immunity. In 2007, a study in the Journal of Human Hypertension found that a Cq/atlas realignment helped achieve arterial blood pressure goals. A study done in 2004 found that patients who went to see a Chiropractor regularly had a 43% decrease in hospital admissions, 52% reduction in pharmaceutical costs and 43% fewer outpatient surgical procedures when compared with the normal population.

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What You Need to Know About PCI Compliance
By Adam Moss, Clarity EPS

When it comes to being PCI compliant there are many questions business owners have but the one I hear most often is, Why? Why do I need to fill out this questionnaire and Why do I need to be PCI Compliant? To answer these questions, it is important we first address what PCI is and how it came about.

In 2006, the PCI Security Standards Council (PCI SSC), founded by the five largest credit card providers: Visa, MasterCard, Discover, American Express and JCB International, created the Payment Card Industry Data Security Standard (PCI DSS). The goal of the Council is to ensure that all business owners protect their customers' credit card information during a transaction and when cardholder data is stored.

Is it important to note that being PCI compliant is NOT required by law. However, to help avoid a data breath and heft non-compliance fees, it is highly recommended that business owners who accept credit card payments follow the regulations set out by the PCI SSC.

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Does the Red Warning Sign of Doom Appear on Your Website?
By Dale Filhaber, Dataman Group Direct

Beginning in October, Chrome will label HTTP pages as insecure if users can input any data, such as login information or payment data into your website. There is nothing that will damage your online sales more than seeing a warning message that says "not secure" in big red letters.

I call this the Red Warning Sign of Doom.

The not-secure label indicates that data is being exchanged on an unencrypted connection. HTTPS, which is the secure version of HTTP, offers better protection for both the consumer and for the site owner.

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The Benefits of Graduating into a Free Enterprise Economy
By Daniel M. Gropper, Ph.D, U.S. Chamber of Commerce Foundation

Graduationg season has drawn to a close. The new graduates are filled with a mix of excitement and apprehension at successfully completing their schoolwork, leaving the University and joining the "real world".

These graduates have an incredible benefit that many do not even think about. They are graduating into a (mostly) capitalist, free enterprise economic system, with all the freedoms, and all the challenges, that implies.

Individual liberty and personal freedom -- including the freedom to decide about schooling and the careers we pursue -- is a deeply rooted part of the American sensibility. This freedom bring with it the need to make choices about how to invest in themsevles -- how to build their own human capital -- as well as the responsibility for those choices.

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Developing an Application? Define Your MVP First!

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

By Juan Lopez, NearSource

We all According to Wikipiedia an MVP (minimal variable product) is a product with just enough features to satisfy early customers, and to provide feedback for future development. Some experts suggest that in business to business transactions an MVP also means saleable: "it's not an MVP until you sell it. Viamble mean you can sell it". Before you decide to build a new product or application, make sure you define your MVP first.

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Creating Synergy Between Direct Mail and Digital Channels: Dos and Dont's

 

 

 

By Dale Filhaber, Dataman Group Direct

We all know that marketing via multiple channels increases response rates, raises awareness and enhances branding.

According to DM News, combining direct mail and email could lead to response rates that are more than double the typical results.

While many businesses combine direct mail & email, different businesses combine them differently.

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Your Website Needs a Check-Up!

 

 

 

 

 

By Juan Lopez, NearSource

Your website is your online business card, so it is important that you monitor your website and make sure it is in good hands. Many business owners have learned how to manage their own sites, run campaigns and often do a good job. However, more often than not, there is something that can slip by. Maintaining a website is very time consuming and now more than ever, because it is never finished! In order to be relevant, you need to be adding and updating your website content, ensuring the overall design is still up to standards, and that the message is geared to your target audience. Updating your website is takes a lot of time so you need to make sure you are editing the right pages with the right content. Whether you manage your own website or pay for a service to do this for you, here is a list of basic things you can review to do a website check-up.

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Boca Raton Credit Card Processing
By Adam Moss, Clarity EPS 

Working in the world of credit card processing since 2003, we understand business owners face challenges dealing with merchant processing and trying to determine the optimal solution for their business. Too often, business owners are not given proper information regarding pricing, products and services available to them that would result in increased savings and protection of their bottom line. We ensure that this is never the case with our clients.

Our approach in working with businesses helps to separate ourselves from the competition. There are no promises, guarantees or gimmicks. Rather we begin with a basic question; When was the last time you performed an audit of your merchant services program? The impetus behind this question is to gain a better understanding of your business, allowing us to present a tailored solution to meet your specific needs based on technology, security and added value solutions.


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Difference Between Domain Hosting and Web Hosting
By Juan Lopez, NearSource

It can get confusing on understanding the difference between domain hosting and web hosting. Often when I ask a client “Where is your domain hosted?”, they say one of the following:

“Oh, I have everything in GoDaddy or X service.”

“What’s domain hosting? I bought the domain many years ago, I don’t know.”

“Don’t you host my website? You should know.”

“I don’t know, ask my IT guy.”


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How and Why to Use Images on Your Website
By Juan Lopez, NearSource

There are many reasons to add images on your website and blog posts. Besides illustrating your content, it makes your site look nicer, more user friendly and can help you with your SEO (Search Engine Optimization). You don’t want to have a boring page with just paragraphs and no images. It has been proven that adding images increase the chances of user engagement, social media sharing and can increase your site traffic. However, you need to do it right otherwise you won’t get the most benefits out of them. If your images are too large, it will make your page load slower and page load speed is an important factor for both user experience and SEO. You have to make sure you have rights to use your images, you can’t just do a Google search and grab images and put them on your site.

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5 Essential WordPress Plugins
By Juan Lopez, NearSource

What WordPress plugins should you have on your site? This is something a lot of newcomers or DIY (“do it yourself”) website builders ask when getting started with their WordPress website. This is a basic list to get you started, but I am sure you will come across many more that you will setup for your site. Each website is different and has different needs and different target audiences. Some sites need an image gallery, other sites need an e-commerce component (we suggest using WooCommerce), and the different options goes on and on. WordPress lists more than 40,000 plugins in their repository, so the possibilities are endless! Whatever the case, I am confident you will need the following plugins, so this is our list of 5 essential free plugins you need on your site. Each of these plugins have alternative options, so it is up to you which one to use, but we find these the easiest and most comprehensive plugins to use that are free.

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Does Your Direct Mail Measure Up?
By Dale Filhaber, Dataman Group

40% of consumers regularly make purchases because of direct mail they’ve received – Does your direct mail measure up?

Creating direct mail that works is one of the biggest challenges faced by marketers.  There are lots of great ways to create an interesting and irresistible piece of Direct Mail both in appearance and content.

Here are 6 great ways to make your direct mail content interesting, irresistible, personal and thought-provoking, which will direct people to your site and generate dollars.

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Steps to Build a New Website
By Juan Lopez, NearSource 

Have you wanted to build a new website but not sure how to get started? Or you hired a web team or developer to get your site done and want to make sure you will be happy with the results? Everybody has their style or approach. Some people are design oriented, others are content driven while others just start throwing things together to see what works. The following is an overview of our basic steps to build a new website with a web development team. When we work on a new website, we start with a questionnaire which helps both the website owner and the development team to understand or define what is wanted. This will help clear up many typical questions that come up in any website project. The following are the steps we follow when building a new website.

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Marketing Trends in 2017
 
By Dale Filhaber, Dataman Group 

The year 2017 will be an exciting year for marketers, particularly in terms of enhanced digital skills.  As new trends, technology and customer behaviors emerge, the key to success will be in continually learning and staying up-to-date.

Marketers need to experiment with new tools, tactics and marketing campaign ideas and continue to monitor each project so they can discover where their greatest return on investment can be made.

Click here to read the complete blog post.

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SSL is Now a Must for Your Website
By Helder Martins, NearSource

There was a time when you only even knew what SSL was if you ran an eCommerce website or online store. Today, more and more people know what SSL (Secure Sockets Layer) is or at least know that it is “something” that creates a secure connection between a website visitor and the server through which to send information. Some people would recognize it when seeing a “lock” symbol in the browser when doing online shopping or doing online banking.

SSL is what encrypts the communication between the person who is browsing the website and the website’s server. All data/text submitted either way is encrypted. This way any prying person or software can’t see anything in this connection because it’s encrypted in real time. You have to be able to decrypt it with a “key”. Nowadays keys are very strong so it is very hard to hack.  You can notice you are using SSL in a website when you have to use HTTPS in the address bar.

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Business Owners - Make Sure to Take the Proper Steps to Protect Against Chargebacks
By Adam Moss, Clarity EPS, Inc.

As a business owner, it is imperative that you take the proper steps to protect yourself from unnecessary and unwanted chargeback’s.  With that said, there is no doubt that consumers tend to have the upper hand when it comes to disputes based on the chargeback process.

 It is important to know that banks that issue cards, such as Citibank, Wells Fargo and Chase, earn a percentage of every transaction processed with their card. To that end, issuing banks want to keep their customers happy, ensuring their card will be used for future purchases. This is where I believe the consumer has the upper hand when initiating a dispute and the resulting chargeback.

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Does the Thought of Customer Data Breaches Keep You Up at Night?
By Adam Moss, Clarity EPS, Inc.

In today’s highly technological world, data breaches are becoming more commonplace. The theft of personal data and how that data will be used is a very real and worrisome concern. Too often we hear about the data breach of a large company and how that breach of personal information has left thousands or even millions of customers vulnerable. One need not look further than the recent breaches of Target, The Home Depot and ADP, to name a few.
Data breaches can result in significant monetary fines to a business, as well as reputation and brand damage in the event policies are violated or a breach occurs. But data breaches are not limited to large, well-known companies.

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Should I Go with WordPress for My Site?
By Juan Lopez, NearSource

You are thinking of developing a new website and you keep hearing of WordPress. As of now more than 25% of websites on the internet run on WordPress, so it would be hard to believe that all these people are wrong. However, it is not for everyone. WordPress is a Content Management System (CMS) which allows users to easily setup and edit their website via a user friendly interface.

When we first started developing websites for our customers, we did all kinds of sites from static HTML Websites, custom CMS systems to custom coded websites. Over the last few years we have been developing more and more WordPress websites because of it’s many benefits.

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6 Questions to Ask a Production Company Before Hiring
By Rob Jager, Plum Productions Media
It’s time to add video to your website and now you need to find the right video production company. What questions should you ask? If you have never produced a video before, you might want to read this blog. If you have produced a video, but it didn’t go as well as planned, you might want to read this blog. These are the Six Questions you should ask your video production company BEFORE hiring them.


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Get Real: Don't Be a Phony
By Lewis Fogel, Sandler Training

Are your prospecting calls falling short of setting meetings? If so, It's time to change your style and build rapport that creates mutual trust & respect. Rapport is about Getting Real; Don't be a phony and you will achieve three things crucial in building the relationship.

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10 Simple SEO Tips You Can Use Right Now

By Madeline Barrett, LoSoMo, Inc.

In today’s ever-growing online world, business owners shouldn’t be asking, “Should I do SEO?” but rather, “When can I start?” And luckily, the answer is that you can start today!

Though it may seem intimidating, Search Engine Optimization is easier to grasp than you might think. As search engines like Google, Bing, and Spotlight get smarter, optimizing your website for search engines aligns more and more with optimizing your website for your consumers, which leads to higher conversion rates. Who doesn’t want a user-friendly website that converts?

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The Three Videos Your Business Must Have
By Rob Jager, Plum Productions Media

Video is fast becoming a necessity for any business website. Both product and service companies are starting to see that video can make a website much more productive. Search Engine Optimization (SEO) looks for “sticky” websites, that is, websites that visitors spend more time viewing. Visitors stay longer on websites with video because they’re busy watching a video…not clicking around.

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Are You Ready to Inbound?
By Sean Tibor, Red Reef Digital

Are you looking for a better way to generate leads and close customer deals? Are you spending more and more on your paid advertising campaigns and seeing smaller and smaller returns? While online ad spending is going up, so is the complexity and fragmentation of the online advertising space, making it harder to see if your marketing efforts are effective. For example, a
December 2015 study revealed that only 37% of small business owners thought their online marketing efforts were helping to grow their business. Even more shocking was that 14% of the respondents said they had no idea if their marketing was effective!


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Charmingly Up-Front
By Lewis Fogel, Sandler Training

Have you ever been charmingly up-front and told a prospect that your product or service may not fit their needs? Probably not. Traditional selling doesn’t work that way. Learn to establish and use up-front contracts to determine the next step in the sales process, in what order, & when. If it happens to be a no, move on.

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What's Your Zero Moment of Truth Potential?
By Madeline Barrett, LoSoMo, Inc.

Your potential customer just searched online for a business like yours… Did they find you? As the online and mobile world continues to expand, your first interaction with your customer is no longer in your store or office, or even on your website. It’s in search engine results, social media, video, and review sites, and it’s called the “Zero Moment of Truth.”

Google defines this “Zero Moment of Truth” or “ZMOT” as the moment when you grab your laptop, phone or other device to learn about a product or service you’re considering trying or buying. If your business doesn’t have a wide-spread online presence, you could be lacking serious ZMOT potential.

When it comes to ZMOT, how does your business measure up? Click to learn more….

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What You and Walt Disney have in Common
By Lewis Fogel

Envisioneering

Me? And Walt Disney--really? Yes, because great business leaders are envisioneers; they know how to turn their dreams into reality. You and Walt are alike in that, you both could see far into your companies’ futures. You are dreamers. But there is a difference in dreaming and dreaming successfully. Successful dreamersenvisioneersknow how to get to the next step. They know how to make it happen.

Visions and
Goals

Recognize that visions are big and goals are smaller. Visions are where you ultimately want to be, whether professionally or personally. Goals are the steps you take to achieve your vision. Disney, for example, envisioned owning a company that created graphic animation. He saw its potential in comic books and celluloid (movies). From newspaper delivery boy to ambulance driver to drawing caricatures for newspapers, to creating advertisements and landing a job as a cartoonist; each job was a step closer to his goals. He eventually saw his vision evolve. What he thought would be his ultimate achievement was, in reality, just one of the goals to his most magnificent envisioneering; the creation of Disney Land, Walt Disney World and EPCOT.

Knowing your company’s vision is a good beginning. Planning the goals it will take to attain it is a must. But unless you are your company’s sole employee, your vision and the means to reach it need to be shared with your staff.

To read more,click here.