November 2014

November 2014

Trivia Contest
Who Else Wants To Win A $50 Gift Card?

Last month’s Trivia Challenge Quiz was: What vegetable was traditionally carved before pumpkin?

The correct answer was C) Turnip

Now, here’s this month’s trivia question. The winner will receive a $50 Gift Card!

What two Dallas Cowboys players shared the Most Valuable Player Honor for Suprt Bowl XII?
A) Jake Scott & Richard Dent
B) Harvey Martin & Randy White
C) Larry Brown & Ray Lewis
D) Chuck Howley & Dexter Jackson

Call us right now with your answer!

214-329-1349.

*Trivia winners are eligible to win again after 90 days of previous win.



Here’s A Perfectly Legal Way For You To Save A Bundle Of Money On Taxes
While Updating Outdated Computer Equipment,

But You Have To Act FAST…

Please forgive me for the headline if it seems a bit “sensational,” but I really needed a way to get your attention about a perfectly legal way to save quite a bit of money on taxes while updating outdated computer equipment that is going to quickly pass you by if you don’t act soon.

Thanks to the recently updated tax deduction titled “Section 179 election” (see www.section179.org for details), the Federal Government allows you to buy up to $25,000 in machinery, computers, software, office furniture, vehicles or other tangible goods and take the full expense deduction in the current year, thereby REDUCING your taxable income on your current year’s tax return.

It’s important to note that this is significantly less than the 2013 deduction allowances, but is still real money in your pocket! But you have to act now, as once the clock strikes midnight on December 31st, Section 179 can’t help your 2014 profits anymore.

But Here’s How I’m Going To “Sweeten The Pot” And Help You Save Even MORE Money

In the spirit of saving you money, I’ve decided to “sweeten the pot” and make the following offer to anyone looking to take advantage of this end-of-year deduction. Call us before December 15, 2014, to discuss potential hardware purchases in your business, and not only will we provide you with a full action plan to implement your new technology before December 31st, we will also send you a FREE copy of the book 1001 Deductions And Tax Breaks 2014: Your Complete Guide To Everything Deductible – a smart business owner is always looking for more ways to save money!


Two Basic Ways to Determine the Size of Your Market

Understanding the size of a potential market is all-important. If a market is too small, you can't make money, no matter how innovative your products or competitive the pricing. That’s where a market analysis comes in. Here are two basic methods:

Top-down analysis: Determine the total size of the market and then estimate your share of that market. Here’s how a typical top-down analysis might go: “Let’s see. I will sell a widget everyone can use, and since there are at least 3 billion potential users, even if I only manage to land 1% of that market I’ll sell 30 million apps!”

Sound optimistic? That’s how a top-down analysis usually sounds; it’s like the stereotypical “2% of a $1 billion market is $20 million!” sales forecast made in hundreds of pitch meetings every year.

Bottom-up analysis: Estimate potential sales to determine a total sales figure. A bottom-up analysis evaluates where products can be sold, the sales of comparable products and the portion of sales you can gain. While it takes a lot more effort, the result is usually much more accurate.

Here’s a quick example. Say you just developed a new external hard drive and want to determine if there is a profitable market that will sustain a real business.

  1. Where are hard drives pumps typically sold? You decide to focus on specialty computer stores, at least at first, since landing shelf space at Walmart isn’t particularly likely.
  2. How many specialty stores are in the US? You determine there are approximately 5,000 (a number we just made up).
  3. How many of those stores will be willing to stock your drives? Talk to as many as you can to see if they would be willing to carry your product. If you talk to 100 and 30 claim they will, be conservative and cut that number in half. If 15% of stores actually carry your product, that’s 750 stores.
  4. How many drives does a shop sell over the course of a year? Say the stores average 200 total drives a year. Every shop carries a variety of drives, so assume you can sell 30 drives a year to each shop.

The final math is easy: 750 shops times 30 drives per shop equals 22,500 drives a year.

The key to sizing up your market is to stay objective and make an honest and unbiased evaluation of how viable your product or service will be. Always go into business with realistic expectations — that way the only surprises, at least where sales are concerned, will be pleasant ones.


VIRUS OF THE MONTH : INTERNET WORM

“Worms are viruses that create copies of themselves across the Internet or local networks.

Worms differ from computer viruses because they can propagate themselves, rather than using a carrier program or file. They simply create exact copies of themselves and use communication between computers to spread.

The Conficker worm is an example of an Internet worm that exploits a system vulnerability to infect machines over the network. Such worms are capable of spreading very rapidly, infecting large numbers of machines.

Some worms open a “back door” on the computer, allowing hackers to take control of it. Such computers can then be used to send spam mail (see Zombie).

Operating system vendors regularly issue patches to fix security loopholes in their software. To stay protected, turn on automatic updating to receive regular security updates for Windows or Apple machines.”

- “Data Theft.” Threatsaurus: the a-z of computer and data security threats. Boston: Sophos, 2009. 46-47. Print.


Barn Movers

In 1981 Donna and Herman Ostry bought a farm in the small town of Bruno, Nebraska, about 60 miles outside of Omaha. The farm came with a big barn that had been built back in the 1920s and also had a nice little creek that flowed through their property. The creek was both a blessing and a problem for the Ostrys. It was great to have readily available water for their farm animals but it also flooded a lot during heavy rains. The barn floor seemed to always be wet and muddy, and then in 1988 they had a huge flood where the water rose about 30 inches up the side of the barn walls.

The Ostrys desperately needed to move the barn to higher ground, but the cost to contract with a company that has both the capability and equipment to move a barn of this size was prohibitive. One night, sitting around the dinner table, Herman Ostry commented that if he had enough people he could pick the barn up and move it to higher ground. Everyone laughed off the comment as silly … everyone except his son Mike.

I wonder if “young” Mike knew that people scoffed at the idea of traveling 30 miles per hour on a railroad car. People actually thought that traveling that fast would stop the circulation of the blood. I wonder if “young” Mike knew that Eli Whitney was laughed at when he showed his first cotton gin, that Thomas Edison had to install his electric light free of charge in an office building before anyone would look at it, that Westinghouse was considered a fool for suggesting you could stop a train with wind, or that Samuel Morse had to plead before 10 Congresses before they would even look at his telegraph (which revolutionized communication). Maybe “young” Mike just thought … WHY NOT … and then he set out to figure out a way to make his Dad’s statement a reality.

Young, inexperienced, doesn’t-know-any-better Mike did some calculations and figured out that the barn weighed about 17,000 pounds. He then figured out that he could design a steel grid system that he could place under the barn that would weigh another 3,000 pounds. So, the total weight that would need to be lifted was 10 tons. When you think of that amount of weight to be moved, you usually think of a giant crane … not a whole bunch of people. But “young” Mike figured if he could gather up about 350 people, they would all need to only be able to lift approximately 50 pounds each.

Mike presented his calculations to his dad, and they both thought it would work. Mike and his dad got a little lucky on the timing when they presented their idea to their small town. Nebraska was getting ready to celebrate its centennial, and the town of Bruno had put together a committee of townspeople to decide on different things to do for the celebration. Mike and his dad convinced the town to make the barn moving a part of the celebration. The word got out and over 4,000 people from 11 states witnessed the event. Here is the YouTube link to the actual event:
http://youtu.be/o83W0gj_CRE

A little before 11 a.m. on July 30th, 1988, in front of the local television cameras, 344 people moved the barn 143 feet up a gentle slope to its new foundation. All in all, it took 3 minutes to move the barn. So, the next time somebody hits you with an idea that you think is silly or maybe even impossible … think again, and never discount the POWER of TEAMWORK.

Relive this idea again in your head. Someone in a meeting says, “Let’s move a 17,000-pound barn 143 feet up a slope, and do it in less than 3 minutes, using no machinery.” Now, that idea sounds pretty nuts, ridiculous, stupid, impossible and far-fetched to me. But a need, a desire, a creative mind, a well-designed plan and a giant team, all working together, made it happen.

Robert Stevenson is a highly sought after, internationally known speaker. He is the author of the best-selling books How to Soar Like an Eagle in a World Full of Turkeys and 52 Essential Habits for Success. Robert is a graduate of the Georgia Institute of Technology (Georgia Tech) and is a former All-American Athlete. He started his first business at 24 and has owned several companies. Robert has international sales experience dealing in over 20 countries and his client list reads like a Who’s Who in Business. He has shared the podium with such renowned names as Generals Colin Powell and Norman Schwarzkopf, former President George H.W. Bush, Anthony Robbins and Steven Covey. www.robertstevenson.org/


Shiny New Gadget Of The Month:

Pebble Steel

Pebble Steel does more than just tell the time — this smart watch displays e-mail, text messages, caller ID and other notifications from your favorite apps, reading them straight from your iPhone or Android phone. Pebble cleverly vibrates on your wrist to alert you of incoming calls, meeting reminders or approved notifications. Leave your phone in your pocket as you go about your day-to-day activities.

The long-lasting battery life and the easy-to-use design makes this watch both stylish and necessary in this day and age, and its e-Paper screen makes it easy to see in both direct sunlight and even underwater.

Pebble Steel is available on Amazon.com for $149.99. With this gadget, whose battery can go for a week without charging, the integration of technology in your life will be smoother and much more hands-free.


The Lighter Side: How Balloons Teach Teamwork

Once, in a seminar of about 50 people, the speaker decided to change his presentation to prove a point. He decided to do a group activity. He gave each person a balloon and asked them to write their names on it with a marker.

All the balloons were gathered up and put into a small room. The attendees were all let into the balloon-filled room and were asked to find the balloon with their own name on it within 5 minutes. As expected, everyone was frantically searching for their name, colliding with each other, pushing around others and creating utter chaos.

At the end of the 5 minutes, no one had found their own balloon.

The presenter then asked the attendees to randomly pick up one balloon and give it to the person whose name was written on it.

Within minutes, everyone had their own balloon.

“This is what is happeneing in our lives,” the presenter explained. “Everyone is looking frantically for their own happiness, not knowing where it is.”

Our happiness lies in the happiness of others. Give happiness to other people, and you shall find your own.

This is the purpose of human life.


Microsoft Windows Server 2003 Set To Expire In 2015

Microsoft has announced that as of July 14, 2015, it will discontinue support for its 11-year-old server operation system, Server 2003. This follows in the wake of its recent discontinuation of support for Windows XP this past spring. Failure to upgrade your server off of this operating system dramatically increases any company’s cyber-security risks.

With server migrations taking on average 200 days from planning to completion (industry average), if you still have a server running this software active on your network, now is the time to start planning.

End of support for Windows Server 2003 means:

  • No further updates or security patches released. 37 critical updates were released for Server 2003 in 2013 alone. No updates will be released after 7/14/15.
  • Loss of compliance. Various industry regulations and industry standards will no longer be able to be achieved if you are using Server 2003 actively on your network.
  • Increased security risks. Any server running this operating system will be completely exposed to serious hacker attacks aimed at taking control of your network, stealing your data or crashing your systems.

Free Server 2003 Migration Plan Gets You Started

As your preferred Microsoft Certified Partner, we are committed to helping your company by offering a Windows Server 2003 Migration Plan for FREE.

To secure your FREE Server 2003 Migration Plan, call us today at 214-329-1349 or go online to: www.rangersolutions.com/server2003.