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Running a Business from Planes, Trains & Automobiles

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Running a Business from Planes, Trains & Automobiles

Over the past couple of months, after merging Search Engine Journal and Search & Social, my business life as an SEO and online marketing consultant has changed a bit from the behind the scenes copy, coding and linking world, to add a bit more bizdev, management and of course, travel – which means I’ll probably be blogging on the business aspects of running a search agency more and more on SEJ.

After a week of four flights and various locations around the US, and even Russia last month, I’ve found that there are some very important essentials to making business travel easier and keeping on top of day to day initiatives a bit more tolerable. The most time spent in business travel is usually either offline (in the airplane or taxi) or in inconvenient locations; such as waiting at airport gates or hotel rooms with limited wifi- which means laptop usage is not always a reality.

Business Magazines

Unlike a good amount of business travelers, I tend to enjoy my unwired time in the airplane, and enjoy reading magazines about business management, which may not be about search, but always seem to give me some inspiration to apply to Search & Social in terms of staffing, traditional marketing, productivity and smart investments. Furthermore, after 7 years of blogging, my attention span does not allow for reading an entire business book, so I enjoy magazine format.

The two magazines I always make it a point to pick up are Inc. and Entrepreneuer. Recently Inc. has been reviewing different start up and funding projects like Ycombinator which I found very relevant to our company currently growing and expanding our offices. Furthermore, Entrepreneur just ran an awesome piece on Patron tequila, which was started 20 years ago by John Paul Dejoria, who is also the entrepreneur who started Paul Mitchell hair products with $700 when he was homeless and living in his car.

I think sometimes when we live in the SEO bubble, it’s very easy to build a business based on services and scaling, but looking into business as a whole and learning from other industries can help not only diversify a business – but a strong company and brand.

Blackberry Business Apps

I’m not an iPod guy, I’m old school. I love my Blackberry Curve. I love the way it fits into my pocket and into my hand. My fingers know the keys, the pearl ball, the quick buttons on the side. My Blackberry is my lifeline and my comfort blanket when I’m on the road.

So, in order to get the most out of my Blackberry, I have downloaded these Apps which helps me connect with staff, friends and backend reporting.

Google for the Blackberry : First off, not only am I a Blackberry guy, but I’m also a Google guy. I love GMail, I love Google Calendar. And I really enjoy the way the Google Blackberry App integrates Google Calendar into my Blackberry Calendar, and makes using GMail on my Blackberry very easy.

For businesses which utilize Google Apps, Blackberry and Google are coming out with Google Apps Connector for BlackBerry Enterprise Server this summer. Here are the details :

Google Apps Connector for BES is currently in beta and will be publicly available in Google Apps Premier Edition and Education Edition in July of 2009. If you’d like to speak to an Apps sales rep, please submit your contact information.

  • Messages sent to your Gmail inbox are pushed to your BlackBerry within 60 seconds.
  • Emails read/deleted on your BlackBerry are marked as read/deleted in Gmail, and vice-versa.
  • Synchronize BlackBerry folders with labels in Gmail.
  • Search for email addresses and phone numbers of other users on your company domain.
  • View your Google Calendar schedule on your native BlackBerry application, with one-way synchronization from Google Calendar to your BlackBerry device.
  • Contacts in Gmail are automatically synchronized with your BlackBerry address book.

eOffice : eOffice is a document editor for the Blackberry which features Google Docs and Spreadsheets integration. Not only can users open and edit Google Docs, but also upload documents which have been created on the Blackberry, or emailed as attachments, up to Google Docs.

Jott for the Blackberry Jott transcribes spoken word to text and is perfect for dictating ideas while on the move, then will email the transcription to yourself, or to whom you choose, along with a link to the audio recording of your thoughts. I can’t count the amount of awesome ideas which pop up in my head when I’m on the plane or even driving, and we all have ideas when driving right?

Merchant Warehouse for the Blackberry : Merchant Warehouse, a credit card processing company, just released MerchanWARE for the Blackberry last week which offers the capability to use a highly secure Bluetooth card swipe device that brings ease of use, lower processing costs and security to “on the go” businesses. We don’t do much “on the go” credit card processing, but you never know what’s going to happen or who you’re going to run into at conferences, in the airport or while networking at bars. Seriously, I can’t count the amount of times I’ve almost closed a sale on the road, whether it be for advertising on SEJ or a social media push via Search & Social, and the ability to whip out a card swiper and close the deal would be awesome.

TwitterBerry : If you use a Blackberry and use Twitter, install TwitterBerry right now. With TwitPic and other Twitter tool integration, Twittererry is a must. Nuff said.

What Apps, tools, gadgets and other resources do you use to help you with on the go business management or just performing SEO for your clients or staying on top of current trends?

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Loren Baker

Loren Baker is the Founder of SEJ, an Advisor at Alpha Brand Media and runs Foundation Digital, a digital marketing ... [Read full bio]

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