Wednesday, January 29, 2014

Top 5 Reasons to Survey Your Health Club Members

According to the Radial Group, a provider of marketing and consulting services for health, wellness and fitness facilities, these types of businesses need to leverage every competitive edge they can get.  One of the best ways to maintain that competitive edge is to use surveys to gauge the experiences of members.  In a world where keeping an extra 5% of your current customers may improve your bottom line by as much as 95%, it's critical to know what your members are thinking and feeling about your business.  We've provided a link to the Radial Group's complete article on "Nine Customer Survey Best Practices for Wellness Businesses" at the end of this blog post.  But before you read about best practices -- which will help you create your member survey -- here are the top 5 reasons you should conduct a survey in the first place.   

Top 5 Reasons to Send a Survey to Your Members 


Get Feedback: Ask your customers what they honestly think about your products, services, events or marketing. You won’t know until you ask. The knowledge you gain will be invaluable to your business.

Set the Bar: Surveys allow you to look at your business at a certain moment in time. Benchmark how you are doing in different aspects of your business and make goals to improve or maintain that status over time.

Evaluate the Competition: Ask what other products or services your customers use, and find out why or what they enjoy about them. Doing this will make you aware of the alternatives in your market and how best to compete.

Learn New Ideas: Your customers are an untapped resource for you. They are smart, creative, and likely have ideas that you haven’t thought of. Just imagine all the cool ideas you can get from the people that matter the most and know your business!

Guide Business Decisions: Using surveys, you can gather information that is helpful in making informed business decisions. The feedback you get from your customers can guide you in future product, marketing, or organizational decisions – both big and small.

EBCS can help with your member surveys. 
Call us for more information at 800-766-1918


Nine Customer Survey Best Practices for Wellness Businesses, from The Radial Group

Other helpful links:  

Do You Like Success? How Customer Satisfaction Surveys Help,
from The National Business Research Institute

Using Surveys to Get the Information Your Business Needs -- Survey Says?  Identify Your Objectives, from The Harvard Business School Working Knowledge Archive

Thursday, January 9, 2014

Facts About Data Security That Will Mesmerize Your Friends

OK, maybe not.  But even if this topic doesn't impress your friends at the your next Happy Hour gathering, it's still important.  Tara Shegogue has gathered some eye-opening statistics about the importance of backing up and securing your data.

The Importance of Backing Up Your Data and Files
By Tara Shegogue, Mythic Landing Enterprises, LLC

We all have important data on our computers, Smartphones, etc. We know that the threat of a system crash is always looming, but do we take the time to backup properly and as frequently as we should? Some people may even wonder, why backup your information at all? 

According to research done by the Boston Computing Network, 6% of all PCs will suffer an episode of data loss in any given year. Given the number of PCs used in US businesses in 1998, that translates to approximately 4.6 million data loss episodes. At a conservative estimate, data loss cost US businesses $11.8 billion in 1998. (The Cost Of Lost Data, David M. Smith). Now, in 2014, that number has almost tripled! 

Here are some other statistics that you may or may not know:

  • 30% of all businesses that have a major fire go out of business within a year. 70% fail within five years. (Home Office Computing Magazine)
  • 31% of PC users have lost all of their files due to events beyond their control.
  • 34% of companies fail to test their tape backups, and of those that do, 77% have found tape back-up failures.
  • 60% of companies that lose their data will shut down within 6 months of the disaster.
  • 93% of companies that lost their data center for 10 days or more due to a disaster filed for bankruptcy within one year of the disaster. 50% of businesses that found themselves without data management for this same time period filed for bankruptcy immediately. (National Archives & Records Administration in Washington)
  • American business lost more than $7.6 billion as a result of viruses during first six months of 1999. (Research by Computer Economics)
  • Companies that aren't able to resume operations within ten days (of a disaster hit) are not likely to survive. (Strategic Research Institute)
  • Every week 140,000 hard drives crash in the United States. (Mozy Online Backup)
  • Simple drive recovery can cost upwards of $7,500 and success is not guaranteed.
Having duplicate copies of your most important information saved in a remote location keeps it safe in case anything goes badly wrong with your computer.

When you think about it, there are a number of ways files can be lost unexpectedly:

  • Computer crashes – always happen when you least need it, and can lead to data loss.
  • Virus Infection – aggressive malicious viruses can corrupt files and disable computers.
  • Hard drive failure - hard drives have a finite lifetime and can fail suddenly and without warning. The sudden death of a hard drive can cause the painful loss of months or years of irreplaceable files and the timing can be catastrophic – if this happens close to a work or college deadline it could be a nightmare scenario.
  • Physical computer damage – your files are more at risk if you use a laptop. Light and portable comes at the price of reduced durability. Laptops are sensitive and are easily damaged if dropped or have drinks spilled over them.
  • Theft – computers are sought after by thieves and cannot always be kept secure while traveling.

The bottom line is that if you value what’s kept on your computer, it’s wise to take steps to protect your information from sudden loss.  Work can be redone, but the loss of cherished files like family and travel photos is permanent.

Many users regularly back up their files to their computer hard drive, but in the event of a total computer breakdown this will not protect the information.  Saving data to a separate location makes far more sense, and can be easily done if you have an external hard drive, or a large-capacity pen drive to back up onto.
However this method is only as secure as the device you’re backing up to. When saving your files on physical devices, your backup device needs to be kept in a different location than your computer, and can in turn fall victim to damage or loss. In addition, despite your best intentions, you may forget to copy your files as often as you should, leaving a large amount of recent work unprotected.


Electronic Billing & CustomerSupport maintains many layers of protection to secure your data:
  • Our systems are monitored by Trustwave for any unauthorized access or anyone trying to break the numerous firewalls we have in place for protecting your customers' data.
  • Virus protection is updated regularly.
  • The latest level of data encryption is in place.
  • Policies & procedures are in place to make sure all passwords meet the highest level of security and are under constant review.
  • Access control is limited to a need-to-know basis and security cameras track any movement in sensitive areas.
Electronic Billing & Customer Support is dedicated to providing you with a very flexible system to make your organization more profitable while providing the security you need to relax.

Monday, January 6, 2014

13 Bad Habits Mentally Strong People Avoid

13 Bad Habits Mentally Strong People Avoid:

Have you ever wondered what mentally strong people do to succeed? What makes one entrepreneur better than another? Why are some people happier than others?

Or would it be better to ask the opposite? What do mentally strong people not do?

Here are 13 bad habits mentally strong people avoid to succeed. I came across this article and decided to share it and add some of my comments.

1.      Waste Time Feeling Sorry for Themselves. You don’t see mentally strong people feeling sorry for their circumstances or dwelling on the way they’ve been mistreated. They move on to the next project or make adjustments so they are not mistreated the next time.

2.      Give Away Their Power. Mentally strong people avoid giving others the power to make them feel inferior or bad. How many times have you allowed someone’s bad comments about your product or service stop you from believing in them? Mentally strong people do not allow that to happen. They forge on because they believe in what they are doing.

3.     Shy Away from Change. Mentally strong people embrace change and they welcome challenges. They encourage productive change and are willing to accept changes that may not be their own.

4.      Waste Energy on Things They Can’t Control. Mentally strong people don’t complain (much) about bad traffic, lost luggage, or especially about other people, as they recognize that all of these factors are generally beyond their control. How many times have you allowed your blood pressure to rise because of something out of your control? Mentally strong people may not accept what happened but they do not allow it to affect them mentally or physically.

5.      Worry About Pleasing Others. Know any people pleasers? Or, conversely, people who go out of their way to dis-please others as a way of reinforcing an image of strength? Neither position is a good one. You are not going to please everyone and you should not allow others to knock down your values or ideas because they always want to be to be on top or superior.

6.      Fear Taking Calculated Risks. A mentally strong person is willing to take calculated risks. They realize the risks and are willing to reap the rewards. 

7.      Dwell on the Past. There is strength in acknowledging the past and especially in acknowledging the things learned from past experiences—but a mentally strong person is able to avoid miring their mental energy in past disappointments or in fantasies of the “glory days” gone by. They also understand that because a certain result happened in the past that same result may not happen again.

8.      Make the Same Mistakes Over and Over. We all know the definition of insanity, right? It’s when we take the same actions again and again while hoping for a different and better outcome than we’ve gotten before. A mentally strong person accepts full responsibility for past behavior and is willing to learn from mistakes. They actually embrace mistakes because they know they will learn from them.
9.      Resent Other People’s Success. It takes strength of character to feel genuine joy and excitement for other people’s success. Mentally strong people have this ability. The love to learn from other peoples successes.

10.   Give Up After Failure. Every failure is a chance to improve. Even the greatest entrepreneurs are willing to admit that their early efforts invariably brought many failures. Mentally strong people again embrace failures because they learn from them.

11.   Fear Alone Time. Mentally strong people enjoy and even treasure the time they spend alone. They use their downtime to reflect, to plan, and to be productive. They also know the value of down time and the need to recharge the mind and body.

12.   Feel the World Owes Them Anything. Particularly in the current economy, executives and employees at every level are gaining the realization that the world does not owe them a salary, a benefits package and a comfortable life, regardless of their preparation and schooling. They are willing to create that environment for themselves. However, they are not afraid to ask for assistance when needed.

13.   Expect Immediate Results. Whether it’s a workout plan, a nutritional regimen, or starting a business, mentally strong people are “in it for the long haul”. They know better than to expect immediate results. Is it not more rewarding when the fruits of your labor come at a price? Be it your time or money? If it came easy then everyone would be doing it. Mentally strong people like to do things others have not, not follow the pack.

You can read the entire article here: