Laptop Rentals For Business Travelers Helps Secure Vital Business Data When Re-Entering the US |

Executives and other business travelers who need to conduct business overseas would be well advised to consider picking up laptop rentals before leaving the country and traveling only with files and data that are absolutely essential to conduct the business matter that takes them overseas, rather than taking their personal business computers with them and possibly compromising the data security of vital, proprietary, and/or confidential business information to public scrutiny.

California’s Ninth Circuit Court of Appeals returned a decision on April 23rd that should raise eyebrows and concern for U.S. business travelers who need to travel overseas to conduct business. The crux of the decision is that the International Arrivals terminal in any of America’s airports is legally considered to be the “functional equivalent of a border” crossing. As such, U.S. Customs and Border Patrol agents have an unfettered right to search anything that is being brought into the United States when a person is returning from overseas – just as a Border Patrol officer has the right to examine all the contents of your car at an international crossing on the Canadian or Mexican border. For business travelers who conduct sensitive business overseas, this means that Customs officers now have an unfettered right to search your laptop and examine any and all files on your computer.

The decision was rendered in respect of a now-convicted pedophile who returned to the U.S. from the Philippines with images of child pornography that Customs agents found after closely scrutinizing and examining multiple files and images on his laptop for several hours at the LAX International Arrivals terminal. At first glance you may say to yourself, “So what? I’ve been overseas on legitimate business, everything and anything on my computer is legal and aboveboard. How does this affect me or my company?” The point is that on almost any business computer that an executive or highly placed employee uses for everyday business purposes there will be files with confidential business information that could be damaging ot the company’s strategic interests if it seeps into the public domain.

Any information is susceptible to seepage once it is in the public domain. And make no mistake, once a file has been examined, even by a U.S. Customs and Border Patrol agent tasked with safeguarding you and your country’s interest, it is in the public domain. You can then no longer say with certainty that this information has not been passed on to a third party, even if it is done unwittingly.

Let’s face it. Even the most morally upright and patriotic public servant is human. And as humans we are fallible and subject to lapses in judgment and temptation. Once a company’s proprietary and strategic information has been examined it can no longer say with any assurance that the information that was examined is confidential. It isn’t. The courts themselves are continually dealing with cases where inside information that was supposed to be highly confidential has leaked into the public domain. When this is done purposively, it is known as “tipping”. When a person acts upon information and trades in the shares of a publicly listed company, or benefits from a third party who trades upon information that has not been generally disclosed to the public, that person commits an illegal act and opens him or herself to charges of insider trading. Ask Martha Stewart.

Moreover, business history is replete with instances where confidential information has seeped out of office towers and out from behind the “Chinese Walls” that investment houses, law offices and securities firms studiously erect to compartmentalize critical information about pending business transactions – corporate mergers, acquisitions and the like. When such such supposedly inside information hits the street, and it frequently does, stock prices fluctuate and the resulting shift in financial fundamentals can crater a business deal that has taken weeks or months and millions of dollars to put together. Such seepage and the resulting market swings can result from anything from an indiscreet conversation in an elevator, to someone dumpster diving for unshredded documents, to the intentional interception of cellphone calls and BlackBerry texts.

When there is money to be made, and information is money in today’s economy, money talks – even to the best of us. In light of the Ninth Circuit Court’s ruling respecting the right of Customs agents to scrutinize any computer and its files in depth, prudence should dictate that before traveling overseas from LAX (or O’Hare, JFK or Dulles, for that matter) one should pick up a rental laptop and travel overseas only with the files and information that it is absolutely essential for you to take. Because when you return, everything and anything that is on your own business laptop and files could potentially become part of the public domain. Using business computer rentals when overseas on business as opposed to exposing your own systems with the reams of information stored on them to public scrutiny seems to be the wise and discrete way to travel.

Effective Strategies in Generating Leads Within Your Home Business Blueprint

When it comes to online business the most important thing is to get every visitor who comes to your site deliberately or accidentally to be interested enough to want to do business with you. This is, after all, the point of online marketing. Different businesses have different strategies to generate interest or leads. There are some who swear that the best leads are the ones who interact with you via social media so they advertise on Facebook, but there is no ultimate home business blueprint, no one way of getting it right. When developing your home business blueprint, there are things that are essential in generating leads for online business that you can follow. Here’s a list of the different methods that online marketers can follow to generate lead.

1. Create a Website

This is a no brainer. How else can you call your business an online business or talk about online marketing if you don’t have a destination website? Having a website is essential, all other methods should essentially bolster or direct people to this website. The website is your store, other methods like Facebook, Twitter, blogging or Instagrams should be regarded as the fliers that introduce people to your business or your product, your website is the place where all the information and ultimately, business transactions are supposed to take place. Your website is your core foundation of the home business blueprint. This means you need to work at the content in your website and present the content in such a way that it appeals to the readers.

2. Create Special Offers

People love free things but they appreciate free things that are useful to them. The easiest free gift you can give to a customer is a free download. Your home business blueprint can start moving along when you create a little bit of a buzz. By having people take advantage of free offers you create a chance for them to give you their contact details. The other advantage is that you are sure that the people you contact are interested in some way in what you have to offer. Create a form for visitors to your site to fill out, make it short and simple and make sure that you get their consent for you to send them any further information other than what they’ve just downloaded. Make sure that your free download ends up leading them somewhere else. Don’t reveal all your cards during the first round; create a platform for further communication between you and potential clients-this is a good start to your home business blueprint.

3. Use targeted ads to drive traffic to your site

There are various online services that offer opportunities to target specific audiences like Facebook or Google Ads. When people sign up for social media sites and create accounts with Google they are often asked to list their interests. You can use that to your advantage. Make sure you know and understand how to use these opportunities.

4. Create relevant content for your target audience

Tailor your content carefully to attract the audience that you want. Tailoring great content starts from how you write on your website to the free downloads you offer. You could also create newsletters to keep your leads informed. With any home business blueprint, make sure that you communicate your message clearly and that your passion comes through in your writing. Sometimes it takes a while to convert a sales lead into an actual customer because they might need information or they might require some kind of assurance that you know what you are talking about. Be the expert that can answer questions before they even formulate in your sales lead’s mind. If you come off sounding like an expert, your sales leads might turn to be your best advertisers if they quote you or refer people to your site for information.

5. Create multi-channel content

This step is where you really escalate your home business blueprint. Some people might not like reading all that much or they might like visual aids instead of endless paragraphs. Make sure that you cater for different needs. People access information in different ways on the Internet. Some rely on social media, which would require you to create short but engaging messages; some would like to get the in-depth information a newsletter would allow you to create, others blogs whilst others are best reached via video. It is better to create content that translates across all mediums. This means that you will have to create videos, use infographics or host webinars.

6. Use social media

I do not care who you are, but anyone that has developed and uses a home business blueprint, uses some sort of social media. If you don’t, you either have enough cash in the bank already, or you’re about to go broke because no one knows who you are. Social platforms have become the most effective means of getting information through and getting an immediate response. When you set up social media pages make sure that you keep them updated and that you engage with people who leave comments. This shows that you care about your business and it helps create relationships.

7. Participate in online chats

Getting online friend, or “followers” does not happen overnight. Just like a lot of the things within your home business blueprint, it takes hours, days and months of being online, connected to the right people on Twitter through whose following you might chance upon leads. Participate in Twitter chats that are relevant to your business. One you get those likes and followers work at building relationships and eventually wok at converting our Twitter friends to actual clients.

8. Join groups and forums

Again, social media platforms like Facebook enable people to create groups. Find groups that are relevant to your business and join. Make sure that the groups you join are active, that there are no dead silences that last for months; otherwise you might end up being the lone poster who annoys everybody else. It is easy to go unnoticed in groups but to make sure that people know you are there; you need to engage. Be personable… this is what makes your home business blueprint fun. Ask questions, wish someone a happy birthday, have conversations.

9. Form partnerships with others to cross promote

Find someone who has worked as hard as you have to build a network and find ways to collaborate. The best collaborations are with people whose business would enhance yours and vice versa. You might collaborate on a webinar to communicate what you are an expert in and they might do the same for you. The internet is a very big world, there is no home business blueprint for success. It is easy to get lost in the world wide web or to simply exist with no one ever seeing you, if it takes latching on to someone to be noticed, then latch on.

3 Great Hotel Alternatives For Business Travellers |

Traveling extensively on business can really take its toll. At first it’s really exciting and getting out of the daily grind of going to the office can be fantastic, but at the weeks add on it can get boring and lonely. One of the things that can really get to you is staying in hotels. Extended stays can be even worse and being away from your own home for weeks on end can be grueling. Hotels are really not designed for extended stay and the amount of space and comfort it provides is really just enough for a few days.

So, what alternatives do you have if you are fed up with the whole hotel vibe? Here are 3 great alternatives to hotels.

1. Bed And Breakfast
Bed and breakfasts are great. In most cases it’s run by individuals and what’s really great about them is the charm and homely feel. If you need a home away from home then this is a great option. You can stay in a real home and get a real home cooked meal every day.

2. Corporate Apartments
Corporate apartments are basically apartments that you can rent for shorter periods of time and like a hotel it has all the servicing taken care of. The difference is that it’s a real apartment and it has a lot more space and comfort than a hotel room.

3. Long Stay Hotels
Although these are still “hotels” its specifically designed for long stay. Not only are the rooms much more spacious but the decor and the services are much more geared towards a long stay. Most units come with fully fitted kitchens and the decor tend to resemble a home rather than a hotel room.

Obviously there are cost implications for each one of these. It really depends on your level of comfort and the amount of money you are willing to spend. as a rule of thumb, the longer you stay the cheaper it gets. Some long stay hotels require a minimum stay of two weeks while other require a corporate membership.