18 Dec

Business Essentials: “What Got You Here Won’t Get You There”

What Got You Here Won’t Get You There pinpoints key attitude issues that are somewhat common (but detrimental) in workplace behavior – things that are seen every day, but aren’t always recognized.

In the book, author Marshall Goldsmith describes incorrect mindsets that hold success back and how to correct them. Some of the examples include:

  • Punishing the messenger: getting angry at people who are just trying to help.
  • Negativity, or saying how something won’t work: sharing negativity when you weren’t asked to do so.
  • Winning too much: trying to win even when it doesn’t matter.

After briefly describing these bad habits, Marshall addresses each one in its own chapter by using his own examples from his years of experience as a leadership coach.

I liked a quote he used in the beginning, asking readers to be open-minded and understand that he is in a position to correct:

“A journalist once told me that the most important thing he’s learned in his career is this: ‘Put a comma in the wrong place and the whole sentence is screwed up.’ You may have an admirable skill set for a journalist. And yet, if you put a comma in the wrong place, that tiny sin of commission can wipe out the rest of your contributions.

“Think of me as the friendly grammarian who can shield you from bad punctuation.”

That quotation spoke to me. We need to be receptive to other people’s advice or suggestions, even if they are hard to take.

“Winning too much” was another section of the book that I found enlightening. Specifically, trying to win even when it really doesn’t make sense to.

The book demonstrates this with the following example: a father and son were playing basketball together. The son was 9 years old. The father played fairly with his son at the beginning of the game, but as it progressed (10 minutes into it), the father started trash talking, heavily guarding his son, and then was happy when he beat the kid 11 to 2.

This is a really big problem when shown in the workplace. Needing to win can overshadow valuable perspectives from other team members and put them down. It can make you seem overbearing and irritating, not to mention look rather stupid. I’ve known a few people like this and have been guilty of it myself (heh heh). Most importantly, it limits your success as a professional and human being.

In conclusion: I highly recommend this book to anyone interested in workplace attitude issues and how to address them.

Questions? Comments?

Call us today: (918) 518-5907

24 Aug

4 Best Steps to ADA Compliance

What is ADA?

In 1990, President George H. W. Bush signed the Americans with Disabilities Act (ADA) into a law. This law is designed to prevent discrimination against individuals because of their disabilities. About 57 million Americans live with disabilities, including vision or hearing impairment, difficulty lifting or grasping things, or a mental or emotional impairment.

In the past 27 years, the internet has changed the way people use media, access and purchase goods and services, and gather information. This has introduced new challenges for people with disabilities, and many are often unable to fully participate in online activities as either a consumer or employee. ADA seeks to open doors for more than half of these people who currently use the internet.

How does ADA affect business?

In January 2017, the United States Access Board published a rule regarding information and communications technologies (ICTs). This rule addresses accessibility standards specifically in areas developed, procured, maintained, or used by federal agencies, such as how physical technology works with existing assistive technologies like JAWS, NVDA, braille keyboards, or voice-overs. These changes take effect in January 2018.

Though this rule directly refers only to standards for federal agencies, the private sector is being hit by “drive-by” lawsuits. Individuals are surfing the web with the intent of finding accessibility violations on websites. Lawsuits are filed, sometimes without warning or complaint.

Though there is not yet an official standard for website accessibility, courts have referenced Website Content Accessibility Guidelines (WCAG). Many courts are interpreting website accessibility as part of the currently existing standards for physical structures.

For example, in the recent South Florida ruling of Gill v. Winn-Dixie Stores, Inc., a visually impaired man sued a chain grocery store. The judge considered Winn-Dixie’s website a connection to the physical stores because the website offered coupons, location information, and prescription refills.

What is WCAG and how does it help?

Created to help guide web content creators and designers as they make their sites more accessible, WCAG is a set of standards directly linked to ADA compliance.

WCAG 2.0 offers 12 guidelines in the following four categories: Perceivable, Operable, Understandable, and Robust. Each guideline contains testable “success criteria” which can be used to measure the usability of your website.

4 Steps To ADA Compliance

  1. Determine your website’s compliance with WCAG 2.0 Level AA guidelines. While Level AAA is considered the most accessible, meeting all of these criteria isn’t always possible.
  2. Conduct an internal audit. A number of free tools include: AChecker, WAVE, and Functional Accessibility Evaluator (F.A.E.). Currently, there is no officially approved audit tool.
  3. If auditing your own site is not your area of expertise, look for help from a third party. At Aqua Vita, we can help you upgrade to an ADA-compliant, user-friendly site that attracts this new customer base.
  4. Have your web development team correct any violations discovered in the audit.

Why should I make my website ADA compliant?

These legal requirements are looming on the horizon. Creating a more usable and accessible website:

  1. Saves money and hassle now by protecting your business from costly, drive-by lawsuits.
  2. Builds a larger customer base.
  3. Provides PR with your local and web communities by letting them know you care for and serve those in need.

Though the accessibility guidelines require technical work, you can adapt while increasing your customer base and providing better services for your communities.

Need help? Call (918) 518-5907 for a free website ADA compliance audit.

26 Jun

Global Ransomware Attack Shakes Servers

Global ransomware attacks hit Europe, US, Russia

Website Server Security Threat

Here at Aqua Vita, we strive to provide the very best and safest services possible. Criminal hackers are constantly looking for a way to fatten their wallets by holding you and your resources ransom. Such an event just occurred globally this past week.

You may or may not have noticed some inconvenience when your web servers had some “unexpected maintenance.” Behind the scenes, our server techs at SiteGround battled a global ransomware attack. SiteGround won.

Read the BBC story here.

Within the hour, all our sites were back up safely.

Company Data Security

All around the globe, massive industries and companies were held hostage. Chernobyl nuclear power plant had to manually monitor its radiation levels. An international server company could not fix the problem and paid 1M to recover their data. In the US, Merk and DLA Piper and other companies have been affected at the company level.

Read Kaspersky’s ransomware report & security tips.

SiteGround techs said in the last two years they have only encountered two attacks of this magnitude. At Aqua Vita, we want to take a moment to celebrate the massive victory won for you, and to help you be prepared for the future.

Key Security Points

  • Update Windows
  • Backup key data
  • Check your security software to ensure ransomware detection

How Secure is Your Website?

Looking for a more secure option? Aqua Vita is here for you. Questions? Let us know!

Get a Free 42-Point Website Audit

Including security, speed, and Google usability standards.

Call us at (918) 518-5907 today!

07 Jun

Logo Update, Step by Step

Step 1: Strategy

First thing we do is get to know your company from the inside out. Your logo needs to meet your needs today, and stand as a symbol years into the future. To represent your company’s story, we need to understand it as well as we can.

A crucial tool we use for this is our Strategy Guide. It covers your company history, philosophy, short-term objectives and long-term goals for the future. We also focus on target audience, so we’re reaching the right people. It also marks the “out of bounds” areas to ensure we’re creating a good fit.

Step 2: Logo Concepting

We start with broad concepts, and narrow that down based on client feedback.

See Initial Logo Concepts

Step 3: Logo Concept Refinement

Once a decision is made on concept direction, we have our heading. From here we focus on creating different variations within the given theme.

See Logo Concept Refinement

Step 4: Style Guide

After a final decision on our final logo treatment, we deliver the logo in all necessary image formats and create a brand style guide.

This style guide helps maintain consistency internally and smooths communication with external vendors as well. We show different usages of how the logo will perform in different settings and different sizes. This guide also helps vendors reproduce the logo correctly and consistently across different mediums.

See Logo Usage Guide

Have questions about the logo process?

Give us a call at (918) 518-5907 or contact us.

04 May

Case Study: Construction Seminars

Constructions Seminars navigates the rough waters of licensing, bonding, business, testing, and education for the construction industry.

Clearing a path for small business owners to be successful is their passion. Helping to expand their influence in the construction community is our privilege.

Google Analytics

By adding analytics to the Construction Seminars website, Aqua Vita uncovered that 58% of their visitors use mobile devices.

Before teaming up with Aqua Vita, Construction Seminars didn’t have a mobile website. Now, they’re able to reach more customers than ever.

The Results

  • 61% increase in website interaction within two months
  • Improved Google search visibility
  • 71% conversion rate
  • 21 new items purchased within 6 weeks
  • Increase in new visitor traffic
  • Increase in web pages visited and time spent per page

“The team at Aqua Vita went the extra mile for our company, Construction Seminars. They really got to know our business, how it functions, who our customers are, and how best to communicate our message to them.

“We are already seeing an increase in response and are now appearing on the first page of the search engines. We love our new site!”

Bob Delahunt, Owner

Need to upgrade your eCommerce site?

Call us today: (918) 518-5907

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