2012 Technology Business of the Year

FOR RELEASE: November 12, 2012

Gallop Web Services has been selected as the 2012 Technology Business of the Year by the Loudoun County Chamber of Commerce. The annual Small Business Awards Gala was held November 9th at the National Conference Center to celebrate outstanding achievement in the Loudoun business community. The Loudoun County Chamber received a record 347 nominations for the 2012 Small Business Awards, with over 6000 online votes counted during the selection process decided by a Blue Ribbon panel of Loudoun business leaders. We are honored to be chosen for this prestigious award.

Just to be selected as a finalist for Loudoun County’s premier business award is a tremendous honor. The competition for the Small Business Awards is incredibly fierce, with the most dynamic, innovative and successful companies in the region striving to earn this esteemed recognition of business excellence in Loudoun County.

“We here at Gallop Web Services want to thank the Loudoun Chamber and the Small Business Development Center for providing critical guidance needed to start the business. A sincere thanks goes to our terrific network of business men and women, many of whom have become our friends. I would also like to recognize my wonderful husband for believing in and joining me in building this business. Of course, most significantly I would like to thank our clients for the opportunity and pleasure of providing our services. We truly enjoy working with each and every one of you.” 

2012 Green Business Challenge Recognition

Gallop Web Services - Green Business Challenge certificationGallop Web Services was awarded a Silver Certificate at the Green Business Awards Gala on November 1st. The award is for outstanding participation and accomplishment in the 2012 Green Business Challenge. Although we weren’t able to attend the gala, we are honored to have been recognized for our determination to strive for more efficient and sustainable environmental practices in our daily operations. We thank the Loudoun Chamber of Commerce for taking an interest in environmental sustainability.

Use LinkedIn to Brand Your Company

LinkedIn has updated their Company Page offering to better represent your company or brand. They’ve streamlined the Company Page layout and provide greater prominence for updates as well as featured status updates. You can now add an image to enhance the graphics on the company page, but the image must be at least 646×220 pixels. The Company Page also now displays nicely on mobile and iPad apps.


Protect Your Computer Systems

October is National Cyber Security Month. Protect your computer systems with these 9 steps recommended by the U.S. Small Business Administration:

  1. Use the FCC’s Small Biz Cyber Planner to create a cyber security plan
    The  Small Biz Cyber Planner is valuable for businesses that lack the resources to hire a dedicated staff member to protect themselves from cyber threats. The tool walks users through a series of questions to determine which cyber security strategies should be included in the planning guide, and generates a customized PDF that serves as a cyber security strategy template.
  1. Establish cyber-security rules for  your employees
    Establish rules of behavior describing how to handle and protect personally identifiable information.  Clearly detail the penalties for violating cyber security policies.
  1. Protect against viruses, spyware, and other malicious code
    Install, use, and regularly update antivirus and antispyware software on every computer used in your business. Such software is readily available online from a variety of vendors.
  1. Educate employees about safe social media practices
    Depending on what your business does, employees might be introducing competitors to sensitive details about your firm’s internal business. Employees should be taught how to post online in a way that does not reveal any trade secrets to the public or competing businesses. This type of safe social networking can help avoid serious risks to your business.
  1. Manage and assess risk
    Ask yourself, “What do we have to protect? And, what would impact our business the most?” Cyber-criminals often use lesser-protected small businesses as a bridge to attack larger firms with which they have a relationship. This can make unprepared small firms a less attractive business partner in the future, blocking potentially lucrative business deals.
  1. Download and install software updates when they are available
    All software vendors regularly provide patches and updates to their products to correct security problems and improve functionality. Configure all software to install such updates automatically.
  1. Make backup copies of important business data and information
    Regularly backup the data on every computer used in your business. Critical data includes word processing documents, spreadsheets, databases, financial files, human resources files, and accounts receivable/payable files. Backup data automatically if possible, or at least weekly.
  1. Control physical access to computers and network components
    Prevent access or use of business computers by unauthorized individuals. Laptops can be particularly easy targets for theft, so make sure they are stored and locked up when unattended.
  1. Secure Wi-Fi networks
    If you have a Wi-Fi network for your home business make sure it is secure and hidden. To hide your Wi-Fi network, configure your wireless access point or router so that it does not broadcast the network name, known as the Service Set Identifier (SSID).  In addition, make sure that passwords are required for access. It is also critical to change the administrative password that was on the device when it was first purchased.

Be aware that cyber attacks happen all the time and security is an ever-changing field. Businesses must continually adapt to new attack methods and remain alert at all times.

Source: sba.gov

Online Surveys & SEO Strategy

Gallop Web Services is thrilled to be a finalist for the 2012 Technology Business of the Year awards and we thank everyone who voted for us. We’ll find out on November 9th at the Loudoun Chamber Small Business Awards gala who the winners are for each of the business categories.

We can tell you right now who got the most votes from the online survey and it’s the Loudoun Chamber of Commerce.

The voting process is a great way to connect folks in Loudoun County with what is happening in the business community. No doubt about it… the publicity is great for GWS as it is for the 45 other business finalists. However, from a marketing perspective the People’s Choice (and any other survey) is a good way to get as many people as possible interested in visiting your website. A popular and limited event drives traffic to a website increasing the rankings with the search engines, which is good for a website’s visibility. The People’s Choice survey did exactly that for Loudoun Chamber—it increased traffic to the Chamber website and this is why they are the winner of the survey.

Tip: Try your own basic survey for free using Survey Monkey.

Loudoun County Green Business Challenge

Gallop Web Services - Green Business Challenge certification Gallop Web Services is proud to support the Green Business Challenge (GBC), hosted by the Loudoun Chamber of Commerce.  GBC is a friendly points-based competition that encourages businesses in Loudoun County to reach for more efficient and sustainable practices in their operations.  Gallop Web Services has obtained certification in the Green Business Challenge for adopting environmentally sound business practices.


Loudoun Chamber of Commerce Small Business Awards Finalist

Gallop Web Services is honored to have been chosen as a finalist in the 2012 Loudoun Chamber of Commerce Small Business Awards for Technology Business of the Year. The winners in 9 categories will be announced at the Annual Small Business Awards Gala at the National Conference Center on November 9, 2012. The Small Business of the Year Awards is one of Loudoun County Chamber of Commerce’s’ highest profile events of the year and an opportunity to spotlight the success stories of  the local business community.

Vote on-line for Gallop Web Services by Thursday, October 4th at 12:00pm by taking the survey on Loudoun Chamber’s website.

Read about it at Loudoun Times Mirror: https://www.loudountimes.com/news/thirty-four-businesses-chosen-as-finalists-for-small-business-awards/article_6a18be68-7cc4-5051-aff6-fe179eb7c3d4.html


What’s Happening to iGoogle?

iGoogle is ending next November 1, 2013 and the mobile version already ended this past July. According to Google, the decision is based on the use of modern apps created after iGoogle came on the scene in 2005. Apps that run on Google platforms like Chrome and Android (to name a few) have made the widgetized iGoogle, well… irrelevant, so after November 1, 2013 iGoogle will come to an end. So you have 16 months to transition to other platforms.
If you want to move your personal data from iGoogle you can export it and use other Google products including Gmail, Google Calendar, Google Finance, Google Docs (now Google Drive), Google Bookmarks, and Google Tasks. As an alternative, Google is encouraging iGoogle lovers to use Google Chrome. The Chrome Web Store provides a similar range of options once available on iGoogle such as productivity tools and applications to check the weather. In addition, just like iGoogle, you can personalize Chrome with a theme.

Khan Academy & STEM – Social Value through Social Media

With renewed focus in American on science, technology, engineering and mathematics (STEM), educators across the country are coming up with creative ways to provide instruction to their students. Using the internet is, of course, an obvious and popular approach.

Khan Academy is a fine example of a website that has high social value as an educational resource. They provide, free of charge, online education videos on just about any subject matter. Khan Academy is so popular teachers who use it as a resource have actually ‘flipped’ their classrooms, meaning students get the lecture at home using Khan Academy videos instead of in the classroom. In school the next day, they then do what would traditionally have been the homework assignment. This approach helps teachers to focus on how well the students have grasped what they viewed in the videos, go over the concepts and provide guidance. But taking it further, Khan suggests using technology to humanize the classroom so teachers can be freed up to spend more time with each student.

As one student commented on Khan Academy’s You Tube channel, “…I remember seeing all this ‘Matrix’ text in class and here I’m all like ‘I know kung-fu!'”  The modules are fun, for adults too. View Salman Khan’s TED talk below and then try a lesson or two!