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Take the Leap
Celebrating an Extra Day in February
We have a unique opportunity this February. This year is leap year, which means for the first time in four years, there will be a Feb. 29 on the calendar. It’s such a fascinating day to me because it’s so rare. I’ve only ever known one person with a leap day birthday — a “leapling,” as they’re called — but our office manager, Heather Howell, actually knows two leaplings. I find that to be pretty rare! This year’s leap day lands on a Saturday, which means we’ve not only been gifted an extra day of the year, but also an extra Saturday in February. I can’t imagine my family will do anything too special for leap day, but I’m sure we’ll make it our version of a perfect day. Since it’s a weekend in February, there’s a good chance you can catch me cruising down the slopes at Bogus Basin. As you may remember, I love skiing, and while Boise’s winter got off to a slow start this year, I’ve still enjoyed some weekend afternoons on the mountain. There’s only a short window of time each year when the weather is perfect, the snow is light, and courses are slick and smooth. It’s hard to make your final run the final run at a ski resort like that.
tradition to enjoy a few slices of pizza. Maybe it’s because no one is in the mood to cook or because we crave some great and greasy food. Regardless, pizza Saturday is a tradition that the Amorebieta family wouldn’t stop just because it’s leap day. To tell you the truth, I don’t know what else we would do beyond this typical Saturday winter routine we have. Perhaps Keri and I will go out without the kids or do something special, but I guess that’s the beauty of an extra day. You don’t have to make it special to make it great. You just have to do what you want to do, and it will already be your version of a “perfect day.” So, this leap day, don’t put any pressure on yourself to make it spectacular. Just be grateful you are given an extra day, and do whatever it is that makes you happiest. You don’t need to accomplish everything on your task list or make the day one you will never forget for it to be a memorable leap day. That is, unless you’re a leapling. In that case, party like you haven’t celebrated a birthday in four years!
Back at home, we will probably order some pizza for dinner. We’re not sure how this got started, but it’s become a Saturday family
KEEP UP WITH THE BIG BUSINESSES 3 Tech Trends to Accelerate Your Company
The line between technologies that are beneficial for large businesses and those beneficial for small businesses continues to blur. While the latest software programs were once only available to large companies that could afford them, some of these programs have also become available and profitable for small businesses to use. In an age of increasing connectivity, these are a few tech trends that small businesses should watch out for. While it certainly shouldn’t replace every customer interaction, using AI software programs for small tasks — like email marketing, data entry, accounting, and some low-stress forms of customer service — is invaluable to small businesses. Delegating menial tasks to AI can free up time for you to focus on those more important face-to-face interactions with your customers. Increased Use of Data Analytics “Big data” is intimidating. For years, sifting through customer data and extracting valuable information Collaboration With Artificial Intelligence
that can be used to grow businesses was something that only the largest companies had the time, funds, and expertise to do. However, more programs that reduce the upfront investment and expertise necessary to contextualize customer data are popping up. If you can make use of your customers’ data, you can give them an experience with your business that they won’t find many other places. Continued Reliance on Social Media Social media marketing remains an effective tool for attracting customers to your small business, even if the tools continue to change. While marketing on Facebook and Instagram might seem like old news, marketing on trendier apps, like TikTok, Pinterest, or Snapchat, can still work to your business’s benefit. A recent study showed that 45% of consumers head to social media when they have a question about something — are you going to be there to answer it? Keeping up with the latest and greatest tech trends in small-business management can be exhausting, but in an age where technological advancement is accelerating faster than ever, it’s necessary for the survival of businesses of all shapes and sizes. See What Our Customers Are Saying “MicroTech’s customer service is outstanding! They have been a great partner with Eagle Fire and Rescue for many years. As we have grown, so have our IT needs. MicroTech has been with us every step of the way.” – Angie McBride
Our team has shown a tremendous amount of support during a busy winter at MicroTech Systems. Our mission to provide 5-star IT service wouldn’t be possible without this dedicated team, and we appreciate their commitment. This month, we celebrate our office manager, Heather Howell , on her 14th anniversary with MicroTech Systems. And if you happen to see Bill Mogensen , be sure to wish him a very happy birthday!
Thank you, Heather and Bill, for your continued dedication to our team!
BY PROTECTING YOURSELF WITH THESE TECH TIPS
The digital world is always at our fingertips, and improved Wi-Fi connections and options have made accessing personal data, such as banking information, easier than ever — especially for thieves and hackers. At MicroTech Systems, we have always offered next-level security care by monitoring your system and alerting you before real danger happens. But in 2020, we’re doubling down on this initiative. In honor of that effort, here are three ways you and your bank can keep your personal information secure in 2020.
connection likely isn’t protected by a firewall either. Be leery when logging on from home.)
Multi-Factor Authentication As annoying as it may be to tell your bank what street you grew up on and your father’s middle initial every time you log in, it’s an ingenious system designed to protect you from hackers. Two-factor or multi-factor authentication systems require multiple levels of proof that you are who you say you are. Only use banking apps that require this form of entry for an extra blanket of security. Real-Time Alerts It can be terrifying to walk around with a device that has your mobile banking app and information on it, but choosing mobile banking may actually be a wise choice. With mobile banking and credit card apps, you’re alerted in real time whenever money moves in and out of your account. If you didn’t make a $300 purchase at a Walmart in Phoenix, you can contest the purchase, freeze your card, and get real answers within minutes of it happening. This stops fraudsters in their tracks and protects you from additional losses. With the internet at our fingertips, the possibilities are endless — for both you and hackers. Protect yourself and your team by inquiring about our security offerings. Call (208) 345-0054 today or visit MicroTechBoise. com/microtech-blog for more tech tips.
The Connection Before you log in to your banking app, consider the network you’re using. Never log in to a personal account, such as a banking app or a medical program, on public Wi-Fi or cellular networks. These are not secure networks, and they are not protected by a firewall. Instead, only trust personal networks or those protected by a business’s VPN. ( Note: Your home’s
Have a Laugh!
Homemade Paleo Bread There’s nothing more comforting than a slice of homemade bread. Settle in with this paleo-friendly version of the ultimate comfort food.
• • • • • •
1 2/3 cups almond flour 2 tbsp flaxseed meal 2 tbsp coconut flour
1/4 cup extra-virgin olive oil 1 tbsp agave syrup 1 tbsp apple cider vinegar
2 tsp baking soda 1/2 tsp kosher salt
1. Heat oven to 350 F, and line an 8x5-inch loaf pan with parchment paper. 2. In a large bowl, combine almond flour, flaxseed meal, coconut flour, baking soda, and salt. 3. Add eggs, olive oil, agave syrup, and vinegar and whisk until smooth.
4. Pour mixture into prepared 8x5-inch pan and smooth top with a spatula. 5. Bake for 35 minutes or until top is golden. Remove from pan and slice when cooled.
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What Will You Do With an Extra February Day? Important Tech Trends for Small Businesses to Keep Up With Keep Your Personal Information Secure
Homemade Paleo Bread
Yvon Chouinard’s Rise From Wannabe Fur Trapper to Billionaire Entrepreneur
‘Let My People Go Surfing: The Education of a Reluctant Businessman’ How Patagonia’s Founder Set a New Standard for Environmental Responsibility
From the very beginning of his 2006 memoir, “Let My People Go Surfing: The Education of a Reluctant Businessman,” it’s clear that Patagonia’s founder, Yvon Chouinard, is not the typical entrepreneur. As a kid, Chouinard wanted to be a fur trapper, and rather than going into business with dreams of getting rich, he started making climbing gear to fund his passion for scaling cliffs and adventuring in the outdoors. “Let My People Go Surfing” follows Patagonia’s meteoric rise through its victories and rough patches — including the stalled growth that led to layoffs of 20% of the staff in the 1990s — but its main focus is on the company’s ideals. In plain, forthright, and sometimes irascible language, Chouinard lays out Patagonia’s growth goals, culture aims, and environmental stewardship efforts.
facilities, works to eliminate pollution, focuses on recycled and recyclable materials, participates in environmental activism, funds environmental organizations worldwide, and even encourages shoppers to send in worn-out apparel for reuse and repair. In short, over the course of 272 pages, Chouinard proves he not only talks the talk but also walks the walk — and has made millions championing his cause. He encourages other entrepreneurs to do the same, laying out Patagonia’s footsteps and philosophies for readers to follow. Many already have. “Let My People Go Surfing” was updated and rereleased in 2016, but either version will make entrepreneurs think twice about their environmental
impact and what they can do to reduce it. As one Amazon reviewer wrote, “Whether you’re a manager or business owner looking to motivate your employees and create a sustainable business, or a fan of Patagonia, or someone curious about how to live a life you can feel good about, this book should work for you.”
The last of which is truly the core of the brand. Patagonia prioritizes minimalism, function, durability, and reparability in all of its products, from backpacks to jackets. It tracks the energy and water use of its
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