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After using a national company to create our last website, we knew that we had to change. We set out to find a local web design company that could give us a fresh, professional looking website to meet the growing and changing needs of our company. DuBose Web Group did just that, and exceeded all of our expectations. Using the suggestions they gave us, we are now able to leverage a variety of social media sites, integrate our back-end software systems, and keep the content fresh with new on our website. We now have more functionality and features than ever before, plus a great looking website that is easy to navigate. We are so pleased with the results that we have already started working on more projects together. We look forward to long and mutual beneficial relationship with DuBose Web Group.

The following articles were published by www.midlandsbiz.com, Columbia Business Monthly Magazine, Pee Dee Journal, or Greenville Business Monthly.

The Dangers of a Slow-Loading Website

As web technology evolves, it allows people everywhere to find and distribute information faster and faster. One side effect of this quicker, easier access to information is that people’s attention spans are shrinking. This means that a website that loads slowly can have some pretty dramatic consequences, namely in two specific areas:  Website Viewers: I can think of several times recently that I visited a website and it didn't load within a few seconds. Each time, I gave up, clicked the...  Read More »

Between the Lines:  Why Typography Matters

Have you ever heard the phrase, “How you say it is just as important as what you say”?  People communicate with more than just words.  Tone of voice and body language convey their own meanings, and we can send a completely different message than we intended if we don’t pay attention to how we sound and look.  There are a myriad of details in web design that each send their own message to the user, but typography is easily one of the most important. How the text looks is almost an entire...  Read More »

Where do you come up with your web designs?

The year was 2002. I was a recent art school graduate, and with a semester of Web Design 101 in one hand and my bachelor’s degree in the other, I was on the fast track to designing sophisticated websites! Okay, maybe not that fast. My love for web design began when I found that you could put a dozen lines of code into Notepad and make a functioning website (albeit, not the prettiest website, but a website nonetheless).  I think it’s safe to say that web design standards were not very high...  Read More »

Our Website Redesign – Part 1

I knew when we started the latest redesign process that it wasn’t going to be easy. Our last redesign in 2010 had set the bar higher than before and I knew this next layout was going to require even more attention to detail and must have the “Wow” factor natively built in.  I also was fully aware that this redesign wasn’t something we’d just finish and say, “OK, it’s done...” and then never change it. It was going to be an ongoing process where we continuously added and improved things. All...  Read More »

Will Leap Motion change how we design websites?

Touch screens have come a long way from their initial prototypes. Hand gestures combined with other technology has really opened the door on what touch screen devices are capable of. From the iPhone to the large assortment of tablet devices and now even desktops, touchscreens are the future. But what if you didn’t even need a touchscreen at all – what if you could control your computer naturally with your hand movements. I always think of the movie, “The Minority Report” with Tom Cruise, where...  Read More »

Selecting the Right Web Design Company

By Blake DuBose and Mike DuBose “How did I ever get myself into this mess?”Who in the private or public sector has not had that painful thought? We sometimes develop partnerships based on first impressions and early conversations, only to face costly nightmares later! Of all the horror stories we have heard since starting our family of companies in 1981, many complaints (and regrets) surround technology, especially Web design. The following comments were made by angry readers and customers...  Read More »

Business Marketing: Innovate or Die!

By Blake DuBose and Mike DuBose If the Beatles or Rolling Stones began their careers today, there’s a good chance that they might fail! All facets of our society are evolving, and what worked in years past won’t work now. The technological revolution has changed how our culture communicates and how we use the media for news, advertising, information, and entertainment. In a 2010 Time magazine article, futurist Ray Kurzweil estimated that we’re doubling technological progress every two years....  Read More »

The Art of Building Successful Websites

By Blake DuBose and Mike DuBose Effectively marketing products and services to potential consumers in unique ways is critical for successful businesses. Every company identified as great in Jim Collins’ bestseller Good to Great demonstrated technological sophistication, using technology as a tool to accelerate success within the guidelines of their individual "Hedgehog Concept:" what they can be best at, are passionate about, and is most profitable to them. Technology in our society is...  Read More »

Supporting Blue Star Mothers

We are holding a drive for the Midlands chapter of the Blue Star Mothers of America. Blue Star Mothers is a group of women who have children who are currently serving or have served in the military. It is a nonpartisan, nonpolitical 501(c)3 nonprofit organization that provides a variety of services to soldiers, like sending care packages containing personal, food, and entertainment items to active-duty servicemen and women. For our supply drive, we will be collecting their most-needed items,...  Read More »

Join Us in Helping Hungry People and Homeless Pets

As part of our commitment to community service, we will be collecting donations throughout March and April that we will give to Harvest Hope Food Bank and PETS Inc. We welcome any contributions you would like to make! The following items are especially needed: For Harvest Hope: canned meat and fish peanut butter (in plastic jars) canned vegetables and fruits breakfast cereal personal care items (soap, shampoo, etc.) diapers any nutritionally dense foods For...  Read More »

Sample Technology Policy

Sample Technology Policy The DuBose Family of Companies This is a sample policy modeled on the technology policy used by the DuBose Family of Companies. This example contains some differences from our actual policy, and we make no guarantees regarding its use. Your lawyer or human resources representative should review any policy before it is made official to ensure that it is lawful and fair. Throughout this example, “The Company” refers to the DuBose Family of Companies as a...  Read More »

2015 Quality Vendors Guide

The Quality Vendors Guide was developed by Mike DuBose for his employees, friends, customers, and fellow Westpark land owners. The DuBose Family of Companies includes: Columbia Conference Center (www.columbiameetings.com), DuBose Web Group (www.duboseweb.com), Research Associates (www.grantexperts.com), The Evaluation Group (www.evaluationgroup.com), and DuBose Fitness Center (www.dubosefitness.com). Additional personal, health, business, and travel articles may be read at Mike’s non-profit...  Read More »

Building High-Performance Teams

At some point in our lives, we all take part in activities that necessitate teamwork. These situations crop up within professions, spiritual organizations, military service, children’s schools, political campaigns, neighborhood associations, sports teams, civic organizations, marriages, and families. One thing they all have in common is that when people don’t work together in unison toward common goals, problems occur. Conversely, when individuals passionately direct their efforts toward...  Read More »

New Threats for a New Era: Protecting Your Personal and Business Security Online

Some might say that thieves have it a lot easier these days. Why rob a bank with a gun in front of numerous witnesses (not to mention security cameras), when one can quickly and quietly steal peoples’ assets from behind a computer screen? In August 2014, USA Today reported that Russian cybercriminals had committed the largest theft of password and username combinations known to history—1.2 billion—as well as 5 million e-mails from databases on 420,000 websites. As this and many other news...  Read More »

Choosing the Right Customers for Your Business

In the beginning, many new companies lack a clearly defined image of their ideal client. Most are just concerned about paying bills and will accept any customer with a heartbeat. However, from a combined four decades of business experience, we’ve learned that it’s essential to strategically pursue smart, mutually-beneficial partnerships. Profits aren’t worth the cost of your sanity! For lasting success, you need a purpose beyond making money. Engaging the right customers is a strategic move....  Read More »

What Does 2034 Look Like? What We Can Expect from the Next 20 Years

At a recent roundtable meeting with business leaders on technology and the future, we were stunned to hear the successful owner of ten body shops say he’d be out of business in 20 years. He predicted that, because of advancements in smart and driverless cars, there will be very few new car wrecks in the not-too-distant future. In fact, based on our research, 90% of car accidents worldwide occur due to human error. If cars could detect danger using sensors and cameras and then communicate with...  Read More »

80 Smart Interview Questions from 50 Great Leaders

New employees represent not only a huge investment of time and money, but they can also significantly add to or detract from an organization’s culture. Each time you hire someone, you’re committing yourself and your staff to spending a large chunk of your week with that person. You simply can’t afford to introduce a “rotten apple” or a “slacker” into the mix, and if you do slip up, getting rid of them can be time-consuming and stressful! When seeking new employees, you must have a crystal...  Read More »

Habits: The Force Behind Success!

Aristotle said, “We are what we repeatedly do. Excellence, then, is not an art, but a habit.” Good habits can promote greatness for both individuals and organizations; likewise, bad habits can stifle an otherwise promising person or business. The good news is that, although habits become ingrained in our minds, these patterns can be changed. Through conscious effort and determination, we all have the ability to break bad habits and adopt inspiring ones. On a practical level, we rely on habits...  Read More »

The Path to a Happy, Healthy Hundred Years Preventing Cancer—Killer #2

Download the Body Mass Index (BMI) Chart The first mention of cancer in historical texts took place in Egypt more than 5,000 years ago, and the disease has plagued humankind ever since. Although scientists in recent centuries have gained a greater understanding of cancer and its treatment, cancer rates across the globe are “surging at alarming rates, and there is an urgent need to implement strategies to prevent and curb the disease,” according to a 2014 USA Today article by Nanci Hellmich....  Read More »

Leadership Secrets: 50 Strategies of the World’s Best Leaders

Along with outstanding staff, effective leaders are the driving force behind thriving businesses, private non-profits, government agencies, and houses of faith. Successful leaders define great organizational cultures, clarify the vision, and spur their teams to transform difficulties and obstacles into success. Becoming a great leader doesn’t just happen overnight, though. Effective leadership is an endless, evolving journey, and what works today may not work tomorrow. As Peter Drucker wrote,...  Read More »

A.G. Lafley on Leadership: Lessons from Procter and Gamble’s Superstar CEO

Fueled by a passion for learning the ins and outs of successful leadership, we have studied, researched, and interviewed many great leaders over the years. We have found that, although each has their own style and strategies, leaders often share common traits like humility and a dedication to executing ideas. One such leader is Alan George Lafley (known as “A.G.”), who joined Procter and Gamble upon graduating from Harvard Business School in 1977. He became P&G’s CEO, a position he held for ten...  Read More »

17 Easy Ways to Lose Customers

In business literature, some companies—Amazon, Four Seasons Hotels, and Zappos, for example—are held up as sparkling examples of customer service mastery. Consumers gush about their experiences with them, and other businesses study them in hopes of gaining the same kind of acclaim. Then, there are the others: the companies that are just the opposite. Clients unfortunate enough to contract with them can’t say enough bad things about their products, responsiveness, and customer service. Unless...  Read More »

The Path to a Happy, Healthy Hundred Years: Heart Disease, Killer #1

Heart disease has become an American epidemic. Approximately one-third of the US population (more than 80 million people) is afflicted with a cardiovascular disease, which kills 800,000 people every year—the most common cause of death in America. Cardiovascular disease also accounts for $1 out of every $6 spent on healthcare. According to the Centers for Disease Control (CDC), the major causes of heart disease include: diabetes, being overweight or obese, poor diet, physical inactivity,...  Read More »

Dying Successfully

None of us are guaranteed another day on Earth. About 10,000 of the 325,000 Americans who die of sudden cardiac arrest each year are young people, according to the American Heart Association, and even pro athletes suffer deadly traffic accidents. One of our close relatives recently discovered her 56-year-old husband dead, although a medical examination one week earlier revealed no significant health problems. Her trauma deepened as she discovered that because she wasn’t listed as a beneficiary...  Read More »

Retiring Smart: Social Security and Other Financing Strategies

Read on to access a page of 20+ links to helpful retirement, Social Security, annuity, and Medicare resources. From 1946 to 1964, America’s birthrate soared, earning this time period its nickname: the Baby Boom. Now, these “babies” are all grown up. In fact, since 2011, about 10,000 Baby Boomers have turned 65 years old every day, according to the Pew Institute—a trend that will continue until 2030, when 18% of the American population will be 65 or older. Because most people leave the...  Read More »

The Path to a Happy, Healthy Hundred Years

Living 100 years—an entire century!—is a real possibility for many adults today. In a May 2013 Forbes article, Melanie Haiken cites studies by the National Institutes of Health and the U.S. Census Bureau, writing, “those over the age of 80 now make up the world’s fastest growing age group. In 2012, the number of Americans living to and past 100 years old rose to 100,000. By 2050, more than 800,000 people will be centenarians.” Reasons for this longevity boost are many. America’s healthcare...  Read More »

23 Strategies for a Happy, Healthy Retirement

To most people, retirement sounds like a dream. After decades of work, they look forward to spending unlimited “time off” with friends and family, visiting new places, and taking up hobbies. What many fail to realize, however, is that retirement requires extensive planning and preparation—or else that “dream” can become a nightmare of boredom and depression. In fact, in a 2011 study by the Harvard School of Public Health, Robert Wood Johnson Foundation, and National Public Radio, one in four...  Read More »

The Building Blocks of Great Organizations

Sometimes, “good” isn’t good enough. The Great Recession left many “good” companies, non-profits, and cities in shambles, proving that organizations must be great if they want to thrive. The difficult part: no failsafe recipe for greatness exists. Every organization takes its own path, and even extraordinary leaders don’t have all the answers. Fortunately, we‘ve discovered proven secrets to becoming a great organization that are within everyone’s reach.  In 2006, our family of companies began...  Read More »

Innovative Strategies for Recruiting Great Staff

For a detailed chart comparing and contrasting different methods of job advertising we researched for this article, please view the chart here or visit http://www.duboseweb.com/jobads. Every day, technology advances, new products are invented, and fascinating discoveries are made. Businesses face both opportunities and pitfalls from our increasingly digitized society. Yet as much as things change, exceptional customer service is still a key trait of successful organizations. Companies must...  Read More »

Helpful Social Security and Medicare Links

To Our Readers: Over the last seven years, we have researched many aspects of Social Security and Medicare. At times, it has been baffling; by our estimates, there are 81 different ways to obtain Social Security! Recently, we wrote a column on preparing for and financing retirement, and to help our readers even further, we have compiled a list of helpful links below. They are separated by subject, although there may be some overlap. This is just a small sampling of the information available,...  Read More »

Jack Welch’s Secrets for Business Success

Jack Welch is often called the “CEO of the Century.” In his 20-year tenure at General Electric, the company’s stock value increased by 4000 percent—no small achievement for the company’s youngest CEO ever. By his reckoning, about 30 of his direct reports went on to become CEOs of Fortune 500 companies in their own right. In 2007, we began a mission to meet and learn from as many great business leaders as we could. On several occasions, we were fortunate to meet with Jack Welch and his wife...  Read More »

Calvin Klein’s Business Vision (And What We Can Learn From It)

Success: how does one person achieve it, while others linger behind? Most of us are fascinated by those who work their way up from humble beginnings. Entrepreneur and fashion designer Calvin Klein said he had “nothing” when he opened his first clothing store in 1968; however, since then, he has created an empire that includes cosmetics, fragrances, home goods, and accessories. In 2012, Calvin Klein, Inc. earned revenues of $1.5 billion. Although Klein sold his company, he remains the creative...  Read More »

Is Heaven Real?

Will our souls go on to Heaven, or will all of our thoughts and emotions simply cease with our last breath? At some point, every person wonders what will happen after death. The answer stays maddeningly out of reach—no one can answer for certain until after death, and the dead can’t communicate with us. Most people who believe in an afterlife also believe in a supreme being that reigns over it. If our existence—on Earth and after death—is really possible, was it brought about by a God? Others...  Read More »

Getting a Great Job in a Terrible Market

“I sent out 200 resumes in the last month and haven’t heard anything!” “I’ve been trying for so long, I’m about to give up on ever finding a job.” “My job makes me miserable. I do the work of two employees and they still treat me like dirt, but I’ve got to pay the bills. My best work is always criticized and I never hear about a job well done. I feel like a prisoner.” “I just got laid off after 20 years with my company. I’m not too hopeful I’ll find another job soon—companies are looking...  Read More »

How Fear Destroys Companies

The tight budgets and plentiful layoffs of the recent “Great Recession” spawned anxiety and insecurity throughout the American workforce. When members of the media began calling it the beginning of a “depression,” even the bravest most experienced business leaders felt afraid. Some companies were overcome by the fear, whereas others avoided failure—but how? Fear can both help and harm. In the sense that it is an “awareness of danger” (to borrow from Webster’s Dictionary), it can help protect...  Read More »

Depression: Finding the Light from the Darkness

No one wants to talk about depression, yet at some point in life, most of us either experience it ourselves or know someone who has. Fourteen percent of Americans will experience serious depression in their lifetimes (according to Consumer Reports), and this number is unlikely to decrease. I, too, have lived with depression. Now, I want to share the story of how I passed through that dark tunnel and into the light to give hope to others who are fighting the same demons. Temporary sadness is a...  Read More »

E-mail: The Good, the Bad, and the Ugly!

These days, many people do their personal and business communicating primarily via e-mail or text messaging. E-mail will only become more important as we move into the future, with the number of users worldwide projected to grow by one billion by 2016, according to research firm Radicati. The next generation of American workers will have never known a world without the Internet and text messaging. One reason that e-mail is so popular is that it is a fast, easy, and convenient way to...  Read More »

What Leaders Can Learn from John Wooden’s Legacy

In 27 years as UCLA’s basketball coach, John Wooden led his players to ten NCAA national championships, 88 straight wins, and four perfect seasons. No wonder ESPN named him a “Coach of the Century!” He was one of only three people to be inducted into the basketball hall of fame as a player and a coach. Great coaches like Wooden exhibit many of the same traits as business visionaries like Jack Welch, Jim Collins, and Larry Bossidy. Although there is no guaranteed path to greatness, people who...  Read More »

Building Productive Workplaces

All leaders dream of piloting their organizations to soaring productivity. Creating healthy, productive workplaces, however, requires engagement from employees and management alike—something many workplaces lack. Citing a Towers Perrin study of 90,000 employees worldwide, a 2010 Harvard Business Review analysis noted that “21% felt fully engaged and nearly 40% were disenchanted or disengaged. That negativity has a direct impact on the bottom line.” The study also found that “companies with low...  Read More »

International Travel for Beginners, Pros, and Everyone in Between

Traveling abroad enriches the mind, body, and soul. It allows you to taste new foods, interact with different cultures, and see where history was made. We have visited a good many countries, and Italy is our favorite due to its beautiful sights, great foods and wines, and friendly people. Most Italians speak English, as do citizens of many other countries whose economies rely heavily on tourism. Despite what you may have heard about France, our second favorite place to visit, the people there...  Read More »

The Art of Packing

Download travel checklist here Having flown more than 1 million actual flight miles, we’ve seen the insides of hundreds of hotels, rental cars, airplanes, trains, and cruise ships. We’ve had a lot of fun—and have made just about every travel mistake you can imagine! Our travels, including almost 30 trips to Hawaii alone, have taught us valuable lessons on flying, packing, and making our way around foreign countries. In this article, we’ll share packing strategies we have learned to help you...  Read More »

Designing Successful Internet Marketing Strategies

Newspapers, radio stations, and other media outlets are seeing advertising revenues dwindle, and where those dollars are headed is clear: the Internet. As more and more people obtain their news and other services through electronic devices like smartphones, the web has taken over as marketing’s new frontier. Most businesses have reacted accordingly, shifting their marketing budgets from print, radio, and television ads to websites and social media strategies. As we outlined in the first part of...  Read More »

Business Scammers Get Smarter and More Dangerous

Read the attorneys' letters and legal complaint mentioned in the article below (PDF - Click Here) If you’re like us, you’ve probably received countless misspelled e-mails (and even letters!) from foreign scammers promising $10 million in return for your bank account information. There are also the phony Yellow Page offers and invoices for supplies you never ordered—if you make the mistake of paying, thieves copy your checks and write more from your account! Scams are so plentiful right now...  Read More »

Columbia Companies Serve Up 554 Pounds of Holiday Help

A group of northwest Columbia businesses pooled their effort—and their canned goods—this holiday season to amass a quarter ton of food for Harvest Hope, a South Carolina food bank. Staff members from the companies donated 554 pounds of nonperishable food and personal care items during the food drive, a roughly 10% increase in poundage from last year. Twelve companies, all of which are located in the Westpark office park off of Fernandina Road, came together with drive host Columbia Conference...  Read More »

Newberry College expands with Social Media major

Make no mistake: social media campaigns, including informational websites, Facebook, and LinkedIn, are the future of business marketing and communications. We were honored when Blake DuBose, president of DuBose Web Group, was interviewed by WIS-TV on how social media is affecting—and will affect—our lives. Blake was invited to give his viewpoint on Newberry College’s new social media degree, which will train students in the skills necessary to enter the modern technology workforce. Not only...  Read More »

How Businesses Can Use the Internet to Increase Profits

For most people, the Internet is a part of daily life. The World Bank reports that more than 75% of US citizens use the Internet—a number that grows exponentially each year—and around 70% of South Carolinians do, according to our discussions with the US Census Bureau. Users go online for reasons as varied as dating, entertainment, research, and shopping. In fact, major news outlets like USA Today have reported that many brick-and-mortar stores, like Best Buy, are feeling the pressure from...  Read More »

Responding to Customer Complaints—The Right Way

No organization likes hearing negative customer feedback. However, companies are run by humans, and we all occasionally deliver less-than-stellar products or customer service. Some multibillion-dollar companies can get away with ignoring complaints due to the sheer size of their customer base, but for the average business, this is not an option! Our reviews of several customer complaint-related studies found that most customers leave a business because of poor customer service or mishandled...  Read More »

Making Your Client Meetings Successful

As the American economy slowly rebounds, scores of new businesses will join those that were strong enough to survive the recession in the recovering marketplace. To thrive in spite of increased competition, existing businesses must practice excellent customer service, beginning from their first contact with clients and lasting throughout the relationship. Thus, how businesses’ staff members interact with customers in meetings can mean the difference between winning lucrative client contracts...  Read More »