Wednesday, July 8, 2020


As we all know, these are tough times, many people are suffering from the loss of income, loss of freedom of movement and hardships never anticipated, and all due to the COVID-19 Pandemic.  This will invariably have an impact not only on our daily lives for the near term but in the long term as we all realize what can happen. 

Businesses of all types will need to plan for the next contingency, be it pandemic, Typhoon, Earthquake, Tsunami, etc.  Keeping your company data in a server at the end of the hall doesn't give you much in the way of security when your employees are quarantined.  Having all your information, applications and access limited to those employees that can commute to the office is not a comforting thought.  Further, your very business may not be able to conduct business if your web presence and applications are tied to your physical location.

The public cloud and Software as a Service (SaaS) are solutions that should and very likely will get more valuable in light of the hardships we are seeing now.  The Public Cloud where you can host any applications and its data in secure data centers mirrored around the world is certainly going to be seen as the way to go from now on.

Even from a cost standpoint, Cloud technologies have the economy of scale that keep their costs low and so low in fact that you simply cannot buy computer hardware to do it in-house for less.

I can see focus changing from the traditional IT departments from the past to new virtual IT departments that are largely outsourced with little or no dependency on local staff. 

Thanks, Mike Oliver, Founder O4BO.COM

Saturday, April 25, 2020

Restaurant Success? Location, Location, Location?

I am sure you have heard the three factors that spell success for any Restaurant or Bar, "Location, Location, Location" right?

The logic goes something like this...all other things like quality of food, service, prices, etc. the key difference between the success of one RestoBar over another is Location.

I am quite sure that is largely true.  But in today's connected society where almost everyone has a smart phone, walk by traffic is not the driving factor it once was.

If you own or run a Restaurant or Bar you probably already know you need a number of things working for your marketing, product planning, etc.

I found a blog that has a post that I think you should at least check out as it is titled

The Top 10 Restaurant Management Blogs for Restaurateurs

The Blog itself is aimed at Point of Sale for Restaurants/Bars but the 10 Blogs listed are also for Restaurateurs, so well worth your time to check out.

Many have posts related to Marketing that should be most interesting.

Restaurant Den

is particularly good with articles like.

One of the cheapest and easiest ways to put your restaurant on the map and acquire new customers is to rely on user-generated content. Especially if you’re a beginner restauranteur, you shouldn’t miss out on the opportunity to involve your customers and followers in...

Check them out and good hunting.

Tuesday, March 24, 2020

Open 4 Business Online Mission Statement

Although O4BO is adhering to the Community Quarantine in Luzon, Philippinnes, we are still in business working online.

We are looking at our Mission Statement and how we can contribute to the recovery of our customers and the country.

Here is our slightly modified mission Statement.'s mission is to help our subscribers grow their business with social media management, advertising, applications and search engine optimization.

  1. We use Cloud technologies to provide secure and reliable service for our subscribers on their web sites and on Software as a Service applications we manage for them. This means that our subscribers need not install software on their local machines and do NOT need to hire staff to maintain them and that their applications are available 7/24 online from anywhere without dependency on infrastructure or on-site staff.
  2. We have a platform for management of social media presence that includes syndication of content across all social media to include Facebook, LinkedIn, Pinterest, Instagram, Twitter and many others.  Our staff works with our subscribers to publish and distribute content across all social media.
  3. We produce and publish advertising across all the social media sites including but not limited to Facebook (aka boost), LinkedIn, Google and others.  We can product multi-media ads including animated video, graphics and text.  Our subscribers have had their ads reach tens of thousands of viewers for less than a couple of Starbucks Coffees.  Often Facebook will send us a notice that our recent ad has performed better than 90% of similar ads on Facebook.  We can match your ad campaigns to your budget.
  4. Our platform for social media includes, Web Sites, Facebook Pages, YouTube, LinkedIn business Listings, Pinterest Boards, Instagram Advertising, Blogs and VLogs and all are interconnected such that a post to one is a post to all and that leads to super Search Engine Optimization.  In addition our network of regional business listing sites add to the exposure on a regional basis to provide more local exposure and viewers.
  5. We provide Software as a Service applications that are cloud based and provide applications from simple photo and image galleries and Accounting Applications to full Enterprise Resource Planning, Customer Relationship Management, Project Management and much more for low prices and even lower infrastructure costs.
As the current COVID-19 Pandemic has demonstrated, we cannot always control things about our businesses, sometimes what worked before may not work today or in the future.

Monday, March 23, 2020


I am currently in a community quarantine in Makati, Philippines with lots of time on my hands so I was just thinking.

I have spent my time reading, paperback books, kindle, Facebook, various news channels and saw one the struck me...

Some shared inspirational quotes, noting that William Shakespeare made the most of his time in quarantine to pen his most famous plays.

 Now I am no Shakespeare, and this is not a play, but perhaps I can make a few point.  One of my favorite sayings is:

Things always seem to work out best for those that make the best of the way things work out.

Now at we are not impacted by the Quarantine or Lockdown in our  operations.  Why?  Because we host all our clients and our own back office applications in the Cloud and my Staff and I work from home online all the time.  So for us being locked down is no big deal.

However we ARE impacted by our clients being locked down.  Their operations are affected and with office staff being quarantined within their home barangay and unwilling or unable to go to work, our clients suffer if they cannot do operations from home.  Having on site servers and applications may seem like the best and cheapest way to do things, but now maybe not quite as good.

Consider the past few years here in the Philippines, we have had Typhoons, Earthquakes, Volcanoes,  and now a Pandemic, all that have disrupted travel and infrastructure.  All have impacted operations of some companies while not impacting others.

I believe we will see a gradual migration to Cloud Computing to accelerate.  Many companies of all sizes are doing it now and many more will do it in the near future. 

Moving Information Technology from On-Site In House, to the Cloud without significant local dependency on infrastructure and staff will ensure continuity of operations and protection of data and mitigate the risk from interruption of operations.  Outsourcing IT is also going to accelerate as it is cost effective when the IT staff itself is online and not servicing local hardware and infrastructure.

Fortunately there are plenty off Software as a Service applications you can subscribe to that are cloud based and completely accessible from Mobile or thin client browsers online.

Almost every corner of the globe can access these cloud based applications for seamless operations in times of calamity.

There are tools that make the migration easier and some of the Cloud Providers like Microsoft, Google and Amazon (and many others too) can help you migrate from On-Site to Cloud or even Hybrid where some On-Site is necessary but needs to be integrated with Cloud based back office applications.

Industries like Healthcare, manufacturing and others have real time applications that need to be On-Site but if the manufacturer is locked down its, shop floor system is not needed anyway.


In every crisis there are opportunities, every storm cloud has a silver lining.

Thursday, February 27, 2020

Regional Partner Example

Hi, in my last blog post I described an opportunity for Travel Agents, Tour Guides, Tourism Departments, Chambers of Commerce or anyone that would like to increase their web presence and promote tourism in their region through one of our Explorer4 web sites.

In exchange for weekly posts regarding events, sights, tourist info or anything else this regional partner would like to promote, we will give them a free upgrade to their listing. Here is an example of what that upgraded listing would look like. 

In it we would add up to 8 images and replace the text and map to their location, for FREE.

That is a P6,000 value for just a once a week free promotion in a blog entry.  There you can add as many pictures as you wish and even video.  That is quite a deal isn’t it?

Just let us know if you are interested.

Warm Regards,

Mike Oliver

Wednesday, February 19, 2020

Regional Partner Opportunity


I am pleased to announce an opportunity for Travel Agents, Tour Guides, Chambers of Commerce, Better Business Bureaus even Municipalities looking to promote activities, events and other things to attract visitors to their region.

Here is how it works.

A company or agency signs up for or has already signed up for a free business listing on any of our Explorer4 sites such as and they contact me to upgrade their listing as part of our "Regional Partner" program by sending an email or calling me to get started.

We then will create or upgrade their Explorer4 listing to include up to 8 pictures with descriptors and an expanded description for their company, for free.  In exchange we request at least one posting per week on the Blog for the Explorer4 site they have signed up for.  That posting could be for a upcoming event they want to announce, or a program, product or service that is specific to their company or region.

This is a P6k value for free and we will promote your event to all our subscribers.  You can get thousands of people to see your post and to interact with your company.

We frequently reach 20,000 people on Facebook and Google for less than P500.00 this is far less than you could get for yourself due to our large number of followers and email list members.

Don't hesitate, we will ONLY accept ONE Regional Partner for each Explorer4 site, so sign up today and let's get started.

Mike Oliver

Comment here for questions or go to

Tuesday, February 11, 2020

Coming Attractions


I am proud to announce that Open 4 Business Online is expanding our services and will be rolling out new services, pricing and more in the next few days and weeks.   Watch this blog for news and out Facebook and LinkedIn pages for details.

Will be expanding out Social Media Management programs to include more local content and news on our Explorer4 web sites such as

Some of the new capabilities will include expanded performance based advertising, shared advertising, free event advertising and more.

We will be looking for local and provincial partners to get and publish news related to tourism and business in those locales.  We will be approaching those travel agents, municipalities and business organizations for special pricing and services, so if you are interested but not yet listed on the Explorer4 site for your area, please sign up now and we will contact you.

Sign up at any of the sites, its free and you can enjoy increased traffic as we promote all these every month.

Sunday, January 19, 2020

What is Social Media Management?

To some, Social Media Management and Social Media Advertising are the same thing.  While certainly Social Media Advertising (SMA) plays a big part in Social Media Management, it is only a part.

With SMA you need an agency that has the Advertising Skills such as Creativity, Artistry, Content Authoring, Social Media Advertising Knowledge and track record.

When you want to manage your Social Media you are talking about additional skills and expertise such as Brand Strategy, Market Analysis, Handling Communications inbound and outbound, plus all the advice centered on the right social media platform for your business as you can see below.

Which Social Media Platform is chosen by matching the Strengths, Weaknesses, Opportunities and Threats (SWOT) each platform means to your business.

  • Who is your audience? If your business is primarily B2B then LinkedIn is your best bet as it is all business. If your product or service is consumer oriented, then Facebook is likely your best bet.  If your business is more about visual appeal or conceptual or some other aspect, one of the others might be best for you.  A good Social Media Management Outsourcing partner will know what is best for your Business. 
  • How can you reach your target audience?  Posting to Facebook and Buying Ads (Boosting) may work very effectively for consumer products where a few Dollars can reach tens of thousands.  But other products and services may be better to Google Ads, LinkedIn Ads, Blog and VLog posts may work better.  Some may get by with just one channel, but more likely you need multiple channels to improve your Search Engine Optimization (SEO) and reach.  Syndication of content across multiple channels will cost more but the reach is greater and the SEO is multiplied.
  • What are your Goals?  If you simply want to increase sales, you can pick one or two channels that fit best and focus on those.  If you are looking for brand awareness than you might want to consider syndication across all channels.  If you are not sure what your goal is, then a consultant on Social Media Management can help you.

Thursday, January 16, 2020

The 5 whys for Business process Outsourcing

Business process outsourcing (BPO) is the practice of contracting a specific work process or processesto an external service provider. The services can include payroll, accounting, telemarketing, data recording, social media marketing, customer support, and more.

Why do most companies that use BPO do it to cut costs? As with most corporations cost-cutting while maintaining or improving productivity is the driving force.  Some business processes are simply not in some corporation’s core competency so they can outsource to a BPO company that has that core competency.  Payroll was one of the first processes outsourced and several big companies specialize in that.  

Why do some companies use BPO to stay up with technology?  Just as not having a core competency in a business process can lead to BPO, so too can changing technology.  A BPO company can usually afford to keep current on technology like hardware and software as the costs are spread across multiple client's, where a small company must amortize technology over a longer term.  New technology can cut costs for the BPO and pass the benefits of the new technology to their clients and perhaps that might include further cost cutting.

Why BPOs help their clients learn more and leverage that knowledge for competitive advantage?  Especially in the areas of advertising, social media management and innovation management, knowledge gained that is shared by the BPO to their clients can significantly impact corporate strategy, product and their own processes.  It is not uncommon for a BPO to outsource almost all their business processes except their core competency for all the same reasons their clients outsource to them.

Why do BPOs tend to cluster in India, the Philippines and other countries? Many factors will cause BPOs of a feather to flock together to include language competency for call centers; education level, industry focus, cost of living/wages and the tendency for skills in one core competency to be sought after by startup BPOs in the same locale.

Why should you consider BPO of one or more of your business processes?  Money is one.  How much will it cost you to hire and pay a staff with the competency that will compete with BPOs? Can you even find much less afford the top people in a field where BPOs already have significant highly skilled and experienced staff? What is the opportunity cost for not investing in your core competency instead of trying to duplicate what a BPO offers?

Let me know if you have any questions or comments.

Friday, January 10, 2020

10 Questions for a potential Social Media Management partner

Most people that now understand the advantages of outsourcing their Social Media Management which are:

  1. Cost Effective
  2. Core Competency
  3. Time saving and Timely Actions
  4. Skill Sets
  5. Knowledge Sharing
  6. Latest Technology
  7. Targeted Advertising
But this article is about how to choose a Social Media Management Partner and the 10 Questions you should ask with the weighting factor to apply to score the responses.

  1. How long have you been doing Social Media Management for your customers?  Score one point for each year in the response.
  2. How long have you been doing Social Media Management as your primary source of revenue?  Score one point for each year in the response.
  3. How many years has your leadership team, (CEO, CTO, COO, CFO) been working with Social Media overall not just in your company?  Score on point for each year for each individual.
  4. How many active paying customers do you have at the moment?  Score two points for each customer in the response.
  5. Of your current customers, how many years have they been with you?  Score three points for each year for each customer.
  6. How many of your current customers are willing to give you a reference call?  Score 2 points for each one and 5 points for each one that gives a positive reference.
  7. How many social networks are in your typical scope of services for your customers?  Score 2 points for each.
  8. How many of your customers have you creating content for them?  Score 1 point for text posts, 2 points for graphics creation, and 3 points for video creation.
  9. Do you specialize in a certain market segment such as online stores, gaming, restaurants, bars, resorts, etc.  Score one point for each and 5 points if your market segment is included.
  10. Are your packages published and your prices compete with other Social Media Management companies?  This is tricky.  Score 5 points if published prices.  Deduct 1 point of they are the lowest price competitor for no apparent reason.  Add one point if they can justify lower or high prices to your satisfaction.
Use these scores to provide a means to shortlist the potential vendors.  In the end is is more about the relationship you feel will evolve with the vendor and the references and personal contact will make all the difference.

Good Luck and let me know if I can help you make that decision.