If there is one thing that all businesses need to have today, it is a tech set-up. Gone are the days whereby computer investment was optional for businesses. In fact, it seems crazy to think about a time whereby we did not use computers in the business world. No matter what type of company you run, whether it is a financial services firm, an online store, or something different, you need to make sure your small business computer network is set up effectively. So, let’s take a look at the key steps that you need to take in further detail…
Determine your needs – The first thing you need to do when it comes to setting up your small business computer network is determine your needs. Specific questions are going to help you at this point. For example, how much data are you going to need to share and store? What sort of data files are you going to be using? How many computers are you going to need to connect? What sort of applications will you be utilizing? You can put together a plan regarding your goals and this will help you to achieve them.
Wired or wireless – The next step is to consider whether you want a wired or a wireless system. In the current day and age, most businesses opt for a combination of both. Wireless networks are much more common, enabling mobile devices to connect to the system and giving you more flexibility. However, there are still some benefits associated with wired systems, including the fact that they are more reliable in bad weather and they can offer faster speeds. This is why most companies decide to combine the two.
Getting the right hardware and equipment – You need to determine whether you are going to use a physical server in the office or whether you are going to take advantage of a cloud-based server. Aside from this, you are going to need a router. You then need to think about the different hardware that is going to be required for your industry and your needs specifically.
Secure your network – Another critical element that cannot be ignored when it comes to computer networks today is security. You have heard about the extreme number of data breaches that have been going on over the past years, and the last thing you want is to become a victim of one of these breaches. There are so many different steps you should take to ensure that your network is secured. This includes making sure that your router is kept in a location that is completely secure so that it cannot be reset by unauthorized individuals or physically tampered with. You also need to install reputable security software to protect your network. Never use vendor passwords and log-ins, and make sure they are changed on a regular basis. Enable a VPN, as well as wireless encryption and a firewall. Moreover, make sure your employees are all educated regarding data security and how their role is pivotal. The vast majority of data breaches happen due to employee error.
Implementation and integration – One of the biggest mistakes that business owners make when it comes to tech is overlooking the importance of the implementation and integration phase. If a particular software is going to take some time to get used to or requires expert training, you need to factor this into your plans and budget.
Branding and personalization – Last but not least, everything you do in a business sense needs to be considered with your brand in mind, and your computer network is no different. There are a number of ways you can embrace branding in this regard. This includes making the most of free computer screensavers that are related to your business and your industry, as well as ensuring all emails are signed off in the same manner and that your logo is displayed at the bottom of them.
As you can see, there is a lot that needs to be considered when it comes to your small business computer set up. If you follow the advice and steps that have been presented above, you can make sure that everything is set up properly and that your business is up and running as efficiently as possible. Good luck!
Sure, the traditional, uniform office spaces may be functional, but boy oh boy, are they boring. To be fair, there wasn’t as much research around then about what workers like and need to be productive, as there is today. Now, we know that if workers are going to give their all, then they need to be inspired. And inspiration comes in many forms, including the look and feel of the space where they’re working. So how do you brighten up your office, and make it an all-around positive and professional place to work? We take a look below.
Let There Be Light
There’s something to be said for that cozy lighting, the kind that you find in the corners of libraries and restaurants, but it’s not right for an office space. There, it has to be all about bright, positive spaces, light that invites people to keep their eyes open even when their mind begins to get tired. So take a look at your office space. Is it possible that you could be letting in more natural light? Natural light works better than artificial lighting. Of course, if this isn’t an option, then go manmade – but try to avoid those harsh, overhead lights. They just cause eyestrain.
Bright and Professional
Have you ever walked into an office, and understood that it’s a bright, professional space, but can’t quite tell why? Take a look at the floor. Floors that have epoxy floor coating can reflect light better than normal floors, creating an all-around sleek and bright looking space. It’s an excellent complement to natural or artificial lighting, one that might just help bring your office to life. Also, it’s easy to clean, so you’ll be able to avoid the build-up of dirt that usually affects carpets pretty quickly. And talking of which….
No Dirt and Grime
When it comes to having a bright office space, there’s one thing that will always try to lower the standards: dirt and grime! As such, it’s important that you’re taking steps to keep everything in tip-top condition. That can mean hiring a cleaner to go over your office space and making sure that all your staff knows that they need to keep everything in order.
Even if you have the best furnishings and clean office space, things will still look a little drab if there’s nothing something more going on. You can do this in two ways. The first is to have plants dotted around the space. They really add a lot to an office, and have been shown to boost productivity! And if nothing else, they’re just nice to have around. The second is to add touches of color, which you can do by adding works of art and other funky additions around the place. Don’t go overboard, of course – but if you can do so in a tasteful way, then bring the color!
Take the advice above, and you’ll be on your way to having an office space that’s bright and a happy place to work!
Believe it or not, one of the biggest keys to keeping your customers happy is your business security. The point of your business is to make money not lose it. The security of your company doesn’t just keep you safe from fraud and your data being thieved, it keeps the data of your customers protected. There is a big emphasis on trust when a customer uses your business, and if your customers aren’t feeling as if they can trust you, then you are going to be losing cash and people hand over fist. It’s vital to your company that your customers are kept happy, and your business security measures that are in place need to stay there because, despite your relaxed approach, your company is not immune to cyberattacks.
If you have a lax approach to security, you are going to find that your business is going to not just suffer quite the breach. You could also suffer a rather large fine if you’re not careful. You have a responsibility to keep your customer data protected from hackers, and as you are a small firm you are at a real risk of cyber attack. Vigilance is key and some of the smallest businesses are the ones at risk because they believe that they won’t be an interesting target to those who are looking to commit a crime. There is a lot of ignorance surrounding security in the business world, and sometimes it’s not done on purpose. Companies like Legal Imaging LLC should be known to your business in case you need their computer forensics services; and if you haven’t looked into business forensics then you should get yourself up to speed as soon as possible. Your business is precious and the sooner that you realize that the more you can support your company going forward.
When a business secures their information properly, they can thrive. If you are looking to overhaul your security, you’ve got to look at ensuring that your IT team downloads the right updates for software and security. You should also ensure that passwords in your company are complex, case sensitive and changed on a regular enough basis that people cannot guess them. Staff emails should be regularly scanned and watched for suspicious activity and you should delete and investigate suspicious emails that filter in through the web. There is no such thing as being too vigilant when it comes to the security of your business and earning and keeping the trust of your customers comes with being vigilant.
If you make your security as tight as possible from day one, you can stop your business from being targeted and if it does happen, you can intercept the attack before your customer’s data and information is compromised and this is a good show of faith to how much you value the people who use your company. Future-proofing your business is going to help you to make the best decisions possible, and you should invest in your business security as best you can. This is one investment you shouldn’t skimp on.
Businesses need to upgrade themselves in order to remain relevant to their target audience, but also to reach a wider demographic. For example, Apple started off by becoming a part of the computer tech industry with its early computers that rivaled Windows and Microsoft. However, as time went on, Apple continued to expand by reaching into other markets and eventually taking hold of them. For example, the smartphone industry is a major part of Apple’s success and many of their technologies and strategies have changed to fit it.
Any company that wants to reach into different markets or expand their influence needs to take a couple of difficult things into consideration. There are legal hurdles, marketing problems and a plethora of other concerns that could bring down your business if you don’t plan ahead for them. To make things easier for you, we’re going to discuss a couple of those hurdles in this article.
Upgrading your technology requires specialists
Whenever a business grows, it needs to scale up its operations and workflows. In most cases, this means upgrading the technology that your business uses, and this can get incredibly expensive. It’s not just about purchasing new machines and software either, but also about hiring specialists that can advise you on how to proceed with your business growth. You need trained and experienced people to help you grow your company, so this can’t be avoided.
You can no longer outsource everything
To coincide with the previous point, you can no longer afford to outsource tasks that you previously would have. There are some exceptions to this. For instance, if you’re in a highly-specialized industry that works with bodies of water, then you may need to consult Oil Water Separator Technologies or a similar company to help you with the various technologies and machines that are involved. However, for things like tech support and graphic design, you’ll need to start hiring employees and not freelancers or outsourcing companies because they need to be closely affiliated with your company.
Legal battles will become more common
And finally, legal battles will be far more common. Whether it’s people trying to steal your product ideas, copy your promotional materials or even slander you, it’s important to have the right legal representation to help you solve those issues. It can get expensive hiring a lawyer, but it’s essential that you start working together with legal professionals so you can build a lasting relationship with them. The last thing you want is to have no defence against someone openly stealing your trademarks and copyrights, so make sure you protect yourself with legal help and fight back against copycats and criminals.
Growing a small business into a larger one is difficult–everyone should know this. Being able to grow your company in a stable fashion takes a lot of planning and hard work, but once you’re able to sustain that growth, you’ll find that becoming a successful company is more likely and possible than you think.
Small businesses are often the ones that need the most help, not just to open and begin, but to stay active and successful. So many businesses are opened and then shut down every year, so it makes sense that any small business owner would want to find everywhere that they can get help and use every avenue possible to improve. The biggest place that a small business needs help is its online presence. It’s not that the business owner doesn’t know how to get online or how to be a part of the online world – in this day and age, who doesn’t?! – but it’s establishing that online presence and staying open online that is important.
More and more things in our lives are heading over into a digital space. We are fortunate enough to live in a time where technology plays a huge part in making our personal and our business lives easier. With a good online business presence, customers and potential clients can find a business and learn about them in their own time. If your online presence and social media presence isn’t up to scratch as a business, you’re more likely to lose customers and subsequently, cash. A company like ClearFuze Networks can help you to carve out your company and IT needs to support you while you establish who you are. Most company owners don’t know how to start or run a website, and it makes sense for those companies to hire in a freelancer to manage this for them. If a business knows that it’s not strong in this area, then it stands to reason that bringing in an expert to guide and advise is the way to go. Better to invest the money in expertise than know they can’t do it and botching the job!
Companies also need to get themselves on every social media avenue that they can to put themselves out there. You need – at the very least – to have a functioning and active Facebook page. How often do you go and look for a company on social media before you make a purchase? Well, your customers will do the very same with your business. It’s up to you what you want to show them and how much you want to give away about your business. Some companies like to keep interaction with customers to private messages, but if you are open on your social media and show your interaction with your customers on the public pages, you can show more about who you are as a business. Most businesses need guidance here, because it’s important to know how to interact professionally so that you can keep a cool and business head on your online shoulders.
If your business needs help with its online presence, then you need to reach out to the right services and ask. You cannot expect to be an expert in all things social media and online if you don’t go and find the education yourself. Do better for your business today.