Don’t panic. Because the good news is you actually don’t need to know the nitty gritty of how technology works. What you really need to know is how technology should be working for your business. Unless you are actually a computer geek to begin with you don’t care what makes your lap top work only that it does work.
But as small business owners we do need to have a stronger grasp of how are technology should work in our businesses. We have come up with 5 must have considerations for every small business whether your are a solopreneur or you have 15 employees.
Budget – how much money you have allocated to your technology needs will determine everything else. The reality is that there is built in obsolescence in technology. Advancements in hardware and software happen at lightening fast rates. While your computer may have been state of the art four years ago, today it is slow and may not be the right choice for you today. So we need to plan for upgrades and improvements. I recently had to upgrade our accounting software because even though it worked for us our accountant could not longer use it effectively. We always need to consider how our technology choices can affect our productivity. Remember down time means increased costs.
Hardware & Software – these decisions are defined by the budget and your needs. Some companies need high end , super fast computers with high end video cards where others really just need a middle of the road business class computer. Understanding how you will be using your computer will help you define its configuration. Other considerations: mobile technology, remote access requirements, collaborative tools, CRM, printers & scanners …
Back Up System – Your data is worth even more that you thought. Just think about how you would feel if you computer system failed and you lost everything. It just makes me sick to think about it. Having a back up system is absolutely key. It is an insurance policy you need to invest in. Some of the cloud based products are excellent and very reasonably priced at $60 per year per computer.
Security -In a lot of ways this goes hand in had with your back up. You want to protect your data. So you need good anti virus software in place, password protect your networks and when working remotely consider a VPN. Never do banking, shopping or other personal transactions on a public wifi system.
Ask an expert – Not only with this save you a lot of time and effort. It will probably save you a lot of money. So go ahead and ask us a question.
Meredith & her husband Peter have been running their computer repair business for over 10 years. Meredith has an extensive back ground in administration and finance. She is an active member of the Women In Business Network and is also a mentor.