Technology is something that has become an inherent part of any business. In the past, a business could survive, even flourish, without really putting much thought on technology and how it affects the day to day running of a business. Today, however, not paying mind to technology can very well be the start of the unraveling of the tapestry. So do you have a technology plan? If not, here are some ideas to get you started.
Start with the big picture
Much like having a business plan, you need to look at your technology plan by looking at the big picture. What do you want to achieve? Set your goals and then slowly work at the details.
Align your technology plan with your business strategy and goals
You canâ€™t treat the technological aspect as a separate thing. You need to know your business strategy and goals, and let those guide you as you create your technology plan. Bear your overall business goals in mind as you make decisions for the technological aspect.
Treat technology expenses as investments
One thing that keeps some people hold back on their technological improvement efforts is the fact that they see the associated expenses as merely costs. They do not see that somehow, it is an investment. Change your perspective and youâ€™ll see that investing in technology will end up saving you money in the long run.
Get expert help if needed
If technology is not your forte, donâ€™t force it. While there are things that you can learn, there are also some things that are better left to the pros. If you need help, do not hesitate to get it.
Every company has big dreams. Any businessman aims for growth. The difference lies in the rate of growth. Sometimes, a company grows really quickly, and when this happens, certain aspects are sometimes overlooked, resulting in complications. Oftentimes, IT is one of the areas that do not get the required attention.
In this regard, we can all learn something from what others have experienced in the past. One particularly interesting example is that of Enova Financial’s case, wherein they went through an explosive growth phase. During this time, the manager of IT Engineering – Jeff Bagnall – stepped up and decided to go the IT outsourcing route. The interview with Jeff Bagnall is something that you might want to take a look at, as you can learn a whole lot in terms of managing your IT needs as your company grows.
One outstanding point that he made was how a business should look to outsourcing. He stated that outsourcing IT needs to a data center service is more practical as the business does not have to sink millions in setting up its own infrastructure. This makes even more sense if you are only leasing your offices and do not own the building.
Other salient points to consider when looking at various data center services:
- Your power requirements and how much the provider offers
- Response time of the provider
- The amount of available space
His parting argument for outsourcing your business’s IT needs? When technical issues arise (e.g., power/cooling issues), it is NOT your problem anymore. It is now the data center’s issue, and this frees up your time to focus on other aspects of your business.
Photo via The Planet
With more of us starting our own blogs and more businesses getting online, how do you make your website stand out from other sites? Search engine optimisation services can help, by driving up the number of people visiting your site (also known as organic traffic). If you want to be a success online you need to invest time thinking about how you can get users to find your site.
So how does SEO work? When people go online and they are looking for a particular service or information on a certain topic, they will usually go on to a search engine such as Google or Yahoo. The next step is to type in a few words which will then bring up a results page. Your job is to ensure your company is listed on the first page of the results pages or SERPS and the best way to achieve this is by using reputable SEO services in the UK from an ethical SEO company. More →
I realize that I just posted a feature on a free webinar yesterday, but as I said in my previous post, I am loving the idea of being able to learn for free online. Free webinars are one of the hottest things going on today, and I hope that you will take advantage of these whenever you can. If you have the time, I suggest that you attend the free webinar that Pat Gage is conducting on the 6th of April, 6:00 PM PST. If you donâ€™t â€“ well, make the time!
The free webinar is titled â€œHow To Use Social Media To Grow Your Business Without Spending A Ton On Advertising.â€ Now doesnâ€™t that title provide you with enough motivation to attend the webinar? Hereâ€™s some information on Pat Gage in case you want to know more about him:
Pat Gage is an expert web 2.0 and is to give out strategies to use Web 2.0 to grow your business in times to come. Pat Gage will also offer helpful tips to increase the traffic of your website or blog and he will also tell the method to acquire free content for oneâ€™s social media blog or website.
Pat Gage will provide effective tips on how to get followers on twitter and how to attain your videos on first page of Google, and other important tips regarding SEO and Internet Marketing. Pat Gage will also share the beneficial secret of getting connected to the businessmen in LinkedIn during the seminar. The other aspects of Web 2.0 that will be covered during the seminar are how to send bulk emails to a list of friends, how to build your list by offering free videos and the importance of Auto-Pilot. He will also explain how Facebook, Twitter and Myspace help in improving the business.
What are you waiting for? Visit Info Seminars Club and learn your way to business success!
You have to face it â€“ VoIP just might be the best solution for your businessâ€™ telecommunications needs. While the technology has been around for so long, not everyone is using it. This is due to so many reasons but the bottom line is that more and more business owners are seeing the benefits of implementing a VoIP system for the company. If you are on the hunt for a VoIP provider, here are some questions that can help you get the most out of it.
How easy is it to add or remove phones?
The technical term usually used is â€œscalable.â€ Ask potential VoIP providers if their system is scalable. This also means that you can add or remove phones WITHOUT having to spend more money. This is quite important if you have plans of expanding in the near future.
Is your area serviced excellently by the provider?
Just like mobile phone providers and other similar services, VoIP service may not be the same in all areas. As such, you need to make sure that potential providers work excellently in your area. You can ask existing customers in your area and even ask the provider for a test run.
What is included in their customer service?
VoIP is great but it is not without problems. If something happens and your connection goes down, how will customer service help? How fast will they fix things? What other problems are covered by their customer service? You should know all these things before making a decision.
It used to be that mobile communication devices were only used by doctors and high level business executives. These days, even the average office worker can be connected wherever he or she may be. More than being connected through e-mail and mobile phone messaging, though, technology now allows people to connect to their offices while on the road. This means easier access to files, and perhaps better productivity.
Those in the technology sector realize this need and have been working to provide various features to small businesses; the same features that big corporations have access to is now available to small businesses as well. One company in particular has made this their goal.
Zdnet recently featured Egnyte, which is an online file server provider. This company is launching applications for the Blackberry and Android, geared towards the small business. More details:
Today, the company is unveiling Android and Blackberry apps to add to the iPhone app previously released. Itâ€™s also releasing the findings of a survey that it commissioned that found that half of all small businesses are using mobile devices to conduct business and that the majority had been in situations where they needed access to their files while in transit. In a statement, the company said:
Egnyteâ€™s on-demand file server enables both Mac and PC business users to have online file storage, file sharing capabilities and automatic backup in one solution. The new interfaces, which require no additional software installation on the device, leverages a mobile drive â€” â€œm Driveâ€ â€” that lets mobile users access all of their data stored via the Egnyte file server.
While not everyone in your business may have the need for this kind of connectivity, the availability of such a feature will certainly be useful for at least a handful of your employees â€“ including yourself.
Telecommuting has fast become a popular practice in business. This is especially true for companies that have been trying to cut down on operation costs. Also considering the help of all the advanced technology available to businesses today, it is no wonder that there are millions of telecommuters today. If youâ€™re wondering about the figures, WorldatWork, an organization based in Arizona, estimated about 33.7 million telecommuters in the United States last year. If that isnâ€™t impressive, then I donâ€™t know what is!
For what itâ€™s worth, though, telecommuting is not a solution for all businesses. Before you jump into the telecommuting bandwagon, make sure that you know what you are getting into and that it is right for you.
One thing that you should make sure of is that you have clear cut policies and guidelines governing telecommuting. These policies will ensure that everyone knows exactly what is expected of him and how to get things done. Without these policies, your telecommuting program might prove to be more disadvantageous.
In line with this, it is a very good idea to come up with a standard agreement which a telecommuter will have to sign. This will be a reminder for the employee and something which you can refer to in case complications arise. This agreement can also cover other aspects such as compensation, use of office equipment, and the like.
Of course, just because you have a telecommuting program does not mean that your employees do not have to come to the office, if only every now and then. You might also want to add this stipulation.
At the end of the day, analyze â€“ if telecommuting is going to benefit your business and your employees then go for it.
Technology is very much part of any business today. For the small business owner, expenses on technology may not be that large, especially when compared to companies that operate on a larger scale. Still, these expenses can comprise a significant chunk of a small businessâ€™s budget. As such, any savings that can be made is welcome!
What are some ways by which you can save on your technological expenses?
One, when purchasing technological equipment such as computers and printers, you might want to check out extended warranty programs. Even though computers become obsolete so quickly, they can last for many years and be useful for just as long â€“ especially if you do not need cutting edge technology. Getting the extended warranty can help you save on additional costs involved in purchasing new equipment. If you did not avail of extended warranties for your existing computers and they are still under warranty, why not call the manufacturer and see if they can extend the warranty? Some big names such as Dell and HP offer this.
Two, look for free or open source software. Microsoft Office can cost you an arm and a leg, especially for commercial use. Why not look at software like Open Office? Itâ€™s totally free and works just fine! For antivirus and antimalware software, try AVG and SpyBot. There are a lot of products online available for download which will not cost you a cent â€“ just look.
Three, perform regular maintenance work on your computers. Virus scanning, defragmentating, deleting of unneeded files, backing up of files â€“ all these should be part of a routine and will save you time and money in the long run.
No I am not going nuts. I know that you must be thinking that hiring more people at this point in time is the last thing on your agenda. But if you think about it, if you have the money to take on more employees, this is the perfect time to do so. Let me explain why.
I am sure that you are aware that many companies are either laying off employees or closing shop. This means many things but the main thing that concerns you is this â€“ there are a lot of talented and experienced people who are in the market for a job. These people used to have security in terms of their salary but are now out on the streets, looking for a source of income. Consequently, if you have the extra cash to spend, you might as well snap up these talented people who are hungry for jobs.
There is no doubt about it, there is a shortage of jobs and a surplus of manpower at the moment. The sad truth is that many people who are unemployed are reassessing their priorities when it comes to what jobs to take. This means that you, the employer, can find great people perhaps at a lower expense.
Another aspect which could be beneficial to both employee and employer is the flexibility of work relationship. Instead of hiring a full time employee, you might be able to work out a part-time position. These opportunities â€“ and more â€“ can actually open up for you in these hard times.
I love the technology and gadgets â€“ I donâ€™t feel more comfortable than when I have my laptop in front of me, reading blogs, browsing web pages, and writing for my blogs. Yet there are times when I just yearn for the feel of the pages of a book instead of having the mouse in my hand. Maybe some of you feel that way sometimes as well. If you do, then hereâ€™s a good book for you to read when you get that urge to turn those pages.
Blogging for Business: Everything You Need To Know And Why You Should Care is written by Shel Holtz and Ted Demopoulos. It tells you why you should welcome business blogging with open arms. More so, it gives practical tips and ideas on how to go about it. Some points that you would encounter in the book are:
â€¢ How to tap into the power of blogs
â€¢ How blogs are different from e-zines, Web sites, and message boards
â€¢ Why businesses need to monitor blogs that discuss their products and services
â€¢ How to use an internal corporate blog as an effective knowledge sharing tool
â€¢ Future iterations of blogging, such as podcasts and vlogs
â€¢ Legal considerations
In fact, many other people appreciate this book and what it has to offer. Take Paul Bakerâ€™s review of the book. If you need more information on the book, check out Amazon â€“ they have it on sale right now.