Can You Do Your Own Tech Support? Yes, and No

Can You Do Your Own Tech Support? Yes, and No

As a small business owner, you already know the value of technology. And you may try to do it all on your own. But, there are some areas that you are better off outsourcing to an expert. On the flip side, there are many things you can do without assistance to keep from dipping into your profits. Here are a few DIY IT dos and don’ts.

Do choose your own phones and computers

When it comes to selecting the right devices for your business, options abound. Your phone is a terrific example. In most situations, it is between Apple and Android, so look at each operating system’s top-of-the-line models.

The iPhone XS Max, for instance, is a lot in a small package. It offers a generous screen size, the fastest chip available in a phone, takes stellar pictures, and has a long-lasting battery life. Most new Apple phones also come preloaded with facial recognition and other privacy features.

For Android, you can’t go wrong with the Samsung Galaxy Note 10, which is plenty fast and has a fairly large screen. What’s more, it includes lots of advanced security features, such as a designated file for sensitive information. It also functions through a platform designed to ward off cyber criminals – which Bentley University points out, these days cybercrime is of increasing importance, especially to small business owners.

Don’t try to handle data security unless you’re an expert

Data security is one of the most important aspects of your business. If you collect any personal information, you have to make this a priority. But, it is not as simple as just installing malware software to your computers, backing up your systems, and changing your passwords every so often.

Digital Guardian recently published more than 100 data protection tips; this clearly illustrates that protecting your data requires specialized knowledge and lots of it. Investing in a freelance consultant or company to help with your data security might not make you money directly, but it can help prevent a data disaster that could bankrupt your business.

Do fix common internet and equipment problems

Communications are cyberspace-centered these days, so you almost always need access to the web. But, before you panic and start shelling out money for a quick fix when your internet is down or a device fails, try troubleshooting things yourself.

Many common internet problems are solved by simply resetting your modem or wireless router. If things are suddenly slow, you might even check your internet provider’s terms of service to see if they lower speeds after X amount of usage. PC Mag also suggests changing the Wi-Fi channel if you are in a building with multiple wireless networks. Likewise, get familiar with how to fix paper jams on your office printer or copier. You may be pleasantly surprised to find that most issues can be fixed without expensive intervention.

Don’t design your website

A shoddy website is the equivalent of a brick-and-mortar building at the backside of an alley in the bad part of town. In other words, most people are going to steer clear of it. If your business is not web design, don’t try this at home. Look for someone to tackle it for you, such as a JavaScript developer with a solid grip on HTML, CSS, Grunt, Bower, and Gulp.

If you don’t know what any of those things are, that’s a sure sign that you need a pro. A great developer can create a compelling website that’s PC and mobile-friendly and will keep your users from clicking over to the competition. Remember, a top-notch, pleasing website is an investment that will bring a return, particularly if you have an e-commerce shop.

You don’t have to outsource everything, but you should put your money where it matters. Digital security and your online presence are not DIY tasks. Choosing your phone and office equipment, and tending them when needed, often are. Don’t be afraid to admit the things you can’t do, because the most successful business owners understand their specialties and are willing to pay for support where it’s required.

Remote workers unproductive? Fix it

Remote workers unproductive? Fix it

Have you ever been sitting at your computer at work, buried up to your ears with somewhat trivial tasks and wished you could do all this from a more comfortable environment, or your home even? You’re not alone, and many professionals have switched over to a remote office, where they connect to work via the Internet. The one downside to this is it can be a chore for managers to ensure remote employees are productive.

Here’s five tips on how you can better connect with and manage your remote workers, freelance or otherwise, to help ensure optimal productivity.

Establish workflow As your employees work off site, they will set their own hours. This means they have to rely on their own discipline to get work done. Because of this, it will be hard for you to set/control their hours, which means you’ll have to trust them to get their work done. You should be aware of when they prefer to work, simply by talking with them, and be flexible with their schedules.

Working with remote workers is a two-way street, and while you should know your remote employee’s schedules, they should also know your schedule, and how you work. If you answer emails in the morning and have meetings in the afternoons, be sure to let them know that you expect/will answer their requests before lunch, for example.

Communication is key As in most businesses, communication is key to both a happy and productive workplace. You, as the manager, need to ensure that an open line of communication with your remote employees exists. This could be as simple as a telephone number or VoIP account that’s always on, (within reasonable hours of course), or an instant messaging platform. It’s important to ensure that you find out if your employees have the tools to complete their job.

Two-way feedback, both positive and negative, is also an important part of the communication process. You need to provide near constant feedback, even on small issues that would ordinarily be glossed over in physical interactions, while encouraging your employees to do the same.

Remember: you’re the boss Many bosses with remote employees find that the employee seems to run the show, and getting projects or tasks completed on time can be a bit tough. As the boss, you need to clearly explain what is expected of remote employees, why it’s expected, and the consequences of not meeting expectations. If there’s a problem it’s up to you to try to fix it.

Most importantly, if you work with strict deadlines, you need to ensure that remote employees are not only aware of the deadlines but are held accountable for them. If deadlines are missed, you may want to find another employee, remote or otherwise.

Provide a secure platform While the majority of remote employees connect to the office from their home, there’s a chance that they may connect from other locations, like coffee shops or libraries. A large percentage of public Wi-Fi connections have little to no security, and the last thing you want is to have your data breached due to unsecure connections.

This means you should provide remote employees with a secure way to connect to the office. Some solutions include virtual desktops or a secure laptop. Providing a secure connection isn’t enough, you need to ensure your systems can actually handle remote connections and that IT support is available for remote workers. The added benefit to this is that you can better monitor productivity, as the systems can be monitored using the same software as is used for computers in the office.

Judge by the final product Productivity is not easy to judge when you can’t physically see someone sat in their seat. For remote workers, the easiest way to monitor productivity is by the quality and consistency of the final product turned in compared to the time it took them to provide it. In reality, remote workers should complete tasks in about the same amount of time it takes employees who work onsite. The time and date of submission shouldn’t enter into decisions unless there are deadlines.

Employees that connect remotely can offer companies who employ them many benefits too and if you’re interested in employing remote staff, why not contact us. We can help find a solution that will work for both parties for best productivity all round.

Business Computer Tech Support in Fort Lauderdale

As a small or medium sized business, we fully understand how difficult it can be to deploy, maintain and protect your technology; however we believe we are your best bet when it comes to business computer network support in Miami. Why? Because here at Connections for Business, our number one goal is to provide your business with reliable computer network support services.

Whether you’re in need of an IT support solution in a cost effective manner or you have more in your budget to spend, we’ve got your covered. We offer this around the clock.  What do we mean by around the clock?  We mean 24 hours a day, 7 days a week, 365 days a year.  This ensures that your network is constantly monitored and maintained affording you the benefits of worry free business computer network support in Miami. Our clients are who we strive to take care of, not just to impress, but to make sure that their needs are resolved. We take your business and personalize support based on the needs of what you come to us for.

As computers and networks over the internet grow highly more complex these days, your computers can experience more technical problems then you would like to experience. Our business computer network support in Miami will give you peace of mind and you won’t have to constantly look over your shoulder. Why wait any longer?  Pick up the phone today and give us a call to learn more.