10 Top Tips For Finding The Perfect Computer For Your Business

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When it comes to buying a computer for your business it can be hard to make the right decision. From choosing the right model to finding something that is within your price range, you need to be sure you’re choosing the best possible options for you and your business. Whilst it may seem difficult at first, there are lots of tips and tricks you can try to help ensure you’re buying the right computer for you. With that in mind, here are 5 ways to protect your office building: 

– Consider Your Budget Well In Advance

One of the best things you can do when it comes to finding the perfect computer for your business is to set yourself an overall budget. Although you may have an idea of how much you want to spend in your mind, you need to think about all of the extras that come with it. From accessories to insurance, buying a computer for your business is not cheap. For guidance when it comes to the average cost of a computer, you can visit this site here. 

– Make Sure You’re Doing Your Research

Another important thing to consider when it comes to buying the perfect computer for your business is whether or not you’re doing enough research beforehand. Whether this means researching the most affordable options or researching the best places to buy your accessories, you need to be sure you’re as prepared as you can be when it comes to making your purchase. If you’re unsure, you might find speaking to a technically-minded professional will help. 

– Consider What You’re Going To Be Using It For

When finding the perfect computer for you and your business, you need to be sure you’re thinking about what your computer is going to be used for. Whether you’re using it to complete your day-to-day errands or you’re using it to create high-quality videos or photos, you need to be sure you’re thinking about its functionality above everything else. Although you may be tempted to buy something because it’s affordable, you need to be sure it’s going to do everything you want it to do. 

– Prioritise The Features You Need

When thinking about the features of your new computer, you need to ensure you’re prioritising the ones you need most. 

Although there are computers that are all singing and all dancing, you may find that it’s just a few key features you’re looking for instead. If you’re unsure about what features you need in order to carry out your role in the business, a store assistant will definitely be able to advise you. All they need is a short description of the reasons why you use your computer. For a guide to common features of a computer, you can visit this site here. 

– Think About Where You’re Going To Be Purchasing It From

Another important thing to consider when it comes to finding the perfect computer for your business is where you’re going to be purchasing it from. Although there are plenty of great options online, you may find it more beneficial to go into a store and speak to a professional. Not only will they be able to offer you advice when it comes to choosing the right computer but they will also be able to ensure you’re getting the best deal. 

– Choose Whether Or Not You Want To Buy It Outright Or On Finance

If you’re purchasing a computer that is considerably high in price, you might want to consider buying it on finance rather than purchasing it outright. Although it will ultimately come down to the affordability of your business, you need to be sure you’re doing what is best for you. 

– Don’t Forget To Purchase Insurance 

When it comes to buying a computer for your business you need to ensure you’re also investing in insurance. Although the chance of something happening to your computer is low, the small cost of insurance will be much better than the cost of replacing your computer should something happen to it. If you’re worried about finding the right insurance for your computer, you can visit this guide here. 

– Think About Any Accessories You May Need

If you’re buying a computer for your business, chances are you’re going to need accessories. Whether it’s a high-quality webcam for conference calls or software that allows you to do your job, you need to ensure you’re factoring it into the overall cost of your purchase. If possible, you might find it is more beneficial to buy everything from the same place. Not only will it allow you to put it all under the same insurance policy with ease but it will also give you the opportunity to make your purchase as simple as it can possibly be. 

– Consider How Often You’re Going To Need To Upgrade

Although you’re not going to be upgrading your computer every year, you need to think about how often you’re going to have to upgrade in order to carry out your job efficiently. Whether it means upgrading the amount of space or RAID capacity you have or increasing the graphic capability, you need to ensure you can do absolutely everything your job requires with ease. For more information when it comes to space or for a free RAID calculators, you can visit this site here. 

– Ask Around For Opinions And Recommendations 

Finally, you might want to consider asking those around you for opinions and recommendations. Although they may not be able to suggest the perfect computer for you to purchase, they may be able to offer you advice when it comes to making the best possible decision.  If you’re still unsure about what to do, you may benefit from taking a colleague with you to make your final purchase. 

Are you looking for a new computer for your business? What do you need to consider to ensure you’re choosing the best possible option?  Let me know your thoughts and ideas in the comments section below. 

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4 Big Technology Mistakes That Could Be Damaging Your Business

Technology is essential to the success of all businesses these days and when you use it in the right way, it can save you a lot of money. But so many business owners are not using it correctly because they’re not technology experts. If you make big mistakes with your technology, it can cause some big problems with productivity and in some cases, you could be wasting a lot of money. These are some of the big tech mistakes that your business needs to avoid. 

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Not Backing Up Data 

Cyber security should be a priority for all businesses and you need to invest money in security software to protect all of your sensitive data. But it’s equally important that you have a disaster recovery system in place to recover your data in the event of an attack or an accidental loss. So many businesses put resources into preventing data loss but they don’t spend enough time planning how they will deal with it if it does happen. The problem is, no matter how much money you spend on cyber security, data loss is always a possibility and you need to be prepared for it if it does happen. 

Not Upgrading Tech Regularly Enough

When you don’t have a huge technology budget, it might seem sensible to make do with old computers or old versions of software so you can save a bit of money. The problem is, it won’t save you money. In fact, it will probably end up costing you more in the long run. Old hardware is prone to breaking and that means spending more money on repairs. Outdated software will not be as quick and efficient and won’t have all of the same features as the newer versions, which means that your employees will not benefit and productivity will not increase. You will find that you spend less on maintenance and your employees are far more productive if you upgrade to the latest tech sooner rather than later.

Upgrading Software Faster Than Hardware 

While it is important that you upgrade your tech on a regular basis, you need to make sure that you’re doing it in the right way. One of the more common mistakes that people make is upgrading their software but leaving their old hardware. That means you’re trying to run brand new software on a computer that is 5 years old and is coming to the end of its useful life, and that’s going to cause problems. There is no point in spending money on the latest software if your computers are not fast enough to run it properly. When you upgrade, you need to make sure that you are upgrading hardware and software at the same pace. 

Lack Of Training 

Training is so important when you introduce new technology to the business. You can spend as much money as you like on software, but you won’t see an increase in productivity if your employees don’t know how to use it properly. It’s more likely that you will see a big dip in efficiency until people get to grips with it. That’s why it’s important to train your employees on new technology before you roll it out. 

If you can avoid these common mistakes, you will get a lot more out of your business technology. 

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Nine Data Security Tips

Data security is becoming a major concern for businesses and individuals. We’re all doing more online, from remote working, managing the bills or handling your company’s payroll. With more sensitive data going online, it’s important to protect it, whether you use Managed IT Services or manage your IT needs yourself. 

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  1. Encrypt your data. You don’t need to be a tech expert to encrypt data. There are lots of tools available now to encrypt emails and other information. You can easily encrypt, decrypt, sign and verify emails, protect files and scramble your data to keep it private and protected. 
  2. Backup your data. Having a backup keeps your documents safe if a device is lost, stolen or compromised. Backup documents on something like an external hard drive or in the cloud, so they’re not lost along with your device. 
  3. Protect against Malware. Anti-malware protection lays a foundation of security for your devices. Malware is designed to infiltrate and damage a computer, and can come in the form of viruses, worms, spyware and more. It can get into your device from websites or emails or even hidden in files, freeware or shareware. Avoid getting these infections by running a strong anti-virus program, and do regular checks for spyware. Be aware of what you click on or download too.
  4. Make old hard drives unreadable. If you’re throwing out an old computer, don’t forget to clear the harddrive and prevent your data from being stolen that way. Transfer any files elsewhere. Sanitize by disk shredding, magnetically cleaning the disk or using software to wipe the desk clean. Destroy old computer disks. 
  5. Install operating system updates. Updates can be a nuisance, but they’re needed. These updates often contain critical security patches that will protect your device from new threats. Set your operating system to update automatically so you never miss them and put your machine at risk. 
  6. Secure your wireless network. Always secure your wireless network, whether at home or at work, with a password. This prevents other people from accessing your network, for free WiFi access or to get at your private information. Your network should be secure, encrypted and hidden. 
  7. Turn off your computer. When you’ve finished using your computer or laptop, turn it off. Leaving a device on and connected to the internet could give someone the opportunity to attack it. An on device offers a scammer 24 hour access to attempt to install malware. Turn it off when you’re done. 
  8. Use a firewall. A firewall will assist in blocking dangerous viruses, spyware or programs from getting into your system. Look for hardware based firewalls, like those often built into network routers, to get a better level of security. 
  9. Use a passphrase instead of a password. A passphrase basically works as a longer password, that is much harder to guess. Instead of choosing a single password, use a phrase, like a song lyric or a quote that you can remember easily. Use the first letter of each word in the phrase, with a few numbers and special characters to create a secure passphrase.

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Making Your Business Look Better

When you are a freelancer, if you have just started a small company, it can feel like you will never be taken seriously. It is hard to pitch for work, and you sometimes feel like you aren’t getting anywhere. You are just one person, so how can you present yourself as more prominent without lying about it? 

The chances are you don’t have loads of money to sink into your appearance, but you do have some time to work on it. Having a professional-looking ‘shop window’ means you are much more likely to nab those clients sooner rather than later. Here are some things you can do to look bigger and better. 

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Design

Your logos and all of the imagery on your social media, your websites, your station should be sleek and interesting. Over complicated logos can get confusing – even if they are great to look at. Canva has a great free membership which gives you access to a lot of tools to help you design everything you are going to need from PDFs and eBooks to YouTube covers and Twitter covers. This will mean nothing looks stretched or out of place. Before you start putting up the first design you created, think about the overall image you want to get across. Take your time, draft up a few options and then for with the ones that make the most sense for what you are doing. 

Think about the clients that you want to attract, check out your competition and people in the same field to get an idea of the standard that is expected. 

Portfolio

Your online portfolio tells people who you are, what you do, how well you do it, and sometimes there are packages on there that can be ordered too. You shouldn’t put everything you have ever done on there, but you should curate works that look pleasing together, and have a flow. This goes for anything from design work and videos to copywriting and photography. There should be a clear understanding of your style and what you offer. 

In your about me, make sure that you are transparent and open. Personality can matter a lot when you are hiring or being hired. They need to know if they can work with you or not. 

Remember that your older work, unless it was for a particularly prominent client, isn’t going to be as skilled as your current works. 

Calls

If you take calls about business, you should strongly consider if you want people to call your personal mobile phone. Many people don’t want that and feel it crosses the boundaries between private life and work life. So there are a couple of things that you can do. If you stick with the same number, put your phone to divert after a particular time at night. Secondly, consider a service that will handle your calls for you like Ivy Answer. Thirdly, think about having a mobile phone that is purely for work purposes. 

Email

Your email should be outlook or Gmail. It should be tied in neatly to your website and business name. They just don’t look that great. Even more so if your email address if from years ago and you haven’t changed it. Making a business email is easy and should be an option somewhere in your hosting. It also shows that you care about the details and your personal brand – which is excellent for the clients to see. 

Testimonials

If you have worked for a few clients, it is time to ask them for some testimonials about your work. This shows that you have work and will give prospective clients a better view of what you are capable of. The reviews don’t have to be glowing, but they should talk about your work ethic, did you deliver on time, how the value for money was. These things are important to people when they are hiring companies to work with. If you don’t have any testimonials, don’t be tempted to fabricate something. Instead, you should reach out to friends and offer a small piece of work or service in return for the testimonials. 

Social Media

Your social media is going to matter because everyone is there! Make sure all of your covers are the right size, and that you can see your website clearly on everything. Don’t spam your own links and products all the time, instead create a social media plan that has a defined goal like driving traffic, or securing leads. 

When it comes to looking professional, much of it is time and acting professionally. Present yourself in the best light, and you will look like an agency or larger company without effort. 

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Should You Outsource The IT Needs Of Your Small Business?

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At the center of any small business is the idea that drives it. This concept will be the reason that you started your company in the first place, and it will be the thing that hopefully generates you all of your profits. 

But very often when it comes to running a small business, you end up spinning lots of different plates. You’ll be worrying about keeping your company website up-and-running, managing your social media accounts, trying to get your website more exposure, making sure your antivirus is up-to-date, and worrying about your firewall, and router. 

Unless you are in the business of IT, these are probably not your fields of expertise. But, hiring a professional with the relevant skills and experience can be costly. And then you’ll also have to worry about managing them, and maybe even finding space for them in your organization. This may not be a viable option for you. 

Consider Outsourcing Your IT Requirements

Whatever your business needs in terms of IT support, there are plenty of great companies who are very well positioned to give you excellent service. Click here for an example of one such company. 

By outsourcing IT requirements, you will be freeing up your time in order to focus on the things that really matter to your business. You’ll be able to expand and grow in new ways, and you will have more energy for progress. 

Getting The Experience That Your Company Needs

Someone with the right experience levels and skill set could easily do a much better job of managing your tech support than you. You will be supported by a team who will have the relevant qualifications and will have no doubt handle multiple clients in a similar situation to yourself. They will understand the needs of your business and be able to react to this immediately. 

Access To Industry Standard Software

Your IT consultants will be able to set you up with some of the most useful pieces of software for your business. You’ll get updates as required, and whenever there are developments in areas of technology that may benefit you, you can access this quickly. This will allow you to position yourself ahead of others in the industry, whose in-house IT support may not have the knowledge or infrastructure to get on board with changes quickly enough. 

Security And Data Protection

Your customer’s data is extremely valuable. Not just to you, but to hackers who may try and benefit from it. With cybersecurity representing such a significant threat to business, you need to make sure that this is managed effectively. 

Having a managed IT solution will allow you to protect your data effectively. By keeping your network secure, and carrying out regular data compliance audits, your IT support company will help you rest easy, safe in the knowledge that your data is safe. In completing these audits, you can be sure that you will also meet any official regulatory requirements. 

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Things Your Business Can’t Afford To Skip

When you run a business from home, you are your own marketer, content creator, website maker, and so much more. And it is essential for you to learn as much about the foundations of your business as possible. There are weeks and sometimes months that the time and/or money is strapped. So you can make some smart decisions to help keep your bank balance healthy, and help you maximize your time too. 

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Expenses

They wrack up thick and fast, but if you aren’t tracking them correctly you’re going to be missing those tasty tax deductions for one, and for two you might get audited, and if it doesn’t add up you’ve got some trouble. 

It can be hard to keep all of the paper receipts, so start taking photos of each receipt that relates to your business, and add them all to a file. 

Coaching

To be better at business, in general, there are two paths you can opt for. One is coaching, the other is hands-on experience. There are so many coaches who specialize in small business or freelancers who are looking to expand and grow. They often have experience in your field too. The great thing is, you can find a lot of guidance and support for free online now. Or, you might have a B2B scheme in your area with offers of assistance. Spend some time looking around for free support tools. 

Uptime

You can’t afford to have lousy technology. You need as much uptime as you can muster. And sometimes this means you might need to call in the professionals, visit onlinecomputers.com for more. Managed IT services might just save your business. This one will save you time, time which can be put back into working on your business. 

Social Media

If you aren’t on social media already – that is your first mistake. If you are, and you aren’t leveraging that into more traffic and sales – that is a big mistake too. Take some time to sit down and work out your followers and reach on all of your platforms. Take a look at your analytics. Where is doing the best? What time does the most engagement or impressions happen? 

How are you going to compute those numbers into something actionable? First, take a look online for some guidance on how to put together a social media campaign. Remember to have your goal in mind – traffic? Sales? Social growth? Each one will require different actions from you. 

You can always hire someone to do those things for you, but it pays for you to learn to do them yourself too. If you have the knowledge, you can then build a campaign for someone else to carry out and report back on. 

Of course, there are more things like insurances, retirement plans, long term financial planning, and more and all will make a positive impact. But it is vital to tackle things in the personal development area, something that can free up time, and explore services that will ensure you never miss a beat in the fast-paced online world. 

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5 Top Advantages Of Online Payroll

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 Our landscape is becoming increasingly digital, and this is reflected in every aspect of how we do business; from our marketing to our cloud-computing or EDI transactions. It’s no surprise that so many companies are braving the switch to an online payroll solution. When you’re running a business and have so much to do, you’ll welcome any way that you can to make life a little easier! If you’re someone who’s thinking about online payroll, let’s take a look at a few reasons why you’ve got the right idea! 

More Accuracy

 With an online payroll system, you are increasing your chances of accuracy and decreasing the risk of human error. Errors made in the payroll departments can slow down the efficiency of your company and lose your credibility, so it’s best to avoid this at all costs! By automating the processes, and reducing human input, you don’t have to worry about mistakes being made. 

Search for documents

With an online payroll system, you’ll ensure that you have an easy way to search for pay-related documents as and when you need them. An online system makes it very easy to look back and search for what you need; whether this is to create a report or for the purposes of tax queries. You’ll find that such easy access to data increases productivity and efficiency both. When time is money, improving business efficiency is a top priority! 

Saves time 

With an online payroll system, it’s fast and easy to complete your payroll tasks which will free up time elsewhere in your business. As well as this, with an online system, it’s straightforward to figure out bonuses, overtime or pay per hour or month etc. Having all the information that you need in one place makes it easy to get the best use out of your payment data.

Maintain Consistency 

 When you keep your data within one online source, you will be ensuring that it is always collected in the same way and adheres to the same procedures. Many companies these days are making a move to cloud-based solutions such as Cloudpay. This is a viable system for those who are seeking to gain consistency and accuracy within their global based payroll systems. With cloudpay, you get rid of the complexities associated with international payroll. Cloudpay can also be integrated easily with ERP or HCM software for businesses who require this. 

 Tax purposes 

 Online payroll systems can help you to timely file the correct tax forms as and when required. You’ll receive reminders, and thus you won’t run the risk of any penalties. When you’re running a business, there is so much to think about, and so taking advantage of what the digital world can offer is always an excellent idea! 

 If your company is looking at opting for an online or cloud-based payroll system, you certainly won’t regret it! Keeping up with all the digital changes in the modern business world can far enhance the agility of your company. Staying ahead digitally can also give you an advantage over your competitors

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