Managing Small Business Technology

Technology Levels the Playing Field

One advantage small business has gained over the years is the ready availability of sophisticated technology that was once the exclusive asset of the largest corporations. But with this benefit comes the additional responsibility of proficient management of that technology.

Customers Demand Better Service

Today’s customer has come to expect the greater convenience and efficiency the Internet Age, with online connectivity to company accounts, or at least computerized records, information databases, and customer management systems.

A Technology Breakdown Can Be a Public Relations Nightmare

Managing your technology may not be at the top of your list of important business activities, but perhaps it should be, because how your computers, database, network, phones, etc. are running can make the difference between being seen by your customers as competent and caring about their needs, or inefficient and unconcerned.

Asset Management Can Be a Daunting Task

Your technology must be chosen and sized to the required tasks and your staff must be proficient in its operation, but there is much more to keep track of. Your technology must be periodically upgraded. It is vital that software be updated for security and fixes. Hardware and software depreciate and must be either upgraded or replaced. When facing budget constraints, decisions must be made whether to continue using current equipment and software, or to replace it. For example, perhaps a three-year depreciation cycle could be extended to five years, but circumstances might dictate replacement, such as the inability of older equipment to support the software needed to remain competitive.

Threats Cannot Be Ignored

Damage from computer viruses, unreliable power sources, improper usage of software, etc. is a problem small business managers didn’t have to deal with in the past. Proper rules need to be set up, taught to your employees, and enforced. Commercial grade surge protectors, UPS (Uninterruptible Power Supplies), or even backup electrical generation may be necessary for the protection of your equipment, and proper technology training of your employees is always important.

Technology Glitches Must Be Handled Properly

No matter how good your hardware, software, and employee training, technology breakdowns do occur. Properly handling them is a matter of communication. For example, if a customer experiences difficulty accessing their account, they may keep trying over and over. This uses valuable bandwidth and CPU time. Multiply this by many customers trying to access your system, and your network, as well as your technicians, could be tied up with customer requests instead of working to solve the problem. The solution is to tell your customers you are aware of the problem, apologize for the inconvenience, and let them know you are working on it.

Outsourcing As a Solution

Many businesses solve their technology management problems by contracting with an outside technology management service. It is important that you chose one which is competent, flexible in its prices and levels of service, and has a reputation for effective communication with its clients.

Managing your business technology is as important for your business as sales, employment, and other aspects of your business. Properly managed, technology can give you an edge over your competitors and bring you up to the level of the large corporations.

Contracting with the right managed support IT service company is a valuable part of a successful business strategy. InHouse Techies offer several levels of managed IT support services, including custom tailored monthly plans.

Business Technology in Small Business

Business technology in small businesses can mean a lot of different things and can be interpreted in many different ways. But it will always come down to the same thing – the technology implemented and used by a business must provide the maximum amount of efficiency for the minimum amount of cost and maintenance.

Technology in business must be well planned and implemented in a sensible manner and a plan for technology management must be developed and adhered to. This may mean moving more of your business systems onto the internet to increase the mobility of your business, or identifying and investing in new systems which will do the same job but in a more efficient manner.

How Can the Internet Help My Business?
If you are looking to save money for your business, the internet is an excellent place to start. If your business includes a small call centre to provide customer service, you could save a lot of money in the long run by investing in changing the phone system to an IP telephony system. This would mean that rather than incurring massive phone bills using normal phones, all calls would be routed over the internet and customers would be able to call in using a normal local telephone number.

It is much cheaper to call someone through the internet than through a standard phone line and the savings you would make here would more than cover the cost of implementing such a system.

You would need to ensure that your business’ internet connection is powerful enough to manage this of course. If there is not enough bandwidth to accommodate all of the calls being made, the sound quality can suffer. As long as both parties can hear what the other is saying, this does not have to be too much of an issue – making allowances for this would need to be part of your business’ strategy for technology management.

What about My People in the Field?
If you have a large team of sales reps in the field, the savings which you could enjoy through the implementation of internet based telephony can be carried on to this side of your business as well. Nowadays, there are many mobile phones available which are capable of making calls over the internet using the 3G network. This would mean a possible upgrade of your corporate mobile phone contract and possibly some retraining for your staff – but ultimately it would save you money on phone bills.

How do I Know that My Company is Now More Efficient?
Technology in business also encompasses the assessment and monitoring of work performed by the employees. With modern networking and targeted technology management, it would be possible to not only make your company run more efficiently for less money; but also allowing you to keep an eye on exactly what is going on in real-time.

There are many products available which will allow you to monitor your employees’ statistics – be it the amount of time they are spending on each call or the amount of time they take to finishing each file before they are able to move onto the next one. Through this, you would be able to address any possible issues which may arise and discuss them with the employee.

Business technology should broaden the horizons. You should be able to do more for spending less. Something as simple as making phone calls cheaper or something as involved as identifying areas of concern in an employees performance and having more information which can be used to develop strategies for the employee to avoid this.

A Private Eye’s Look at Justice Business Technology

I admit it — I’m hooked on “Veronica Mars.” If you’ve seen the show, you know that the title character finds ways to solve crimes and mysteries each week using some new techie tool or other. Are you searching for a career that incorporates this kind of technology-based investigative work? Look no further than the sizzling field of justice business technology.

Gathering Evidence

Justice business technology is the perfect field for those seeking criminal justice and law enforcement careers that use modern computer technology to prevent and solve crimes. Some of the duties of justice business technology professionals include collecting and analyzing evidence using advanced technology, as well as preventing and investigating computer viruses, identity theft, and Internet crime. With one of many cutting-edge justice business technology careers, you may find yourself working in government, law enforcement agencies, juvenile justice, public and private agencies, homeland security, or corrections, to name a few.

Conducting an Investigation

You already know that when you study at justice business technology schools, you can turn your interest in criminal justice and your passion for adventure into a career in crime-solving. These comprehensive training programs incorporate the advanced technology that adds a whole new dimension to law enforcement.

Specifically, justice business technology schools will provide you with knowledge of criminal justice theories, policies, and procedures, as well as a solid background in information technology, intelligence gathering, computer evidence analysis, network security, and forensics. When you study crime scene techniques, for example, you’ll delve into evidence identification, gathering, and packaging in order to solve cases where there is no suspect.

Courses at justice business technology schools may include computer forensics, crime and crash scene management, modern evidence technology, crime scene techniques, ethics and cultural diversity, weapons training, civil law, communication, psychology, and computer virus issues and prevention.

Cracking the Case

At justice business technology schools, you’ll have the opportunity to spend time in real crime scene labs to review and utilize the tools and techniques you’ll need to succeed in the new age of law enforcement. You may also jump-start your career by completing a justice business technology internship or externship that provides practical, hands-on field experience in a legal environment.

Once you’ve earned your degree, you’ll have your pick of justice business technology careers in local, state, and federal agencies such as juvenile justice, private security, private investigation, loss prevention, law enforcement, corrections, probation and parole, detention centers, community-based intervention programs, and crime scene technician services.

Business Technology Consulting Firms And Their Services

Enterprise software applications are rising at staggering rate. More and more companies are looking for agile solutions to streamline their operations to expand their global footprint. Software development and business technology consulting companies are busy in developing and designing enterprise-centric, coherent solutions to improve enterprises’ abilities. Enterprises also seek strong yet flexible applications to stay ahead and carve their own niche in the business stratosphere. Software development and consulting companies focus on a wider spectrum of innovative technologies to create an ideally helpful software solutions or applications that can enhance company’s image and fulfill the clients’ needs.

Highly adroit, experienced application developers and programmers offer their help in business application development, e business solutions, iPhone app development, e-commerce website design, and complete IT consulting services. They extend their unwavering help to fulfill the particular needs of the companies. Their intuitive technology software solutions focus on your pain points and give a suitable and research-based solution. Developers and programmers use specialized tools, resources, frameworks, and platforms to strengthen your business structure.

Some of the most important services offered by technology consulting firms are as follows:

Custom Software Solutions

Experienced developers and programmers analyze the needs of your company and draw a model to propose you a practical system that is specific, coherent, and budget-friendly. Upon your accent, developers and business analysts kick-start the project in a professional way. They use several high-end platforms (e.g. iOS, Android, Windows Phone, etc.), to develop the basic framework of the software solution.

Application Development

Software developers and programmers develop suitable business solutions, mobile apps to streamline the decentralized business processes. This enables competitive advantage for your company and allows it to expand its broad scale operations. They develop powerful, robust, flexible, secure, reliable, and fully featured applications that allow business aims. These applications will simplify business complexities and offer end-to-end facilities in an amazing fashion.

The best advantage is that business application development experts develop low-cost yet smart solutions that will bring quality in the executions. Software consulting firms also give custom-fit managed IT services to better cater the needs of the growing businesses. Businesses also need an IT consulting firm to discuss their growing challenges, concerns and develop a perfectly versatile, innovative, aligned, and creative solution that will improve collaboration, automation process, business operations, and overall workflow. The promising solutions not only improve capabilities, but also remove bottlenecks.

Today, software and IT consulting firms also recommend holistic & advanced enterprise applications and software solutions over traditional, because advanced solutions are measurable and allow companies to make critical business decisions quickly by using real-time information. No doubt, business applications offer truly competitive advantage to the businesses.

Why Home Business Technology Is Really Easy Today

If you are going to operate your own home business successfully you need to utilize the technology available to you. Today that means being involved in ecommerce and selling things on the Internet. The good news is home business technology today is really easy to use. Let’s take a little closer look at what that means for you.

1. First of all a home business means you do not have to go out into the real world and create a brick and mortar business. This means you can save all kinds of money on office rent, hiring employees, and other forms of overhead that have eliminated people from starting businesses of their own in the past.

2. The Internet also means that you have a global economy available to you. Depending on the type of products you sell using a website makes it possible for you to reach an unlimited supply of prospects for your products.

3. The Internet also means you can market your products in ways that you could have never done in the past. No longer do you have to worry about newspaper advertising, or radio and TV as your primary sources of promoting. Now you can promote online via banner ads, blogging, social networking, email marketing, and many other ways.

4. Getting been paid on the Internet is much easier as well. In the past you would have had to go to your bank and set up a Visa and MasterCard payment account. Today PayPal is the world’s largest payment processor and they accept credit cards for you. This makes selling things online extremely easy to do.

5. Many home businesses choose to represent products that provide instant access. For example selling information products is a great way to avoid shipping costs. Once your customer’s payment has been processed they can be sent to a download page where they receive the product they have ordered. This means you can sell ebooks, reports, articles, and software all by allowing your customer to instantly download the product.

Other home businesses choose to sell products as an affiliate marketer. This has advantages in terms of collecting payments and shipping products too. The affiliate merchant takes care of all this for you so you never actually touch the money or touch the product.

These are all examples of how home business technology is really easy to use today. Anyone with a strong work ethic and average intelligence can do it.

Advantages of Leveraging Business Technology

Technology keeps changing the face of business. As businesses continue to evolve and encounter challenges, they leverage business technology to solve problems and set themselves apart from the competition.

There are a number of challenges all businesses face – How to boost productivity; How to drive down operating costs; How to gather and analyze corporate data to achieve maximum benefit; How to remain sustainable. The fast-paced global environment demands that businesses do things better and faster than the competition, or else get left behind.

Businesses that depend on predominantly manual processes to gather data are the ones that need to make changes. A lot of manual processes are inefficient and prone to error and duplication. Errors are often costly to the business. In a lot of cases, manual processes are not repeatable because different people have different ways of doing things. In addition, if a person who performs a critical function leaves a company, he or she can become impossible to replace.

An integrated business technology solution eliminates many of the manual steps and resulting errors involved in data gathering and analysis. This type of solution can have features such as efficient report development and delivery, database design and development, data warehousing, and online analytical processing. With automated data gathering processes, business can eliminate many of the errors and duplication involved in manual processes. An integrated solution gives business decision makers a comprehensive view of important data, such as sales metrics, production capacity, internal operations, market trends and key performance indicators.

By leveraging technology, decision makers are able to monitor their business efficiently, formulate sound strategies and make informed decisions to improve their bottom line.

Online Small Business Technology Tools

There are more and more online small business technologies everyday including software technology, accounting technology, email technology, newsletter technology, web site technology and transaction technology systems. In this article we will discuss a few of these key areas and list some sites that may be of benefit to your online small business.

Accounting Technology

Simply Accounting 2010

Simply Accounting helps with budgeting, accounting and financial and can be integrated with Microsoft Word and Excel. There is even a payroll processing software program and it is available in English or French. What is new is the Simply Accounting HR Version. This is one of the most popular accounting programs for small business. There is even a free download version you can try.

Quick Books

Quick books is another accounting system that has over 4 million users worldwide. It is simply, easy to use, has great chart systems and is purposeful for financials. It has a customer and vendor centre that details customers and suppliers. It has a multi-currency feature that can convert currencies from around the world. It also simplifies the GST/HST process and has an efile system for taxes. Live community is a resource to help with questions about Quick Books and is a useful tool for new users. It is also a system that is able to have 3-5 simultaneous users.

Newsletter Technology

Constant Contact is a good resource that has been around since 1998 and well trusted. You can design newsletter campaigns, email campaigns and online surveys. Just pick your package, there is even a free trial. There is even a program for event marketing if you want to create online campaigns for upcoming events. Product support and customer service is also very good with Constant Contact.

iContact is another good resource that is used by Fortune 500 companies and over 500,000 users. You can easily track, send, open and click on email programs. They can easily help you set up, organize, and leverage your email marketing list. They have abilities up to 100,000 subscribers and even more and have an Enterprise Account Representative for you if you have larger needs.

Small Business Technology Recession Tips

Consider the minimum technology that is needed today to run any company. A Small company needs computers, applications (Word, Excel, QuickBooks) internet access, printers, phones, PDA’s and a website. If any one of theses technology items were not working correctly. Your business could come to a halt or be severely impacted. Repairing or replacing these items creates unexpected expenses such as loss of productivity

Consider the small business technology budget. Replace only if broken is usually the motto. Consider Proactive Services.

Are your computers still under warranty? If yes can we extend the warranty on them? If not can we get an extended warranty. I know HP and Dell allow you to extend the warranties on their hardware. It is cheaper to extend the warranty of an existing computer, server and printer then to buy a new one.

Place your computers in energy savings mode to reduce electrical expenses. Check the Internet for tips on placing your monitors and computers in energy savings mode.

Consider free software to manage your computers. AVG for antivirus and Spybot for spyware are a great start. Open Office is another.

If you use a computer consultant ask if they have pre-purchased blocks of time available. These hourly blocks of time usually come with a discounted rate and no expiration date.

Shop your around for the best Internet price.

Don’t skimp when it comes to maintaining your business network. Consider an online backup or Managed Services for you computers and Servers. For a flat fee per month most computer consultants will maintain your entire network from top to bottom.

Business & Technology Crack

Many people say that the business drives the technology whereas some people say that the technology drives the business. It is really unknown that which is really responsible for what and I must say that the emergence of the information technology has really made it even more complex. All the people who are involved in the business as well as the technology are really in dilemma that which theory is correct. However I have different ideas. I feel that sometimes the technology drives the business and sometimes the business drives the technology. In fact it is right to say that the business and technology are interdependent. I would like to prove the same with the help of this article.

Just think that when it was decided that each company should have a board of directors. I must say that this is really a very old practice. Even the ancient Romans too had this in their administration. I really feel that this indicate that the technology came afterwards and hence business need lead to the evolution of the technology. For example the telegraph became famous because of the Reuters. In deed it was the biggest news agency in the world which first used the telegraph for their work. There are many more examples.

The industrial revolution which brought about the great change in the field of the business was ignited due to the invention of the steam engine. This really made the world of business grow fore fold throughout the world. This gives us the indication that the technology played an important role for business to become global. In fact the technology is responsible for the globalization of the business.

But this does not mean that the technology drives the business. Yes, you can say that the technology increases the speed at which the business activities are performed. But saying that the business is driven by the technology is still not correct.

Let me explain you another side of this topic. You know why the telegraph was discovered. Yes this happened because the world of business needed this. The Reuters were the first to use the telegraph and they become the best in the world. Hence can we say that the technology works as the cutting edge so that one business leads over the other? Yes this is really the truth and this time we are absolutely right. This is really the main thing about the relationship between the technology and the business.

One can only say that with the help of technology you can win the race which is on among the rivalry businessmen. Let’s think about the issue of the first paragraph and I am quiet confident to say that sometimes the business is driven by the technology and sometimes the technology comes into vicinity because of the business needs.

Various Features of Business Technology Solutions to Develop a Business

Establishing and running a small business demands various tasks to be performed properly. A number of small business owners find themselves in deep waters if they are unable to keep pace with the time and technology. With numerous latest inventions and additions to the business sector, you need to take advantage of as many tools and services available to make your job easier.

Even if you have a tight budget, you can still manage to equip your business with great technologies in a reasonable price. For instance, a person will buy computer electronics to start up his business as no business has remained untouched by computers today.

Technology solution- Benefits

With the Internet receiving an overwhelming response worldwide, it is providing new enterprises for the entrepreneurs and small businessmen as well. Social networking, on one hand, has become an excellent way to make use of free technologies that can help your business. Creating your own accounts on these sites helps you to get the exposure to the world and other people.

Another great option is to run your payroll online with many great online payroll solutions. It effectively helps you to operate your business and make it easier for your employees to get their money on time. Some other technologies like web conferencing solutions have great advantage of their own and number of business people take benefit of this to interact with their foreign clients.

Nowadays, one can make a huge profit by availing IT solutions in one’s business as well. The virtual IT service providers can help a business with its security management, CRM, HRM, network planning and other computing services. The utility service providers efforts for the quality performance keeping in mind their business goals of the clients.

The great option of virtual phone systems can be observed accelerating the your business to the heights. You can avail multiple extensions, call forwarding and many other integrated options all from one simple location. Even the smallest desktop business can maintain the professionalism of a big business. This facility further advances to tele-seminar which has also become quite common.