Hit snooze on your need for an IT service provider with these 11 strategies.
Your small business is growing. You know it’s time to implement an IT system that protects your data and boosts productivity among your staff. It’s a big step signing a contract with an IT provider, especially if they want a one-year commitment and you don’t yet see the value of what they offer.
IT doesn’t have to be intimidating. If you plan to handle it yourself, you can make the process easier by arming yourself with knowledge. Don’t jump in blind and hope it all works out.
Lay the groundwork for a smooth and secure IT operation in your small business by following these 11 steps:
1. Ask a colleague
Ask your friends with companies how they manage IT. Ask them what works best and then develop a similar plan. Keep tweaking that plan until your system starts running smoothly.
2. Buy Apple products
While more expensive upfront, these computers, tablets and smartphones require less maintenance in general. They’ll also last longer and be more resistant to viruses. Your staff will also love using them.
3. Find your internal IT geek
It’s likely someone in your office is already tech savvy. Consult this person and have them help out until you’re ready to hire an IT services team. Loop them into discussions about hardware and software purchases.
4. Get some basic advice
Hire someone just for the day to ensure that your data is safe and is being continually backed up. You don’t want to take risks with your data and the data of your customers.
5. Use cloud services
6. Set up VoIP phones
These phones reduce your monthly costs and your reliance on a big telecommunications company that takes days to respond to your requests.
7. Choose high quality Cisco Meraki gear for your networking
Setup will be easy for wireless routers and you won’t be stuck paying crazy project fees just to access a reliable network.
8. Use Quickbooks online or Xero for your accounting
Many businesses rely on Quickbooks to keep track of their invoices and payments, but need a server to do so. If you switch to Quickbooks Online, you don’t need a server and won’t pay the added costs that come with it.
9. Try ditching your server
The cloud offers many options for small businesses looking to ditch their $10,000 server (that needs to be replaced every five years). Many of these cloud programs offer free monthly trials. Test the waters for 30 days. If you don’t like it, don’t sign up again at the end of the month and move onto another option.
10. Keep track of your passwords
Develop a system for keeping track of and regularly updating your passwords. TWT’s free password toolkit is full of tips on how to safeguard your digital assets. When the time comes to hire an IT company, they’ll love you because you already have this documented. You’ll also never get stuck without them, as you’re already used to keep track of your passwords.
11. Give TWT a call
We’re happy to give you advice on all these points or recommend our favourite cloud tools. When you’re ready to hire an IT service provider, we can help with that too.
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