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Month: February 2019

Outsourced Network Services For Small Businesses

Posted on February 27, 2019 in Uncategorized

The use of a computer network, especially for businesses of all sizes, entails many undertakings. Big corporations pay in-house IT professionals top dollar for their year-round services and expertise. However, smaller businesses that may not need entire IT departments can cost-effectively acquire network services from consultancy firms composed of highly dedicated IT professionals.

Network services include network planning, design, procurement of new technologies, implementation of these new technologies and designs, and network maintenance and management. These services, along with many others, can be outsourced to network consultancy firms.

Almost every business today makes use of computers, with needs ranging from basic network file and print management. Many third-party IT consultancy services provide a full range of services, from network planning and design, to implementation and network maintenance and management. Small businesses can have their needs analyzed by these firms’ experienced business-oriented IT experts to receive the best network architecture for their respective businesses. These experts can essentially act as the IT departments of small businesses without having to be hired full-time. This effectively eliminates the need for these businesses to pay regular employee benefits, thus considerably limiting their costs.

Also, an IT and network services provider can supplement existing IT departments by implementing preventative maintenance measures like system backups, security, and remote monitoring. The consultancy firms that provide these services can also recommend hardware or software, and sell or lease it at competitive prices. They can also be hired for expertise that existing IT departments may not have.

These firms can even offer training for managers and IT departments through computer-based training (CBT) modules, as well as live training sessions in order to help both users and management make the most of their IT infrastructure.

The Small Business Advantage in Marketing, Hiring and Production

Posted on February 23, 2019 in Uncategorized

Small businesses are the backbone of the economy. They not only account for a large proportion of our country’s production and service sector, but they also are a major part of job growth. Across the US, small companies in a variety of niche sectors are hiring talented employees so that they can compete in competitive markets.

Even though small company owners make a big difference, they also have a very difficult time getting a ‘piece of the pie.’ Whereas large companies already have their foot in the door in many cases, the smaller guys need to make a name for themselves in order to start selling. Here are some tips and tricks in different departments for small businesses to gain an edge against bigger corporations:

1. Marketing – Being a small business in the marketing world is like being the person in the room with softest voice. All of the big companies are screaming about products and services by spending tons of marketing dollars across a variety of mediums. So how does a small company, who doesn’t necessarily have a huge marketing budget, get their name out there? One great way is through social networks and services like Twitter and Facebook. Using these free technologies, a small business can build a grassroots fan base that is local, relevant, and scalable.

2. Products & Services – How can a smaller company possibly outperform a big company when it comes to sheer production or service volume? Obviously quantity should be thrown out the door in favor of quality and niche market adaptation. Whereas big corporations move extremely slow in regards to fluctuations in market demand due to their organization hierarchy, small companies can easily adapt to the smallest changes. Using this advantage in speed and adaptability, a small business can outperform a big biz and gain traction in viable niche sectors.

3. Hiring – Big companies have a huge advantage in the hiring game by offering more competitive salaries and perks. Using these benefits they can often attract the best job applicants available, while leaving nothing for the smaller competitors. Luckily, technology once again can even the playing field for smaller companies. Cutting edge applicant tracking software allows any company (small or large) to find and attract top-level talent by utilizing the internet. Using these hiring tools, a small biz can land the quality hires that have the potential to lead a company into the big leagues.

Small Business Management – A Balancing Act – Part One

Posted on February 16, 2019 in Uncategorized

So you have taken the plunge, and embarked on the painful, yet rewarding journey of starting you own business. With so many books on small business management, and advisors offering help, what do you do? As always the answer is never straightforward, but here is my humble contribution, to these vexing small business management questions.

Managing a business, is an exceedingly difficult exercise, as all small business people, only discover, after having established the business. For the most part, business management is a balancing act.

Allow me to expound on this balancing act. If a plumber quits his normal job, to go into self-employment he will be an expert in his chosen field, and remain confident that the money will roll in. Later on, he runs into cash flow problems, customers shortages etc. He then comes to the sobering realization, that business is not the bed of roses he thought it would be.

A small business owner concentrates at what he is good at, i.e. computer services, building, carpentry etc. But any business, no matter, how big or small needs an admin department, and an operations/production department. No matter how good you are at what you do, if you lack certain skills and competencies in administration, you business will constitute part of the 75 to 80% small business failure stats.

You might create a workshop for you product and services, but do you have a proper administration department? Businesses collapse due to a lack of proper administration.
Here the balancing act comes in. Divide time equally between your administration and operations duties, as a small business owner.

Many new business owners cannot grasp the fact that an inadequate administration department leads to eventual business failure. This compels me to provide numerous examples to my clients.
Here are some to ponder on:

· A potential customer sends you a fax or an e-mail requesting a service or product. The fax or e-mail goes missing. By the time you have located the e-mail, the potential customers have gone to the competition.

· You don’t maintain a customer list or e-mail list. You have many products and services to offer, but customers don’t know about it! You lose business.

· You don’t maintain records on how much your customers owe you, and is therefore not in a position to collect.

· You’re phones go unanswered, or messages are not noted from prospective clients.

· Inadequate stationery (no business cards, letterheads with contact info)

· You don’t maintain proper books of account, so spending and income patterns are not monitored, leading to stock and /or cash losses.

Jack up your admin department, to the same level of your operations department within the first three months of your new business. I am not suggesting you spend less time on operations, only equal time on administration. That is a good start, but the balancing act between admin and operations department goes much deeper. Look out for the second article, later in this week, which provides more detail, of additional sub-departments under admin and operations.

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