Managing Work Load – Part 1 Focus & Interruptions

Published 21st February 2013 By Ric Chapman
Managing Work Load

Anyone who decides to run their own business whether full time or part time has a lot on their plate. There’s a lot to do to run and maintain a business even before the customers come along, and when they do you’ll have various things vying for your time and attention. Getting on top of your workload and your time is a serious challenge, if you’ve not run your own business before or if you’ve not had an IT support role in the past you’ll most definitely go through a potentially heavy learning curve. This is what my Managing Work Load series hopes to address. Each article will attack a single topic on managing your work load in relation to a small IT business owner and specifically how to manage it when it gets too much, how to get it under control and how to keep on top of it.

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How to Mitigate the Risks of BYOD for Your Business Customers

Published 19th February 2013 By Derrick Wlodarz
Bring Your Own Device

The Bring Your Own Device, or BYOD, revolution until recently was naively believed to be a problem affecting big business solely. Whether we like it or not, this just purely turned out to not be the case. While the earnest discussion about the problem began a few years back, this issue has been around for small businesses in some form for the better part of the last decade.

But more importantly, how does this trend affect your role as a consultant, and why should you be concerned? For numerous reasons, actually. The small businesses you support are likely seeing more devices enter their networks than ever before, which means  the possibilities for data leaks, mass infection, and security breaches are at an all time high. Ignorance is not a great plan for the long run.

This topic is quite timely on my own end, as customers of my company FireLogic are finally realizing the risks that all of these foreign devices pose. While it’s definitely not my place to play small business tech referee, as a trusted adviser, I do see fit to provide my honest opinion. Whether it be security related or in consideration of bandwidth limitations, BYOD is hitting small business hard. Here’s my top recommendations for easing the burden on your customers’ networks and offices.

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When Your Client’s Machine is Too Old to Upgrade

Published 14th February 2013 By Micah Lahren
Time for an Upgrade

You’ve probably been there before. You’re asked to do some maintenance on someone’s computer, and when you arrive, you discover it’s Windows 2000, running on 128 MB of RAM, with outdated browsers, and outdated software. To them, it’s just a little slow, and while it takes a couple minutes to display some modern websites, it doesn’t display them correctly, and it’s just… too old. There are no extra slots for memory, the processor is so old and slow, and every time the machine is asked to perform some task, it sounds like a miniature jet engine trying to take off. When your client’s machine is too old to upgrade, where do you start?

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Lessons I Have Learned About Hiring and Firing

Published 12th February 2013 By Contributor
hiring-firing

Article contributed by Lisa Hendrickson, Owner of Call That Girl Computer Support and Repair. Lisa has been a featured writer for Technibble since 2010 and is a contributor in the Technibble Business and Marketing forums.

When I started out in 2007, I started Call That Girl with no clients, but I had dreams of growing an enterprise. I had plenty of time to dream of what I could do with this business. I dreamed of hiring employees and having a staff working the phones and doing tech support calls. Turns out my business didn’t grow as fast as I wanted it to, but I grew steadily with a nice client base of repeat clients.

Eventually though, I ended up burning myself out and was wondering how do I make those dreams of being a big business happen if I don’t hire? I would always get nervous thinking about payroll, insurance, workers compensation, etc. Listed below are a few tips on hiring and firing employees I have used as my own guideline as the boss.

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Windows 8 Backup and Imaging Tools for Techs – RecImg Manger & SlimImage

Published 7th February 2013 By Micah Lahren
Windows 8 Backup and Imaging Tools

With the Windows 8 user base increasing steadily, and the majority of the focus on computing devices switching to mobility, we’re going to see an increase in the need for backup and imaging solutions focused on mobile devices. As Techs, we need to fill that gap between desktop backup systems and mobile device backups. There are a few Windows 8 backup and imaging tools for techs as far as backing up Windows 8 devices. A few new tools have recently become available – RecImg Manager and SlimImage. These utilities support Windows 8 on desktop and tablet, with touchscreen support, and are packed with features every Tech will appreciate.

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10 Common Sense Resolutions for Your Computer Business in 2013

Published 5th February 2013 By Derrick Wlodarz
resolutions-2013

No matter how 2012 treated your computer repair business, let’s put yesteryear behind us and look ahead to what 2013 has to bring. The holidays were likely crazy for most of us, forcing many to juggle a hectic mix of client work and family matters. But I hope you had a chance to relax a bit and think about your strategy for the new year. Reflection and subsequent planning are a healthy part of managing any size business.

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Introducing IT Changes to a Business

Published 31st January 2013 By Ric Chapman
introducing-change-it

Change … Change is looked upon differently by different people. Generally speaking we have two groups. Those that embrace change and those that loath it. But change is a complicated process, Windows 8 for example wanted to change the face of Windows and fill a potential gap in the market. “Gap filled problem solved, but where in the world is my start button?”. Microsoft introduced changes to one of their flag-ship products and all in all, people didn’t like it, too much too soon perhaps?

But the basic moral is that you simply cannot please everyone, people are naturally resistant to change and how you manage that change is the most important part. Microsoft managed the change badly, badly communicated and an end product leaving their valuable customers scratching their heads. To turn the knife they then went and released Surface RT, easily the most confusing release of 2012. Since working with businesses I’m often asked to facilitate significant changes that impact running operations, often it’s a struggle to help the end users see the benefits of such changes so here’s my quick step guide to reduce the backlash.

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Juggling a Family and a Tech Business Start-Up

Published 29th January 2013 By Ric Chapman
Tech Business Start-Up

This article is a long past due follow up to Juggling a Day Job and a Tech Business Start-Up from way back in March and this write up has really been playing on my mind since posting that article which touched on how our real lives affect and attribute to the way we start and grow our businesses. Your day job obviously plays a huge part in how you run and manage your business day to day but nothing comes close to the part your family and loved ones play in shaping it now and in the future.

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My Guide to Staying Mobile as a Computer Technician – Part 2

Published 24th January 2013 By Ric Chapman
ric-mobile-kit

Staying mobile isn’t easy. But hopefully my previous article may have opened up some doors or at the very least provided you with some ideas to keep yourself out and about a bit more. The concept of staying mobile will allow you to concentrate more on everything important to you. To help you picture my scenario in a little more detail I wanted to cover the hardware and software I utilize everyday, this is everything I use to keep myself out of the office whilst remaining fully productive in all areas of my life.

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My Guide to Staying Mobile as a Computer Technician – Part 1

Published 22nd January 2013 By Ric Chapman
staying-mobile

My business and simply the way I work has changed dramatically over the past 12 months. To give a very brief overview of my current situation, I have a job involving 4 key sites and a number of ad-hoc locations, a business which looks after a number of residential and business customers, and I like to write, like I am right now. I also enjoy time with my friends and family and try my best to make that time available. In all no easy feat. But the past year has seen me develop my working habits to the point that I’ve completely moved away from my office locations and become almost completely mobile. This is how I do it, and more importantly, how I keep on top of my work.

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