Spiceworks for Managed Service Providers?

Published 1st April 2013 By Ric Chapman

I’m often asked from members of Technibble about my choice of platform when it comes to my managed services. The answer is often a cause of concern, confusion and more commonly surprise. Spiceworks, really? Really, I’ve implemented Spiceworks on a number of fronts over the last 12 to 18 months having run a number of successful trials within my own business and I don’t see that I’ll change my plans anytime soon. Spiceworks has its faults, but this cost efficient and robust platform can no longer be ignored as a potentially strong Managed Service Provider offering.

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Technician Supply Resources

Published 26th March 2013 By Micah Lahren

Whether you’re just starting up in the technician industry or have been a tech for years, having reputable technician supply resources that are cost effective is one of the most important parts of managing your business. There are hundreds, if not thousands of retail stores and online merchants who offer cables, hardware, and other supplies at a variety of price ranges. How can you be sure you’re getting the best prices and the best quality service from suppliers?

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Top Ten Business Tips for Techs

Published 22nd March 2013 By Micah Lahren
business tips for techs

We all have our strengths and weaknesses when it comes to business practices. Perhaps we’re great with the actual work itself, but the paperwork aspect suffers. Or perhaps we’re great with paperwork but our customer service leaves something to be desired. Then there are those who are organized and seem to have everything else going for them, but they can’t seem to streamline their work processes. Here are the top ten business tips for Techs to help stay on track with all aspects of the Tech industry.

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From Technician to Coder: An Interview with Sharepoint Developer Andrew DiCosmo

Published 20th March 2013 By Derrick Wlodarz

It’s safe to assume that a clear majority of the technicians on Technibble are devoted to computer repair and networking. But I’m also certain that some of you may have growing interest in other segments of technology consulting, such as software development. For those of you out there that have either dabbled in coding or are actively considering jumping feet first into software development, I had the chance recently to speak with industry colleague and Sharepoint Development specialist Andrew DiCosmo.

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Effective Marketing with Proven Results for Techs

Published 15th March 2013 By Micah Lahren

You may have used Craigslist, Facebook, Twitter, Classified Ads, newspaper ads, radio ads, and more, but just can’t seem to bring in as many clients as you would like to see. Many swear by certain advertising methods, but what has been proven to be effective marketing for Techs? Flyers? Signage? Internet advertisements? I’ve seen proven results for 3 specific marketing methods, which I’ll go into in a moment. However, before I discuss what methods worked for me, let’s take a moment and look at our marketing environment.

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Dealing with Troublesome Clients

Published 11th March 2013 By Micah Lahren
Troublesome Clients

You can see them come through your entrance and you grimace. It’s ‘that troublesome client’ again. You performed virus removal services and they reinstalled the malware immediately upon returning home, and then blame you when they start having problems again. Perhaps it was deliberate, perhaps it was that pink elephant bubble shooting game they just couldn’t live without, but you’re apparently to blame for what happened. It keeps happening. How do you deal with troublesome clients?

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Assistive Technology Solutions for Your Clients

Published 6th March 2013 By Micah Lahren
Assisstive Technology

Most of your clients probably have no real difficulty using a computer, but for those with disabilities such as the advanced stages of Parkinson’s, poor vision, or motor control, it can be a real challenge. How can you assist these clients to boost their efficiency with computers, and reduce the potential for frustration? Assistive Technology is the solution, but how can it be implemented?

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Managing Work Load – Part 4 Prioritize

Published 5th March 2013 By Ric Chapman
prioritize managing work load

Without To-do lists I’d be in trouble. I mean serious trouble. They permeate every waking moment of my life and serve to keep me focused and on track day to day. The nature of the business means we’re looking after numerous amounts of customers, who in turn have numerous issues and they come to our businesses that require numerous administrative tasks to keep them running, with a life outside of work vying for attention. I think I’m making my point. Lots to do, coming in from every direction. Without my carefully crafted to-do’s I’d forget, delay, procrastinate and probably have no job/business to speak of. That is of course unless you’re some kind of super-genius, in which case my feebly constructed sentences are probably highly annoying to you. But if you’re a normal human-being like me, please keep reading.

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Managing Work Load – Part 3 Eliminate Time Wasters

Published 28th February 2013 By Ric Chapman
Time Waster

As an owner of a Computer Repair Business I soon discovered that time wasters can come in many forms. Time wasters are effectively people or things that give a very low amount of benefit or return, in comparison to your time spent. The problem is so pervasive that you’ll have already thought of something or someone that drains your precious time away. Usually we think of an individual. There’s always a friend, family member, supplier or customer we know we’re probably better off avoiding where possible. Few realize that a few or many of things we do throughout our day have the tendency to suck up those precious minutes and possibly hours for very little gain. Today we try to understand and identify some of the changes that you can make to reclaim that time and put it back into areas of your life deserving of your attention.

In the early days of Facebook I could easily obliterate hours of my life everyday digging around my friends and family profiles. Whilst I felt a lot more informed about my own social network it soon becomes clear that knowing what my auntie had cooked for dinner that evening really wasn’t one of things I absolutely needed to know. Thankfully Facebook have introduced updates to give a clearer view on what’s important to me and glancing it over every evening now takes a mere few seconds. To avoid more time wasting behavior I’ll forego the Facebook site completely where possible, choosing to check my wall via my phone or tablet app whilst on the move, most likely when I’m stuck in a queue, such as at the bank. This is one simple example of how I took a time wasting influence in my life and adjusted it slightly to avoid it having such high impact. All things in moderation is a good manta to follow.

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Managing Work Load – Part 2 Develop Routines & Habits

Published 26th February 2013 By Ric Chapman
Managing Work Load 2

Typically, in most lines of work, we have jobs that need to be done on a daily, weekly or monthly basis. These jobs can relate to anything such as a daily backup tape swap, a monthly meeting, server and workstation health checks or cleaning your bathrooms. For the first year of business this wasn’t a big deal, I did these repetitive tasks as and when I could fit them into any spare moments I had available, which at that time, were plentiful. A few years on, things are much busier and my free time is somewhat erratic. Squeezing in those jobs just wasn’t a feasible option, things got missed, messed up or completely forgotten. This can quickly lead to bad support performance and an exceptional level of stress.

After a little more time concentrating on this issue, I found that getting these tasks down to a tighter and much more strict schedule helped to save me time and clear my mind to focus on more important work. Off the back of creating a tighter schedule you’ll automatically develop most of them into habits, over time you’ll find yourself doing all these things without much thought further increasing your performance and productivity.

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