Bleep, click… *Blank Screen* What just happened?
Tech trouble with your computer system, cell phone service or other tech devices can be an annoying, expensive and a waste of time. There are many ways that you can implement technology and help your company grow, but as a small business owner, you may not be able to afford an IT professional who can help you with or fix every little problem you encounter. Luckily, many of the most common tech issues you may encounter are simple enough that you can learn to solve them yourself. These tips will correct these little problems and get back to work building your business.
Data and Storage
In the past, keeping your files in order was a difficult task. If your company had high storage requirements, you may have needed any number of machines just to keep the files in order—and if your storage broke, you could lose it all. Now, there are a number of options available for cloud storage that makes it simple and cost effective to keep your files at hand. Cloud computing is becoming much more mainstream. According to a Neovise report, 54 percent of organizations are already using public or private clouds. The increased use of the technology means that it is becoming easier than ever to get started.
For basic users who just need to store a few files here and there, Dropbox may be the best choice. While it is targeted at consumers rather than businesses, it can be an affordable (or even free) way to dip your toes in the world of cloud computing. Those who have more extensive storage needs may want a more powerful cloud service such as Just Cloud, which has one of the more affordable unlimited storage plans out there.
Whether for your computer system or the business smartphone, security is important. There are a number of solutions available now that make security easy enough for anyone to add a level of security to nearly any device. An antivirus program can help prevent your computer from becoming infected with a virus designed to cause system failure. A malware removal tool, on the other hand, may be necessary for getting rid of software bundled together that can nearly take over your computer.
One option for the computer is the Avast! Security System. The basic, free program includes virus protection and can prevent you from accessing dangerous files on the web. However, there is an advanced service available too for $49.99 per year. It provides features like a firewall, malware protection and added security when you are accessing secure websites such as your bank or credit card company.
Depending on your smartphone system, you may have a number of options available that can protect your data or prevent viruses from corrupting your smartphone too. If you use your computer or smartphone for business banking—even doing something as simple as locating the best small business credit card—you need to take all the precautions you possibly can to assure your data is not compromised. While there are specialized options available depending on your phone’s operating system, the McAfee Security System is available on all major systems. The download is free, and service starts at $29.99 per year.
Basic Computer Issues
From a computer running more slowly than usual to a battery that does not seem to hold a charge, it is easier than ever for “non-techies” to fix computer problems. Nearly every computer manufacturer offers an online tech support database that can help you work through common issues. For advanced help, you can turn to the same place you watch funny cat clips or the latest Lady Gaga Video—Youtube. Youtube users have created literally thousands of videos that can help you work through even the most complex computer problem.
Another option for the “non-tech savvy” is subscribing to a tech support program such as Rescuecom. You subscribe to one of these services and essentially have a tech support team at your fingertips. One of the experts can help you by phone or remotely for many problems, and when necessary you may have to bring your computer in, or have an IT specialist come to your office to take care of more complex matters. This is a good solution for the small business person who has little computer repair knowledge and cannot afford to be without a computer when tech issues arise.
While having your own IT staff could make life a bit easier, it is possible to take control of these situations and handle them yourself. Who knows, once you take control of your small business’s computer system and other devices, you may discover you have a knack for tech!