As Christmas approaches your thoughts turn to family, shopping, turkey, staff parties, drink, food and some more turkey, and so they should!
You maybe thinking about your plans for the business in the new year, but that can wait till after New Years Day or Hogmanay as we say in Edinburgh.
So here is my top five things you should be doing next year for your small or medium sized business, or at the very least aware of them…
I could write an entire post and then some on this subject so the four key points to this topic are..
What are blogs?
They are simply web pages that are posted to the web in a journal or log format, with the latest post at the top of the page. They are easily published and maintained by people with all sorts of computing ability. Although they are much more than this.
Why I should have a blog for my business?
Your business blog can increase your web presence, sell indirectly to customers, provide an area for customer feed back, write a press release, profile a new customer, upload photos of a new product, provide advice on your industry area and create and capture an audience. Hopefully by reading this post you can understand why they can be important. For more information see link below
Why Business Blogs Are Important
For many businesses blogs remain a mysterious medium
How do I get one?
Sign up for a free account from Wordpess.org and then after a couple of months move it to your company web site is the simple and short answer.
How Do I Start Blogging
Which Blog Top Eight Compared
How do I promote my business blog?
By commenting on other related blogs, promoting other blog sites on your own, through your web site, face to face…
Blog Optimization For Small Business
Successful Blog Launch
Open Source Products
Free software for your business is the bottom line. The term open source is used to describe software which have been developed by the open community, the public. What this basically means is any software developed under an open source licence is free for both personal and business usage. Over the last five years open source increased in popular in both the home and in business, you may already be using an open source product on your computer. Some open source products worth checking out are…Firefox (A browser like Internet Explorer - Highly Recommended), Open Office (MS Office), 7zip (Winzip), Thunderbird (Outlook), GIMP (Photoshop). For more information on open source see good old wikipedia and for software check out Open Source Windows.
Windows Vista, XP replacement
The new version of Microsoft Windows called Vista is gradually being released to the market. In January this version of windows will be standard which replaces Windows XP, your more than likely using Windows XP right now. Only this time they have five different version instead of two at the moment (Windows XP Home and Windows XP Professional).
Now I am not saying you need to rush out and buy a copy today or next year, but if your in the market for a new machine or an upgrade it will pay to know which version you should go for, rather than salesman up selling the wrong version, which you know they will!
Click on the image to zoom in!
Skype - Free Phone Calls
If you have more than one office, work on the road or work closely with other businesses on a daily basis that require constant communication. A service such as Skype (Voice over IP) which allows you to talk using your broadband connection is ideal. You can also send files and text chat with Skype. I would recommend buying a Skype phone (£12 to £60) as it makes it easier to use the service for voice connections.
11 Reasons to use Skype for Business
IT and the Environment - Doing your bit
Think about how you dispose of old IT equipment, energy consumption of these devices and materials they are product from.
Some links for you…
- Tips and Tricks for Recycling Old Computers
- Switch off your PC at night – and other tips for a greener office
- HP, Dell among the “green” computer manufacturers
- PC for Penny-Pinchers and Environmentalists
- IT and the environment - friend or foe?
- IT and Environment Initiative
- Momentum builds for ‘revolution’ to recycle electronic waste
Backup, Backup, Backup - the Online version
Our accountant for example spends a third of her working time at home, round at clients and at her office. So the ideal backup solution for her laptop is an online backup system that automatically runs in the background uploading new and modified files and documents on to the secure server whenever she is connected to the internet. Remember if you over complicate a backup solution then it will fail over time. Always keep your backup solution easy to maintain and simple. Don’t worry about security because all of these professional services encrypt your data so no one else can read it. I can see this being the normally way to backup in the future.
A couple of online backup solutions worth checking out…
https://mozy.com (Well worth checking out! - Free account available!)
PC World - Online Backups
The Carbonite Solution to Online Backups
Introduction to 90 online file storage services
List of Backup Utilities, Online and Desktop
The 12 reasons why UK businesses don’t blog
50 Simple IT Ideas For Increasing Your Business Competitiveness & Productivity
New Skype Avaliable (Beta 3)
How Good Is Your Business Blog Site? (Part One)
90 Web Marketing Ideas and Tips For Small Businesses
Better Photos For Your Web Site