Sunday, August 5, 2007

Small Business & Computers: Can I Hear an “Ugh?”

One of the most unpleasant parts of being a sole proprietor, at least for me, has to be gaining competence at managing computers, software, servers, etc.

Unless you’re already a skilled specialist in tech support, software or database programming, networking solutions, web developing, computer hardware maintenance, or online marketing, you probably spend a significant amount of time trying to figure out what all of the above mean and which solutions will work best for your small business.

If you have little or no fluency in computer language (Don’t understand how to attach a file to an outgoing email? Can’t change your preferences on your desktop?), or you can’t afford the time to manage your tech needs on your own, find an offsite IT solution.

On-call service technicians, think Geek Squad or Rent-A-Geek, exist in most communities. They are often available 24 hours, travel to your location, and, while not inexpensive, they do solve your computer headaches.

Call to inquire about regular rates, emergency rates, average response time, and platform specialties (Mac? Windows? OS?) to find the team that will best meet your business needs and budget.

Then schedule a service call ~ before it’s urgent. By arranging for the technician in advance, you’ll get a chance to witness the company’s response time, professionalism, and skill before your business depends on it.

If you’re a do-it-yourselfer or want to keep yourself versed in technology vocabulary, subscribe to RSS feeds or newsletters related to computer issues. For a resource geared to small business owners, check out the Small Business Computing Channel.

Happy computing!

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