Posted By: Henry Conrad on 8:23 PM
If you haven’t made your business checklist yet, January is the best time of the year to make that list and check it twice.
Just to give an example, this is your Check One: Business should be up and running before the New Year starts. As this is already happening - complete with the Ring Central virtual office services, your very own Facebook and Twitter accounts, your very own office numbers – what should you do next to keep the momentum?
Check Two: Focus on your business. This is common sense, really, but nowadays common sense is uncommon. It’s very easy to use technology to be able to focus.
For instance, cut the paper and pen processes that leave you overwhelmed. Aside from helping the environment, using technology to keep track of your sales and inventory is a no-brainer.
You might have the vision for a business model that screams “now!” but make sure that your processes match your operations. Using technology allows you to focus on what you really need to do in your business.
You will not be able to achieve your proof of concept if you keep thinking of what forms to fill out and file. This is prone to errors, not to mention inefficient.
What you can do, despite lacking IT skills as well as the additional budget to hire an IT professional, is to get a fast desktop operating system, the foundation of your computer use; office tools like Microsoft Office, Google Docs, or OpenOffice.org; and a reliable browser like Google Chrome.
Maximize the software at hand, use spreadsheets for monitoring and inventory, and sales tracking. The email program, on the other hand, should be used to the fullest to easily keep in touch with both customers and suppliers as well as to process orders.
In short, focus on your business by relieving yourself from manual processes, by exploring the simplest of technologies that are readily available.
Check Three: Back up. There’s nothing more devastating than losing your life’s work in cyberspace, never to be seen again.
Be aware of the benefits of cloud computing. Or at least know which among those who offer file-syncing services are the best.
Consider Amazon’s Cloud Drive, it’s free for 5GB of space for your files; Dropbox, which offers 2GB also with your free account, as well as an additional 500MB for every user referral who actually signs up; and IDrive Sync that again also offers 5GB of space with a free account.
Of course you can also get bigger space, just be sure to have the money to pay for monthly or annual fees.
When you sync and back up using online tools, you don’t need to invest anymore in USB flash drives, CDs, external drives, or any other file storage device. You can also stop sending emails to yourself just make sure you don’t lose a file.
While syncing and backing up are concepts that all people understand and know to be important, these are somehow overlooked and perhaps forgotten to implement.
Save tears and heartache in the future by backing up your files now.
If you’re using Gmail for your emails you can also save your documents online and even share them with other key business personnel. The file owner can even choose who among the members can alter the file, or just look.
These are simple technologies that will help you achieve your business goals this year. Go ahead and follow them.
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