Forbes.com recently published a list of Tech Solutions for 5 Common Small-Business Problems. Well, NSI is a small business, and we have problems just like anyone else. Sure, we provide IT Support to thousands of businesses throughout New England, but technology is a broad term and we are consumers of tech, just like you.
The Forbes list focuses on five areas of concern for small business owners:
1) Being away from the office
2) Keeping your finger on the pulse
3) Lack of resources for IT
4) Lost or stolen smartphones
5) The cost of meetings (employees/customer/vendor)
These are challenges any business owner would improve upon, if they could. Here are the tools NSI uses to address these five business issues:
ONE: Time away from the office. This is a double-edged sword. Most likely, the reason you are away is to further the success of your business. However, being unavailable to employees, customers, and vendors can be stressful. We use Microsoft Exchange, with Outlook Web Access (OWA). This allows me to receive my email seamlessly on my smartphone and tablet. Additionally, I can log in to my email account from any computer with internet access and gain full functionality with all the bells and whistles, as if I were at my desk in the office.
TWO: Keeping up to date with what’s going on: sales and marketing. Salesforce.com, Hubspot, and Google provide reports that cover most of this, and we recently migrated from FRx to Management Reporter, which pulls data from Microsoft Dynamics GP. Each one of these reporting solutions is a blog post in itself. If you are considering any of these solutions, you can contact me for more information, and we can give you my experience and answer any questions you may have.
THREE: Access to up-to-date, accurate information for sales and service. NSI uses DropBox to share updated technical brochures and sales material with our employees who are on the road. With a service area from Northern New Jersey / NY up to Bangor Maine, it can be a challenge to keep current information in the hands of our road warriors. Cloud storage to the rescue. Additionally, NSI uses its own BDR Zoom Box solution for data backup and recovery. NOTE: If you are not 100% on top of your data, PLEASE consider a consultation to find out what the best solution is for you. There are options to fit your budget. Click here if you think it might be time to get control of this area of your business, or at least discover what is available. This may also be of interest to you: NSI-Virtual CIO
FOUR: “I lost my iPhone”. NSI deploys smartphones with encryption and utilizes Find my iPhone which has recovered several devices in the last year, alone. Mobile Security is a hot topic, and we need to be vigilant in our process for managing our fleet of smartphones.
FIVE: Meetings, and travel expenses. NSI began using a free conference call service a couple of years ago, freeconferencecall.com, anticipating that it would eventually be not so free. But to our surprise, the service is reliable, easy to use, and is still available at no cost. Additionally, it allowed us to cut back on the number of toll free phone numbers we needed.