Ease The Load – Don’t Take On These Business Tasks Yourself!

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Many solopreneurs and small business operators try to do far too much themselves. Handling business tasks without hiring someone can feel more practical sometimes. After all, it saves you money and can be convenient. But while it’s easy to handle things like cleaning and admin work, some jobs should be left to the experts.

There are certain daily business functions you should never try to take on yourself. Although it’s possible, it can cause you a lot of stress. It can also prevent your business from reaching its potential if you can’t handle them as well as an experienced professional. When it comes to these tasks, you should try and ease the load.

Accounting

Every business needs to keep track of their financial matters. Small business owners might find it easy at first to track all their incoming and outgoing funds. But as your company grows, you’ll find it much harder to manage finances on top of everything else.

It’s much wiser to have an accountant to help your business with these matters. Although you’ll need to pay, they can help identify financial patterns and bring in more money. It also eases the load for you a great deal- finances can be stressful!

Having a financial expert on hand is also invaluable when it comes to filing taxes. A mistake can cost you a lot.

Information Technology

IT is one of the most vital operations for every business. You need your computer and network to be up and running at all times. But these things are prone to error. While it’s easy to fix certain problems yourself, it’s much better to have an expert on hand in other cases.

Many businesses benefit from using managed IT services. Many companies can help with all your technology needs, such as ProviDyn. You can run your business with much more efficiency and have peace of mind you have computer experts to call on.

Having the help of IT professionals is ideal for keeping all your technology running smoothly. It’ll also help make your business fit for the 21st century. They can assist you in implementing technology such as cloud computing and disaster recovery. These things can improve your company’s performance massively.

Employment And Staffing

Small businesses need to take care of all their employees and staffing issues. It may be easy to recruit the right people and put them to work at first. But as your company develops, it’s something that you’ll want help with.

There are many professionals and services which can assist you. You may want to use a recruitment firm to fill important roles. Having an in-house HR manager can help with many things. Human resources staff can handle the whole hiring process as well as staffing issues. They can also assist with employee training and satisfaction.

Legal Matters

You might know the fundamental laws and legislations when it comes to business. But there’s so much more to consider. From health and safety to employment laws, accidentally breaking one of these can cripple your business.

Make sure you find a law firm specializing in business. Enlisting the help of a business lawyer can ease the load for you when it comes to legal matters. They can give you advice on handling everything in your business. They can also help prevent any costly legal battles for you.

Avoid Manufacturing Trouble with Bad System Backups

securityTypically, system backups are thought of as pertaining to computer systems in corporate offices and data systems.

But manufacturing companies need to know that system backups are just as important to manufacturing companies – if not more so – than corporate offices.

In the manufacturing and warehouse environment, where reliable and efficient systems are critical, the slightest power outage can result in hours lost while employees handle the outage and equipment is repaired. In worse-case scenarios, human injury could result due to jammed machinery.

A second result of full or intermittent system failure is loss of climate control or lighting. In industries such as food-handling, frozen food products could thaw, making them susceptible to bacteria.

Lighting failure can lead to workplace accidents, where heavy machinery is in use and can’t be safely navigated around human workers in dim lighting.

 

 

Costly Interruptions Need to Be Avoided

Manufacturing owners know that any loss in productivity for any reason is a costly interruption that has far reaching ramifications. When products don’t come off the assembly lines in time for outgoing shippers, customers don’t receive their orders on time.

Delays in manufacturing lead to backorders, and purchase orders can’t be fully processed until the backorders are reconciled. Eventually, the cost of a system failure makes its way down the line until it winds up appearing on a P&L sheet in red.

As the following article looks at, the main point of what manufacturing companies need to know about system backups is that they are not optional if manufacturing and warehouse companies want to stay in business for the long term.

Standby power systems exist that are heavy-duty enough to work for manufacturing companies. They can be linked in to one or more manufacturing systems, and are customizable to suit the needs of any size manufacturer.

 

Importance of Risk Assessment Tools

Owners can even have access to risk assessment tools that can help them to analyze their ROI when deciding what size and what kind of system backup to invest in.

In addition to sizes, owners can decide between different fuel sources for their system backup.

It’s generally advisable to opt for a different fuel than the primary one used to power the manufacturing plant.

This makes sense because if one power source is down, it may be because there is an external problem in the regional power grid. If that is the case, the problem would affect the backup system as well, unless the backup system ran on an alternative fuel supply.

For example, if the plant runs on electricity (and water to keep machinery cool), the backup system could run on an independent fuel, such as a propane or diesel tank, or natural gas.

It’s easier than one might think to install a system backup for a manufacturing or warehouse facility.

Rather than risk millions of dollars in lost revenue, it’s worth it to take steps now to insure the company investment with a solid backup system.

About the Author: Kate Supino writes extensively about best business practices.

Is Healthcare I.T. Healthy Going Into 2016?

patient_recordAs 2016 comes on the horizon, healthcare provider organizations should look to the past to prepare for the future.

A careful review is needed of IT solutions that have worked, with an objective analysis of why certain things didn’t work.

Healthcare provider organizations such as clinics, hospitals and emergency centers are facing an uphill battle when it comes to balancing the needs of their patients with the stark realities of remaining profitable, with the compliance requirements that will allow them to remain in business.

Patient Needs

Patient needs always have to come first with any healthcare provider.

After all, health or sickness management is the end product that healthcare organizations are providing. Patients can now look forward to better records management and records accessibility, thanks to some IT solutions that handle electronic health records.

Electronic health records, sanctioned by oversight bodies, make it possible for healthcare providers to keep up to date records on patients that are accessible by everyone who needs to have access to them.

This includes everyone from appointment setters, social workers, primary physicians and specialists. Electronic health records have gone a long way toward improving patient care by eliminating the possibilities of outdated information being used to prescribe medications or treatments.

Electronic health records also make information available immediately, especially when specialists need to be consulted.

With electronic health records, a specialist on the other side of the country can provide instantaneous consultation services to a primary care physician operating within a time constrained emergency situation.

In this “Expert Interview Series: Gary Hobbs on Healthcare IT,” additional pros of EHRs are discussed.

Remaining Profitable

Healthcare organizations have better opportunities than ever before to remain profitable in 2016 and beyond.

With the emergence of better outsourced IT departments, healthcare organizations no longer will need to set up and maintain a separate IT department on their own.

Outsourcing this expensive yet crucial department will allow more funding for other items, such as equipment, services and specialized departments like maternity wings or cancer treatment centers on-site.

Electronic health records will help keep insurance and legal costs in control since fewer mistakes will be made, and there will be more checks and balances within the system.

Staying in Compliance

Staying in compliance will be more natural and effortless than ever before.

With more and more systems being digitized, there will be better record-keeping, better patient care management, and more opportunities for the healthcare organization to prove that they are operating within the standards set by compliance oversight organizations.

All three of these factors, patient needs, profit, and staying in compliance, will continue to play a critical role in the success or failure of the future face of healthcare.

About the Author: Kate Supino writes extensively about best business practices.

Your I.T. Department is More Important Than Ever

IT_expertFor decades, they’ve been unsung heroes. But as technology and the internet become essential for businesses to succeed, your company’s I.T. department is more important than ever.

The men and women that make up your information technology team don’t just troubleshoot your printer issues or pester you with emails about making sure you use secure passwords.

They’re vital players in the future of your company and here are some of the reasons why:

Increased Efficiency

An organized and streamlined I.T. department can provide the stable bedrock that enables other parts of your company to work to their fullest potential. When employees can rely on smoothly operating systems and don’t feel bogged down by “tech issues,” the whole company benefits.

Likewise, I.T. experts worth their salt are constantly problem-solving. They’ll be on the lookout for solutions, recommending products or new technology that can meet your company’s needs.

Agility

As so many companies rely on the internet and mobile devices to grow their business, disruption seems to be the name of the game.

The question isn’t so much “can my I.T. department keep up?” as much as it should be “Can my I.T. department stay ahead?” An I.T. staff’s commitment to agility and flexibility can make or break a business.

Creative Solutions

As the article “Super Manager! Getting the Most Out of Your IT Department” points out, it’s important to be open to the possibility of your IT team being innovators.

While it’s common for companies to silo their departments, you may pay a higher price if you dismiss your IT people as merely tech troubleshooters.

If for example, your company is launching an online shop for the first time, it may be advantageous to include your I.T. team in the early stages of that creative and strategic process.

Someone in the marketing department may not even realize what people like web developers are capable of building until they sit down and work together.

Security

Companies typically welcome media exposure, but no company wants to make headlines because of a high-profile hack.

From Ashley Madison to Target, no business is too big to fail when it comes security.

These breaches leave your customer data at risk and on the public relations front; can create a general feeling of distrust toward your business’s overall competence.

Your I.T. department should be part of the security front lines. A skillful team will be able to guard against threats, educate staff about protecting themselves, and anticipate future problems.

Backup

While outside hackers may seem like the scariest threat to your business’s information, there’s always the possibility of sabotage from within.

From spilling coffee all over a laptop keyboard to accidentally deleting a year’s worth of reports, there are countless situations in the modern workplace that call for backing up data.

Your information technology team can make sure that all isn’t lost in such moments.

And while you may not understand the ins and outs of cloud-based storage, smart I.T. specialists should, and will be able to integrate new technologies into current practices.

For all of these reasons, it’s clear that the humans behind your I.T. department are more important than ever especially as customers and companies take their business online.

About the Author: Kristin Livingstone writes on a variety of topics including online business and information technology.

Are Your I.T. Folks the Best Trained?

IT_expertHow well prepared are your IT staff members?

As well as dealing with problems with IT equipment or software, your IT folks also need to be prepared for new technology as your business adopts it. Well trained IT staff is a must for your business.

So just why is training your IT staff so important, and what steps can be taken to make sure your IT folks are the best trained?

Train Your IT Staff and Boost Your Business

Your IT staff is a valuable business asset. From keeping things running smoothly to helping with the adoption of new technology, your IT staff can make a real difference to your business. Lack of knowledge or training can lead to frustrated staff and difficulties with existing and new IT technology business-wide.

Business IT is changing. From the Cloud to VoIP phone systems, many businesses are finding their IT needs changing more rapidly than before.

For example, your IT staff might need training in:

  • Cloud technology;
  • VoIP and SIP trunking;
  • Big data;
  • New CRM systems;
  • Cyber security.

Your IT staff is key to implementing any changes and smoothing over the inevitable bumps in the road as new technologies are adopted. Well trained staff is better-placed to work with systems old and new, and provide a knowledgeable point of contact for the rest of your staff.

Investing in Your IT Staff

Investing in your IT staff is an investment in your business. Offering training and education creates loyalty, showing your staff that you value their contribution to your business and want them to succeed.

As well as creating loyalty and good will between you and your staff, proper training lets your staff know that there are options for them to learn and grow within your business.

It’s common among business owners to fear that training staff will encourage them to use their new skills elsewhere, but in fact staff is more likely to look for opportunities to apply their new skills to their current role.

Creating a Training Plan

As the article “What Training Do Your IT Networking Folks Need Next?” says, your training priorities will depend on your current IT environment and your organization’s needs. Before you can decide what training is most pressing, you’ll need to take a look at where your business is, and where it’s going.

Think about your current IT. What needs upgrading or updating? What is causing you the most problems? How about new technology? Is your business ready for the Cloud, or looking for more data-based insights?

Once you know what your aims are, you can narrow your focus and discover your most pressing IT training needs.

Training Options

Depending on your needs and budget, you’ll find there are plenty of different training options available.

You might investigate:

  • In-house training from a knowledgeable staff member;
  • Instructor-led training from an outside company;
  • Group training sessions;
  • Trade shows or expos;
  • Online training or e learning;
  • Training videos.

Your best training option will depend not only on your budget, but on the complexity of the topic at hand, your staff’s current level of knowledge, and the kind of training that will fit best around current workloads.

Keeping your IT staff well trained will help them to work more effectively, as well as making the transition to new technologies smoother.

An investment in your IT staff is an investment in the future of your business.

About the Author: Tristan Anwyn is an author who writes on a range of topics including social media, SEO that works, and how to train your IT staff.

Is a Career Change in the Cards?

are_you_readyChanging careers can be an exciting but scary prospect.

If you have been feeling burned out at your current occupation, it may be time for a change to give you that excitement for your career. However, you may not want to start all over back at entry-level in your new career either for pay or for responsibility.

The key is to consider industries that hire people changing careers and utilize their current knowledge in a new way.

Consulting

Consultants are in high demand, especially from companies that are seeking to grow and expand. Use the knowledge you have gained in your previous field to help others. This is an ideal career choice if you once loved your job but were tired of some aspects.

Your knowledge comes at a good price, especially if you were in a management role or other high-level position.

Information Technology

As the following article shows, another of the industries that hire people making a career change is computer and network security or information technology. You often don’t need a special degree since many departments prefer to train you on their own.

A background working with computers, especially if you know a little coding, could be enough to get your foot in the door.

Even though you may start out in a lower position, you often see higher salaries because of the industry. It is easy to promote up in the ranks if you have good basic skills and learn quickly.

Online Media and Marketing

If you have a background that is compatible, you will find a wealth of jobs in this industry. From journalism to advertising to public relations to web design, there are many aspects of your former career that can give you the edge over the competition.

The key with this industry is to look for an online version of your prior job.

For example, you can find jobs in IT management working from a remote location. If you worked in sales, transfer that knowledge to internet marketing.

Teaching

More people are involved in virtual learning than ever before. This allows you to use your background to teach others online.

Traditional colleges offer online classes and often look for teachers dedicated to that aspect rather than having one teacher manage both physical and virtual classrooms.

Other educational sites hire people to write and teach courses as part of programs they offer to businesses.

The subjects are vast and can be generalized like how to be a good manager, or they may be specific to an industry. You often can set your own hours and work as much or as little as you want.

Making the Change

Before you quit your job, find out what options are available in a new career. Consider using some of what you have been doing in your current job to give you an advantage over others. Don’t forget to consider volunteer experience as well as your previous career.

It’s never too late to find a job that you love, so don’t hesitate to switch careers.

Just make a game plan and know where you are going.

About the Author: Joyce Morse is an author who writes on a variety of topics, including business and careers.

Is an IT Service Broker a Good Call for Your Business?

ITCould your business benefit from an IT broker? Or to take a step back, what is an IT broker anyway?

If you want to find the best IT solutions for your business, an IT broker can help you to do just that, by listening to your needs and helping you to find a solution that meets them.

What is an IT Broker?

You can think of an IT broker as just like an estate agent or a stock broker, but for IT services instead of houses or stocks.

An IT broker will work with you to assess the IT needs of your business, and find you the best possible solution to match both your needs and your budget.

IT brokers can help you to find everything from Cloud services to software as a service to big data solutions. Whatever the IT needs of your business, a broker can work with you to find what you need.

A good IT broker is familiar with the different IT solutions available to you, and where you can source those solutions, making them well placed to advise you on which one is best for you.

What Are the Advantages of Using an IT Broker?

An IT broker can be really helpful to your organization when you’re looking for IT solutions.

Using an IT broker offers three main advantages:

  • Their in-depth knowledge of your industry and the services available means that they can offer solutions you might not have considered, and can give you a wealth of knowledge that would have cost you valuable hours in research and learning;
  • They can work with a range of vendors to negotiate the best prices for you, including bundling different options together to make you savings;
  • They can arrange to get your new IT options up and running quickly and with no hassle for you.

Using an IT broker takes the IT stress off your shoulders, allowing you to focus on your business while still getting the IT solutions you need.

Do I Need an IT Broker?

You might be wondering if you need an IT broker for your business. The chances are you won’t need one in every instance where you need an IT solution, but there are some situations where an IT broker is a definite advantage.

The article “What is An IT Service Broker and Do You Need One” gives the example of those times when you need a solid IT infrastructure quickly but you don’t have the right tech staff, or the time to hire them.

In other words, if you need an IT solution but you also need specialist knowledge to help you find that solution, an IT broker can help you.

An IT broker can also help you if you are choosing between several different options to meet your IT needs, for example the decision between moving all your business communications to the Cloud or using a hybrid Cloud.

When choosing your IT broker, do be sure to look for a broker who has plenty of experience in both your industry and with your size of company, and who will offer you a wide range of options rather than pushing the services of one vendor in particular.

If finding the right IT solutions seems confusing, complicated and time-consuming, the services of an IT broker could be a valuable investment for your business.

An IT broker can source the best IT solutions to meet both your needs and your budget, helping your business to run effectively and grow strong.

About the Author: Tristan Anwyn is an author who writes on topics including social media, SEO that works, and finding the right IT solutions for your small business.