it challanges

These days, technology has come to play a major fundamental role in the success or failure of most businesses. Gone are the ancient, obsolete ways and poor systems of operating and running a business. It’s hard to keep up with the changes, even as an IT Professional, but if you don’t embrace these new technologies, then you’ll have a hard time staying competitive on the market.

For instance, thanks to the Internet many businesses have been able to outsource their customer service operations to foreign virtual assistants who have been able to handle customer relationship issues seamlessly for these firms while they concentrate on other core areas of operations.

Thanks to mobile technologies, communication lines in business transactions have become faster and much easier. Today’s business deals have been initiated and concluded at a much faster pace.

Take a look at Cloud Computing, which could yield countless benefits as long as it’s implemented properly and it can greatly reduce IT complexity.

The cost of modern technologies.

Research has shown that despite the numerous advantages, technology and IT solutions tend to offer small and medium sized businesses over their competition, many business owners often drawback from using them whenever they think about the costs of acquiring these technological products for their businesses. Other challenges they often face include know how – the knowledge and ability to pick and use the right technical solutions for their business and security. Read more

server room

The recent Snowden leeks about the National Security Agency (NSA) where we had learned of widespread spying and the weakening of encryption implementations has shown that data or information stored online or still in transit are more vulnerable to attacks.

This vital revelation has forced some firms involved in the business of data storage, privacy and secrecy online to rethink their systems and methods for protecting data from state-sponsored groups and hackers.

You can reduce these types of data security issues or even avoid them completely by staying away from online data storage service providers and bring your IT solutions in-house. However, you can only do this successfully by investing on dedicated in-house IT equipments. The budget required to set up this kind of in-house IT infrastructures are usually beyond the financial capacity of most small business owners. Moreover, the resources required to design these types of solutions are often enterprise or medium-sized installations which might not augur well if you intend to set up a small server room or closet for a branch office.

However, setting up your server room is not rocket science because when you understand the basics, you’ll definitely find it much easier to set up one.  Here are six simple steps to help you get started. Read more

virtual technology in business

Virtualization, is simply creating a virtual version of  something, including but not limited to a virtual hardware platform, storage  device, operating system or network resources. It’s often regarded as a very complex and expensive task that’s absolutely beyond the reach of small business owners which is not true.

There are several benefits small businesses can get from virtualization which includes cost reductions and effective IT systems. There are several options available on the market like the VMware Workstation and Oracle’s VirtualBox – these companies have successfully placed virtualization technologies within the financial capacity of many small business owners. Read more

network security

These days, many small businesses still tend to neglect the IT angles to their businesses because they think protecting and servicing their IT  infrastructures usually requires a very big budget in addition to the manpower needed to run them.

This is why these types of small organizations are usually easy preys – an attraction for hackers and other form of cyber attacks as shown in several surveys carried out in 2013.
There are several security measures and controls within the IT tools you already own that can easily be used to protect your business network if only you know how to use them effectively. Read more

payroll software for small business

For any small business to succeed, they must keep track of their finances on a frequent basis, as well as completing a number of administrative tasks which pertain to payroll, tax returns, and salary information. There are a number of different payroll software programs available for small business, with the objective of keeping financial operations running smoothly. Here are some of the best.

1. AccountEdge

AccountEdge is a popular software program for the administration of payroll in your small business. The cost of the program is $299 if you are using the software for the first time, or $159 if you are upgrading existing software.

You are able to calculate the income of your business by using a number of handy tools from within the interface of the software, which is easy to navigate around, and designed well, with clearly-labelled menus, and an easy-to-understand help page.

You can calculate expenses and deductions in AccountEdge, and also set up a new pay rate for your employees, edit their personal information, and print or email pay slips. The program is also extremely beneficial in helping you to keep track of your employees’ vacation or sick days, and provides time sheets, as well as information from previous years’ payroll, ideal if either you or one of your employees has a query about payment or tax information.

The program is easy to install and is one of the most frequently-used pieces of software for employee payroll used in small businesses.

2. QuickBooks

QuickBooks is a software program developed by Intuit Inc., and features a number of different options for managing payroll in your business, including an option to conduct your financial affairs directly online. There are five payroll options in total, ranging in price between $100 and $600, enabling you to choose a bespoke package based on the requirements of your company.

You will be able to organize your income and outgoings using a number of effective tools, and create easy-to-read and personalized invoices and memos for other members of staff. You can view customer information, online banking, and information about your employees directly from the interface of the program, which is easy to download and install on your computer.

QuickBooks Premier is an upgrade which allows you to control the profitability of the business, as well as comparing and contrasting sales data, and viewing and printing specific job reports.

3. Simply Accounting Pro

Simply Accounting Pro is a piece of software developed by Sage, featuring tools for book-keeping, payroll functions, and banking, as well as tools which will allow you to write and deliver checks and pay slips, and keep track of in-house sales data.

The program is ideal for any small business, and Sage provides dedicated customer service support for any individual who has a technical question or any other query on how to make the most out of the numerous features of this piece of software. You will be able to calculate basic tax information for all your employees, whether they are working on a full-time, or part-time basis and keep an accurate record of the day-to-day operations of the company.

If you handle your own human resources information in-house, you will be able to set up a new profile for each one of your employees from within the easy-to-use interface, and add relevant information, such as details about when an employee started or finished working for you.

You will be able modify the names or status of employees from within the program with ease, and once you have made your financial calculations for the month, you can print a check to give to your employee and keep all other information safe until it is required by the IRS.

4. GnuCash

GnuCash is a free, open-source software platform which allows you to manage your business by updating and inputting payroll data, financial reports, sales information, and inventories, all from the comfort of your own desk.

The program has numerous features, and is also available as an app for Android devices, enabling you to control the finances of your small business on the go. Here you can view your expenses, income, assets, and equity, and then save any information from your device to Google Drive, Dropbox, or SkyDrive. Both the app and the desktop program are easy to navigate around, with a simple color scheme and effective navigation menus.