Daily Archives: February 17, 2017

Archive of posts published in the specified Day

Feb
17

9 Steps for Managing Small Business IT

Information Technology has never been more affordable. Small businesses can now take advantage of technology that will help them level the playing field and compete with larger companies, even on a global scale. Yet, the costs for small businesses that compete with you have come down too. How do you use IT to gain a competitive advantage?

Business leads – IT follows

1. Use IT to provide value to your customers

If IT does not add value for your customers, what's the point? Technology should allow you to either, lower costs, provide better customer service, or develop new products and services your customers need. If deploying new technology does not do one of these, do not bother.

2. Do not buy more complexity than you need.

Efficiency is found in simplicity – fewer moving parts. Do not buy feature laden software if simple software gets the job done. However, you should take care to analyze and anticipate your needs so you do not under buy. A good tactic is to plan for a progress of features or capabilities that match your expected growth. Choose software that is easily upgraded and allows you to use your existing data with new versions or modules.

3. Apply technology only if it improves a process

A manual process is often the most efficient. Do not spend 200 man hours implementing a technology that will save you 8 man hours a month. Any technology should also add customer value over and above the manual process.

4. Monitor capacity, performance and health

Do not just set it and forget it. There are too many inexpensive management tools that will allow you to monitor your systems and alert you in time to avert a disruption of service. Something as simple as running out of disk space can cause a service outage that takes days to recover from.

5. Be proactive instead of reactive

Monitoring your systems also allows you to collect data that can be used for trend analysis. For example: By knowing the rate of increase in your disk space usage you can predict when you will need to add capacity and plan accordingly.

Replace your equipment before it wears out or becomes unreliable. Practice "life cycle management." Budget for computer replacement every 3 to 5 years. For example: if you have 40 computers, consider budgeting to replace 10 of them each year.

6. Plan for contingency

Hardware fails. Users screw up. Viruses are always a threat. It's prudent and cost effective to use redundant disk technology on your server, but you do not have to go crazy trying to build fault tolerance into all your systems. If you have 20 computers, having a spare ready to go only costs you an additional 5%. That's a very cost effective way to increase availability. I've worked with large companies that will spend days trying to source parts and repair a computer while the user can not work.

7. Provide operational structure

Define the processes you will use …

Feb
17

Personal Development – How to Win Friends and Influence People

Dale Carnegie’s Personal Development top 3 techniques for handling people shows simple but hugely effective things all of us can do to influence others. I’ve been reading this book ‘How to win friends and influence people’. You really should get a copy.

It’s one of those all time best sellers, that people just keep talking about so I picked up a copy.

Success books are about giving you an idea, or some stimulus or some training to move you from one place to the next. We really become the sum total of everything we absorb. I enjoy reading these books – anything that can help me become a better person I need!

Sometimes these books are so logical, so basic that you wonder why they are bestsellers, how is it they are talked about so highly for so long. I mean – this book was first published in the 1930′s. But I’ve come to realise, that for a lot of people, they were never trained from childhood how to relate to people, how care about someone other than themselves, how to be genuinely about to connect and lead people – these books break it down so simply, anyone can improve their relationships.

How To Win Friends and Influence People

Dale Carnegie gives 3 tips in the first section of the book: Fundamental Techniques in Handling People. See how you rate yourself on these, they are invaluable both in our personal lives and our business life.

1. Don’t criticise, condemn or complain

Criticism, condemnation or complaining just alienates and sets others against you. He advises:

‘When dealing with people, let us remember we are not dealing with creatures of logic. We are dealing with creatures of emotion, creatures bristling with prejudice and motivated by pride and vanity’.

Just think back to an experience where you have known this to be true. What about if someone has criticised you, even if it was deserved, did it make you want to help that person or do something to make them happy? Or did it make you withdraw somewhat, or get angry, irritated or annoyed.

The criticised person tends to justify themselves, because they only see things from their own point of view. The blame is not theirs but others.

All criticism does is make people defensive, resentful and hurt. Ultimately the situation that needed to be changed will remain.

Psychologists have proven in case studies that ‘animals rewarded for good behaviour will learn much more rapidly and retain what it learns far more effectively than an animal punished for bad behaviour’.

Encouraging the good, having self-control and great character should be the aim of all of us. ‘A great man (or woman) shows greatness by the way he treats little men’.

There are some people who live to complain. Those customers that call or email and just want to rant, or maybe you have kids and they haven’t done what you’ve asked 10 times already. You need to decide the type of person …