Setting up IT in a small business

Quick points for Small Biz Matters – a half hour program each week where you can work ON your business rather than IN it.

Small Business IT setup

with Lester Langford from

Aspiring Computer Services

Tues 30th September 2014

 Listen here: 

We’re very excited to be welcoming this week an extremely experienced professional; Lester Langford from Aspiring Computer Services. Lester and Aspiring have been servicing small to medium sized businesses for all their IT technical and equipment needs for over 15 years. Not only that but Lester also trains at the local Hornsby Ku-Ring-Gai Community College, sharing his knowledge teaching excellent courses on Design and delivery of courses covering IT subjects for non-IT people, including iPhone, Windows8, Computer Essentials, small business networking and laptop maintenance.

 

What we’re going to be talking about today is the IT considerations businesses need to make when moving into or between commercial or office spaces. This may your first time growing out of your home office and into a commercial office space, or you might be growing and in need of some good IT advice. Well, Lester is the guy for you!

 

Welcome Lester and thanks for being on the show!

 

Part 1 –  Inspecting your new premises

 

(conversational)

  • Now the point to this show is really about teaching businesses what you see all the time, if you get it right the first time, you will save time and therefore money. Now I don’t think this is any more important aspect in a business which you really need to get right the first time, Would you agree?
  • When you inspect premises for the first time, most people are looking at size and how the space can grow with your business, or natural light, or parking for your clients. Not many would think of looking at it from an IT perspective. Can you tell us some of the tips and tricks for inspecting with that in mind?
    • Serviceability of your internet and testing your ADSL capacity – please explain, number 1
    • Existing ports & cables and their location (consider the number of staff not just now but in 2-3 years time, this will be where you’ll be putting your staff)
    • Where you are in your contract with your current provider and do they even service this new facility. If not, how can you get out of contract with minimal cost? Look at price and continuity of your service. Call the provider and give them the new address – be careful of what you’re sold vs what you can get!
    • Make sure the internet is STABLE and fast.  How is the internet coming into the office?
  • TIP: Optus cable gives by far the best service, but they are not everywhere. Lester, can you give us a hint how to figure out which company is where?

 

Part 2 –  A Technical Audit

 

  • We audit a lot of things as businesses and told to do so regularly, how does a business conduct their own technical audit, or if they were to invest in a professional such as your company, what sort of questions should they be asking?
  • Think about the amount of wasted time a slow internet connection or cabling within the office can cost your business in terms of lost productivity. Lester, after our chat the other day I think it is really important to get a professional to do this for you simply because we all know what an impact slow internet or computers can have on your business productivity.
    • Look at the other tenants; how is their business activity going to impact on your upload/download speeds? Geography will also impact on the speed.
    • Again look at your network serviceability, can you be getting a better deal from another company?
    • Next look at the cabling INSIDE the office.
      • Wired is always the preference over wireless. WHY?
      • Ask the age of the existing wiring, you may need to replace sooner rather than later if it is aging. And THAT can impact on upload and download speeds.
    • Consider the location of your workstations in relation to the modem & server.
    • Make sure all of your equipment, in particular your server has decent ventilation and consider having a different circuit for your server than the rest of the office.
  • The BEST time to audit is…. Before you move in!!!

 

 

Part 3 –  Logistics

 

  • Things you’ll need to buy:
    • Desktop computers & additional screens, keyboards etc
    • Portable computers
    • Printers / fax machines / scanners (consider how many people are using it and it could very much be more worthwhile to lease a printer rather than buy a cheaper one which costs a lot more in the long term to run)
    • A UPS – *** Lester to explain what is that?
    • Internet modem VS Router
    • *** Lester to explain here the difference between a router and a modem
  • Consider landline vs mobile phones. Does your business really need one?
    • *** Lester to discuss the advantage to landlines (speaker quality & reliability) compared to mobile and VOIP

 

Part 4 –  IT Tips and finding the right IT Expert

 

  • Ensure caller ID is switched on your mobile – no one likes answering calls from NO Caller ID numbers!
  • Develop relationships with an IT professional who is responsive and generous with his time and advice – he’s going to be very important long term for your business in the long run
  • Use an IT professional to manage your moving services for your IT equipment – they know best how to move it without damage. You might be insured but who will insure you for the time you lose without that equipment??
  • A good IT professional is available 24/7 and doesn’t clock off at 5pm so you can be up and running the next day asap.
  • They should have partners they work with regularly
  • Always use a licensed cabler, NOT an electrician
  • A good IT support company will offer a RANGE of products to suit your budget

 

Thanks Lester for being on the show!  Thank you Alexi Boyd

 

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