Top 10 Technology tips for any small business's Top Ten Technology Tips offer invaluable advice on selecting, maintaining and operating your IT systems, and provide you with handy hints on getting the most from your technology and dealing with consultants.

Improve your company’s effectiveness and reduce or eliminate waste with the following advice.

1. Invest in scalable technology
Think about where you see your business in the next two or three years. What you invest in now may be suitable for the size of your company, but if you intend to grow quickly, you will need technology that grows as your business does.

2. Keep it simple
It’s important to have a fast computer, but as far as other specifications go, keep it simple. Most computers off the shelf come with standard packages such as word-processing, spreadsheets, accounts packages, database software, email and access to the web. If you need particular software, choose the package and install it yourself.

3. Choose a supplier that has an established user-base
If you need support or if you experience any problems with your technology, choose a supplier that has a solid user base, and who offers a support line – if your technology systems fail, time and money will be wasted.

4. Justify every penny you spend
A good PC will not cost you a fortune, but you get what you pay for. Don’t go over your budget, as the technology changes so fast.

5. Decide exactly what you need before you buy
If you don’t want to go for an off the shelf model, decide exactly what you need and price each item up to compare – remember to factor in the time it will take you to set everything up.

6. Get recommendations
It can be difficult knowing which product or manufacturer to go for, so ask a range of people for their recommendations. See if you can test out the equipment so you get a better idea of what would be most suitable.

7. Don’t buy without a warranty
Make sure that any equipment you buy comes with a warranty or a guarantee. It’s all too easy for things to go wrong, and paying for repairs if you don’t have a warranty can often end up more than buying another product.

8. Provide IT training
If you invest in new technology and your staff don’t know how to use it, you are wasting your money. Ensure you provide good training from the start, as this will pay off many times over by increasing overall efficiency and output.

9. Look after your company data
Don’t let the hard drive on your PC become clogged up with data as this will slow down your computer’s performance. Get into the habit of deleting files you no longer need, and always remember to back up information you want to keep.

10. Be firm with IT consultants
If there is more than one of you involved in the business, you will need to set up a network. An IT consultant can give you advice on the best way to set this up. Be firm with what you want from your IT on a day-to-day basis and don’t get sidetracked if your IT consultant starts to explain other services.

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