Top five tips for small businesses to get technology right first time 

Jeremy Fennell, managing director of PC World Business, gives his top tips on IT for a small company.

After employee costs, IT is the second biggest outlay for small businesses when starting up, according to new research from PC World Business. For many small business owners, setting up their IT can often be an arduous and stressful process. The number one priority is getting their business off the ground, rather than wasting time double checking their IT is set up correctly. However, it does not have to be complicated. PC World Business’s managing director, Jeremy Fennell, gives his tips to help start-ups get their IT right first time.

You do not need to spend a fortune on IT.

Once you know what business tasks you will be using your IT for, you can calculate how much you need to spend. There are products and services for all sizes of business so you don’t have to spend more than you need to. One of our advisors recently helped a small business owner who came in to buy a server which would have cost him around £5,500 when all he needed was a network hard drive with RAID auto copy protection costing around £500.

Get expert advice

It can seem cheap and easy to rely on friends and family for help setting up your IT and when there is a problem. However, this can often lead to more delays and increased costs in the long run if things do not go to plan. You can also talk to other businesses in the area to see who they use for IT advice and make sure you select someone who appreciates your needs and understands what direction you want the business to go in.

Get mobile with a tablet.

In the early stages you might have to move offices or use managed office space so think about investing in laptops or tablets so you can take your business with you. Tablets are rapidly growing in popularity for business use with Google, Samsung and Amazon all releasing new models to compete with Apple’s iPad. We recently advised a Chartered Surveyor who was looking for a tablet to replace the paper-based street surveys they regularly carried out. This meant that the survey data went straight back to the office for immediate processing. Small business owners and employees spend a lot of time out of the office and on the move so the ability to stay connected and continue working on the move is important for productivity.

Take advantage of social media

Many small businesses find social media to be a really helpful way of communicating, as it is a cheap and easy way of marketing your business and getting noticed. Creating Pinterest, LinkedIn, Facebook, Google+ and Twitter profiles are great ways of getting your firm noticed online. People are often unaware that Google+ profiles link directly to Google search rankings – so the more updates and followers your company has, the higher up the page it will be placed. This is not something you can start up and then leave – you need to be sure you can keep your communications up to date and put time aside to manage your channels. Sometimes customers use social media to voice negative experiences, so it’s important to monitor your profiles and react quickly and positively to any comments.

Secure your data

A lost laptop is bad enough, but it can be even worse if it contains confidential business information. Protect your business data by backing up files, setting passwords on your computers and individual documents and changing them regularly. Again, when it comes to protection there are options for all business sizes. For large amounts of data, backing up daily to an external hard drive is still the quickest and most reliable method and can hold terabytes of data.

See also: How to choose a cybersecurity solution for your small business


Jeremy Fennell

Jeremy Fennell is managing director of PC World Business.

Related Topics

Computer & IT Business

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