Small Business

IT news and analysis for small and medium-size businesses
  • Upgrading to Windows 7 isn't Cheap

    Posted August 26, 2010 - 1:24 pm

    A recent Gartner report showed what many of us already knew: Moving to Windows 7 from XP is expensive.
  • Bargains That Cost More

    Posted August 25, 2010 - 12:25 pm

    Because they can cost about one-third less, I recently bought a remanufactured toner cartridge for my HP LaserJet printer. It looked like a good deal at the store, but compared to genuine HP toner it ended up being no bargain.
  • Choosing a desktop Uninterruptible Power Supply (UPS)

    Posted August 24, 2010 - 7:48 am

    Because getting the wrong one may be as bad as not having one at all, here are 5 tips for selecting a desktop UPS.
  • Going to IPv6 isn't going to be easy

    Posted August 3, 2010 - 8:54 pm

    Because, not only are you probably not ready, neither is your network hardware.
  • What to look for in online backups

    Posted July 19, 2010 - 8:15 am

    Selecting an online backup provider depends on your hardware, data and requirements profiles. Here's what you need to look for, questions to ask, and decisions you have to make.
  • Windows 7 SP 1: You Don't Need to Wait

    Posted July 13, 2010 - 5:37 pm

    The beta for Windows 7 SP1 is available now, but Windows 7 is already ready to go.
  • Sarbanes-Oxley on the ropes or business as usual?

    Posted June 28, 2010 - 6:20 pm

    Alas, for all the initial excitement over the Supreme Court ruling that part of Sarbanes-Oxley was unconstitutional, in the end, little has changed.
  • New Mac Mini: Cheap Mac desktop or SOHO server

    Posted June 15, 2010 - 2:40 pm

    The latest release of the Mac Mini will find a good home in both your living room and your office.
  • ByDesign Upgrade Means SAP is Serious About SaaS

    Posted May 20, 2010 - 10:07 am

    If you're doing an ERP software selection between Oracle and SAP, you really need to look at ByDesign.
  • Enterprise security on a small business budget

    Posted March 8, 2010 - 5:30 pm

    Whether your business is a big fish or a small-fry home office, you can get hacked just the same, and the stakes are higher than a few canceled credit cards. Here are a few tips to protect your users and your networks--steps that even enterprise-class security specialists may slip up on.
  • The Zen of Modern Printing

    Posted January 29, 2010 - 6:23 pm

    After six weeks focusing on printing, I have come to a realization about printing on paper in a world of instant digital communications: do less the old way, but more the smart way. We're not finished with printing, even 570 years after Gutenberg invented movable type, or 11 centuries after the Chinese printed with carved woodblocks. Information on paper still drives us, despite the promise of Amazon's Kindle and Apple's iPad.
  • How To Master Excel Spreadsheet Printing

    Posted January 28, 2010 - 1:48 pm

    You slave over cell after cell after cell in your spreadsheet until it's perfect. When it comes time to print out that perfection, you get blank pages, missing sections, and weird formatting. You can blame your printer, but the problem is almost always in Excel. Jen Darr of PC Helps sent the details for this lesson.
  • How To Create Impact with Colored Paper

    Posted January 27, 2010 - 1:12 pm

    Teachers use this trick, and Hollywood productions have an elaborate set of rules for this. Yes, a seemingly minor detail like changing the color of a few pages of a proposal can make a huge impact. The words matter most on a proposal, of course, but putting important information on different colored paper magnifies that impact.
  • How To Create a New Print Style for Outlook

    Posted January 26, 2010 - 1:55 pm

    This tip comes from Jen Darr of PC Helps Support and will make sure you know what you're getting when you hit Print inside Outlook. Jen offers great advice on how to create a new print style with a different page size for your Outlook printouts. While I discourage printing e-mail as a matter of course, many times you do need to print something, so you may as well create the output that works best for you.
  • How To Ease Into Document Management

    Posted January 25, 2010 - 2:16 pm

    Small business owners and managers have a common reaction when someone, usually a salesperson, suggests going paperless and jumping into electronic document management: they cover their ears, start screaming “la la la I can't hear you,” and run out of the room. So don't say “electronic document management” but say “use our scanner to reduce clutter and save money.” Bosses pull their hands away from their ears when they hear “save money” and you can leverage the scanner on your MFP to ease into document management, I mean, reduce clutter.
  • How To Save Money Proofing Color Pages

    Posted January 22, 2010 - 7:17 pm

    Working on complex color documents means wasting time and paper trying to make the beauty you see on the screen translate to a beautiful page coming out of your printer. Even when you have a low cost per color page, each mistake, er, step on the path to perfection, costs money. Here's one way to keep proofing without costing a fortune.
  • How To Setup a Printer Pool

    Posted January 21, 2010 - 12:54 pm

    Too many companies panic when one printer goes down. If your company relies heavily on one printer, and no printing means no work gets done, it's time to jump into the printer pool. Hint: you don't have to take your clothes off for a dip in the printer pool.
  • How To Leverage the Tactile Lure of Good Paper

    Posted January 19, 2010 - 1:30 pm

    Last time we mentioned printing with reduced margins for internal use, with a warning not to cut corners on materials for clients. Save a penny, lose a project? Not a good idea. Today let's talk about leveraging the tactile lure of high quality paper to reel in business.
  • How To Pack More On A Printed Page

    Posted January 18, 2010 - 1:04 pm

    One idea to help save some money on printing came from Jim Lippie of Staples Network Services in response to reading this series. His idea? Reduce the size of the margins on your pages, effectively increasing the number of words you can print. Good idea, so let's see where it's appropriate.
  • How To Print Without a Computer

    Posted January 15, 2010 - 12:54 pm

    Everyone grew up with personal printers attached to personal computers, so we naturally believe a computer must be part of the printing equation. Like so many things we learned growing up, that truth has “matured” to the point it's almost an untruth. There are at least two easy ways to print on many modern printers without a computer: memory card reader slots, and PictBridge.
  • Three Things Not to Print

    Posted January 14, 2010 - 2:08 pm

    Once companies start counting their pennies spent printing, they often overreact to what they find. Goodness, they say to themselves, printing costs money, so let's stop printing completely. Oops. A reaction like that will cost you much more than you spend printing. The trick is to figure out what not to print, like e-mail, reports, and memos.
  • How to Calculate the True Cost of Printing Part 2

    Posted January 13, 2010 - 12:27 pm

    Today we follow up on the info-gathering we did yesterday about your printing systems to start assigning price tags. Well, you have to assign the price tags based on your actual costs, but we can help show you where to look for the escape routes your money is taking. Printing doesn't have to be expensive, but any uncontrolled process becomes a budget nightmare, and printing is no different. Control your cost of ownership and help your bottom line.
  • My Favorite Product from CES is a Ford

    Posted January 12, 2010 - 11:24 pm

    I've been working my way through the video and text reporting notes I collected at CES, and I'm ready to announce my choice for my favorite product at the show -- the Ford Work Solution. In this package, it's a little larger than the average consumer gadget, weighing in a something over 4,000 pounds.
  • How to Calculate the True Cost of Printing Part 1

    Posted January 12, 2010 - 12:31 pm

    Approach a small business owner with a product, and the first question is almost always about money: How much does this cost me? While careful on the cost of acquisition, many small businesses fall down managing their cost of ownership. Do you know how much you're spending to print each piece of paper in your business? The information today and tomorrow will give you the tools you need to put a price tag on printing.
  • The most insecure part of your network is...

    Posted January 11, 2010 - 7:19 pm

    Your desktops' operating systems? Your servers' operating systems? Your firewall? Or...
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