Small Business

IT news and analysis for small and medium-size businesses
  • 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.
  • SMEs dominate data centre activity: Symantec

    Posted January 26, 2010 - 5:44 pm

    Mid-sized enterprises will be leading in data center activity this year as these companies focus on staff training and adopting technologies like storage virtualization and cloud computing to cut costs and manage increasingly complex facilities, according to Symantec Corp.'s 2010 State of the Data Center report.
  • SMEs offered 'instant' PC conferencing

    Posted January 26, 2010 - 5:02 pm

    Yuuguu takes on WebEx and GoToMeeting.
  • Review

    Netgear targets SMBs with new security tool

    Posted January 26, 2010 - 4:57 pm

    Netgear's new security appliance takes on small-to-midsize business stalwarts such as Fortinet and Barracuda by including antispam, antimalware, and Web content filtering in a single unit that offers easy deployment and budget-preserving pricing.
  • 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.
  • Microsoft and Intuit forge small business Web apps partnership

    Posted January 21, 2010 - 11:00 am

    Microsoft's Windows Azure cloud and the Intuit App Center online application store are lynchpins of the arrangement
  • 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.
  • Netgear Announces New SMB Wireless Network Controllers

    Posted January 14, 2010 - 2:10 pm

    Today, Netgear announced three new wireless network controller offerings that take some of the network management features of their enterprise products into the small-to-medium business market, including mass firmware upgrades, centralized configuration options, and load-balancing, for networks from five to 1500 users.
  • 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.
  • Microsoft and HP CEOs to announce joint investment

    Posted January 13, 2010 - 10:17 am

    The joint project to prepare 'the next generation of business computing' is related to IT infrastructure software.
  • 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...
  • How To Justify a Duplex Printer

    Posted January 11, 2010 - 12:50 pm

    Duplex printers automatically print on both sides of each page of paper. As you might expect, this extra paper handling feature costs more money. Yet by leveraging the “need for green” by reducing paper use, every company that prints more than a few hundred pages per month can justify the added printer expense.
  • Why You Might Need a Network Print Server

    Posted January 8, 2010 - 7:00 pm

    Print servers, a networked device that directs print jobs to non-networked printers, used to be big deals. Early printers didn't have network support built in, so print servers fooled the printers into thinking they were connected to a single computer with an RS-232 or Centronics parallel printer cable (look those up in the archives, kids).
  • How To Budget for a Color Laser Printer

    Posted January 7, 2010 - 2:48 pm

    Although everyone, including me yesterday in a couple of my printer jokes, makes fun of the cost of ink jet cartridges. However, sticker shock for color laser cartridges may slap you like a dead mackerel to the face.
  • The “Money Saving Printer Tips” Contest

    Posted January 6, 2010 - 9:36 pm

    How has your company saved money on printing costs? Let us know the secret to your money-saving printer success, and you may be our winner!
  • Let's Laugh About Printers

    Posted January 6, 2010 - 5:23 pm

    I found six printer jokes on the Web, and here's the best: The printer is comprised of three main parts; the case, the jammed paper tray, and the blinking red light. I'm betting that's a recycled joke about copiers. What do you think? Now let me show you mine (printer jokes, of course).
  • How To Configure a “Draft Mode” Printer

    Posted January 5, 2010 - 12:39 pm

    One of the tricks listed in every “save money when printing” article? Use the “draft mode” on your printer to reduce the amount of ink or toner used. Some printers produce good enough results with draft mode to use that all the time (laser printers especially). Often, however, the draft mode is recommended only for test prints and proofing, not the final document. Let's talk about a way to help your users pick draft mode every time it's appropriate, and save some money.
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