Most businesses would consider their computer setup to be one of the core tools of the company. When that company is based entirely at home, however, it’s more than a core tool. It’s crucial. Without it, there’s very little you can do. For that reason, you need to take your reliance on tech very seriously. One of the best things about a home business is the cost-effectiveness of it all. Think of all the money you save from not needing an office and put some of it into investing in a better tech setup.
A working computer
Any device that you have can be repurposed for the home office. But not all devices are made equal, and time makes those differences only more noticeable. It’s a good idea to find a replacement computer or new components when wear and tear are having an effect. However, you can help spruce up your device so that it works a lot better. A complete reformat and a fresh install of the operating system can make it like new. You should also make sure that the environment is good for the device. It needs space, a clean, flat surface, and a regular dusting to stop the hardware from getting clogged up.
Your net needs to get serious
The internet is what connects your business to the wide world. It should go without saying that it’s essential. So, when your internet is unreliable or slow, you have to look into fixing it. For instance, during work hours you can ask others in the home not to use the internet as often so you have as much bandwidth as possible. Updating your tech with help from modem router combo reviews can help you get a connection that’s a lot stronger and more stable than the generic kinds you get from your net provider, too. Look into changing your wireless channel, your DNS, and tracking your speed so you can always ensure that you’re getting the kind of connection your business needs.
A few backups
Sometimes, the internet fails regardless of what you try to do. Your service provider simply has an issue that they need time to sort out. That’s when you should be able to rely on a backup connection. You can get backup connections through wireless hotspots in your area or even buying your own hotspot device. You should also consider having backup devices for when your computer stops working. Fix it in your off-time, and instead use a laptop or even a tablet. Access to a mobile device makes it a lot easier to work when your net goes down, too. Instead, you can simply go to a business with a strong wifi connection, like a local café or a library.
Think about the Cloud
One of the most important assets to the business is the data you collect. Your plans, your data on customers, the accounting details, so on and so forth. There’s a lot of data the business can use to its advantage. Having it all disappear is a real risk of keeping it on only one hard drive that could get damaged or wiped in a variety of ways. You should think about different ways to back up that data. As well as other physical backups like other hard drives, you can look at temporary online solutions like Cloud computing. Protect your data by diversifying where you put it. However, you should be careful where you put your most sensitive data, trusting only the most secure Cloud servers.
If you do all your work on digital devices, then those same devices can help you do it a lot better as well. Acquiring the tools that allow you to work quicker, like time management software, schedules, online to-do lists, and email/social media organizers, you can make a much more efficient use of your time. You should also consider the software that you use most often to your job. If you have multiple tasks in a day that use a word processor, and others that use a 3D modeling tool, then batch tasks using the same tool together. Batching your processes allows you to stay ‘in the zone’ longer, instead of having to mentally switch gears every time you take on a new task. That mental gear shifting does have a real effect in reducing productivity, so try reduce it as much as you can.
We’ve already noted how important your data is. As well as how important it is to have a computer that runs well and has the strongest connection to the internet. Malware and hacking attempts can affect all of those things. Bugs can install programs that not only eat up your processing power but your bandwidth, too. Access to your sensitive data, especially customer data, can get you in a lot of trouble, too. Your computer’s security must be treated as paramount. Make sure it’s used for nothing but work, install firewalls and anti-malware software. You might even want to consider using a private network that’s a bit stronger than the home network.
Be realistic about what you can afford
Investing in the business tech is important, but doing it cost-effectively is more important. You need to think about the needs vs. the wants of the business. A working computer, strong internet connections, and security for your data are all the top priorities. Then when it comes to software, to online design, and the tools you use to improve your use of the computer, you need to think about the return-on-investment. Which are really going to have the biggest effect? That’s where your money should go first. The rest can wait until you can plump up the tech budget a bit more.
Without thoroughly protecting your business from the threat of a bad tech setup, you are leaving it open to huge risk. Data loss, unproductive use of time, failing to communicate with customers and partners when you need to. Your digital devices are the only thing keeping you connected to your market. Look after them.