The start of a new year is a time for a clean start. Resolutions
are made, you clear your files of last year's paperwork, and you
swear you are going to start the year off keeping your financial
house in order.
It all sounds good when you say it on January 1st. But now, after
only one month into the New Year, how many of you have done ANY
of the above? I can't raise my hand, can you? Here are a few easy
to follow tips that will benefit all business owners.
Learn to use the software you have
If you purchased software last year, and it's still shrink
wrapped and sitting on your bookcase, get it open and install it
onto your computer. Until you do that, you've done nothing more
than waste money. You shouldn't have to hire a professional to
handle the software installation.
If it's already installed, but you can't seem to figure out what
to do next, read the manual, do the tutorial, ask for help. Do
whatever is necessary for you to learn how to use the software
that you spent good money on. You had a need when you purchased
the software, and until you start using it, the need remains
Automate common tasks
Once you've got the software you already purchased up and running
put together a software budget for this year. Start by making a
list of all the work-related tasks you wish were automated. Here
are just a few ideas: contact management, inventory management,
project management, bookkeeping, billing, appointment and
employee scheduling and your new employee orientation program.
Next prioritize your software automation wish list. Put together
a realistic budget for each of the four quarters. Then as money
allows, purchase one piece of software at a time. Then, remember
to actually install it AND use it!
Protect your Data
If you've not already done so, you must install virus checking
software on every desktop that receives email. Failure to do this
one thing can stop your business dead in its tracks. You don't
have to spend a lot of money on this type of software; it's
readily available and relatively inexpensive. Regardless of the
cost, its cost is far lower than the price you will pay once your
computers become infected. The costs of lost productivity as well
as lost data will be steep.
Another thing you need to do to protect your valuable company
data is to install a backup and restore utility and BE SURE TO
USE IT! The price of this type of product will vary, and the
amount you spend will probably coincide with the amount of
information you need to backup. The more data, the more you'll
pay for protection.
So many business owners purchase these types of software products
only after a catastrophe has occurred. It's true that it's better
late than never. But be smart and be prepared for disaster
because it will happen.
Order the CD version
In some cases, you'll be able to purchase and download your new
software right from the vendor's website. You'll have your new
software installed and ready to use in no time. But, should your
hard drive ever crash, you'll need the CD version of the software
so that you can reinstall it right away. Most software vendors
let download customers buy the CD at a huge discount. It's worth
the money because, remember, hard drives will crash.
Register All Your Software
It's annoying, but important. You'll want to keep informed of
such things as new versions and other important software-related
And there you have it ? five simple software tips for business
Copyright ? 2005 Cavyl Stewart. Find out just the programs you need to market, do finances, spiff up your site and more. Visit: http://www.find-small-business-software.com/software-directory.php -
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