Leveraging Technology

Essential computer hardware for small businesses

Small businesses may be struggling in their endeavours, but they still require to invest in hardware. The challenge is in knowing what you need and getting good value for your money. Most small businesses depend on hardware and software systems in several areas of their operations. This includes administration, production, planning out their business strategies and customer relations. It is, necessary, to have a fair idea of what computer systems they need, in order to have a healthy business.

Surveys have revealed that the three things which businesses want from their computer hardware is customer relations and management, employee connectivity, and security. In order to achieve these they require mobile devices, equipment for computer networking, virus protection, and storage capacity. There is a wide choice of computer hardware when it comes to supporting the small or medium businesses. Hardware essentials would comprise of in-house physical servers, in-house virtual servers, hosted servers, desktops, laptops, printers, smartphones, firewalls, and uninterrupted power supplies.

Networking options are also available in the form of wired and wireless connections. Applications include standard applications like email, documents, spreadsheets, and applications that pertain to your line of business, such as software, accounting software, manufacturing automation software, and data-back up. Moreover, review the budget that you have to invest in your new business venture. Here are a few things that you should consider before investing in the hardware in your small business.

Your Computer Systems

The core network you will need for your small business may perhaps be a small business server. If your business requires 2 or more desktops or laptops it is necessary for you to use a server to store information and share the data and files across the business. If such a server is installed, it will need an appropriate data back-up facility as also reasonable power backup to conduct business. You have two options for obtaining the computer hardware such as servers and desktop computers – you could either purchase well known brands or have it assembled by reputed and reliable dealers or suppliers. The prices of assembled hardware equipment are generally much cheaper and and you can expect them to perform efficiently. This will allow you to extend your budget to other necessities. It would make good sense to opt for business or professional models rather than consumer models for your small or medium business.

Your Wireless Network

It is common practice for small businesses to use laptops or smart phones as a wireless access point in their offices. This is done through a wireless router or a firewall with built-in wireless capability. Wireless networking is beneficial to some small companies because it can be easily expanded. Moreover, it cuts costs and is easy to maintain and manage, and it doesn’t require costly alterations to the building to install cables. A wireless internet connection allows you to work more efficiently as you can carry your laptop anywhere around the office to make presentations or for carrying on other such activities. There is one precaution you should take and that would be to ensure that your access over the wireless link is secured using the highest level of encryption. All these should be configured by your service provider.

Telephones and Smart phones

Small businesses have become more and more dependent on cellular service and smart phones for most of their communication needs. But, for more professional communications, hosted VoIP solutions are ideal for small business.

Software and Applications

Your business will definitely need software to run the computers that you have acquired. The first thing that you would need is a standard office suite for regular business letters and worksheet presentations besides needing a reliable backup software to help you protect your data. There are many productivity suites which provide all these features and more, the most popular being the ones from Microsoft and Google apart from other providers. These combine the key components a small business would need in software for a wide variety of functions like Billing, Human Resources Management, Maintaining Sales Records and Customer Relationship Management.

Entrepreneurial Learning

It is well known that most small businesses depend on hardware and software systems in several areas of their operations. This includes administration, production, planning out their business strategies and customer relations. Surveys have revealed that the three things which businesses want from their computer hardware is customer relations and management, employee connectivity, and security. In order to achieve these they require mobile devices, equipment for computer networking, virus protection, and storage capacity.

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