Reasons for Every Business to Have a Server to Increase Efficiency

Whether it’s dealing with customers, technical issues, or other employees, it’s important for everyone involved in a small business to know where they can find the resources they need to get the job done. Investing time and energy into any task that takes away from focusing on the core business simply cannot be tolerated in a successful small business. Every month small businesses devote countless hours to tasks that drain their precious resources. Time can’t be wasted searching for the right file or form or updating PC software, for example.

Investing in a server and creating a server-based network for the small business creates a number of efficiencies. A server changes the way that small businesses handle information by making small businesses more efficient in the way they communicate with partners and employees, collaborate on projects, and secure the information that is vital to the business.

Here are five ways that buying that first server for the small business will increase efficiency and allow employees to concentrate on the core business.

1. Easier Access to Information

Once a small business grows beyond more than one person or PC, the files and data that the business depends on can become more difficult to track. Peer-to-peer networks, which are popular among small businesses without a server, only work when all of the PCs are available and connected to the network. USB drives and Web-based e-mail are popular ways to transport and store data, but they present security risks and aren’t an efficient way to find and share files.

A server provides a centralized, secure repository for all of the important files that make small businesses go. Administrators can create, edit, and delete registered users of server-based networks to help control which users have access to the information. Applications that live on servers, and the information they contain, are available to users with accounts for those applications.

Using secure remote access technologies like virtual private networks allows employees to access information from laptops when they aren’t physically in the office. The ability to remotely connect to a server-based network means even a small business with one employee can benefit from using a server if they spend a lot of time on the road, visiting clients, or working from job sites. Gaining access to e-mail and information from mobile devices like a BlackBerry or Windows Phone requires a server to manage users and security. Small business employees need to quickly and easily locate the information they need regardless of their location. Introducing a server-based network keeps information organized and accessible to those who need it with more reliability and security than peer-to-peer networks and ad hoc methods of storing information.

2. Gain Control of E-Mail

Having a server allows small businesses to create, use, and control e-mail addresses on their own domain, which gives even the smallest of businesses a more professional image than using a free e-mail service like Yahoo! or Hotmail. Small businesses can turn to a hosting provider to get e-mail using their domain name, but like any outsourcing relationship, that means giving up some amount of control.

Buying a server and hosting e-mail lets small businesses control the creation of e-mail addresses, aliases, and distribution lists. This level of control makes it easier for e-mail to grow with the company. Even more important than the e-mail addresses is the e-mail data. Businesses of all sizes rely on e-mail for communication with employees, customers, partners, and suppliers. Maintaining control over all of those communications is not only convenient, but it has legal implications as well.

How to Start a Home Based Business and Grow It

One of the downsides to opening a home-based business that operates with local clients if they can come off as unprofessional that you simply work out of your home as it pertains to the services that you render. As such, you may want to work directly with the client at their location or providing services such as bookkeeping or other personal services that do not necessarily need to be rendered within your home. Over time, you may want to be to able to afford a small office space that will allow you to give your business and more professional look as it pertains to working with local clients.

It should be noted, on a side discussion, as it pertains to financing a small business it is somewhat typical. The small business administration typically does not allow for loans made to home-based businesses. This is primarily due to the fact that one of the reasons why the small business administration was created was so that traditional businesses could be launched and individuals would hire other people within their small business facilities. As such, you may be an excellent candidate for a SBA loan however you are going to need to move into a traditional facility before you’re able to receive this type of financing. However, there are a number of other types of financing methodologies available to you. This may include using some of your own savings, using some income from your 401(k) or IRA accounts, taking out a personal loan, using credit cards, or working with a potential investor that can provide you with the financing that you need in order to launch a business. Of course, there is no proper way to ever play in the business, there are a million ways to skin a cat, and as such you may want to tap some unconventional means as it pertains to obtain financing for your home-based business. As it pertains to using credit cards or personal loans in order to finance your home-based business, this can be a very expensive endeavor. Most personal loans are unsecured by any type of tangible property more tangible asset typically has a substantially higher interest rates in the back associated with a secured loan. In most cases, your interest rate can vary anywhere from 9% to 20% per year depending on your overall credit score. As such, it is absolutely imperative for use loan financing in order to start your home-based business recommend that you very carefully to all potential financing options for using personal loans or credit cards. In time, there are other types of lending facilities that you can use as it pertains to receiving the financing that you may need on the ongoing basis.

After you determine which type of home-based business one a start, it is time to start the preparation of your business plan. Here, you’re going to want to create a blueprint of how you intend to provide your services or products the general public, how you will integrate certain procedures and protocols into your day-to-day activities relating your to your home-based business, developing a well focused financial model that has a profit and loss statement, cash flow analysis, balance sheet, pregame analysis, business reaches page, and general assumptions page that will be used in conjunction with your company, and a detailed overview of how you intend to market your business.

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Integrity: Doing the Right Thing Matters!

Lewis says, “Integrity is doing the right thing. Even when no one is watching”. An analogous quote by Oprah Winfrey states, “Real integrity is doing the right thing, knowing that nobody’s going to know whether you did it or not.” In other words, the way I see it – integrity is where our beliefs, words and actions intersect. It is not something that can be faked or disingenuously exhibited in pursuit of accolades or praise from others.

The most succinct way I can describe integrity is that it is equivalent to breathing life into our morals and values. What I know for sure is the act of exemplifying integrity in our lives on a daily basis is a choice. I often say, the choices people make, good or bad, can impact the entire trajectory of their life. Having integrity does not mean a person is perfect by any means. It just shows that some people are more conscientious in making morally sound decisions than others. How wonderful it would be if more people would exercise more selfless choices.

Doing the Right Thing

Over the majority of my career, I have worked in two areas that have the greatest influence on the success or failure of a business, i.e., financial and human resources. Consequently, during my tenure, I have arbitrated numerous cases in which integrity had come into question. While presiding over each case, I always kept the words of wisdom at the forefront of my mind which an esteemed colleague said to me years ago while teaching a workshop on the principles of ethics and integrity. He said, “When it comes to integrity in the workplace, there is no such thing as a bad person. There are only good people who are put in bad situations”.

Depending on your belief system, I guess there could be some truth in that statement. However, I would be hard pressed to agree with this sentiment in its entirety given my belief system about integrity which is, ‘doing the right thing even when no one is watching’. In this statement, there is no judgment of good or bad about the individual. I simply believe a person of integrity who is put in a bad situation will in all likelihood choose to do the right thing. Of course, having integrity does not mean there is no room for error or that a person of integrity is always picture-perfect in every word, thought or deed. However, whether it is at work or play, a person of integrity will most certainly hold true to this value regardless of the situation.

In my profession, my goal is to always be very intentional in leading others by example. When training my staff, I teach them to take pride in their work and to execute their duties as if their every move and decision is subject to audit. This strategy is not intended to intimidate. As a matter of fact, I truly believe that an effective leader leads through motivation, not through intimidation. So, as a leader, I utilize my experience and values to motivate others to do the right thing at all times even if no one is watching. This goes a long way in your career as well as your personal life.

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Problems Creates an Innovative Culture

Yet, deliberately creating problems is counterintuitive. We’re wired to avoid problems, even before we try to solve them. Culturally we’re trained to get rid of problems. Businesses are structured to reward managers for their problem-solving skills. At the same time, the keys to the executive suite are not available to managers who only solve problems. Does your organization have structures in place to reward people who create problems? What could happen when you don’t have those structures?

More than a century ago, Henry Ford built an innovative company to solve a problem he created: make it possible for every American household to own an affordable automobile. He solved the problem by creating the assembly line. The people of Ford Motor Company changed the world. Except, the company didn’t look ahead, didn’t pose new problems, didn’t continue innovating. When GM introduced style and color in its cars, Ford lost market share to this new innovator.

In 1979, Sony brilliantly created the personal audio market with the Walkman. The company created a problem: how to develop a device that will allow individuals to privately listen to music anywhere, anytime. Today, however, Apple dominates the digital personal audio market with 78 percent market share in the U.S.

Signs that Your Company is Lacking an Innovative Culture

How can you tell if your company is lacking an innovative culture?

Your CEO spends more than 10% of his/her time solving problems.
Your company is content with the status quo. Being content leaves you vulnerable to competitors who can disrupt your business model. Without risk, innovation becomes happenstance.
Your company’s top line is growing while your bottom line is shrinking. Your products or services have become a commodity. There is nothing to differentiate you from your competitors. This is an ideal time to create a problem for your organization.
Employees are afraid of failure. A learning and innovative culture embraces failure; a project that fails can still be valuable to the company’s larger goals. Employees should be encouraged to create problems themselves.
Management is disconnected from the employees in terms of innovative ideas that move the company forward. Oftentimes, companies make the mistake of going it alone – relying on management and/or research and development in a silo to come up with innovative and creative ideas as opposed to engaging the brainpower of employees throughout the organization.
Your company is successful.

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Discover 4 Amazing and Powerful Methods to Improve Your Blog Articles

Here’s how you can make your blog articles more effective and more explosive:

1. Write something that is newsworthy or worthwhile. Keep in mind that your target audience will not possibly waste their time reading something that they already know or something that is not useful to their lives. So, when choosing the topics for your blog articles, make sure that you only go with those ones that your readers will find worth their while.

2. Keep it short. Don’t bore your readers by making your blog post run for more than 1,000 words. As a blogger, it’s crucial that you know how to explain your ideas using 500 words or less. This is because the audience you’re serving have short attention span. When writing your articles, make sure that you stick with the essentials. Trim down your content by eliminating those information that are not really that important.

3. Make it informative. It’s your responsibility to make sure that your readers will walk away feeling well-informed. So, load up your articles with all the types of information that your readers are looking for. I suggest that you help them increase their knowledge on those things that they find interesting and help them solve their problems.

4. Make it entertaining. Right now, there are thousands of blogs in the online arena. If you want online users to choose yours, you better make sure that it’s entertaining. You can do this by making sure that your articles are fun to read. They must contain more than just information. They must also include anecdotes, stories, images, etc.