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How Small Business Creates Value – Get Inspired and Serious about your Business Documentation

I was always intrigued by documentation, how easy it seemed to be and how difficult at the same time. I have now spent last few years documenting our business and it was a challenge.

It might seem obvious but it is very important to firmly grasp the main goal of documentation.

Its core purpose is to pass the knowledge from an individual to the organisation. It is to teach others what you have locked in your head.

Documentation enables teamwork and that helps you beat the only true limitation there is – time.

As you keep improving your processes documentation helps with reducing mistakes and as a result, improves quality. This, of course, saves time, too.

It is impossible to grow a business without documentation. In fact, lack of documentation can kill the business when, for example, a key employee leaves one day.

Documentation is therefore an essential business enabler. The better the quality of your business documentation, the more successful the business is.

I remember that from the very start, although I didn’t understand why, I somehow felt the documentation was important. Two main issues I originally faced were how to do it and where to start.

Considering how important documentation is and that writing down your thoughts requires your maximum concentration, you must slow right down and create enough headspace to get your brain in the right mode. I will repeat:

you must slow

right down

to produce

good quality

documentation

One of the first documents that must be created will describe how your documentation process works. This document becomes even more important once there are more people in the organisation responsible for creating documentation.

Ideally, you want to create culture of documentation to get everybody in the company involved. Embedding documentation in your organisation culture will make it feel natural and effortless. Everyone benefits, your business, your clients and your suppliers.

To sum up the answers to how to do it question are:

  • Slow down when producing documentation
  • Create a documentation process for everybody involved
  • Build culture of documentation in your organisation

Documentation is such a great long term time saver but it requires slowing down to achieve desired good quality, creating a special process to get it done right, especially when there is a number of people involved and ideally building a documentation culture in your business.

You might ask yourself where to start as the task seems intimidating at first. Often to the point that it never gets done, which subsequently means that the business growth, if it grows at all, is a messed up and painful process (“organic” is often used, more glorified term) during which the business can easily get killed as the business’s founder feels they are not achieving their goals and dreams.

To get the most out of documentation at early stages use common sense and 80/20 rule.

  • Document the repeating activities that are frequently used first
  • Document the activities that when done incorrectly jeopardise the business or the business standards in the most significant way

You will be able then to perform these tasks faster and without mistakes. You will also be able to delegate them and as a bonus it will be easier for you to recognise the right people to do the job as you will have a very clear job description created as a by-product of good documentation. Finally, every piece of documentation you write saves a little bit of time. And as you get on your way to document your business, you create instruction to this money making machine of yours. The design that now can only get better. It’s a win-win for everybody.

From our experience, operating procedures for the Service Desk is the natural place to start. There are a lot of repetitive tasks and workflows that can be optimised.

Network Bridge Solutions comes with the well documented Service Desk, so if you delegate your Information and Communication Technologies to us you will get this part of documentation ready to serve your organisation.

Contact us to discuss how we can help you to transform your business into a money-making value-creating machine.

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To release or not to release – how to effectively work with your spam filter to help you and your business colleagues

If an email is in quarantine, be on guard, the spam filter had a reason to put it in there.

Very rarely it gets it wrong and if it does put a good email in a quarantine we call it a false positive.

Most often you can release such an email yourself. We strongly encourage you to preview and inspect an email prior to releasing it. You might even want to call a sender to confirm that they really meant to send you this email. In any case, if you are in any doubt, please get in touch with your IT support. It is better to be safe than sorry.

Sometimes the spam filter will not let you release an email, even if you are 100% confident it’s OK. In this case, you would need to speak to your IT support or directly with the spam filter provider. They will further investigate the email and if all is OK, it will be released to you.

When you decide to release an email from quarantine, always think about how you do it.

You usually have three options:

1. Release the email only
2. Whitelist the sender
3. Whitelist the domain

Most of the time you should only release the email. Whitelist the sender only when you trust this sender. You should hardly ever need to whitelist the domain.

Further tips about whitelisting the domain:
– the best tip is to never do it
– never whitelist public email domains like google.com or hotmail.com
– never whitelist emails from your own domain

This way you help the spam filter to work in your advantage.

If an email which you know is spam ends in your quarantine often, you can blacklist a sender or a domain.

The results of whitelisting and blacklisting senders and domains have a bigger impact, so use them with caution.

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Small Businesses Benefit From Managed IT Services

From start-ups to multi-billion dollar businesses, everyone is looking for ways to cut costs while turning a profit. In fact, many companies are just trying to keep things in the black, however that does not eliminate the need for practices that will improve and grow these businesses. Since few people have the expertise to manage much of today’s technology, a certain percentage of their budgets should be allocated to IT and software applications maintenance. Here are ways that Managed IT Services benefit small and medium businesses.

Benefits of Managed IT Services for Small Businesses

  • Increased productivity- Businesses are established to fill the need for a product or service while providing a livelihood for the business owners and their employees. In order to do this, businesses have to ensure they are working at full capacity at all times. Downtime or work performed at reduced levels is time and money wasted. Managed IT Services can help businesses not only quickly repair problems when they occur but also act as a proactive measure to spot and treat potential problems before they have an impact on productivity.
  • Supports in-house IT- Many businesses do not want to relinquish all IT maintenance control to an outside party, and small businesses do not always have the resources to support the type of IT department needed to keep their business running at full speed. A majority of businesses can benefit from adding the expertise, tools and availability of a Managed IT Services Provider to help support in-house IT departments.
  • Remote services- Managed IT Services Providers work from a remote location, providing desktop, email and back-up and recovery support services without adding to the actual number of “employees” on site. The services provided are unobtrusive and in the majority of cases, have no impact in the day-to-day activities of current in-house employees.
  • Affordable- Generally when you bring on a Managed IT Services Provider, a consultant will perform an onsite assessment of the company, its workflows and processes and the current state of its supporting technology to determine what services are needed to meet organizational goals. Business owners often have a choice between several different levels of service, making it possible for a company with a limited budget to choose a package that best suits their needs.

Security is a big concern for business owners and individuals alike. In the past, business owners have been reluctant to entrust secure or private information to a third party, offsite vendor. As Managed IT Services Providers continue to prove their value, more companies are realizing the benefits and value of their services. Managed IT Services Providers continue to improve technology to provide secure, quality services for businesses of all sizes. As a result, smaller businesses which operate with leaner budgets find themselves in a position to reap the benefits of these services. Business owners often have to make difficult decisions regarding how they will improve their business while sticking to the budget. As the market for Managed IT Services experiences continual growth in the next few years, this method of IT maintenance and service delivery will likely become the “norm” for small to mid size businesses looking to reduce costs and improve uptime and business continuity. Companies that recognize the benefits of Managed IT Services will have a jump on their competition.

Click here to learn how Network Bridge Solutions Ltd can help you save reap these benefits and more with our Managed IT Services program for your business in London.

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Can Small Businesses Afford Managed IT Services Providers?

When determining the affordability and ROI of engaging with Managed IT Services Providers, small business owners often find themselves in a position of trying to balance a limited budget while making sure they have the proper tools to grow their business. It is a challenge many business owners face, in that they recognize the need for additional products or services that will allow their business to continue to thrive. However. funds may be in short supply to achieve these goals. This is especially true today, when small business owners find financial institutions less willing to extend credit in the current economy.

Faced with this challenge, many small business owners are forced to make difficult decisions as to where they can afford to spend money to improve their business. One of the areas in which business owners are on the fence is whether or not hiring a managed services provider is something they can afford. In some cases the cost is not worth the benefits, however there are many situations where cutting costs will end up costing you more money in the long run. Here are a few reasons why managed service providers may be more affordable than the alternative.

Technology – In order to be competitive in this day, small businesses must remain up-to-speed with current technology. The amount of money invested in this area can be quite large, making it necessary to ensure you have someone in your corner who can help manage and support the technology used in your business. While the average person is becoming increasingly well versed in the use of basic technology, there remains a need for experts in the industry to ensure your business can stay up and running on a daily basis as well as in the event of a natural or man made emergency.

Internal IT – Larger corporations have the budget necessary to support an internal IT department that provides expertise and support of the technology used by the company. Small businesses do not have the same resources and often find themselves either without backup or paying a high price when they have to bring in an outside expert.

Services provided by MSP’s- When a small business enlists the help of a managed service provider, they will agree to a contract which covers specific services at a specific price. This allows the the small business owner to see upfront what they are paying for and how it will work in the budget. Some of the services provided by msp’s include; computer and server support, data backup and disaster recovery, network security, custom software solutions, remote network monitoring and technology evaluation and planning. Depending on the business these services can be customized to meet the specific needs of the client, making it possible to reduce costs in certain areas.

There are many reasons why a small business owner might feel managed services providers are not something they can afford. Unfortunately the services provided are often not realized until there is an emergency, where small business owners quickly discover the amount of money spent to “fix” a problem or recover from a disaster is much more expensive than planning for it in the first place. In this case it is not a matter of if you can afford manages services, rather if you can afford NOT to have them.

Click here to learn how Network Bridge Solutions Ltd can help you save on IT costs with our Managed IT Services for your business in London.

 

 

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5 Reasons to Implement a Managed IT Services Solution

Information Technology services are essential to the success of every organization, large or small. With increasingly competitive business environments, CEOs and small business owners are under great pressure to maintain a highly qualified staff and to make sure their technology is obtaining a better ROI than their competitors’.

These goals are not easily achieved, particularly for young or small businesses with less financial resources and time available. Having your own successful information technology department can eat up too much of the company’s budget and time resources, and eventually cause a loss of its competitive edge. These disadvantages of maintaining an in-house IT department are why companies of all sizes have turned to using managed service providers to either assist their existing IT department or become their virtual IT department, handling all of the technology involved in keeping their businesses running at optimal levels.

The benefits of using a managed IT services solution are numerous, but the top 5 benefits of managed services for business include:

  1. Benefit from the expertise of a specialist, without having to spend time and financial resources training your staff to become experts
  2. Decrease your technology risks with Managed IT Services. Your company doesn’t have to worry about losing and trying to replace trained staff members, or about repairing, implementing or replacing complex technology solutions with Managed IT Services
  3. Enjoy access to the most up-to-date, sophisticated technology solutions without having to invest in expensive equipment.
  4. Experience ultimate control over your business technology without having to manage an information technology department. This gives you the time you need to focus on what you do best: your business functions.
  5. Reduce stress and improve efficiency of your staff. When you make good use of Managed IT Services resources, your staff isn’t tied up with IT concerns and they have more time to focus on tasks that are productive for the business.

Click here to learn how Network Bridge Solutions Ltd can help you benefit from managed IT services in London.

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