Posts Under Tag: How to’s and tips

Help! My IT Guy Quit

Backup Plans In Case Your IT Guy Quits

Every business whether a small or big requires an IT staff to provide knowledge and expertise to ensure that all the operations run smoothly. If you only have one or two individuals in your office who can make tools work, problems can arise at an unexpected time, and this could even get worse if the guy quits. It is never a simple task to hire another IT guy since your new guy has to obtain information about your previous staff to do the job effectively. There are many things you have to put in place to ensure that you are safe in case the employee decides to quit.

Check if you have a game plan. You will be stunned by just how much knowledge your IT staffs have in their head, and when they decide to walk out the door, they walk with all the knowledge, and you will be left desperate if you want your business to keep running. Some of the things you should ensure to have for backup include;
Documentation

It is safe if you are aware of the type of software licenses you have bought and the period they cover. Also, you should have authentication keys in case you wish to reinstall the software. Ensure that all the hardware is guaranteed and that you have the warranty in the event of a breakdown. Another essential document to have is the records of the contracts you ever had with the cloud service vendors. Such records can save you big time in case you are in a crisis.
Backups and Network Restoration

You should be aware of the kind of system that your IT expert is applying to back up your data and know how often it is backed up. Ensure to have all the necessary passwords and usernames, and it is advisable to learn more about IT such that if the network goes down unexpectedly, you know all the necessary steps you need to follow to bring it up again. Also, make sure you have a disaster recovery plan.

Security

Security is a very critical aspect of every business, and it would be a disaster if your IT guy quits and you are not aware of what should be done to deny them access to your system after they are gone. This will pose a threat to your business since you just cannot trust everyone and assume that it will be okay if a former employee is out there with all your company’s information including the deep secrets. You do not know what they can do especially if they left when you were not in good terms. Ensure to protect yourself.
Know about your current projects

Ensure that you know everything that is going on with your network. Do a follow up on the progress and everything that needs to be done soon. You should know when you need to install new Internet access tools otherwise, you will be caught off guard. You should have a list of the things that need to be done and the current progression and make sure that the list has all the information you need in case of reference or consultation like the date when it should be done, and the contact information of the involved personnel. This will help you stay prepared even with the absence of your IT staff.

Support system

Most IT guys are likely to use the support ticketing system to collect data required to solve network problems. In such cases, if there is one in your firm, make sure you know the ticket system’s details like the login password and username. Also, make sure to research as much about it as possible like how to log in and how they function and stored. The tools are your gateway to solving any future IT breakdown since they show you both the issue and the solution. It is good if you have all the information needed about them to avoid stress when your IT staff is no longer there for you.

Ensure you have contacts of people you can look up to

You will be safe if you have information about a person you can call for help in an emergency. These are third party vendors that you are confident they will not let you down whenever you need them. Make sure you have information about the service contract for every vendor like when the contract expires and the terms and condition of the contract including the payment terms. The information is crucial since if you are aware of the expiry date, then you know when it needs to be renewed and the payment helps you to decide which vendor is more suitable. Third party vendors are of great importance since you will always know you are covered with or without an IT staff.

Compile the information about monitoring tools

Most IT guys use monitoring tools to make sure that the network is safe and to monitor everything going on with the network, ensure that you have a list of these monitoring tools and all the credential information about them. Also, make sure you know how they work and how to make reports if you find yourself in a crisis. With such information, you can keep your network monitored always, and you will not have to go through breakdown or insecurity crisis.

Hire a managed IT service

The other solution to get out of this stress is by hiring Managed IT service. This is a great privilege for you since it reduces the chances of your IT support just disappearing on you without notice. Also, they keep all your detailed records thus if you decide to hand over the job to another company, they will have access to the previous management easily. Managed IT services also reduce the cost for you. It is the best solution for you to get rid of all the network stress.

With the above backup plans, nothing will ever go wrong as much as the business network is concerned. Losing a person you entrusted with a task can be frustrating and stressful, but you always have to ensure that you are ready to go even if they leave.

A How-to Guide for Creating an Awesome Social Media Strategy

When is the last time you sat down to plan your company’s social media goals? It is important to keep your social media in line with your current marketing strategy. Here are five steps to get you started?

Step 1: Align Social Media to Your Company’s Goals

To have the impact you envision, your social media needs to align with your company’s overall goals and corporate values. When designing or revamping social media campaigns, pull out for a 50,000-foot view to ensure that you aren’t just meeting your social media marketing goals, but maximizing the impact social media can have on the whole company.

Some goals that achieve this could include:

Increase Brand Awareness

 

  • Follower count for your social profiles
  • Referral traffic from social media and clicks on your social media posts
  • New leads collected through social media and conversion rate of leads

 

Media Grow Revenue

 

  • Signups or revenue from social ads

 

Boost Brand Engagement

 

  • Build a community around your social media tied to your business
  • Number of posts, likes, and comments for Facebook
  • Number of participants, tweets per participant for Twitter
  • Number of daily active users for Slack

 

Increase Mentions in the Press

 

  • Potential reach, influencers and shares about your content, includes percentage that ask about industry-related topics

 

Learn about Your Customer

 

  • How many conversations with social media customers
  • Pay attention to their suggestions or feedback for product or content improvements

 

Step 2: Break Out Goals into Tactics

Map out the specific actions needed to accomplish the goals you’ve set. Here’s are some ways to this:

  • Create a list of influencers in the target niche and approach them for sponsored posts
  • Direct message each to try to form a relationship
  • Initiate a sponsored post with 1 brand or influencer per month

 

Step 3: Prioritize your Plan

Every marketing team has limited resources. In order to be effective, you need to develop tactics and a social media marketing plan based on those tactics. So, how do you set priorities? Try Product Plan’s model which compares value vs. complexity.

  • Evaluate how much value each tactic will create for the business
  • Compare that to the effort each tactic takes, as well as the complexity
  • Prioritize by the highest value tactics with the least effort and complexity involved
  • You cannot predict exactly how much time and effort each tactic takes or the actual value proposition it will bring to the business. This is an educated guess designed to focus and redirect your efforts on an ongoing basis.

 

Step 4: Assign Tasks and set Dates for Goals

 

  • After you rank specific tactics that you plan to use to accomplish the company’s social media goals, add two items to each tactic.
  • Assign people to work on and be responsible for each tactic.
  • Set a target date for when each tactic should be accomplished.

 

Step 5: Analyze and Adapt the Plan Frequently

After you set your plan, schedule time on a regular, recurring basis, to adjust the plan and pieces in motion. Adapt your goals and tactics frequently, but smoothly. If something isn’t working or generating measurable impact, don’t get attached. Kill it and start fresh. Regular brainstorming sessions with co-workers in leadership and sales can help generate new ideas. Don’t be afraid to farm out ideas to and from entrepreneurial coworkers.

Desk buying tips

Desktop Buying Tips

Many people around the world remain loyal to the desktop platform due to its familiarity, performance and upgradeability. If you are in the search for a new desktop PC, it is important to consider what you will be using it for, as not all computer users’ needs are equal. With that in mind, here some more tips to consider.

Do your research first
Research is essential when you are considering getting a desktop PC. It hurts to miss on a deal by buying a computer only to find a new CPU or another major component on the market for the same price a few weeks later. To ensure you get the most current technology and value for your money, arm yourself with information and choose the best time to pounce. Look around at all of the major PC vendors’ sites, check refresh cycles for products, and don’t be afraid to put off a purchase for a while to see if you can get better technology at a budget price.

Know the Processor
Power users need the best of processors, possibly a quad-core for maximum performance and the best protection from technological extinction. If you don’t use a lot of programs at the same time, you may be content with just one or two cores and don’t need to spend extra cash to snag a few more. Always make sure to ask how many cores are on the chip and what the clock speed is for a powerful processor.

RAM
Just like the number of processor cores affects the speed and ability to run more programs simultaneously, the amount of Random Access Memory, or RAM, in a computer can alter just how much multitasking can go on and how fast it will be. You will want at least 4 gigabytes though more memory is always better. If you intend to upgrade your desktop PC yourself, make sure that your system’s motherboard can support additional RAM modules.

Graphic cards
The graphics processing unit is responsible for everything you see on your display, whether you play games, watch videos or view pictures. If you plan on gaming with your PC, integrated graphics of the right requirement will help deliver enough power to run simple games or high-definition Flash video.

Operating system
The rule here is sticking with what you are familiar with, whether Mac OS, Windows, or Linux, as it can be a bit challenging to adjust to a new operating system. However, it’s worth noting that not all software is available for every operating system, thus the need to get an OS that can run all the required software.

Hard drive
Make sure you get a hard disk with adequate available space and one with speeds that don’t slow down the computer.

Check your peripherals
The peripherals on your computer are going to be pretty specific to your needs. Do you require more USB ports, an HDMI output, SD slot or built-in Wi-Fi and Bluetooth receivers rather than using external devices? Think about all of these when purchasing your desktop PC.

Computer Maintenance

Home Computer Maintenance 101

Importance of Computer Maintenance

Computer maintenance is a practice of making sure that your computer is in a good state of repair. The short-term goal of computer maintenance is to ensure the integrity of the information stored on the computer, and the long-term goal is to extend the life expectancy of your computer.

Remove temporary files.

You should remove temporary files from the computer since these files can bog down the performance of your machine. The computer will have to cipher through numerous pieces of information before it completes a command. Deleting temporary files will not only make your computer faster, but it will open up space for you to download applications and other software.

Antivirus and anti-spyware programs.

Make sure that you regularly schedule scans from your antivirus and anti-spyware programs. These programs will go through your files, detect any incredulous pieces of codes, and delete them. Antispyware is particularly important, as many creators of spyware have taken advantage of loopholes and system vulnerabilities. Software like Norton antivirus, emphasizes their dedication to protecting their users. Norton Virus Protection Promise even promises that if any viruses go through their multilayered defense system, that their support team will provide world-class support to eliminate it – even citing a money back guarantee if they cannot remove the virus.

Delete Unused Applications.

All applications pose a risk to your system. Most developers will be quick to patch vulnerabilities, while some will never do so because the company is bankrupt, they’ve gone out of business, or they aren’t cognizant on the many viruses on the internet. Mitigate these risks by routinely removing applications and software that you do not use anymore. Many unused programs can free up a lot of space on your hard drive. If your computer is new, there may be various trial programs that you may want to delete now.

Check the integrity of data by defragging.

Even after you’ve removed programs, files may be all over the hard drive and computer’s memory. Defragging will realign these files, allowing your computer to retrieve them more readily.

If you have any questions about computer maintenance, contact our expert technicians at Inter-Quest Corp.