IT Advice from a Self-Taught Enthusiast

Ask any small business employee what IT support looks like at their office, and they’ll probably shrug and tell you that they just go to That One Person from [insert any department here] Who Knows About Computers.

At Kaser, I’m that That One Person.

I don’t mind – in fact, I enjoy it. But I also empathize with managers who spend their days fielding IT problems at the expense of their actual job duties. It’s one of the perils of running a small business.

In the spirit of alleviating stress, here’s some IT advice from a self-taught enthusiast.

Find your pros.

You may be ambitious, eager to learn, and even downright gifted…but at some point, the blue screen of death will rear its ugly head, and you’ll have no choice but to call in the pros. Approach this like you would a primary care physician: find someone you trust, establish a business relationship, and let them get to know you before you get sick.

Outsource your setup.

Money is tight, and you’re the DIY type. I get it, and I applaud you. But this is not the place to cut corners. It is 100% worth paying a professional to set up the following: your phone system, your network (switches, routers, firewalls, wireless access points, etc), and the computer itself. Maintaining a well-established system is a breeze; limping along on a flawed setup is not.

Take some ownership.

Don’t just sit back while the pros are getting you up and running. Ask questions. Get to know the gear they’re installing. Ask what maintenance they recommend. Write down part names so that you can type them into YouTube when they break. The internet should be the first place you turn when anything breaks. If you can’t find the answer there, simply revisit step 1.

Back EVERYTHING up.

Don’t wait until you’ve lost all of your data to make backups a priority. If you don’t already have an external hard drive, order one today. Hook it up the minute it arrives. Make sure that it’s fully up to date every single night, because your computer may not start in the morning. At Kaser, we also back up to the cloud – I sleep a little better at night knowing that our data is preserved in the event of fire or flood.

If you’re in Lincoln, I can recommend two great vendors: Kidwell (for phone systems), and Quick Connect (for all of your computer needs). Both of these companies are instrumental in keeping Kaser running smoothly. If this is all new and you have questions, please reach out to me. I’d love nothing more than to help another small business get their IT needs met.

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