Small Business Hardware

If you are starting a small business, or expanding your existing business, here are some technology tips for planning your hardware needs. Remember that the minute you launch your website or hand out a business card you are visible to the world. Potential customers should see you with your best foot forward, but what do you need to make that happen? The right technology is a major step in the right direction. Let’s talk about some hardware:

  1. Computers
    1. Avoid the Cheapest: You may be tempted by the price tag on a computer, but remember that with computers you are paying for performance. A cheap computer will leave you banging your head on the desk while the spinning wheel goes around and around. How much is your time worth? Do you have enough of it to stare at a loading screen? Avoid last year’s model, too. A computer is designed to last about 3 years, so you’re already behind if you’re trying to save a few bucks on an earlier version. usb-1284227_1920
    2. Pick the Best Operating System for You: You may be a Mac or a PC lover, but whichever it is, pick one and run with it. It can be costly in the long-term to have multiple platforms. You may have to buy additional licenses to run programs on one OS vs. another.
    3. Is Mobility a Priority? Do you need to leave your desk or will you be relatively stationary? You can get a laptop with performance equal to or beyond the performance of a desktop system, but you will pay more for the same performance. If you need devices to bring to sales meetings, ensure that they are top-notch in the speed department, or you’ll leave your potential client with plenty of time to think about the quality (or lack thereof) of your presentation.
    4. Processor Power: It is the heart of your computer, but unlike your heart, no amount of calisthenics will make it better. It is difficult to replace and can be the most frustrating component of a computer. Invest in a good one and you won’t regret it.
    5. Other Components: The more access to your RAM, the faster your computer will run. Put in as many RAM chips as possible. You can install them into the motherboard and instantly see the difference. Pick the right video card for your needs. Purchase ISV-Certified Equipment.
  • Servers
      • Do You Need One? The answer might be “Yes” if you have a high-transaction database. This could be because you are generating, storing, or accessing massive amounts of data. If this is not the case, then you
        might be able to get away with a NAS device or a remote server.

    Data servers while working.

 

  • Telephony
    • The decline of traditional telephony: It was once true that if you were in business, you needed a phone system in the cabinet. It was the only way you could reach your customers and they could reach you. This is simply not true anymore. The desk phone is quickly becoming a relic of the past. Smartphones and cellular devices are becoming the technology of choice for business communications. Skype, and other softphones, have become an alternative to the hardware once necessary for business. These applications run from a computer through a headset or microphone and offer comparable voice quality to traditional phones.
    • VoIP Hosted voice over IP phones have rapidly replaced traditional PRI or PBX solutions. These devices run over the internet and use SIP Trunks to connect users through cloud technology. It allows businesses to keep the phone one the desk without spending thousands of dollars installing a new phone system in the closet. If your business is primarily phone-based, then it may be an excellent solution.

 

  • Network Equipment
    • play-stone-1237497_1280What is a Network? A network is, basically, two or more computers linked in order to share resources, exchange files, and communicate. Resources could be printers, scanners, servers, etc. There are two main types of networks: wired and wireless.
    • What Network Do I Need? If you answered “Yes” to the server question, then you’ll need a wired network. If you don’t need a dedicated server on premise, you’ll want to create a wireless network. This is done by using a wireless router and your internet connection. You’ll need to select the best router for your business. Some are completely secured and require a
      password to access the network. Others can be configured to allow guest access or even scenarios where users must provide payment to access the network.