- Growing Together: Getting a Bigger Home to Accommodate Your Businessby Jimmy Beasley
If you are currently operating a business inside of your home, perhaps the time has come when you’ve run out of space and need to upgrade your house. This process can seem overwhelming, so remember these suggestions from Jimmy’s Computer Repair Service as you go on the market in search of something bigger and better.
Starting the Search
As you start your search for a new home that has the space you need, you may need to work with a realtor, and talk to them about what you want. Perhaps you need a bigger office, a larger garage that can double as a workshop, or a finished basement to run your business out of.
Make sure you are looking at several different homes. It is highly likely that others might be bidding on these homes, too, and you want to have more than one option when it comes to purchasing. Luckily, there is no shortage of available houses out there right now, with the median sale price in Lexington coming in at just over $333K.
Considering What You Need To Buy
The buying process can vary depending on where you are moving to if the market is hot or cold right now, and how well you are able to finance your new purchase. Getting pre-approved for a mortgage can help when it comes to making offers. Some individuals choose to go over the asking price of a home when they are trying to secure it.
Examine your budget and don’t do anything you do not feel comfortable with. You don’t want to make a commitment that you cannot afford or buy a home that you don’t feel completely sure about.
Setting Up a New Home Office
When setting up your new home office, make a list of everything you will need in order to run your business successfully. A good internet signal and phone are crucial for most business owners these days, so try to ensure those get installed as quickly as possible. Figure out how much space you’ll need for a desk, or if you require extra space for a workshop, artist table, and so on.
It might be helpful to seek mentorship and get advice from someone else who has worked out of their home before. Don’t forget about your clients during this time. Consider putting orders on hold or letting them know you will be busy while you are getting your office in order, and give them a return-by date.
Identifying What You Need To Run Your Business
As you set up your new home office, ask yourself what your old conditions were lacking. Did you make recent changes to your marketing plan that you couldn’t follow through on, or are you at a point where you need to hire employees? Try to identify the roadblocks you were dealing with, and find out how you can overcome them. Consider seeking out funding for your company if necessary.
One way that you can help your business grow is by going back to school and taking part in an online MBA program. This can help you develop your skills in a variety of areas, such as accounting, corporate finance, strategic planning, and marketing, to name a few. Choosing an online program means you’ll have time to balance your business, family, and school, and can avoid an unnecessary commute.
Moving into a bigger home to benefit your business can help you in the long run. Make sure you have a solid business plan and create goals that you hope to achieve, to ensure you are on the right path.
- How Data Analytics Can Impact Business Strategy, Operation, and Growthby Jimmy Beasley
Business owners who actively collect and study information about their companies can gain critical insights that inform their decisions. However, accurate data interpretation is essential for ensuring that company decision-makers avoid missing vital opportunities or making disastrous choices.
Company leaders can achieve the following depending upon how they analyze and act upon various types of readily available data.
1. Acquire and retain customers
Acquiring new customers can help a business grow, but existing customers are indispensable for its long-term growth. Understanding what potential and existing customers value can help convert prospects and reduce churn rates by addressing issues that lead your customers to competitors.
2. Improve employee engagement
A business’s team is essential to its success, but full-time employees come with significant expenses. Therefore, leaders can use data analytics to determine which roles they need to fill and the candidates to fill them.
Analyzing productivity can also eliminate the high costs of hiring full-time staff to complete part-time assignments.
3. Develop effective marketing campaigns
Reaching potential and existing customers in meaningful ways is challenging for companies that market their offerings across multiple verticals. A software program that provides marketing strategy analysis reveals top-producing efforts where companies should allocate their budget.
4. Manage inventory
Various factors can influence the type of inventory a business offers, including:
- Time of year
- Client age
- Marital and family status
- Geographical location
Collecting in-depth data and sorting it by various criteria can help companies maintain adequate inventory levels to meet their demand and avoid missing opportunities.
5. Develop profitable products
Analyzing client buying habits is critical for companies’ development of products that help them meet their sales goals. Insights into how clients use and value products and incorporate them into their lives can help companies expand and modify their offerings to ensure maximum returns on their investments.
6. Determine prices
The selling price can affect how customers respond to goods and services. Companies can use pricing data to determine their customers’ value threshold and how much they are willing to pay. This information can dramatically impact revenues, especially for larger companies. For example, a subtle price change could turn an underperforming product into a best seller.
7. Match customers with products and services
Companies with numerous products and services can use data analytics to avoid errors that accompany a one-size-fits-all mentality. For example, product developers can avoid wasting valuable resources by creating variations of a company’s offerings to reflect the tastes or requirements of different audience categories before marketing teams use the same data to adjust their campaigns to encourage customer interest.
8. Create efficient billing processes
Data that reveals how and when customers pay their invoices provides companies with cash flow visibility. This information ensures companies develop invoicing options to encourage fast, timely, and consistent payments and reduces delinquencies accounting departments must track. For example, an analysis of payment method preferences can prompt companies to enable automatic and suggested payment options. An online invoice generator provides pre-made invoices that companies can download and customize with their logos, photos, preferred format, and unique billing terms.
10. Maintain a user-friendly website
Connecting a website to data analytics software programs helps businesses track visitor conversion and bounce rates. For example, site developers can extract data about content and keywords that resonate with visitors to ensure they create engaging, accessible websites that promote their goals and increase their bottom line.
Using data analytics is essential for helping business leaders make informed decisions that reduce their risk and benefit their bottom line.
Looking for comprehensive IT services in Lexington? Talk to Jimmy!
- Best IT Help Desk Practices for Your Businessby Jimmy Beasley
The IT demands of the business are increasing with time. You need the latest technologies for supporting your daily business operations. The importance of an efficient and functional help desk can’t be overstated. IT help desks can use ticketing software for providing swift and excellent assistance to your end-users. This will ensure that your IT operations will run smoothly. These roles are very important for your business as they will help you in maintaining efficient workflows. Organizations should know about the best IT help desk practices that they can follow for improving their help desk. In this article, we are going to talk about the best IT help desk practices for your business.
What is a good IT help desk?
A good IT help desk will help you in providing a good customer experience. The help desk will offer solutions to your end-users who need IT support. They will also help your employees if they are seeking answers to any IT questions. This is very important for your business as everyone is using IT for conducting daily operations. If your employees are stuck due to an IT issue, then they can’t do their work. Thus, it is important to ensure that you can quickly resolve your employee queries.
Best IT Help Desk Practices
Your IT help desk will help you in driving your business success. However, your business will be limited by how well your IT help desk is functioning. You should implement the best IT help desk practices for ensuring that you are providing the best services to your end-users and employees.
- Use good help desk software
You should use the software that is designed for help desks only. This software has all the necessary tools to your team can use for fulfilling IT requests. There are various help desk tools available in the market. You should look for help desk solutions that are easy to use and set up. They should provide an integrated set of tools that you can use for reducing the remediation time. Your IT help desk team can use these tools for solving end-user issues.
You should understand your business needs. This will help you in finding the right help desk software for your business. You should ensure that this tool will help you in automating processes.
- Start with your existing processes
Most businesses start building their help desk infrastructure from scratch. They forget about their existing processes. If you are re-building your infrastructure, then you need to retrain your service team. They need to learn about new procedures. You will waste a lot of resources and time in re-training your employees.
This will also confuse your end-users who are already using the old system. It is always a better idea to integrate help desk software with your old IT infrastructure. You can use this software for simplifying and streamlining current processes.
Try to integrate the new help desk management software with your existing processes. You don’t need to worry about re-training your help desk agents. Your customers will also be comfortable with old processes.
- Grow iteratively
Gigantic changes won’t work if you are upgrading your help desk service. Try to make small improvements in your help desk system. This will help you in improving your help desk services with time. A business that makes gigantic changes is most likely to crash as the organizations can’t handle such big changes. You should start with smaller projects. Your help desk agents should work on making these small improvements. This will lead to the iterative growth of your business.
- Hire skilled technicians
Skilled technicians can quickly solve any IT issue. This will ensure that your help desk services can provide good services to your end-users. If your lower-tier technicians are escalating every issue to top-tier technicians, then your top-tier technicians will waste a lot of their time and resources.
Sometimes it can be expensive to hire knowledgeable technicians. You can solve this problem by creating documentation for your technicians. They can follow this documentation for solving common issues. You should focus on providing regular training to your employees. Organizations can also partner up with good MSPs like Jimmy’s Computer Repair & Security Services. Jimmy’s Computer Repair & Security Services will give you access to the best IT experts. They will help you to quickly solve every IT issue. This will free up your IT team and they can focus on doing high-value projects.
- Knowledge base
You should create a knowledge base for your technicians. This knowledge base should contain all the steps for troubleshooting and how-to. It should contain the answer to all the common questions. Your IT help desk can follow this documentation for solving common issues. Make sure that all this information is available in a central location. This will ensure that your IT technicians can easily access this information.
- Create new tickets for every customer query or interaction
Customers are the most important part of every business. Every customer interaction is important for your business. You should create a new ticket whenever you are interacting with your customers.
This will help your business in tracking all the open cases. It will ensure that your users are updated with the ticket status. A record of complaints should be kept for every user. This will help your business in providing personalized and proactive customer support. Make sure that you are creating a ticket for every in-person online request, call alert, social media message, message, and conversation. This will help you in providing better services to your customers.
- Offer high value to your customers
It is important to provide value to your customers. This will help you in increasing your customer retention rate. Every business should focus on providing optimal value to its customers.
The main aim of your support interaction is not to just solve a particular issue. Make sure that your support agents are having deep conversations with your end-users and customers. They should understand what challenges your end-users are facing. They can share self-help articles with your customers. Your agents can also guide the customers in solving their problems. A deep conversation with your customers will help you in ensuring that your customers will be satisfied with your help desk support.
- Implement effective Service Level Agreements (SLAs)
SLAs are documents that will help you in defining what services your IT help desk will provide. This document should include the metrics that you will use for tracking your help desk performance.
SLAs act as a contract between the customers and the help desk. This agreement will help you in clearing the expectations with your customers. It will help you in avoiding misunderstandings in the future. SLAs are generally applicable to MSPs. However, they will also help you in setting expectations and metrics for internal IT teams.
- Automate your ticketing processes
Automated ticketing will help you in creating and assigning tickets to the agents. The tickets will be assigned according to the experience and knowledge level of your agents. This software will ensure that you don’t need to figure out the type of every ticket. You also don’t need to worry about whom to contact. Automation of the entire process will help you in cutting down on unnecessary costs and wasted time.
Automation will help your help desk automatically detect issues. You can use these tools to automatically create tickets and fix the issues. This type of automation will help you in solving common IT help desk requests. You can resolve these requests by following the same solution. If you are automating these tickets, then it will help your IT team in saving a lot of time and resources. They can focus on solving tickets that require manual remediation.
- Focus on transparency
You should offer transparency to your customers. Your customers should know about the status of their requests. They should know about the systems and processes that you are using for resolving their requests. This will ensure that they will have more trust in your organization. A transparent process will help you in growing your customer base. It will convert your customer base into a loyal customer base.
All the businesses that are famous for their customer service facilitate good communication between IT support representatives and customers. It is important to focus on transparency if you want to increase your customer base. You can automate the ticket updates for improving transparency. This will ensure that your customers will stay updated. Customers will know exactly what you are doing with their tickets. This will help you in saving your agents time. Also, it will reduce emails from your customers as they don’t need to manually ask for updates.
- Add context to every ticket
Some of the most common help desk requests will look something like this: “Please help my laptop or computer is not working properly”. This won’t help your IT help desk in understanding anything. Maybe their internet is slow or they have lost some data. It is impossible to predict what your user is facing.
It is important to ask for context in every ticket. This will help your IT help desk team in finding the root cause of the issue. They can quickly solve the problem. The context will help your IT team quickly solve the issue. It will help them in supporting the smooth operation of your devices. Your customers will also stay satisfied with your services. Fixing these issues quickly will help you in increasing the productivity of your employees.
- Track your help desk metrics
It is important to track your help desk metrics. This will ensure that you have an overall view of how your help desk is performing. It will act as a visual for you. You can follow it to check if you need to make improvements to your services. This will help you in measuring the progress of your help desk.
You can track metrics like resolution time, customer satisfaction, tickets resolved, response time, and resolution rate. It is important to set a baseline for these metrics. This will ensure that you are always improving your help desk services.
- Always improve the process
This is the final practice that your IT help desk should follow. Always look for ways to improve your IT help desk service. The difference between a good and excellent help desk is that an excellent help desk is always improving its processes.
You should always look at your help desk metrics for measuring your progress. This will help you in finding areas where you can improve your process. You should also check how your users are feeling about your IT help desk. If your customers are not satisfied, then you should collect feedback from them. This feedback will help you in improving your processes.
These are the best IT help desk practices that you can follow for upgrading your IT help desk. You should spend your team understanding and implementing these help desk procedures. These are the best help desk practices that every business should try to implement. You can execute some of these practices for optimizing your help desk management. However, it is expensive to maintain an in-house help desk team. You need to hire expert IT professionals for your business. This can be very expensive as IT professionals generally take 80-200k$ annually. You also need to spend money on expensive software and tools.
Most businesses are moving towards SMBs for solving this problem. Experienced MSPs like Jimmy’s Computer Repair & Security Services will help you in handling your help desk request. They will give you access to the best IT talent and software. Jimmy’s Computer Repair & Security Services will help you in resolving your customer and employee tickets. You don’t need to worry about solving these tickets manually. This will remove the burden from your IT team as they don’t need to worry about solving these requests. Your IT team can spend their time and resources on improving your core products and services. If you need more information regarding IT help desk services, then you can contact Jimmy’s Computer Repair & Security Services
- 5 Common Technology Problems and How to Solve Themby Jimmy Beasley
In 2019, we are not just active users of technology, we are dependent on them. From the mobile phones in our hands to the chip on your ATM cards, over time, we have seen all these become a very significant part of our existence. Take your phone away for a day and you are sure to feel fidgety. But behind this booming industry is the long list of pitfalls that the engineering behind their computers faces each day. As glamorous as the world of technology seems from the vision of Elon Musk and Bill Gates, in reality, even technological advancements are facing some of the worse crisis in modern days.
As hard as it is to create innovation in technology, it is harder to find a talented workforce to back it. Although the tech-field has the highest employment in the world, the advancements are happening at a pace higher than the learning rate. With new systems in place each year, there is always a lack of good talent to keep the industry alive.
There is also a geographic issue. All technological advancements are isolated to different parts of the world. So with each new development, the entire working population has to be trained to adapt to a tech.
The only way to fix this problem is by creating segregation and specialization in the early stages of learning. Instead of bombarding students with all-thing-technology, if we are able to bifurcate the fields early on, we can produce more skilled talent and achieve higher efficiency from them.
The safety of data has always been of grave concern to any big tech giant. Even companies like Facebook and Google are battling each day to assure the privacy of user data. The recent incident with Facebook’s data scandal has thrown light on how no data is safe on the internet. The problem with data safety is that there are not enough government regulations in place.
Uninformed users also play a huge role in this problem. With millions of new users exposed to the internet each year, there is no way to control and educate them about the many ways data can be misused.
Creating regulation at a global level. Companies around the world must dedicate some guidelines in the use and distribution of data. If you think agreeing to the same guidelines world over is an impossible task. Remember, the red light means the same anywhere on the globe. Another important factor is the education of early users to the pros and cons of data permissions.
Flaws in Execution
New tech, just like a new piece of furniture, needs to go through many stages of tests before it can be made available for mass usage. The many stages like alpha testing and beta testing are prerequisites before any technology can be deployed. This is a time-consuming process and often the biggest hitch for new players.
There is also the major loss in translation between the developers and the distributors. Often technology, as good as it may be, will end up in the wrong markets. The simple problem is that the people creating a product are not the same selling it.
A friend working in the big-data division of a leading company once told me this, “The only way a product will make positive change is when tech-guys start to sell their own products”. Product developers must not stop at coding but also study supply-demand markets. This change is already evident with the boom in IT-startups across the world.
Artificial Intelligence Takeover.
Humans created AI, and now we are threatened by it. We are running a race with artificial intelligence and losing at it without our knowledge. AI was created as a technology that can improve the efficiency of every-day time-consuming processes. Fields like sorting, labeling, inventory, and accounting have already seen a massive takeover of AI.
The issue is that machine learning is becoming more efficient than human learning. A recent case in California showed an AI robot asked to run as fast as possible, instead developed in hight and fell face-forward to cover the distance it was supposed to run. Tech geniuses across the world worry that we will not be able to control this monster we have created.
The issue of AI domination is far into the future. Many companies are already making efforts to control the blow-out. The simple solution is having well-planned research and many levels of beta testing before dispatching products to the market.
Cloud Storage Crunch
If the waste management problem in your city is a problem, imagine the tons of garbage collected in the clouds. With almost everything on the internet, companies are unable to keep up with the growing bandwidth. Towers of storage units in remote locations are unable to manage and separate the useful data from the unwanted. We also face the issue of data safety as mentioned above. An organization like Amazon has publically stated that warehouse space is not as much of an issue as cloud storage.
Cloud networking advancements should be encouraged. Everyone wants to create data but not many entrepreneurs are working on making storage optimized and well encrypted.
There might be a rise in technological risks, but that does not come in the way of development. These problems are just a minor pawn in the lard board game of technology. Opt for the above fixes to solve all the technological issues.
- Cybersecurity: Keeping Your Business Safe and Secureby Jimmy Beasley
If you’re a small business owner, you may think that your systems are safe simply because you have antivirus software installed on your computers. Unfortunately, this isn’t necessarily so. Cybercriminals, who can attack your business from anywhere in the world, have a personal interest in obtaining your data or locking your systems down.
The IT specialists at Jimmy’s Computer Service share a few things you should know.
⦁ Increasing awareness pays off. Cybersecurity is a serious concern for businesses. You have to understand the risks of a cybersecurity breach to properly respond to the dangers. Take the time to read about recent breaches and other cybersecurity threats. And never underestimate criminals or assume that your business is too small to matter. By knowing what you potentially face, you may save yourself from an incident. Implement a cybersecurity training program for your employees, which should include learning how to ⦁ recognize phishing emails and to determine if a link is safe.
⦁ Back up your data. It doesn’t matter how little data you collect from your customers, vendors, or employees; ⦁ back it up. This cannot be underscored enough. A good rule of thumb is never store information you are not willing to lose on a single device or in a sole location within your networks.
⦁ Be proactive, not just reactive. Backing up your data is part of a smart cybersecurity plan, but it is not enough. You need a recovery plan already drafted before you are targeted by cybercriminals. The right recovery plan is the one that works for your business and includes many layers of protection. Most importantly, it will be easy to test frequently and can be scaled quickly and effectively as you grow.
⦁ Be mindful of online tool use. There is a glut of online tools available for small businesses, but be careful about what you use, and confirm your actions are secure. From something as major as setting up a ⦁ wire transfer to a small task like having to ⦁ convert a PDF to Word file, confirm that providers are committed to security and privacy.
⦁ Install firewalls. A ⦁ firewall is essentially filtering software or hardware that reduces unauthorized access to your computer. You can think of it like a bouncer at a club door. It turns away the riff raff and works with your other security measures to ensure only the people you want accessing your computer and network can get in.
⦁ Insist on stronger passwords. Your firewall is great at identifying known threats and keeping them out, but some threats come dressed as a friend. Hackers can easily steal passwords and login to your systems posing as an employee or customer. Make sure that anyone that logs in to your internal networks or your website creates a strong password, which Google explains will ⦁ protect your files and other content. Passwords should be at least 10 characters long and contain a combination of letters, numbers, and symbols. Further, passwords should change often, and your system should never allow previously used passwords.
⦁ Keep home and work separate. If you use or allow your employees to use their home computers for work, you may be opening yourself up ⦁ to even more threats. Whenever possible, use a dedicated computer for your professional endeavors. Insist that your employees do the same or, at the very least, use a VPN and prohibit your employees from logging into work from a public Wi-Fi connection.
The internet changes every day, and cybercriminals know exactly how to keep up. Stay one step ahead, and you’ll be that much closer to keeping your systems safe. The tips above, from increasing your own and your employees’ awareness to not using the same devices for home and work, can help you run a safe and secure business in today’s digital environment.
Whether you have computer issues, need to set up a new network or want to find better low-cost solutions, connect with Jimmy’s Computer Service today!