12 Low-Cost Technology Solutions for Small Business

Technology can be a small business owner's best friend. It can help you work more efficiently, find more customers, and save money while doing it. Here is a high-level look at 12 areas where technology can help your small business become more profitable and productive.

  • 01 Online Business Training

    As a small business owner, knowledge and a desire to continue expanding your experience is invaluable. With unlimited time and a boundless budget, you could travel the world to participate in live training and educational events. Of course, most of us are restricted by limited finances and time challenges, so that's usually not realistic.

    Self-paced training and free online business training programs are an excellent way to expand your know-how, right from the comfort of your own home or office when it suits you best. There are a number of exceptional online business training resources that cover just about any topic you'd want to learn about. Once you know how to select an online business training program, the possibilities are endless.

  • 02 Open-Source Software

    Open-source software provides small business owners with alternatives to using mainstream commercial applications in the day-to-day management of their businesses. Open-source software is attractive for many business ownersbecause it typically requires no financial investment and frequently has the flexibility to fit perfectly with a business owner's needs.

    One of the most popular open-source tools available is OpenOffice.org, an office software suite with word processing, spreadsheets, presentations, graphics, databases, and more.

  • 03 Landline Alternatives

    These days, small business owners are not tied to an office or computer in order to do their work and stay in the loop. One of the ways that business owners can take their business with them is by using an alternative to a traditional landline as their telephone service. Cell phones, VoIP, and virtual phone lines are a few of the options available.

  • 04 Teleconference Services

    So much of what we do as small business owners has a virtual element. Being able to conduct conference calls with a group of team members and/or clients at different locations is one example of this. There are many teleconference services, some free, that give small business owners the ability to conduct teleconferences with multiple parties -- anytime they want -- without needing special telephone or bridge line equipment.

    There are also a number of Web conferencing tools that allow you to connect with team members located all over the world, almost as if you're face-to-face.

  • 05 Time Tracking Tools

    Whether or not you bill your clients hourly, small business owners can find significant value in keeping track of where their time is spent. This has a number of benefits including making your project estimates more accurate and helping you boost your own productivity.

    There are many time tracking toolsavailable, including desktop applications, online tools, and even services integrated into larger project management or bookkeeping software.

  • 06 Online Invoicing Services

    Bookkeeping applications come in many shapes and sizes. But depending on your individual needs, you may not need an extensive accounting suite to manage your books. In fact, a streamlined online invoicing service may be an appropriate alternative for your business that allows you to manage your billing process quicker and more proficiently.

    When it comes to getting paid, technology also provides many online payment options.

  • 07 Remote Desktop Applications

    Again, technology solidifies the connection between small business owners and mobility. Having access to your primary computer and all of the data on it when you are out of your office -- and being able to view or modify it from your iPad or smartphone -- can give you an edge when it comes to managing your business.

    Remote desktop access applications, such as GoToMyPC and LogMeIn, can keep you connected even when you're not sitting at your desk.

  • 08 Screencasting Tools

    Screencasting is creating a movie that shows specific activity on your computer screen with voice-over narration that you can share with others. Screencasts can be used for a number of purposes including tutorials, demonstrations, and lessons. There is quite a variety of screencasting tools available to small business owners with varying levels of complexity and functionality.

  • 09 Online File Conversion

    If you have to convert an unusual file format and don't have the necessary software, or if you're working from a different computer, online file conversion tools can make the process fairly quick and painless. There are services to convert documents, audio/video files and even graphics to a new file format.

  • 10 Screenshot Tools

    Being able to take a picture of something you see on your computer screen is extremely useful. You may need to submit it with a support request to a vendor, include it as part of a walk-through in an operations manual, or simply use it to trigger your memory later on. Some screenshot tools will even integrate with your screencasting tools, creating visually rich demonstrations.

  • 11 Help Desk Applications

    Customer service is important for all business owners. One of the ways you can incorporate customer service into your business and into your website is through a help desk/customer service application. These tools enhance your ability to be responsive to your clients' needs and can make the process of managing relationshipsa lot smoother.

  • 12 Online Appointment Scheduling

    Whether you need to schedule an appointment with a client, arrange a product demo for a new prospect, or even plan a personal lunch with a friend, online appointment schedules let you manage everything in one place. You can save time by allowing others to select slots from your calendar and see at a glance what meetings you have coming up.

    Online appointment scheduling also allows you to create a system that gives someone other than yourself access to your calendar, removing the meeting management task from your own list.

Source: https://www.thebalancesmb.com/low-cost-technology-solutions-2951652

Massive Credit Bureau Hack

"Credit score business Equifax revealed Thursday that 143 million people were compromised in a cyber attack. Social security numbers and other personally identifying information were accessed."

I would honestly keep an eye on my credit report after acknowledging this cyber attack. It's interesting how highly private data can be easily obtained by criminals these days. Security comes first! Specially when running a huge business. IT budgets need to be considered and even reconsidered. A constant yearly increase in the IT budget of a company is key to surviving and keeping your data secure, that will also definitely boost overall business production.

Reference

https://techcrunch.com/2017/09/08/equifax-stock-tumbles-14-after-credit-score-hack/

Intel's Core i7-7740K overclocked to 7.5GHz using liquid helium

A group of hardware enthusiasts with Gigabyte recently demonstrated the potential of Intel’s X299 platform as it relates to overclocking. At Computex, Gigabyte hosted an X299 OC gathering that brought together nearly half a dozen of the world’s top enthusiasts including the company’s own senior overclocker, HiCookie.

 

Utilizing liquid helium at -250° Celsius, the team was able to push Intel’sCore i7-7740K CPUto 7,500MHz (multiplier of 75 and a bus speed of 100MHz) on a Gigabyte X299-SOC Champion motherboard. A 16GB kit of Corsair Vengeance LPX 4,333MHz memory was also used, as was a Corsair AX 1500i power supply.

Read more: 

http//www.techspot.com/news/69625-intel-core-i7-7740k-overclocked-75ghz-using-liquid.html

Looking for the best and latest build?

The Power of Ryzen!

After years of anticipating their release, it’s hard for me to believe that AMD’s Zen-based Ryzen CPUs only arrived a month ago. Frankly, I’ve never seen so much drama unfold so quickly in the tech community — what an exciting time to be a PC enthusiast!

As we begin to recover from the roller coaster ride that was Ryzen 7, we now have Ryzen 5 to address. Getting the ball rolling, AMD has announced four models in its more affordable series, including a pair of six-core CPUs as well as two quad-core models.

The 1600X is configured similarly to the Core i7-6800K and stands as the flagship of AMD’s Ryzen 5 family, boasting six cores and 12 threads with a base clock frequency of 3.6GHz and a boost speed of up to 4GHz. Like all Ryzen CPUs, the 1600X is unlocked, but we wouldn’t necessarily expect to squeeze much more out of the stock settings given what we’ve seen from Ryzen 7.

AMD actually announced four Ryzen 5 CPUs last month. Two of them are quad-cores with SMT (simultaneous multithreading): The $169 Ryzen 5 1400 and the $189 Ryzen 5 1500X. The last two are six-core chips with SMT: The $219 Ryzen 5 1600 and the $249 Ryzen 5 1600X. 

In conclusion, buy it! Performs better while costs significantly less, close to half off. In addition, the reviews and benchmarks we are seeing are just impressive.

You should also check out the Benchmark against the new Intel i5 7th Gen:
http://cpu.userbenchmark.com/Compare/Intel-Core-i5-7500-vs-AMD-Ryzen-5-1600X/3648vs3920

 

http://kotaku.com/amd-ryzen-5-1600x-1500x-cpu-review-a-fantastic-alter-1794214525

Latest Computer Build

Super fast build, I was even able to run Overwatch game on low graphics and it wasn't bad at all. I can run Photoshop very smoothly as well.

Specifications are as follows:

7th Generation Intel i5-7500

Gigabyte H270M-D3H with latest Intel chipset

Fractal Design Case

EVGA 400w Power Supply Unit

120GB PNY Solid State Drive

4GB DDR4 2133 Memory

Custom Build Computer Systems

Make sure you pick the latest parts. The first and main component we'll look at is the Processor (CPU). The most expensive part. As of now, Intel makes the best ones out there. AMD can be a choice in the near future.

i3, i5 or an i7 the latest 6th generation Intel chip is super fast and very capable. Having an i3 with a decent Video Card will allow you to play almost any game on high video settings if that's the power you need. You can always spend the extra money and go for an i5; faster for single and multitasking processing power. i7 would be for a lot of multi-core usage. Prices go for $110,$210, and $320 respectively.

After picking a 6th generation CPU, we now know its socket type is LGA 1151. This means we need to look for an Intel Motherboard supporting that socket. Preferably the latest chipset which would be the Z170, H170, or Q170. I personally have been using Gigabyte motherboards for a while and it has proven great reliability and performance. A good priced one would currently be the GA-H170M-D3H for $90. If your budget allows you, the GA-Z170X-Gaming 6 would be a great option too.

Most users don't realize how much faster a computer would be with a Solid State Drive. A nice setup for every user would be a 120 GB SSD for the Operating System + Programs and another traditional Hard Disk (1TB goes for about $45). This will allow setting up scheduled backups to make sure all your data is always backed up.  Note: SSD's are very cheap now.

A Memory module should be DDR4 with 2133 or 2400 MT/s. 4 GB or 8 GB would be a good start, you can always easily add more later.

You don't need to buy a Video card since now it comes integrated with the CPU, unless you plan on Gaming/Designing or Video Editing. There is a link that compares updated Graphics Card benchmarks. A decent one goes between $100 to $160. Depends on how heavy the system will be on the GPU (Graphical Processing Unit).

If you haven't picked up a Video Card a 400 Watt Power Supply would be good enough. Corsair, Antec and EVGA makes good priced power supplies. 600+ Watt would be if you have a video card. You can always Google search "PSU Calculator" and find out how much Watts will your System consume.

After Having the main components of a computer, you can now shop for a Case and CD-Drive. There are plenty of cases out there, just make sure you get the proper size, depending if you are going with a video card or not. ATX should be the size you are looking for.

Let us now if you have any questions.