Refresh and Upgrade Your Technology

June 23, 20200 Comments

Early summer is the best time to re-visit what you can do to become more productive by easing into summer with focused technology.

Below is a brief list that I use to refresh and upgrade my technology so that I have the tools, and the support to keep cash-flow flowing during slow summer months:

1. Refresh outdated technology. I just recently purchased the not-so-new QuickBooks Pro. You would not believe this but I was still using the 20xx version – I know, too embarrassing to show the date! Anyway, it was a much-needed upgrade and I’m always reviewing other technologies to upgrade or change, like my newsletter engine, blog service, cell phone service, and some cool software programs that directly support cash flow. Remember technology is not just your computer; it is also the technology you use outside of the office.

Assess all your systems, and then refresh the ones that are costing time and money because they are outdated.

2. Take a technology inventory regarding your warranties. There is nothing like having one of your primary technologies break down and not have access to a support system or a replacement service. Check your warranties to ensure your technological protection. Also, make sure your office equipment, including your computers, are covered under your business insurance policy or your homeowner’s policy if you work from home.

3. Look at the terms and conditions you have agreed to in regards to software programs. When was the last time you looked at and read through all of those terms and conditions you have accepted regarding your software programs, including the online technologies that you use? The reason I ask is that I finally took to time to read one recently for a new Internet service I am thinking about utilizing and the fine print said that they have “ownership of anything I create using the service” and if I wanted to own it I had to pay them an extra fee!”

I am so glad I took the time to read the agreement I was accepting.

By the way, this includes any online banking service agreement, as well. You would be surprised what you are agreeing to in those terms and conditions.

4. Set up a wireless network drive with an “access files from anywhere” option to access your files no matter where you are. This is fairly inexpensive and is great for accessing files while working away from your office, at home, or otherwise. Over the last few years, I’ve been traveling out of the country at least twice per year and this was invaluable! I am sure some of you have already gone this route but I know a lot of you have not made that jump yet. I am able to be more productive and more competitive by having the ability to access my information anywhere at any time, including on my mobile phone. And, using VPN and other tools, accessibility is secure while traveling out of the country. Wireless network drives let you and your team be more productive virtually anywhere.

5. Embrace two main tech tools for communications. For the last umpteen years, yes, a long time, I have been using many different platforms for connecting with our clients that allow me to communicate with business owners around the world. It isn’t face to face, but it has been fun and productive at the same time. There are so many on the market with the recent changes in our work environment; it can get overwhelming. Just pick two that you use for your company. Zoom and Microsoft Teams are great for us for now. However, I still have my tried and true Skype-so many connections there. Picking two doesn’t mean you never use anything else; this is about operational strategy with flexibility built-in. Depending on your client base, you may have to adjust based on time zones and locales. Updating your communication technology every three months will benefit your vision and culture.

6. Get your backup plan in place now! Think about it this way, what if you experience an electrical outage and you lose all the data on the computer. What would you do? Could you still operate your business? What if you could not recover the data on the computer? These questions can all be answered if you back up your files daily on a second hard drive. I learned this lesson a while ago. In addition, make a copy of your backup and a copy of all your most important physical business files and store them in a secondary location.

This should be enough to get your technological summer prep cleaning in motion. Make sure to update, plan ahead for productivity, and purge old tools, so in the long run, you will win the tech game every time!

Sherese Duncan

© Effició, Inc.

p.s. Share your tech clean-up story in the comments below…

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