IT Support Business Benefits

IT Support

Anyone running a business will know that managing their business operations in a competitive environment need to be able to work and respond quickly and efficiently. In a world that is seeing rapid technological changes, and a reliance on them for business, managing these technologies effectively is more important than ever.

To ensure you have in place the right business IT infrastructure, it’s important to seek specialist advice and skills – and fortunately IT support companies are there to provide it. So read on to find out more about the benefits of IT support for your business or workplace.

What is IT Support?

Essentially, IT support consultants and installers will analyze your IT needs and put in place and manage the technologies you need. This can include the installation of equipment, such as servers, data storage and hardware, optimizing your data with specialized data storage equipment, and by implementing and managing your IT infrastructure.

IT Support Benefits

  • Streamline Your Business

For a business to operate efficiently, you need systems in place to allow that to happen. By using the correct technology, you can save money by streamlining your computer systems to use fewer resources.

Simplify the storage of data, reduces space and power usage, and reduces the risk of lost data. Reduce the amount of servers used, reduces hardware costs, allows you to use multiple operating systems on one platform, and increases storage space.

A visualized desktop allows you to store a desktop on a remote server. And a cloud based computer system allows you to buy in exactly the service you require, so cutting wastage using unnecessary services. These are just some of the solutions an IT support company can provide, to enable your business to run with the minimum of physical equipment required, so cutting costs.

  • Make Better Business Decisions

Without the headache of managing your computer infrastructure, you’ll be able to focus on the thing that really matters – the business itself.

  • Efficiency

A more focused use of resources through installing effectual systems suited to your business will increase efficiency and productivity. Better processes and faster systems will enhance your entire operations. For example, installing cloud based computing can provide enormous benefits, and is increasingly become the preferred option for business.

Instead of using multiple software packages, cloud based apps take all the headache out of providing the software for employees to do their job, as well as allowing multiple users to access the same systems no matter what their physical location. It is easy to collaborate on files, share information, work remotely and increase mobility, as well as providing the utmost in security. Cloud computing also reduces the dangers of data loss – all of your information is kept securely in one place, remotely.

  • Security

Data is your most valuable business asset, and losing data or allowing it to fall into the wrong hands will spell disaster. By using IT support services you can easily manage all your data, through the provision of maximum storage space, in a secure environment.

How To Increase Your Brand Identity

Brand Identity

A business can’t succeed without sales. Sales cannot happen unless customers know the business exists. Therefore, to get more sales you must do what you can to make sure your potential customers are aware of your brand. Building a brand identity will give people something to remember when they have a problem you can fix.

What is Brand Awareness?

Brand awareness refers to the percentage of your target market that is familiar enough with your business to know it exists. Brand awareness also implies that customers have a basic knowledge of what goods and services you can provide for them.

Brand awareness has a direct link to your sales. If you have a target marked of 1,000 customers and only 100 of them know you exist, your brand awareness is 10%. If you can increase that number to 200 people, your brand awareness will double. It follows, then, that as more people are aware of you and what you have to offer your sales will begin to rise.

Brand identity relates to the image your customers have of your brand. The look of its logo, the colors it uses, its name, the images it evokes… all of this comes together to form a recognizable picture that sticks in your customer’s minds.

By creating a product that people recognize you can increase awareness of your brand. Customers may walk right by a boring product, but if they relate to the brand’s identity they will be more likely to remember it for later.

How Can You Build Brand Awareness?

Brand awareness is all about being in the places your target market spends time. This could be physical – a billboard on their way to work or a display in a grocery store – or electronic – an ad on their favorite website or a profile on their favorite social network. Understanding your customer’s tastes and habits will help you be a presence in the places they are likely to be.

Younger customers tend to spend much of their time connected to the internet in some way. This could mean browsing on their mobile phones for the nearest Chinese restaurant or interacting with their friends on Facebook. Making your brand known online can be done through optimizing your site to show up high in search engine rankings. Having a presence on social networking sites is also an effective way to get your brand out there.

More conventional forms of advertising can also be effective when making your brand known. Ads on television or in newspapers will be noticed by customers who tend to use these forms of media. Print ads in magazines can go a long way to reaching specific audiences. Do you have a product that will revolutionize the way your customers carry their golf clubs? Get in touch with the advertising departments of golf magazines. There are thousands of niche markets that can be reached this way.

If you have a local business, getting involved with charity events is a great way to build both brand awareness and identity. If your logo is displayed prominently at an event more people will become aware of your business and services. The fact that you are sponsoring a charity event will help customers see your brand as one that gives back, strengthening your identity.

Everything you can do to build your brand awareness can help you increase your sales. Brands with a strong identity will stick in the minds of consumers, but people have to see your brand first to know it exists. While building awareness may not be entirely straightforward, there are many tools at your disposal to make it a success.

5 Ways To Save Money On Office Supplies

Office Supplies

For any business, whether it’s a multinational corporation or a one-man band, spending money on office supplies is essential to function on a daily basis. But is your stationery expenditure eating away at your profits while consuming the equivalent of a small forest in paper? We investigate ways to save money on those essential stationery supplies without harming your business’s efficiency.

Think before you print

E-mail has transformed the way we communicate; we no longer have to waste reams of paper sending inter-departmental memos regarding important matters such as asking Finance to kindly replace the milk when they’ve used the last drop (very annoying if you’re making important clients a cuppa!).

Despite the wonders of technology, the nirvana of a paper-free office often seems an unattainable dream. How many times have you printed an important letter, proof-read it and found a mistake? Make sure you, or the signatory, reviews letters before printing, that way any alterations can be made without wasting paper.

Save the ink

Yes, we know you can do a lovely pie chart and make pretty little diagrams in smart art with a rainbow of colours, but is the Sales Director really going to care if last month’s sales figures are printed in colour or boring black? Of course, if they’re really atrocious there may be a case for trying to distract him with the style over substance approach, not that I’d ever recommend that (honestly!).

Colour printing may be pleasing to the eye, but colour cartridges are generally more expensive than black, so only use when necessary. Another way of saving on the ink is to set your printer to economy mode; not every document requires presentation style printing, unless you’re thinking of framing the minutes of that meeting?

Recycle

Is it really necessary to accessories your printer with expensive matching cartridges? You’re in the office, not on the catwalk. Remanufactured cartridges, which utilize empty original cartridges, are not only cheaper they’re more eco-friendly, reducing the waste sent to landfill.

While we’re on the recycling theme, does everything you print have to be on a luxuriously thick pristine white sheet? Recycled paper is a cheaper alternative for printing all those everyday documents that will never find their way into that important client’s hands.

Set up a central stationery hub

While your employees may enjoy the luxury of a well-stocked desk that resembles a small stationers, providing everyone with their own staplers, hole-punches etc. is expensive and unnecessary – after all, you wouldn’t give them all a kettle on their desk would you?

Set up an office stationery hub with a heavy duty stapler and hole-punch (screw them to your desk if necessary) and a supply of essentials such as paperclips and pens.

Not only will you be saving money on office supplies, you’ll be providing employees with an opportunity to stretch their legs by walking across the office. Now who said you were a slave driver keeping people chained to their desks?

Buy in bulk

Buying your office stationery supplies in bulk can save money as many suppliers offer discounts once a certain amount of units are ordered. Keep an inventory of your stationery and reorder items once they fall below a certain level. Don’t just order one ream of paper, order enough to take advantage of any discount and save yourself from the chore of a weekly stationery order.

Have you got any tips for saving money or recycling office supplies? Leave your comments below.

A Guide To Planning A Productive Training Day

Productive Training Day

In the interest of continually moving forward in a tough industry, lots of companies like to hold regular training days for their employees. Not only does this keep everyone up to date with anything new that has recently entered the business world, it is also a great chance to check that everyone is singing off the same hymn sheet and that the brand’s core beliefs are being upheld across all departments.

It can be difficult to plan one of these training days though, especially when you are trying to pull together people from different areas of the country or even further afield. So with that in mind, here are some important things to consider when arranging your company’s training day.

Productive Training Day

Venue

It is very important that you find a venue that suits the event you are planning for. Therefore you need to think about things like how many people will be attending, where they are coming from and the costs that this is going to incur.

For smaller training events, you may want to hold the day within your own company building but this might not be possible with larger numbers. The good news is that conference venues or meeting rooms provide a great alternative.

Most of the time you only pay for the number of people that will be there and for the size of the room you require, which is great if people start pulling out.

Also, you will be able to hire any equipment you need so the day will be conducted professionally and no one has to worry about carrying things like A-boards and projectors to the venue.

Catering

If you are planning an all-day event then the people who are coming will need to be fed and watered throughout the day. Therefore you need to decide whether you are going to give them regular breaks so that they can go and grab something or whether you will provide food for them throughout the day.

If you want to give your training day a more relaxed feel and encourage more of a team building atmosphere, the latter option may be the best choice. Luckily most conference rooms you can hire will also include a price for food if you want to add it.

You could always go one step further and hire out a restaurant and conduct your training during the meal. Something else you may want to think about is whether you are going to provide tea and coffee or just merely water for your trainees. Failing to offer them refreshments may lead to a break down in attention and increased tea breaks being taken.

Getting The Word Out

Once you have planned your training day, you are going to have to spread the word so that everyone knows of the up and coming event. If your training is just for members of your company then this might be as simple as sending out a group email but if you are offering places to people outside of your business then you may have to go further.

For example you may want to advertise your training on Facebook and other social media sites as well as maybe using some of Google’s paid advertising to spread the word online.

Once everyone knows about the event, it is important to make sure that they can all get to the venue. Luckily most conference rooms in London are close to major underground stations or have great transport links in other ways. It might be a good idea to include a map with the information you are sending out and always remember to include a post code.