DEARBORN, Mich. – While setting New Year’s resolutions is an annual tradition for lots of people, Ryan O’Hara, technology specialist and founder of Dearborn-based Sphinx Technology Solutions (STS), suggests that small businesses do the same. According to O’Hara, businesses can save considerable time, money and worry by simply following these three basics:
Backing up computer data is one item that businesses forget or put off until it’s too late. Doing regular backups is a small investment to implement, but a much larger expense if not done. Some companies will pay more than $1,000 to recover data from a single hard drive. Compare that to a simple external hard drive backup that may only cost $100 to $150.
There are many different backup solutions, and each has advantages and disadvantages. For example, a simple external hard drive backup is inexpensive and easy to install. However, if there’s a fire in your building, the drive will burn up right next to the computer it was backing up. Another solution growing in popularity is called “cloud storage.” Services like Mozy or Dropbox allow you to backup your files to their servers via the Internet. STS works with companies to help determine the best solution for a company’s business needs.
A lot of small businesses or new start-ups take advantage of free email addresses such as Gmail, Yahoo or Hotmail, which may be sufficient for personal use, but not for business and professional purposes. Free accounts are more likely to be hit with spam, viruses and hackers. Another advantage of creating a professional email address, “[email protected],” is to help build your company’s brand. A professional email address not only shows that you are serious about what you do, but it also gets your business’ name in front of prospective customers. Depending on your business needs, there are several different options for email hosting. One solution STS recommends for small business clients is Google Apps, which will host your business email free for up to 50 users. The only cost is the initial configuration and backend setup.
Small business owners are almost always on the clock. As a result, you often end up doing business away from your office. There are a variety of solutions to create a mobile office that will allow you access to most, if not all, of your important information. One such example that STS recommends is called Evernote. Evernote is an online application that can be installed on your computer(s) as well as your smart phone enabling you to synchronize (sync) notes, memos and web page clips across all your computers and mobile devices.
Another useful tool is Dropbox. Dropbox is similar to Evernote in its ability to sync across all of your computers and mobile devices. Instead of notes, it syncs files. As an example, if you work on a spreadsheet at your office, you can save the file to your Dropbox and head home. When you start up your computer at home, the spreadsheet is now synced to your Dropbox folder on that computer and ready for you to continue working. If you need to access that spreadsheet later at a client meeting, you can also easily access it on your smart phone.
“It’s our job to help clients, especially small businesses, leverage technology to become more efficient and work smarter in today’s marketplace,” said O’Hara.
About Sphinx Technology Solutions
Sphinx Technology Solutions specializes in a diverse array of services for both Mac and PC users. The company’s technology specialists serve as the dedicated IT department for a variety of small businesses and organizations. Services include recommendations for and installation of hardware, software, networks, diagnostics and repair, virus and spyware removal, data recovery, syncing of mobile devices, and other technology consulting. Based in Dearborn, Sphinx serves clients throughout metro Detroit.