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Do's And Don'ts For Networking Newbies

What to keep in mind when you're selecting and installing a system


DO YOUR HOMEWORK. Find out what products and services are available and ask your friends, customers, and competitors for recommendations.

MAKE A PLAN. The most important step. Figure out exactly what you want to accomplish and how much you want to spend before you go shopping.

FOCUS ON TANGIBLE RESULTS. You're about to spend a big chunk of change; you want to be able to justify it. So install a network designed for specific applications whose results can be easily measured.

LOCK THE SUPPLIER INTO A PRICE AT THE BEGINNING. Beware of hourly billing. Who knows how difficult this technology project will ultimately be?

THINK OF THE FUTURE. You want a network that can be easily expanded as your business grows. That's a lot easier if the equipment is compatible with other products.


DON'T LOCK YOURSELF INTO A LONG-TERM CONTRACT. The profitability of a small business can be precarious. Don't get stuck paying for a lot of ongoing costs you can't afford if times get tough.

DON'T DO IT YOURSELF. Unless you have technical gurus on staff--and know you can spare them for weeks or months--choose a reputable dealer, consultant, or manufacturer to design and install the network.

DON'T FOCUS TOO NARROWLY. If you de-sign a system for separate applications, you could end up with islands of technology and no coherent network.

DON'T CUT CORNERS. Buy the fastest and best products your budget will allow. You could extend the life of your network by years.

DON'T ASSUME YOU HAVE TO START FROM SCRATCH. Take a hard look at your equipment. You may be able to incorporate much of it into a larger network.

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Updated June 14, 1997 by bwwebmaster
Copyright 1996, Bloomberg L.P.
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