Categories: Operations & Technology

When Small Businesses Should Encrypt E-mail

Posted by: Today's Tip Contributor on July 28

Small business owners may not realize that their companies are only as secure as the last e-mail they sent. It is for good reason that small businesses are being held...

Make Your Mobile Devices Work for Business

Posted by: Today's Tip Contributor on July 27

For the first time ever, smartphone and tablet shipments beat laptop and notebook shipments in the fourth quarter of 2010. Many of the mobile devices available today can start at...

Security Steps for a New Website

Posted by: Today's Tip Contributor on July 25

When designing and launching a new website, many small businesses assume they don't need to address Web security since they are not "prime" targets. They could not be more wrong....

Curb Tablet Costs

Posted by: Today's Tip Contributor on July 18

Tablets—especially the iPad—are inundating businesses. While there is growing acknowledgement that they need to be managed from an application and security perspective, drilling down into what impact these devices will...

Questions to Ask When Hiring a Web Developer

Posted by: Today's Tip Contributor on July 07

If you are a business owner who is not an expert in Web development, finding someone you can trust to build your website is critical. To help with the vetting...

Optimize Your Company's Online Checkout Process

Posted by: Today's Tip Contributor on July 06

If your e-commerce site isn't performing as well as you'd like it to, go through your checkout process and make sure your site is optimized to successfully lead people through...

Protect Your Business from Cybercrime

Posted by: Today's Tip Contributor on July 05

Cybercrime has become big business and cyber criminals are looking for new targets. Bubbling up to the top of the list are small and midsize businesses. Why? Small businesses usually...

A Better Intranet System

Posted by: Today's Tip Contributor on July 01

No matter how big your business, nothing can get done without communication. Implementing an intranet system is a fast, reliable, and secure way to communicate within any business. If you...

Question Complexity When Buying Technology

Posted by: Today's Tip Contributor on June 14

Technology can help businesses thrive via improved customer service, increased productivity, and decreased operational costs. However, technology can also bog down an organization with unnecessary complexity that negates the aforementioned...

Three Tests for New Technology

Posted by: Today's Tip Contributor on June 06

Free, Web-based tools can be great for small businesses that want to increase productivity and decrease costs, but implementing such technologies can backfire when these three points are not considered:...

Use Technology to Communicate Better

Posted by: Today's Tip Contributor on May 27

Busy business owners and managers rely on top-of-the line telecommunications tools to keep pace with clients and customers. But in today's business climate, just answering the phone and responding to...

Monitor Your Website to Keep Customers

Posted by: Today's Tip Contributor on May 24

A staggering portion of the country's consumer activity now happens in cyberspace. Last year, individuals spent nearly $227.6 billion shopping online. Though these customers have a multitude of e-retailers to...

Plan for Disaster

Posted by: Today's Tip Contributor on May 10

Recently we had a lengthy power outage in our office over the weekend. I went to the office to check on things and found a situation we had never even...

Four Considerations When Evaluating Cloud Computing

Posted by: Today's Tip Contributor on April 15

Recently many organizations have been looking to get out of the business of owning and maintaining their own information technology infrastructure. But for organizations new to the cloud, figuring out...

Protect Your Mobile Data

Posted by: Today's Tip Contributor on March 08

The growing adoption of mobile devices as primary business communication tools substantiates the need to ensure that your data is protected in the office and on the road. Business professionals...

Eliminate Software Licensing Waste

Posted by: Today's Tip Contributor on March 03

Many employees say they are receiving little or no value from their company's IT department, but industry analyst firms estimate that businesses spend on average $12,000 per user each year...

How to Evaluate a Credit-Card Processing Contract

Posted by: Today's Tip Contributor on February 14

Credit-card processing can often be one of the most confusing and frustrating aspects of getting a business set up. As a result, it's pretty common for business owners to get...

Plug into Millennials' Tech Needs

Posted by: Today's Tip Contributor on February 10

The millennial generation grew up in an instantaneous world, with Google immediately answering their every question and helicopter parents at their beck and call. Millennials are now bringing those same...

Determine if a Cloud Is Usable

Posted by: Today's Tip Contributor on January 31

Throughout 2010 cloud computing garnered a lot of attention from smart business owners for its scalability, availability, rapid deployment, and low cost. However, most cloud solutions require coding and an...

Avoid These Outsourcing Mistakes

Posted by: Today's Tip Contributor on January 11

There are many missteps at the onset of an outsourcing relationship that can be costly to fix and result in added time to market and unwanted spending. Common mistakes include:...

A New Way To Manage Printing Costs

Posted by: Today's Tip Contributor on January 06

The typical organization has an annual print budget equal to about 6 percent of revenues, according to the Gartner CIO Research Group. That's about the same percentage as the average...

Protect Data with the Principle of Least Privilege

Posted by: Today's Tip Contributor on December 29

Malicious insiders account for nearly 50 percent of all data breaches and pose a significant threat to sensitive enterprise information. This data ranges from proprietary research information, corporate best practices,...

Find IT Tools That Fit How You Do Business

Posted by: Today's Tip Contributor on December 01

The line that sums up our philosophy on business and technology is: Keep things simple, particularly when it comes to IT. The majority of small and midsize businesses have minimal...

Don't Lose Business to a Slow Website

Posted by: Today's Tip Contributor on November 29

Just as a busy highway backs up with cars, websites often encounter the same effect when dealing with large amounts of traffic. Any website can experience slow traffic, online traffic...

Secure a Mobile Workforce

Posted by: Today's Tip Contributor on November 26

Some 2.8 million Americans now work permanently from home offices. An estimated 38 million Americans, or 37 percent of the total U.S. workforce, telecommute at least once a month. Couple...

Prevent Access Creep

Posted by: Today's Tip Contributor on November 12

A common problem that can be particularly troublesome for small businesses is what is known as "access creep." In a nutshell, access creep occurs when employees accrue access to more...

Secure a Mobile Workforce

Posted by: Today's Tip Contributor on November 11

Some 2.8 million Americans now work permanently from home offices and a full 38 million (37 percent of the total U.S. workforce) telecommute at least once a month. For the...

Secure Your Company Data from Disgruntled Employees

Posted by: Today's Tip Contributor on October 12

Sensitive data, stolen or damaged by a disgruntled employee, can have a direct impact on your financial objectives. Do not wait for a problem to happen. Below are some basic...

Five IT Habits You Should Break

Posted by: Today's Tip Contributor on October 01

Old habits die hard. Making technology decisions based on long-standing practices is easier than discovering things have changed. Several upsides of this downturned economy, however, are greater choices and new...

Four Questions to Ask Before Choosing a Cloud Application

Posted by: Today's Tip Contributor on September 30

Cloud-based applications are software running on third-party servers, which you access through an Internet browser. Common business uses are e-mail and CRM applications. For example, you can use Rackspace e-mail...

Evaluate Your Payment Processing Provider

Posted by: Today's Tip Contributor on September 29

Separating winners from losers in today's business environment is determined in part by how earnestly a business thinks about creating value in its operations. As many small business owners know,...

Protect Your Data Through Staff Education

Posted by: Today's Tip Contributor on September 28

Whether your business has more than 5,000 employees or fewer than five, information security breaches can be one of the costliest events to affect it. Security breaches cause businesses to...

Maneuver Safely in the Cloud

Posted by: Today's Tip Contributor on September 21

As your employees use more cloud-based technologies, such as Facebook, Gmail, and Salesforce.com, you need to protect valuable company data. Not having the right security measures and controls in place...

Prevent Identity Theft When Working from Home

Posted by: Today's Tip Contributor on September 16

Today's criminals are attacking home computers to make money by stealing your personal information. For stay-at-home small business owners, this could include your client's information as well, which would be...

Know What Makes Your Customers Angry

Posted by: Today's Tip Contributor on August 31

We've all been there as consumers: Getting so riled up by poor service that we explode and vow to never do business with a company again. But what really makes...

Telecommuting Keeps Costs Low

Posted by: Today's Tip Contributor on August 02

Telecommuting is one means of reducing operating costs that many small businesses are starting to consider seriously. When you compare overhead expenditures and potential cost savings against the need to...

The Benefits of Workshifting

Posted by: Today's Tip Contributor on July 28

The U.S. economy may be showing signs of recovery, but for many small business owners, pressure is still intense to keep operating expenses low while driving as much revenue growth...

Spot Workplace Fraud

Posted by: Today's Tip Contributor on July 14

Spotting occupational fraud can be difficult, but knowing what to watch for is the first step toward eliminating and preventing deceit in your business. According to the Association of Certified...

Data Protection Reminders

Posted by: Today's Tip Contributor on July 05

Backing up your valuable data may be the most important thing you can do. Without it, your productivity stops. Having quick access to the most current information, as well as...

Let the Cloud Come to You

Posted by: Today's Tip Contributor on June 22

Cloud computing—making use of excess server capacity—is often portrayed as an all or nothing gamble that involves offloading your IT resources and your own data to a third party. It's...

Curing the File-Management Migraine

Posted by: Today's Tip Contributor on June 18

Thanks to ever-growing amounts of data, potentially expensive security risks, and the proliferation of new technology, moving huge, business-critical files is giving headaches to organizations of every size. Organizations need...

Choose a Hybrid Vehicle for Your Business

Posted by: Today's Tip Contributor on June 14

In the last decade there has been a significant increase in public awareness regarding the need to conserve energy, recycle waste, and make environmentally friendly lifestyle choices. Many companies have...

Simplify PCI Compliance for Data Security

Posted by: Today's Tip Contributor on June 11

If your business accepts credit or debit payments, it's likely that you're required to comply with the Payment Card Industry Data Security Standard. PCI DSS was created in 2006 to...

Keep Your Data and Your Business Safe

Posted by: Today's Tip Contributor on June 10

Despite the hype around cloud computing and the promise of off-premise centralization of applications, data, and other computing resources, most small businesses continue to store a tremendous amount of information...

Prevent Security Risks When Sharing Sensitive Documents

Posted by: Today's Tip Contributor on June 08

Businesses must share documents—and often, sensitive documents—to be productive and to collaborate globally. There are many circumstances in which we need to share data; we need to provide specs and...

Stay Afloat in a Sea of Data

Posted by: Today's Tip Contributor on June 01

Every business (and every employee, for that matter), is trying to stay afloat in a sea of information right now. Think about how many times you send an e-mail, save...

Help for the Help Desk

Posted by: Today's Tip Contributor on May 25

Technical support doesn't come cheap. In an economy where executives are constantly looking for ways to cut costs and extend the life and value of limited company resources, IT departments...

Keep Your Computers Tuned Up, Backed Up, and Cleaned Up

Posted by: Today's Tip Contributor on May 24

Most small business owners probably own an automobile that they maintain properly for optimal performance. The same logic should apply to your computer network and other devices. After all, who...

Outsourcing vs. "Out-Tasking"

Posted by: Today's Tip Contributor on May 20

Companies often confuse the terms outsourcing and out-tasking. They offer vastly different approaches for driving down information technology costs. Outsourcing transfers the management or execution of the entire IT function...

Outsource Your Document Management

Posted by: Today's Tip Contributor on May 13

Documents are the lifeblood of any organization, regardless of size, industry, or location. In addition to their inherent value, documents also present challenges of cost and risk beyond even what...

Energy Reduction Tips That Won't Break the Bank

Posted by: Today's Tip Contributor on May 11

Small and midsize businesses consume 50 percent of the nation's energy output, yet most don't have effective energy reduction measures in place or even know where to start. There are...

Help Your Business Go Green

Posted by: Today's Tip Contributor on May 10

Consumers and businesses are thinking about ways to be more eco-friendly, but given the costs of green technology, how can small businesses realistically achieve this? In the current economy, everyone...

Your Business Is Ready for Growth. But Is Your Network?

Posted by: Today's Tip Contributor on May 07

Sending information over the public Internet can be risky, not to mention slow. Yet providing remote access to critical business information is often necessary for small businesses looking to accelerate...

Cut Technology Costs With a "Self-Help" Portal

Posted by: Today's Tip Contributor on May 06

As every business looks for new and better ways to trim operating costs in 2010, here's an interesting thought: What if your employees were able to take care of some...

Make It Easier to Get Paid and Pay Employees

Posted by: Today's Tip Contributor on April 29

Businesses that pay attention to customers' payment preferences should note trends and consider incorporating new technologies into their payment processes. For example, PIN-debit transactions grew 11.8% this January compared with...

Don't Overlook Your Workforce

Posted by: Today's Tip Contributor on April 15

How well you optimize your company's three key assets—customers, product and service offerings, and labor—can impact pricing, competitive edge, and business success. Yet many organizations optimize only two of these...

Know Your Audience

Posted by: Today's Tip Contributor on April 13

It's a commonly held myth that in order to realize the benefits of Business Intelligence technologies, you have to implement costly, complicated tools that are nearly impossible to navigate. Long...

Think Big by Thinking Small

Posted by: Today's Tip Contributor on April 12

While most organizations recognize the value of Business Intelligence (BI) technologies that address "enterprise-wide" issues such as financial reporting, small-scale or "workgroup" BI solutions can add enormous benefit and have...

Four Ways to Stop Throwing Money Down the IT Drain

Posted by: Today's Tip Contributor on April 08

International Data predicts worldwide small- and medium-size information technology spending will reach $509.6 billion in 2010, with the majority spent on hardware and software applications. Unfortunately, industry experts estimate that...

Ten Ergonomic Tips for Setting up Your Home Workstation

Posted by: Today's Tip Contributor on April 07

Two-plus years working from the couch and kitchen table had my back and wrists all cranky, to say the least. I recently set up a permanent workstation, taking into account...

Social Media for Small Business

Posted by: Today's Tip Contributor on April 02

Social media is fast becoming part of the savvy small business owner's world. The most popular sites coming out of the revolution are social networking sites. At the most basic...

Using Technology to Manage Your Business Contacts

Posted by: Today's Tip Contributor on April 01

Relationships are the lifeblood of your business but as your network grows, you can't remember everything about everyone. Anyone with contact information spread across multiple devices, files, sticky notes, and...

Why Cloud Storage is Feasible in 2010

Posted by: Today's Tip Contributor on March 31

With most emerging technologies, the hype is bigger than the reality. A welcome exception is cloud storage, which is enabling many organizations to achieve major economies of scale and greater...

Just Because You Can Search, That Doesn't Mean You Can Find It

Posted by: Today's Tip Contributor on March 12

As businesses evolve, so does business-critical information—both in make-up and volume. The economy may be stalling, but the rate at which it churns out data is not. IDC estimates that...

Getting Employees to Take Security Seriously

Posted by: Today's Tip Contributor on February 25

One of the most overlooked security risks for small businesses today comes from the most unlikely of places: your own employees. Non-business-related Internet use by employees such as online shopping,...

Steps to Reduce Printer Waste

Posted by: Today's Tip Contributor on February 24

Printing supplies are expensive. Reducing printer waste not only reduces the cost of supplies, but also makes your office more environmentally friendly. A no-cost way to reduce printer waste is...

When You Need More Data Center Power

Posted by: Today's Tip Contributor on February 22

Analysis conducted in 2009 by commercial real estate specialist Grubb & Ellis forecast that data center vacancy rates will reach an all-time low in 2010. The projections, in part, reflect...

Give Your Business a Data-Protection Reboot

Posted by: Today's Tip Contributor on February 18

The FBI says attacks and malicious Trojans targeting small and medium businesses and others have led to approximately $100 million in attempted losses in the past several months. Cybercriminals are...

A Type of Business Insurance That's Often Overlooked

Posted by: Today's Tip Contributor on February 11

There are two major risks all closely held businesses should make sure they are protected against: business interruption and a disabling event to a key owner. All business owners should...

When Choosing to Outsource Software Development, Consider People

Posted by: Today's Tip Contributor on February 05

Amidst the economic recession, more and more small software companies are choosing to outsource software development to speed development cycles and bring products to market faster. These companies can be...

Maintain a Professional Image While Working Remotely

Posted by: Today's Tip Contributor on February 02

The nature of the office is changing. No longer are employees staying within the confines of the traditional office. According to a survey of small- to medium-size businesses conducted by...

Protect Privileged Information from Trusted Insiders

Posted by: Today's Tip Contributor on January 26

According to a survey of U.S. security industry professionals, 14% of former company employees still have access to proprietary data and information—a fact that highlights critical deficiencies in company security...

Prevent Data Breaches

Posted by: Today's Tip Contributor on January 25

Recently the term "data compromise" has come to the forefront of many people’s minds—a recent compromise of financial information cost one company more than $12 million. As business owners, we...

Three Keys to Running Your Business from the Road

Posted by: Today's Tip Contributor on January 18

As technology has advanced, so have the options for how and where we work. Portable computing tools combined with cloud-based services and applications have made the mobile office a viable...

Five Reasons to Take Your Business on the Road

Posted by: Today's Tip Contributor on January 15

Years ago, road warriors referred only to a small subset of employees whose job required them to work from outside the office. The early road warriors did not have Wi-Fi,...

Small Ways to Make Your Business Greener

Posted by: Today's Tip Contributor on January 14

Many small businesses want to be green-friendly but either don't understand what they are currently doing or struggle with how to get started in a way that benefits the business...

The Power of Partnerships for Green Initiatives

Posted by: Today's Tip Contributor on January 13

There's power in numbers. Partnerships allow you to accomplish more together than you could ever do on your own. This is especially true for small businesses with limited staff, resources,...

How to Make Going Green Everybody's Business

Posted by: Today's Tip Contributor on January 12

Small businesses are accustomed to coming together and doing whatever it takes to get the job done. As more and more small businesses work to become energy smart and preserve...

Build a "Green Team" for Your Business

Posted by: Today's Tip Contributor on January 11

One of the best ways to get initiatives off the ground that are meant to benefit the environment is to empower your employees to lead the charge. You can harness...

Don't Overlook Federal and State Data Regulations

Posted by: Rod Kurtz on December 28

Tracking new regulations and compliance rulings from federal and state government can be dizzying—they include FRCP, HIPAA, GLB, and more. But now more than ever, the government expects all businesses...

Achieve Security, Not Just Compliance

Posted by: Rod Kurtz on December 25

Under the weight of data security compliance pressures, a lot of companies—especially smaller ones that are short on specialized human resources—make the mistake of focusing on satisfying the compliance auditor...

Handle Credit-Card Compliance Cheaply and Efficiently

Posted by: Rod Kurtz on December 24

For many small businesses, the PCI security requirements that have been mandated from the major credit-card brands (Visa, MasterCard, Discover, American Express, and others) are overwhelming and confusing. The requirements...

Compliance Advice for Merchants Who Accept Credit Cards

Posted by: Rod Kurtz on December 23

Compliance with the Payment Card Industry data security standards applies to every merchant, no matter how small, who accepts credit cards or debit cards branded by Visa, MasterCard, Discover, American...

Put an Information Management Policy in Place

Posted by: Rod Kurtz on December 17

Effectively using technology to implement an information management and archiving strategy is imperative to the efficiency and overall well-being of your small business. Not only can such solutions dramatically reduce...

Dealing with Information Overload

Posted by: Rod Kurtz on December 16

In today's business environment, one of the biggest challenges an organization faces is information overload—especially where e-mail is concerned. Companies are finding that too much money and resources are being...

Security Evaluation of Remote Users

Posted by: Rod Kurtz on December 15

Laptops are now the norm—making your risk of data loss significant even with the best of security intentions. Therefore, it makes sense to periodically review your security measures for remote...

Telecommuting for Business Continuity

Posted by: Rod Kurtz on December 14

The growing menace of the swine flu is forcing many small business owners to consider telecommuting policies in the interest of business continuity. While supporting the idea of telecommuting is...

Establish a Telecommuting Policy

Posted by: Rod Kurtz on December 11

More than 25% of small businesses use telecommuting. And while there are clear benefits to telecommuting, it's not necessarily right for every business. If you are thinking of establishing a...

Credit-Card Security: External Resources

Posted by: Rod Kurtz on December 10

As we get into the busy holiday season, it is important to remember the resources available to help you mitigate the increased risk of credit-card fraud. If you have questions...

Credit-Card Security: Monitoring

Posted by: Rod Kurtz on December 09

Many businesses are familiar with the PCI Security Standards Council's requirements, yet many card fraud incidents go undiscovered for long periods of time. In fact, according to Verizon's 2009 Data...

Credit-Card Security: Equipment Location

Posted by: Rod Kurtz on December 08

A recent report released by Retail Decisions indicated that, in 2008, financial fraud attempts increased by 40% on the Friday following Thanksgiving (Black Friday) from the year before. At this...

Credit-Card Security: Employee Training

Posted by: Rod Kurtz on December 07

According to a recent survey from the National Retail Federation, more than 28% of shoppers are expected to use credit cards to purchase gifts this holiday season. Unfortunately with this...

The Insider Threat Checklist

Posted by: Rod Kurtz on November 25

When we think about IT saboteurs, the majority of us picture a professional hacker bent on stealing highly confidential information or wreaking havoc with our business. In such cases, the...

It's O.K. to Not Be There

Posted by: Rod Kurtz on November 24

How many times have you flown to a meeting to help close a deal, build relationships with partners, or connect face-to-face with a customer? Without dismissing in-person interaction, there is...

The 'ABCs' of Password Management

Posted by: Rod Kurtz on November 20

Today's typical user has about a dozen systems they need to access with a user name and password. While passwords are an important and almost inevitable part of our everyday...

Reducing Data Center Power Usage

Posted by: Rod Kurtz on November 19

IT managers today are looking to curb the energy hogs in their data centers in order to limit spiraling energy costs by reducing power consumption, as well as cut overall...

What Does the Cloud Mean?

Posted by: Rod Kurtz on November 09

In the technology business, we often forget that to most people, we speak a foreign language. The first time I met my former boss, Web.com CEO Jeff Stibel, he asked...

Put a Data-Loss Prevention Strategy in Place

Posted by: Rod Kurtz on November 03

Massive data breaches make headlines every day, but even small data breaches can have devastating repercussions on businesses and their clients. When one considers the financial, legal, and reputational damage...

Determine the Data You Need to Protect

Posted by: Rod Kurtz on November 02

Protecting essential information such as intellectual property and customer data is critical for businesses of all sizes. Small businesses deal with many of the same regulatory compliance demands as large...

Three Ways to Protect Your Web Site from Attacks

Posted by: Rod Kurtz on October 30

In the first half of 2009, security researchers detected that 77% of Web sites with malicious code such as viruses and data-stealing worms were actually legitimate sites hackers had infected....

The Dangers Lurking Behind Short URLs

Posted by: Rod Kurtz on October 29

More and more businesses are leveraging the power of social networking sites, blogs, Twitter, and other Web 2.0 technologies to connect with their customers and partners. However, if left unprotected,...

Improve Technology Performance While Cutting Costs

Posted by: Rod Kurtz on October 27

Many companies are taking advantage of new technology to cut costs and enable their organizations to do things faster and better. If any of your business communications systems need to...

Using Business Intelligence Software

Posted by: Rod Kurtz on October 26

How can small businesses ensure they are giving employees access to information that lets them make decisions quickly, easily, and intuitively? Today, business intelligence software—long used by Global 1000 organizations—is...

Work with Firms That Are Similar to Yours

Posted by: Rod Kurtz on October 07

Because small business owners typically outsource a variety of important functions such as accounting, legal, and payroll services and specialized marketing, it's vital for your firm to work with the...

To Avoid Liability, Create a No-Driving-While-Texting Policy

Posted by: Rod Kurtz on September 23

Cell phone usage and texting have grown to become a leading factor in automobile accidents. As of this writing, only nine states have legislated against driving while texting. That means...

Why You Should Recycle Old Equipment

Posted by: Rod Kurtz on September 04

One of the fastest-growing forms of waste in the U.S. is electronic equipment. Unfortunately, only 15% to 20% of outdated electronic equipment is recycled properly. The remaining 80% to 85%...

Develop a Green IT Policy

Posted by: Rod Kurtz on September 03

From multinational corporations to small businesses, everyone seems to be taking steps to operate more efficiently and reduce energy consumption. While the positive effect on the environment is unmistakable, many...

Mastering the Art of Password Creation

Posted by: Rod Kurtz on August 27

Like many computer users, small business owners often feel overwhelmed by the burden of managing all of the passwords they need to use on a daily basis. Fortunately, there are...

Protecting Your Company from a Catastrophe

Posted by: Rod Kurtz on August 25

Hurricane season is here, and while it's always important to have enough insurance to recover from a natural disaster, the stakes are even higher in today's economic climate. With models...

Group Passwords and Password Age

Posted by: Rod Kurtz on August 21

As small businesses increase their employee base and branch out to other areas and regions, business owners often falter by implementing group passwords to make IT easier on their employees....

Dispelling Two Sustainability Myths for Small Businesses

Posted by: Rod Kurtz on August 14

Sustainability has become the watchword of our age. And who can argue that seeking to meet our own needs without adversely affecting future generations isn't a cause worth throwing our...

Create a Greener Office

Posted by: Rod Kurtz on August 13

Changing the way your office prints can be the first step toward reducing your company's environmental footprint. Going green is good for the environment and can also help your small...

Don't Neglect Those Pesky Software Updates

Posted by: Rod Kurtz on August 04

Modern software can do amazing things, but like a car, it needs constant maintenance to run properly. Updating and patching desktop software is critical to keeping your business safe. Remember...

Help Employees Manage Online Risk

Posted by: Rod Kurtz on August 03

The explosion of Web-based applications and tools has made the Internet infinitely more useful, but they also come with a new set of potential threats and dangers to your business....

To Cut Costs, Improve Your Building's Energy Efficiency

Posted by: Rod Kurtz on July 28

Buildings account for 48% of energy consumption and present the single-greatest opportunity to cut carbon emissions and lower operating costs, especially as electricity prices continue to rise. A few immediate...

Determine the ROI on Software

Posted by: Rod Kurtz on July 27

When considering a software purchase, you should determine if the benefits are greater than the costs. There are several ways to do this, but the most practical way is to...

Are Employee Posts on Social Networks Putting Your Company at Risk?

Posted by: Rod Kurtz on July 16

As the popularity of social networks continues to rise, they are becoming more accepted within the business community. Companies use them to communicate with employees and network with customers and...

Outsource Your Network and Data Security

Posted by: Rod Kurtz on July 07

If you're finding that protecting your organization's network and data is becoming increasingly challenging, consider outsourcing your security. Managed security service providers (MSSPs) can offer a cost-effective alternative to trying...

Is Sending Work E-mail After Midnight a Good Idea?

Posted by: Rod Kurtz on July 02

No! A resounding no! Some corporate e-mailers may think they're impressing their bosses, peers, or subordinates by sending e-mails in the middle of the night. And while an occasional 3...

Convince Friends to Stop E-mailing Jokes

Posted by: Rod Kurtz on July 01

We all know them. They are our friends who love jokes, and continually, and perhaps incessantly, share them with us by e-mail. And while we appreciate the thought, we groan...

If Your Business Doesn't Have a Web Site

Posted by: Rod Kurtz on June 25

In today's tough economy, we all know small businesses need to go the extra mile and beyond to succeed. So how can it be possible that two-thirds of small businesses...

Focusing on Safety Helps the Bottom Line

Posted by: Rod Kurtz on June 12

For most businesses today, the bottom line is the only line, and helping protect it is of utmost importance. It may even be tempting to cut safety programs and practices...

Safe Drivers Save Dollars

Posted by: Rod Kurtz on June 11

It is an established yet sad fact that the most life-threatening job in the nation is a truck driver. According to the Occupational Safety & Health Administration (OSHA), individuals involved...

A Conficker Worm Primer

Posted by: Rod Kurtz on June 05

What is it? The Conficker worm (aka Downadup) is a Windows worm that can infect your computer, automatically spreading to other computers across a network. To date, the worm has...

The Case for Going "Paperless"

Posted by: Rod Kurtz on May 08

Small businesses should consider taking a "paperless" page from President Barack Obama's efforts to shift to electronic medical records. He states that a change to electronic medical records could help...

The Case for Continuity Management Software

Posted by: Rod Kurtz on May 04

No one can control whether or not an organization will be affected by a natural disaster, hardware failure, power outage, or other unplanned incident. But companies can prepare to respond...

Protecting Vital Information

Posted by: Rod Kurtz on April 23

What is the right balance between protecting your company's information and keeping your employees productive and engaged? To do their jobs better, employees want to use mobile devices, Web applications,...

Doing More with Less

Posted by: Rod Kurtz on April 22

Smaller companies are feeling the squeeze of budget cuts, reduced demand, and tighter credit. It has never been more important to do more with less. Since labor is the largest...

Don't Let Your PDA Manage You

Posted by: Rod Kurtz on March 06

As with many tools, PDAs have the potential to increase efficiency and productivity. However, if not properly managed they also have the potential to waste your time. To ensure that...

Reduce the Time You Spend Fielding E-mail

Posted by: Rod Kurtz on March 05

If it seems like you and your employees are spending too much of your time fielding e-mail, you are not alone. Here are six tips for streamlining your e-mail handling...

How to Get Back Up When Data Goes Down

Posted by: Rod Kurtz on February 13

Small businesses are the lifeblood of this economy. The amount of time, money, and resources small business owners invest in their ventures to make them successful is incalculable. What is...

Putting a Computer Security Policy in Place

Posted by: Rod Kurtz on February 06

A friend of mine setting up an online printing operation e-mailed me a few weeks ago to ask for advice on setting up formal computer security policies to keep his...

Why Former Employees Are a Cybersecurity Risk

Posted by: Rod Kurtz on February 05

When most business owners think about securing their computer systems, be it on the desktop or the network, they almost always visualize the primary enemy as an evil hacker looking...

Understanding Cyberspace Threats

Posted by: Rod Kurtz on February 04

SQL injection. Drive-by downloads. Social engineering. Rootkits. Malware. Rogueware. To the busy small business owner these words and phrases might sound like gibberish, but they're actually terms that describe some...

Making Sure You Spend Wisely on Technology

Posted by: Rod Kurtz on January 27

Many organizations buy software based on analyst or peer recommendations. While this is a better business practice than simply buying blindly, the problem is that no one can tell you...

Archiving E-mail to Prepare for Electronic Discovery

Posted by: Rod Kurtz on January 22

Although we typically deal with medium to large companies looking to get control of litigation preparedness and e-discovery, we also get questions from smaller corporations. Typically these are in the...

Reducing Lighting Costs

Posted by: Rod Kurtz on January 20

As more of us look for ways we can reduce our energy consumption, both individually and within our businesses, indoor lighting is becoming a major issue. For small businesses, the...

Is Your E-mail Eco-friendly?

Posted by: Rod Kurtz on December 19

Whether it is a matter of mistrusting computer backups or simply because of the habit of wanting to touch the words we are reading, computers and e-mail have actually increased...

To E-mail or Not To E-mail

Posted by: Rod Kurtz on December 18

E-mail is an excellent form of fast, efficient communication. As with any great tool, it can be misused. It is important to recognize that e-mail is not dialogue. It is...

Use E-mail More Effectively

Posted by: Rod Kurtz on December 16

Write the main point, request, or question in the very first sentence of your e-mail message. This one practice, alone, could have a huge impact on the quality of your...

Running an Energy Efficient Business

Posted by: Rod Kurtz on December 04

Now more than ever, small businesses have to examine all options for reducing costs as we navigate our way through these turbulent economic times. Having an energy-efficient business is a...

Steps to Effective Business Continuity Planning

Posted by: Rod Kurtz on December 02

In today's data-dependent world, many small and midsize businesses still have ineffective or nonexistent business continuity plans in place. According to the 2007 Best's Underwriting Guide by A.M. Best, only...

Go Green by Kicking the Paper Habit

Posted by: Rod Kurtz on November 24

One of the ways you can reduce expenses while also reducing your carbon footprint is by working to go paperless. Sound daunting? Here are some tips on getting started: •...

Going Wireless in the Workplace

Posted by: Rod Kurtz on October 15

Whatever your motivation—whether you want to improve worker productivity or reduce operating expenses—the right computer networking decisions will have a long-lasting impact on your budget and business. One way to...

Teleworking Tools for Small Businesses

Posted by: Rod Kurtz on October 02

In today's business climate, the demand of a global economy requires that small companies be available at all hours in order to compete. How do you respond without forcing your...

The Eight Golden Rules of Font Licensing

Posted by: Rod Kurtz on September 26

With the constant deadline pressure of running a small business, it is all too easy to accumulate an abundance of fonts and to lose track of where they came from....

Don't Wait for the Bandwagon

Posted by: Rod Kurtz on August 25

Given the current economy, many businesses are looking to adopt new technologies to help control costs and compete. It's sometimes tempting to delay these decisions until the market has clearly...

To Fax or Not to Fax?

Posted by: Rod Kurtz on August 06

Most office environments are swimming in paper and faxes continue to contribute much to the mess. With many companies committed to reducing paper handling and moving to electronic work flows,...

Protecting Security at Your Document Hub

Posted by: Rod Kurtz on August 05

The old-school copier that most companies relied on for document processing has gone high tech. It has evolved into a sophisticated computing device (called a multifunction printer, or MFP)...

How Much Technology Is Too Much?

Posted by: Rod Kurtz on July 31

In theory, giving your employees a new technological device such as the BlackBerry is an ingenious idea. The trouble lies in its ability to blur the lines between the workplace...

Using Analytics to Identify Additional Revenue Channels

Posted by: Rod Kurtz on July 28

Managing and utilizing customer data is becoming increasingly more complex. As an increasing number of customers use alternative buying channels other than brick-and-mortar stores, companies need to get more creative...

Think Systems

Posted by: Rod Kurtz on July 23

We all live and work in complex systems and if we aren't already doing it, we need to think in systems. A system (or organization) is a physical or social...

What to Know About Managed Service Programs

Posted by: Rod Kurtz on July 15

With the current concerns about the economy, many small businesses are looking to reduce costs any way they can. One of the biggest costs for the small business owner is...

Why You Should Host More Meetings

Posted by: Rod Kurtz on July 10

As travel expenses rise and budgets tighten, it behooves client-relationship-based companies to look for opportunities to host client meetings. In our experience, home games help us manage fixed costs, focus...

Dealing with a Dead Server or Workstation

Posted by: Rod Kurtz on July 04

Every day, some unlucky small business owner finds himself with a dead server or workstation and asks himself that dreaded question: Now what? All too often companies are without a...

Prevent Business Disruption

Posted by: Rod Kurtz on July 03

You wouldn't think about not locking the doors to your facility at night, right? So why would you leave your business wide open through unprotected data and poorly maintained systems...

Reducing Paperwork in the Workplace

Posted by: Rod Kurtz on July 01

It's hard for businesses to keep some paper records and some electronic records. It means double search time. Companies cannot afford to maintain both. Since business processes almost always involve...

Keeping Business Information Safe When Using New Technologies

Posted by: Rod Kurtz on June 30

With the arrival of a dizzying array of Web 2.0 technologies (Facebook, iGoogle, etc.) for businesses both large and small, there come new security challenges that must be taken into...

Making a Small Business Move

Posted by: Rod Kurtz on June 26

Moving is never fun, but moving a small business—be it across town or across the country—can be downright disastrous if you don't prepare well. Here are some things to keep...

Using Customer Relationship Management Software

Posted by: Rod Kurtz on June 17

Customer Relationship Management (CRM) plays a critical role in any industry. There are a number of software options to help manage CRM functions, but traditional versions are not always suitable...

Setting Up a Virtual Help Desk

Posted by: Rod Kurtz on June 11

Economic instability is leading companies to look for cost-conscious ways to ensure and build their businesses. A critical but often overlooked area for growth is a strong technical support program—since...

Location, Location, Location

Posted by: Rod Kurtz on May 08

Location is one of the most important, but perhaps least thought about, decisions a small business owner must consider. While there is no definitive answer on how to choose where...

Take Precautions When Handling Customers' Personal Information

Posted by: Rod Kurtz on March 18

[As a small business owner, it is important to be aware of laws that require you to implement safeguards for protecting your customers' information, including proper due diligence when destroying...

Safeguard Your Company from Identity Theft

Posted by: Rod Kurtz on March 17

If you want to safeguard your company from identity theft, know your employees. Make sure they are who they say they are. At a minimum this requires that you check...

New Trends in Business Identity Theft

Posted by: Rod Kurtz on March 11

Businesses can become victims of financial and non-financial types of identity theft. One of the most well-known business and corporate identity theft schemes is standard electronic data breaks, or hacking,...

Why Is Identity Theft a Problem for Businesses?

Posted by: Rod Kurtz on March 10

While people usually think of identity theft in terms of individuals, a new and disturbing trend is on the rise with exponentially increased potential for damage—the theft of business identities,...

Six Tips for Minimizing Travel Expenses

Posted by: Rod Kurtz on February 29

At times it would be nice to think you could drum up funding, sell your products, and service your clients without ever leaving the office, but that's not practical. If...

Understanding Business Owner's Insurance Policies

Posted by: Rod Kurtz on February 22

Basically, three types of insurance are available to protect your business: property, liability, and workers' compensation. Workers' compensation insurance is required by law in all 50 states. Although property and...

Preparing for When Landlines Go Down

Posted by: Rod Kurtz on February 18

While many companies have some form of disaster recovery plan in place for their data operations, most have not considered how to keep their lines of voice communication with customers...

Prepare Your Business for the Mobile Workforce

Posted by: Rod Kurtz on February 15

Today's mobile workforce includes more than just traveling salespeople and field personnel. In fact, analysts predict that upwards of 60% of all U.S. workers are mobile. Businesses must be prepared...

One Way to Reduce or Eliminate Set-up Costs

Posted by: Rod Kurtz on February 14

Depending on the size of an organization, moves, adds, and changes can often be a hefty, inconsistent, and unexpected expense. When planning your company's data and communications infrastructure, make sure...

Payment Transaction Software for Small Businesses

Posted by: Rod Kurtz on January 18

Although the majority of merchant accounts offer their own payment gateways or payment-processing software systems, there are benefits to having your own gateway system. A payment gateway is an application...

Advantages to Leasing Your Office Space

Posted by: Rod Kurtz on January 17

For many entrepreneurs and small business owners, the question of whether to buy property or to lease office space can be confusing. If you ask a professional real estate broker,...

Understanding Your Phone Bill

Posted by: Rod Kurtz on December 20

If you're like most business owners, the sheer complexity of your phone bill can be baffling. Chances are you simply look at the amount due and write a check rather...

Cutting Energy Costs on a Small Budget

Posted by: Rod Kurtz on December 10

As the cost of energy continues to rise, many small business owners struggle to maintain their bottom line while maintaining a space that's comfortable for employees and customers. Here are...

Design Your Own Database System

Posted by: Rod Kurtz on December 03

Think your small business' database has to be created by the professionals? Think again. No one is as familiar with your company's individual needs as you are. And, with the...

Cut Software Costs While Making Employees More Productive

Posted by: Rod Kurtz on November 30

You've probably heard or seen the classic business rule dubbed "The Golden Triangle." Picture a triangle, with one label on each of the triangle's three angles. The first label reads,...

Automate Your Business Without a Computer Consultant

Posted by: Rod Kurtz on November 29

Computer consultants are good for two things: helping your small business become more efficient through intelligent use of computer technology and charging you for it (which is understandable, given they...

Centralize Your Business Data to Transform Your Business

Posted by: Rod Kurtz on November 27

Small businesses live or die by the sword of efficiency. Large competitors can afford to be less efficient but still leverage economies of scale to provide higher service levels or...

Using a Hosted Phone System

Posted by: Rod Kurtz on November 20

When someone calls a business, his or her first impression is based on how the call is answered, placed on hold, and transferred, as well as what additional options are...

Improving Your Customer's Experience and Your Bottom line

Posted by: Rod Kurtz on November 13

Most consumer businesses contend with a tremendously difficult competitive environment. Consumers have more options and information than ever before. As a result, they can switch vendors easily. Consumers are also...

Securing Critical Business Information

Posted by: Rod Kurtz on November 12

No matter how much data and information is kept by your business, information security is a topic that needs to be addressed. While large companies may have entire departments dedicated...

Get Your Small Business in Front of Technology Providers

Posted by: Rod Kurtz on November 08

In comparison with their mid- to large-sized counterparts, small business have often been ignored by technology vendors when it comes to new product releases. However, with the widespread use of...

Turn Your Business Green

Posted by: Rod Kurtz on November 06

Take small steps when taking your business green. Doing small things can make a big difference in the long run. One idea is to try to see how many places...

Will Insurance Costs Decrease or Increase as My Company Grows?

Posted by: Rod Kurtz on October 31

As a general rule of thumb, businesses become more attractive to insurers as they grow. Increased revenues and payrolls mean more risk, but they also mean a more statistically credible...

Fax a Document Without a Fax Machine

Posted by: Rod Kurtz on October 29

It is no longer efficient to receive faxes on a standard fax machine. Instead, use a fax-to-e-mail service and subscribe to a fax number through an online fax service provider,...

How to Make a Sophisticated Phone System Affordable

Posted by: Rod Kurtz on October 25

Small businesses have been excluded from sophisticated phone systems with auto-attendant and extensions because of the prohibitive upfront cost. Until now, larger phone system vendors have largely failed to deliver...

Ten Signs That It's Time to Expand Your Office Space

Posted by: Rod Kurtz on September 26

As a successful business owner, you may soon find yourself in the enviable position of outgrowing your current office space. Staying put in a cramped office is not a solution....

Steps to Ease M&A Pain for IT

Posted by: Rod Kurtz on August 30

Although mergers and acquisitions are a means for growth and a sign of success for a company, growing pains are often experienced within the organization. IT professionals, for example, are...

Think IT before an M&A

Posted by: Rod Kurtz on August 28

As a merger or acquisition is taking place, IT departments are often left carrying a large portion of the burden of making two companies become one. Not only are IT...

Keeping Data Safe

Posted by: Rod Kurtz on August 20

Taking steps to ensure personal information is secure and private benefits both companies and customers in a world where no data is safe. The protection of customer data is a...

Disaster Insurance and Property Insurance: What's the Difference?

Posted by: Rod Kurtz on August 08

The basic difference between disaster insurance and property insurance is that disaster insurance is more specialized and covers your losses against immediate occurrences that have disrupted your business, while property...

Identity Transparency is Changing the Workplace

Posted by: Rod Kurtz on July 26

The growing trend towards a virtual workplace is an important development for small businesses, and "unified identity" is the emerging technology that is making it increasingly possible. Consider the possibility...

Shoring Up Security with a Virtual Desktop

Posted by: Rod Kurtz on July 24

As more small businesses begin to open sensitive applications and data to employees across the company—be they mobile employees, temporary workers, or consultants—there is a growing need to easily control...

Protecting Your Business from Cybercrime

Posted by: Rod Kurtz on July 23

If you work from your home or have a small office, you may not have an IT manager to keep your most valuable asset – you and your clients' confidential...

Could You Be Billing for Additional Services?

Posted by: Rod Kurtz on July 20

Virtually every business could be increasing its revenue by offering and billing for additional services. Traditionally, however, the complexity of managing or implementing a billing system for incremental services has...

Buy, Rent, or Lease: Which Is Right for Your Small Business?

Posted by: Rod Kurtz on July 18

Many small business owners struggle with the dilemma of whether to buy, rent, or lease office space. If you ask business consultants or real estate brokers, you will get conflicting...

Reducing Tech Headaches

Posted by: Rod Kurtz on June 27

Small-business owners know they need technology to survive in their competitive business environment, but the challenge of understanding, implementing, and managing their technology can be constantly overwhelming. Even if they...

Eight Steps to Successful VoIP Phone Implementation

Posted by: Rod Kurtz on June 25

Many small businesses are looking to VoIP-based services in order to save money, gain access to high-end features, or unify a multi-site or at-home worker environment. While such services can...

Handling Extended Hours for Sales and Support

Posted by: Rod Kurtz on June 22

In order to reach a growing customer base across the country or around the world, many smaller businesses are faced with the challenge of hiring staff to take sales and...

Be On the Same Page, Even If You're Not in the Same Time Zone

Posted by: Rod Kurtz on June 04

Launching a geographically distributed company is increasingly common these days, especially for small businesses that find it extremely cost-effective to tap remote expertise, wherever that talent may be located—around the...

Let Your Employees "Have It Their Way"

Posted by: Rod Kurtz on June 01

Small business owners across the world will spend thousands of dollars this year to upgrade servers and buy faster computers in the hopes of improving worker productivity and efficiency. More...

Don't Overlook Your Printing Needs

Posted by: Rod Kurtz on May 23

When a new business launches, there are a lot of important decisions to be made. The last thing a new business owner typically thinks about is securing the various graphic...

Stop the Work Pile-Up

Posted by: Rod Kurtz on May 10

In many small businesses, clutter is as much of an office fixture as desks and computers. But it doesn't have to be that way. To stop work pile-up, start by...

Ensuring Data Security

Posted by: Rod Kurtz on May 09

Today's big businesses all feature some of the most advanced data protection software money can buy, often multiple solutions. But as recent events reveal, passwords are and always will be...

Choosing the Right Video Security System

Posted by: Rod Kurtz on May 06

When choosing a video security system, too often parts from multiple manufacturers are pieced together, and the system ultimately provides limited functionality. To get the most for your money, look...

A New Look at Video Surveillance

Posted by: Rod Kurtz on May 03

Peace of mind can be elusive in today's business environment. Whether you own a convenience store, a software company, or a restaurant, odds are good that you have considered installing...

Using a Virtual Phone Number to Manage a Mobile Team

Posted by: Rod Kurtz on May 02

Dropped calls or spotty connections on mobile phones are no longer a problem when conducting business. The concept of a mobile workforce is respected and accepted. And now, reaching someone...

How to Create a Virtual Office on a Budget

Posted by: Rod Kurtz on April 29

The key to creating a virtual office on a budget is to address each aspect of your business so there is little or no sacrifice made when it comes to...

Keep Ahead of the Regulators

Posted by: Rod Kurtz on April 15

Changes to corporate regulations keep on coming at a greater rate than ever before. The many records retention regulations that have changed to catch up with technology, particularly e-mail, instant...

Create Good Data Hygiene Habits Early

Posted by: Rod Kurtz on April 08

Good data hygiene is essential for businesses of all sizes, but beyond simply being a matter of good business practice, our research shows that an operational respect for the customer...

Technology Planning

Posted by: Rod Kurtz on January 25

As with other important aspects of your business, you need to create a master plan for your technology purchases just as you would draw up a business plan, a budget,...

Who's Reading Your Mail?

Posted by: Rod Kurtz on January 23

How secure is your e-mail? If you're like most people, you probably think your communications aren't of interest to anyone else, much less worth the attention of an eavesdropper. But...

Breaking a Business Lease

Posted by: Rod Kurtz on January 02

Regardless of why you want to break your lease—you want to move to another location, you can't afford the rent, the people upstairs are too noisy—you'll want to refer to...

Purchasing Health-Care Coverage

Posted by: Rod Kurtz on November 30

Purchasing health-care coverage can be overwhelming. Here are some practical tips and advice on available resources to help you get started. Start with the fundamentals—know what works best for you....

Small-Business Security Options

Posted by: Rod Kurtz on November 01

Security is a huge concern for businesses of any size. The biggest issue business owners come to me with is reliability. Everybody wants a security solution that allows them to...

Selecting the Right Network Server

Posted by: Rod Kurtz on October 09

Selecting the right network server is a complicated decision that requires you to first know your business environment and your plan for growth. Here are some things to keep in...

Competing for Retail Space?

Posted by: Rod Kurtz on October 06

As a small retailer, my credit rating is very good, but I'm not The Gap. Are there tricks to competing against national chains to get good retail space? To read...

R&D on the Go

Posted by: Rod Kurtz on September 19

As a small-business owner, you can do research and development every time you have a conversation with a client. This reconnaissance should be part of your ongoing sales efforts, because...

Negotiating a Commercial Lease

Posted by: Rod Kurtz on August 15

If you're like most small-business owners, your business is located in leased space. When it comes to commercial leases, keep one thing in mind: Leases are binding contracts. Unlike residential...

Making a Small Business Move

Posted by: Rod Kurtz on August 08

Moving is never fun, but moving a small business—whether across town or across the country—can be downright disastrous if you don't prepare well. Here are some things to keep in...

Spend Your IT Dollars Wisely

Posted by: Rod Kurtz on June 05

Be smart about where you spend your IT dollars. Keep in mind that you don't have to spend a load of cash to keep up with the big guys. Take...

Accounting Basics

Posted by: Rod Kurtz on May 12

Accounting -- often called the language of business -- is the process of recording, classifying, reporting, and analyzing financial data. And while the accounting requirements of every business vary, all...

Getting by Without an IT Department

Posted by: Rod Kurtz on May 02

You may not have an IT department for your small business, but you can still run your company on enterprise-class applications. Every aspect of business management -- from accounting and...

Keeping Your Business on the Creative Edge

Posted by: Rod Kurtz on April 27

Fostering creativity isn't as difficult as you think, but like anything, you still have to work at it if you really want to excel. Here are some suggestions for getting...

Establishing Business Continuity with Mobile Workers

Posted by: Rod Kurtz on April 13

As employees become increasingly more mobile, small businesses need to develop a clear strategy for managing remote access to data. E-mail isn't always effective. These days it's easier than ever...

Leasing Commercial Real Estate

Posted by: Rod Kurtz on April 05

If you have never rented commercial space before, there are a few things you need to know before you sign. First, there's no standard lease agreement. Each lease is different...

Is Open-Source Software Right for Your Business?

Posted by: Rod Kurtz on March 13

Open-source software is definitely an option for small businesses. In fact, most companies are using open-source software, but they may not even realize it. If your Web site is running...

Achieving Internet Security

Posted by: Rod Kurtz on March 09

Entrepreneurs are uniquely driven when it comes to information-technology purchases. They are primarily motivated by cost savings vs. top-line benefits. This can also translate into "Let's do more with less...

Stopping Cleverly Disguised Spam

Posted by: Rod Kurtz on February 16

Small businesses are indeed the latest target for spammers. Most small businesses -- unlike their big-business counterparts -- have less-sophisticated antispam protection, and spammers have shifted their tactics to take...

Protecting Yourself from Employee Lawsuits

Posted by: Rod Kurtz on February 15

Obey the laws regarding employees. Don't discriminate in hiring, for example, or permit sexual harassment. Hire carefully. Look for people with a strong work ethic, and avoid hiring those who...

Meeting the Demand for Speed

Posted by: Rod Kurtz on January 19

In today's marketplace, it is often the swiftest competitor -- not necessarily the smartest -- that wins. Speed is increasingly of the essence, no matter what business you are in,...

The Benefits of Arbitration

Posted by: Rod Kurtz on January 10

Should you include an arbitration provision in a contract? If you include a contract clause requiring arbitration, then any disputes "arising under or relating to" the agreement will be arbitrated....

Respect Your Web Site

Posted by: Rod Kurtz on January 05

Provide resources for future site maintenance. Your site can be your very best employee, and like an employee it should be monitored, reviewed, and invested in on a consistent basis...

Surviving a Business Slowdown

Posted by: Rod Kurtz on January 04

No one likes to think about a downturn in business. But if it happens, the sooner you see it coming, the better prepared you will be. Finances: Prepare monthly financial...

Perfect Your Web Site

Posted by: Rod Kurtz on December 20

Often times your Web site is the first contact potential customers have with your company, so make sure you've put together something that will leave a good first impression. Here...

Tread Carefully with Trademarks

Posted by: Rod Kurtz on December 15

Here are some tips when using another company's trademark (the names or logos used to identify products or services) in your advertising or business. Don't mislead consumers when selling reconditioned...

Outsource Your IT

Posted by: Rod Kurtz on November 23

Small-business owners tend to spend a lot of time and money researching and purchasing hardware and software. They feel the need to control their IT capabilities in-house and will often...

Don't Believe the Hype About Patents

Posted by: Rod Kurtz on November 16

There's a widely held myth -- probably perpetrated by attorneys -- that every business idea should be patented. While it's true that many businesses have struck it rich by patenting...

Don't Prejudge Organizational Structure

Posted by: Rod Kurtz on November 09

Saying that a job needs to be done by a multi-national corporation or an independent entrepreneur is prejudging a solution. The first step is to find something that works, once...

Use Patents to Your Advantage

Posted by: Rod Kurtz on October 17

Although patentable concepts generally originate in the minds of the technical staff, the decision to proceed with a patent application requires more than a technical assessment. A patent may provide...

Tax Relief for the Self-Employed

Posted by: Rod Kurtz on October 13

Sole proprietors are great at running their own business, but not always so great at doing their own taxes. Tax forms are burdensome, and categorizing expenses and depreciating business equipment...

Update Your Safety Net

Posted by: Rod Kurtz on October 06

If you're relying on a tape drive to back up your critical networks and servers, you should be featured on "I Love the '80s." Bare metal backup DPU appliances are...

Finding the Right Credit-Card Partner

Posted by: Rod Kurtz on September 26

Get a good credit-card authorizing company that you can grow with. Most of them initially set a limit on the amount of money you can make per month. If you...

Find Outside Perspective

Posted by: Rod Kurtz on September 20

I think there's just tremendous value in getting out of your business and working on it instead of in it. And to do that, you have to get outside the...

Always Guard Your Front Door

Posted by: Rod Kurtz on August 31

Today's security threats require more than a "plug and play" firewall system. To properly protect your networks, IT staff must not only deploy the firewall, but monitor and manage it...

About

Want to improve the way you run your business? Entrepreneurs, academics, and consultants from diverse industries offer practical advice on a variety of topics each business day.

To submit a tip for consideration, first check our archive of previous tips to make sure you're not repeating a tip someone has already contributed. Then send the tip to Small Business channel contributor Michelle Dammon Loyalka. Because of the volume of material she receives, she may not respond to each individual.

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