As a small business owner myself, I know only too well the temptation to do everything in-house.
But, as often is the case, it’ll cost you far less in the long run getting an expert to help you out, but for those small businesses that want to carry on doing their own IT, these five tips are for you.

Tip #1 – Buy cheap, buy twice
It’s very tempting to try and save some money, and all computers do the same thing, don’t they?
It’s worth spending a little more money on a business class PC, they’ll be better built, have better quality components and will often have a better warranty than their home-market counterparts, and as a result of all this they’ll last longer, perform better and enable you to be more productive. After all, how much would it cost your business if you’re waiting for a PC to be repaired?

Tip #2 – Backups
These are essential. Not only should you have backups in place, you should also check that; a) they’re working and b) you can recover data from them if you need to.
With malware and ransom-ware becoming more sophisticated being able to restore your data quickly in the event that it’s lost or unreadable is essential.

If you’re storing your files in the cloud, it’s a good idea to keep a copy of those files locally, too – what would happen if you lost your internet connection for any period of time?

Tip #3 – Security
It’s very easy to think that it won’t happen to you, but don’t skimp on security – breaches and problems do happen. Hackers are known to see small businesses as an easy target due to the fact that they’re often not as well protected as big businesses.
It’s essential to have up-to-date anti-virus on all your machines (and paid-for solutions are nearly always better than free options).
Make sure that you use secure passwords and it’s good practice for users to change their passwords on a regular basis.
Keep software firewalls turned on for PCs and Macs (Both Windows and OS X have them built-in!) and having a dedicated physical firewall at the edge of your network can help protect you and needn’t cost a fortune (and some will provide you with remote access features, too!).

Tip #4 – Update your software
Installing security updates on your PCs can feel tedious and a waste of time, but it’s essential. Security updates will fix any flaws or vulnerabilities that are found and help to keep things running smoothly.

Tip #5 – Don’t forget about your network
While it’s easy to focus on the equipment that sits in front of you on a day-to-day basis (e.g. if your PC is old and slow, you’ll replace it), don’t forget that your network infrastructure will also need attention from time to time.
As broadband speeds get faster (after all, it’s possible to get 1Gb fibre broadband to your home now) having a creaky 10Mb hub at the centre of your network definitely won’t be doing you any favours.

Of course, if you want a fresh pair of eyes to look at your IT and make sure everything is running optimally and providing best value for money, we’d be very happy to assist. Please contact us to discuss your requirements further.


Telephone: 01372 642 601

TgTips – 5 tips for DIY IT support for small business owners
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