The availability of increasingly more powerful and affordable technology has been a great boost for small businesses of all kinds. However, it’s supposed to make our lives easier, but sometimes technology can be extremely frustrating and can slow companies down in terms of performance.

 As a business owner it is likely that you might feel overwhelmed by the responsibilities you have and IT issues can add to that.

To help you out, here are the four IT issues that are all too common in the workplace and how you can easily solve them.

1. Slow Broadband

A slow broadband connection can be extremely frustrating, especially if you pay a high sum of money on your internet package because of its advertised speed.

But if you  load up your internet only to find yourself crawling from one page to the next, going online can become more of a  dreadful chore than a joy.

Most slow broadband problems are caused by issues at the customer end so it is likely you can do something about your slow connection. Here’s  how you might be able to solve potential broadband issues :

  • Invest in a leased line – it’s pricey  but it’s the best option for companies with 40 or more employees.

  • Move your router – if you are using wi-fi, how close is your router to your phone line? The closer the better.

  • Contact your ISP and asking them to investigate why your broadband is slow

  • Use virus software to see if your computer has malware operating in the background.

  • Moving providers or at the very least, demanding a discount from your current ISP if the problem is at their end.

2. Spam

The bane of inboxes and IT support departments the world over, spam at best is an irritant that needs to be deleted and at worst could contain malware or phishing scams that unsuspecting employees might fall foul of.

 While scam and fraud spam only makes up 2.5% of all spam email received, phishing (an attempt to steal the receiver’s identity digitally) makes up a worrying 73% of this figure.

Here are some things you can do to reduce the impact of spam on your business and IT support:

  • Ensure your Internet Service Provider has spam filters in place

  • Use email software that offers spam filter protection

  • Never reply to a suspected spam email or reply to the ‘unsubscribe’ option

  • Never click on any links in an email unless you know who the email is from

  • Never open an attachment from an unknown sender; it could contain malware that will infect your computer or even your entire network.

3. Boot Times

Booting is one of the causes of wasted time in the workplace as the amount of time a person wastes a month on booting their PC  is 1.6 hours.  So in a lifetime a person wastes 64 days on booting.

If you want to put an end to wasting time on booting consider the following:

  • Clearing out startup programmes (try Autoruns) to check which programmes are booting up at startup – and cull the ones you don’t need.

  • Scanning for viruses and malware that could be launching at startup.

  • Disabling non-essential hardware via Device Manager – do you really need Bluetooth Radio booting up when you switch on your PC?

  • Upgrading your computer – loading up the latest operating system on an archaic PC is going to take time because of the strain on the system…

4. Printers

Printing can be pricey – an unmanaged print fleet can cost an organisation between one and 3% of its annual revenue, according to print IT service provider, M2. Research shows that 40% of calls to a company’s IT support are printer related so next time you have the following problems you might be able to solve them yourself:

  • Printing too slow? Switch to draft-printing mode in print properties; it’ll speed up printing and save  ink costs.
  • Cartridges too expensive? Avoid official cartridges/toner. Instead, buy a refurbed/refilled cartridge/toner from a reputable third-party supplier.
  • Printer not working? Check that it’s plugged in. Check there is paper in the tray. Check the printer is connected to the computer.

As a business owner, you have got more important things to do than worry about IT issues. So, if you found this article useful and want  to learn more about how to get the best IT support you can download the free eGuide ‘Office manager’s toolkit: is IT interrupting your business?

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