Small Businesses in Canada are continuously running out to their local retail office store to purchase their computer supplies and accessories for their business. This practice is great for those businesses that need an ink cartridge or some DVD’s to backup their data, however, it is not the best practice for them to run out to purchase their next notebook computer or computer system.
Today’s small businesses are often purchasing the wrong computer system for their business. Many times when meeting with small businesses during my travels and inspecting their existing infrastructure, we are still finding many Windows XP Home or Media Centre computers that they have purchased for their business at the local retail office supply store. The sales people at these locations may lack the business technology training to properly understand what a small business needs and how business affects technology investments. The small business world is definitely different from the home or SOHO marketplace.
The business decision maker is often upset when the IT professional has to pass along the bad news that their existing systems need to be upgraded or the operating system replaced when they hit that critical point in their business that the need for a server in their business is identified. Computer Professionals that focus on small business often struggle with this daily, the need to inform the business owner that their existing systems will not be able operate effectively in a Windows domain with a home based operating system adds additional stress to their daily job.
The original reason why they went to purchase their latest computer at the retail store was perhaps the immediate gratification of getting a computer system that they can use today or out of urgency that they need something immediately. Small Business today, needs to start planning their technology investments wisely instead of spontaneously purchasing or impulse buying. This is where the Microsoft Small Business Specialist can assist them to ensure that they are investing in the right computer systems to allow their business to thrive with the right technology solution.
Where can small business turn? Business owners must find a trusted technology provider to assist them before they run out to the local office supply store. Microsoft has a great website for business owners to find that trusted resource at http://www.microsoft.ca/smallbusiness. An experienced small business specialist understands what a small business requires and will recommend the correct solution, even if they do not have a server today, a small business specialist has the skills to plan for the future. The Microsoft Windows XP Professional and Vista Business Editions are what a small business needs to ensure that are ready for grow, so when the day comes that they need to invest in their first server, they can purchase the server and it can easily fit into their existing investments.
What prevents the home or media versions from working in business? These versions of Windows were developed with scaled down functionality to work in the home market or to work with your entertainment systems, sure they will run all the software that you purchase for your business, however, they lack critical business functionality like logging into a Windows domain network, file synchronization and they lack the additional security features found in the Professional and other business editions of Windows XP and Vista.
The Small Business Specialist community needs to continue its effort in educating today’s small business marketplace to ensure that they are investing in the right technology solutions for their business needs. Small Business consultants can leverage the Business Assessment Toolkit to paint the picture for the small business on their exact needs and ensure that they are investing their dollars wisely in technology.