Celebrating small business basics in 2016

I am celebrating today. Finally, I am comfortable with my “business basics”. Email, telephone system, calendar, data management, computer hardware, and reliable Internet access all brought me significant problems in 2015. It seemed that Murphy’s Law ruled last year and I suffered perfect storms of the worse possible technology interruptions. It even cost me a couple of clients and undoubtedly slowed my prospective client appointment scheduling. Now, after months of planning, all of these were systems upgraded in the last week of 2015 and the new systems went live yesterday (January 1, 2016) with no glitches.

Email, calendar are now handled by Google for Work that integrates with the client relationship management system. I have redundant hardware systems, a spare notebook computer and tablet computer, and simplified remote and local data backup. Telephone scheduling is handled by Timetrade that integrates with the other systems. Telephone calls are handled by two new vendors that provide overlapping support.

Beyond the basics, I am now better prepared to integrate Google Hangouts for video support with accounting and planning clients. My html-based web sites that host thousands of pages of previously published support articles are moving to new technologies in steps that will continue through 2016. I now support six different online accounting systems to allow clients to easily share financial data. The difficult secure client portal was upgrades with an easier to use – but just as secure – document sharing system.

I’ve added two new physical security monitoring systems in the PA and NJ home offices and am using Eset Security Suite and other software to raise awareness of future potential online threats. In short, I am confident that I am now as robust as any small business using best of class tools in each category.

With a little more effort, I expect to share what I’ve learned through this exercise with other small business owners to help them avoid similar snags.

Here’s to a smooth 2016 for Tonynovak.com!


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