Fighting the Temptation to Draft Your Own Business Contracts

How Using a Form Contract Can End Up Costing Your Business More By guest blogger Karen R. Cashion Otherwise savvy businesses often draft their own business contracts. And now, with the easy availability of free and low cost contract templates on the Internet, many businesses are succumbing to the temptation of downloading form contracts that they customize themselves, rather than turning to an attorney for advice and drafting. Using a form contract may appear to be an up-front cost savings for your company. But retaining a lawyer to draft your company's business contracts on the front end is a smart risk management strategy that can potentially save your company tens of thousands of dollars later. Whether your business sells products or professional services, you've developed your particular niche expertise that you apply to successfully running your business. And while you wear … [Read more...]

The Cloud and Microsoft Office 365

Guest blog by Geoff Rigsby, Microsoft Account Manager at Synnex On a weekly basis I am asked, “What is Office 365 and how can it help me?” For instance, if you’re running a small business with 5-10 employees, setting up your own IT infrastructure can be a monumental task.  First, you have to purchase the hardware and software like an HP Server and Windows Server 2008 software.  Second, if you want to have your own email domain, you’ll need to purchase Exchange Server software.  And if you want to share files between employees, you will need SharePoint Server software and you can’t run that without SQL Server software.  It adds up and before you know it, you’ve just spent $50,000!  In addition, you will need someone to configure and maintain. This is a great deal of expense for just a few employees to communicate, collaborate, and work.  Here is where Office 365 is beneficial.  … [Read more...]

The best offense is a good defense: Disaster preparedness essentials

Guest blog by Cindy Bates, Vice President of Microsoft’s US SMB Organization Planning for “the worst” isn’t quite as fun as refining a business plan or coming up with new ways to market your products or services, but doing so just might make the difference between the success or failure of your company. In fact, the U.S. Department of Labor estimates that more than 40 percent of businesses never reopen following a disaster; and, of the remaining companies, at least 25 percent will close in two years. Yet, small businesses that take time to develop a disaster preparedness plan that includes preventive measures as well as actions to be taken in the event of disaster greatly increase their odds of withstanding catastrophe. To get started with creating a disaster preparedness plan, I recommend small- business decision makers consider the following: Insurance plans and policies – … [Read more...]

Talk Like a CIO

The Chief Information Officer (CIO), sometimes called Chief Technology Officer (CTO), coined in the early 1980s is a rather recent addition to the corporate governance structure. It makes sense that the position coincided with the technology explosion as companies implemented IT to gain competitive advantage. Arguably, what was once IT competitive advantage is now essential for daily operations. Even so someone has to evaluate IT investment to be sure that it serves the organization by providing benefits at an affordable cost. Without that oversight, technology projects would be rapidly become science projects that few, other than the IT department, could understand. No disrespect to IT folks. As an engineer, I have seen this phenomenon many times. A concept to make the organization more efficient, a product more user-friendly or automate manual tasks spirals into the depths of a … [Read more...]

Using Facebook to Promote Your Business in 5 Easy Steps

Facebook can be used to promote your business by building an Official Page.  You can open a Facebook business account that has limited privilege or you can use your personal account to create a Company Page.  Facebook only allows an individual one account and it is a violation subject to your account being terminated if you create more than one account. If you choose to attach a business page to your personal page, you can promote your business to your friends by suggesting that they “like” your page.  Whether you use a personal or business account, you can promote your business with ads. You can mix your personal and business page by sharing posts, photos and sharing with friends or you can keep them completely separate.  This is determined by your security settings, how you post information and who you confirm as a friend. If you worry about what family or high school friends are … [Read more...]