Windows 7 Features from Our Favorites List

If you’ve been holding on to that old computer because you didn’t want to give up Windows XP, we have good news.  Windows 7 is simpler to use, more responsive, and full of new possibilities. So take the plunge – we did.  At LAN Systems, we are using Windows 7 on our desktops and have some favorite features that we would like to share with you. Backup and Restore  Greatly improved for Windows 7, Backup and Restore gives you peace of mind that your critical files are preserved. You can easily select your important files or let Windows choose what to backup. Libraries are an easy way to collect files that may be scattered throughout your PC.  Choose a backup schedule and you can be confident that your data is preserved. Be sure that you backup to a drive other than the one that contains Windows.  So if you don’t have more than one hard drive installed, use a DVD or external hard … [Read more...]

Getting the Most From Your IT Budget

Especially during tough times, we look to trim our operating budgets.  Efficient use of our valuable resources is just smart business and there are many ways to manage costs without sacrificing performance.  Below are a few ideas that you can use immediately with a minimum of time and investment. Recycle software licenses – It’s worth the effort to record all software purchases so you can easily transfer and upgrade licenses.  Start with an inventory of all existing software and then be sure to update as you add and replace licenses.  Often software licenses can be harvested as hardware is retired.  When purchasing, compare the cost of transferable to non-transferable licenses.  Be sure to keep the necessary documentation with your master list in a file.  To save paper, use electronic files. Optimize printing – Start with evaluating what you print and eliminate unnecessary or … [Read more...]

Using Social Media to Promote Your Business

As the market determines how social media will ultimately impact businesses, you should be positioning your company to take advantage of this new wave of advertising.  Depending upon your marketing strategy, you may decide to just test the waters or jump in with both feet.  Either way, develop a marketing plan for your social media endeavors.  Be sure that you have a policy for anyone (even the owner) that participates in online conversation.  Remember, you want to promote a positive corporate image and attract high quality customers and employees. At our seminars on social media, we present an overview of how to get started in social media.  We concentrate on LinkedIn, Twitter, Facebook, YouTube and Blogging as these are popular, fast-growth platforms that look like they are here to stay. Social media takes time.  Beginners spend approximately 2 hours a week.  After a few months, … [Read more...]

Using Newsletters to Reach Customers

Keeping in touch with customers is more than sending sales offers.  Good correspondence should include items that are of interest and benefit.  Be sure that the format is pleasing to your readers. Often less is more. Don’t clutter your newsletter with ads or marketing material.  Spend time to optimize your content and format so you get more readers that look forward to each issue. Choose a format Format is a personal choice, but be sure that you choose a format that is pleasing to your readers.  Depending on your industry and customer base, you may have long or short articles. There are many ways to test format, but be sure to test and modify.  You can test with a select group of customers or you could create several formats and see which one works the best.  Both of those strategies take time.  At a minimum, track the opens and clicks from each issue of your online newsletter. If … [Read more...]

Fighting Spam

Over 90% of email is unsolicited and unwanted. Junk emails flood the electronic delivery system with messages that we just don’t want and phishing schemes fool millions each year.  These abuses waste time and resources and are one of the biggest productivity drains that businesses face. Unfortunately, you can’t get rid of all spam but you can manage the problem and protect your business from incidental damage.  Make sure you have a clear email policy and train users so they don’t fall for spam tricks. Use a Spam Filter – although spammers work on beating the filter, this is your best first defense. Never reply to spam, not even to unsubscribe – often this just confirms your email is valid. Disable automatic downloading of HTML pictures -  spammers get confirmation that you opened the message if the graphics (pictures) are downloaded. Don’t participate in chain emails – these … [Read more...]