SMALL BUSINESS & NON-PROFIT HELP

 
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Small Businesses and Non-Profits Have Unique Needs

My full service includes technical issues, education of you and your staff, and most importantly, the continuity of always dealing with the same person–someone who knows you and your business well.

Large corporations have all kinds of IT services available to them, including an in-house IT department that can take care of everything from setup to troubleshooting to training employees. But if yours is a small business or a non-profit, you simply do not have the resources to develop and employ your own IT people. Most likely, you have a “techie” guy or gal who visits when you are in crisis or who initially set up your system for you. Chances are, you do not really understand why your system was set up the way it was, nor how to troubleshoot problems that come up yourself. This person or firm probably charges over $100 per hour, and may not be meeting all the needs of your organization.

A Complete Computer Consultant

What can I do with this?

Unlike an IT service, I will serve as the Personal Computer Consultant for your business or non-profit. I will take the time to become familiar with your needs and your current system. It may be that the computer system and other equipment you are using are meeting your needs. In many cases, however, what you have is not saving you and your employees or volunteers time, but is costing time. Perhaps some of your systems are set up the way they are “because it has always been done this way”. The old way may no longer be the best way! Together, we can determine what you need to accomplish, and determine the best ways to make your work as efficient and fun  as possible (yes, fun!).

Troubleshooting

I will troubleshoot your system to be sure it is working to its full capacity. If you are having issues with networking, wireless or ethernet systems, slow computers or printers that do not print, we will target those and any other issues that have come up. The goal is to make the system you are using as efficient and streamlined as you need. I call this “computer optimization”. Everything works, there are no excessive, unused programs on your computers, and you know how to deal with minor issues that may occur without incurring the expense of an additional office visit.

Expert Advice

Chances are, your computers, printers and other system equipment have been around for a while. After we determine what you would like to and must be able to do, we can look at upgrading your systems if appropriate. I can help you determine the difference between what you have and what is now available. This includes matching your needs with the right equipment–not just buying what the local big box store has on special this week! You want to buy the best system you can afford that meets your needs. Not a system with loads of bells and whistles you will never use. I will help you to find the very best prices for the equipment and software you choose so you will know you are getting the most for your hard-earned money.

Websites, E-Newsletters, Social Networking and other Ways to “Get Out There!”

Having a website has become almost mandatory for any small business or non-profit. Some try to get away with only having a Facebook page.  With a website, you can control the content you put “out there” as well as carry on a conversation with a blog if you like. With Facebook, you are only putting out snippets of information–similar to Twitter–but you do not have static information out there for people looking for information. A combination of both is usually the best answer. It is vital to determine what your business or non-profit needs to get the exposure that will maximize your mission.

The world of websites can be daunting to a novice. I can help you to buy a domain and web hosting if you don’t have them already, and create a website that is beautiful, but simple enough so that you and your employees or volunteers can actually maintain without a professional. I am not a professional website designer who will create a custom site and then require you to send me updates to enter content. Instead, I will teach you, in layperson’s terms, how a website works, and work with you to use themes to show off your business or non-profit to its best advantage. I will also help you to add features that you need and that will work best for you:  eCommerce to sell products, contact forms, blogs, slideshows, maps and much more. A professional, custom website will cost you thousands. My services will cost much less, and you will have full control. If you are part of an organization that has created its own web platform, I can teach you or your staff or volunteers how to add to and maintain content on the site.

Publishing an e-Newsletter is a low-cost and effective way of keeping in touch with your target audience. I can help you to choose a service and template, create and import a database of names and use the service to publicize your business or non-profit. Social Networking has also become essential in communications. I can also help you to establish a Facebook, Twitter, Google +, LinkedIN or other accounts and work with you to create your profile and create updates.

Complete Transfers and Setup

If you do decide to upgrade your system, I will provide complete transfer services from your old to your new computers, install new software and set up your network and wired or wireless system as appropriate. I will set up email addresses with the appropriate settings and test to be sure they are working, and help each employee or volunteer set up her/his computer the way it works best. I can also set up employee smart phones with email, etc. so that they can work from anywhere. If you use a specialized VPN network to a remote site, we may need to have the IT people from that site assist in setting up the connection, as it often involves settings that they need to provide.

Instructions

Once your system is optimized, whether the old or a new one, I can provide training for all your employees and volunteers on using the system and the software they need to get their work done. I can help you to create templates so that forms can be filled out or reports filed in a consistent format. We will work together to understand the Operating System, File and Folder system, and best way to keep the computers running well. I can provide lessons in Word, Excel or any of the Office programs, as well as any others you may be using.

Churches and Synagogues

I have special expertise in the area of membership databases, and would be happy to help you with this challenging area. I wrote the manual for ChurchDB, a leading church membership management system, first in 2009 and then an update in 2011. Complete Instructions for ChurchDB is a must-have for churches nation-wide that use this dynamic system to manage membership data, groups, communication, education, stewardship, and much more.

Rates and Contracts

Please see the Rates page for my hourly rates and other information on having regular business visits and contracting specific jobs.