Posts

Small Business Owners in HRM are Technology Savvy

If ever I had to put together an army, I’d recruit Costco shoppers for their sheer loyalty. My comments in last month’s column garnered more feedback than usual, most of it illuminating the privileges of membership which I so callously discounted in my remarks.

In my world, the privileges of membership usually relate to technology groups. One such group is the company I work for, and recently my business partner, Dave Nicholson, did a survey  to find out how small and medium-sized enterprises – SMEs – in the Halifax Regional Municipality make use of technology.

What he found was quite interesting. Read more

Does Your Business Have a Plan in the Event of a Pandemic?

Imagine what your company would be like if fifty percent of your employees – or more – fell ill at the same time. Would you be able to continue operating?

What about after the symptoms have passed and they are capable of working, only they are instructed to stay home as is often the case with the H1N1 virus – would they then be able to be productive?

With today’s technology, the effects of a pandemic or other threat to the continuity of your business can be mitigated by putting into practice such things as alternate workplaces, work from home abilities, and notification callouts. But it all takes planning so that if a threat were to become a reality, your business is prepared.

That type of planning is what Ian McLaws does. He is the consultant who was brought in by Jazz Air LP (doing business throughout North America as Air Canada Jazz) to help implement their Business Continuity Plan. On June 16, Jazz did a thorough 24-hour test of their plan using their Alternate Systems Operations Control Centre in Burnside, and it went without a hitch.

McLaws explains that a Business Continuity Plan, or BCP, is designed to enable a business to continue operating while recovering from a disaster and to resume normal operations. It involves planning for the eventuality of a disaster event so that essential business functions such as Information Technology can continue operating.

McLaws’ main role at Jazz was to manage the disaster recovery plan part of it, or DRP, which outlines the steps necessary to restore the Information Technology environment to its normal state.

Read more

For Free Long Distance Calling, Skype’s the Limit

We were working on an important proposal just at the time when my business partner, Dave Nicholson, and his wife Judy were scheduled to travel to Mexico on vacation. Since Dave’s job is to keep me from giving away the farm, it was important for us to collaborate on this proposal no matter where in the world he happened to be at the time. So we decided it was a good time to try out some long distance Internet telephone usage.

We agreed ahead of time when Dave would be available for a call, and when I contacted him I found him (naturally) in a bar. Judy was using his laptop at the time, so she informed Dave that his computer was “ringing”.

Read more

Save Time and Money with a Content Management System

If a website is going to be successful, fresh up-to-date content is the key but updating your website can quickly become a hassle if you don’t have a content management system (CMS) in place. You could rely on your web design firm but that can become costly, and cutting out the middle man is always faster.

A simple content management system allows you to easily update your website’s copy, add news releases and update images. More advanced CMS will allow you to manage files, events and send e-mail newsletters.

Finding the right solution to suit your needs is a challenge in itself. Time and care should be taken in selecting your CMS. For more information on things to consider when choosing your CMS:

10 Things To Consider When Choosing The Perfect CMS

and for more technical considerations:

Too many content management systems

Have any good or bad experiences with a content management system you’d like to share?

Mapping a USB Drive to a Folder

When you plug in a USB pen drive Windows automatically assigns the next available drive letter. This can become a little confusing when you are dealing with multiple devices. The following are instructions on how to map a USB device to a folder:

  1. Create a subfolder under “My Documents” called USB;
  2. Under the USB folder create a folder for each USB device you will be mapping;
  3. Attached the USB device to your workstation;
  4. Run diskmgmt.msc (Press Windows+R and type diskmgmt.msc);
  5. Right click on the USB device;
  6. Select “Change Drive Letter and Paths”;
  7. Click “Add”;
  8. Browse to the folder you created in step 2;