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Computer Repair Business Lessons Learned

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Ways You Can Reuse Your Office Gadgets

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Ways You Can Reuse Your Office Gadgets

Introduction:

There are many ways to minimize business expenses, the best is to reuse and recycle the old office gadgets that are of no use.  Recycling items is very common to people but what probably people don’t know is there are many ways to reuse the gadgets. Reusing the office gadgets is the best way to save money. After all, it is the same material that you are using, only the need of the material is changed, we are using it for some other kind of need. Reusing the gadgets also shows your creativity.

How to reuse office gadgets:

Office supplies often goes sold in bulk. Help keep needy items from collecting dust or going to waste by following adopting creative ways to reuse and recycle those things. There are many ways to reuse and recycle the used or unusable gadgets in your office. Here are few ideas that you can try out. Read on the ideas:

1.  Making and using old tablets as e-readers: If you are still using the old and junk computers for business purpose, then it is time for you and your office mates to switch over to old tablets. You and your rest of the office people can use old tablets in order to read the materials that are needed for the business. Using tablets as e-readers will make it easy and comfortable for you to get the reading done. If you have some old tablets than replace them with old and worn out computers.

2.  Media Player as Storage Device: Flash Drives and Portable media devices are considered to be the most misplaced gadget in the office. If by chance it goes missing then there is no need to buy a new one. Simply find an old media player, and use it to store, transfer and save office data. The capacity of media player is very large and they are capable of storing bulks of data. Thus it can perform dual operations. We can hear music through them and at the same time can use it as a storage device.

3.  Using old computer monitors as TV screens:  If next time, the TV of the office goes burst, you can look for an old computer monitor and can replace it with the broken screen. Thus the monitor can be used as are placement for the TV. It can give both you and your ofice mates a relaxed space to breathe. Thus it is advisable to place the TV in the floor’s common area or in a office pantry.

4.  Using old CCTV as spare parts: Repairing a worn out CCTV will cost more money as its parts are expensive. What best can be done is to take that CCTV, break it apart, cut the spare parts out and use those parts to maintain and upgrade the other things in the system of CCTV. Thus in this way one can save money on buying the new parts. Thus the technique is very cost effective and it will also show creativity of oneself.

5.  Help others: It is often said that what is a thrash for one man may be the treasure for the other man. If you have some old gadgets which are really not of your use any longer then its better and advisable to donate such things to non-profit organisations that can recycle such stuffs for the use of other people. So pick up the phone and dial such non profit organisations and maintain the ecosystem of the society.

6.  Use old device to get money: There are many Tech companies in the world that can happily buy your old devices. Ask your boss or employees whether the particular device is of any use or not. If it is of no use then contact such programs and ask them if they are interested in taking such devices. Give suchdevices to them and in return they will pay you handsome money. Treat yourself and your employees happily.

Conclusion:

Old devices can gather only dust. They cannot do anything other. The best thing is to reuse and recycle these gadgets. You can also show your creativity. You can also take help from any third party organizations too in it. Thus you will succeed in maintaining a cost effective office. Reusing and recycling devices is a fun which you and your employees will enjoy doing.

Hope you have enjoyed reading it. If you have your own ideas on how to reuse and recycle stuffs then please write it in the comment box. All your comments would be entertained.

This Post is written by Margaret. She is a writer/blogger. She writes articles on Technology, social media, WordPress, Gamification, website Hosting, website development and online development etc. These days she contributes on play euromillions

6 Types of Malware You Should Be Aware of

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6 Types of Malware You Should Be Aware of

Malware programs can really be some of the worst stuff on the internet, and they’re more common than mosquitos in the middle of the jungle. They are also so numerous in variety that it would be nearly impossible to pick out a few specific pieces to talk about. Every hacker has their own trademarks and strategies to insert into their own malware, meaning that there are millions of different types being created every month.

What you can realistically learn about are the general types out there and what they look like. Many people already defend themselves perfectly, and you and your customers can as well. All are meant to harm you, and the first thing you need to think about is that there is no limitation on what a piece of malware can do except the imagination of the hacker. Nonetheless, trends do emerge.

crb1

Here are the six main types of malware that you need to know about:

Ransomware

Out of all the types of malware out there, ransomware appears to be the most immediately menacing and hardest to get rid of. It works by effectively locking down your computer and then demanding a payment to unlock it, often pretending to be a security program in the process.

Don’t fall for it, as ransomware never leaves you alone, even if you pay the ransom. They’ll just want more. The best method to fight it is to not get it in the first place, but after that, deleting it in safe mode or a reinstall of the operating system might be in order. Don’t give in to pressure and keep a calm head should you encounter it.

Rootkits

Rootkits are the absolute worst in terms of how difficult it is to get rid of them. They hide by acting as files within your operating system itself, and are therefore nearly undetectable by scanners. They’re also undetectable to any but the most experienced of technicians, and even they would prefer to simply wipe the hard drive and start over instead of spending many hours looking through files. Fortunately, they are more difficult than other types of malware to install, and most hackers won’t find your information worth the extra effort.

Spyware

Personal data is valuable, and the creators of spyware know this. The main goal of a piece of spyware is to remain undetected while collecting information on the user, usually with identity theft as the end goal. It might also be put on your computer to scope out vulnerabilities for later attacks. A manual check of all of your files and frequent scans (with a good malware defense program) are your best hope for detecting and destroying it.

Mobile Malware

A few years ago, malware on smartphones was such a miniscule problem that it wasn’t even considered. Now it is one of the largest threats that security professionals and users alike have to worry about, and due to the limitations of the operating system and difficulties accessing the deeper functions of a smartphone, mobile malware is tricky to remove. People need to start using the internet on their smartphones much like they would on their home computer so they avoid trouble. It is also recommended that people install mobile security apps on their devices.

Adware

Adware is much maligned subset of malware that focuses on selling you things you didn’t know you didn’t want to have. They’re often paired with other types of malware to maximize effectiveness, and the ads themselves nearly always lead to a scam or legally questionable activity. The sooner it is deleted, the less of a risk that other types of malware will invade and cause deeper problems than pop-up ads from your browser or desktop.

Bots

While you might not think of bots as malware in the traditional sense, they are malicious programs used for criminal activity, in this case often to try to hack accounts. They’re the reason you have to type in verification words, and they allow hackers to sit back and let something else do all the work. While the average person cannot directly combat them, they should avoid making important accounts on websites that don’t have a defense against them.

Defenses to Use

While the nature of malware will change significantly over time, there are tools and strategies you can use in order to improve your general defense against these kinds of threats and more.

  • You need a security suite on your computer. You also can’t afford to use a free program that isn’t up to par with the rest of the industry. You additionally need to update it whenever possible, as hackers and malware distributors take advantage of the gap between average update time and update release.
  • If you are going out into the world, you need to use a Virtual Private Network (VPN). While most people will consider it a tool that allows people to connect to Netflix from another country, its best purpose is to keep people safe on public networks and bypass government censorship. Hackers can steal your information on these networks and use it to perform identity theft and spread malware later, so you need the encryption a VPN provides in order to remain completely safe.
  • Most cybersecurity problems are caused by people neglecting important habits, so the most important thing you need to work on is your own cybersecurity strategy. Only use websites that you trust, and don’t download any file that looks suspicious. If you let a piece of malware in the front door with an invitation, your tools won’t be able to help you.

Do you have any other thoughts concerning malware and defending against it? It is a complex topic, so any input would be appreciated in order to keep the conversation going. Please leave any questions or comments below.

FieldNation and Essintial

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If you are doing work orders on FieldNation then look out for Essintial…Quite a few of their jobs are for preventive maintenance at Walmarts.

The work order states:

Under “Hide Confidential Information” it states;

SPECIAL ACCOUNT INFO:

***Any aborted site will be restructed to an $80/flat rate Unfinished Site payment.***

So I do a job for them and sure enough was turned away by the client due to them not being notified of the job. Apparently this was a common occurrence based on my call that night to the call center about the issue. So sure enough they reschedule it and send me again. I accept the work oder and show up and once again the manager on duty turns me away. So the same route, call the call center and let them know and they close the ticket.

Next thing I know I get paid less than $30 (after everyones cut) and their justification was “2nd retry only pay $30.00”. Problem is nowhere in the work order was this stated. So apparently the only one that knew about this whole “2nd retry” thing was Essintial….

Contacted FieldNation about the is and their answer ended up being. “It’s entirely up to buyer what they would pay you after reviewing a WO since they might take different/dissimilar decision’s based on provider’s performance. We suggest you to click on one of their available WO and decline it. It gives you an option to block the company when you do so.”

This makes absolutely NO sense at all. So it’s up to the buyer to change the terms and not notify anyone? And then I’m’ suppose to just “block the company”? So basically what FieldNation is saying is “we condone this type of practice”….Great job FieldNation.

Thumbs down for Essintial and FieldNation on this deal.

Humans of Technology

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Site: http://humansoftechnology.tumblr.com/

I am putting together this new thing sort of like “Humans of New York” . If you have never heard of it you can check it out here: http://www.humansofnewyork.com/

Reason i’m doing it is, it’s interesting to me and in my 20+ years I have met and talked with thousands in the industry and always take something away from it. So I have thought about this for some time and I really think it would be a nice thing to throw out there for our industry.

Some of the differences is obviously I am not in New York and the one I am doing is not going to be about a city…Rather it is going to be “IT” (Information Technology) people from all over the world. Can be business owners, network engineers or anything related to “IT”.

That is where you come in. I’d like to have you on the site.

All that is required is this:

1. Picture….It can be of you, your family, you and your dog, you and your car, you at your store or whatever you want. But, you have to be in it in some shape or form 😉

2. Write something (this will go under the picture)…Now this can be really anything you want but a few thoughts are this:

What the technology industry means to you…

What do you see the technology industry moving towards…

Why you love the technology industry…

Heck you can even put in there about your family if you’d like….

Nothing extreme of course maybe a paragraph or two is about it.

Of course I will be glad to put your name, business name, location or whatever you’d like and I can even link to your website at the end of it.

Facebook Page: https://www.facebook.com/humansoftechnology

3rd Party Companies

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Do you do work for 3rd party companies? If not then maybe it’s time to think about it and see if it might work in your business model.

The reason I bring this us is because many of you have employees and I always hear “what am I going to do on slow times”. Well sometimes doing work for 3rd party companies and be a filler for just that.

Now there are quite a few of them out there and i’ll only talk about a few that I have actually done work for in past. Many years ago I was doing quite a few of these jobs and the reason was simple…”the pay was very good”. But, now fast forward and the pay that some of them are offering is not very realistic and makes you want to just say “not going to do it”. I still think it’s worth looking into for the sheer fact that you don’t have to accept a job and you can also counter-offer a job with a different price.

Here is an example…A job comes in from FieldNation for a printer problem. The scope of the work says something like this:

“Printer malfunction error code 51.0”. Tech will arrive on site and run configuration report and then if error is still there will replace filter cartridge with new one. (the new one has already been shipped there).
Date/Time: Will show information
Location: Will show city etc..
Price: $65

Now you can either say yes to it or counter offer and ask for more money if you want. Really depends on your area and if you think others might be willing to accept the offer or if you think you might be the only one around to do the job in which case you can probably counter on a few things.

Now that particular job is one I actually did. Total driving time was about 20 minutes round trip. Time on site was roughly 15 minutes. So less than an hour for $65. if you are a one person shop then it might be hard to justify doing a job like that. But, if you have techs there is no reason you can not have them do those types of jobs during slow times.

Some of the companies out there are FieldNation, FieldSolutions, WorkMarket, Onforce and Geekatoo….At some point i’ve done jobs for all of them and have never had an issue with payment or anything else as long as you follow directions.

Summer Push

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Summer is coming and with that comes a slow time for many business owners. Hopefully that is not going to be for you, but you never know…

Typically families are all planning trips, end of school, graduations, etc. The last thing on their minds is a computer problem.

With that in mind you still have time to contact your customers and do something that might change their thinking. If you have a list of previous customers (and I hope you do) send them an email/newsletter about a “clean-up”, “tune-up” special you are having and call it “Summer Special” or whatever you’d like. Also, if you have a Facebook page post it on their daily to get the word out. Of course if you use things like Craigslist then post it on there also.

If you have been marketing hard from the start of the year then hopefully it will carry you thru the summer months. But, if you have been lax then there is really not much you can do to correct that. You have to continually market and push in order to not experience that down time. Of course sometimes there is nothing you can do. But, if you have marketed properly then you know that you have done your best and ride it out.

If you are not good at flyers or content then go to a site live Fiverr and get it something done professionally that you can send out. MAKE SURE when you get someone from Fiverr to do your ad or whatever that you get the source files in case you put a date or just a year on it that you will be able to go back and change it for future use.

You still have a few weeks to get these ideas in action and hopefully pull in some customers for the June/July time frame……

Best of Luck!

IT Business Owners Group

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If you have not heard there is a new group to the IT industry…

IT Business Owners Group, is a group dedicated to three types of people. People who own Computer Repair Businesses, technicians who consider themselves as top notch technicians as well as Vendors and those who work for OEM manufacturers.

IT Business Owners Group is designed for these three types of people to get together in a group and be able to ask questions to technology challenges and be able to get fast answers. This group is also the only group that is designed to bring OEM’s to a common place with the techs that are implementing the technology on a day to day basis, whether you are in the break fix side, managed service provider or an OEM vendor, this is the group for you!

IT Business Owners Group Facebook

IT Business Owners Group linkedIn

Facebook for SEO?

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I know many business owners have a Facebook page for their business but do you have one for your city/town? If not you might want to look into it. I created one a few years ago and now it comes up on the 1st page of Google for “Computer Repair City Name” (City Name is actually the city we are based in. Not only do you admin the Facebook page but you decide what goes on it. You can put daily repair, tips or whatever you want and use it as a marketing tool.

If you have not done so already create your city computer repair page today, populate it with content, pictures etc and see just how well you do in the search engines.

The “blacked” out part is where you put your city/town name.

facebook_computer_repair

CSHotline acquired by ResolveTek

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CSHotline has been acquired by ResolveTek based in California. So now there are techs in California and Texas running the operation.  I have not only used CSHotline for many years with my own local and nationwide websites but ran CSHotline for over a year. A few of the biggest benefits of CSHotline to me has always been the branding and the pricing….$27 per repair!

Plus, this type of service is not only cost effective as compared to hiring techs but gives you time to concentrate more on building your business vice working in your business. Plus, no long term commitments….

Below are some of the benefits of CSHotline.

Completely Branded
—————————————————————-
We offer 100% branding between you, CSHotline and your customer. They will be warmly welcome by your business name all the time.

24×7 US Based Tech Support
—————————————————————-
We now have 2 operational call centers in Texas & California to cover all of United States and Canada.

Offer Unlimited Support Plans
—————————————————————-
That’s right, You can also offer Monthly or Annual Plans to your customers. Our Plans includes all services we offer under PC & MAC, Accessories, Router & Networking.

Offer More Services
—————————————————————-
Why stop at Tech Support Service. You can now also offer Web Design, Internet Marketing & Software Development services to your clients and that too with 100% Branding.

Enhanced Backend
—————————————————————-
Control every part of your business using CSHotline Dashboard. You can set pricing, check messages, daily reports, view tickets, assign calls to our team and more.

Mobile App (Coming Soon)
—————————————————————-
Your customer can get support in one touch for their PC’s and Gadget using your own custom made mobile app.

CSHotline vision is to provide great returns to computer repair business owners and continue to build something that is growing rapidly with a lot of upside.

To know more about Pricing and Getting Started with CSHotline visit http://cshotline.com/pricing/

**** Special discount for limited time, Get $99 OFF on the setup fee

Please feel free to reach me at 1 (888) 722-3069

Customers and Smoking

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Having been a smoker for over 30 years I think i’m somewhat of an expert in the field and I’m not sure that is a good thing.

I smoked ever since I had my first job at a bowling alley where I could get cigarettes behind the counter for free. From there I went
to boot camp in the Marine Corps and you could even smoke there. So there was never really a place that I encountered that you could
not smoke. Even a few of the duty stations I was at working in a network center you could actually smoke inside them at your desk.
So in my mind “all was well” in the world of smoking.

Now, just like everyone else that smokes I was continually told about the health hazards of it and what “could” happen to a person. Trust me when I say I thought about that numerous times but never really put it on the top of the list of why I should quit. I always had a better reason not to quit. If they would of said “at age ?? you will become sick” then that may of worked because it was for sure…but nobody ever did that.

Fast forward and i’ve had to have multiple back surgeries and my latest surgery was a neck surgery. My doctor has always said I needed to quit prior to surgery but of course “what does he know” is what I always thought. But, then this time for my neck surgery he said “the only people that have ever had a hard time healing from a neck surgery is smokers due to it does not allow the neck proper healing”…I listended to that and thought ‘wow, do I really want to go thru this again”…I know from past experience the recovery is never good and “if” I know that I am hurting my healing ability then I have nobody to blame but myself. Now trust me I also know he’s a doctor and is suppose to push the whole “quit smoking” but I have known him for years and I think our relationship is at the point where peer pressure doe’s not work and he knows that.

So I decided (5 months) ago to quit. I smoked an entire pack the night before my surgery (probably not the smartest thing to do) and decided at that point that I would quit. It’s now been five months and I have not had 1 cigarette, there have been maybe one or two times that I actually craved one but that passed quickly. I have no problem being around smokers or even going out to the old locations where smokers gathered at work and talked while smoking. My one fix for this is “vaping”. I started doing that as something to do with supposedly less harm. From what I read, have been told (even from doctors) that is in their mind 100% better than smoking. But, at some point I have a feeling that will stop also but for now it’s a fix that I will stick with.

Now, in business you deal with people on a daily basis either in your shop or if you are mobile in their homes. For the life of me I have no idea how I went all those years and did not think that I actually “stunk” like smoke. Now when I am around those that smoke I can smell it. If I am in a store in line somewhere and somebody gets behind me I can tell that they just smoked. I can only imagine how I must of smelled all those years in my dealings with customers. Yes, like everyone else I did the breath mints, spray etc but in reality I still stunk. It has to be a turn off and in hindsight I should of known this (or cared) at the time.

Believe me I am not now the “don’t smoke” guy or the one that says “I can be around smokers”…To me it’s “to each his own” and that is entirely up to you/them. If you smoke I can only suggest maybe try vaping and see if that quenches your desire. There are hundreds of flavors and devices to use and you might just find one that is a good fit. Plus, the financial aspect of it is crazy. Again, I would never quit even when I was shelling out $75 or more a week on the habit. To me money did not matter and did not justify quitting…

Think about it and maybe 2015 is the year to make it happen.