Tag IT networking

Tag IT networking

Setting Up Your Small Business Office Network

Tags: , , , , IT Tips Baltimore, Network Management

networkSetting up an office computer network for a small business isn’t always an easy task. Even with some tech-savvy people on your team, setting up a network that’s built to last and easily expand as your business does can be difficult. While it’s almost always better to consult a professional office network design and installation company, Working Nets is here with a general guide to make the process easier for any DIYers.

Wired vs. Wireless

Within the past few years wireless networking has skyrocketed in popularity among small businesses, largely because of a great decrease in its price. The benefits of wireless networking are obvious, you won’t need to run as many cables through your workplace, giving you greater freedom with your setup, you can use it from anywhere on your premises, and you can offer guests easy access.

However, there are still some advantages to sticking with Ethernet-focused wired networking. Wired office networks will still have the edge speed-wise, be cheaper than purchasing a powerful router, and won’t run into as many connectivity issues that can sometimes plague wireless systems. At Working Nets, we recommend a combination system with wired access for any permanent terminals with wireless network availability for anything portable.

What Do I Need?

Windows and OS X have built in networking features that make setting up a simple office network fairly straightforward, Aside from the computers themselves, you’ll need a few basic pieces of networking equipment to start connecting your system together.  To set up a network you’ll need a router that connects with your internet provider and your main server. Larger set ups may need additional routers or wireless relays to ensure network coverage for your whole office.

How Do I Keep My Network safe?

It’s crucial that after setting up your small business’s office network, you take the time to implement ample security measures to keep your data safe. To start with you should make sure all your computers and your router are operating with active firewalls (this can be easily checked in their respective settings) to keep malicious software out. If you’re running a wireless network make sure that WEP encryption is enabled and that users will need to put in a pass key before accessing the network. Make sure networked computers are using the most updated and secure versions of their preferred web browser, and check their history to monitor for suspicious activity.

So this is All I Need for Easy, Safe Networking, Right?

Unfortunately, no. With cyber criminals become more prevalent and creative every day, maintaining an office network is a constantly evolving challenge. While the steps listed above will get you started on your way to a great office network, they won’t take care of everything. If you want complete network security, easy set up, and management, call Working Nets today! We’re a Maryland based company with years of experience managing networks of both large and small businesses, as well as a team of highly dedicated, well-trained technical experts who stay on the cutting edge of network management so you don’t have to.

To talk to someone about network management for your small business, give us a call at (443) 992-7394. We’d be happy to assist you with your professional business networking needs.

You can also visit WorkingNets.com and follow us on FacebookTwitterLinkedIn and Google+

The Karma of Networking Events: Patience is the Secret to Lead Generation

Tags: , , IT industry, IT Tips Baltimore

The other night I attended a networking event. It’s an annual event, but this is the first time I’ve gone. I was fascinated as to how many people I knew at this event. Many from events I still regularly attend, but others from groups I used to go to, or even groups that just are no more. I met some knew, and re-established contact with folks with whom I’d been long out of touch.

This morning, I emailed someone who was at the event, who doesn’t do very much networking for his business, and asked him what he thought of it. His response was, “As far as the event, I met a couple of people that I will follow up on. If anything positive comes out of that, it will have been worth it, otherwise, not.” Now, to me, that perspective is… bizarre. But I have come across it many times before. So I responded to his email, but I’d like to share it with all of you who use networking as part of your business-marketing plan:

My philosophy on networking events is that it’s almost always worth it. If nothing solid comes out of it, you met some people. Next time, you’ll run into some of them, and now you’re not strangers anymore. You talk a little bit about whatever – the Ravens, vacation spots, whatever. The next time they’ll smile when they see you and say “HIIIII – How ARE you?” And after that, you schedule a one-on-one, etc… Like other marketing initiatives, this is a game of brand awareness. The more you get to know them; the more they get to know you, the more likely they will feel comfortable thinking of you as “the accountant” when they have issues, or when they talk to other business owners.

I go to two networking meetings pretty much every week. And for those folks, I am the “computer guy.” I don’t always get leads from them, but when I do, it’s business. I’ve gotten $10,000+ deals from these meetings. Only a few, but to me, that justifies my attending them. I also go to several other events, as I catch them. And very often, I meet people that I know from other events, and they introduce me to other people I didn’t know. And the cycle goes round…

For example, I met someone from a networking group I was in years ago, whom I haven’t seen in a long time. He’s now working for a different company, and when we were talking, I asked him whom his targets are. One of his targets turned out to be the company that one of my friends works for, and he was there last night. I introduced them. He’s so happy; he wants to buy me dinner! A woman I met at the same event is a target for another one of my friends, who was also there last night. I introduced them. Now whether or not they actually wind up doing business together, those people will remember that I tried to help them. And if they have the opportunity to refer someone back to me, or if they even meet someone who wants to work with small IT companies, chances are I’m going to get that referral. That’s the power of networking.

That’s not to say be a mercenary and pretend that you want to help others in order to receive some future gain. It doesn’t work like that. It’s more like… karma. You put good stuff out there; good stuff will come back. I believe that, and I’ve seen it in my business.

So if you go to meetings and events, and don’t immediately meet people that are looking for what you do, don’t give it up as a worthless endeavor. Keep going. Meet more people. Get to know the ones you’ve already met, better. And help people, even if you don’t think they can help you. Because you never know…

If you have any questions, please contact Working Nets by calling (443) 992-7394 or visit WorkingNets.com today!

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