Great Laptops for Small Business
A laptop should incorporate all your needed tools in one easily transportable packageLaptops – also called portable or notebook computers – are a vital tool for any manager, but especially for someone running a small business. A top-quality laptop can assist small business owners with the myriad tasks that larger organizations accomplish with hired staff. In the hands of small business managers they become, in effect, much-needed personal assistants.
In order to fill this vital role, a small-business laptop should:
- Be powerful enough to run the software applications required to manage your company
- Serve as your personal organizer and planner
- Keep you plugged in to your business while on the road
- Connect seamlessly to PDAs, printers, wireless networks, cell phones and other devices in order to make transferring information easy
- Assist you in making effective presentations to clients
- Provide a secure and durable computing environment in the office and on the road
Determine your computing needs now and in the near future
Assess your work habitsHow you work can greatly influence your choice of laptop. If you travel frequently by plane, put a premium on light-weight models. If you plan to use your laptop at construction sites and other harsh environments, consider those designed to take added punishment. Large-screen models help devoted multi-taskers and those who use laptops for graphics, engineering and Web-intensive work.
Opt for maximum connectivityMake sure your laptop can exchange information with other devices in your company, such as printers, phones and office networks, as well as devices you may need in the future. Bluetooth, Ethernet, Firewire, USB2 and Wifi top the list of popular connectivity standards. It's best to hedge your bets by insuring the laptop you buy supports each.
Place a premium on securityThe best laptop in the world can do your company far more harm than good if it's lost or stolen or if techno thieves pilfer your data. Likewise, an undetected virus can ensnarl your data. While Windows and other popular operating systems come with security features, those may not be enough to discourage hackers.
- Buy a better laptop than you need right now so it will be powerful enough to meet your growing needs in the future.
- Make sure your computer has the processing power needed to run the software both you and your clients use, so that needed information can be easily sent from one machine to another.
- Ask employees to fill out wish lists of the software and hardware features they'd like to see in a laptop to assist you if plan to buy multiple units.
- Create mandatory security and data back-up procedures to insure against information theft or loss.
- Devise procedures for "recycling" older laptops throughout the company, allowing power users, for example, to pass on their outdated models to employees with less-intensive computing needs.
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