201 Great Ideas For Your Small Business

sure to obtain a disk or CD-ROM with your completed site from your designer. Remember, the designer doesn’t own the site, you do. Having a copy in hand will protect you from losing all the work should you decide to hire someone else down the line.

  • Start out simple. Nothing should be more than two clicks from the home page. Aim for a very clean, elegant design; you can always add animated graphics later, if you need to.
  • Read up on the subject. Check out these books before getting started: Creating Killer Web Sites: The Art of Third-Generation Site Design, by David S. Siegel (Hayden Books, $14), and How to Make a Fortune on the Internet, by Martha Siegel (HarperCollins, $14).
    Before you can be truly high-tech, your business needs to have the right equipment and be set up properly. Here are the five things your office probably doesn’t have but should, according to business equipment expert Mie-Yun Lee:
    1. Computer backup system. It’s easy to think your computers will never crash or be damaged by water or fire or be hit by
    a virus. But it could-and probably will-happen.
    Prevent the despair you’ll feel when disaster strikes by buying a backup system. Look for a tape-based system to minimize storage costs. You want a system that can store key data from all your current and future computer systems. Brands
    to look for include Exabyte, Hewlett Packard and (for Macs) APS Technologies. Lee also suggests practicing recovering your data before you actually need to do it. And be sure to back up files every week, if not every day.
    2. Router. Rather than buying modems for every computer you add to the office, buy a router. These devices serve as an
    officewide modem for everyone, with access available to all networked computers.
    A router can save you money, because all modem usage can be consolidated to just a couple of phone lines instead of requiring a separate line for each modem. A router can connect to regular phone lines, ISDN and dedicated lines. Try 3Com or Ascend for PC-based routers; Farallon is a good source for Mac routers.
    3. Color printer. A splash of color can make your important documents more memorable. A color ink-jet printer is good for
    basic printing. Whatever printer you choose, make sure you buy a four-color, not three-color, model. Four-color models have a reservoir that holds black ink, while three-color ones combine various colors to approximate black.
    Also, make sure you reload or refill cartridges separately. Otherwise, when you run out of one color, you will be forced to
    throw out the entire cartridge. Consider brands like Epson, Canon or Hewlett Packard for printers and cartridges.
    4. Computer-height desks. Computers sitting atop standard-issue desks often spell trouble for employees. Many suffer
    aching hands or carpal tunnel syndrome, a serious repetitive stress problem. To alleviate the discomfort, buy lower desks

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