My Return to Easy Street

By on September 11, 2014

In a post written a few months ago, I talked about “Life on Easy Street.” It covered a trip I took to a local Staples store to have my computer checked out and tuned up—part of their EasyTech Total Support program. Thanks to Scott Wells, GM of the Staples store, and his knowledgeable team, I went into the store with a sick laptop and left with a healthy, powerful tool that would help me run a better business.

Last week, as per Scott’s recommendation, I went back to Staples for my regular checkup. They looked for viruses and any registry issues that might slow my computer down. The good news is that my computer passed the test with flying colors. Compared to my initial visit, one that had over 1,000 viruses on my laptop, I only needed a few tweaks in the follow up visit. After entering the next tune up visit into my calendar (set for mid-December so my business can hit the ground running in 2015), I spoke with Scott about the EasyTech Total Support program.

Brian: Why isn’t every small business owner bringing their computers into Staples every 3-6 months for a tune up?

Scott: People come in when they have a problem regardless of what Staples advises. What they should do is what you did today—purchase the EasyTech Total Support program and then bring your computer or laptop in for regularly scheduled, free tune up.

Brian: It’s hard to remember to bring your computer to Staples when nothing is wrong with it.

Scott: That’s why you should put the tune up into your calendar as a reminder. Treat your computer testing as if it was a tune up for your car. If you don’t proactively maintain your car, it will break down one day. Then, a small matter, like an oil change, suddenly becomes a much bigger problem. It’s the same with your computer. Don’t let little issues become really big problems.

Brian: What if a business owner has computer issues in between visits?

Scott: Any time you have computer issues, write down what happened and if a message popped up. Most of the time, we can fix the problems during your regularly scheduled visit. However, if the problem is preventing you from getting your work done, call us to schedule an appointment. Come into the store and we’ll take care of it right away.

Brian: In speaking with other business owners, one of the most common problems I hear has to do with Internet speed. For some businesses, uploading and downloading large files can really slow down their day. Do you have any suggestions for the speed-challenged business owners?

Scott: They should start by testing the Internet speed from different areas at their physical location. It can be done right from their smartphone. Download an app that will test the speed of your Internet. The first area you want to test is right next to you modem and router. The app will tell you the Internet speed that you are getting for your business. Then, go office-to-office and run the same test. You will notice that, the further away you get from the router, the slower the speed. Here are a few tips on fixing the problem:

1)      How old is your router and modem? It makes no sense to pay for top speed Internet service if you are using routers and modems that are 4-5 years old. They could be the culprit for limiting your speed and range.

2)      How many devices—desktops, laptops, smartphones—are using the Internet at any given time during the workday? More importantly, what are they doing on the Internet? If two of the devices are using the Internet for video purposes it could greatly impact the speed for the rest of your devices.

3)      Are the router and modem being obstructed by other electrical devices (e.g. desktop computer, TV)? If so, move them to an open area to free up the connection.

4)      Review the plan you have with your Internet service provider. Given the number of devices running in your business, it may make sense to upgrade your plan to increase the speed of your Internet service.

Brian: Brilliant advice Scott! I can honestly say that I thought of NONE of these options when trying to figure out how to run a better, more efficient business. I will see you in December for my next tune up. If it’s any sooner, hopefully it’s that I need more supplies because my business continues to grow.

About Brian Moran

Prior to rejoining the world of entrepreneurship, Brian was the Executive Director of Sales Development at the Wall Street Journal where he oversaw the sales development and marketing programs for the financial and small business categories among the many Journal brands. From 2002-2010, Brian was President of Veracle Media and Moran Media Group.

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