Wondering if your business is too small for a group retirement plan?

One of the keys to attracting and retaining top employees is to offer a high-quality retirement plan. A group savings plan conveniently helps employees save money for the future while reducing and deferring taxes today. Plus, the investment you make in a group retirement plan is an investment you make in your organization, your employees and your reputation. Everyone’s a winner.

Three options stand-out depending on what you want to accomplish with your plan and how much flexibility you need. These are: 401(k) plans, SEP IRAs and SIMPLE IRAs.

The 401(k) Offers the Most Flexibility and High Contribution Limits The traditional 401(k) is probably the most widely known retirement product on the market. It’s the fully loaded, high performance SUV of retirement plans. It’s generally defined as one that enables a business owner and employees to make consistent, tax-deferred contributions during the length of their careers.

SEP IRAs are Pretty Easy to Start and 100% Funded by the Employer Simplified Employee Pensions, more commonly referred to as SEPs, are also a popular retirement plan choice as they offer a contribution limit that’s similar to a 401(k). It doesn’t have all the bells and whistles of a 401(k) plan, but it’s got a good engine under the hood. One of the most important things to understand about SEPs is that 100 percent of the contributions made are by the employer (no employee contributions allowed) and these dollars are immediately vested for the employee.

The SIMPLE IRA is a Solid, Affordable Third Option

The SIMPLE IRA’s name is a bit misleading (it actually stands for Savings Incentive Match Plan for Employees). While both employer and employee can contribute to the plan, the employer must match and matching is vested immediately.

If you do decide that you want to offer a retirement plan, you are definitely going to need some professional advice and guidance. Pension rules are complex, and the tax aspects of retirement plans can also be confusing.

As a financial planning and wealth management professional firm, Mintco Financial has been helping its clients effectively plan for comfortable retirements.

Michael Minter, as a managing partner of Mintco Financial, is a trusted investment management professional who carries more than 16 years of experience in this challenging career field.

Throughout his professional history, Michael Minter has gained strong insight into what skills and knowledge is necessary to perform investment management, wealth building services, small business development and retirement plans.

Michael MInter is also author of the book I-Plan, a guide for your financial security.

Call Michael Minter at 813-964-7100 at Mintco Financial.

Retirement Planning for Small Business

Every serious entrepreneur is aware of the power of Internet marketing. However, a majority of them still consider online marketing to be related to the company website, email and online ads. While these online mediums make a significant part of the internet market, there has been a revolution in the last five years in the online world that has given birth to another powerful medium social media or social networking.

Social media or social networking can be defined as group of activities that combine technology with social interaction. Some of the common tools that are being used for social networking are LinkedIn, Facebook, Twitter, Orkut, MySpace, YouTube, and Digg. However, not many entrepreneurs have been able to use social media effectively and a large number of them have been successful in annoying their potential customers. They fail to realize that social networking sites are a place for social interaction and not a place to peddle your products by spamming the entire community.

Serious entrepreneurs take time to learn the etiquettes and rules of each social media and focus on building lasting relationships. They make sure that they do not end up making any wrong move that may get them blacklisted or ejected from the community. They establish relationships that may become their loyal customer base but their main motive is to not only make money but also make great friends.

Serious entrepreneurs understand the significance of social media thoroughly and understand how it can help them grow. Lets see how:

Social media creates a level playing field between an entrepreneur and a Fortune 500 company.
Social networking sites provide access to professionals and potential partners who you cannot reach out to in the real life.
Social media sites give every serious entrepreneur an opportunity to show that he or she cares about the community.
It broadens your target market by breaking geographical barriers and enables you to have customers, partners, and suppliers all over the world.
Social networking can be a great marketing tool for entrepreneurs who are not good at communicating in real life.
Social media is one of the most effective as well as economical tool for conducting marketing research on your target customers.

So, if you are a serious entrepreneur who has been waiting on the side-lines watching other businesses grow with the help of social media, it is time that you, too, join these communities and test the waters. However, it is advisable that you do your research and take time to learn each of the social networking tools to minimize any error that may annoy others.

For more information or to learn how to work with Maryjean, go to

A weighing scale performs a crucial function in a commercial transaction. It is the pivot about which trust in businesses is leveraged worldwide. It would be slow and painful if worldwide people could not trust one another and still had to do business together. Therefore the businesses worldwide need to trust another when it comes to measuring the weight. But the best policy is to trust but verify and for that we need to have reliable weighing equipment. The administration recognizes the need for the trust to be maintained in a verifiable manner so that businesses can operate smoothly and efficiently confident that the trust reposed by them is justified.

And for the trust to be justified the equipment used to measure the weight has to be accurate, reliable and durable. And for such a sensitive operation as the measurement of weight it cannot be left to the manufacturers alone to assure the quality. It is for this reason that the government takes it up itself to certify the quality of legal for trade scales. With the advent of digital scales the accuracy and ease of use of weighing scales has improved a lot. And when you buy a legal for trade digital scale you assure yourself of convenience and quality.

Even if you are not doing the weight measurement for a commercial transaction, and you are not required by law to use a legal for trade scale, it still makes sense to opt for one because it is a simple and effective way to purchase highly reliable equipment for your critical operations. A legal for trade scale can be expected to cost more than a similar scale which is not certified but that premium is well worth it because you can be sure to have an accurate scale that is able to perform reliably and does so for a long time.

Legal for trade digital scales are available in a wide range. You can find one that matches your needs conveniently by going online. You can also look for special offers. You can see the latest legal for trade digital scales at www.paylessscales.com.

About Author :

Lawrence has been in the weighing machines industry for the last 14 years. He has been interested in the penetration of digital scales across various market segments. His special area of interest has been maximizing the value proposition of a digital scale. You can know about a legal for trade scale & other digital scales at www.paylessscales.com.

Lately, gold as an investment has become a hot commodity. The ever-rising prices of gold have turned them into the best investment option. Though one can put the money in this expensive metal without any type of fear but still one must have some knowledge about this precious yellow metal.

There are concerns amongst investors when buying gold, just as there are concerns when putting money into any investment asset. However, many of these have benefits. When prices of the metal rise when the dollar goes down. These two have the inverse relationship between them. The weaker dollar or the unstable stock market makes it more expensive. So, most of the people like to invest in gold instead of the other sources. The stock market doesnt remain stable all the time and also makes for the unsecured investment. On the other hand, the expensive metals procure their value and mostly provide the good returns.

Gold is also liquidity and ease to sell. Buy gold coins to increase the returns value. These usually have the numismatic value and are more expensive than the bars. Over the time these yield more value than any other commodity. The historical coins never go for less if maintained in the perfect condition. Also these can be sold very easily owing to the higher liquidity.
When investors buy physical gold, they are reserving wealth by buying gold coins and bars. Gold coins give the opportunity to preserve the wealth from the economic downturn or inflation. These have the intrinsic value so one can rely on them during the adverse situations also. They wont become valueless under any circumstances. The yellow metal also doesnt rust and one can keep them safely in a secure storage safe.

Financial future security is another key fundamental when buying gold as an investment. Gold has proven to provide one of the best financial security for the future. As one can keep them for a long period of time because the metal doesnt deteriorate with time so it makes the future of the person secure. The financial security also gives the peace and prosperity in life.

Preparing yourself to become an entrepreneur means becoming a whole person. This means preparing yourself spiritually to be an entrepreneur as well as financially and mentally.

Youre not going to be able to operate a business unless youre a whole person, and you cant be a whole person unless youre spiritual. And this means being spiritual according to your own definition of the word.

One definition of spirituality is a sensitivity to, or concern with, non-material values, as distinguished from material concerns. Perhaps you consider yourself spiritual in this sense.

Or, maybe you feel that worshiping and believing in a higher power makes you a spiritual person. Just as the definition of success is different for each person, so is the meaning of being spiritual but it is something that will help all of us on our journey.

For me, being spiritual means having a living, loving relationship with God the heavenly Father, in with, and through His Son, Jesus Christ, by way of the power of the Holy Spirit. It is the essence of this spiritual relationship which helps me find my whole self.

When youre a whole person, your business will click, and you will click. If you arent a whole person if you ignore your spiritual dimension both your business and your personal life will be incomplete.

Preparing yourself socially to be an entrepreneur means understanding how your business fits into the larger context of your life. You have to remember that you have family and friends, and have to keep them informed of your plans and goals, and involve them in your business decisions.

When the people around you have bought into what you want to do, youll receive strength and support from them, which will speed you to your success.

Social preparation also means understanding that there is a social side to business. Make it a point to get involved in at least one business organization in your area. Whether you join the Chamber of Commerce, Rotary, the Lions Club or some other type of business organization, you will experience social growth, a well as the having the means to participate in many good networking opportunities.

Getting collected is a natural outgrowth of getting comfortable. Once you have made all your preparations and have actually started doing business, its your approach thats going to define your business.

If youve already gotten comfortable with an ever changing business, youll be able to remain collected and professional, calm and self-possessed as an entrepreneur.

There are many of us who live under the impression that only rich people need the services of planners. ” The reasons are usually something that only those rich people have money that is “substantially insufficient” to warrant the services of a professional or a person, to help plan your costs! However, this thinking is informed misunderstanding of what the financial planner really are and what their role is all about.

Financial planning work is not all about helping people “to plan how they spend their money.” In fact, strictly speaking, that is not even one of the things that do not have planner. Financial planning will be more professional, which helps people come up with a good financial objectives, and plans to achieve those objectives. Planning how they will spend their money, of course, prove that the way in which the planner can help them achieve their goals achievement, but it is by no means the main thing that made financial planning. From the planner working on setting financial goals and plans for the attainment of the objectives defined.

When you begin to see financial planning as a professional who can help you formulate your financial goals and establish plans for achieving these objectives, it immediately becomes clear to you that it is in fact modest income people who need more services for financial planners. The assumption here is that rich people have reached most of its financial goals (because of their wealthy status) – and although they still need to service planners to protect and preserve their wealth, it is their humbler colleagues who need these services even more.

The first way in which low-income workers can benefit from financial planning services in a way that there are some good financial objectives of the formulation. While there is nothing wrong with being a low income earner at the time, it would be unfortunate if you find yourself in the same situation ten years down the line. But this is exactly where you’re likely to end up if you do not set financial goals and to implement them.

Another way in which low-income workers can benefit from exploring the service planner – financial planner with – ways to increase their income. Of course, increased income from financial goals, which can only be one, but it is worthy of mention – because income growth tends to be the most bothersome issue of low-income earners.

The third way in which the low-income workers can benefit from financial planning services should be removed when the financial plans for the formulation of achievement. The goal is as a destination: done up your mind that you’re headed there, you will need to work exactly as you get there. Here’s what a financial plan does not exist. It comes after the formulation of financial goals and mainly consisting of (practical) strategies for these goals.

Castilla-La Mancha currently exports products to 170 countries around the world

Spain, July 21, 2013 – The Minister of Employment and the Economy of the Government of Castilla-La Mancha, Carmen Home, highlighted the recent publication of the list of services the Institute of Foreign-affiliated to the Directorate General for Economic and European Affairs Strategy, with the aim of bringing the work carried this organization to help entrepreneurs in the region work in counseling, resources, activities, quality criteria or tools to promote exports.

Thus, the IPEX provides enterprises a wide range of tools designed to help them achieve success in their international expansion and personal assistance at all stages of the investment projects that international companies want to develop in Castilla- La Mancha.

On this matter, Casero said that thanks to these services, we are making Castilla-La Mancha remains one of the regions of Spain with increased export activity, as evidenced by the fact that” now we are the third region of Spain with the largest increase at year, with 13.9 percent rise compared to 7.4 percent nationally.

Also stressed that Home Carmen currently marketed products our companies Castilla-La Mancha in 170 countries around the world, thanks to the strong advocacy that IPEX is undertaking to open international markets both large companies in our region as to small and medium enterprises that are starting in the field of internationalization.

Thanks to this hard work, the government led by Maria Dolores Cospedal has managed to increase by more than 7.5 percent of the number of companies who have started their export process only in the first four months of the year, counting all time with the support and advice of the Institute of Foreign

Finally, it has been worth it Castilla-La Mancha is the region of Spain that has balanced its trade balance, with a drop of 66.4 percent in the first five months of the year, which shows activity that is occurring in our region.

Press Contact: Consejeria de Empleo y Economia Media Relations Consejeria de Empleo y Economia Address: Avda Ireland No 14 512-212-1139

Whenever we want to apply for any job or want to switch from one job to the other, the first thing that comes to our mind is a well-drafted cover letter and a resume. Even if you have a professional and well-planned resume, it is of no use without a cover letter. A cover letter provides a professional approach while applying for any job opening in banking sector. For example, if you want to apply for job in the banking sector, you need to draft a professional cover letter for banking jobs. A banker cover letter sample for banking jobs highlight the essential aspects of your resume in a precise and clear manner.

There are certain cover letter tips that you need to follow before drafting a banking cover letter, such as your cover letter should carry relevant information and should match the information with the enclosed resume. The cover letter should follow a professional format i.e. it should have the same font-name and font-size throughout the cover letter. The cover letter should be divided into sections, highlighting the objective and your credentials in a positive manner. Make sure that the cover letter should be error free i.e. there should not be any spelling mistake and the sentence construction should be perfect. And, finally proofread the cover letter at least twice or thrice before sending it to the recruiter.

A cover letter for banking jobs is basically divided into 3 sections: The first section deals with the aim or objective for drafting the cover letter. Do mention the reference or source from where you came to know about the job vacancy and also include the job code and designation for which you are applying.

The second section includes your educational qualifications, professional summary, important duties and responsibilities that you undertook in your the current and previous bank, extra-curricular activities, achievements, and hobbies. This is also known as informatory section; therefore do remember to include your contact details correctly, so that the employer can contact you for further discussions.

The third and last section includes salutations to the employer for their valuable time that they put in going through the cover letter. Use ‘dear’, ‘sincerely’, ‘faithfully’ in this section to show regards to the employer and compel them to schedule an interview round with them. Make sure that you have attached the essential documents with the resume along with the cover letter.

The above information will help you in drafting a well-planned cover letter for banking jobs. You can also refer to free sample cover letter examples for banking jobs on different websites, as it will provide you with a clear picture of how to draft banking cover letters.

Most of the time, we live our lives and never even think twice about what items we are using every day and who makes them. Big companies commonly employ workers in other countries where labor is cheaper and workers have fewer rights in the workplace. As market demands increase so does the profit to the company. The Fair Trade campaign is designed to help people who care about where their products come from become more aware.

Even though a variety of laws exist that relate to Fair Trade issues, it is essentially a social campaign that fights for improved trading conditions in 3rd world nations. The fair trade movement creates policies against prison labor, child labor and the use of workers who are being forced to work against their will. At the same time the fair trade movement seeks to encourage environmentally responsible and sustainable production as well as fair pay to workers. Thanks to this movement, workers in 3rd world nations are getting more money for the jobs they do, which means they can better support their loved ones and contribute to an improving economic situation in their immediate areas.

More and more items are becoming available under the Fair Trade movement thanks to better awareness and increased desire for products that have been ethically manufactured. The major products that are currently manufactured include alcoholic beverages, tea, coffee, grocery products, and cotton-based products such as shirts and sheets. Even though the world economy took a hit, the sales of certified Fair Trade products went up about twenty percent last year despite being only a fraction of the consumer goods created around the globe.

Purchasing a fair trade t shirt, for example, is going to be a bit more expensive, but they are of superior quality, which makes them extremely durable. They are completely opposite of the cheap, mass-produced shirts that must be replaced on a regular basis. The positives of Fair Trade clothes are extremely numerous, while the negatives are few.

When buyers buy fair trade goods, the goal is to protect the producers in developing countries against the instability of market prices. A portion of profits generated from manufacturing is used to construct services for local communities like medical, educational, and environmental projects with the hope of breaking the cycle of poverty in these areas.

In addition, the movement is committed to promoting environmentally friendly merchandise, making use of organic materials and sustainable textiles. Conventional cotton production wastes huge amounts of natural resources, relies on the heavy use of harmful chemicals, and has a negative impact on the health of the workers and also the local environment. Fair Trade production is working towards much more sustainable practices that enhance the atmosphere.

As customers, we can make far better socially conscious choices by buying goods manufactured with fair trade principles. As this motion in the direction of ethical commerce grows, everybody comes out as a winner.

Making sure your business taxes are in order is too important a job to entrust to just anyone. You need an expert at tax preparation on your side; tax preparers who offer the small business services you’ll find at Padgett Business Services. Padgett has long been a source of a host of financial services for small businesses throughout North America; offering a proven system and over four decades of positive results for their clients. By specializing in the types of taxes that affect small businesses, Padgett agents consistently helps business owners just like you with income taxes, payroll taxes, sales taxes and more.

Padgett agents are committed to the thorough understanding of the issues that affect small businesses, and in insuring that your taxes are completed not only in a timely fashion but also in an accurate and beneficial fashion. Upon meeting with Padgett regarding your taxes you will notice straight away that your business is treated as the unique entity it is. Padgett realizes that no two businesses are alike, and you can count on receiving business advice as well as a tax plan that addresses your needs. Once your taxes are completed you can count on their prompt delivery in order for you to easily meet tax guidelines.

Should you find yourself or your business to be the target of a tax audit, Padgett Business Services can help. Counted among our professionals are several IRS enrolled agents; agents who are prepared to represent you in your dealings with the IRS. In such times it pays to have an experienced advocate by your side to guide you through the process and towards the best possible outcome. And to avoid such situations, small business owners can count on Padgett to keep their financial reporting compliant with government standards.

A successful small business is one that reaches out for expert help in the areas of their business beyond their expertise. In the very same way that Padgett’s professionals couldn’t be expected to be an expert at running your business, you can’t be expected to be an expert on state and federal tax codes. Padgett Business Services is however, and can provide a number of small business services while pointing to the proven results experienced by four decades’ worth of satisfied clients.

Trading breakouts is one of the most tried and tested methods of trading the forex markets because when the price breaks out of an established trading range, it often continues to move strongly in that direction. Therefore there are some excellent profits to be made.

There are lots of different ways you can trade breakouts. You can wait for a quiet period of the day for instance when the price is barely moving and is confined to a very narrow range, and wait for a breakout to take place, or you can use bollinger bands and wait for them to narrow because this often precedes a strong breakout. However in this article I want to talk about a particular strategy that involves opening ranges.

I’ve been experimenting with this strategy on the GBP/USD and EUR/USD pairs recently and it seems to work very well. What you basically do is to look at the opening hours between 00.00 and 06.00 GMT (or 08.00 if the price is still within this range up until this time) and draw two horizontal lines marking the high and low points for this period.

Then you simply wait for the price to break out and close above (or below) one of these lines and take a corresponding long or short position. This method works well when there is a narrow opening range and the reason it works is simple. Every pair has an average daily range (the GBP/USD is roughly 220 points and the EUR/USD is roughly 180 points according to 2008 figures) so if the opening range is a small fraction of this number, then you know that there are a lot of points to be made either above or below the current opening range.

It’s not a method that can be used every day on a certain currency pair because sometimes the price will move quite substantially in the opening few hours, but it’s well worth putting into practice when the opening range is very narrow.

There are various ways you can actually trade this system. You can either jump in as soon as the breakout bar or candle closes, or if you want to place the odds substantially in your favour, you can wait for an initial breakout followed by a pull-back into this trading range, then trade the subsequent breakout (if there is one) because this continuation pattern is a very profitable signal.

Either way you should find that these strategies (or variants of these strategies) are generally very effective because the price will very often move strongly out of this opening range at some point during the day.

Build a list of prospects and people who appreciate and trust you – this list of members of your tribe, with names and e-mail addresses, will represent the most valuable asset of your business. You will be able to promote proprietary products and services, as well as affiliate links to products owned by others that align with your message and mission. It is critical that you continuously nurture your list with valuable content, making the difference in their lives without charging them. They will appreciate you and will be prepared to reciprocate by purchasing products and services you recommend.

7. Reach for the greatest impact – social entrepreneurs are on a mission to transform the world, delivering a message through their products and services. We are being called to leverage the power of technology to reach the greatest possible number of people with our solutions to their problems. This is why as socially responsible business owners, we have no choice but to embrace technological advances, appreciating what is now possible because of social media tools such as Twitter, YouTube, and Facebook, and new platforms such as Skype, iPhones, mobile phone applications, teleconferencing, and online webinars.

8. Know and care for your customers – most entrepreneurs do not fully understand the problems and needs of their clients and prospects. A conscious e-marketer will invite prospects and clients to participate in surveys that will reveal exactly what they need and want. Your list can then be segmented wisely, and products and services can be tailored to the needs and wants of that specific segment of your list. We recommend www.mysurveyexpert.com as a great resource for your surveys.

9. Attraction Marketing – when you are clear about your message and become an authority who people respect, you will attract those who are seeking your message. You will become a magnetic force and ideal clients will find and appreciate you.

10. Become an authority in whatever your passion, vision, and mission may be. Commit to learning about yourself and about your products and services. Take courses, read books, review websites, attend live meetings, join communities, forums, and groups of like-minded persons. In conclusion, you are your greatest asset, and thus you need to grow and learn every day. The more you know about yourself and your business, the more profitable your business will become and the greater the social impact you will make in the world.

Banking institutions need additionally used greatly in beefing upwards their own internet based financial programs plus guaranteed that net financial is actually safe plus secure. The usage of SMS informs for account was a great ways to continue track of resources plus purchases in a membership. Buyers whom incorporate internet financial could just buying products from licensed plus respected on line stores plus could utilize dependable solutions plus fees gateways. Constantly utilize protected plug covering (SSL) web sites to carry out banking on the web. Financial institutions state they’re providing people the benefit they desire, however several supporters for the older and handicapped anxiety information technology means a decrease inside access.

Technology will allow banking companies to be closer to users, to deliver a wider range of treatments at lower bills, land to streamline desire systems so that all information is actually together inside one destination where information technology may be chosen to spot trends which will lead easily to brand-new products. Digital delivery of banking services allows data to be collected and examined. Interaction may give customers a possibility to register their particular preferences, really steering to advancement of latest items. Bankers might protect these prices due to higher compliance and regulatory costs, in addition to legacy system support, safety and scam steps along with objective important performance specifications.

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Expert’s Indicators For Best Small Business Bank Accounts

Event of overcoming banking situation in the United States Of America. people economy has been impacted by financial trouble many times. One of these showed up during the stage of huge despair of 1929-1933. Thousand of bank deposits were devaluated because of useless operations on the banking institutions, also not coming back of the granted debts plus overall degradation on the economy. These people sealed lots of banking companies and offered confiscation of huge number of items due to maybe not going back of financing. you congress passed laws and regulations regarding founding federal businesses insuring deposits and those insuring financial loans plus discount. This system has been functioning successfully during many years.

It’s so simple. Need some sort of exchange with the bank? Just take out the mobile device’smartphone, pill, whatever, on any working system’and you’ll has a riches of apps to get it completed. You’ll see reminders when you ought to do information technology again, or set it when much as do information technology automatically. It’s simple, truly. FBR analyst Paul Miller rates First Republic “outperform,” with a $48 price target. In a note to customers after the earnings announcement, Miller wrote “based found on the company’s existing meaningful extra money plus cross-selling features,” he expects the jumbo mortgage expert “to execute its development approach successfully inside the coming quarters.”

India is a beautiful country, which symbolises -Unity in Diversity- through its diverse religions, traditions, manners, habits, customs, beliefs, concepts and ideas. Each region of India is unique and novel. Indian Image Bank is the best place for users to find images on each and every aspect of the country’s beauty. While glancing for images on India, users can find a wide range of images connecting to various fields, such as, Indian monuments, festivals and occasions, health and fitness, business, travel, leisure, education and urban culture, lifestyle, art and craft and many more.

Images play an essential role in escalating the essence of any content and making it more clear and credible. While searching for images on any topic related to India, one can find that Indian Image Bank is the most appropriate choice for it. One can also refine the search by deciding various groups and sub-groups. A variety of Indian Image Bank, which is simply accessible online, can easily solve any image-related need of users. Most of the websites proffer high-resolution images and thus, it would be easier for a writer to put in vivacity and liveliness to his or her write-up.

Another important aspect is the correct size of an image and for this purpose a huge collection of Indian Image Bank is available online. It can always be enjoyable by the readers. In many of the online image galleries, one image is available in different sizes. Therefore, it is quite easier for a person to get the image in the size he wants. It will finally help him to stay away from cutting, cropping related work. There could be many topics related to India and therefore, it was earlier a difficult job for users to choose the exact image. However, various online galleries on Indian Image Bank have put an end to the problem. All these galleries have wide range of pictures on different subjects pertaining to India and its vibrant culture under a single roof. So, now one does not need to roam around with a camera to click the right image.

So, if you are thinking of working on India and its outlook, you can certainly pick a few images by searching on several websites, providing colourful images. All these images can surely make your feature more pleasant and appealing. Lastly, if you have already captured some photographs, you can easily share them with any of such online galleries, as most of these websites offer a grand platform for forthcoming photographers.

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As a network computer technician I’ve come to the choice that I don’t think my small business clients that employ between 2-10 people should even bother with installing what we might consider a regular server nowadays. It is overkill, expensive and a major source of problems if something goes wrong. So what do I recommend instead? I would recommend a file server with local and offline backup. What made me come to this decision? A number of real world issues, actually.

Too many computer consultants come from an environment where they were taught and schooled on how to maintain servers. To me this is the old way of doing things. Unless you are hosting your email in-house there isn’t the need for the old server.

Think about this…what services do you really want to provide that are mission critical for your clients? For my clients the most important need is a way to create and access files that are backed up on a regular basis. I have seen too many small businesses shut down for days on end because they put all of their trust in a old server and a tape backup system. Why are these servers and tapes such a problem?

Think about this for a second. If a piece of hardware fails in your server, chance are that you won’t be able to replace that broken or failing part with something you can buy locally. Often times you have to call the server manufacturer and wait patiently for them to ship you a replacement part, all the while your business is at a stand still.

And tapes for backing up data? Unless you have an enormous amount of data, backing up to multiple hard drives is faster. And these hard drives will be able to access that data in other computer while you get your server fixed.

Another solution I recommend is using a service such as Dropbox to backup files. I don’t completely rely on Dropbox, though. I prefer to have a physical backup of the client’s data at the site of their business and then use Dropbox as a way to get a backup off-site. If anything catastrophic were to happen to the small business, such as a fire of a flood, it is easier to get a computer up and running, re-attach it to Dropbox and the data is back and ready to be used.