Small Biz Thoughts
Hello! I am an author, speaker, entrepreneur with businesses in Sacramento, CA. I help technical consultants to be successful business people. I hope you find something useful here. If we can help, contact me at email@example.com.
Consultant, Author, Speaker
Microsoft Announces Windows 8.1 as a Free Upgrade
Today Microsoft VP and Windows CFO Tami Reller revealed that Windows 8.1 will be the official name for the OS formerly known as Blue. It will include some updates to the UI formerly known as Metro. While she did not discuss the fact that Win8.1 will include an option for a start button, there are plenty of reports that "the button" will be included.
I think most people were expecting Windows 8 Service Pack One after a year. Then the "Blue" project was created to help people see that Microsoft was going to make feature changes to the next version of Windows 8. So instead of a service pack, it will be a (minor) version update.
Windows 8.1 will be a free update and will be delivered through the Windows Store.
[No, not the Store. The app store, which they call the Windows Store. If you go to the Windows store, they'll just tell you to go to the Windows Store. Then you'll say "Who's on First?"]
Reller said that a public preview of Windows 8.1 will be available starting on June 26th for Windows 8 and Windows RT. The timing is set to coordinate the release with the Build developer conference in San Francisco.
Of course Microsoft is not saying when the full 8.1 version will be released, but they are very fond of October and November releases.
"Honey, I got you a Start Button for Christmas."
Another widely expected feature is the ability to boot directly to the...
SOP Friday: Healthcare and Other Benefits
Most small businesses start out with no "benefits" such as health insurance, paid phones, or cars for employees. In fact, many stay that way forever. There are good reasons to add benefits, and there are good reasons to avoid it.
If you're considering offering benefits, you should prepare yourself for some serious education about what you should and shouldn't / can and can't do. At both the state and federal levels, certain benefits must be offered identically to everyone.
Disclaimer: I'm not an accountant, enrolled agent, insurance salesman, broker, Human Resources attorney, or telephone repairman. You need to do this planning in association with true professionals who can help you make the best deals while staying inside the law.
I'm going to break benefits into three separate discussions: Health Insurance, Retirement, and Other. But first a few notes about benefits in general.
First, if you have a growing business, you will have to offer some or all of these benefits at some point. So try to plan in advance - at least a year in advance. That gives you time to learn about various programs, their enrollment schedules, options, etc.
Second, whether you "want to" offer benefits or not, avoid offering them until you are certain that you can afford them. That means you are certain you can add this expense from now on forever. I recommend this because takig benefits away from employees will have a devastating effect on moral. Plus, any permanent increase in your...
The Most Popular Blog Posts of April 2013
It's always interesting to see what brings people in. Here are the most read blog posts from last month:
#1 = Microsoft Announced the End of of SBS
from June 5, 2012
This is the biggest post of the last year. That's appropriate since it was probably the biggest announcement of the year for the small business space.
#2 = SOP Friday: Service Manager Roles and Responsibilities
from June 2012
Moving up from the #4 spot. This is another one from last summer. It continues to get more traffic all the time.
#3 = Most "Managed Service Providers" Do Not Provide Managed Services
from April 2013
This one got a lot of people's attention. Most - a majority - of people who call themselves Managed Service Providers are not providing the managed piece of the service. Even firms who have sold themselves based on the management component are not doing it.
#4 = SOP Friday: DNS and DHCP Allocation - Server vs. Firewall
from November 2012
Where do you put DNS and DHCP? This article was not on the list at all last month. Now it jumps up to #3.
Jenny Hallmark Named President of SMB Nation
Got a press release over the transom this morning.
My friends Jenny Hallmark and Chris Bangs have been promoted to major new positions over at SMB Nation.
Jenny Hallmark and Chris Bangs
This news will be announced live in about 30 minutes. Luckily, I have access to a time machine.
Here's the official press release:
- - - - -
For Immediate Release
For more information, contact:
Founder and Chairman
SMB Nation Elevates Longtime Team
Members to Executive Positions
Media integration company promotes Jennifer
Hallmark to company President; Chris Bangs elevated to VP of Sales &
Redmond, WA – May 3, 2013 –
announced today that it has promoted two longtime team members to elevated
roles within the company. As noted during Chairman and Founder Harry
Brelsford’s keynote speech this morning at the 2013 Spring Conference, SMB
Nation has promoted Senior Manager Jennifer Hallmark to the role of President,
and Chris Bangs, Director of Business Development & Strategic
Relationships, to the role of VP of Sales & Marketing.
Known as familiar faces with the SMB Nation tribal
community, both Hallmark and Bangs will continue to bring their high level of
industry expertise and dedication that they have implemented...
SOP Friday: Travel Policies
Earlier, we covered in-town or local travel as part of normal Employee Expenses
. Here we cover out-of-town travel.
From time to time you need to travel out of town. As with everything else, it's good to have a travel policy in place before you need it. If you're a one person shop, it's good to have a written policy (and follow it) so you can justify your expenses if you get audited. As you grow, members of your team may need to travel for business.
Out of town travel almost always falls into two categories: Service delivery or training. Training includes conferences. In some cases out of town travel might include sales.
Travel policies are pretty straight forward. So I'm going to post a sample and then discuss the few variables you need to make some decisions on.
Policy Memo: Out of Town Travel
Date: November 2013
To: Staff of KPEnterprises
From: Karl W. Palachuk, President
KPEnterprises Business Consulting
Re: Travel Out of Town
Please note the following guidelines for out of town travel:
- “Out of Town” travel consists of any travel to a location more than 30 miles from downtown Sacramento.
- Day travel (without overnight) consists of driving, train travel, light rail, and the occasional plane...
Free Streaming of the SMB Nation Spring Conference
Got a memo from HarryB over at SMB Nation.
The big SMB Nation Spring conference starts in a couple days in Redmond.
For those who can't make the live event, SMB Nation is working with Varvid again to broadcast a portion of the SMB Nation Spring show is to a worldwide audience.
This streaming event will be FREE since it’s not the “live experience.”
Note from Harry:
"Attend SMB Nation Spring virtually with our ONLINE edition! We’ve teamed with Varvid again to provide selected content sessions online. You may attend this “limited edition” of the Spring conference complimentary. It all starts with the Registration link and select Streaming Broadcast."
- - - - -
BTW, I'll be there in person. Hope to see you there. If not, I'll see you on the Internet.
All material Copyright (c) 2006-2012 Karl W. Palachuk unless otherwise noted.
Managed Services in a Month Spanish Edition Now Available
Just released: Servicios Gestionados en Un Mes - Cree una Exitosa Empresa IT en 30 Dias
Available now from SMB Books
. Available soon on Amazon and everywhere else in the world! Official publication date is May 1, 2013.
And you can get it FREE between now and May 15th.
Just add the ebook version to your cart and enter code SINCARGO
to receive the ebook for free. Note: If your total order is $00.00 then there will be a slight delay between placing your order and when it is processed in our system.
If you speak Spanish as a primary or secondary language, I would love to have you download, read, and review this edition
This edition will be for sale on Amazon in a few days. If you download it for free, I would really appreciate a review.
I am very excited to be offering books in Spanish. If this sells well, I plan to do more!
As always, your feedback is welcome. There was quite a bit of expense and hassle to produce the book in another language, so I would really like your opinion on whether to produce more.
Add the ebook to your cart
(don't forget to enter code SINCARGO
Managed Services in the Spanish-Speaking World - Help Me Market
All Karl Palachuk Blog Posts