Does my Home Improvement Business Still Need a Server?

Posted by David Chism | Wed, Dec 14, 2016

 Does my Home Improvement Business Still Need a Server?
As many of you read­ing this post are doing your 2017 plan­ning and per­haps pur­chas­ing end of the year office equip­ment, I thought it was time­ly to answer the ques­tion, Do I still need a phys­i­cal serv­er in my office?” The short and sim­ple answer is that many small con­tract­ing com­pa­nies do not need a serv­er any­more. Tech­nol­o­gy has advanced so much in recent years to where most soft­ware com­pa­nies have moved their prod­ucts to the Cloud” (online). Each year, a local serv­er becomes less impor­tant and more expen­sive to main­tain. If you are try­ing to save mon­ey on your IT needs, I’d rec­om­mend tak­ing the steps to see if your busi­ness can sur­vive with­out a local serv­er. A serv­er plays a num­ber of dif­fer­ent roles depend­ing on how you have it set­up. It can help with inter­nal com­mu­ni­ca­tion between users (com­put­ers), cal­en­dar sync­ing, sending/​receiving emails, back up of finan­cial data, stor­ing files and print­ing of doc­u­ments. All of these fea­tures can be done using online pro­grams.

All You Need to Run a Busi­ness with­out a Local Server

The first step to get­ting rid of your serv­er is select­ing if you want to com­mit to Microsoft or Google to run your orga­ni­za­tion’s email, cal­en­dar, con­tacts & files. Start there. Both com­pa­nies offer very sim­i­lar ser­vices for just about the same price. It cost range is between $4 to $10 a month per employ­ee. For exam­ple, if you sign up for Google’s ser­vices, called G Suites” you’d pay a month­ly (or annu­al fee) for each users which would give him/​her access to a com­pa­ny email, shared con­tacts, cal­en­dar and a fil­ing sys­tem to store folders/​files. Every­thing would be run using the Inter­net with a num­ber of options for offline fea­tures (if the Inter­net is not avail­able). I did a pre­sen­ta­tion ear­li­er this year explain­ing how to run a busi­ness in the Cloud.” Take a look at these two screen­shots that visu­al­ize what I am talk­ing about:

Essen­tials of your busi­ness (every­one needs 1 & 2)


3, 4 & 5 Are Almost Just as Important

screen-shot-2016-12-14-at-9-23-21-am As you can see, I rec­om­mend and use G Suites. This is real­ly not because Google is that much bet­ter than Microsoft­’s 365. No, Google just got into the online game before Microsoft. They were still stuck on push­ing Microsoft Exchange and help­ing peo­ple stick with their local servers. Google came out on top years ago when they cre­at­ed Google Apps for Busi­ness” (changed to G Suites in the Fall of 2016). Many busi­ness­es began to move their com­pa­nies to Google Apps because it saved on IT cost. Per­haps the biggest rea­son is that it did not tie the com­pa­ny or its employ­ees to work from just one cen­tral loca­tion. When you use tools like G Suites, Microsoft 365 or even Apple’s iCloud plat­form, you can work from just about any­where in the world with an inter­net con­nec­tion and be just as pro­duc­tive. When I worked in my dad’s paint­ing busi­ness from around 2000 – 2008, we called the local com­put­er repair guys ALL THE TIME. I am not jok­ing. They seemed to be in our offices every sin­gle month, pay­ing them thou­sands and thou­sands every year to keep our com­put­ers, our servers, our email etc work­ing. If one lit­tle thing stopped work­ing, BOOM, there went a day of non pro­duc­tiv­i­ty. Since switch­ing to the cloud, besides an inter­net out­age, I have nev­er had an IT guy come to my office to fix my G Suites. I am also able to help many of my cus­tomers around the coun­try fix most prob­lems’ remote­ly by shar­ing their screen or show­ing them how to fix” it them­selves. So with­out mak­ing this post longer, my goal here is to real­ly just say that if you are stuck on a serv­er and run a small busi­ness, con­sid­er mov­ing to an online plat­form. If you com­mit to using it, it will save your com­pa­ny per­haps thou­sands of dol­lars in IT cost and may even help save your files and stor­age in the event your local serv­er crash­es or nat­ur­al dis­as­ter happens.

About David Chism

David Chism started his business out of a passion for helping small contracting businesses grow, be more profitable and become better known to their target clients. One lifelong hobby of David is using techie gadgets. So this blog is a place where he writes about technology, marketing ideas, just for fun (humor), personal thoughts on small business and more.


Subscribe to the Blog

Please provide a short summary of why you are reaching out today.