All of us at First Line would like to wish you and your colleagues a very merry Christmas and a happy New Year.
Our offices will be closed from 4pm on Friday 21st December until 8am on Wednesday 2nd January. This means we will be closed on the following days:
- Tuesday 25th December
- Wednesday 26th December
- Saturday 29th December
- Sunday 30th December
- Tuesday 1st January
We’ll be operating an emergency service between 9am and 5pm on the following days:
Over the past few years businesses have thought in terms of ‘disaster recovery’ for their IT systems.
This asks “what disasters would you be vulnerable to, and what plans do you have in place to return to normal working as soon as possible, with minimal loss of emails or data?”
The main thing you need to know about Windows Update and Microsoft Update is that updates are frequently being made for the important programes on your computer.
Things like the Windows Operating System and your Internet Explorer web browser. I also mean applications that you may use everyday, like Microsoft Outlook, Word, Excel and Powerpoint.
These changes, sometimes called ‘patches’ are made for various reasons but it’s often because a fault or vulnerabilty has been identified in the application, so it’s well worth you running the update.
SPAM… emails you don’t want and haven’t signed up for. They’ll always be with us in huge volumes.
But how do you make sure you get all the emails you want and none of the ones you don’t want? The most common approach is to use spam management tools such as Sophos PureMessage or cloud filtering services from providers like Symantec.
Replacement Power Supply and Electricity Equipment
Maintenance Date: Friday 4th May 2012
Maintenance Timeframe: 15:30pm – 19:00pm
We are undergoing a power equipment upgrade in our facilities at Hamilton House (Oxford) which means our premises will be without power during the above time, it is possible that we could operate on redundant power during the scheduled window but we feel it would be safer to completely shut down all of our equipment prior to the work commencing.
This includes our telephone system and so therefor we will be without all communications during the shutdown window.
All the businesses we work with tell us they are totally dependent upon their emails. That it’s super-critical their emails never stop because they can lose business.
With the current technology available it’s possible not to have to suffer any interruptions in your emails and to keep the ones you have, for as long as you like.
Form an orderly queue, please
So if everyone’s needs can be met why aren’t people forming a queue at our door? Well, like all things in life it comes down to cost and expectations.
In this third installation on how to keep your PC in good working order, we look at how to clear the history in Internet Explorer.
Now why would I want to do that?
Each time you visit a website, the browser you’re using does more than just display the site on your screen. Very often, it stores a copy of the site on your computer. It does this so that, assuming you visit that site again, the website will load more quickly next time you visit it.
After a while there will be a lot of information stored on your computer to do with the websites you’ve visited. This can slow things down rather than speed things up. The solution is to clear the browsers history; and here’s how to do it for Internet Explorer 9:
I went to a very interesting dinner last night. The purpose of the dinner was to introduce some local business people to a recently founded charity called Fredericks. www.fredericksfoundation.org if you’re interested in finding out more.
The idea of Fredericks Foundation is to help disadvantaged people set up or grow their own businesses by giving them loans at commercial rates, together with business advice. We’re talking about the sort of people that banks wouldn’t give more than a few moments consideration to, before they said NO.
A local fund is created by people who have some spare cash and can lock it away for 5 years. They’ll get get a 5% tax free return on while it’s in the scheme. There’s a some risk of loss but not as great as you may think.
While people who can invest are important, a steady flow of people who want loans is also a priority. This another area where local businesses can help. If you know someone who wants to start a business and needs some financial help then point them towards Fredericks.
If you are a local business person and want to know more then please get in touch with me.
It seems that, as a small business I’m being asked to provide director guarantees more frequently and by more types of organisations. We are growing, profitable and have a blemish-free credit record. But nowadays that just does not seem to be enough.
We’ve got used to the banks asking for director’s guarantees for everything even though it annoys me when I think about it. I always thought they charged interest to cover the risk. Now when we lease equipment the finance companies do the same thing. The latest fashion is for large suppliers, who think they can bully small businesses, asking for guarantees as well.
I’m sure these large suppliers are taking their lead from the banks. And they do it because they can. These large suppliers take the view that since they’re so big, a small business account is not that important… so they can take it or leave it. Their attitude is ‘sign up or go away’.
I believe this practice may continue to escalate to the point where it will need to be unlawful to use director’s guarantees to circumvent limited liability to stop it. Otherwise what’s the point of being a limited company?