Running a freelance business comes with the rewards of being your own boss, setting your own hours, and being in control of your income. However, with control comes being responsible for the systems your business uses to produce revenue, namely your computer and office technology. When that technology isn’t performing as expected, you spend more time working in your business instead of working on your business. In this article, we offer three easy recommendations you can implement today to keep your computer running at its peak.
Backup Files Regularly
The storage technology in computers is more reliable and less expensive than ever before. However, new threats to the deliverables you’ve spent days, weeks, and months to create for your clients have emerged. For instance, ransomware is malware that can be accidentally run from an email attachment or an infected file received from a client or coworker that scrambles some or all of your valuable data.
Regularly backing up your data and your entire computer to both an on-site and an off-site location will ensure that you can always pick up where you left off. On-site backups can be achieved by purchasing a USB storage drive like this one and using backup software to make regular backups. These drives can also be found at local computer stores, however, we highly recommend purchasing a solid state drive and not a hard drive because they have no moving parts, are faster, and are more reliable. If you’re on a Mac, Time Machine is included with Mac OS at no extra charge and can be configured using the information found here. If you use a PC, the article here has some similar options. Cloud storage services such as Microsoft’s OneDrive, Dropbox, or Google Drive offer solutions for off-site backups.
Optimize your Computer
If your freelance work computer is slowing down, you may be thinking it’s time for a new one, but a few minutes of maintenance could have it running as good as new. Over time, most users install plugins, apps, toolbars, and other software that runs on startup that they rarely use, taking valuable resources from the apps they depend on to do most of their work. This blog post contains information on how to disable startup items for Windows and this post contains information on how to do so for Mac. Once you disable these programs, you will need to also uninstall them if you don’t use them regularly, as this will free up disk space.
Move Your Router
Is the Internet lagging at your home or office? One reason could be the location of your Wi-Fi router. Some users place these devices in cabinets, under desks, or in a closet, which inhibits the signals from reaching your laptop, and over time, your neighbors may also get new routers which uses channels close to or overlapping with your device. To address this issue, make sure your Wi-Fi router is out in the open with the antennas installed. Also, log into your router and make sure the Wi-Fi channel selection setting is set to auto if available. This will enable your router to scan the available channels, select the best one, and change it if that channel becomes busy. If you find yourself working far away from your router, you might consider moving it to a room that is closer to your workspace if the cabling is available to do so.
With the above three basic tips, you can keep your freelance business running smoothly by making sure your computer is backed up, is fast and responsive, and your Internet is fast enough to handle the tasks you perform daily. These tips can also greatly reduce the cost of technology for your small business by avoiding a large purchase such as a new computer when it isn’t needed. If you need additional help with these or other technology issues, calling a professional may end up saving you time and money. HelpTeq can connect you with a local IT professional in your area.
Chris Tucker is the CEO of HelpTeq, an online platform that helps freelancers and small businesses find local IT technicians (Teqs) to help with everyday technology needs, including computer repair, Wi-Fi and printer troubleshooting, and virus removal. To learn more, or to book a Teq, please visit helpteq.com. For more helpful technology tips for your small business, check out Teq Notes.
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