Small Business Computing for Dummies

Small Business Computing for Dummies

by Brian Underdahl



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Small Business Computing for Dummies by Brian Underdahl

So you've decided to take the plunge and launch your own small business, or it's time to take your current enterprise to the next level. Topping your shopping list is a new computer, but the choices are simply mind-boggling. Where do you go for help and sage advice? Straight to Brian Underdahl's Small Business Computing For Dummies, that's where!

Small Business Computing For Dummies helps you navigate through troubled waters, from deciding which type of computer system works best for you to discovering how to troubleshoot and solve basic problems quickly. Along the way, you'll discover how to buy the software that you'll really use, add all the peripherals (modems, printers, scanners, network cards, and the like) that you'll really need, and even put your business onto the rapidly growing World Wide Web. And the CD-ROM that comes with Small Business Computing For Dummies is packed with trial software -- from graphics and word processing tools to Personal Information Managers, plus the popular (and powerful) QuickBooks Pro -- to expand and enhance your working home, in the office, or on the Web.

Product Details

ISBN-13: 9780764502873
Publisher: Wiley, John & Sons, Incorporated
Publication date: 02/28/1998
Series: For Dummies Series
Edition description: BK&CD-ROM
Pages: 384
Product dimensions: 7.40(w) x 9.15(h) x 0.98(d)

Table of Contents

How to Use This Book
Conventions in This Book
About the CD-ROM
How This Book Is Organized
Part I: Getting Ready for Computers
Part II: Choosing Your Hardware
Part III: Putting It All Together
Part IV: Choosing Your Software
Part V: Correcting Problems
Part VI: The Part of Tens
The rest
Icons Used in This Book
Where to Go from Here
Part I: Getting Ready for Computers

Chapter 1: Why Your Business Needs a Computer
What's the Plan?
Are You on the Right Track?
Processing Your Words
Crunching Numbers
Tracking Your Information
It's Not Junk When I Mail It!

Creating effective mass mailings
Creating your mailing list
Looking Professional
Creating a letterhead
Creating business cards
Creating graphics and signs

Chapter 2: Buying for Now and Later
Don't Be Penny Wise and Pound Foolish!

Don't skimp in the important areas
Leave yourself an upgrade path
Do I Really Need All This?
Assessing your computing needs
Computers in the single-person office
Computers when you've added help
Computers when you've grown even more
Watch Out for Dead Ends!
Will the manufacturer be around next year?
Look out for gimmicks
Does It Feel Right?
Part II: Choosing Your Hardware

Chapter 3: Choosing the Right Small Business Computer
Do You Need a Desktop or a Laptop?

Making your choice
Do you have money to burn?
If it was good enough for grandpa...
Choices, choices
Choosing the Brains in Your PC
Selecting the best processor
Choosing the right class
Intel versus the clones
How Much Memory Do You Really Need?
Who Are You Calling Scuzzy?
What a SCSI bus!
The SCSI versus IDE war
Is Yours Big Enough?
Choosing your disk size
Choosing disk speed
Store Wars
Mail-order versus local stores
Getting the help you need
Finding someone you can trust
Getting what you really want
Watch That Warranty!
Getting a good warranty
Considering on-site warranties
Waiting for repairs

Chapter 4: Adding the Peripherals Your Business Needs
Here's Looking at You

Choosing the right monitor
Choosing the right size
Choosing the Right Printer
Laser printers
Inkjet printers
They Say That Backing Up Is Hard to Do
Backup equipment
Tape drives
Zip drives
Jaz drives
The rest
Considering Other Options
Sheet-fed scanners
Flatbed scanners
Transparency scanners
Digital cameras
CD-R drives
Protecting your power
Surge suppressors
Uninterruptible power supplies

Chapter 5: Modem Mysteries
Will You Still Talk to Me in the Morning?

Choosing the best modem
Internal versus external modems
I Want Faster Access
Higher speed alternatives
ISDN adapters
The vapor of ADSL
56K realities
Why Can't We All Just Get Along?
Correcting and avoiding common modem problems
Port and IRQ conflicts
Sudden disconnects
The Software Wars
16-bit versus 32-bit software
It worked before
Beam Me Up
Connecting to the Internet
Installing Dial-Up Networking
Connecting through your ISP

Chapter 6: New Hardware Already?
I Know Nothing

Figuring out how much memory you need
Installing extra memory
Yes, you do have to open it up
Understanding memory types
Recycling your old memory
I Need More Drive
Installing additional hard drives
Knowing what you have
Finding room
Solving the IDE cable dilemma
Making both drives work
Preparing a new hard disk
Adding an Extra Printer
Using a printer switch
Adding a printer port
I Told You to Go SCSI
Part III: Putting It All Together

Chapter 7: It's Not Quite Connect the Dots
Figuring Out Where to Put Your Computer

Choosing your computer desk
Ergonomic basics
The Leg Bone's Connected to the Knee Bone
Making Sense of the Rat's Nest
Label your cables
Common cables
Your friend the adapter
Getting Ready to Test It All

Chapter 8: Keeping Your Business Secure
Back(up) to the Future

Creating a backup plan
Protecting your backups
Who Goes There?
Keeping the bad guys out
Keeping your laptop covered
I've got a secret
Using passwords
Who Has the Master Key?
Making sure you can get in
Using Password Thief

Chapter 9: Small Business Networks Simplified
Dancing in a Line

Networks for small business
Network types and the bottom line
Choosing your network
Network cabling simplified
Network security
Are You Being Served?
File servers
Print servers
Fax servers
CD-ROM servers
Don't Drag Me Down
Open the Door and Let Me In
Controlling access
Enabling outside access
Part IV: Choosing Your Software

Chapter 10: Finding the Best Small Business Software
Making a Deal on a Bundle
Skip the Ordinary Room. I Want a Suite.

Working with words
Playing with numbers
Producing pictures
Database programs
Let's get compatible
Cooking Up Some Books
Accounting the hard way
Accounting the easier way
Making Some Plans
Staying on the Right Track
Keeping Your Agreements Legal
There's More?
Project management software
Electronic phonebooks
Web publishing programs

Chapter 11: Putting Your Office Software to Work
Getting It All in There
Writing a Masterpiece

Business letters
Playing with the Numbers
Strutting Your Stuff
Keeping Track of All Your Marbles
Reading the Mail

Chapter 12: Creating a Business Plan
What a Plan!
Setting Your Goals
Developing Your Plan

Choosing a type of plan
Getting started on your plan
Creating a Marketing Strategy
Figuring out your market
Figuring out your marketing plan
Setting a Budget
Making assumptions
Putting the numbers on paper
Finishing Your Business Plan

Chapter 13: Keeping Your Books
Where to Begin

Starting a business file
Adding accounts
Show me some balances
Ready to roll
Let's Talk Money
Getting paid
Preparing invoices
Correcting mistakes
Show me the cash sale
Recording payments
Paying your bills
Know what you owe
Paying by check or online
Doing the payroll and taxes
Maintaining What You Have

Chapter 14: Tracking Time and Keeping Your Agreements Legal
Tracking Your Time

Put it on your calendar
Planning a meeting
Don't forget to do it!
Keeping an international schedule
Keeping Your Contacts
Creating Some Fine Print

Chapter 15: Putting Your Business on the Internet
Why You May Want a Web Site
HTML Doesn't Mean "How to Make Lunch"

Building a Web site
Using the Web Publishing Wizard
Tools for building a Web site
Bells and Whistles and Java
Don't Lose Your Key

Chapter 16: Playing the Software Upgrade Game
When Is an Upgrade Necessary?
Give Me Your Money or Your Time
Jumping Ship
You Didn't Ask about That!
Everything You Could Want to Know

Part V: Correcting Problems

Chapter 17: Do-It-Yourself Troubleshooting
I Know It's Here Somewhere, Officer

Finding out the details
Getting Ready before Problems Hit
Using the Troubleshooters
Don't Worry -- It Happens All the Time
Throwing in the Towel

Chapter 18: Getting Help
Get the Straight Scoop

Get your facts together
Describing the problem
I Love That Music on Hold
Let's Play Hot Potato
Hiring a Consultant
Choosing the right computer consultant
Establishing a consulting agreement
Part VI: The Part of Tens

Chapter 19: Ten Ideas for Computerizing Your Small Business
Make Your Computer Do the Drudge Work
Get Caller ID Service
Buy a Second Modem
Protect Your Power
Make Sure They Can Find You
Save Money on the Internet
Add More Memory
Add a Network
Scan Rather Than Retype Documents
Keep Those Games Out!

Chapter 20: Ten Small Business Computing Things to Watch (Out) For
Voice Recognition Comes of Age
Faster Internet Connections
Real-Time Internet Video Conferencing
Flat-Panel Displays
NT on Every Desktop
Digital Photography
Automatic Updates Using the Web
Wireless Connections
No-Show Technologies

Chapter 21: Ten Great Small Business Web Sites
Your Small Office Web Site
The Microsoft Smallbiz Web Site
Office Suite Freebies Web Sites
Web Sites for the Best Deals
The Mother of All Small Business Web Sites
IDG Books Worldwide


Appendix: About the CD

System Requirements
Using the CD with Microsoft Windows
What You'll Find
2DO V1.35
Banner*Show (32-bit)
BizPlan Builder Interactive
Campaign V2.5
Collage Complete V1.1 demo
Cuneiform OCR
CyberSpell trialware
DeltaCad V2.4
Directory Toolkit for Windows 95, NT 4.x 2.61
Diskkeeper Lite
Ecopad32 V3.50
Exact 97
Executive Desk V5.0
Guest*Star (32-bit)
LiquidFX 3.7
Mr. Burns Productivity Monitoring Package
PageMaster 2.03 for Windows NT
Phone Dialer V1 for Windows 95, NT
Quick View Plus trialware
RoloDial V1 for Windows 95, NT
SignUp V2.0
Site*Sleuth (32-bit)
SmartDraw 3.11
Tax Assistant V2 for Windows 95, NT
The Password Thief for Windows 95
The Surfing Spy for Windows 95
If You Have Problems (Of the CD Kind)

IDG Books Worldwide, Inc., End-User License Agreement

Installation Instructions

Book Registration Information

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