Karl Palachuk's blog

Is There a Need for a Unified Interface?

Over on my Facebook page (www.facebook.com/karlpalachuk) some folks are discussing the Windows 8/8.1 interface and Microsoft's initiative to use the same OS on tablets, phones, laptops, desktops, and even servers. Well, at least the same UI if not the same OS.

Help! What Should I Call My Book on SOPs?

[Note: The second round of feedback on these book titles is here: http://blog.smallbizthoughts.com/2014/03/help-with-book-titles-take-two.html. Please go there and give me your feedback. Thanks!]

As most readers of this blog know, I'm writing a series of four books on Standard Operating Procedures for Small Technology Consultants.

Help with Book Titles - Take Two

Thank You to everyone who helped with the first round of voting on book titles for the four-volume set on Standard Operating Procedures.

Now it's time to narrow it down a little more. Here are the top four titles for the set:

- Managed Services Operations Manual
- Standard Operating Procedures for I.T. Consultants
- Standard Operating Procedures for Managed Services
- Standard Operating Procedures for Managed Service Providers

SOP Friday: Do Not Exclude Yourself from the Rules

We all know that SOPs - Standard Operating Procedures - make your business run better. We all know that we need to train out employees to document procedures, learn procedures, and follow procedures. But all too often, the bosses and owners don't follow the rules we set for our companies.

Update: How to Run a Successful Managed Service Business

I have a couple of updates for you on the 4-volume series about Standard Operating Procedures.

First, I would love to have a LOT more votes on the preferred title. voting is on my blog at http://blog.smallbizthoughts.com/2014/03/help-what-should-i-call-my-book-on-sops.html. Right now the front runners are (in order):

SOP Friday: How to Track Credit Card Auto-Payments

One of the great benefits - and curses - of the 21st century is the "Auto-Payment" for goods and services. We use them to pay for all kinds of things. And we ask our clients to do the same.

The great advantage of auto-payments, of course, is that you don't forget a payment. And some services are only available with credit card or other auto-payment. The great disadvantage of auto-payments is that you can lose track of the total amount.

SOP Friday: Making Exceptions to SOPs

We Get Mail

Andrew dropped me a note to suggest that I cover exceptions to the rules. In other words, when is it okay to not follow the Standard Operating Procedures you've laid out?

SOP Friday: Team Management of SOPs

One of the most challenging elements of managing documentation with a team is to keep everyone on the same page - so to speak. This is particularly true with processes and procedures. After all, when you create Your Way for setting up a machine, you want to make sure that everyone does it Your Way!

In terms of "managing" SOPs for your team, there are four primary activities you need to address:

1) Creation of SOPs
2) Changing SOPs

Can I Use All Eight Addresses in my 248 Subnet, or Just Five?

This is an interesting question.

Internet Service Providers have long handed out subnets of 255.255.255.248, which mathematically calculates to eight IP addresses. At the recent SMB TechFest in Orange County I was making a presentation on TCP/IP and I got asked this question:

How Come I Can Only Use Five of the Eight IP Addresses Assigned to Me?

SOP Friday: Paid Time Off / Paid Holidays

When you're really small, things like "time off" are not a huge concern. After all, when it's just you there isn't much time off. And when you hire someone, it's just the two of you, so things are (probably) very casual.

But as you company grows, you need to begin thinking about your policies around paid holidays and time off. This falls into the category of "Act like the company you want to become."

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