Apple's Small Business Secret Weapon
When it comes to Apple in small business, the iPhone and iPad tend to get all the attention. The Mac Mini Server, when it is discussed, is rarely understood, and, in my experience, almost always set up by the wrong person. A qualified technician should configure the Mac Mini Server, but it's the business owner who should understand and set direction for how it will be set up for the business. This is because the Mac Mini Server, in a small business of Macs and/or PCs, with iPhones, iPads and even other competing smartphones, is one of the business owner's most powerful tools to improve profits, capture more customers, and make their customers and employees more satisfied.
One note regarding my position on Apple: I don't sell Apple products, and I receive zero financial compensation from anyone's sale of Apple products. I don't even own Apple stock. I am a service-only provider, and I am in the business of making customers more successful and business owners more profitable. If an Apple product or technology isn't going to help you, I would steer you clear of it without hesitation.
The most misunderstood Mac
After configuring (and reconfiguring) hundreds of Mac Mini Servers across hundreds of businesses, it's my observation that maybe 1 in 20 are configured correctly for the business. The other 19 are not only producing poor results without the business owners knowing it, they're also ticking time bombs when they break down because of a lack of understanding how to maintain them. I receive at least one escalation per month from a business where an Apple software update was run, either automatically or because someone thought it would be harmless, only to find out that half or all of what they depended on for communication with their customers and information for their employees was no longer available. The Mac Mini Server, like a Mac Mini, is still a Mac, and often enough the same customer takes the Server to the Genius Bar, or expects Apple to take care of the issue like any other AppleCare break/fix issue. That's the worst time to discover that server software issues, network issues, data preservation issues, and other similar issues are not covered under AppleCare.
A Mac Mini Server blog series for business owners
I'm starting a blog series on the Mac Mini Server. I want to show you what you have to gain from using one. And I want to show you how to design your Mac Mini service strategy for your business, taking advantage of Apple's support and also how to leverage third-party service and support for issues not covered by Apple. Even more critical, I want to show you how to prevent the most common problems so you can avoid needing support in the first place. Over the course of the next several weeks, I'm going to post new topics to this blog related to Mac Mini Servers, including:
- Do you need a Mac Mini Server? What are the alternatives
- How a Mac Mini can return time back to your employees and to you
- Wiki on Mac Mini Server: Enabling seamless communication like you've never before experienced in and out of your office
- Prerequisites for your business to use a Mac Mini Server
- Common security issues and how to prevent them
- Mac Mini Server data preservation (read: backup) planning
- Service and support issues that can cripple your business and how to prevent them
- Using a Mac Mini Server to prevent downtime for your employees and your business
- How AppleCare works for the Mac Mini Server - and what it doesn't cover
- Introducing a Mac Mini Server into an all-Windows environment
- How Mac Mini Server can enable you to control and manage all your iPhones and iPads from your desk
What you've got to gain
Would you like your business to be more profitable? Do you want more and happier customers? How about even happier employees?
The Mac Mini Server is one of the most important small business devices Apple sells. It has the potential to return hundreds of hours, even thousands of hours, back to the owner and employees of a business; Dollarize that time and you'll find that it means three things and one very good formula for the business bottom-line:
1) Reduced expenses + 2) higher sales = 3) profitable growth.
When a piece of technology gives you back more time, it's time that previously was a cost to you without a sale or money attached to it. That time back means that you can spend more time with customers, get more work done in the same work day, and therefore your expenses can go down and your sales can go up. Less cost and higher dollars coming in means you're making more money. But there's another way to look at it, and I consider it equally important, because profits can only happen if you have customers, and happy customers.
Time back to you and your employees is usually time that was previously doing things manually, or looking for things in your email instead of a common place to find things, or not knowing what the standard operating procedure is and therefore confusing a customer who was used to the way someone else in your office did it versus how it's being done now. The time returned back to you by a Mac Mini Server doing what it's supposed to do for you usually means you can spend that time doing a better job. This leads to higher customer satisfaction. Higher customer satisfaction can lead to positive Yelp reviews, and more important, referrals of more customers to your business. And you've got more time to handle the customers, right? You will, once I show you what a Mac Mini Server can enable do for your business. Stay posted and sign up for my newsletter.