Top 10 Things To Think About When Migrating To Windows 10

If you haven't heard, Windows 7 is going away. Not today, but in 2020. If you are running Windows 7, you'll definitely want to review the list below for some areas to be thinking about when moving to Windows 10.

  1. Start thinking today about migrating to Windows 10. It's never too soon.
  2. Make a checklist of all the applications that need to be on the new Windows 10 PC. i.e. anti-virus, backup, email, etc.
  3. Determine whether or not the applications can be moved to the new PC or if new versions will need to be purchased.
  4. Make sure that any printers, scanners, etc. are compatible with Windows 10.
  5. Don’t make any assumptions about applications or hardware working with the new Windows 10 PC.
  6. Ensure that there is a verified backup before starting the process.
  7. If you're not using an online (i.e. off-site) backup, consider starting now. They are easy to use, run in the background and are inexpensive.
  8. While making the investment in a new PC, consider adding a second monitor. This makes it possible to move easily between two unrelated or related applications. For example, you could have Billing running on one monitor and Word Processing or email on the other monitor. 
  9. Take some time to familiarize yourself with the new features. 
  10. Lastly, allow plenty of time to move your data, getting everything set up, and learning the features of your new PC.


Recently I was at a youth camp that has a philosophy of no-debt, a bare-bones crew, and to be as efficient as possible. The no-debt aspect was impressive given that the last building cost over 10 million. The bare-bones crew was in order to be able to offer more amenities, which they did. What this means is that the youth at the camp have to "pull their weight". Instead of having a large kitchen staff, the youth serve each other and they all clean up. At the end of the week, the youth tidy up the cabin and basically take on a philosophy of leave it like you found it. They also did things like automatic lights. They come on when you walk in and after a period of inactivity, they turn off. In talking to one of the leaders, they said that they always try to learn from other camps, listen to the problems that they have experienced, and then try to improve how they operate. This mentality of being more efficient, planned, streamlined, focused, and open-minded could save a company in the long run. As the year progresses on, try to think of ways that you can improve operations and create a better foundation for the company.

Planning Time

We went from cassette tape to cd to download and now to streaming. The music industry, as with all other industries, has had to adapt and change. As time goes on, as technology improves and advances, we have to adapt and keep up or get left behind. As, the year comes to an end, be thinking about how you could improve. What technology could be implemented? How could you make your business more efficient, more effective? This will look different for everyone, regardless of whether or not you’re in the same industry.

The following are a few things to remember and to help guide you in your thoughts about planning:

  • Adapting to new technology is becoming increasingly more important. We’re moving faster than ever and new technology gives us the tools to be more efficient and effective at both our daily tasks and big picture strategy.
  • Online tools are amazing and can give us access from anywhere we need it. The downside? With more and more web based apps will inevitably come more cyber attacks. This means that security protocols will become increasingly important.
  • Cloud strategy. I know that we sound like a broken record, but things happen. Every company needs to have a disaster plan and part of that could and probably should be a cloud service. Whether all information is hosted and/or run off of a hosted server or all files (not just the critical ones, space is cheap) are backed up and accessible from off site, every company strategy plan should involve the cloud.

Just remember that even a small step is still a step, so take that step forward as we plan for and get ready to move into a new year.


With all the flooding in Louisiana, we figured that it would be the right time to remind everyone about having good secure backups. A few things to keep in mind with backups are:

  1. Using an external drive can be a very inexpensive way to backup the company server, however, these backups need to be kept off-site in case of a disaster whether natural or un-natural i.e. flooding.
  2. Having an off-site realtime backup, like Carbonite, is always the best option. This also makes it possible to be back up and running much faster given that files can be accessed from anywhere. If you've taken the next step and started having the company server hosted by a service, then the team could log in and continue working as if nothing ever happened. 
  3. A final note is to regularly verify backups. We've seen far too many times where someone thinks they have a valid backup only to realize that either important files are missing or the backups are unusable.

Again, backups are extremely important and, in the long run, very cheap insurance. As always, if you have any questions, feel welcome to send those our way.

It wasn't raining when Noah built the ark...

Start the Plan

Howard Ruff, author of numerous financial planning books has been quoted as saying "It wasn't raining when Noah built the ark”. His reference was to financial planning, but the same notion applies perfectly when it comes to planning for disasters. Many business spend a great deal of time planning on how to grow their business while ignoring what might happen if they ever experience a major disaster such as a fire or hurricane.

Don’t feel alone if you don’t have a plan. According to industry statistics, despite major disasters like Hurricane Sandy that struck the east coast in 2012, less than one-half of all businesses say they have a disaster recovery plan. When asked, most of those businesses with disaster plans said they had not tested their plan. Not testing the plan is almost like not having one.

The consequences of not having a plan for a disaster are sobering. The numbers vary depending upon the source, but according to the U.S. Small Business Administration, 25 percent of all businesses do not reopen after a major disaster.

So where is the starting point? Unfortunately, this typically is not a problem to be solved in one short meeting over coffee. Planning for disaster recovery requires time and resources and it needs become an integral part of the business plan. The following points will give a good "jumping off" point.

1. Develop Your Plan. The first step in developing your plan is to bring together the people most impacted by a major disaster. Start asking the question "What do we do if?” For example, how would we know what our customers owe us? What do we do if we can’t process invoices or pay bills? How do we notify our customers and what do we tell them? How do we order product? Is our data protected?

2. The next part of the plan is to Assign Responsibilities. Who will get the message about the disaster out to our customers? This person will be responsible for emailing, calling, texting or faxing every customer to let them know what has happened. 

Assigning someone to develop an inventory of what the business owns is important for insurance claims.  

Give someone the responsibility of scanning important documents. This will include insurance documents, tax returns, payroll records, etc. Scanning doesn't have to be expensive. The Neat Company markets an inexpensive scanner that is simple to use and quick to setup.

Assign someone the task of installing a backup product, like Carbonite, to automatically backup everything that is on the PC. Carbonite's backup is simple, easy, continuous and in the event of a disaster the company would have access to all of the important records.

As part of the plan, make sure that company data is not only backed up, but a copy is stored off-site. This should go beyond the basic backup that Carbonite performs. This backup should be a restore drive/mirror image (a copy of the server drive with all software and files) that could be installed into any server. Most software providers are also providing cloud based systems that eliminate servers and give access to company data through the internet.

3. Work Your Plan. After all the time invested in growing the business, it's best to make sure that the new plan functions the way it was envisioned. In the beginning this may mean regular meetings to check on progress and to see if an area of the plan needs to be adjusted. The point of working the plan is to make sure that progress is being made, documents are being scanned, data is being backed up and the proper procedures are in place.

4. Audit Your Plan. The final step is to periodically audit the plan. It's great to have the backups automated but more than one company has backed up their data only to realize, at the most unfortunate time, that the data could not be retrieved. In other words, test your backups.

Make sure that all needed reports can be found easily and quickly. This might look like asking the person in charge of the financial reports for a specific purchase journal from last year. Regardless of the process that is tested, the point is to make sure that the plan is functioning properly.

None of us know when disaster will strike. We don’t know when the next earthquake, tornado or hurricane will hit, but history has proven to us that they do happen and they will happen again. Being prepared will significantly improve any companies chances of recovery.

Just remember what Howard Ruff said "It wasn't raining when Noah built the ark”