Tech Mistakes Your Small Business May Be Making
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As a fellow small business owner, I know all too well the number of directions in which a small business is pulled on a daily basis. Our Team often jokes that most days feel like another emergency. In a fast-paced world of just-in-time production models, increased customer expectations, and around-the-clock connectivity demands, the expectations placed on both product and service providers are high, leaving little time for small businesses to address their operational efficiencies like their technology needs. It just feels like there are never enough hours in the day.
As a result, small businesses often fail to keep up to date with the latest developments in technology, cybersecurity threats, or even fixing routine breaks. On top of that, small business owners often do not have the skillset to maintain a good technology practice, putting them at higher risk of falling behind their larger competitors.
Here, we further examine three frequently-made technology mistakes, along with the steps that IT consultants, which you can click here to find out more about, can take to assist you.
Not Having Enough Tech Support
Because employing in-house technical support staff can be expensive, many firms do not have such professionals as a part of their team. Rather, they rely on an employee who built a blog page for their friend a decade ago or the relative of an employee who “knows her way around a computer” to provide technical advice and support.
It goes without saying that this type of support is insufficient when technology is involved in the core operations of your business. You need experts on hand to prevent problems from happening in the first place and to minimize the disruption to your business by immediately addressing issues as they arise when something goes wrong.
Additionally, our Team has learned the hard way that you do not necessarily save money by internally researching technology issues and employing a “do-it-yourself” attitude. Rather, oftentimes, in hindsight, more money is spent paying the hourly the wage of the team member who is not technologically savvy than if you had simply paid an IT professional in the first place. For this reason, and because a technician is better equipped to analyze and resolve any issue that arises holistically, our Team now relies on IT professionals instead of trying to solve our technology problems ourselves. Learn from our mistake and consider what professional IT assistance you need to support your business.
Not Having the Right Hardware or Software
Many small businesses do not have a strategic technology plan including when to upgrade or replace the hardware and software on which they rely every day. For example, computers generally have a three- to four-year lifespan. A computer that is used every day, perhaps all day, may have half that or even less. Despite this, the machine usually is not replaced until after its last breath, oftentimes after the business has spent more on repairs, new parts, and lost staff time than it would have cost to buy a new machine as a part of routine maintenance.
Additionally, many small businesses fail to standardize their hardware components and software applications, over time leading to a disconnect between them. Beyond having to consider various license terms and renewal dates, this makes troubleshooting more difficult and can ultimately lead to a system failure.
Not only is outdated and inefficient hardware and software frustrating for the people who use it in the workplace, it is also frustrating for customers and clients who are inconvenienced. As mentioned in Three Strategies to Effectively Manage Your Time as a Small Business Owner, I previously worked for an organization that failed to invest in the integration of its hardware and software systems. As a result, the office I was tasked with leading lost hundreds of hours of time and thousands of dollars of profit over a two-year period. Finally, the organization finished upgrading its outdated systems. By then, however, my office was negatively impacted beyond the bottom line; morale, reputation, client relationships and more all suffered due to the inability to efficiently work over such a prolonged period. These issues would have been further pronounced in the present-day Coronavirus era when businesses are even more reliant on sound technology. This makes working with IT professionals who can support the broad umbrella of your technology needs incredibly important.
Not Having Enough Security
Cybercrime is quickly becoming a leading criminal activity. This is bad news for small businesses who are the target of 43% of online attacks, especially given that only 14% of small businesses are prepared to defend themselves. An attack not only interrupts operations and damages your customer reputation, with digital breaches averaging $200,000.00 to address, they are financially devastating to a small business. In fact, approximately 60% of small businesses go out of business within six months of experiencing such an incident. Given the severity of these attacks on the small business community, it is evermore important that your small business take the precautions necessary to institute smart, high-tech behaviors.
The forgoing mistakes are just the tip of the iceberg regarding potential tech missteps your small business may be making. Given the importance of ensuring your business’ technology runs smoothly on a daily basis, it is important to work with trained professionals who can best help you plan for and address all of your technology needs.
And, do YOU have additional tips that will help the SYS community?! We’re sure you do, so please share your advice by emailing Melanie at firstname.lastname@example.org or messaging Spread Your Sunshine on Facebook, Instagram, LinkedIn or Twitter. We love hearing from you, as together, we perform our best.
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