The right technology brings value to small businesses, but there are a few common mistakes that negate those advantages. Follow these technology tips to avoid five of the biggest mistakes SMB owners make when it comes to business technology.
Mistake #1: Choosing the cheapest option
Everyone wants to save money—especially a small business where every dollar counts. However, when it comes to your business technology, cheaper isn’t always better.
It’s smart to establish a budget. But make sure the business technology solutions you choose are capable of providing the support you need. Otherwise, you’re not saving money. Instead, you’re just wasting time.
Here’s a prime example.
Small businesses receive almost two-thirds of all cyberattacks. It’s tempting to think that large enterprises make much better targets for data breach, small businesses are not immune to attacks.
Choosing to go cheaper on your security can be disastrous in the long run. Data loss, especially as a result of a security breach that threatens the privacy of your customers, is painful. You’ll lose time trying to correct issues, and you could lose credibility with your customer base.
“A survey of small-business owners by Nationwide found only 13 percent of respondents believed they had experienced a cyber attack. However, when owners were shown a list of specific examples of attacks, including phishing, viruses and ransomware, the figure of those reporting attacks increased to 58 percent.” – CNBC
Mistake #2: Investing on an as-needed basis
Being proactive when it comes to business technology is your best option.
Waiting until something breaks almost always ends up costing more in the long run. Not only that, but it can lead to downtime and a loss of profits. For example, if all of your customer data is on one computer with absolutely no backups and anything happens to that computer, you face the possibility of losing everything.
Take action before you need it to ensure that your business runs more smoothly. Have a backup plan in place before you need it.
Mistake #3: Integration compatibility
A major factor in choosing business technology is figuring out what’s compatible with what you already have.
Think about it. Even if you have the best IT solutions available, if none of them work together you’re not going to be any more productive or efficient. That’s why we tell our clients there’s no such thing as “the best solution.”
Instead, there’s the best mix of solutions for your business.
Another important question when finding the right security-technology solution is to determine how the technology will integrate into current security equipment at the facility. Security technology, whether it’s cameras or real-time location devices, is not a cheap investment. More and more systems across the security technology spectrum can easily be integrated. – Forbes
Mistake #4: No business technology training or support
One of the most important factors in anything related to business technology is access to the support and training when you need it.
If your staff doesn’t know how to use what you have, then your investment is a waste. And if you need basic support but you’re high and dry, goodbye productivity.
Mistake #5: Using under-qualified people
Speaking of managed IT services, making sure you choose a partner who has the experience and background to deliver the kind of support you need.
All MSPs are not created equal. Find out the history of any MSP you’re considering. How long have they have been in business? What do their customer reviews look like? Do they know your industry?
And take every kind of support you need into account, from VoIP to cloud solutions. Make sure you’re working with a partner who actually gives a damn about your success.