Ten IT Mistakes Small Business Make – and How to Avoid Them
The progressive technology website, Lifehacker informs us on a variety of interesting topics. I found this list particular informative and wanted to share it with you. Even as an accounting firm in Caulfield, Melbourne region, we reach out to clients globally as well and are faced with worldwide technology issues on a daily basis.
Technology definitely makes our lives easier, but it can generate plenty of headaches too. Thankfully Lifehack has put together a list to help you avoid many small business IT mistakes to make your life easier and your business run smoother.
MISTAKE #1 – Not investing in on-going training
Proper training and education on the tools your staff are using is critical to running a successful business. Many times employees are told to just work it out and learn it as you go. Software is a tool, that when used in the most effective way will increase productivity, reduce stress and give your staff more confidence in their role. Many software companies make it simple to take online training courses or even offer video tutorials for free.
MISTAKE #2 – Using too many communication tools (or the wrong ones)
There are so many different communication tools out there, and there’s a new one popping up every minute. Lifehacker warns us that using several different emails, different platforms and systems can be a nightmare, not to mention a catastrophe waiting to happen. Stick to a few good systems that you know work for your business, keep your emails tidy and you will never be in chaos when you need to locate that email address or important client data.
MISTAKE #3 – No social media strategy in place
Whimsically posting on facebook and tweeting is doing very little for your business. Have a solid plan in place, utilising the tools available will help you develop an online presence and engage your followers. Facebook has an integrated tool to help you follow trends, know when the peak time to post are to reach more users and attract new ones. There are several social media services like Hootsuite - they offer easy tools to help you maximise your Twitter feeds as well as planning mass campaigns.
MISTAKE #4 – Not taking security seriously
Network sharing can compromise your business security as can a host of other simple issues. Make sure you are familiar with your permissions, who has access to your folders and sharing options. Make sure you have the most updated anti-virus patches and beware of malicious fake emails asking for passwords or logins.
MISTAKE #5 – Not utilising a two-step authentication
A two-step authentication is not just for banks anymore, google, twitter and a number of other websites use this for added client security. If your password is hacked, the system also makes a phone call to your mobile phone, or asks for an additional code in some cases to prevent the hacker from gaining access. If authentication is available for your business you might want to implement it as an added safety measure to protect your clients and your business integrity.
MISTAKE #6 – Forgetting to back up your data
Backing up your data is easy to put aside until something bad happens and you lose important data. Set up a reminder on your phone or email calendar, it’s the best way to remember to do that back up. Commit it to your routine, then it becomes second nature and you never have to worry about losing data again.
MISTAKE #7 – E-mail pile up
There are a few ways to combat the every growing inbox and keeping your emails in an organised fashion. Some people like to organise by date, company or subject matter, others like to file them by category. Some people just like to keep them all in the inbox for easy searching. What doesn’t usually work is letting hundreds pile up, unopened and unread. This is a disaster waiting to happen. A missed email can be detrimental to businesses and an easy mistake to avoid. Put the time in to get rid of spam, keep control over your email subscriptions and change your notifications to suit your needs.
M ISTAKE #8 – No tech support in place
Having tech support lined up or on call whenever you need it can be a life saver. It is rather affordable and customisable to your individual business as well. Having that reassurance is priceless and someone reliable you can contact around the clock for assistance or if that tech savvy employee is out sick.
MISTAKE #9 – Slow internet speed
Use this free online tool to check your internet speed online where you can compare your options. Don’t put up with a snail pace internet when high speed is worth its weight in gold. You may end up spending a little more, but you’ll see an increase in productivity and improved staff morale.
MISTAKE #10 – Not upgrading regularly
Hardware gets outdated very quickly, there is always a newer better version. If you are not keeping up with your hardware, you may be struggling for no reason. I’m not suggesting to take out a large loan, but if your printer cartridges are obsolete, then you might need to invest in a new printer. You’ll see an increase in efficiency, productivity and overall higher quality performances.
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