Countless small businesses do not possess the resources or capability to track the latest computer news, security threats, or even common break/fix tips. As a small business owner, you know that small things can accumulate quickly. Emails go unanswered longer than you’d like, and administrative tasks take longer to be accomplished that it was expected to be — leaving you so little time to handle other tasks at hand. Because of this, it’s no surprise that many business owners tend to overlook or avoid the often complicated burden of keeping technology in line with their business needs. And yet, one slight mishap can result to critical data loss, hardware failure, or security breaches.

Why learn the hard way? If you’re armed with the proper information to avoid these common pitfalls, you can protect your business and prevent catastrophic events. So here are some common technology mistakes that small businesses often commit, as well as tips on how you can avoid them.

Insufficient technical support

This is usually the most common from the numerous tech mistakes that small businesses do. There are many organizations that simply operate without, and just depends on someone within the staff, whose known to be an expert computer gamer, and then makes him the company’s “computer expert” as well. While some organizations depend upon their employee’s friend or relative, who is somewhat “interested in computers” to provide computing or networking advice or assistance when critical systems fail or becomes sluggish. Others, on the other hand, turn to their hardware manufacturer’s phone support to ask for some help, only to be frustrated when the solution to many problems is by performing a reinstallation, which means there will definitely be loss of all the business owner’s data. Still others sometimes look for a student or other individuals who can provide computer support as a “sideline.” Be reminded that these methods are not cost-efficient.

Failure to Perform Regular Data Backups

You may want to ask yourself this question: What would happen to your business if a natural disaster destroyed your office today? What if a hard drive with your company’s critical data suddenly failed? How quickly could your business recover from these kinds of disaster and get back in normal operation?

Having backups is a necessary insurance policy to protect your business. Imagine having a company set in emergency mode because it doesn’t have a backup plan in place after experiencing a critical failure. No work can be performed and many hours are spent attempting to salvage the incident. Revenue is lost, and additional costs are spent just to cover emergency repairs. Malware hijacking, failed hardware, and even an accidentally deleted file by an employee are all examples of situations where having a backup in place can save you a huge amount of time, effort, and heartache.

The need to build a reliable backup strategy is especially important when running a small business because emergency data recovery is definitely a painful and expensive process. The best way to manage data loss is to prepare for it before it even happens, and companies should be applying business continuity and data protection measures throughout their entire data lifecycle if there nothing placed yet.

Some backup solutions can help you get your business up and running in a matter of few hours, and there are various options that you can choose from to satisfy your business needs. Some can be automated and require little to no work by an employee to manage. And now with the existence of “cloud,” company data can now be stored virtually on a server instead of them being stored locally on computer hard drives. This means that even if a natural disaster destroyed your office, you don’t have to worry about your important data because you can easily retrieve and restore them from the cloud.

Hardware and Software Issues

At a minimum, small businesses will need anti-virus software, malware protection, and a strong firewall. Malicious individuals know that smaller companies make easier targets because many small businesses do not invest the time and money to implement a rigid security. It’s irresponsible to leave your business vulnerable to hackers and potentially devastating malware because it only takes one infection to interrupt the workflow, damage your reputation, and lost important data.

If you’re operating a small business and currently don’t have any form of antivirus protection, then you should waste no time and look for one as soon as possible. Don’t wait for cybercriminals to steal all your company’s private and sensitive information that can result to major setback to the business operation, as well as its overall reputation to customers.

Insufficient Training

You would likely to hear groans and complaints whenever the word “training” is mentioned during a staff meeting. Boredom, bad classroom experiences, or simply lack of interest are the most common factors why an employee is reluctant to attend any form of upskill training. It is estimated that office staff understand less than 20% of the available features in the software applications that they use. That means 80% of the features, time-saving capabilities, and cost-reducing functions remain unused. And this would most likely result to gross inefficiencies. As a consequence, many processes including repetitive data entry, complicated calculations, and automated data selection and reporting are thereby completed manually — meaning there is a greater room for error in the process. Tasks that can be completed in a minimal amount of time will then consume exponentially more time. Considering many of those tasks are repeated each day by several workers, and it’s quite easy to see how the costs quickly become significant.

Illegal Software

Possessing illegal software in your company may be the easiest trap in which many organizations fall. The issue is certainly widespread (the Business Software Alliance estimates 22% of all North American software is unlicensed), which is why it is also one of the most common tech mistakes most small businesses commit. Certainly, licensing issues quickly prove perplexing. The differences between OEM, retail, and open license software are not very clear among many business owners. Yet, manufacturers are becoming more aggressive in locking down licenses and prosecuting violators. Many organizations do not recognize that they do not “own” software (instead of programs and applications are commonly licensed). Worse, some companies used “borrowed” applications or pirated programs. Problems start either in the form of audits and penalties or challenging delays (due to product activation conflicts and other licensing issues) when returning failed systems to operation.

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This entry was posted by Staff Writer on Wednesday, November 11, 2015 at 6:34:28 AM and is filed under Small-Medium Business.

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