Business and technology are now so entwined that no matter what industry the company is operating in, technology will have some impact on the success of the business. Unfortunately, many small business owners are making technology mistakes, often without realising it, that are having a detrimental impact on the success of their businesses.
Here are some of the most common technology mistakes small business owners make and how you can overcome them:
The importance of making sure you have installed comprehensive anti-virus software cannot be overestimated. Businesses have become fair-game in the world of hackers and online identity thieves and protecting your business’s, and your clients’, private, sensitive and personal information should be paramount. Along with installing anti-virus software, you should also be ensuring that your passwords are regularly changed, your workers are educated about the importance of online security, and that your passwords and data are adequately protected.
The solution: If you’re worried about your own business’s IT security, AVG has created a small business IT Security health check that will help you to identify any areas of your security policy that you need to improve.
Banning social media
Many business owners put a blanket ban on their staff’s access to social media sites during working hours. Although, understandably, employers want their staff working and not spending all day updating their Facebook profiles, the banning of all social media could in fact harm their own brands
Not only should you have an employee charged with regularly updating your business’s social media sites, but your staff can act as brand champions for your company through their social media pages. This will help raise your brand’s profile on these sites, and will also help to establish your company as a friendly and modern business that potential customers will want to do business with. As well as this, it will help you to recruit top talent, as it will project your brand as one that is savvy and contemporary in outlook.
The solution: You can try relaxing your social media policies for a trial period, laying out guidelines of what you expect from your employees about how and when they use their social media sites while at work.
When was the last time you redesigned your website? If it was over 18 months ago you may want to look at updating it. Online trends and designs change rapidly and if you allow your website to stagnate it will quickly start to look out-of-date. For many customers your website will be the first place they will go when they become interested in using your products or services. If they are greeted with an outdated design it can make your company look unprofessional and give them second thoughts about doing business with you.
In addition to this, if you haven’t already got a blog or news section on your website you should put serious thought into adding one. This allows you to constantly update the content on your website which will not only help engage customers, but will make your website more SEO-friendly as well.
The solution: You don’t need to overhaul your website every 12 months, but it is a good idea to keep up with trends and designs and ensure you tweak your site so that it constantly looks fresh, modern and engaging. When it comes to help with blogging, there is a wealth of articles online offering advice on how to write successful blogs.
Failure to upgrade
Many small business owners are always looking for ways of keeping their business costs down and if you are one of them don’t be tempted to save money by using old computer systems. It might seem that you are saving money by not upgrading your computers and software but in the long-run it could be losing you money. When IT businesses upgrade their systems they do so to make them faster and more efficient for the user. Moreover this older technology will be more likely to experience problems that will prevent you and your workers from getting on with their jobs.
The solution: Instead of paying a small fortune on regularly changing your computers and software, consider renting your equipment as it will often enable you to upgrade for free whenever new systems are available.