Not so long ago, small business people did not have to worry about being tech savvy, but that certainly is not the case today. No, these days it is vital that anyone owning, running, or working in a small business be as smart about computers and the Internet as they are about business and marketing. And yet even so, the challenge is usually one of time – most of us are so busy running our businesses that we don’t know what we don’t know and we don’t have the time to figure it out.
Not surprisingly probably, I find that there tend to be a few, common technology issues that small business people share. The ones I see most often are these:
1. Failure to Monitor Their Online Brand: Not knowing what people are saying about you online can be a huge IT mistake. Yes, they may be tweeting great things about your business, but then again, they may not be and they may even be saying things about your business that are untrue. The problem of course is that when people look for you online – and that may be well before they ever strep a foot into your business – if they see the negative things first, they will likely never step that foot into your business.
The solution is to consistently monitor your online brand, and intervene when necessary, and the easiest way to do that is to set up a Google alert for your business. This will let you know whenever there is an online mention of it, good or bad.
2. Lack of Proper Security Software: Get this: According to the FBI, in the past few years, cyber criminals have stolen more than $100 million out of small business bank accounts. How? The victims were hacked because they had insufficient computer security systems. Of course you know that you are supposed to have security software in place, and maybe you even have some basic software. But safeguarding your business from the sophisticated threats that are out there these days requires a lot more than downloading some no-name, off-brand, free program.
3. Looking Small: There is so much good that can be said about the Internet vis-à-vis small business that it would be difficult to list, but suffice it to say that near the top of any list is that you never need look small again. The Web has leveled the playing field. Yes, you may actually be small offline, but online you can look every bit as big as your biggest competitor. That a great-looking, professional, robust website is available for very little cost makes it all the better.
If you do not already look big online, you need to fix that, now.
4. Not Scheduling a Regular Data Back-up: Yes, we all know the drill: “Back up your data!” But do you? Maybe not surprisingly, this easily fixable small business mistake usually only occurs once in the life of any business. After all, you only need to lose, say, your customer list one time before realizing that regularly backing up your data is a requirement. So, whether you do it manually or use an online, scheduled service, the important thing is that you, yes, regularly back up your data.