7 Mistakes Small Businesses Make

Is Your Business Guilty Of These Top IT Mistakes?

All businesses require technology in some shape or form and running a company without access to emails or the internet is nigh on impossible.

Yet too many small businesses take their IT for granted: your computer will power up every morning, your emails will all get sent, your website will load, your data on your laptop is there for you to access.

Akin to stubbing your toe, we don't notice our technology until it becomes painful. We need our toes to help us walk, and we need our technology to help us run our businesses. It's not until it goes wrong and we can't work that we realise the simple mistakes we have failed to prevent.

The Top Seven IT Mistakes Small Businesses Commonly Make:

Free Lunch: There is no such thing as a free lunch - the same applies to your technology. It may seem an unnecessary business expense to pay for an anti-virus when you can just have a free one - but the premium antivirus packages are there for a very good reason - they offer a more comprehensive security. A virus could potentially cripple your business and free security options won't protect you against all nasties.

No Wingman: Your wingman is your backup, there to offer you support when you need it - but is of no use if it's not there when required. Too many businesses still rely on external backups that they need to manually do, and to remember to do. Having several backups in place is our company recommendation, including a cloud based fully encrypted automated backup to ensure that your wingman is by your side every step you take. If the worst does happen, you should be able to access your data remotely and to restore your systems with minimal downtime.

On The Cheap: You saw a brilliant deal on a printer so you went ahead - without looking at how much replacement cartridges would cost. Or that cannot refuse offer on a laptop - without checking if it has enough memory for your ever-expanding business requirements, if it could be upgraded, or how long the battery life was. If something looks too good to be true it probably is and buying cheap will often backfire on you.

Making Assumptions: is there more than one person working with or for your business? If so, are they aware of your company's privacy policy? Of their responsibility with company data? Is there a policy for BYOD - are they using their own smart phone/tablet/laptop or does it belong to the company? Everybody within an organisation should be aware of their responsibilities.

Erratic Habits: Where is that email you sent a customer twelve weeks ago? They have called the office claiming they didn't actually place an order with you and therefore won't be settling their invoice. Where is the agreed plan of action that you obtained from them in writing? Can you find the documents a client swears they sent over to you? Our computers store a vast amount of information, but it is down to you to organise and file it.

Leaving Holes: You get to your desk, you turn on your computer, you need to get cracking, tic toc, time is running out - and the blasted machine says it needs to do updates! As frustrating as they might be, ignoring or cancelling updates will leave your IT vulnerable - these updates are a necessary evil be it your computer, your smart phones or your tablets. So, step away from your desk, let your IT do its thing and grab a cuppa.

It Won't Happen To Me: Do you have such a thing as a disaster recovery plan? What if your computer systems went down? What if you suffered a data breach, or your systems were subjected to malicious encryption? What if your offices were flooded? What if you lost access to the internet? What if there was an online campaign against your company? Would you be able to ride out the storm without adversely affecting your customers? Who would be responsible for getting systems restored? Who would you need to contact? The GDPR legislation now gives you an absolute maximum of 72 hours in which to report certain types of data breaches so you need to know what to do, who to contact and who is responsible for each and every aspect should your business suffer a catastrophe.

If all of our technology is working as we require it to, it is easy to take it for granted. But how long could your business survive without all that you rely upon on a daily basis? Ensuring that you have a safety net around you will enable your business not to survive but to grow and to thrive. The seven points above will help you get on the right track to maintaining an efficient business leaving you to be able to focus on what you do best – running your business.

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