The Top 5 technology issues in small business NOW

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Knowing the top 5 technology issues in small businesses can help you protect and grow your business.

It’s nearly impossible to find any business that doesn’t rely on technology of some sort. As a result, virtually no-one is immune from technology challenges. Fortunately, being prepared and taking some simple steps can make a big difference to your success.

Whether you currently own a small to medium business, or plan to start soon, you will undoubtedly have some technology-related issues that will need to be addressed.

What type of Computers are best suited to your needs? What about software? How about digital or cyber security? While you might think hackers wouldn’t be interested in you, you would be wrong!

For many years now, those of us in small businesses have been using various types of technology. Some, like mobile phones, help us communicate. Others help us keep on top of our finances, stock holding or customer data.

Whatever we use technology to do, most of us could no longer live or work without it!

How do you keep up with the accelerating pace of change?

There is no doubt that the pace of business change has been accelerating in recent years. Perhaps, nowhere that this change is more prevalent than in technology.

As a small business owner, it can be a challenge trying to keep up. After all, there is a huge array of options for deploying technology in your business.

Just as we would choose a lawyer, accountant or business mentor as part of our virtual business team, it’s time to add a tech partner.

Keeping up to date takes time, and it’s specialised stuff.

When you are running your business, the last thing you need is tech problems. They will slow you down and may cost you dearly. 

Having a technology partner means you focus on what you are good at.

Some typical daily technology issues in small business:

  • For example, do I choose PCs or Laptops?
  • Which Phones and tablets are best?
  • Apple versus Microsoft products-do they work together?
  • Microsoft Office subscriptions -which one do I need?
  • Networks-why do I need one?
  • My internet is expensive and slow.
  • Which are my best cloud storage options for backup?
  • Should I choose a website builder or WordPress?
  • What do Website hosting providers do?
  • Employee’s devices are accessing my data!
  • Backup and password management is confusing.
  • How do we deal with remote working efficiently?

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The Top 5 technology issues in small business based on real experience.

1 Start with the right technology foundation.

Many new business owners do not see technology issues as an obvious priority. Starting and running a business is hectic. But, with so many things to do, if your computers, phones, devices, and software seem to work, they get little attention. They may, however, be masking some hidden problems further down the track.

For example, just like building a house, a strong foundation from the ground up will make for a stable house. Spending some time to get your basic technology needs right at the outset will save time and cost later.

Rutland Smith of Harvey Norman technology for business shares his experience of small business growth frequently being hampered by technology issues.

To grow, business owners inevitably have to address some of their challenges to improve their efficiency and overall security. So why not do that from the start?

2 Cybersecurity is a small business menace.

Hackers love small businesses. In fact, Rutland tells us that small businesses are being attacked more than ever before. Not surprisingly, therefore, cybersecurity now makes it into the list! 

While you may think no one will be interested in your data, you are wrong. Hackers can more easily hack small businesses than they can large, sophisticated corporations.

Once you have been hacked, the criminals have a large range of scams they can engage in that have the potential to completely cripple your business. For instance, they may send fake invoices to your clients, directing them to pay into a Bank account other than yours!

Getting your business back on track and dealing with the embarrassment of being hacked is never pleasant. A hacker can destroy years of hard work.

Getting good advice on how to approach improving your cybersecurity can save you time, money and stress.

3 Backing up your data

Having a reliable system to back-up data is important. But, more important is that your system works! You would be surprised by how many businesses, having a backup process in place, have never tested to it to see if it works! 

Backing up data to cloud services such as Google Drive, One Drive, Dropbox or iCloud also needs to be approached correctly. Rutland suggests, for example, choosing OneDrive for business rather than One Drive personal for its extra features.

Knowing how to use your backup to restore your business data is not always that simple. For example, suppose your settings allow automatic updates. In that case, you need a way to segregate data in the event of a hack; otherwise, your backup may be of no use.

Having a cloud or hard drive backup may be a false sense of security and hence backing up effectively is one of our top 5 technology issues.

4 Communication

How would your business be impacted if you lost communication? If you’re relying on online sales, then a hosting outage could cost you massively.

Phones and internet service could be critical to your business.

The right technology partner could help choose the best options to guarantee your business remains online without interruption. 

As your business grows, coping with more employees also adds different risks as they may access your data via their devices.

5 Your website design

Having a well designed, functional website is not just for looks. A website can be a powerful marketing and e-commerce tool and hence its in our top 5 technology issues for small businesses.

Search engines hate websites that are slow or have poor site structure.

A fast, responsive website is more likely to get ranked higher.

While you might use a website builder like Weebly, Wix or Shopify, you will likely want to progress to a custom-built site as your business grows.

Choosing a good company to build your site is crucial to perform well for Search Engine Optimisation (SEO) and Customer Experience (CX).

Factors such as the image sizes, site layout and choice of website host make a huge difference.

It is also important to meet your legal obligations for website use, privacy and data protection.

In summary, a technology partner is becoming a must.

A technology partner can help you navigate the complex options to find the best and most cost-effective solutions for your business.

Whether it is choosing commercial grade equipment or helping you handle the risks that employees can bring good advice is valuable.

Introducing our guest Rutland Smith.

In this episode, we are joined by Rutland Smith, Director at Harvey Norman Technology for Business. 

Rutland has been working in technology for many years. In particular, he has extensive experience in deploying technology solutions in a small business setting. 

image of Rutland Smith of Harvey Norman

Podcast Guest on technology issues

During this episode, Rutland helps us break down the top 5 technology issues in small business and the trends impacting all of us .

  1. Start with the right technology foundation.
  2. Cyber security
  3. Backing up your data
  4. Communication
  5. Your website design

If you need any help with technology for your business reach out to Harvey Norman Technology for Business via the contact details below.

 

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Disclaimer

The information contained in this podcast is general in nature and does not take into account your situation. The content does not constitute legal or financial advice and should not be used as such. You should consider whether the information is appropriate to your needs and, where applicable, seek professional advice from a financial advisor or lawyer in your own jurisdiction. To find out more, please go to www.ShouldIownabusiness.com

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