When you’re running a small business, you always have too many tasks to attend to and not enough time to finish them all. Deadlines are always hovering above your head and you rarely have enough to stop and take a breath.
And that’s why so many important aspects of keeping a business afloat are often overlooked; which brings us to our topic of the day – the IT department. But ignoring the needs of your IT team is perhaps one of the biggest mistakes any business owner can make.
The Importance of a Solid IT Department
Others tend to agree with that statement. According to a recent AT&T poll, roughly 66% of business managers feel like their company could not survive without a proper IT department.
If you’re reading this, chances are, technology is at the heart of your organization; which is why it’s so important do everything you can to keep your IT department running as smoothly as possible.
So if your organizations has made (or is still making) any of IT mistakes we listed below, it’s time to roll up your sleeves and make some changes. And without further ado, here are four distinctive IT mistakes you definitely shouldn’t make.
Four Common Mistakes You Should Try To Avoid:
Mistake #1: Lack of Technical Support
Even though 66% of businesses feel like they can’t stay afloat with proper technical support, a shocking amount of businesses today have no technical support at all.
According to a NSBA survey from a couple of years ago, around 40% of small businesses in the US handle technical issues by themselves. On the other hand, only 32% of them have any in-house staff, and the rest simply outsource these tasks and pay an outside company to deal with their problems.
But even if you feel like you can handle the IT problems by yourself, you need to have tech support on retainer. It will definitely pay off, because you’ll actually have a more efficient (and thus profitable) operation, since your staff won’t be hindered by simple tech issues anymore.
Mistake #2: Not Having a Clear Backup Strategy
Your data is probably the most valuable possession you have, right? But are you making a big enough effort to protect your precious data? In the United States, every week, around 14 thousand hard drives crash, according to statistics gathered by the Boston Computing Network.
What’s more, 60% of business that lose all of their data in these crashes shut down within 6 months of the incident. And an even scarier fact is that 93% of business that fail recover their data after 10 day eventually file for bankruptcy.
You have a number of proven backup tools and services out there for a good reason. You just need to work with the right IT consultants, develop a bullet-proof backup strategy and you’ll be able to avoid this potential disaster easily.
Mistake #3: Having No Concerns About Cybersecurity
While we’re on the topic of data protection, let’s talk about cybersecurity for a moment. Ok, you’re running a small operation, and while your data is important to you, you’re probably thinking that an average, run-of-the-mill hacker has no use for it.
But things are a little bit different. Well, a lot different actually. According to Symantec’s 2016 Internet Security Threat Report, 43% of hackers target small businesses. Primarily, the criminals use phishing attacks (emails with hidden malware) in an effort to hijack financial information and gain access to company’s funds.
Small businesses are actually perfect targets, because they often fail to pay any attention to their cybersecurity. Just one of these attacks can cost you thousands of dollars, which is why it’s so important to have the tech support you need to protect your data, assets and reputation.
Mistake #4: Failing to see ROI from IT
The last mistake on our list goes hand in hand with the first one we talked about. According to Spiceworks’ 2016 State of IT report, the main problem here is that IT budgets don’t usually keep up with growth elsewhere in the company.
Simply put, the company simply wastes money on other departments because they don’t see any possible ROI from the IT department. But if you shortsightedly look to save a couple of hundreds now, it might cost you a couple of thousands later. Therefore, you need to review your payroll and see where you can make cuts, in order to invest more money into IT.
For instance, things like SEO are important for any small business, but that doesn’t mean you need to pour money into it constantly. In fact, we pointed out SEO mainly because it’s fairly cost-effective, seeing how you can look up keywords, create and market your content for free.
Final Thoughts: Mistakes are Bound to Happen but Try to Avoid Them
Mistakes we mentioned above, in most cases, aren’t actually fatal to business success. So one or to happens to you somewhere down the line, you shouldn’t be completely discouraged. Problems happen, and you just need to find the right people to handle it.
However, if you fail to address them properly, your business will undoubtedly suffer.
So it’s important to stay ahead of the current technology and work with the most qualified IT professionals your budget allows, to come provide the technical knowledge that will allow your company to stay afloat, expand and reach your business goals.