The Top 10 Tech Mistakes Small Businesses Make (And How To Avoid Them): Pt 1
Small businesses typically focus on researching, understanding and managing elements related to their businesses. That’s good business sense, after all. But too few have time to monitor the constant changes in the information technology industry that impact their business.
These changes can include updates to Microsoft Windows, Microsoft Office, proprietary business software, critical business applications, printing technologies, web-based tools, email services and a myriad of other technology concerns.
Computer support companies like Computer Troubleshooters can help you through the big issues with our professional services, and can also give you a basic awareness of how to avoid small business tech mistakes here in our blog posts. This post is the first of a 5-part series covering the Top 10 Tech Mistakes Made by Small Businesses. Over the next few weeks we’ll publish the entire series, and look forward to how it will make a difference in your business!
Let’s dive in with…
Mistake #1: Weak Tech Support
Typical small business technology support comes from one of the following sources:
- An existing staff member – IT duties are added to this person’s tasks, and most often take a backseat to his/her primary duties. When tech issues demand attention, other tasks fall behind.
- Telephone support from software/hardware manufacturers – all major computer companies offer phone support, but using it requires time on the phone and is restricted to the terms of their limited warranties.
- Casual computer technicians who provide service “on-the-side” – if IT is their hobby, their skills and professionalism are likely to be hobby-level. Their pricing may be off-market, and they may be “stumped” by more difficult computer problems, network issues or proprietary application troubles.
- Big-box electronic stores –can be good for consumers that can take their laptop into the store for a one-visit fix and aren’t impacted by the frequent turnover of these stores’ IT talent. Businesses that need on-site support on whole networks, however, are better served by professionals who come to them with the advantage of an existing relationship and knowledge of previous IT issues you’ve experienced.
Small businesses can avoid and overcome these issues by developing a service relationship with a qualified information technology partner. Professional, dedicated technology consultants:
- Resolve problems faster
- Possess significant computer and network knowledge
- Get to know your people and your system, increasing the value of gathered knowledge on every visit
- Help minimize disruptions
- Fulfill specific technology needs
- Complement existing IT staff
- Deliver cost-effective, proven solutions
This is exactly what Computer Troubleshooters does for numerous small businesses.
Mistake #2: Old, Cheap or Inconsistent Hardware
Old and cheap hardware is much more likely to experience frequent problems, failures and downtime and that prove more difficult for technicians to properly service. Also, inconsistent hardware (such as when each staff member is using a different model PC with different hardware components and software applications) slows technicians down when diagnosing problems. Over time, these issues add up to a support and repair cost that exceeds the price of replacing your old hardware with new units.
Developing a solid hardware replacement plan can help ensure your organization maximizes its IT investment. Darin Stahl, a lead analyst with Info-Tech Research Group, writes, “When you look at costs—particularly around a four- to six-year lifecycle—it may seem like you are saving money, but really it’s costing you, because you are going to increase your support costs.”
Working regularly with a reputable technology partner to replace computers helps ensure your organization deploys consistent, high-quality hardware, standardizes software applications and maximizes technology investments.