Advances in technology are one of the reasons starting your own business is now easier than ever. The wise use of technology can help micro businesses work more efficiently, and operate on the same level as bigger and more established outfits employing hundreds of people. However, small business owners are often guilty of easily avoided technology mistakes. The following are the worst online mistakes of small businesses and entrepreneurs.
Many small businesses risk their data and confidential client information by not implementing the right security policies within their company. Online fraud is growing steadily, and if you intend to make the most of remote working, cloud computer or even online banking you need to be prepared to protect yourself and your business. If you are looking for money to start a business making sure your project plan includes all the security measures you are budgeting for can go a long way towards convincing your future investors that your business plan is solid.
Some things to watch out are making sure you have antivirus software and that it’s kept up to date, keep your software updated to the latest version and apply all the legitimate security patches as soon as possible. Familiarize yourself with the basics of doing business safely online and the most common types of scams and security risks if you want to avoid a security breach that could empty your business bank account, or risk your client’s financial information.
Improvised Online Presence
Technology has also made websites available for anybody who has a computer, and that means many small business owners are trying their hand at web design and online marketing, sometimes with good results but not always. Going online without advanced planning can result in an online presence that looks amateur, or unorganized efforts that take too much effort and produce very little ROI. Any quick money making ideas that don’t factor in time to create a professional looking online presence will often be short-lived.
If you plan your online presence carefully, you’ll be able to get the most out of your budget and time. It’s often better to have a small website that looks professional, even if it’s simple, than a really big and impressive one that is badly designed or doesn’t work well. And the same goes for online marketing… a few very effective campaigns will bring you more customers than a dozen of semi-active blogs and social media accounts. Consider outsourcing if you don’t have time for everything or if marketing and web development are not things you are particularly interested in.
Every year, thousands of hours are lost due to out of date or inefficient software. And in many cases, when somebody questions why those tools are being used the answer is ‘We’ve always used it’. It is true that, unless you are a technology enthusiast, it can be difficult to keep yourself up to date with the many technological advances happening every day. However, using old or outdated tools can be a security risk and decrease your efficiency. Small businesses need to perform as efficiently as possible in order to maximize benefits and growth, so if bad software is holding you back you must do something about it.
Make a point of regularly reviewing your performance, and identify any bottlenecks or processes that are taking too long because you have the wrong online tools. At the same time, you should consider whether moving part of all of your systems to the cloud is cost effective, as it could, in many cases, cut down on the time you spend administering and updating your systems.