The business world is now more ruthless and competitive than ever, which means that as a small business owner, it’s absolutely vital that you do all that you can to help beat away your competition and make your business really stand out in the crowds. If you get things right however, it can be an incredibly rewarding experience, both financially and spiritually as well. The problem is that many people find themselves trying to cut corners and making unnecessary, and highly avoidable mistakes in the process. When it comes to IT for example, your computer and online technology are some of your most powerful tools to have at your disposal, which means you cannot afford to make any mistakes regarding your IT in the slightest. Here’s a look at four of the most common mistakes that small business owners make when dealing with IT issues, which we’ll be providing to help ensure you don’t go down that same route yourself.
Asking friends to help
We all have that one friend that happens to be much better with computers and technology than everybody else, but that certainly doesn’t mean that they’re qualified to deal with complex and sophisticated IT issues. Many small businesses owners however, don’t see things that way, and will often ask their friends, or the friends of employees etc, to come-in and take a look at their computers or servers, when they experience technical issues. You may think you’re being smart by asking a friend, who will either not charge you at all, or will charge you very little, to look at your computer, but the chances are that, unless they actually specialise in Small Business IT (like we do in IT Support!), they won’t be able to solve your problem. Every second your computer/website is down is potentially lost money, so you want to get the issue fixed as quickly as possible. By bringing in somebody under-qualified, you will be offline for much longer, and there’s no guarantee the issue will be resolved at all, either.
Not reading reviews
Another common mistake that small business owners tend to make, is to hire the first IT company they come across, without taking the time to read any reviews or get any feedback. By taking time to study the examples of previous work, like our Case Studies section, you get a much better understanding of how that company operates, how successful they are, and whether or not businesses would recommend them. If they have poor reviews for example, you may wish to stay clear, and vice versa for positive reviews.
Trying to cut corners
Again, when it comes to IT you simply cannot afford (literally) to cut corners as good IT is the backbone to any business. Rather than paying for tried and tested software with great feedback and results (Microsoft Office, Sage), they may go for much cheaper alternatives, or even completely free alternatives instead, and then struggle when things inevitably begin to go wrong. The general saying is that if you “pay peanuts you can expect monkeys” which basically is another way of telling you that you get what you pay for.
Failing to upgrade in time
Another very common mistake that is often made is failing to upgrade various pieces of software in time, and then being stuck with unsupported systems such as Microsoft Server 2003 or Windows XP. They see upgrading as a waste of time, and assume everything will work fine, even in the future, when in reality, that is not the case at all. Regular PC Maintenance and Server Upgrades must be carried out to help keep your business competitive and to help you really stand out.