Best Tech Practices for Small Businesses
Computers are ingrained into all small businesses, whether you run a food and beverages, accounting, or retail business; you still use and rely on it. An IT infrastructure is more than computers; it includes mobile devices, networks, connections, printers, terminals, and more.
As a small business, your technology needs are unique, and it’s best to have something sustainable from the start. This, in turn, will make business easier, increase productivity, reduce costs, and save you time. Knowing your way around technology will help you focus on your objectives, adopting practices that would most benefit your business. Here are a few best small business tech practices you can use.
Leave Setting-Up to the Professionals
When installing an IT infrastructure, it’s tempting to do it yourself, but that isn’t the wisest decision. Rather, have an IT professional set it up for you. A little investment upfront will leave your mind at ease, knowing that minute mistakes and gaps aren’t something you have to worry about in the foreseeable future.
IT is a form of infrastructure. It’s a combination of hardware and software that makes a business run smoothly and securely. If anything is out of sync, then the system either freezes or develops access gaps that could be taken advantage of. For example, running an e-commerce business relies on a stable internet connection, so a large portion of your IT budget and infrastructure needs to accommodate it.
What your business needs differ from others do, depending on several factors. The IT hardware used by an accounting firm is different from a graphics-heavy, video production company. A professional will be able to break down your needs into hardware and software, creating a solid plan of the cost and how each part is implemented.
Embrace the Cloud
“The cloud” refers to technology owned by a third-party company that you can access. The service could be storage, computational power, software, or servers. Notable companies in this space are Dropbox, Google, Microsoft Azure, and many more, each specializing in specific services. Using cloud services gives you access to expertise and hardware that would be otherwise inaccessible due to their cost.
A principal cloud service is data storage. Your business could use cloud storage for backups and keep data safe in natural disasters, cyberattacks, or human error. Cloud backup services for businesses come at different price-point, simple to use, and secure. This ensures that your data is safe from all sorts of threats.
Be Smart about Cybersecurity
A business’s data is the most valuable of its assets, and just like any asset, it must be protected from damage and theft. Your business data includes production information, financial records of the company and customers, and business deals and contracts. All information that could spell the end of your business if leaked or lost. A security breach can halt your operations and damage your reputation with business partners and clients alike.
Keeping your data safe requires a strategy that encompasses smart behavior, antivirus, and safety protocols. In short, your staff needs training on cybersecurity threats, and your business needs to have defined rules on IT access and use. An endpoint security software can run routine checks on all access points, making sure malicious software can be isolated and eliminated, and threats can be prevented.
Cybersecurity is crucial, as hackers go after small businesses more than large corporations. Hackers have figured that large corporations usually have water-tight security systems, unlike their smaller counterparts, which can’t afford it.
In 2019, more than half of small businesses suffered a data breach, but only 14 percent had the necessary defenses set in place. The average cost of data breaches was $200,000, and 60 percent of businesses went out of business six months after a security breach.
Utilize Tech Support
As your business grows, you will find that IT functions become more complex. During this growth, it’s crucial to utilize technology support. Even if the business has an IT staff member, tech support can provide expertise, tools, and insights your on-site employee might not.
You can use support to not only fix problems but to train your staff. An IT professional can train your employees on the different tech your business uses, and on possible security threats like social engineering.
Tech Your Business To Success
Technology has the potential to improve your business vastly. To get the best out of tech, you need to adopt technology best suited for your industry, size, and possible growth. Data is a valuable asset that every employee should protect through smart cybersecurity techniques, protocols, software, and behavior. Always use expert advice to get the right technology and leverage it to success.