Running a small business requires a lot of hard work, patience and above all else time. As a small business manager, wasting time is something you try to avoid like the plague. There is no bigger time-waster for a small business than frustrating IT problems. 

It’s important for a small business owner to understand the possible IT problems they may face and how they can affect their business. 

Some business owners hire in-house IT managers to help with any issues but that can be costly for a small business. Some like to try to tackle the issues themselves by learning how to avoid and fix the most common issues but this takes up a lot of precious time. Many small businesses now opt to outsource their IT support to minimize costs but still benefit from professional IT solutions. Read more about the IT services your company could benefit from. 

Whichever IT solution you choose for your business it’s worth knowing the most common IT problems your small business may face in the future. Here are the top 3 IT problems to watch out for:

1) Network Security

This is probably the biggest IT issue a small business must mitigate against. In our scary modern digital world of computer viruses, malware, and pesky hackers you can never have enough network security. You have spent a lot of time, money and hard work building your business from the ground up, the last thing you want is someone hacking into your system and stealing all your data. Hackers prefer small businesses as they are far easier to steal from than large organizations with strong network protection. Your network security should not be taken lightly. Hackers can start causing damage to your business through a simple phone call. 

How to Mitigate:

  • Train staff in proper network security protocols.
  • Ensure the company firewall is always enabled.
  • Make sure data is frequently backed up to a hard drive or cloud software.
  • Maintain a list of passwords for staff and frequently change.

2) Loss of Data

One of the most common IT problems (despite how easy it is to avoid) that small businesses face is data loss. Often, small businesses buy a nice expensive hard drive and assign a member of their staff to ensure everything is backed up regularly. Some set up the Windows ‘Restore and Backup’ or Mac’s ‘Time Machine’ software to automatically back up data at certain times each day or week. Another solution is to buy into some fancy software that stores everything in the endless storage space of ‘The Cloud’. 

The problem with all three of these solutions when it comes to small businesses is poor setup and management. Often, the person in charge of backing up everything to the hard drive forgets or the Cloud backup settings are incorrect and don’t work properly resulting in all your important information being left vulnerable to sudden loss. Data loss is a very serious issue for a business and can lead to huge time and financial loss.

How to Mitigate:

  • If you’re like 65% of SMB’s and you don’t have a data backup plan, create one immediately and ensure that all staff are aware of it and understand it.
  • Ensure whoever is in charge of your data backup system is qualified to do so and understands how to correctly set it up and manage it on a continuous basis. 
  • Outsource your data backup needs to an IT support company and remove the stress of data backup completely so you and your employees can concentrate on your core business. 

3) Missed Updates

Have you ever arrived at the office to then spend a few hours waiting for everyone’s computer systems to update? It’s a colossal waste of your time, your staff’s time and you are losing money every time. Both Windows and Apple systems are constantly updating in order to upgrade software, rectify small issues and fix bugs. Whilst this can be slightly irritating, the updates usually improve your software increasing the speed of programs and adding new features that could boost your staff’s productivity. Failure to install new updates can lead to a number of issues including unexpected updates during precious business hours, slower computer speeds and existing software not operating correctly. 

How to Mitigate:

  • Both Windows and Mac OS have reminder settings for new updates. Make sure they are enabled so you never forget. 
  • Schedule updates for out of hours so they initialize and finish when the office is empty.
  • Establish a system updates plan that all staff are aware of and understand.

By Erica Buteau

Change Agent. Daydream Believer. Maker. Creative. Likes love, peace and Jeeping. Dislikes winter, paper cuts and war. She/Her/Hers.

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