Common Mistakes Made by Small Businesses When Evaluating Their Technology Needs
There are several recurring mistakes that small companies seem to make when addressing their technology needs. Some of the more typical small businesses mistakes include:
1. Small businesses often find themselves in a circumstance where their lack of knowledge, research or preparation with regard to their IT and Networking needs can lead to hasty decisions and costly mistakes. For many companies simply choosing the wrong IT vendors or technology track can lead to major problems if there is a critical systems failure. Or worse yet, failing to properly plan for potential critical failures can cause even bigger problems such as the permanent loss of data or significant downtime that puts your business at risk!
2. Another Similar (but different) error, includes spending too many precious IT dollars on the wrong things. I’ve seen many organizations where the owner purchases the wrong type of equipment (printer, scanner, fax, copier, etc) and then ends up causing their own process bottlenecks. If you are not thoroughly versed in the technology being used or that should be used to support your organization – take the time to research or speak with a professional to help you determine the best technology track to help meet your short and long term needs.
3. Being frugal to a fault. Most businesses rely on their network and computer systems to maintain a functional office, but many small business owners are not comfortable with putting money into technology, upgrades, or new equipment even when it is necessary and affordable. This could also manifest as keeping the wrong technology in use or holding back on upgrades to cut costs in the short-term. Though this may work occasionally it does leave most business owners with their fingers crossed, hoping that their IT “strategy”, or lack thereof does not collapse around them.
4. Failing to be proactive. Most businesses are rarely aware of the complexity of their network systems until there is a failure. This means that until there is a problem, little is done to ensure that software patches, updates and network health monitoring are not done. The irony being that were they to monitor proactively, the chances of a critical system failure or data loss would be vastly reduced. Reactive approaches to IT infrastructure rarely work on any type longer-term timeline.
5. Not planning for growth. All small businesses want to grow their business. They want to be in a situation where progressive steps toward becoming a larger organization happen daily. Often though, many small business IT systems were not purchased with the intention or potential for growth. This can be a variety of reasons, lack of knowledge, budgetary limitations, or even failure to plan effectively. No matter the reason, the lack of scalability can lead to a very cost ineffective repeat purchasing of technology.
For any small business, the practice of wasting precious dollars trying to repair old technology, create band-aids, or engaging in an overall “break-fix” type of haphazard IT approach can be very common. This IT strategy means that the business is always dealing with problems, process bottlenecks and IT Support costs, when in many cases a smarter outlay of capital initially, or even the use of a more proactive monitoring of existing equipment can result in greater gains with existing technology infrastructure.