Keeping track of what is new in technology can be near impossible for small businesses; but is a task that must not be overlooked. With advancements in technology, there is heightened customer expectation of accessibility 24/7. It's important to stay on top of things to meet customer expectations, but few people launching or running a business have the time or expertise to spare. This lack of technological knowledge by small business owners is often due to limited time /resources, fear of the unknown, and little to no experience with technology. It can lead to costly mistakes such as:
- Insufficient technical support; Many businesses rely on in-house workers who may not know enough about specific internet/computer/hardware issues.
- Hardware and software issues: These issues often come about as technology ages. As legacy technology ages, so does its efficiency.
- Lack of power protection; Companies often fail to connect all equipment to uninterruptible power supplies and test regularly.
- Lack of training; This ranks as the fifth most common technology mistake that impacts small businesses. Tasks that could be completed quickly may take much more time, making costs increase. To resolve this issue, businesses work with technology experts or training centers. According to statistics less than 20 percent of the available features in the software programs are used, which means 80 percent of the features remain unused.
- Lack of proper backup software. This is a common mistake and a critical one for the livelihood of a company. Work should be performed by technology experts/consultants and regular checks should be performed. Consultants are able to assist businesses in understanding what data should be saved, the best backup technology to use and how often to test.
- Danger of viruses/spyware; Viruses and spyware can easily corrupt a computer system and destroy all data, making it impossible to function. Customer and company information can be compromised and revenue lost. Legal consequences are also possible. Businesses can take the precaution keeping their spyware/virus software updated and running regular scans.
The question is how do we align technology and business to bring our business to a new level, avoiding the above pitfalls? Who better than a business consultant to fill in the gap for the knowledge that we lack? The right consultant will have the knowledge, experience, and approach to fulfill these specific needs, while adhering to an agreed-upon budget. Despite the fact that hiring a consultant may seem expensive, companies cannot afford to fail. So let’s ask ourselves, what is the value of expert advice? A consultant who is able to warn businesses of future failures and prepare for future needs is invaluable and can prevent mistakes and losses.
Creating an outsourcing plan can also provide deep insight and cost reduction. More importantly,m companies are able to focus on more important issues while the consultant reviews the processes/procedures and is able to pinpoint pitfalls.