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Dear SMB, You’re Making Some Critical Mistakes – Part 1

Dear SMB, You’re Making Some Critical Mistakes – Part 1

Are you confused about the Cloud? Does backup baffle you? Do you think training is for toddlers?

If you answer “yes” to any of those questions, you might be managing a small to mid-sized business (SMB). If so, you are probably making some common technology-related mistakes. Why? Because you probably don’t have the time or resources to stay on top of the latest and greatest in IT.

But, sorry, you don’t get a free pass for your lack of time or talent. You need to, at the very least, understand the issues and know where your holes exist so that you can find a way to plug them up.

With that in mind, we hereby present you with Part 1 of a list of the BIGGEST technology-related mistakes being made by SMBs. Check them out and see if any of these apply to you.

Mistake #1 – You Think the Cloud is a Place for Airplanes

The Cloud is here to stay. You may avoid the Cloud because you can only imagine it as a place for data theft. “Hey, if I put all my data there and it gets breached, I’m in trouble.” Or, you may think that clouds are too ethereal, insubstantial. “What if the Cloud fails?” Yes, you may perceive the Cloud as a liability, but you also have a huge liability when you don’t have offsite backup. Ultimately, you are thinking about the Cloud all wrong if you think that when you put something into the Cloud, you lose control of it forever. This is not the case. The Cloud is misunderstood, but many companies are offering robust, economical and secure cloud services that deserve your review.

Mistake #2 – You Think the Cloud is the End-all & Be-all of Technology

At the other end of the extreme, you might be managing a small and mid-sized company that has given up complete control to the Cloud. Not a great idea. You should ALWAYS have more than one backup plan. Ask anyone who has ever played a game of chess. Things happen. Murphy created a whole list of laws and got really rich in the process, because Murphy knew that anytime something can go wrong it will. Use the Cloud, but use something else, too, even if it’s 12,000 thumb drives. Don’t put all your eggs (or bits and bytes) in one basket.

Mistake #3 – You Think Backup is What You Do in Your Car

Whether you use the Cloud or not, you need to backup your data somewhere. What are you going to do when the power goes down or someone sneaks a little malware into your platform? You can set up programs that automatically backup your data so you don’t have to do it manually. One study showed there’s a 50% chance an organization will cease operations immediately when critical data is lost. If that doesn’t scare you, the odds of complete failure zoom to 90% within two years when critical data is lost. And then there’s the money. Data losses cost an average of 19 days of productivity. If you think that’s bad, some organizations backup the incorrect data. Bottom line? You gotta back up your data.

Mistake #4 – You Save Your Training for the Gym

Tell your staff you’re going to have some training! Do I hear doors slamming? What images come to their minds when you say “in-service?” Boredom, bad teachers, lethargy. Did we mention boredom? Too bad. You have to stay on top of things.

Estimates say that office staff understand less than 20% of the available features in the software applications they use. That means 80% of the features, time-saving capabilities and cost-reducing functions remain unused.

As a result, your staff may be completing some projects manually, such as repetitive data entry, complicated calculations and automated data selection and, as a result, reporting and making lots of errors in the process.

These tasks, which they could complete in moments, often consume more time. As a result, costs escalate.

Mistake #5 – You Think Your Employees Only Want More Money

Many studies have shown that employees take a job for the money, but they stay in the job for non-financial reasons. And, yes, one of those reasons is the chance to learn and grow. That means they want you to spend on their education.

Among the best SMBs, computer and software education is a priority. These companies make it part of performance reviews. They use off-site training and even certification requirements to create performance review objectives. Employees can customize or use self-paced instruction manuals and computer-based training aids to assist in improving their skills after hours or in their own homes. But, they want to be challenged and they want to learn.

Help is on the Horizon

Today’s SMBs are hustling every day to find and keep customers. They emphasize sales and service. They don’t have time to think about some other very important needs, such as storage and security. As a result, some Managed Services Providers (MSPs), like Vology, are filling the gaps with specific steps to assist small businesses in correcting these common failures. Don’t make the mistake of ignoring these and other liabilities. Click here for “Dear SMB, You’re Making Some Critical Mistakes – Part 2.”