Small business owners face a variety of difficulties trying to grow their companies. Today we are going to cover the top three technology challenges that small business owners encounter.
1. Communication Issues – Whether you are in the office or out on the road, owners and employees need a way to share data and communicate quickly. Connecting your customers, employees, and business partners seamlessly will help increase productivity.
Smartphones are the most popular mobile device among small business users with tablets becoming more popular. Integrating these technologies into your business will help increase communication internally and externally.
Unified communications is another option for small businesses which include: presence (who’s where? who’s available?), instant messaging (IM), and audio, video, and web conferencing. Talk to your IT professional to design a system specifically for your business so it is not over or
2. Technology Costs – Maintaining an in-house IT department and your computer systems, networks, servers, workstations, telephones and audio/video equipment can be costly for small businesses or not it may not even be an option due to cost. With today’s technologies (cloud computing, VoIP phone services, outsourced help desks) these technologies can be a realization for small business owners.
3. Lack of Knowledge & Expertise– Trying to handle complex network environments without the necessary expertise and resources leaves your company lagging behind the competition. There are three approaches to computer support that we see small business take:
a. Ignore IT and do nothing – We run across it almost every day. Businesses ignore their computer network until it stops working. Then they are then forced to call in an expert to diagnose then repair or replace whatever caused the problem. This reactionary model of network and computer support is like ignoring your car’s need for oil and filter changes until it starts smoking.
b. Take care of it yourself – Better than ignoring your computer network, this option still puts your network at risk. Typically, the most technically-knowledgeable person is made the makeshift IT manager. Unless they keep up to date on the latest happenings in IT support management and security, they won’t have the skills and time needed to maintain and secure your network—and in some cases actually making the problems worse. Inevitably, the result is an ill-maintained and unstable network, leading to excessive downtime and over spending.
c. Outsource your IT support to a professional IT consultant – The organization you choose to support your computer network should be large enough to provide backup support and fast response times, and small enough to provide personal service.
Technology is ever-evolving and designing a system that is right for your small business takes thought and preparation. Partnering with the right IT consulting company like CTI Technology will help your business achieve greater productivity and the cost benefits you are looking for.