As small business owners know, being a minnow in a big pond poses unique challenges. Without the resources available to larger corporations, small business owners need to navigate rough business waters with ingenuity and creativity. Tech can often play an important role in aiding SMBs, but it can also become a frustrating roadblock if things aren’t going to plan. So what are those tech challenges small businesses face? And how can they be overcome?
Staffing and technology expenses
Specialised internal IT staff are greatly in demand, and having an ‘IT Department’ – even if its a department of one – is out of the question for many small businesses. Technology spend – whether its on upgrades to existing hardware, advanced business products or new systems – can also put a significant strain on an organisation’s IT budget. (Link here to Nov Blog #1)
Too many IT business options, not enough time (or knowledge)
With an ever-growing number of programs and systems available to support and grow businesses, choosing the correct technology solution for your business is an ever-more-difficult and time-consuming proposition. Does the technology have all of the functionality you will require? Or, conversely, a surplus of options that you really don’t need? Will the tech be compatible with your daily operational needs? Is scaling up with the technology in the future going to be possible or problematic? All of these questions and more need to be answered before you invest your hard-earned cash.
Following on from the previous point, the lure of embracing new technology can play havoc with older IT systems, applications and business assets. Certainly, new IT options can help small businesses level the playing field with larger competitors, but only if their integration does not introduce inefficiencies or operational disruptions.
As well as working seamlessly with your existing infrastructure, new tech for small businesses also needs to work with – and for – your staff. SMBs may not have the staffing capabilities to ensure that new technology system roll-outs are smooth and timely, keeping downtime to a minimum. The technology vendor will likely provide training videos and tutorials, but a formal induction to become acquainted and comfortable with a new platform may not be possible for smaller organisations.
Data safety and security
Having the right back-up solutions and disaster recovery procedures is imperative for every business, no matter their size. But how many SMBs have these measures ready to go if a server crashes or there’s a power outage? Hackers are also becoming more sophisticated at targeting small businesses, many of whom lack the requisite cybersecurity resources to tackle these looming threats.
Get the right advice to conquer SMB IT challenges
For many SMBs, these five challenges are considered par for the course – a necessary evil when it comes to running a smaller organisation – because they aren’t aware that better IT support results are possible.
Small business IT systems need regular maintenance to run smoothly and securely. However, keeping on top of things – both of existing structures and emerging technology options – doesn’t all need to be done in-house. If you’re not a tech-driven company, the best way to ensure your business is tech-savvy in the most budget-friendly way is to have highly capable partners that can steer you in the right direction. An experienced IT support partner, such as the knowledgeable team at Geelong Technology Group, can help your business address and overcome all of these challenges. Offering expert advice, tailored to your unique business situation, GTG will help your business take advantage of technology, avoiding its pitfalls in the process.