Unless you're a high-tech guru or run a business that's focused on technology, it's easy to make some high-tech mistakes that can come back to haunt you.
There's no way to ignore technology since it's central to almost every aspect of running a company. Connecting with customers, dealing with sales and inventory, and organizing paperwork all rely at least in part on computers and mobile devices.
You don't have to be a master of all technology. What's more important if figuring out how to avoid the more serious mistakes that could undo all the good that high-tech gadgets do for your company.
Here are five high-tech mistakes to avoid:
- Over-doing social media. It's true that social media is important, but many small businesses pour a lot of time and money into it without seeing any returns. Make sure you have a prominent Facebook, Yelp, or LinkedIn page, and take time to respond to comments by users. But don't spend too much time on it. Don't update more than once a day on sites like Twitter or Pinterest; you can even get away with only doing it a few times a week.
- Ignoring new technology. Here's the thing about technology: New stuff just keeps coming out. Sure you updated your system last year or the year before that, but there have likely been new developments since then. Not every update will make a big difference for your business, but it's better to make that decision after reading reviews and getting advice rather than writing off anything new.
- Failing to balance hardware and software. When it comes to technology there are two things you need to be thinking about. You need to have the right hardware, as in computers, devices, printers, and other physical machines. But you also need good software such as programs, applications, and downloadable content. Fancy hardware without any programs won't help you, but cutting-edge software might not run on an old machine. Find the balance.
- Not addressing small concerns. Technology rarely breaks without warning, but many people ignore the signs and soldier on when small things go wrong. Then when there's a big problem, no one remembers what happened. Keep an eye on small problems like error messages and hardware or software crashes so that if something big happens, you won't be unprepared.
- Insufficient tech support. That friend or cousin who's "good with computers" should not be your tech support option, unless of course she works in IT services. A business needs professional technical support, even if you only hire someone for a few hours at a time when you need it. Not putting this expense into the budget will only hurt your bottom line when you have to spend hours trying to navigate a problem that an IT professional could fix in 10 minutes.
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