Business

Minimising the Cost of Mistakes in Your Company

There is no such thing as an employee or entrepreneur that hasn’t made a mistake in their life. Just take a look at some of the world’s most famous entrepreneurs such as Richard Branson and Jeff Bezos. They have both run failed projects in the past and no one seems to remember it. Of course, unless you’ve studied their pasts or read other similar articles about failure, then you probably wouldn’t have known. However, there’s a reason why the failures aren’t highlighted as much as the successes: because everyone fails.

However, that’s not to say that failure should be acceptable. It can be incredibly expensive to cope with failures and you might find that it’s not just you failing, but also your employees. If you want to avoid the possibility of losing your company due to a handful of mistakes, then here are a couple of ways to minimise the cost of mistakes in your company.

Never Forget Insurance 

There are plenty of insurance plans that can help protect you from making mistakes. Whether it’s an employee that forgot how to use a certain piece of machinery that ended up injuring others or damaging your workplace, or a business-wide computer virus that leaked customer information, there are many types of insurance policies that are created to protect you from mistakes. For example, errors and omissions insurance is a form of protection that helps you pay for damages caused as a result of a mistake. For instance, if your company accidentally leaks personal information that causes disruption to people’s lives or businesses, then it can help you pay for the damages or legal expenses.

Trained Employees 

With the internet, it’s easy to hire employees no matter what part of the world they’re in. What’s not easy is being able to judge their skills in a business setting. Someone could have a fantastic portfolio of work but be terrible at working in teams. It’s important that no matter who you hire for your company, they’re well-trained and have all the skills needed to help you operate your company. If you’re going to go on a recruitment spree and pick up plenty of extra staff members to grow your company, then don’t neglect to train them professionally instead of just letting them shadow an existing member of staff. The better trained your employees are, the more likely you’ll avoid disasters, security breaches and mistakes.

Have the Right Staff

Mistakes are often made when there isn’t enough warning. Some of the most valuable employees in a high-stakes business are forecasters. These trained professionals are able to use facts and statistics to judge the impact of a decision you make. For example, if you decide to diversify your products and appeal to different audiences, then you can use a professional who is well-versed in forecasting to judge how profitable it will be. Combined with financial advisors, it’s almost like reading the future and can give you plenty of advice on how to make the best choices for your company, thus reducing the possibility of mistakes.

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Business

4 Rules for Scaling Up Your Business

When you are running a business and everything seems to be going well, there comes a time when you will want to scale up your operations and expand your company. But before you make this major decision, you want to make sure that you are doing the right thing. After all, you don’t want to find yourself in a position in which you have tried to do too much too soon. To give you a helping hand, here are a few basic rules to follow before taking the plunge and expanding your business.

Create a Plan of Action 

Before you do anything at all, you need to make sure that you have a strong plan of action in place. Check out this business expansion guide for some more info https://www.forbes.com/sites/allbusiness/2015/03/04/10-key-steps-to-expanding-your-business-globally/#28f312a23803. What are you going to do to expand your business? Are you planning to employ new members of staff? Will you be relocating to a new premises? How are you going to increase your sales? These are all questions that you will need to answer so you put yourself in the best possible position before you get started on the actual legwork of business expansion.

Timing and Capital are Everything 

Like many things in life, getting the timing right to expand your business is extremely important. You need to make sure that there is a big enough market for you to offer your goods or services. So, ensure that you have done plenty of research before taking the next step. As well as getting the timing right, you also need to make sure that you have the funds in place to expand your company. Take a look at https://smallbusinessloans.co/working-capital-loans-small-business/ for some more information in this regard. After all, you don’t want to risk overstretching yourself financially as you could find that you put your company in jeopardy.

Your Brand Needs to Resonate with Customers 

Successful branding is so important to the modern business. It is what will represent your quality and values to your customers, so you need to ensure that it resonates with customers. It may even be the perfect opportunity to try a rebrand so you can attract some coverage that showcases your expansion. Ultimately, you want your brand to speak to your target audience, offering them a connection as well as a sense of inspiration.

Utilise Technology and Innovations 

One of the best ways of ensuring that your new business is streamlined and successful is by embracing new technology. In days gone by, business expansion would be a very costly and time-consuming process. But by embracing new technology and innovations, you can automate processes, work with companies all over the world and hire staff who work remotely. Expanding your company doesn’t necessarily mean that you have to expand your office as well.

By following these rules for scaling up your business, you will put yourself in a stronger position to ensure that it is a success. Essentially, you need to be well prepared, have enough funds in place and be ready to embrace the changes that come.

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Business

Your Website Should Help Your Business – Not Hinder It

It is now rare that you will see a successful business that doesn’t have a strong approach towards its web presence and influence. Many of the strategies which might well have been considered revolutionary only a few years ago are now basic flatline essentials, and it can be hard for new entrepreneurs and business gurus to keep up to date. But staying at the forefront of web design is important if you want your business to remain competitive. The only question that matters is: is your website helping your business, or harming it?

The Host With The Most

Most of what you need to ensure a strong and reliable website happens behind the scenes. Web design and appearance is important, as we shall see, but you first need to lay the foundation for your website – and what better place to start than with the hosting? One of the first decisions you will make is what hosting service to use, and it can immediately seem like something of a minefield. It is helpful to focus on a few key aspects which you generally want from your hosting. A chief quality to look out for is support; as long as you have that, you don’t need to worry. If you have heard about hostgator support you will know that it can make all the difference. You should also look into how much storage you are getting – it’s best not to have to switch things up too early. As long as you are happy with the host, it is likely you will get off to a good start with your business’ website.

What’s Its Function?

You need to decide early on what kind of function your website is going to serve. For some businesses, it is a matter of simply advertising the brand. This surface level marketing is a particularly quick and easy way to set up a website, and it also has the distinct benefit of requiring very little in the way of maintenance. If you run an ecommerce business, however, it is likely that the website itself will act as a store, in which case much more work will be required. Whatever it is that your website will do, you need to make sure that it is clear to you and your team in the beginning. Knowing the function means that you can effectively build it much faster.

The Secrets Of SEO

These days, SEO is so everyday and well-known that everyone does it to some degree or another. However, there are still many techniques bubbling away under the surface which you might want to look into. The more you know about how SEO actually works, the more likely it is that your website will receive the kinds of numbers of visitors you hope for. That will mean that your business itself is benefiting much more from the website, and that is exactly what you are after here.

By paying attention to these three areas in particular, you can ensure that your website does much more for your business – and more efficiently too.

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Business

The Upper Hand: Allow Your Employees to Use Social Media at Work

Although it’s tricky to get a startup on its feet, once you’re there, it tends to bloom for a while. You might want to relax for a bit, compliment yourself on a job well done, and let your services and products do the talking. The growth only lasts for a while, though, so don’t get too comfortable; your competitors are always one step ahead of you, luring away your customers – and even stealing your employees.

Put an end to the rudeness and get your team ready for battle. They don’t have to sneak around on business events or even make secret visits to the suppliers you have in common; the battle can be won right here at your desk.

Here is how social media can be your strongest weapon of defense and why you should put your employees on the front line right away.

For Networking

Most employees use social media to take a mental break while working. It’s perhaps the reason most employers shudder at the thought of actually encouraging them to use the platform during work hours – it’s for relaxation and chit-chat, after all, right?

Just because they use it as a mental break doesn’t mean you can’t turn it to your advantage, though, and it’s important to remember that unless you’ve put up restrictions around accessing the social networks, most workers will sneak a peek during their day nonetheless.

Allowing them to use these sites will, first and foremost, signal a level of trust. It’s one of those things that makes your business a bit more desirable to work for than your competitors, where the management is hawking over everyone and even denying them access to certain sites like some sort of strict middle-school teacher. Don’t be that boss.

Social media is, in fact, a powerful tool for networking. Make it clear that you expect them to use it to everyone’s advantage and point out a social media-savvy someone to be your main networking agent. It saves you time and is a more natural, non-intrusive way of reaching out to another professional in your industry.

For Building Your Brand

Most business owners today have received the memo about social media being good for business marketing. Sure, they’ve created a profile here and another one there, and might even have outsourced the task to someone who knows what they’re doing online. What they seem to forget, though, is that there is power in numbers – and your employees are many.

Make them help you to build your brand by creating content, sharing it, liking it, starting conversations around it, and all that buzz that comes with a social platform. Give them the data you gather from an embedded BI to tailor the people they target online and the content they share; when it comes to marketing, it’s all about making the right content shine for the right kind of people.

When each of your employees has about 1000 people they’re connected to and around 500 people like your social media site, the chances you have of reaching out to the masses are far greater when you accept their help.

Especially if your competitors are still old-schoolers who dread the thought of valuable work time being ‘wasted’ on sites like these – they simply don’t know what they’re missing out on.

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Business

Who Gets Paid The Most In Tech?

Are you ready for a career change? If so, you might want to think about retraining so that you can start to work in tech. It is one of the highest paid industries at the minute and is going from strength to strength. You only need to look at the salaries of these highest-paying tech jobs to see what we mean.

Entrepreneur

The big money in tech is in setting up your own company! Once you are in charge of your own tech business, you will be able to set yourself on the path to some incredibly high salaries! Of course, you just need to think of a business that is going to rake in as much money as possible. There are various sectors that are currently very lucrative, such as betting companies like an online casino, or online companies focused on the health sector. If you can tap into either of these areas, you will certainly be able to make a nice little profit that should grow year on year.

Software Engineer

Software engineer is basically a very fancy term for a software programmer. These days, most companies create their own software and programs for their employees to work on, so there is no wonder that software engineers are in demand so much. You will be responsible for creating software and programs and fixing any potential bugs that come up. This is a great career to go into if you fancy being a freelancer too.

UX Designers 

UX stands for ‘user experience’ so any job title that has UX in it means that you will be responsible for how a piece of software or a program looks and feels to the intended user. As a software designer, you will need to design the look of the finished product and ensure that it is easy for all users to use. If any users come into any functional problems, you will be the person to ensure they get fixed.

QA Manager

Before a product gets released onto the market or is rolled out for a whole company to use, it needs to be tested to make sure that it is doing the job it was set out to. As a manager, you will be responsible for the whole QA team. Each of your team members will need to test out various aspects of the software and program. Once you are happy it works as it should, you can then move it onto the launch phase.

Data Scientist

We all know that big data is super important to all kinds of businesses these days. But there is no point collecting all that data if you aren’t sure what to do with it. This is where a data scientist comes in. They will carefully analyze it so that it can be used to a company’s benefit.

As you can see, tech jobs come in all different shapes and sizes. And they all feature some pretty impressive salaries as well! Which one do you fancy training for?

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Business

How to Hang Onto Your Staff

Having strong staff retention figures is one of the most important areas of any business. Your staff are the bread and butter of your company so investing in keeping them happy, productive and motivated within their roles is essential to keep your business efficient, lucrative and moving in the right direction.

By investing in our workforce and creating the right work environment we can learn how to better hold onto our staff and prevent people from getting itchy feet and want to jump ship to competitors.

Here are our top strategies specifically focused on ways to make sure you keep your employment retention rates high and ensure your workforce are happy and content within your company.

It all starts with the Hiring Process

Before you can even think about how to make sure your staff stay put you need to learn how to make sure you’re bringing the correct people in in the first place. The interview process in companies is an imperative part of making sure you are building a homogenous and conscientious work force. Not only are you looking for the best that you can find, but you’re also looking for the best placements and most importantly the best fit for your company.

It’s all very well being wowed by shining CV’s and seeing impressive brands under a candidate’s belt, but it’s more important to look for individuals who fit well into the culture of your company. When going through the hiring process think about the candidates who best reflect the values of your company. The people that seem to understand the direction your company is going in and the individuals who seem genuinely excited to be a part of the future growth and development of your firm.

Choosing the ‘shinier’ and more impressive candidates is always the temptation. But think about whether your company is going to be the right environment for them, or whether perhaps they will jump ship later on down the road if the partnership is lacking what they’re looking for in their career. You’re looking for a natural fit, that is going to lead to a mutually beneficial and fruitful working relationship.

Power to the People

Empowering your staff is one of the best ways you can make your team feel both challenged and valued. Allowing staff to feel like a pioneer in their field and an expert in their area will make them feel that they have autonomy in their role and the opportunity to make a difference in the company. Giving them ownership of their part of the company rather than nervously micro-managing them will make them feel like an important and integral part of the team, thus keeping them motivated.

Effective Training

Investing in internal, and if necessary, external training is key to ensuring your staff is on top of their game and allowing them to feel that the company supports their career development and skill set.

Structuring training programmes with individuals and collective teams will bring staff satisfaction due to the fact that they are being invested in and will keep your business fresh, responsive and competent.

Treat your Team

Regularly rewarding your staff is an important strategy to remind staff that they are in a supportive and satisfying work environment. This can be everything from promoting wellness in your company with daily fresh fruit or free yoga classes or gym tickets. Or maybe small business can take their teams out the last friday of the month for a slap-up pub lunch. Little perks like this can make a big difference to morale and the general atmosphere in your office.

Thinking a little bigger, team-building outings and activities are a great way to bring teams together to get to know each other, let their hair down and do something a little different. Organising team-building exercises such as an escape room activity or maybe an evenings cookery class or cocktail making workshop will gently nudge your teams to get to know each other better and build closer working relationships.

Encourage Communication

Encouraging employees to communicate with you is an important method in understanding internal perspective on the state of your business. However building an environment where staff feel safe to offer their honest opinion, the good the bad and the ugly, has to feel safe and confidential, for obvious reasons. Therefore creating an anonymous communication outlet where employees can communicate any manner of concerns, is the best way to go about this. Negative feedback must be viewed as constructive criticism and important food for thought when considering how to improve and develop your company.

Cross Your I’s and Dot your T’s

Making sure you’re doing everything properly and getting things right can be a complicated and time consuming road for any company. But it’s essential to make sure you’re creating a safe and protected environment for your staff. As they can soon disappear if they don’t feel like their wellbeing and interests are being properly looked after. Protecting your business and team, should anything go wrong, makes sure you and your staff are covered and looked after.

This can be a headache however, particularly for many small business owners that perhaps don’t have their own HR department. In cases where you’re unsure or a little lost in areas such as health and safety, legal areas or occupational health and wellbeing make sure you look around for a specialised firm to help you. Shop around for companies, such as Ellis Whittam, that specialise in the ‘in’s and out’s’ of companies to make sure everything is legally compliant and you and your staff are protected.

Offer Support Wherever Possible

 

Projecting an environment where employees can come to you and talk through anything from their day to day frustrations through to their career aspirations is key to creating a caring and understanding work culture. If staff feel like you are addressing their concerns, building on their strengths and pushing growth within their department they will feel both committed to your company and satisfied in their role.

Be Transparent

The term transparency can bring up feelings of nervousness as many business owners feel that part of being a boss is to protect the staff from anything that’s going wrong within a company. This couldn’t be further from the truth however as transparency offers the opportunity to be frank about any issues and therefore opens up strategies on how to improve them. Being transparent with your staff not only can increase employee loyalty it can also allow you to throw issues out to your team so you don’t need to deal with them on your own.

Resist the Urge to Micro-Manage

This is not always easy as it’s natural to want to know what everyone is up to and how everything’s going. But there are ways and means of doing this, and constantly looking over people’s shoulders is not the way to go about it. Going back to the first point, if you’ve hired bright and motivated individuals they shouldn’t need to be chased and hounded in order to do their jobs properly.

Teams that are micromanaged will eventually be afraid to take risks or try anything new within their role which is not in the interest of your business at all. You want to encourage staff to think innovatively and be bold in proposing courageous new strategies. Some will work, some won’t. But we all know that we often learn more from our mistakes that from our victories so it’s an important process for your business and for your employees.

Finding ways to increase employment retention is a continual process. Valuing staff and offering a supportive and challenging environment takes time. However when it’s done right it will be one of the most important things you can do for the strength and growth of your business.

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Business

Out Of Site: Why Customers Aren’t Coming Back To Your Website

The need for your business to have a website is something that most people just take as a given at this point. It’s actually kind of amazing how much we take for granted something that only the biggest and most advanced businesses were using even a decade ago. Thanks to the rise of services that allow you to create a website without knowing even the slightest bit of code, any small business owner is now in a position to get a website up and running in less than a single evening.

This is useful because without a website your business is likely to be pretty much doomed. What might have been a neat optional extra not that long ago is now one of the central aspects of your marketing, promotion, and commerce. Without a website, it’s hard for customers to even find your business, not only that but there’s a pretty common perception that without a website your business isn’t worth taking seriously.

So every business owner is aware of the importance of having a website in the first place, but it’s surprisingly common for them to drop the ball when it comes to thinking any further ahead than that. It’s not just about having a website; it’s about creating a website that customers are actually going to be interested in visiting time and time again. This is one of the most common problems that many small businesses have. They might have decent traffic to their website, but it’s rare that customers are actually returning to it. As important as new customers are, you should never neglect the need to for customers to keep coming back over and over. With that in mind, here are a few surprisingly simple reasons why customers aren’t coming back to your website.

Bad design

It might sound shallow, but it’s human nature to be interested in things that are visually engaging. After all, the design of your website is always going to be the first thing that customers see. They’ll have taken in the overall visual aesthetic well before reading and engaging with any of the content on it. Because of this, it really can’t be overstated how important the design of your website is. Think about some of the most successful companies in the world. A company like Apple has thrived almost entirely based on its design alone. Everything from its products to its website has a consistently sleek, elegant design that customers love. It’s an unfortunate fact that if your website is badly designed, hard to navigate, or just plain ugly, customers are going to lose interest in it. Not only that but a bad website reflects really poorly back on your business as a whole. The best thing to do is to hire a professional web designer to help you create a visually engaging and attractive site.

Poor functionality

Of course, even the more beautiful website in the world isn’t going to get much repeat traffic is it’s practically unusable. We live in an incredibly fast-paced world, and customers simply don’t have the patience to sit around waiting for web pages to load anymore. You need to make sure that your site runs quickly and smoothly, even during high traffic periods. Whether you’re implementing some performance tools for Java or optimizing CSS delivery, there are plenty of things that you can do to make your website run more quickly and smoothly. Don’t let your site get bogged down in flashy gimmicks and graphics either. Not only do they look incredibly dated but they often make your website far more difficult to navigate. Keep it simple and make sure that customers have access to all of the areas of the site that they really need.

Lack of content

Your customers are pretty unlikely to keep coming back to a totally static web page that never gets updated. Of course, if you’re running an ecommerce store from your website then they’re more likely to come back, but it’s still important to keep your site constantly updated with fresh content. For one thing, the more new content that you upload to your website, the better your SEO is going to be. If you leave it too long without adding anything to it, then you’re going to see your site slipping down the rankings. But content isn’t just a matter of search engine rankings; it’s a matter of customer engagement. You’ve got to be able to write meaningful and interesting content that your customers actually want to read. If you can provide them with that, they’re going to keep coming back time and time again.

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Business

No New Tech. No New Customers.

Every small retailer faces a huge uphill battle, one that requires them to understand what opportunities look like and how to seize these opportunities. There is a simple formula to success; it is just a matter of increasing your sales and outdoing your competitors.

Of course, this used to cost a lot in terms of money, resource and energy. But that is not so much the case these days because, well, we live in a technological age where a few gadgets and some specialist software can help you get the most out of your core business functions. What’s more, you won’t have to spend a lot either.

But what tech are we talking about? What tech could possibly be cost-effective, profit-boosting and competition-beating? Well, read on and find out.

Marketing

It is time you invested in marketing automation software and found out how effectively it can save you time and money while also increasing sales. We’re talking about emails and how to utilise your email marketing in a way that encourages potential and existing customers to buy from you using targeted content and offers. The hardest part is getting into the habit, but if you invest in software like AutoPilot, everything will be taken care for you, and for only $4 a month. It will do all the marketing, all the analytics and integrate with your website. Now that is good value.

Sales

One of the most effective ways to free up time and resource is to invest in a decent mobile point of sale system, something that will allow your staff to spend much more time assisting your customers and whole lot less time waiting for a sale to be processed and closed. It may only be a small change to you and your customers, but upgrading to a credit card scanner, you will increase efficiency and thus increase your profits. But isn’t just about how quick you can process a payment. No. By having a mobile POS system, you can maximise the space of your retail outlet, and more space can either mean more choice of things to buy or more space for customers to browse. Accessibility can make a huge difference to a customer’s experience and how quickly your staff can get there to assist them. Double-whammy.

Avenues

Don’t just rely on your physical space to bring in customers and bolster sales. Now, more than ever, people are choosing to go online to do their shopping, and that means you need to integrate an ecommerce store into your current arsenal. It could be that you have a website that acts as a landing page. But just think how much more effectively you could operate if your website had the ability to close sales. As such, why not invest in a cheap website design company, like Squarespace or WordPress, and take control of your online space. To ensure this operates as best as possible, make sure you also have a good returns policy, a reliable sizing guide and even a few tablets dotted around in store; that way customers will be able to browse efficiently.

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Business

Why All Your Best Employees Are Leaving You

Do you ever get that sinking feeling on your way to work? It’s that feeling you get when you never quite know when your next employee resignation letter is going to land on your desk. And it’s not a nice feeling to have: employee turnover is one of the highest costs your business faces.

The problem, though, is that many companies misdiagnose the problems. They think that there’s something wrong with their hiring process and for some reason, they’re attracting the wrong people. But more often than not, it’s a problem with the company itself. It’s not the hiring process that’s bad, it’s the culture that’s toxic.

Managers

Curt Coffman famously said in his book, First Break All the Rules: What the World’s Greatest Managers Do Differently, that people don’t actually leave their jobs, they leave their managers. When you think about it, this is kind of absurd. The whole purpose of having a manager is to facilitate work and to make sure that teams are organized. Workers should be better off with managers, not the precise opposite. But all too often in business, economic logic gives way to personalities, and those personalities wind up wreaking havoc.

It’s no surprise that managers who don’t communicate with their employees, don’t appreciate them and don’t look after them, suffer from high turnover rates. So instead of looking at your employees or your hiring practices, ask whether your managers could be doing a better job.

Lack Of Support

One of the reasons employers find themselves managing sick leave and employee absences with shocking regularity is because their employees have a lack of support. Ask yourself the following questions: have you sat down with each employee and discussed an action plan for their future? Have you had follow-ups to make sure that that action plan has been carried out? Do the people that work at your organization feel appreciated for all the hard work that they do?

Everyone wants to be appreciated, says Mary Kay Ash, the founder of her eponymous cosmetics brand. She says that if you appreciate someone, don’t keep it all to yourself: let them know how you feel. Her company incentivises its salesforce with glamorous events, gifts, and public recognition. Kay reminds her fellow entrepreneurs that people are a company’s greatest assets, and they should be treated as such.

Negative Competition

Some companies think that adding competition to the job is a good way to motivate people and drive up standards. But it turns out that most people aren’t wired up for heavy competition, and they don’t enjoy it. If a job is making a person feel ill from stress, then they are much more likely to leave.

Endless Reorganization

If you’re going to reorganize your company, do it once and be done with it. The problem with reorganization is that it creates uncertainty. With every shuffle, people are lost and the people that remain fear for their jobs. All this uncertainty means that the people in the firm start looking for more secure work elsewhere. Not good, if you’re trying to build a cohesive team.

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Business

Is Your Tech A Liability To Your Growing Business?

Most businesses nowadays have a lot of use of a strong tech presence. Which means that as they grow, that need is likely to grow as well. However, it’s not as simple as getting yourself a few new computers in the office. You need to cope with a broadening diversity as well as a broadening range of demands. If you’re not taking your tech seriously as you get more of it in, then it could be the weak link that breaks all your efforts to scale.

Leaving holes in your training

As your business’s reliance on tech expands, it’s likely you’re going to be introducing new processes. Whether that’s using specific new software or implementing new security practices. You have knowledge that you’re going to have to train to all your staff. However, this isn’t training that just needs to be done once then forgotten about. If you make that mistake, you will have a harder time bringing people who missed the training or new employees up to speed. Instead, make sure you document everything and systemize your new processes as a part of the business’s core knowledge. Otherwise, you will be letting skill gaps grow to the point that employees are significantly less productive and efficient.

Not backing yourself up

Speaking of inefficiency, let’s take a look at how you’re using all the data that your business relies on. Whether it’s important documents on plans and finances or data you could use like customer metrics, you need to be careful with it. This means not keeping it only on one device in one location, but taking the time to back it all up on a regular basis. It doesn’t just go for your data, either. It also goes for the tech you use and even your internet connections. If it goes down, you should have a replacement in the wings to cut down the level of work interruption it’s causing. For your internet, you should consider using backup connections like dongles when your router or main service provider goes down. It might be more expensive than usual, but will most likely not be as expensive as losing all those working hours.

You don’t need a computer for every single person

There are times when you could stand to be a little more cost-effective, however. New tech in the business costs money. Not just through the initial purchase, but through software licensing and future maintenance costs, too. So, consider offering employees the option to work using their own devices. They could even work remotely from home. Just make sure that they’re following proper protocol and security measures with those devices. You don’t need external sources proving a vulnerability to the business. You could even go as far as offering that option primarily to those with lower levels of access.

Expanding your security efforts

The idea of offering different levels of access is just one of the ways you could take the security of the business tech a bit more seriously. If someone doesn’t ever need access to certain kinds of data, then allowing them to access it makes them nothing but a potential liability. Even so, no-one should be lax with password security of leaving their devices logged in when they shouldn’t be. But teaching appropriate use of tech and data isn’t the only way to protect the business. You should be investing in more thorough security measures, from software that blocks malware to even hiring teams like ethical hackers who find vulnerabilities in your network with the express purpose of helping you seal them up.

Know your limits

When your reliance on tech gets to the point where you are using networks and taking security more seriously, you need to think about how much responsibility you’re able to take on them. Go too far and you could be spending more time running your IT systems as opposed to running your business. That does not make for a very productive company. If you’re not at the stage where you can justify hiring a full-time IT team, that doesn’t mean you should try handling it all yourself. Instead, you should look into outsourcing options like technology consulting. You need to know your own capacity to deal with the administration and fixes of your IT system.

Get serious about energy costs

Back to cost effectiveness, it’s not just the hardware and software costs that are going to build up if you’re not careful. An extensive tech system is going to be a particularly large source of cost for the business. Particularly when it comes to energy bills. But you can let your business really run off the leash with said bills if you’re not careful. Make sure that you are teaching your employees to properly consider how much energy they’re using, ensuring they don’t leave their workstations turned on for too long when they’re not there. You should make sure all devices have automatic sleep mode at the ready, but even that isn’t enough. People have to be responsible for their machines.

Finding new revenue sources

Expanding your tech also offers more opportunity to make revenue, too. For instance, we’re going to assume that part of your tech expansion includes a bigger presence online. But you shouldn’t just be spending money to make sure that said presence is a lot more visible. You should also be using it as a platform to make more money and open new revenue streams. We’re not just talking about going into ecommerce, either. You can just as easily make a new revenue stream by monetizing a blog connected to the website or even using your brand to sell eBooks and webinars from your site.

Adding to your workload instead of reducing it

As we’ve said, taking on a lot more tech could easily shut down the productivity of the business if you’re not aware of how to properly allocate your efforts. But that could go as far as the work that you’re able to do on the computer, as well. If your business is scaling, you’re going to have a lot more administrative work to do. A lot more human resources records to look over and correct, a lot more financial expenditures and income to properly file. More payroll to get moving. Instead of doing it all yourself, you should into software that can automate more of your business processes. Otherwise, what’s the point of having a bigger IT section if it isn’t making it easier for everyone to do their jobs?

Not upgrading your means of communication

As a business gets bigger, it’s also going to have the need for a lot more communication Internally and externally. But relying on old methods that might have seemed okay in the past will no long be good enough. You might have been able to rely on instant messaging when it was just a team of three using their devices to stay in touch. However, when you’re upgrading to a team of ten, fifteen, or more, then a lot more time that could be wasted in IMs. Instead, you should be using more direct contact, like video conferencing, or an organized email or notes system if you don’t want to interrupt someone in the middle of their workload. You need to find the communication methods that are most efficient for your business in particular.

Letting the tech take care of itself

One of the mistakes that a lot of business owners make is underestimating the needs of the tech after their initial purpose and install. Like all devices and hardware, they are susceptible to issues down the line. So you need to create a full maintenance and improvement schedule to keep them as reliable as possible. Have someone in the now keeping an eye out for hardware drivers that the devices in the office need to stay most effective. Take the time every now and then to clear temporary and unnecessary data. Check your backups and make sure they’re consistent with all the data you need. You should even schedule simple things like cleaning dust from the hardware itself.

Diving too deep into the Cloud

Cloud software has had a large impact on business. It can be very useful as a way of temporarily storing and sharing data of all kinds. However, you should never make it the permanent home of the business. Nothing is 100% reliable. If your Cloud provider’s server goes down you could lose access to important data just when you need it the most. Even worse, you could potentially lose it forever. Use the Cloud as a helpful tool, but not as one of your main methods of storing or backing up your essential data.

The proper use of resources, the right hardware choices, the allocation of effort, and the availability of knowledge are essential to running a professional operation with the right tech. Miss of any of them through making the mistakes above, your tech will be a liability, not the boon that it should be.

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