10 Common IT Problems For Small Businesses (and Solutions)
From sending emails to printing documents, the majority of businesses today rely on technology to do simple yet necessary tasks. Technology continues to evolve and grow consistently, which means it isn’t going away anytime soon. However, despite the advantages, there are also a few downsides to IT. At some point, you or your employees may run into problems such as your Wi-Fi going down or computer login issues. According to a study by Compuware, 48% of respondents reported that they face at least one type of IT issue from a few times a week to every day.
What do you do when IT issues happen? What if you don’t have the knowledge or expertise to solve these issues? On this blog, we explore 10 of the most common IT problems that occur within small businesses today. We also provide easy solutions to each issue to help you minimize the risks to your business operations. Let’s get started!
1. Lack of network security
Network security is one of the most critical parts of your business’s success. Each year, cybersecurity attacks become more sophisticated as hackers create new tactics to steal confidential information. Many of these criminals target small businesses to launch their attacks. According to a report by Risk Based Security, data security breaches exposed 36 billion records in the first half of 2020. That’s why we highly recommend implementing a strong network security system that ensures your data is always safe and secure.
- Solution: One of the ways you can strengthen your network security is by installing antivirus and anti-malware software. An antivirus and anti-malware software protects your devices from malicious programs like viruses, worms, and ransomware. To learn about these security tools, check out our blog, Antivirus vs. Antimalware Software: Which is Better for Your Business? for more information.
Other solutions you can take include training your employees on network security measures, enabling firewalls in all company devices, and keeping a reliable password manager for all login information. Remember: protecting your business data is very important, and most security breaches are preventable. Be proactive about your cybersecurity by taking the necessary steps to safeguard your company network and devices.
2. There’s trouble with technology integration
When you regularly update your technology and equipment, you help your business increase employee productivity and workflow. Unfortunately, you may face a few problems during the integration process, especially if you’re combining new technologies with old ones. For example, you and your employees may need to double-enter business data or use different systems to prevent confusion or data loss. This takes time and resources away from more important business objectives.
- Solution: A trusted IT team can assist you with minimizing these risks to your business. At TEKFIRM, our Managed IT services help ensure that your IT is always working for the benefit and success of your business. Due to our experience with different types of technology, we can mitigate or eliminate any obstacles that often occur during the integration process.
3. No data backup or recovery
Have you ever accidentally deleted an important file? Well, that happens to the best of us. However, what would you do if you lost all of your company’s data without warning? How would you get it back? Is there a way to get it back at all? A situation like this can be detrimental and can set back your business, causing you to lose potential customers and important information for core business tasks. If your data loss is caused by security breaches, you will need to alert your clients and risk damaging your business’s reputation. Fortunately, there are a few options you can implement into your IT infrastructure to prevent significant data loss within your business.
- Solution: Every business should have a data backup or recovery plan. Some options include using Cloud backup solutions, which can copy offsite files to the Cloud or files from one cloud to another, and traditional tape data backups and recovery (for those with older equipment or technology), which can take hours or days. Retaining an effective data backup or recovery plan can provide your business with flexibility and assurance.
4. Little to no IT knowledge or experience
It’s okay if you and your employees aren’t so adept with your business technology. Chances are, other business owners do not have much experience with managing their IT infrastructure either. Of course, placing too much of your time and focus on your IT management chores can be counterproductive. Your priority should be your business and increasing its efficiency at all times. Without enough IT expertise, you and your employees can be stuck between managing both sides of your business on a daily basis.
- Solution: When you’re facing these types of challenges, it’s probably time to outsource for a team of IT experts who provide managed IT services. That way you and your employees can focus less on complex technical issues and more on business objectives. With years of technical expertise under our belt, our team at TEKFIRM provides efficient solutions to your technology needs including data storage, network security, and monitoring Wi-Fi issues.
5. Too many cables
One of the most common IT problems that businesses face is having too many cables! If your business takes place in an office setting, you may be using different IT equipment such as computers and printers to serve different functions. The more equipment you have within your office, the more cables you have to plug into an outlet or machine. Too many cords and cables can become tangled and even pose an electrical hazard. In fact, overloading electrical outlets are an extremely common cause of electrical fires, especially when the cords become frayed or tattered.
- Solution: Take some time to consider each cable and cord in your office. Make sure each of these is plugged in correctly or require a separate outlet. When there’s a Wi-Fi connection problem or a device malfunction, check the cables to ensure they’re safely plugged in.
6. Wi-Fi problems
Another common business issue, Wi-Fi issues can be frustrating. Sometimes you’ll think you’ve figured out what’s wrong, only for the Wi-Fi to go back down again. Since Wi-Fi is the best way for internet connectivity, not having connections can be a major delay in your operation. What many business owners don’t know is that many Wi-Fi issues are either preventable or can be solved in a matter of minutes.
- Solution: Many common Wi-Fi issues require rebooting your router, moving the antennas (if applicable), or changing the location of your router. You can read more about how to fix your Wi-Fi problems by checking out our blog, Common Wi-Fi Problems And How to Fix Them. If you’re still experiencing connectivity issues, our IT experts can help identify and resolve any possible causes that are interrupting your operations.
7. Hardware or software issues
Don’t forget the most important rule of technology: all things must come to an end. Whether you realize it or not, all technology has a lifespan. When you start experiencing issues with your hardware or software, it’s important to check the root cause as soon as possible. If your hardware or software malfunctions or breaks, your data will likely be lost. This can pose a significant threat to your business, especially if you do not have a data backup plan or other resources that can help with repairs.
- Solution: Take note of your devices (old ones included). Check their average lifespan, and learn the signs that indicate their functionality is wearing out. If you aren’t sure how to start, our team at TEKFIRM can help you keep pace with your IT infrastructure.
8. Confusion with Cloud-based tech
Cloud is a term that’s often thrown around in IT circles. In its most basic terms, the Cloud is another IT service that enables you to save and share your data and other files within a digital space. The Cloud is a useful tool that can help your business stay organized and flourish. Unfortunately, understanding the Cloud and cloud-based solutions can be confusing to the average person so getting used to it can take the time that you and your employees may not have.
- Solution: You can train your staff and team on how to navigate through the cloud. Because cloud-based services usually vary in costs and storage, make sure to use this technology along with other company devices for a cost-effective solution.
9. Little knowledge about online safety
Along with network security, online safety is a huge factor in data protection. You or your employees may receive phishing emails or similar scams on a regular basis. Some phishing scams look very authentic as many hackers pose as large, established companies like Apple or Google to gain access to your information. Subject lines like “We need to talk” or “Account suspended” can raise alarm and cause you to act on impulse. Without sufficient knowledge about online safety, there’s a good chance you’ll fall for these scams and place your private business information at risk.
- Solution: Train your employees to practice online safety, particularly when it comes to suspicious emails. Also, learn how to judge the safety of websites. Many websites also pose security risks for your business. Scams are everywhere in the online world, but you can prevent being caught by practicing good judgment.
10. No strategic IT planning
In the same way, you develop and implement a detailed business plan, you also need to spend some time curating a plan for your IT. Without clear goals and directions set, it can be easy to disconnect from your IT infrastructure. This can cause any of the previous issues listed above or any other IT problem to obstruct your daily business tasks. For example, you may not know how to handle a sudden security breach, but with a strategic IT plan, you’ll have a list of steps that can guide you.
- Solution: The infrastructure of your business technology should have a strategic plan behind it. A skilled team of IT technicians can assist you with your IT needs. Our technicians at TEKFIRM take your business goals into consideration before creating an in-depth plan for your company. With a good IT plan in place, you can ensure your business increases its profitability and efficiency.
Numerous IT issues cause problems for business owners every day. If you ever come across an IT issue during your business hours, don’t panic. Most of these issues have simple and affordable solutions. Of course, our staff at TEKFIRM is always ready to help you with any of your concerns or issues involving your business technology. For more information on our extensive IT services, book a free consultation with us today.