Small businesses are a common target of data theft and hacking as they are repositories of valuable data both in the form of business credit accounts and repositories of customer information. Many businesses on the smaller side of the spectrum of SMBs figure that they are not on the radar map of cyber criminals because of their size, when in reality it is this exact mentality that makes them one of the preferred victims of data theft. Major data breaches on the part of large businesses, such as the hack of retailer Target which exposed thousands of customer’s information, should serve as a warning to small business owners that the effects of digital crime can be tough to bear even for major corporations. Businesses should invest in additional security as they processes more sales, but even with an improved infrastructure, they must implement regular maintenance in order for their security to perform at the highest possible level. Change passwords. An account is only as well guarded as

While every business will have a different operational style, there are departments that almost every business will have in some form or another, such as accounting, marketing, and IT. As a a business grows, within these departments there should be a vigilant attitude in place in order to prevent the waste of valuable business funds, since there are a few common ways that business owners can lose money through a loose management style in these areas. IT programs that are not effective for their staff. The state of the art programs that you want to put in place in order to optimize your processes are not going to help if your staff has no training in how to use them. While you may be able to afford a new program at face value, business owners should account for the possibility that they will also need to finance additional training for their team in order to make their IT upgrades effective. There are many technologies that are

As businesses grow, in order to keep up their efficiency they will often integrate new technologies into their operations.  This isn’t exactly a surprise, since the benefits of technology are manifold and can quickly make an appreciable difference in a business’s ability to get things done. However, what is surprising is when small business owners are slow to adopt something that has been proven to be helpful. A lot of the time, it’s because either the owner of the business, the employees, or both are used to doing something their own way and don’t want to expend the energy it takes to update. It’s also possible that some of the staff is techno-phobic, or mistrustful of technology that they do not fully understand. This can be particularly true in business environments where employee ages span multiple generations. At a certain point, business owners should be honest with themselves and weigh the pros and cons of investing in employee training. You may be able to avoid

Increasingly, the reach of a small business extends far beyond the confines of a town or city thanks to the internet. The ability of a business to be found thanks to websites, social media accounts, reviews and local directories means that they can significantly increase their exposure and the amount of business they are able to do via online channels. Going beyond digital marketing, there are many applications that businesses rely on that are now integrated or completely dependent on the internet, and the speed of a business’s network can either accelerate or throttle the productivity of a team of employees. In the media, Google Fiber and the attempts by up and coming cities across the US to be chosen as participants in the first releases of the service highlight the fact that many business owners are still unsatisfied with the speed and reliability of their internet service. While some of the issues that can cut into a business’s productivity can be solved or mitigated by

As small business owners face a dearth or small business loan options, Federal regulations, the new healthcare market and a slew of industry related concerns, they are also growing and adapting to an increasingly internet reliant commercial world. Because of the heavy emphasis of internet based communications in modern business, small businesses will generally need an IT staff after they hit a certain point in their growth. Knowing when this goes from a nice to have to a need to have is an important part of managing your small business, considering that not only is IT a powerful resource and business accelerator, but also a potential major pitfall when mismanaged. Here are some signs that can indicate to small business owners that they should seriously consider making the time and capital investments required to secure a full time IT staff. Do you have tech savvy employees who wind up helping others a large amount of the time? If you have a multi-generational staff in particular, it

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