At ClickAway, we work with a lot of Bay Area small businesses. Whether we’re talking about San Francisco, Santa Cruz, Monterey, Los Altos, or anywhere else in the region, there are a lot of commonalities between small business owners. They all have drive. They all have ambition. They all have goals that they set for themselves and the dedication to meet them. Also – and this is the most interesting part – they are all human. Similarly, they all face common computer problems for small business. Thankfully (depending on your perspective, I guess) there aren’t any cyborg small business owners. The upshot of this is that mistakes are made, and problems are met.
One of the most common problems arise is the computer system, which makes perfect sense. If you’re starting a small business and it isn’t related to computers, you probably aren’t a computer expert. Computers are a tricky area for small businesses because, despite your inexpert status, you’re often on your own. It’s the only facet of business that functions this way. If you use a plane to ship your products, no one expects you to put together the engine. It should be the same with your computer and network system. To help you avoid issues, and so you’ll know what to do if you face them, here are the most common computer problems for small business.
The “Cousin Pete” Problem
This is pretty common, especially for people that are just starting a business. You have a cousin, Pete, who is always on his computer. The kid practically thinks in pixels. And you know he’s been looking for work – or, if not technically looking, at least needing work. So you hire him on. Of course, he doesn’t know how to set up a network system that meets your needs. He knows his computer, but not how to run a server for a whole business. By trying to save money and time, you’ve dug a hole.
Even if you don’t hire Pete, your IT person may only know one small facet of your network needs. It’s a risk for a small business because you can’t hire a whole team, but you also need a team’s worth of knowledge. Maybe you’ll get lucky and the one person you find will have all the skills you ned. More likely, though, you should use outside consultants who are experts in business networking solutions. A team like ClickAway can get you set up and monitored at a fraction of what bringing a whole team onto your staff would cost.
The “Bad MacGyver” Problem
A few years ago, my brother-in-law and I both bought air conditioning window units. They started having problems at roughly the same time and we both did patchwork repairs. He’s handy; I am not. My patchwork repairs are excessively janky and the desperate repairs keep needing more and more outlandish solutions on their own. My brother-in-law? His is working fine. He’s the good MacGyver; I’m the bad MacGyver.
That can happen in your small business when something goes wrong with your computers or network. A lot of small business owners don’t want to spend any money on repairs and essentially use duct tape to get past the problem. Unless you really know what you’re doing, and unless you have a really qualified team, that rarely works. In fact, it almost always ends up costing more. Don’t bad MacGyver it. If you’re having any problems, get them fixed by computer repair experts, like the folks at ClickAway.
The “Call Is Coming from Inside the House!” Problem
A classic horror trope, made sadly irrelevant by the mobile tech era, is when the frightened babysitter keeps getting scary calls and asks the operator to trace where they are coming from. The operator tells the wide-eyed ingenue to get the kids and run because the call is coming from inside the house. It is terrifying to think that the real danger is closest to you.
That’s something small business owners face, although not in the “escaped convict with a hook for a hand” form. Your employees are the biggest security risk you face, even though it is very rare that they are acting with malice. But even a small mistake can eventually lead to big problems. Weak passwords, open PCs, a poor system for securing personal devices used for business – security risks are numerous and getting a computer virus can expose your business to crippling losses. You need rigorous training for your employees and a dependable lifeline that can save you if something goes wrong. You’ll need experts in both virus removal and data backup and recovery to make sure that if something goes sideways, you can get safely out of the house.
There are a lot of problems that can plague small businesses. Your vision can get you through most of them, if you are able to focus on what you do best. Don’t let nagging and avoidable common computer problems hurt your business. Trust a fellow Bay Area small business to take care of them for you. Contact ClickAway today to learn more about how we can help. Just watch some of the technology issues we face every day.