IT 101: What Small Business Owners Need to Know Right Now

Written by T.E. Wing

If you’re a small business owner, you can’t afford to ignore IT issues. You may want to. But you can’t. Here’s why — and what you need to know right now.

You started your business because you felt you had a talent, a service and a passion for something. You didn’t do it because you were dying to become an IT pro.

Like it or not, though, IT is a big part of running a small business. You can’t survive in our competitive and connected world without addressing such issues. Here’s what every small business owner should know about IT.

Without technology, your business can’t compete

Gone are the days when small local businesses could safely ignore the growth of technology and the internet. These days, even the most local of businesses rely on Google searches on smart devices, good reviews on the websites that have replaced the Yellow Pages, and a great presence on social media platforms like Instagram, which — in the eyes of some experts, at least — have all but replaced traditional word-of-mouth marketing buzz.

You don’t have to be a technology whiz to make it in some business spaces, but you do need to think about things like your online presence, the best software solutions for your type of business, and how well you rank with the search engines that you know your customers will use.

IT and security go hand in hand

You really can’t get away with running a business without technological solutions these days. Technology has powerful tools for you, and you need to make use of them! But technology is a double-edged sword. The same connected world that makes it possible for us to access information and communicate across huge distances also makes us next-door neighbors to countless cyber criminals. If you’re not careful, your passwords and protections could be stolen or broken through, and your company’s most important private information accessed, stolen, and sold to bad actors on the dark web.

You need to know that your network is secure and that your firewall is effective. You need to train employees on best practices for password security — and enforce some of those with password requirements built into your systems. In short, you need the help of security experts. Fortunately, you don’t have to hire such experts full-time to reap the benefits of their knowledge.

You can, and should, outsource IT

Your business is great at a lot of things. IT doesn’t have to be one of them. If you spend your time checking out the latest IT news and reading up on the latest IT solutions, then you wouldn’t have time to do the core things that actually matter to your business. So pay someone else to do it, instead.

Smart outsourcing can make or break a small business, and IT is one of those things that is just too specific to do yourself (and, for most businesses, not worth hiring a full-time department for). Outsourcing IT is a no-brainer, and it can help your business compete in our modern digital age without forcing you to go back to school for computer science.

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