When first-time entrepreneurs start up new businesses, there are often various learning curves to overcome. And for those whose expertise lies in other areas; technology can be one of the biggest (and costliest) stumbling blocks.
This is because — especially in the digital age — many upstart companies rely heavily on their technology to help them grow and succeed. As such, it can be critical to make informed, forward-looking technology choices early on.
While saving money is clearly important for any young business, technology is often an area in which pinching pennies on the front end might not turn out to be the best investment decision over the long haul. Before securing their needed technological assets, budding business owners would be wise to avoid these five common technology mistakes that start-ups often make:
- Neglecting cybersecurity concerns — Cyberattacks are a rising concern for businesses of all sizes, and they can be especially detrimental to smaller upstarts.
In fact, according to news reports, 43% of cyberattacks target small businesses but less than 15% of these businesses are prepared to defend against such attacks. Further, the average cost of a single cyberattack to a business is $200,000, and 60% of businesses that fall victim to these attacks close within six months.
Needless to say, while network-security lapses can be extremely costly for any business, they can be especially disastrous for upstart businesses with lower cash flows. So, it is critical for newly launched businesses to implement robust network-security protections from the start.
- Underestimating bandwidth needs — Especially in offices where workers regularly use internet- and network-connected devices to get their jobs done, slow connection speeds can mean big slowdowns in productivity. To prevent regular lags and buffering for connected devices, a business’s bandwidth should be sufficient to handle the biggest spikes in demand, such as when numerous staff members are on videoconference calls simultaneously. Further, to prepare for future growth, businesses should choose a provider that can scale up with them when they add new employees or install additional devices.
One great tool for determining a business’s bandwidth needs is FTC’s Internet Speed Calculator, which recommends a business internet speed selection based on the number of connected devices in an office and what they are most often used for.
- Going strictly mobile with company phones — The smartphone is nearly ubiquitous among modern consumers. And it is a great tool for getting tasks completed on the go in the business world, too. But unfortunately, a mobile phone simply cannot provide the call quality and features that a professional-grade business phone line can.
In addition to providing higher levels of reception quality and clarity during calls with colleagues and customers, wired business phone lines can offer many business-boosting features, including but not limited to:
- call waiting
- voicemail-to-email delivery
- anonymous call rejection
- automatic return
- automatic redial
- call forwarding
- do not disturb
- call screening reject
- three-way calling.
- To present a professional image to their customers, upstart businesses should consider leveraging the advantages that a dedicated business phone line or Hosted PBX service can deliver.
- Skipping the custom domain name — For businesses of almost any type, a strong web presence is vital. In addition to lending a measure of online credibility, having a custom domain name and customized email addresses that fit well with the business and its brand can give the appearance of being a more established enterprise. A custom domain name and website can also give prospective customers a single destination for any information they might need about a business. The vital details visitors can find on an upstart company’s website include general information on its products and services, office hours, contact information and answers to common questions. And an e-commerce site can even provide customers with a place to easily make direct-to-consumer purchases or bookings. Moreover, custom domain names are quite inexpensive, making them easy for start-ups of all sizes to procure. Most business owners who get them find them to be worthwhile investments that foster company growth and success.
- Failing to future-proof technology — Lastly, business owners who keep an eye toward the future with their technology investments can be much better prepared to navigate challenges, handle future growth and even achieve cost savings for the company in the long run. Therefore, start-up owners would be wise to always consider not only their immediate requirements when making their technology choices, but to also anticipate future needs and procure flexible options that can be easily (and inexpensively) scaled up down the road.
Need expert help outfitting your business with the right forward-facing technologies? Visit ftc.net/business to explore all of FTC’s powerful offerings, including business-critical services such as Internet, Wireless, Voice and Security.