Was your business ready for COVID-19? Some “disasters” are thoughtfully provided by Mother Nature like storms and pandemics. Others are from humans. Ransomware and other malicious software attacks account for billions of dollars in lost revenue and remediation each year. And then, of course, there is just the failure of technology. There is never a convenient time for a server to crash or a laptop to die. But it happens and the risk it creates can be mitigated with careful planning. A New Jersey small business computer support company helped a local engineering firm prepare for the worst and they have not lost a days’ work since the Covid-19 pandemic hit NJ.
While their new website was well-received by their existing customers, their sales did not increase much. They were hoping the new website would bring in new bagel-seeking customers but instead, it just made the business more convenient for their existing customers. That was good for the existing customers, but the real goal was to bring in new customers.
They searched in Google and Bing or other search engines for “donuts near me” and “local bagel shop” and “best bagels in New Jersey” and “tasty NJ donuts” and many other search keywords but their site was nowhere to be found in the search engine result pages.
It was the best of sites; it was the worst of sites… Imagine two websites in the same line of business in the same geographic area and representing companies of similar size. Both companies recognize that they are the chief competitor of the other. Both companies want to increase revenue by getting new clients and both have decided to achieve that goal by launching a website to make themselves easier to find by new customers.
We like to think that the offline things we do on our computers are, well, offline. But in the last couple of days, Windows 10 users around the world saw a black box on their screen instead of the search box. Of course, most users assumed it was their own PC that was having the problem. Some rebooted and maybe re-rebooted to no avail. Then, as suddenly as the problem appeared, it disappeared without a trace. So, why is this a problem?
Servers, desktop, and laptops are at the core of most businesses. There are many things which can come between you and your files and data. Technology failures and natural disasters such as fire, flood, hurricanes, tornadoes, and manmade disasters like terrorism can destroy in an instant the data and systems upon which your business depends. Make plans before the unthinkable happens.
(Actually, you should have upgraded already…)
Long gone are the days when you could run an older computer with an old version of Windows. In those days, if you were willing to live without the “latest and greatest” features, you had a choice and the consequences of using the older technology just weren’t so dire. Now it can mean the difference between your data and files protected and being compromised.
When you pay your electric bill, it means the lights stay on, the computers stay on, and the other equipment of your business continues to run for another month. It is critical, but it is not strategic to the business. When you pay your SEO fees, you are investing in the future of your business.
The latest in the technological evolution of business legitimacy hallmarks is the website. While website technology has been around for decades now, small businesses have been slow to buy in. Now, website technologies are advanced, stable, reliable, and inexpensive and therefore, the presence of an attractive website has become the first thing new customers look for when investigating a company they are considering for goods and services. Why do some small businesses not yet have a website?
There is a lot of talk about “Big Box” retailers and “Big Tech” businesses and “Big Data” mining. While all of these are a big part of our local, national, global, and internet economies, there are far more small businesses in existence than big businesses. Small businesses can benefit from Big Tech and Big Box and Big Data services. But for their own operations, there are data needs that maybe aren’t quite as big as Big Data but are just as important to the business.
Spreadsheets have been a mainstay of millions of business users around the world for decades. Back in the (really old) days, there were programs like VisiCalc and Lotus 1 -2-3, both of which were easily ousted by Microsoft Excel’s arrival. Excel lived on as the presumptive king of spreadsheet software, mostly unchallenged for 20-25 years. And then, Google showed up and introduced Sheets to the world. By virtue of the fact that Sheets was a Google product and well-integrated into the “Googlesphere” of apps and data, thousands of people adopted it rapidly. It is almost a generational thing; the Millennials prefer Sheets; the Boomers prefer Excel. Who is making the better choice?
It can strike at any time. One minute you are working on your computer and the next your computer is behaving strangely, and you can’t open your files. You look into a folder and see your files with altered file names. You look in other folders and see the same thing. You try opening Word files, Excel files, pictures, QuickBooks… nothing is working correctly. You reboot your computer because that seems to be Microsoft’s solution to most problems. But not this time. This time, rebooting solves nothing.
Most small businesses outsource activities that are not part of their core competence. For example, most companies don’t do their own legal work, they hire lawyers as needed. Most don’t do their own accounting and tax filings, they hire accountants. If there is a leak, they don’t fix it themselves, they call a plumber. If the lights go out, they call an electrician. So, why is it that many small businesses attempt to take care of their business technology needs on their own?
Let Landau Consulting
We help businesses ranging from a single employee to thousands use technology to grow their business and expand their capabilities.