Most small businesses are online these days and the worst thing you actually do is not to be present online as a small business owner. For small businesses, online presence is more than just having a website. It involves that as well of course, but it also involves remote workers, social media presence, communication with customers and partners and much, much more.
The biggest problem with SMBs going online is that their management and ownership have not evolved at the same speed as the online requirements have and that they are making many mistakes that can be quite detrimental for their business.
These mistakes are our topic today.
Their Website Is Less-Than-Spot-On
People think that it is a straightforward task to come up with a website suitable for a small business. In reality, a relatively large number of small businesses end up with websites that are simply not right for them. Sometimes they are too busy and take too long to load, making visitors go away before they actually do something on the website. At other times, they are designed in a way that does not covey reputability and professionalism, harming the reputation of the small business.
Another very common mistake that small businesses make when their websites are in question is that they do not make them mobile-friendly. This simply does not fly in today’s world where more and more people are relying on their mobile devices when they search for companies to do business with.
They Fail at Social Media
It sometimes feels there is no end to social media mistakes that small businesses can make. They come up with new ways to fail on daily basis. Some of the good old-fashioned classics include being everywhere at the same time, losing focus and never concentrating on one or two social networks enough to make an impact. Many SMB owners also lose their bearings and completely forget the fact that they are supposed to communicate with actual, real people on social networks.
Of course, there are also those who, for some reason, cannot acknowledge the fact that tools and add-ons can be of immense help in utilizing social media for their business needs. For example, they will spend days on Twitter trying to get in touch with someone important from a certain field, instead of using Tweetfavy to make this easier and more effective than ever before. This is just a single example.
They Do Not Outsource Enough
Outsourcing has been around for quite some time, but it can safely be said that it has only truly become useful and efficient with the emergence of the internet as a place where business can be done. Today, with the help of interconnectivity of pretty much everyone, you can have people work for your small business from the other side of the world and providing you services that are much more affordable than they ever have been.
Some small business owners do not trust outsourced services while others are worried about the security of sharing their sensitive data with outside partners. These days, there are so many agencies and websites aimed at making outsourcing and remote collaborations easy and safe that there is really no need why a small business should not benefit from such a setup.
They Aren’t Careful About Security
To say that online security is not an important issue would be a huge mistake, even though this has been touched upon in the previous paragraph. Online security has become a burning issue for small businesses that are getting targeted more and more commonly by attackers looking to get access to their sensitive data.
Small businesses often do not educate their employees about the importance of strong passwords, not sharing their access details with anyone else and the dangers of social engineering. Moreover, small businesses often fail to use secure cloud storage services which will encrypt their data and ensure safe transfer of such data between remote collaborators and partners. The list goes on and on.
There are many more mistakes that small business owners happen to make from time to time, but the ones covered in this article are both most common and potentially most harmful. If you are a small business owner or manager, try not to make them.