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Stupid small business tech mistakes, and how to prevent them

Sarah Jacobsson Purewal | Feb. 14, 2011
If you're not particularly tech-savvy, then purchasing, maintaining, and securing technology for your business can be a confusing situation to navigate. You may already know plenty about what you should do, but what about what you should not do?

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11. Buying Extended Warranties

If you don't know a lot about technology, then purchasing an extended warranty to cover your new gadget may seem like a good idea. However, it's been proven over and over again that buying in-store extended warranties is generally not worth it.

Obviously, it will always depend on what you're buying, what the warranty covers, and what type of person you are. If you're purchasing a smartphone and you plan to bring it on a lot of whitewater rafting trips, then you may want to think twice about that (and check if the warranty covers water damage). But if you're purchasing a new PC that's going to sit on your desk at work, you probably don't need that warranty.

12. Ignoring Your Online Reputation

Small business owners know that reputation is everything, and this also applies to your online reputation. Even if you don't think you have much of an online presence, customer review and consumer advocacy sites allow your customers to voice their opinions on the Web without your explicit consent.

That's why it's important to monitor your business's online presence regularly, and research how your company appears in search results. What you don't know could be hurting you. If you do find out that your online presence is less than savory, you'll need to take the appropriate face-saving steps to rebuild your good name.

13. Choosing the Wrong Tech Support

Tech support is a tricky subject. After all, if you're a small enough business and you "know a guy," why bother hiring a professional, right? Maybe. Gartner research has found that small businesses generally try to use as little IT help as possible, but this is not necessarily a good thing.

While you can use your cousin's girlfriend's dog-trainer's little sister--or even hire a remote professional on a per-problem basis--if you plan on expanding your business at all, it may be a good idea to hire a part-time or full-time professional. Not only will you be able to build a better relationship with an in-house IT pro, but you'll also be able to expand technologically and upgrade your company seamlessly.


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