Top 3 technology challenges for small businesses

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Every small business owner can feel a little isolated when faced with technology related issues.

There's no help-desk or IT staff to call when you are battling with your PC, Internet connection, fax machine, or other device. It’s your problem to fix.

These tech challenges can ruin your day and also have the potential of halting your business.

Below is a list of three big technology challenges for small businesses—and tips on how to overcome them.

1. Getting a business-grade ADSL on a home account

Let's face it, getting the cheapest ADSL option for your business just because it is the cheapest option is not the correct way to make a decision.

Making the right choice with regards to ADSL is difficult for most people because they don’t understand all the technical jargon.

The best way to overcome this problem is to know a "little" about ADSL and how to choose the right option based on how you will be using it in your business.

This article: ADSL Guide for non techie people  covers the basics you need to know and provides a guide on how to choose the right option.

Knowing these basics will help you to not only choose the right option but to compare prices based on speed, shaped or uncapped ADSL accounts.

Most service providers will allow you to customize a solution but you can only do that if you have some basic understanding of ADSL yourself.

Another challenge with ADSL is actually monitoring your usage and making sure that you are getting what you are paying for. This short guide: ADSL usage tracker shows you a simple tool you can download that will help you monitor your actual ADSL usage.

2. Getting genuine free software for your small business

So you’ve heard that you can get free software these days that is just as good as commercial software…
But the problem is you don’t have the time to look for this software and figure out what you are supposed to get for your small business.

It is a fact, you can get very good software that will do everything from managing your email to creating documents, spreadsheets and presentations.

And the good news is that this free software is compatible with traditional commercial software which means you can share your documents with people that are still using commercial software.
If the above describes your situation then you can make use of the following checklist: Free software checklist.

The checklist covers free software that you will need in an office for all those basic office activities like email, creating documents and sending free voice messages.

3. Getting protection for your computers

Chances are, the computers you are using in your small business are storing very important information which you can’t afford to lose.

Information such as business plans; customer contact details; invoices; proposals; emails; legal documents, bank account details etc.

Protection from viruses, spyware and computer failure is a constant concern.

The real problem is finding free security tools that offer true security. This article: Computer and Internet Security covers the security issues you should be aware of and also provides suggestions on the free tools you can download and use in your small business.

If you are using Windows, Microsoft also provides a free security download which is rather useful. You can check it out here: Microsoft Security Essentials.

Most small business owners that I know are also very poor at backing up important information. The best solution that I have found is to automate your backups to a remote location.

This tip will show you a tool you can use that does this for free: Automatic Backups and Synchronizing files.
The best part about this tool is that you can link it to many computers (Mac and Windows) and it synchronizes the files between the computers so you are always up to date no matter which computer you choose to work on.

In a nutshell, I have found that the key to overcoming these technology challenges is to know a “little” about them. 

Be proactive and don’t spend money buying software for which credible free alternatives are readily available. Not knowing some of this information could put unnecessary financial strain on your small business.