Is your business plan flawed?
Is your business plan flawed?
Starting a new business is a challenging endeavor. More than 50% of startups in the United States end up failing. Crucial mistakes in planning can be one of the biggest reasons a business can fail. When developing a business plan, one of the main issues to deal with are the many costs needed to take into consideration. Some of the more common costs everyone probably thinks of are rent, utilities, employees, and office equipment such as computers, and furniture. Some of the less common costs a new business planner may need to be made aware of are employee benefits, unemployment insurance, payroll taxes and probably the most overlooked one, technology. Unfortunately, the last one can end up costing you the most if not addressed. It can also lead to an early exit for your business. Many aspects of a company’s technology needs are dismissed as being unimportant or something that can be pushed off till a later stage of the business. The truth is that overlooking those technology needs will most likely be the cause of a business to close. Crucial technology needs that a business must consider if they want to succeed are cyber security, regulations or reputation, and productivity.
Cyber security breaches can be disastrous to a business, especially in the startup phase. According to an independent study, 60% of small businesses will close due to the crushing cost of a single cyber security breach. This year alone, the FBI says there is a 600% increase in cyber-attacks. The annual data shows, it will just continue that upward trend each year. It is crucial to understand that the term Cyber security does not mean just having an antivirus program that you purchase in an empty box at Office Depot. Real cyber security includes an antivirus that is better than that, as well as a firewall, monitoring and software patching just to name a few. This multifaceted approach is required to keep all of your network devices protected. The average business owner may not understand that. However, not understanding the importance of this key cog in your business model can be the difference between a growing, thriving business and one that ends up being a flash in the pan.
Depending on what type of business you have, there can be additional implications for not considering cyber security and I.T management. Medical, Dental and Financial businesses are required by Federal law to maintain an extensive level of cyber security requirements in order to ensure their customer and patient data is being properly protected. Because HIPAA and the SEC do not list exactly how to ensure this, acquiring an experienced and reliable IT managed service provider is necessary to guide you. Failing to meet these requirements can lead to severe penalties and fines that can sink a small business instantly.
Even if your business does not fall into a category that is subject to Federal regulations, your business can suffer greatly from a cyber security breach in what it can do to your reputation. You do not need a Harvard business degree to know that being a featured story on the local news for having your customer’s personal information stolen, is not the kind of publicity you want. One story like that can kill your business before it even starts.
As a business owner the most important word in your vocabulary is probably productivity. Productivity is so often the difference between success and failure for a business. Productivity issues can occur in many places in the office. One of the more common and more difficult productivity issues to control is with employees. Social media, personal issues and too many breaks are not the only things that can take your employees away from what you hired them to do. Technology break downs such as software issues and slow computers are a leading cause of employee distractions and productivity issues. Eliminating these can be the difference between operating a monthly deficit or being profitable. Having the right technology partner for your business can help you overcome these productivity obstacles.
Nothing in business is assured, except that technology problems and issues will happen. Having a proper plan for your business technology can save you from these headaches and keep you in business. A crucial part of that plan should be to have a reliable technology service company you can trust to act as a partner. Survival of a business can depend on it.