Small businesses that survive the first few critical years and are looking to expand face a number of challenges. Companies that are already mid-sized also face challenges too. The economy in the U.S. has been trending upwards, but that doesn’t mean we can’t start to slip backwards. When the economy hits a rough patch it’s the businesses which have made the most cost-effective decisions that usually survive. If you’re the owner of a mid-sized business or hold a high position in one, it’s worth taking a look and reevaluating everything happening that you’re responsible for in the business. It never hurts to ensure you’re getting the most out of every dollar your business spends, especially when it means you’re able to weather those rough times. Here are some challenges mid-sized business face and how to meet them.
Challenge #1: Managing Growing Data
You have probably witnessed first-hand that your company is dealing with more data each month as your customer base grows. This is a good sign because it means you are receiving more customers, but finding a cost effective solution to handle all that data is difficult. The capital investment for new servers, the software required keeping them up-to-date and the staff needed to manage them almost 24/7 is not cheap. By investing in managed hosting services, you can eliminate those high initial capital costs and know that you’ll have a dedicated and trained staff watching over your servers 24/7. The other bonus to managed hosting services is your monthly cost is fixed and predictable. When running your own hardware, if something fails on you the cost spike can come at a bad time and be very damaging.
Challenge #2: Going Mobile
Due to the recent advances in technologies, the need for hardware and how we train employees is changing regularly. Keeping up with this can be costly. It’s no longer necessary for everyone to always work from the office. Many jobs can be easily completed from home thanks to VPNs, Dropbox, and other utilities. Having employees using technology they’re already familiar with that allows them do their jobs efficiently helps save on hardware and training costs. Allowing employees to regularly work from home also reduces the amount of office space required, which can cut down on your costs too.
Challenge #3: Having an Online Presence
Customers are regularly searching online for everything they need now if they don’t already have a familiar service provider in mind. A business that lacks a website (or a website that is well built and customer friendly) is losing money. The value of a strong website that is optimized for SEO and pragmatically laid out is massive. The cost of maintaining a professional website is well worth the benefits. It is important too, that the website be optimized for mobile devices, as the number of searches each year on mobile devices is rapidly increasing. Customers expect websites to be regularly updated with news and other information about the company; think of your website as on-going advertising of your services and products. If your website seems “stale” and content is not updated or added, customers stop visiting…and that can directly impact whether they purchase from you or from a competitor with an up-to-date and more interesting site.