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Tech Health IS Economic Wealth

Do you have a reliable IT Doc?

Small business is the heart beat of our US economy and what ails our small businesses causes an epidemic across our national economy. While it may not seem like it during our challenging times, here are some important facts to remember so that we continue to focus on our roles as small business owners in shaping our collective destiny:

  1. Small businesses make up more than 99.7% of all employers.
  2. Small businesses create more than 50% of the nonfarm private gross domestic product (GDP).
  3. The 22.9 million small businesses in the United States are located in virtually every neighborhood.
  4. Small businesses employ about 50% of all private sector workers.
  5. Home-based businesses account for 53% of all small businesses.

If we, the small business community, form the foundation for our US and local economies then we also need to be proactive in our planning for the economic health of our businesses. Last week we explored the importance of health and wellness for wealth creation. This week let us explore the importance of tech health and resulting economic value.


Information Technology (IT) serves as the central nervous system of our small businesses and every small business relies on technology for managing its operations.  Computer virus, worms, etc are no longer a rare occurring but a norm. The latest cyber scam involves the DNS Changer that will route online banking, business activity, etc to rouge links with major theft ramifications to follow.  Are we going to sit back and allow a group of international hackers to not only walk away with our financial security held at our banks but also bring our businesses to a screeching halt? Certainly not!  We have great IT resources in our very own community to help guard against such risks.



As a small business consultant and coach, I conducted my own research to understand what is available to us as we deal with this very real business threat. I wanted to share with you my findings so that you too can benefit fit from it. Cube Jumpers is a local IT strategic partner to small businesses with a focus on Preventative Tech Health, 24/7 Support, Back-up, affordable services and much more.  I found out about the 9 things they do better than the big firms to bring value to small businesses. I was amazed at the offer of a free Preventative Audit as a wellness check-up that will benefit all of us small business owners while laying the foundation for a customized IT wellness plan to safeguard our central information system. I walked away with the feeling that Steve Smith and his team at Cube Jumpers truly understood the essence of reliable IT support for small communities like ours.



I know of businesses that have paid $5,000 to $10,000 per occurrence to clean up individual situations of IT breach and then finally saw the light in proactive IT in-sourcing partnership with local providers.  Such local partnerships help with economic growth as opposed to foreign outsourced IT help that can be fraught with language and cultural nuances that could prove challenging; it will also keep
the business costs low because prevention is a frugal alternative to after-the-fact treatment. When small business owners and employees work on computers and communicate via emails it is only a matter of time before inadvertent series of events lead to virus related risks.  Pretending that “it will not happen to me” is not prudent risk taking for businesses.  Let us work together to prevent contraction of IT ailments and focus on preventative IT health. Then we can freely move on to growing our business without worrying about “am I safe” or “who is stealing my stuff”!

 

**Do share your thoughts and insights on how we can benefit from IT preventative wellness, support & Back-up. We need to make our finances stretch for our families and improve our small business bottom line understanding the interconnectedness. I look forward to an engaging discussion! **

This post is contributed by a community member. The views expressed in this blog are those of the author and do not necessarily reflect those of Patch Media Corporation. Everyone is welcome to submit a post to Patch. If you'd like to post a blog, go here to get started.

Ken N July 23, 2012 at 04:08 PM
Mr. Danielle is right on the money - very, very few folks have a clue how much it really costs when things go south - if your computer is down, you're out of business. And the worst of the costs while you're down (and preoccupied) is the one paid by your customers. Most successful small businesses get there by being flexible, communicative, and reliable. Without a computer, that all goes away, and stays away until somebody gets you fixed. "An ounce of prevention..." applies here in a big way. It's well worth a bit of insurance to avoid 99% of the problems out there, and even more worth it to have an expert already working for you if a bad thing does happen. And I can vouch for Cube Jumpers - their knowledge and professional practices put them at the top of their field. You can engage them with confidence, knowing that you're paying a fair price for really excellent service.
Peter Luchsinger July 23, 2012 at 04:32 PM
As one of the 53% of small businesses based in a home, I think overhead is a need to minimize item so that cash flow can go toward growing our business. What tips are there for preventing mishaps for us with a zero $ IT budget?
Timothy Fraser July 23, 2012 at 07:22 PM
I am not sure if there is such a thing as a zero IT budget. We might like to think of it as zero but then here we are replacing our equipment every couple of years. If things are taken care of the correct way that would not a problem. I can relate to having a "0" IT bugdet that turns into about $1k per year one way or another. I wonder how much of that might have been prevented?
Jim Christensen July 24, 2012 at 08:26 PM
Dr.Kas' article is just what the doctor ordered. But before I go further, the greatest endorsement that I can provide professionally is to recommend a company to a client. With my personal and professional credibility on the line, I am very particular of what companies that I recommend to a client. I have confidently and comfortably recommended Cube Jumpers to a current client. So you now know what I think of Cube Jumper's services and capability. Now back to the discussion. As a professional in the Business Continuity Management and Disaster Recovery field, I have a full appreciation of prevention, mitigation, and positively reacting to business disasters and potential business disasters. Cube Jumpers aids that effort. While the IT environment is but a part of a company's business existence, it is a key component. Working with Cube Jumpers a company can put a program in place that can make sure that IT's life-line continues to function even in the face of potential business disaster. Jim Christensen
Steve Smith July 25, 2012 at 04:08 PM
Some of the biggest risks business IT face is Security and Data Loss. Based on a Ponemon Institute study, more than 78% of organizations have suffered from at least one data breach over the past two years. Regardless of who’s responsible for the loss of data employees or other insiders, or those with malicious intent, unless an organization has the necessary knowledge and skills to protect and recover lost data, data breaches will continue to be a problem. Organizations may face insurmountable financial liabilities if they lose sensitive data. Data breaches can result in direct costs such as reimbursement to customers and data recovery costs. Even worse is the damage to one’s reputation, especially since most consumers, your customers, say they would entirely stop dealing with an organization in the event of a security breach. Some of the best practices that we suggest are: 1) Having policies around employees using social media and personal email. Most attacks begin with clicking on one of the social "lure" links on a site or email. 2) Having Antivirus is not enough. Make sure it has the latest virus definitions and running regular scans. 3) Use reputable applications, free are not the best. 3) Make sure all your systems are at current patch levels. 4) You should use a firewall at the network perimeter & on each machine on your network & ensure there are only essential ports are open. 5) Have an automated backup, On-site & Off-site, & test it. www.CubeJumpers.com

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