How Poor Tech Support Is Slowing Down Your Business

If you’re serious about growing a successful, profitable business in 2024 and beyond, there’s no room for pass-the-buck tactics – especially when it comes to IT support. The efficiency of your IT team isn’t just a convenience – it’s a cornerstone of your operational capability. Yet many companies find themselves held back by subpar tech support, with unresolved IT issues lingering, impeding productivity and frustrating employees and customers alike. These recurring issues can significantly slow down your business growth and quickly cut into your profitability.

The reality is that reliable IT support is the backbone of modern business. It ensures operations run smoothly, data remains secure and communication channels remain open. Without it, even the simplest tasks can become complicated, leaving employees to deal with the fallout of unresolved technical problems instead of focusing on their core responsibilities. This can lead to missed opportunities, strained customer relationships and, ultimately, stifling your business’s potential to expand and thrive.

In this article, we will share the common tech issues that are likely happening in your business right under your nose, how they are impacting your business’s growth and what actions you need to take to eliminate them once and for all. Whether you’re dealing with frequent downtime, delayed issue resolution or lackluster service, recognizing and addressing these IT shortcomings is essential for enabling your business to flourish.

Top Signs You Are Settling For Subpar IT Service

Recognizing the signs of inadequate tech support is the first step to getting back on track. These symptoms often manifest slowly and subtly but can have profound implications for your operations and growth over time. Here are the most common indicators that your IT support may not be up to par:

Frequent, Frustrating Downtime

Downtime is not just an inconvenience; it costs your business money. If your systems are frequently offline or your network experiences regular interruptions, it’s a clear sign that your IT support is failing to maintain a stable infrastructure. This not only affects your team’s immediate productivity but also impacts your ability to generate revenue and your reputation with clients, who expect reliability and professionalism.

Slow Response Times

When tech issues arise, response time can be just as critical as the solution itself. Prolonged response times can lead to extended disruptions in your workflow. Effective tech support should offer timely responses and quick resolutions to minimize downtime and keep your business moving forward.

Recurring Problems

Are the same issues cropping up repeatedly? This is a telltale sign of tech support that treats symptoms rather than underlying causes. Quality IT support digs deeper to find permanent solutions, ensuring that once a problem is resolved, it doesn’t return to haunt your business operations.

Lack Of Proactive Measures

Preventive measures are the hallmark of excellent tech support. If your IT service is only reactive – responding to problems after they occur rather than anticipating and mitigating risks beforehand – your business is always operating a step behind. Proactive IT support includes regular updates, backups and security protocols that help prevent issues before they impact your business.

Poor Or Nonexistent Communication

Effective communication is vital in any relationship, including with your IT support provider. If explanations are unclear, tech jargon is used without clear explanations or calls and e-mails go unanswered, it indicates a lack of commitment to client service and can leave you feeling out of the loop and frustrated.

 

How Bad IT Support Is Affecting Your Business Right Now

Inadequate tech support does more than just create temporary disruptions; it can have lasting effects on your business’s growth trajectory. Here are a few ways poor IT support directly impacts key areas of your business:

Downtime Leads To Lost Revenue

Every minute your systems are down, you’re losing money. For small businesses especially, this can be devastating. Unplanned downtime not only results in lost sales but can also incur additional costs as you scramble to get systems back online. Over time, these losses can accumulate, significantly impacting the financial health of your organization.

Inefficiency Reduces Productivity

When employees are consistently facing IT issues, their ability to perform efficiently is compromised. Simple tasks become time-consuming, reducing overall productivity. This inefficiency not only slows down operations but also affects employee morale and job satisfaction, which are crucial for long-term business success.

Customer Experiences Suffer

Your technology directly impacts your customers, from how they interact with your services online to how you manage their data. Frequent tech issues can lead to poor customer experiences, such as slow service, transaction problems or security concerns. In today’s market, customers are quick to switch to competitors if they feel their needs aren’t being met effectively.

Hindered Scalability

As your business grows, your IT infrastructure needs to evolve to support increased demands. Poor tech support can hinder this scalability, making it difficult to expand operations or integrate new technologies. Without the ability to scale efficiently, your business could miss out on potential growth opportunities.

Compromised Data Security

One of the most severe impacts of inadequate tech support is compromised security. Small businesses are frequent targets for cyber-attacks, and without robust IT support to implement and maintain strong security measures, your business is at a higher risk of data breaches. These breaches can have catastrophic consequences, including loss of customer trust, legal repercussions and substantial financial losses.

How To Choose The Right IT Support For Your Small Business

Selecting the right IT provider is pivotal for ensuring your business’s long-term success. Here are key attributes to look for in a reliable IT support provider:

●       Responsiveness

Choose a provider known for quick response times. Efficient problem-solving can drastically reduce downtime, helping maintain continuous business operations.

●       Expertise

Ensure the IT support team has the necessary technical expertise to manage your infrastructure. Look for certifications and experience in the specific technologies your business uses.

●       Proactiveness

Select a provider that offers proactive support, such as regular system audits, continuous monitoring and preventive maintenance, to avoid issues before they arise.

●       Communication

Effective communication is essential. Your IT support team should provide clear, jargon-free explanations and maintain open lines of communication.

●       Customization

Opt for a service offering tailored solutions that align with your specific business needs, ensuring more effective and relevant support.

●       Reviews And References

Check reviews and ask for references to gauge the provider’s reputation and reliability. Positive feedback from other businesses can be a strong indicator of quality service.

If you’re tired of dealing with recurring issues like downtime, slow response times, ineffective solutions or hearing your employees complain that something is “always broken,” it’s time to look for better IT support. Don’t let poor tech support be the bottleneck that stifles your business’s potential – take action today to ensure your technology propels your business forward.

Get a FREE 10-Minute Discovery with one of our experts by email advisetech@advisetech.com or calling us at 626 701 5005

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Apple Might Never Have Released The Macintosh If This Happened

Steve Wozniak was asked in an interview what he would have done differently if he had been Apple’s CEO instead of Jobs. He said he would have been “a lot nicer to people,” but then quickly added that IF he had been CEO, they might never have released the Macintosh.

Jobs was known for being ruthless and controlling, rude and ill-tempered, driven by a desire for perfection and pushing people to bring products out before they were ready, creating enormous strain within the organization. The OG “mean girl.” Many people couldn’t tolerate working for him, and I’m sure he missed out on a lot of talent for this reason. But in spite of that – or more possibly because of that – he was able to build one of the world’s most iconic brands and successful companies.

I’m not sure that level of “disagreeableness” is necessary for us mere mortals running small businesses vs. the enterprise builders like Jobs, but I do know this: FAR too many business owners tolerate FAR too much from too many people: employees, vendors, clients or otherwise!

One of the reasons so many people loved the character Tony in The Sopranos was because, deep down, they secretly wished they had his backbone and confidence, not taking anything from anyone AND bold enough to do something more than simply holding a grudge against someone who wrongs them.

I’m not suggesting his level of corruption, anger or response is good or healthy. That’s not my point. What I’m saying is that many people would do far better in life if they were unafraid to stand up for themselves, not allowing themselves to be affected by critics and instead becoming a more imposing, respected alpha leader, unafraid of speaking their mind and standing their ground.

This translates directly to the security of your business. If you cower and fear taking a stand for yourself, failing to draw a HARD LINE to protect yourself and your organization, you WILL be taken advantage of. It’s really that simple. There are a lot of people out there with their own agendas who aren’t going to give a rip about you. Many want to take you out, harm you and damage you for their own personal gain, particularly cyber criminals, whose job it is to capitalize on YOUR hard work. To steal YOUR profits. To sneak into your network and steal YOUR data, putting on the line your livelihood and everything you’ve spent years of blood, sweat and tears building.

As a business leader, you must assume a Tony Soprano–level toughness about this. ZERO tolerance for it: be awake and alert, look for such enemies at the gate and get rid of them before the damage they do is irreversible. Further, you need to protect yourself by putting the necessary protections in place to prevent those who mean you harm from getting into your network in the first place. The cold, hard truth is that, at the end of the day, as a leader in your organization, if you’re the victim of a cyber crime, YOU will be the one they blame. Your tail is on the line, and reporters won’t be timid about blasting that headline all over the news.

Business isn’t all about being tough on others – it’s also about innovation and driving your company forward, using the best strategies and best practices of those who lead the way, including protecting what you’ve built. It can all be taken away with one wrong mouse click if you don’t have the foresight to get ahead of the problem.

To stay ahead of the cyber criminals and make sure you’re protected book a 10-Minute Discovery Call with our team of experts to get a free IT Risk Assessment. We’ll perform analysis of your network to identify any vulnerabilities and provide you with a plan of action to fix them. This assessment will give you the peace of mind to do what you do best and focus on growing your business.

Click here: Calendly.com/Aebischer  to book your call now or give us a call

at 626 701 5005.

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In late September, representatives from the biggest tech companies testified before the Senate Committee on Commerce, Science, and Transportation. At almost the same time, Facebook announced that a massive data breach had affected almost 50 million users. This odd fluke of timing illustrates the perilous nature of data protection right now.

Because of data breaches at Facebook and countless other leading companies, consumers are understandably wary about how much of their personal data is being tracked and stored. These fears were stoked after the Cambridge Analytica scandal, as it became clear that personal data was being used for far more than just targeted advertising. Better protections are something that consumers are beginning to prioritize and demand, but until just recently big tech has controlled the conversation.

The aforementioned Senate hearing was just the most recent time that companies like Google and Microsoft have had to appear before Congress. Thus far legislators have taken a hands-off approach to data protection, but that position is quickly changing. As more of life has shifted online, the issues of data privacy and protection have become critical to the public good. Congress is beginning to treat them as such.

Additionally, Apple came out in favor of federal data regulations. The company supports giving users the right to control what information is stored, who it is shared with, and why. Considering that consumers, Congress, and now big tech are all in favor of stricter protections, companies need to begin preparing for a cybersecurity and regulatory future that looks drastically different from today. Luckily, an example already exists.

Following in the EU’s Footsteps

The General Data Protection Regulation went into effect throughout the European Union last spring and represented the first major push for data legislation. GDPR lets each member country devise its own specific data protection rules, but they all share the same objectives: giving users transparent control over their own data.

The GDPR rules affect any company that has consumers or does business in Europe, meaning lots of American companies are forced to comply. Some companies are even considering voluntary adoption of these rules — at least in part — to prepare for impending data regulations that are likely coming to America.

California recently passed AB 375, the California Consumer Privacy Act of 2018, which gives consumers far more control over their data. Other state regulations (along with federal legislation) will likely also come down the pike, suggesting that compliance will be a complex issue for any business, regardless of footprint.

It will also be consequential. GDPR and other existing rules levy fines based on the size and severity of the breach. Companies are penalized for every record that is compromised, meaning that large-scale breaches can cost millions or even billions of dollars.

There is no clear timeline for when nationwide regulations will take effect in the U.S., nor what form they will take. What is clear, however, is that companies choosing to prepare now will be ahead of their competition in enhancing their cybersecurity.

Preparing for an Uncertain Future

Companies don’t have to wait for new laws to hit the books to begin planning for compliance. They also don’t need to recruit an army of lawyers. Instead, follow these strategies to prepare for whatever happens next at the local, state, national, or international levels:

1. Follow core principles. Rather than trying to align your policies with future regulations, commit to some core principles such as consent, anonymization, and encryption. Making these your ongoing priorities will keep you on the right side of the law more often than not.

2. Evolve your culture. New rules could be right around the corner, and getting prepared takes time. In addition to new policies and protections, companies will need to cultivate an updated culture that respects data and gives preference to privacy. Making those changes meaningfully will not happen quickly or easily, which is why companies should get started sooner rather than later.

3. Treat all data as equal. Stop thinking about data as valuable/invaluable or secure/insecure. GDPR and other rules treat all data breaches equally, no matter what kind of data is compromised. That means rather than securing select information channels and databases, companies will need to take broader approaches to data classification.

4. Practice good governance. A systematic approach is important for preventing breaches, but it’s just as important after a breach. Data rules commonly require companies to disclose a breach within days after it occurs. The only way to prepare for the technical, logistical, and reputational fallout on such a short timeline is to have policies and plans in place.

5. Seek the opportunities. Compliance is an obligation and an opportunity. Companies that make every effort to keep data safe tend to strengthen their customers’ confidence. Treating data protection as an investment, rather than a burden, makes it easier to get compliant and stay compliant.

We are quickly reaching a tipping point when lax data security is unacceptable for everyone. Now that nearly every stakeholder is on board, sweeping change is likely around the corner. Anyone with data at stake should read the writing on the wall and make data protection their next big initiative.

David Wagner

President and Chief Executive Officer of Zix

David Wagner has more than 25 years of experience in the IT security industry. He serves as the president and chief executive officer of Zix, a leader in email security.

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After a years-long pummeling, Microsoft this week surrendered in the browser war, saying that it will junk Edge’s home-grown rendering engine and replace it with Blink, the engine that powers Google’s Chrome.

With Edge pulling code from the Chromium project, the browser will also be able to run on Windows 7 and Windows 8.1, as well as macOS.

“We intend to adopt the Chromium open source project in the development of Microsoft Edge on the desktop to create better web compatibility for our customers and less fragmentation of the web for all web developers,” wrote Joe Belfiore, a corporate vice president in the Windows group, in a post to a company blog.

Belfiore’s announcement was a stunning humiliation for Microsoft, which in the early years of this century ruled the browser world after Internet Explorer (IE) had obliterated Netscape Navigator and achieved market share in excess of 90%.

Although Edge will survive, it will no longer be a Microsoft-made browser: It will exist as a UI (user interface) wrapper around core technologies developed almost entirely by Google engineers, in the same way Opera has existed since 2013, when it ditched its own internal engine for Chromium’s Blink.

Shed share at record rates

Microsoft cast the decision as affection for, and adoption of, open-source software that would, said Belfiore, lead to an application compatible “with other Chromium-based browsers.” That would “make the web experience better” for users, web developers and corporate IT, he argued.

If you’ve ever tried to print photos from your computer, there’s a good chance you’ve been surprised—if not, disappointed—by how they came out. Let’s look at where you might be going wrong and why photos often look different when you print them.

What Photos Are You Printing?

The first place you might be going wrong is with the very photos you’re trying to print. To get good results you need to use high resolution, original files. The photos that come straight off your smartphone are fine, but the versions you’ve uploaded to Facebook or Instagram aren’t—social media sites compress and downsize images aggressively.

In my test where I uploaded a high resolution, 2.7MB, 5166×3444-pixel file to Facebook and then saved it from my Timeline, I ended up with a 74kb, 960×640-pixel file. That file has just 2.7% of the original image data. It barely looks good on my screen, so there’s no way it’s going to look good printed. Or at least, printed at any size bigger than 3” by 2”.

RELATED: How Big of a Photo Can I Print from My Phone or Camera?

If you want to print a photo that someone has tagged you in on social media, your best bet is to reach out to them and ask them to send you the high resolution original. If you took the photo, get the original from your phone or camera and print it—not the version you uploaded to Facebook. It’s the only way to get a good print.

How Bright Is Your Screen?

One really common problem with printed images is that, compared to the photo on screen, they look really drab and dark. This is because screens and printed images are fundamentally different things: a screen displays images by directly emitting light while a print reflects the ambient light.

Since a screen is itself a light source, images almost always look much brighter with more vivid colors on screen than they do when they’re printed. Most people have the brightness and saturation cranked up way too high. You have to remember that your screen is only displaying the underlying image data: if your screen is bright it makes the image appear bright but it doesn’t necessarily mean the image is bright in the original file.

Converting what you see on screen to a print is one of the big challenges of high quality photo printing. It takes time and learning from your mistakes to get good at it. I’m still awful at it. A few things you can do are:

What’s Your Printer Setup Like?

Even if you’ve got everything setup perfectly on your computer, if your printer isn’t up to the job you’re still not going to get great prints. Most standard inkjet or laser printers just aren’t designed for printing high quality photos. They’re alright if you want to print off some Powerpoint slides but not if you want something you can actually put on your wall.

The first step is to get a printer that’s actually up to the job. Our sister site ReviewGeek has a great roundup of photo printers for any budget. Next, you’ll need high quality photo paper—it does make a difference. The final step is to make sure your printer is set up correctly with the right drivers and color profiles.

If all that sounds a bit much, then you can get your photos printed professionally, which we’ll look at next.

Who’s Doing the Printing?

“Professional” printing is a pretty big category and runs the gamut from terrible to incredible. At the lower end, you’ve got bad shops that will just print any file you hand them for a few dollars. At the high end, you’ve got master craftsmen who’ll print, frame, and mount a five-foot panorama for a few hundred dollars. As I said, the range is wide.

If you’ve got your photos printed by someone towards the lower end of the range, or using a drugstore machine, then it’s normal to expect the prints to come back a little off. The thing to do is look at the prints, assess what’s wrong with them, and then make the edits to the original files and get them printed again. If the photos are too dark, increase the brightness. If they look yellow, fix the white balance. Keep doing this until you get photos that look how you want. It might take a few goes but, since it’s cheap, you won’t break the bank.

On the other hand, if you’re going with a high-end printing shop, just talk to them; they’re the experts. Ask them to review your file and to make a smaller test print. They’ll normally be more than happy to help.

The best middle ground is to go to a camera shop that also prints photos. The staff will be knowledgeable and happy to help or offer advice.

How to Get Better Prints

So that’s some of the common ways the printing process breaks down and doesn’t give you the results you want. To dodge all the pitfalls:

  • Use high-quality original files.
  • Make sure your monitor isn’t too bright or too saturated.
  • If you’re serious, calibrate your monitor.
  • Edit your images using the histogram.
  • Get a good printer or use a professional.
  • Do test prints and then fix any problems.
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A Clear Path for the e-Way Bill in Zoho Books  —  Do you transport goods within your state or across different states in India?  To comply with the GST law, you will need a new electronic document in order to transport your goods – the e-Way Bill.

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