There has been more than enough to worry about for the small business owner in the last 12 months. The checklist of things that have changed overnight probably covers every aspect of their business, foremost amongst them possibly that their entire workforce could now be working remotely.
While getting a company through the last 12 months could be considered achievement enough on its own, there are some more challenges to be faced by the small business owner if that survival is going to continue. Two things stand out as needing immediate attention, both of them requiring an upgrade to IT services.
Firstly the attraction of new customers in the current crisis and secondly the increased need for an effective cybersecurity strategy to combat the rise in cybercrime since the pandemic began.
Improve web design
The change to potential customers seeking a new product or service online instead of traditional methods was already underway before the current crisis. This change has accelerated in the last 12 months and many businesses have struggled to keep up, and this exposed shortfalls in the areas of social media marketing and website design.
Revenues have fallen as a result and reviews of website loading times and UX design for tracking customers need addressing. This task goes way beyond what most small business owners can do, so they need to seek outside help from a web design agency. Many find that one of the best website design agencies are ALT Agency for this, but you may find a similar more local company.
Create an effective cybersecurity strategy
As well as customers accessing their business online, many of their employees will be doing so as well. As this change will have happened in a small timeframe (and a lot faster than anyone will have wanted), this new setup could well be haphazard and vulnerable to cyber-attacks.
This situation has gone on much longer than many predicted, so it is no longer a short-term situation and needs addressing immediately, especially when business owners consider what is at stake. Cyber attacks have become far more frequent in the last 12 months and have also become more sophisticated. With many small businesses failing to recover from a data breach, any funds saved by not having a robust cybersecurity strategy will seem like false economy.
A key area will focus on end-user training, especially now that an entire workforce has migrated from a secure office environment to their homes. They may not have a dedicated area to work, be subject to multiple distractions and their devices might be accessible to other household members.
These factors can contribute to employees making poorer decisions than they would at the office and more likely to click on a compromised attachment or link unwittingly, or fall victim to phishing (or spear-phishing) attempts.
The last 12 months have caused the kind of upheaval that allows cybercriminals to succeed where they previously might not. With many business owners distracted by the changing ways customers approach a business, they may not be paying attention to the areas left exposed by their teams working and accessing data remotely. This can be a costly and potentially fatal mistake for the company.