Pagoda Blog

5 Mistakes Small Businesses will Make in 2016 (and how IT can fix them)

January 21, 2016

Running a small business is much like steering a large ship. You spend a lot of time crafting it and getting ready to sail, and once you are out on the water most things run pretty smoothly. However, you can’t always see the obstacles headed your way. Are you going to run into shallow waters? Hit an iceberg? Lose some crewmembers overboard?

Business owners can’t do everything themselves. Having IT support to help you avoid obstacles and throw out a life ring if needed can make a good company great.

So start off 2016 right and don’t make these 5 mistakes.



  • Shoddy power protection


When running a small business, it might seem like power strips are in the category of ‘good enough for now’. It always seems like getting a better system to protect your hardware from power surges, outages or brownouts, is something you can save for later. However thunderstorms, blackouts, and other disasters can shut down your hardware, damage data and corrupt files. Those are things that can cost your company money, clients and lost time.  


Having high quality battery backups with surge protectors should be your top priority for all essential computer systems and servers.

Battery backups should be tested regularly.  Replace batteries or entire units as needed since batteries eventually wear out.


  • Illegal software or applications


Using illegal software can be one of the most insidious mess ups that any business owner can make. Most people are honest and don’t want to steal or use stolen software, however it happens quite a bit. It is a crime of ignorance typically. A friend lets you borrow the password for a particular software, or someone you know torrents the app you need.


This is not ok for businesses to do. People make their living from software development and deserve to be paid for their work. The Business Software Alliance has collected over $81 million in settlements for illegal software use in businesses. Make sure that all of your software, applications and programs are licensed specifically to your business.


  • Security breaches


We have written about this before on the Pagoda Tech blog, but you can never be too secure. Security failures account for  more than $400 billion lost every year in businesses. You don’t have to be a large business to be vulnerable to cyber attacks, and many small businesses suffer greatly when they make themselves vulnerable to attack.


The following are some things you can do to make sure your security systems remain secure.

  • Implement strong passwords for all security points
  • Regularly update your software, programs and applications.
  • Use firewalls at every opportunity
  • Disable guest accounts
  • Prohibit file sharing programs
  • Make use of antivirus, and anti-spyware applications and update them regularly
  • Do regular security checks.


  • Not backing up their data


Backing up your hardware to external sources is another way to protect your company files and data. If there is a power surge or a security breach you can count on the backups to hold vital storage safe from either of these misfortunes. However, backups will only work if you are routinely doing back ups of all your vital systems.

To make sure backup systems are working, you should do routine checks of the backups. If you are unsure of backup needs for your company , make an appointment with a backup consultant to see what vital data and backup schedule is right for you.


  • Unsolicited E-mail



Spam, as it is more commonly known, is not typically thought of as a huge IT issue, but it can be a major drain on resources and time when running a business. Almost half of all email is estimated to be spam and costs businesses $20 billion a year. Spam takes up valuable time (employees must sift through it and delete), and puts strain on company servers and workstations, which often must dedicate processor cycles, disk space, and backup media to untold terabytes of unwanted mail.


Some ways to prevent unwanted spam in your business emails, include the following:

  • Do not publish company emails in plain text on websites
  • Do not forward chain email messages
  • Use email filters to protect your inbox
  • Carefully read all terms and conditions before submitting your email address to a third party
  • Create a third party email address (gmail, yahoo, Hotmail) for all non-business related accounts that require an email address.



About Pagoda Technologies IT services

Pagoda Technologies is a globally recognized IT support service that helps businesses in Santa Cruz, San Jose and all over the world run their IT departments smoothly and efficiently. To learn how Pagoda Technologies can help your business, email us at to schedule a no cost business assessment.


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As your trusted IT service partner, Pagoda Technologies is here to help you achieve your near and long-term business goals through reliable and affordable IT support. 

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101 Cooper Street

Santa Cruz, CA 95060


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