Biz Bits: Using outdated technology can impact small-business reputation
Tip of the Week
Smart-business owners know how important it is to preserve their company’s reputation, but many may not realize the extent to which their current and potential customers care about the technology they use.
According to a recent survey, more than 90 percent of consumers said they would - or would consider - taking their business elsewhere if a company uses outdated technology.
Respondents cited convenience and better customer service among reasons modern technology matters to them when it comes to working with small businesses.
About 60 percent of consumers consider operating systems and desktop computers that are five to 10 years old to be outdated. That means that the estimated 30 percent of small businesses that are still running the 12-year-old Windows XP operating system fall into the category of “outdated” in consumers’ minds.
But there are more than just reputational considerations for businesses still using an outdated operating system. After April 8, 2014, businesses running Windows XP will no longer receive security updates or technical support for the system, meaning their systems may become more vulnerable to security threats.
The good news is that businesses in need of a technology facelift have a whole new world of devices and capabilities at their fingertips. In addition, cloud technology has given small businesses access to the same powerful technology larger companies use, but in an affordable and manageable pricing structure.
Many businesses take a “buy it and forget it” approach to their website domain names, and scammers love to prey on that lack of knowledge. To better manage this part of your business, know your top-level domains. Scammers are using scare tactics as a way to sell unpopular top level domains, such as “.org.cn,” at inflated prices. If your company has interests in Asia, you may want to consider purchasing URLs that end in the country codes, such as .jp (Japan), .kr (South Korea) or .sg (Singapore).
— Better Business Bureau
The price of a four-year education is approaching a $250,000. Here’s a list of the top-ranked colleges and universities of 2013:
1. Stanford University
2. Pomona College
3. Princeton University
4. Yale University
5. Columbia University
6. Swarthmore College
7. United States Military Academy
8. Harvard University
9. Williams College
10. Massachusetts Institute of Technology
Number to Know
68 percent: Sixty-eight percent of consumers think the use of modern technology is critical to the success of a business, and more than 60 percent said they are likely to become a repeat customer of a business using modern technology.
Many small businesses are using cloud technology to reach new customers and enable employees to collaborate from separate locations. “Standing still is falling behind,” says Brian Clark, OnPoint CFO co-founder and president. “Either you implement new technologies or you risk getting passed by your competitors.”
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