Managing your small business network can be overwhelming. And every wrong decision can cost you more than just money. It can affect workplace communication, cause confusion between employees, and hamper important business tasks. As a small business owner, it’s natural to want everything to be in its top-notch condition, including your business’s network systems.
Today, when technology is affecting all parts (professional and personal) of our daily life, a reliable and fast network is essential for the success of your business. It helps you maintain a strong connection with the devices used by your employees and customers, keep a fast wireless network going, and maintain greater security. Moreover, the security and efficiency of your business relies on the quality of your network. Thus, you cannot afford to make mistakes when managing your small business network.
However, here’s the problem: sometimes, small business owners apply certain practices in their network management that do more harm than good. You might be managing your small business network in the wrong way without even realizing it. If not stopped in time, these practices can cause huge losses in the long run.
This article will walk you through 5 common ways small businesses manage their network wrong. We will also talk about what you should do to strengthen your small business network. Let’s take a look.
You Use Your Router’s Default Channel
This is one of the most common mistakes people make with their small business network. To set up everything and get started quickly, business owners often start using their router without changing its default channel.
And while there is nothing wrong with using the default channel, it can slow down your network. Why? Well, there are high chances that most of your neighbors would be using the same channel for their router. So naturally, the load and traffic on that channel will be greater. This will crowd your network and cause disruptions in its performance.
To ensure a smooth functioning network and minimize disruptions, avoid using your router’s default channel. Go to your network settings and change the router’s channel while setting it up.
There are three non-overlapping channels that you can use for your business WiFi network. These channels will ensure you get great speeds with minimum interference. Because of the sheer number of WiFi networks available today, these non-overlapping channels will also be crowded. So, you will need to do some testing before selecting the perfect channel for your small business network.
Not Paying Enough Attention to Security
Ideally, the security of your office network should be your priority. But most small business owners believe that only large businesses are susceptible to threats and security breaches. Consequently, they don’t spend enough time or resources in making their network more secure. This is one place you can’t afford to miss.
From confidential files to business emails, all your business-related data is shared back and forth across your office network. Ignoring your business network’s security can be your worst mistake. After all, you can never predict what risks and difficulties the future may bring. For all you know, your business could face a malware attack the next day. We aren’t trying to scare you. We just want the very best protection for you and your business.
Investing in network security features and solutions is certainly an investment. However, the trouble it will save you down the road is worth every penny. Your servers should always be as secure as possible. Make sure to invest in high-quality routers, firewalls, ports, switches, antivirus software, VPNs, and more.
Additionally, never make the mistake of using the device’s default password. It is a strict no-no! Every device in your workplace should have its unique password so that no one can access them easily.
If you have an eCommerce business, you can leverage value-added network services (VAN) to communicate and share information securely. VANs ensure that the data you share via email, social networks, browsers, and more goes to the intended receiver only. Don’t skimp on security options, you can never protect your business too much.
Not Backing Up Your Business Data
No business is free of human error. The mistakes made by your employees can often result in the loss of crucial data, including business files, clients’ email addresses and other info, and so much more. Even the smallest data loss can cause massive consequences for a small business or startup. Data backup is an integral part of every business’s network management.
You should always keep your important data backed up, preferably in multiple places, in case anything happens to your network or devices. If your employees are working from a remote location, make sure that all your business-related data on their remote servers and devices get backed up regularly as well.
There are various cloud services that provide you with the necessary backup storage and facilities. You can also use hardware storage devices to back up your data. Or, you can use a combination of cloud storage and hardware devices like a tape drive or hard disks. And always do a test restore instead, to avoid any last-minute issues.
No matter what method you choose, there is no alternative to backing up all the data shared across your office network. And don’t forget to review your backup logs at regular intervals.
You Don’t Analyze Your Network Device Logs
Another common network management mistake that small business owners often make is not analyzing their network device logs. These logs help you gain better visibility and insights into your network.
Almost every modern-day network device generates logs containing vital information that can be instrumental to your business’s growth. This includes information like potential traffic spikes, how well the network resources are being used and how the devices and servers are performing.
All this data can help you and your team take crucial steps to improve your network security, enhance efficiency, gain better network visibility, and reduce downtime. This, in turn, will help you in providing better services to your customers, thereby increasing your revenue and customer approval. As a business owner or manager, you need to use the logs generated by your networking device.
Ignoring your network device logs is a bad idea. Make sure to ask your network management team to collect and analyze all the information generated by network event logs regularly. This will go a long way in helping you boost network performance, track device and user activity, troubleshoot issues in devices, and so on.
You Don’t Use Network Management Tools
If you’re still managing your network manually, you are definitely on the wrong track. Not using some network management tools is also an error you should avoid. Today, various online services offer excellent network management tools that can make your work easier and less time-consuming.
It is possible to manage your network manually. But doing so will become difficult with the growth of your business network and the resulting increase in traffic. Network management tools can help you automate and streamline various procedures and protocols. This makes it simpler for you and your team to organize and manage everything.
While you will need to spend some additional money on these network management tools and software, they are worth it in the long run. These tools help you save a lot of time and manual labor, reduce the chances of human error and increase the accuracy of network management.
Good network management is a skill you need to develop. As a small business owner or manager, managing your network can be a little challenging initially. But it gets easier with time and consistent effort. Just ensure to avoid the mistakes mentioned above and seek the help of professional IT management services to maximize your network efficiency, security, data protection, and customer experience.
Tech Masters wants the very best for your business network and long-term success. We provide individually tailored IT solutions for every type of business. Contact us today to learn more and get a comprehensive free business IT assessment.
For more information on managing your business network better, check out our frequently asked questions below.
What are the five most common network problems?
Various problems can affect the performance of your network and impede your work. Here are five of the most common network problems:
Physical connectivity issues due to damaged cables
Cybersecurity and hacking risks
Duplicate IP Addresses and IP Address exhaustion
DNS-related issues like slow DNS, “DNS name does not exist,” etc.
Slow internet due to overloaded ports on a switch or router
What are the three main types of network failure?
Resource failure: This can happen due to lack of capacity, poor planning, power grid blackout, natural disasters, and accidents (rare cases).
Hard drive failure: This usually happens because of outdated equipment, overheating, incompatible firmware patches, and more.
Software failure: Software failure can happen for a variety of reasons. The major ones include corrupted configuration files, expiration of the license, and software bugs.
How do you reset your network settings?
To reset your network settings in Windows 10, follow the below-mentioned steps:
Step 1: Click on Start > Settings > Network and Internet
Step 2: On the left pane, click on the “Status” option to open the network status window.
Step 3: Now, scroll down and click on the “Network Reset” option.
Step 4: The network reset option will be visible now. Go through it and then tap on the “Reset now” option.
Step 5: Finally, click on “Yes” to confirm your choice.
Your computer will restart now. At this point, your device won’t have an active network connection because your network card has been reset, and all its previous connections are released.
Now, all you need to do is click on the network icon, select the network of your choice, and click on “Connect.” And it’s done!
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