Best Practices for CRM Maintenance
Your business relies on technology, and most of us take that for granted. But if you don’t take time to maintain your systems and clean up your data periodically, you can end up with a big problem. Let’s talk about IT and software best practices for small business owners.
IT providers are primarily focused on setting up your network. They install and configure servers, operating systems, email servers, and your firewall. They help to set up the backbone of your IT infrastructure. Some IT service providers offer and support software for business operations, but not all of them. To keep your business technology in shape, as yourself a few questions:
- Is your IT network humming along, or are you experiencing some issues?
- Do you skip doing regular backups on your applications?
- Are your backups in your office instead of stored in a safe or separate location?
- Do you have any computers running outdated versions of the operating system?
- Has it been a while since you reviewed each software application installed for updates, compatibility, or alternative solutions?
Don’t Skip the Backups
It is important to have a backup procedure in place and test them on a regular basis. Testing your backups will make it a lot easier to recover your data when there is an emergency. We met an accountant with a client in a tough situation. Her computer crashed, and she lost her QuickBooks database. This business owner was getting inquiries from the IRS and no longer had the documentation needed to provide legitimate business records.
Your backups should include the following tasks:
- Setting up an automated schedule for data backup a regular basis
- Keeping a copy on an external drive in a fireproof safe or using a cloud based backup service
- Testing your backups weekly, monthly, or quarterly
- Updating your operating systems
Outdated operating systems and software
If you have any computers or laptops running an older version of the operating system, you are exposed to security breaches, which could expose you to a cyberattack. Operating system updates are constantly being released to provide security patches. They are incredibly important to avoid potential business interruption or failure.
When you have software installed in your devices that is not being used, it is consuming resources, taking up space, and slowing down your system. Work with your IT service provider and staff to do a full inventory of software applications in all the workstations in your office. You might also learn about applications that are being used by a few that could benefit the entire team. Communicate with your staff about which applications are supporting the company operations and which ones are not.
If you don’t have an internal IT person or a regular IT service provider, start evaluating a few options today. Monthly IT subscription plans give peace of mind with 24/7 monitoring for updates, patches, security, storage, and processing speed.
This is Just the Start
These are only a few practices that save business owners from huge headaches. There are deeper issues regarding security that go well beyond keeping your antivirus program updated. If you have adequate backups and maintain updates yourself, you will be well on your way to protecting your business. However, consider professionals as your business grows. It’s impossible to address every potential problem without 24/7 monitoring.
Now that you know what you need to do on a consistent basis, let’s talk about how we distinguish CRM Growth Strategy services from IT service providers. Our focus is on software for business operations rather than security. We will help you choose the right lead generation system for running your business. In this process, we evaluate your current IT environment and how to keep the solutions in good shape. We recommend further IT services, so your data and CRM system hums along without issues that cause business interruption, employee downtime, system errors, or lost data.
How are you tracking your clients and potential sales? Is your business growing? Do you need a better lead generation system, or are you having a hard time figuring out how to use all your current CRM features? Contact CRM Growth Strategy to help you choose between desktop applications or cloud-based solutions with more data storage options and access across digital devices.
Get the most out of CRM systems by reaching out for a discovery session to assess your situation.