You may be the owner of a small business, but that doesn’t mean that your data strategies are any less important than if you were the owner of a larger company or corporation. Collecting and managing data can be of significant value for small companies, particularly once you begin to think about leveraging that data to generate profit.
All businesses, no matter what they specialise in or how they operate, will have data that good business owners or managers should be able to recognise, and use to their advantage.
If you’re new to the business world and haven’t yet fully grasped the importance of data management, then here a few guidelines and pointers to help you:
What exactly is data and data management?
Data can just as easily be referred to as information, which is collected by company’s large and small on a daily (and often hourly) basis. Data management is the storage und use of that information, and mismanaging it can be deadly for small businesses.
How can mismanaging data have a negative impact on a small business?
Existing customer bases can be affected when data is lost or corrupted, and even acquiring new customers may become much harder. The flow of cash will get more complicated to keep track of, and overall productivity will certainly be affected, meaning that a company could quickly get itself into big trouble if it doesn’t develop a successful data management strategy.
How can small companies develop simple data storage systems?
Getting a central document where all customer data is stored, a good way of increasing the efficiency of a company. Name it clearly and be consistent with what data is kept in the folder, so that all relevant employees can access it easily. Ensuring that all other data is stored where it can be found, and accessed by those who need it, is equally as important. Once a company has basic data strategy, it can go on to develop it further as time and costs permit,
and it will be better able to assess how much storage is needed.
An efficient way of managing data for a small company, is to identify which files will need to be accessed more frequently or are of a higher importance, and then storage solutions can be tailor made to suit the company’s needs and budget.
How important is it for a small company to back up their data?
Some companies choose to back up their data using the cloud, rather than paying out for in-house hardware, but as keeping data safe and secure is paramount for any small business, this will need to be given some serious thought.
Should small businesses engage the services of outside data management companies?
There’s no right or wrong answer to this question, but if your small business is rapidly growing and you’re struggling to keep up with things, or you’re simply struggling with data management, period, then it might be time to see professional help.
A more efficient way of storing and managing a company’s data will quickly see it being able to develop more opportunities when it comes to analysing and researching that data, and it will become much easier to identify potential areas for expansion, profit making and overall growth.
Even if a business is small and the data that it collects is minimal and basic, managing it correctly can still improve its bottom line. Struggling to manage data can become costly, especially if you don’t really know what you’re doing, and so outsourcing can be cost effective and far safer, too. Companies who specialise in data management will be able to process large volumes of information in a timely and cost efficient manner, and will be able to create illustrated tables, summarize data and generate statistics.
Whatever the size of your small business, data management matters, and cutting corners can lead to big problems for you and your business. Seek professional help to get the best out of your data, and start reaping the benefits today.