4 Ways to Collect and Protect Your Small Business Data

Data runs your small business. It is the engine that drives your business success. Small businesses collect data from various sources both online and offline. They use that information to predict sales and inventory. When all devices are working properly and your internet connections are secure, things run smoothly. As a small business owner you have a unique understanding of how your business is supposed to run. You also understand that you need to manage your data religiously.

Data Comes Directly From the Customer

When you first start as a business, most of your information comes directly from your customer. This can be in an online form that a prospective customer fills out, an email, or a prompt on your website. It can also be through interaction with the customer either through a physical location or through a mailing. This data can include everything from names, emails, passwords, addresses, or phone numbers, and preferences as well as plenty of other information, and needs to be kept secure.

Data Comes Indirectly Through Websites or Social Media

This information primarily comes from the customer interaction with your website. Tracking software provides a myriad of information about your customer’s behavior patterns. Location based software helps small businesses attract local audiences. There is also direct feedback that you can use to gather information.

Data Collected Through Interaction With the Product or Service

Customers will often offer reviews and opinions on your products and services. These may appear as comments or reviews on your site or on a third-party distributor site you use. Others might blog or vlog about your product. Both reviewing and blogging are visible to other potential clients, and can affect their purchasing decisions, for good or bad. Anything submitted will be attached to consumer information, including names, emails, and purchases.

Managing the Data-Saving Your Business

Equipment breaks down. You have a security breach. These things happen. Managed services help businesses manage their network systems and equipment. These services can also provide you with secure access to customer data. It is important, especially when you’re working with data online, that you have ways to secure sensitive data.

Small businesses need to invest in encryption software. Encryption allows sensitive data to process through your business portals without tampering. Designating employees that will handle sensitive information will help you protect data that comes to you directly. You should only collect data you need to run your business. It is tempting to collect a lot of data, but this can backfire on you because the more data you collect the more you have to protect. Small businesses need an online and offline destruction policy. Once the information has expired, it is necessary to delete it to create more room for new data. It also helps with having the most relevant information available. Customers support businesses that practice a robust destruction policy. This saves your business.

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About Dequiana Jackson

Dequiana Jackson, Founder of Inspired Marketing, Inc., helps overachieving women entrepreneurs conquer limiting beliefs and create marketing plans that grow their businesses. This includes one-on-one marketing plan development, digital product creation, web design and content marketing. Dequiana is the author of Know Your Business: How to Attract Ideal Clients & Sell More and runs the award-winning blog, Entrepreneur-Resources.net.

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