Is your small business at risk from downtime?

Whether it’s your servers, your network, a business application or your internet access that fails, downtime can cause serious problems for your business.

You don’t have to struggle with the threat of downtime.

With care and planning, you can prevent downtime and keep your business running smoothly.

So just how serious can downtime be? What can you do to prevent it?

Problem with Downtime

The problem with downtime is that it can affect your small business in several ways, some of which can be hard to recover from.

Downtime makes it hard for your team to carry out their business tasks. That means frustration, backlogs, and people diverting their valuable time to try and fix the issue.

As the article “Great Network Tools Aren’t Free … but Neither is Downtime…” says, slow applications or poor service inside your company will impact your employees’ productivity.

Downtime also makes it hard to deliver the best service to your customers.

That means dissatisfied customers who might jump ship, and tell others about the poor service they received from you. This hit to your reputation can be hard to come back from.

Make a Plan

The best way to prevent downtime problems is to make a plan.

Take a good look at your small business and make a list of potential downtime problems.

Don’t forget to include potential causes such as:

  • Equipment breaking down;
  • Power going out;
  • Hacking or viruses;
  • Software failing;
  • Vendors letting you down;
  • Human error.

Once you know the potential risks, you can formulate a plan to prevent them where possible, and deal with them if they should arise.

Your plan should include everything your employees need to know to get things up and running again as soon as possible.

Be Vigilant

Prevention is better than cure; that’s why being vigilant is important if you want to prevent downtime.

Invest in the best anti-virus and anti-malware software you can, along with network monitoring tools. An investment in monitoring now will be less costly than the potential fallout from downtime.

Make keeping your software, including anti-virus software, up to date a regular part of your business. Updated software is less vulnerable to attacks, and updated anti-virus software will cover all the latest threats.

Pay Attention to IT Equipment

Preventing downtime isn’t just about your software. It’s vital that you keep your hardware in good working order too.

Make sure your IT equipment is kept clean and in good condition.

Replace anything that’s looking the worse for wear. If you have servers, keep them in a separate room and make sure that room is cool and well ventilated.

Hardware performance monitoring tools will help you see how well your hardware is performing and alert you early to any problems.

Prevent Human Error

Human error is a major cause of downtime.

From messing about with code or a program, to entering the wrong information, it’s easy to make a mistake, and easy for that mistake to cause plenty of problems.

You can help prevent human error by being strict about who has access to hardware and software. Only grant access to those who truly need it to carry out their job.

For those who need access to hardware and software, provide comprehensive training and equip your team with the skills they need to work accurately and without error.

Downtime can cause serious problems for your small business.

Take as many steps as you can to prevent it, and don’t forget to write a comprehensive plan to get you back on track if disaster does strike.

About the Author: Tristan Anwyn writes on a variety of topics including social media, how to build customer relationships, content marketing and how to prevent downtime from damaging your small business.