Downtime ate my business and now it’s coming after me

How outages and inefficiency keep business owners at work, 14+ hours a day

Small and medium-sized businesses are under a tonne of pressure at the moment. For some businesses, the state of the economy makes the outlook somewhat unpredictable. That’s a familiar theme, though. Another familiar theme is that if you don’t have efficient and available access to your online environment, you will struggle to keep up with other businesses, consumers and even your own expectations.

But one of the biggest threats to businesses large and small, outside of the economy and competition is, of course, downtime. Downtime is the handbrake to productivity. It stops your staff in their tracks and it literally turns off the revenue tap and clogs your consumer/customer/client pipeline. It literally shuts off the oxygen to your business’s balance sheet. Not good!

As a business owner or even a key decision maker within a business unit, what do you do about that? Obviously your first reaction is to get on the phone to the helpdesk to try and resolve the issue. What you may not have time to do while you’re in the throes of that crisis is to think about why it happened in the first place. Was the out-of-the-box business solution setup correctly? Or was it simply inadequate for the task required in the first place? Perhaps it was an external factor for which you did not have an adequate backup. All of these thoughts and questions take a back seat to your burning desire and need to get back online and get the business running again. And that’s exactly what your priorities should be – in the moment. Unfortunately, we have short memories and besides, cleaning up the aftermath and catching up to where the business should have been, is usually the first and second and third priority.

How downtime leads to overtime, which eats into “you time”.

If your backup systems or lack thereof, have prevented you from launching straight back into business as usual, you’ll behind where you need to be for the day or even the week. This means that to start again fresh the following day, you’ll have to push a little harder or dig a little deeper to help the business catch up. As a key decision maker or a business owner in the organisation, it’ll be you that needs to help pick up the lion’s share of the slack.

Now it’s a widely accepted fact that many, many business owners are burning the midnight oil, catching up with accounts, checking systems and planning for new business. We’re not saying it’s the way it should be, but it’s worth mentioning that the last thing you need when these factors are already extending your day, is the worry and stress that comes with trying to recover from a period of downtime. (If you are already dealing with the aftermath of a period of downtime, then you may not even have time to read the end of this particular article. Or you may be too exhausted to).

Again, the thing we often ignore after recovering from a period of downtime is why it happened and how we can prevent it from happening again. And it all starts with partnering with the right IT provider to plan and design an online environment that is best for your business. That’s really the only sensible way of ensuring that your uptime is maximised and disruption to your business is minimised.

It’s time for a change.

One of the reasons why we don’t take important steps towards minimising downtime is that we find the process confusing and confronting. It’s important to realise that it’s not incumbent upon you, the business owner or key decision maker, to troubleshoot and design solutions for your business. If we are being honest and blunt about it, that’s a call that should have been made ages ago while the business was in its infancy. But we’re here now, and there’s no time like the present to change the future.

Our advice is to book in time for a confidential chat with a trusted IT partner who not only understands how downtime and outages can damage your reputation, your business and your outlook, but can design the best solutions for your organisation and stick with you for the long haul. If that sounds good to you, we’re here and ready to listen.