It’ll happen. Eventually.
Something in your business will break down or mess up – your website will disappear, your shopping cart will crap out during a launch, your sales page will suddenly start acting wonky, or any number of tech gators that crop up from time to time.
And it’s not always technology that’s the culprit…sometimes you just click the wrong button by mistake, or you try to do something beyond your skill level. It happens.
Unfortunately, when the crap hits the fan, most entrepreneurs aren’t prepared to handle issues like this in a PROACTIVE way. Instead, they operate from a reactive state, which then creates panic and stress.
I mean, seriously…what would you do if your website and all your content disappeared right now?
After hyperventilating for awhile, you’d probably contact your hosting company and tell them to hurry up and put your website back up. But what if they tell you that they had a catastrophic disk failure and now your website is gone and there’s nothing they can do about it. What then?
I’ve had some pretty close calls myself, so I’m breaking out into a sweat just thinking about being in that situation.
Fortunately, there are steps you can take to be proactive in this area of your business so that you don’t have to worry about broken technology or user mistakes again.
Step 1: Create an Action Plan
As much as you probably don’t want to do this – you need to think about all the things that could potentially happen and make a plan for how you will manage them.
Yes, it totally sucks when something happens, no doubt about it. But what I’ve realized is that by being PROACTIVE about these things, it shifts the impact that it has on your business and life from one of chaos and stress, to no more than a little blurp in your day – simply because you already know how to handle something when it comes up.
Here are just a few things to consider for your plan:
What will you do if something goes wrong with the ordering process during a big product launch?
What will you do if you’re travelling and you don’t have access to secure internet, and your clients start flooding your inbox with messages saying they can’t get their downloads?
What will you do if your website disappears, or gets glitchy for no apparent reason?
What will you do if your website gets hacked?
What will you do if your computer crashes and everything on your computer is gone and unrecoverable?
Using the above scenarios as a starting point, make a list of all the different types of situations that may come up, and then make a note beside each one about how you will manage the issue if it comes up.
For Example: “What will I do if my website goes down and disappears?” – I will make sure that my website is backed up at all times, so that if it does happen, it can easily be fixed. I will look for a tool or service to have this done for me automatically so I don’t have to worry about it.
Once you know what the potential situations in your business may be, and you have a plan for how you’ll resolve them, then you can start taking immediate action to get in front of them, and minimize their impact on your business.
Step 2: Use the Best Tools
There are a lot of really great tools available to assist you in safeguarding your business automatically, so that when technology fails, you don’t have to worry so much.
Here are the ones I love and use:
Don’t lose your website!
Back Up Your Website – I use the AutoSiteSaver service to automatically backup my websites – which I highly recommend it because it’s run by my former tech gal (who worked with me for about 5-6 years before she ceased doing client work). You can get started for as little as $20/month – which is nothing compared to the peace-of-mind having this in place for your business will give you. Besides, I imagine you’d lose more than $20 worth of business if your websites disappeared and you had to start all over from scratch.
Don’t lose your computer files!
Back Up Your Computer – I use Carbonite to back up my computer. I pick and choose which files I want it to backup, and it works automatically in the background to make sure that everything stays backed up. Plus, it’s a handy tool to have when you buy a new computer, and you need to get the files from your old computer over to your new one.
Cloud File Storage – I use Dropbox for biz related stuff. It’s a fabulous tool to use with team members for file sharing. It’s also a great place to store stock photos and videos for your business as well, so that you’re not using up space on your computer. If you purchase courses or programs like my Academy, dropbox is the perfect place to store all of your downloads for easy access, and if your computer dies, everything will still be there.
Don’t lose your passwords!
Password Management – Like millions of other entrepreneurs, I use LastPass to manage all my passwords. It’s incredibly secure, and you can set up two-factor authentication, and a backup method of getting access to your account. It’s also an awesome way to share logins with your team members because they will never see the actual password on their end, and you can easily revoke their access at any time.
On another note: Make sure you’re using the two-step verification feature everywhere that you can to add another layer of security to your business.
Step 3: Hire Experts
Have you ever messed up your website trying to be a programmer?
I have, LOL! Thankfully, I work with some incredibly smart women, so all I have to do is call on them for help to get me out of the sticky situations I get myself into sometimes.
So yeah, having a skilled assistant on your team will be a huge help to you in many of these situations. Plus, you can work with her to develop a plan of action for how you want to handle these things.
Sometimes, though, you’ll need more than just a general VA – instead, you’ll want someone who is tech savvy, with the skills, knowledge, and tools to assist you. For instance, someone who can go into the code of your website and fix something, or get your website back online fast for you if it gets hacked.
Besides, if you’re travelling or not working, the last thing you want to do is figure out why your shopping cart isn’t working, or why your clients can’t access their downloads. Having a team in place to easily handle these situations is a valuable part of making your lifestyle dreams a reality.
As much as doing all of this may feel like a hassle to you right now – if something does happen, you’ll be so grateful to your smart self for taking the time to implement a plan, tools, and experts to help you out of a bind.