Sometimes disaster strikes and a business is no longer able to continue operating. This period of non-operation is known as downtime.
Downtime can be very costly for a business – every hour your business isn’t running, you could be failing to attract new customers or failing to serve existing customers. On top of causing financial damage, it could be damaging to your reputation.
By putting preventative measures in place, you can often avoid downtime. Here are just some of the common causes of downtime and how to protect your business against them.
Without electricity, most businesses can’t operate. Power cuts are often out of our control – it could be a problem with a power line or a problem at a power station.
Fortunately, there are ways to protect your business and keep your power running. An uninterruptible power supply could keep your electricity running for a short time after a power cut, which could be enough to get through short power cuts. Meanwhile, a more reliable option could be a backup generator – this could allow you to generate your own electricity. There are many different ways to do this including solar panels or petrol generators.
Internet connection loss
Without an internet connection, you may also struggle to continue operating. Internet connection can fail for a multitude of reasons – it could be a problem with your computer, your router or the internet provider.
Network support services can be worth outsourcing to help with network issues. Ensuring that you invest in a good internet provider can also make a difference. Some companies even go so far as to invest in backup wi-fi source so that if one connection unexpectedly fails, they have another to fall back on.
Your company may also be reliant on certain software or hardware. For instance, a retail company may be reliant on POS software working while a coffee bar may be reliant on a coffee machine working. If this breaks, it could stop you from operating.
Keeping software and hardware maintained can help to prevent issues. This could include updating software regularly or getting machinery serviced. When you spot faults, try to get these repaired as soon as possible rather than waiting for software or machinery to crash – this could prevent costly downtime.
Natural disasters are a rarer cause of downtime, but are still worth guarding against as they could shut down your business for longer periods. Some businesses can even be forced to permanently close due to natural disaster. Examples could include flooding and storms (as well as more recent threats such as pandemics like coronavirus).
Backing up files on the cloud could help you to keep your business running during a natural disaster. There could also be preventative measures that you can take against certain high-risk disasters. For example, if flooding is common in your area, you may want to look into ways of floodproofing your business premises.
Many small businesses are a victim of cyber crime or burglary due to having less security in place. Such crimes can cause devastating damage to a business and could force you to temporarily shut down while recovering.
Make sure that you’re not skimping on either digital security or physical security. Digital security measures could include backing up files on the cloud, using strong passwords and making sure you’re using strong antivirus software. Physical security measures meanwhile could include burglar alarms, security cameras and security lighting.