What’s the worst thing that you can imagine happening to your small business? If you wrote a list of the ten worst, things like website hacking, online security breaches, problems with your IT systems, and network downtime would probably feature. 

When you run a small business, every day counts. Even a few hours of downtime, because your network has failed, you’ve been hacked, or you’ve had another IT issue which prevents you from doing your job and making money, can be a disaster. In a large business, a day off might make very little difference to their cash flow, but for your business, even a few hours can have an effect. 

Unfortunately, there will be disasters. They won’t all be in the IT department. You’ll have real-world issues to deal with too. But, thanks to the growing use of computers, IT equipment, networks and the internet, IT disasters are a significant risk, and when they happen, the impact can be great. So, let’s take a look at some ways that your small business can deal with an IT disaster. 

Learn from it

Running a small business is very much a learning curve, especially if you’ve never done it before. Every day there will be things to learn. You’ll have to research, ask for advice and learn from your mistakes, of which there are bound to be many. 

An IT disaster can occur for many reasons, and it’s not always a mistake or anything that you have done wrong. But, that doesn’t mean that you can’t learn from it. Look at your systems, think about any changes that you could make. Try to understand what has gone wrong and why. This will help you to prevent future disasters. Even if the only lesson that you learn is the importance of Backup and Disaster Recovery, it will help you in the future. 

Keep Calm

It’s easy to panic when something goes wrong in your business, and you don’t know how to fix it. When we panic, we flounder. We make further mistakes, we don’t know what to do, and we rush into things. Try to keep calm. Take a deep breath and think about what you can do and who you can call for help. You might find that writing a to-do list helps to keep you calm and focused. 

Keep Customers Updated

What does your IT disaster mean for your customers? Sometimes, the damage is limited, and your customers won’t need to know. But, it could mean that their personal data has been breached. It might mean that you’ve lost their information and some disasters will mean that you aren’t able to fulfill orders on time or accept any new ones. 

If your disaster could affect your customers, you need to speak with them. Let them know what’s happened, how this affects them, and if there is anything that they need to do. Be honest with them without creating a panic. Keep them updated, making communication a priority. Then when it’s all over, let them know what you are going to do to ensure a disaster like this doesn’t happen again in the future.

By Erica Buteau

Change Agent. Daydream Believer. Maker. Creative. Likes love, peace and Jeeping. Dislikes winter, paper cuts and war. She/Her/Hers.

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