It's no secret, I am a lover of all things tech: hardware and software.
I believe it is in my genes. My Grandfather was an engineer and an inventor, as is my Dad, who helped develop many of the technologies we see within our phones today, well over a decade ago.
I would happily spend hours taking things apart just to see how it works and goes back together. Or fix the coding on a piece of software by taking it "apart" finding the issue and then "putting it back together".
But this blog isn't a shrine to my adoration of engineering and developing. It actually may be the opposite. You could even call it a denouncement.
Let me explain.
COVID-19 forced the hand of many small businesses. They either had to become technologically forward thinking or face losing their livelihoods.
To add to that, many saw the opportunity to enter the business world by taking advantage of advancing technologies and capitalize it. We were no exception.
Technology has been transformational for our industry and 100% of our team work from home, 100% of the time thanks to the technology available. We can literally work from anywhere that has a decent internet connection.
The reliance on top level encryption, teams of engineers and secure servers means that businesses can save scores of money by spending a small amount in comparison.
Honestly, it is incredible.
But what happens when it stops working?
We know that we love it because it can help a business make good money with relatively little effort, but on the flip side, when it fails you, you are faced with the opposite: a financial loss.
Now, this may not be the case in every situation. There are many variables that depend on whether a business actually loses money because of a tech failure. These include the type of technology, length of time it's not working and why it happened in the first place. Amongst others.
But let's say you face a tech failure which affects the very nature of your business for a significant amount of time - for a small business that significant amount of time is not even 24 hours or more - what happens then and can you prepare?
For an accountant, that would be accounting software.
For a social media marketer, that would be social media platforms.
For a VA or Executive Assistant, that may be a cloud based office suite.
You get the idea. It's not pretty. And it has the potential to cause major disaster. It can immediately impact the flow of your cash in and out of your business, put you in front of rightfully frustrated clients, cause you financial issues down the line and just make you feel like your swimming against the current. It's stressful and concerning.
So can you prepare?
KNOW YOUR NUMBERS: If you know the patterns in your business in advance, it helps you to plot the cashflow when disaster strikes.
CHOOSE EXTRA SOFTWARE ADMINS WISELY: These days on softwares you can have multiple administrators. Choosing people on a separate network with a different device who work with you and are technologically sound will be incredibly helpful if you get locked out of your softwares for whatever reason.
IMPLEMENT A MONETARY BUFFER: If you can, start putting aside a set amount of money each month as a rainy day buffer. The recommended amount is three months worth of business expenses including wages. That is a lot of money. But don’t be put off - start small and start NOW then if any tech trouble comes your way, you can retain a little peace of mind.
GET ADDED TECH SECURITY: Virus protection software, regular password changes - these are all things you’ll be asked about should a software tech disaster occur. Don’t leave it until it’s too late - sort something out now. Which leads me nicely onto…
UPGRADE YOUR INSURANCE: some small business insurers offer cyber insurance, business interruption amongst others. Have a proper read through your insurance policy then call your insurer to make sure you have all the cover you need.
Sounds simple right? It is. And it has the potential to save you £££££‘s. Literally.
Don’t let this article put you off tech. It’s a gift. One that enables us to do things that seem outrageous (I mean I never thought 25 years ago I’d be able to see someone through a phone did you?)
It’s all about being prepared to make the best use of it and protect yourself. Fail to prepare and prepare to fail.
What’s the piece of tech you thought you couldn’t live without now even if you did twenty years ago? Let us know in the comments!