Calculating the cost of downtime stemming from loss of access to essential company documents and data is a pertinent equation every small business in the competitive marketplace of the modern world must determine. Even a few minutes of downtime, spread across multiple employees, can add up quickly — and this number only grows as minutes become hours, days or even weeks.
Businesses who fail to recover from data loss incidents quickly face many direct and collateral costs — from dollars spent on data recovery efforts to losses in productivity.
But by planning and preparing for every eventuality you can prevent many of the costs normally associated with downtime. Below we will discuss the true cost of downtime and what it means for your small business, along with tips on how to prevent and prepare to handle downtime incidents, and the one life-saving solution you should be using to reduce and eliminate downtime-related costs.
Dealing with the downtime incidents and the fallout
The cost of downtime itself is only the start of all of the costs associated with data loss and downtime related incidents. You also have to deal with any fallout resulting from the incident. For big businesses, losses in employee productivity and profits have been well documented, with resulting employee and customer frustration and financial debts incurred. But the long-term fallout associated with downtime incidents for small businesses with less of a cushion to land on can be devastating. Small businesses have fewer resources to waste on recovering from downtime than a big, brand name firm, making them more vulnerable to the short and long-term effects of data loss and downtime related incidents.
Loss of customer belief and trust
Downtime can cost a company of any size both customer loyalty and its reputation as a solid product and service provider. Once you lose customer belief and trust in your ability to offer your product or service, it can be very difficult, if not impossible, to recover it. And without recovering it, you may continue to lose valuable business, and develop a bad reputation, even after you’ve managed to recover from the incident itself. To keep your customers from feeling the negative impact of data loss incidents, work with your IT department or technician to develop a plan of action that you and your employees can turn to if and when data loss events occur. This plan should include steps to take to alert your IT technician of the incident so remediation may begin as quickly as possible, along with actions and messaging your customer-facing employees can use to minimize customer unhappiness.
Losses in company productivity and profit
A 2015 report by a market intelligence firm found the average yearly downtime cost for a Fortune 1000 firm to be in the billions. For small businesses, the expensive costs of downtime in terms of productivity and profit could be the final nail in the coffin — especially when recovery windows are large. To reduce the likelihood of these costs, it’s important to implement a data loss prevention plan within your business environment so minimize the chances that a). A disaster will occur, and b). You’ll be less likely to lose data even if they do.
Just as important, your business should also decide on a data recovery plan that will allow you to restore your data quickly so that, in the event of a disaster, the length of downtime itself will be reduced. Depending on how quickly you need to be able to retrieve data, you can choose from data recovery solutions ranging from same-day and zero-downtime recovery.
Reducing the probability of downtime
Prevention and planning are the two, key factors that can save your business from bearing the brunt of downtime and downtime-related costs. While establishing internal procedures between your IT technicians and employees is necessary to surviving data loss incidents, it’s just as important to have systems in place that are constantly working in the background to backup your data so that you’ll always have a fresh and complete copy of all of the work your business is managing.
For small business owners, having constant and consistent access to valuable corporate and financial data through a dependable online backup provider is often the difference between incident recovery and business failure. While similar cloud storage services may proliferate many virus and data loss related incidents, cloud backup can always be depended on to help you retrieve and restore the data you need, when and where you need it.
In data loss incidents where cloud backup is not involved, the differences are striking.
Without cloud backup, your business may suffer days or weeks of downtime, recover only portions of the lost data, or never recover the data at all. When cloud backup is present, all of the data you’ve lost can be retrieved and restored in minutes — making it a lifesaving measure every business should take.