“This too shall blog.” Jon Acuff
I sat down to write my weekly blog, and something was very wrong. I could not access my business website. I was getting a white screen. All of my blogs and content was gone. I called Go Daddy Hosting support and discovered that my website hosting had canceled due to nonpayment. Now, I am not someone to not pay a bill, so this what I discovered. It really was a perfect storm.
- My Business Credit Card expired at the end of February. Of course, this happens every 4 years and I have been updating it everywhere.
- I purchased Managed WordPress Website along with my bendercfoservices.com domain two years ago when I started my business. I failed to remember this renewal was happening. Maybe because I have slept since then and it happens every two years.
- I was getting emails notifying me of this hosting issue at an old personal email that I don’t check often. Go Daddy emails me regularly about old domains that I don’t use and are not renewing. I didn’t make the connection that this notice was of more importance.
- I didn’t take the time to fully understand how the Basic Managed WordPress was being used on my website.
What did I learn about this as a business owner? Here are five lessons, and I hope you can learn from my mistakes.
1. Understand Your Subscriptions
Fully understand your subscription costs, renewal dates, and the impact they have on your business. Not only do these costs add up, but they are usually charged to your credit card. They will auto bill, so not only could this be a problem if it is an important service for your business, but there could be subscriptions that aren’t necessary. For example, I canceled a subscription to a publication that I do not read anymore. There was no reason to keep paying for this.
2. Hire Talent to Help
I am not a website developer or master marketer. I certainly want to learn as much as I need to know to be successful. Eventually, we have to learn to delegate these services to people who are more knowledgeable than us. I remember Andra Dunn with Convertible Communications telling me that I needed to back up my website. I remember wondering why this was necessary. Go Daddy was backing up my site, and they are a large hosting company, so I am sure they have all the IT protocols needed to keep me from losing my site. Of course, that was bad thinking and I needed good talent to inform me.
3. Keep Your Information Up-to-Date
Let all vendors and customers and key relationships know your contact information. Make it easy to connect in an emergency. Obviously, a website hosting vendor is important if you do anything business and advertising online. I would suggest making it easy to contact you in an emergency. I set up text notifications if anything goes wrong again. Of course, I updated my business email, which is monitored much more closely.
4. Be Aware of Your Risks
No matter the size of your business, you ought to be aware of any risks. There are financial risks of natural disasters, fraud, errors, and vendor and client relationships. We certainly can’t control everything, but we can be aware. Awareness helps as you educate and understand more about your business. Eventually, you trust others to help. Yes, trust is important, but this doesn’t mean you don’t inspect and verify from time to time.
5. Have a Backup Plan
We need an IT plan for our computers and phones. We also need a plan if our website goes down. I am certainly glad that I had my website backed up because the work to recreate all the content would have been overwhelming and time-consuming. What about a financial backup plan if we run into a financial challenge? This is a different subject, but hiring a good fractional CFO can help you strategically there.
Running a small business has its challenges. As we grow, we rely on others to help educate us so that we can keep growing and become more successful. We must learn from our mistakes and move on.