Why downtime can kill your small business

Why downtime can kill your small business

Small- and medium-sized businesses (SMBs) operate with limited resources such as finances, technology, and personnel, and can therefore afford to work with very little room for mistakes. Any minor operational failure or inefficiency can create a big impact down the line, especially in industries that require immediate delivery of goods or rendering of services.

If you’re managing an SMB, it’s critical that your systems are always up and running smoothly. The last thing you want is for your organization to experience prolonged or recurring downtime, which would prevent you from producing goods and services and generating revenue. But a direct hit to your bottom line is not the only negative effect of downtime. Here are some more ways your SMB can drastically suffer because of it:

Unhappy workforce

Downtime prevents your employees from carrying out basic day-to-day job functions and serving customers properly. While some staff might take outages as an opportunity to sit back and relax, your diligent employees will be concerned about the time they waste. Repeated downtimes can be frustrating even to your most dedicated employees who just want to do a good job.

Recurring outages also burden your IT crew, if you have any. Since they are always putting out fires and trying to get your systems to work without the help of additional technology or human resources, they can get stressed physically and emotionally. These can lead to a high employee turnover rate, which, in turn, leads to spending a hefty sum on training and re-training a revolving door of employees.

Customer dissatisfaction

When critical components of your operation are inaccessible, your customers can become impatient and disappointed. This short-term dissatisfaction can rise if you're unable to address their immediate needs, such as those pertaining to difficulties purchasing a product, getting an answer to their question, or having their concerns resolved. But beyond that initial dissatisfaction, downtimes can have a lasting impression on your customers.

Even when a customer’s issue has been addressed and your systems are up, the bad experience can erode clients’ confidence in your business. Fearing future inconveniences with your organization, customers may go to your competitors who offer better service or assistance. This leads to lost sales and marketing opportunities.

Reputational damage

Your downtime may only last several minutes and affect a fraction of your customer base, but this doesn’t mean that the damage won’t be significant. In a hyperconnected world where one small customer concern can go viral and reach a global audience within minutes, you wouldn’t want anyone to leave a bad review of your business.

Public negative feedback can dissuade others from doing business with your company; in fact, it takes about 40 positive customer experiences to offset the damage of one negative review. Customer experience can be a competitive advantage, so it’s critical that you prevent downtimes since these negatively affect clients’ perception of your business.

How can downtime be prevented?

Addressing the root causes of downtime is the key to preventing costly outages. According to a study by infrastructure monitoring company LogicMonitor, the top causes of downtime are network failure, software or hardware malfunction, usage spikes, third-party provider outages, and human error. This means that SMBs need to address three critical areas: system maintenance, IT security, and overall connectivity.

By partnering with a managed IT services provider (MSP) like XBASE Technologies, your SMB gets access to 24/7 monitoring, reporting, backup management, and other managed services offerings designed to prevent tech troubles that lead to downtime. We also have a wide range of Exponentially Better™ services that include cyber defense measures and disaster recovery solutions that will enable you to get your systems up and running within your recovery time objective.

Our services are easily scalable as well, so you can count on our continued support as you grow your business. The best part is that we won’t ask you to subscribe to a service you don’t need — pay only for the solutions you use for a flat monthly fee.

Say goodbye to downtime for good. Book a FREE, no-obligation consultation with our experts at XBASE today. Send us a message or call us at 800-XBASE-03 (toll-free).