Thursday, July 23, 2015

Back-up ideas

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     to help you better manage your small business.

     In small business, you provide your own back-up solutions. Backing up employees, equipment, systems, suppliers and clients is the smart thing to do.

    By now, everyone knows that it is imperative to back-up computer systems. So much depends on the information stored in computers. You cannot afford to lose it. 

     But other pieces of your business are just as important. Clients and customers have their own problems. Don't let your problems intrude in their lives.

     Example: Eric quickly learned the value of employee back-up in his carpet cleaning business. He sends out three vans every morning to handle jobs. Each van has two employees. When an employee calls in sick for the day, Eric jumps in to fill the opening. But what does he do when two employees fail to show up? He cross-trained an office employee to handle such situations. 

     Example: Judy is a freelance writer. She turns out pieces for newspapers and magazines as well as internet content. When her computer went down, she simply moved to her back-up computer and continued the work of the day. After completing her assignment, she then turned to her regular computer to fix the problems there. The back-up computer allowed Judy to meet her deadlines, while she time-shifted the problems on her regular computer. She also has a generator on hand to be able to function when the local power goes down.

     Example: Mary is a fiber artist. She spends all day at her sewing machine. To make certain that she has no down time, she has another sewing machine ready to take over the work at hand. It has been a life saver when the regular machine is away for repairs.

     Example: Jose runs a printing operation. He has installed redundant systems and machines to keep running when equipment goes down. He also cross-trains his employees so that he has flexibility in the operation as well as when an employee calls in sick. In addition, he has back-up suppliers--because you never know when a supplier might go down.

     There is never an excuse good enough to let down a client. If you do not back-up your own operation, your problems become their problems--not good for business. 

     Business back-ups include clients as well. Sooner or later, you will lose every client you have--they move, they go somewhere else, they no longer need your products and services. Back-up your clients by developing a steady stream of new customers and clients. 

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