Five Critical Things

Critical things - exerciseRecently I had my Book Rapper website hacked. The good news is that they merely were able to log into some server files and they didn’t deface my site. This prompted talking to my web hosts WD3 and their Managing Director Brian Coogan about website safety on our Ideas Architect podcast.

Brian was able to point out that it wasn’t just my web files that were at risk. The hackers, usually robots, may have been able to access my email and start sending out spam from my address. This is an extreme situation that is happening more often. And, had it reached this point, probably would have been fatal to my business brand. This begs the question:

What is critical in your business?

And, in this post I thought I’d share some of the things that might be critical in your business and may need some special attention.

1 Website

In my case, with Book Rapper as a virtual business that is based on the website, for this to go down is a critical issue in my business. Like any tools of production, when they break down, the business gets hit. In an everyday situation, our website is the window that potential clients will look through when they’re considering working with us. Make sure it presents the image you want it to.

TIP: Listen to our podcast interview with Brian Coogan and take the necessary precautions to protect your website.

2 Social Media

There have been numerous cases over the past few years of high profile sportspeople making a fool of themselves on social media. In some cases, the cost has been embarrassment, in others heavy fines and for some the end of their career.

TIP: It’s safer to presume that your clients are reading your social media posts than not. So, be yourself, have fun and play fair.

[Tweet “Five things that could destroy your business #critical”]

3 File Back Up

A few years back I was sitting on the floor doing some with my laptop. I decided to get up and then changed my mind. I stumbled and stood on laptop with my heel. Instant death to my hard drive was the result. The good news was that I had a back up drive. The bad news was that the back drive decided to drop dead on the same day. Disaster! Big Disaster! Since then I’ve been a little paranoid about backing up my files. I now have important files on Amazon S3, I have a cloud sync of all my current files on Dropbox and I have multiple hard drive backups of everything else. Fingers crossed, I now have this covered.

TIP: Back up your important files in multiple ways and ensure at least one of them is in the cloud with Dropbox or a similar service.

TIP: Check your back up from time to time to ensure it is capturing the details you expect it to. There would be nothing worse than thinking you had a backup and finding out otherwise.

4 Diary

Compared to many people, I have a fairly flexible diary on most days. This comes down to my business model where I deliberately don’t book meeting after meeting. And, even for me, losing my diary would be a disaster. Missing a client meeting is not good for business. To be honest, I think I have this covered and I’m not sure. My calendar is both on my phone and laptop and backed up to iCloud. That should be enough…

TIP: Again, ensure your calendar is backed up and ideally to the cloud.

5 You!

The four previous critical things for business were all about technology and data. And, I thought I’d leave the most important, the most critical element of all to last: You. If you are a solo business person then you are your business. (we talked about this here) When you don’t work, your business stops running. So, what are you doing to ensure that you have the health and energy to continue? Here are some things to consider:

  • Calm: Being relaxed and managing your stress. Whilst coffee can boost your energy, having too much can tip you into adrenalin and wear you out long term.
  • Time Out: Taking regular breaks from work. Consider breaks during the day, during the week and preplanned holidays
  • Food: Are you eating for fuel or health? Healthy eating means eating the right food at the right times and in the right way. It doesn’t mean grabbing something on the run and stuffing it down your throat between sentences.
  • Sleep: Whilst you can survive for weeks without food and a week without water, you will start losing your mind if you don’t sleep for 72 hours. And, our performances levels drop significantly when we don’t get our full quota or are constantly sleep deprived.
  • Exercise: Research is showing that ‘sitting is the new smoking’ and sitting for long hours every day is detrimental to your health. And, even if you go to the gym or run early in the morning, this doesn’t protect you all day. Instead, stand up and move at least every hour to literally get your blood flowing in all the right places.
  • Reflect: Are you busy? Of course you are! And, are you taking time to reflect, consider and rethink your business? This could be the key to stepping off the treadmill of busy and finding more effective ways to get more done in less time. We talked about this here.

COMMENT: Which of these issues have you got covered? What other business critical things should we add to this list?



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