Wednesday 30 May 2007

Business Principles: Our personal health and our responsibility to our clients

As a small business ourselves, we tend to get really caught up in our client's needs and sometimes forget that we and our families also have needs.

When it comes down to it, our family should come first. Period!

Our responsibility as perhaps the sole I.T. infrastructure contact for our SMB clients is to keep in mind that we essentially hold their livelihood in our hands.

If we fail to provide a well planned infrastructure that can stand a catastrophic failure and bad things happen, how long can their business survive? One day? Two days? Maybe a week?

After said failure, how long will we survive? Probably not too long at all. Who would trust an I.T. company responsible for the demise of one of their clients?

Part of that responsibility is also in keeping ourselves healthy. If we are married and have kids, keeping healthy should be a given. Right?

If we don't keep ourselves healthy and something bad happens to us, where does that leave our families, employees, or clients? In a pretty bad place in my opinion. If we have employees, what about their livelihood?

Do we have a personal disaster plan in place that protects our families, employees, and our clients?

Do our clients have their network notes containing an audit of all of their equipment, serial numbers, software, licensing, and passwords in place? Could someone come into our client's location for the first time, pick up those notes, and know the essence of what was going on at the client site?

Do we have copies of those network audits in a safe place accessible to our lawyer if we happen to die?

Are we prepared? If we are not, then how can our clients expect us to prepare them?

It is very important to never take for granted that tomorrow will come! Our responsibility to our families, employees, and clients dictate that.

Philip Elder
Microsoft Small Business Specialists

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