For many small business owners and entrepreneurs, Christmas is the only time of year where it’s possible to truly leave work behind. It’s often the period where clients will be most tolerant of slow responses, or least likely to initiate new inquiries. On Christmas Day, it’s almost always acceptable to set your phone to silent, ignore push message notifications and mentally switch off.
You might be contentedly sinking into a wine-fueled haze in front of Netflix, but corporate IT platforms need to remain fully operational. Since tech support isn’t always available over the festive period, it’s crucial to ensure that system maintenance isn’t neglected in advance. This is particularly important for ecommerce brands, where any service interruption directly impacts on a company’s bottom line.
These are 100TB’s tips for minimizing system maintenance and IT issues during the final days of 2018…
Do admin work in advance
Christmas Day this year is a Tuesday, and many small business owners will finish the Friday before. Spend the latter part of that week performing important checks like updating WordPress plugins, or running malware scans to identify the newest threats in cyberspace. For the best possible chance of reaching 2019 without any pressing software issues, aim to have everything tested and updated before the 21st.
Back up important information
We’re all guilty of creating data silos – repositories only we know about or can access. Even on cloud-hosted software packages, it’s easy to end up with a partial record only stored in one location. It’s impossible to remember every detail of your December workload in January, so conduct full data backups before closing down your computer. This is an ideal time to create offline backups, stored in secure locations on USB sticks or external hard drives.
Don’t schedule upgrades over the holidays
The quiet period between Christmas and New Year might seem perfect for switching email providers or scheduling system maintenance, but major IT changeovers rarely run smoothly. You don’t want to be desperately searching for tech support on January 1st because of a glitch in the Matrix. Christmas isn’t the time to be stressing about software conflicts or failed updates, so schedule major work for a weekend in January or February instead when help is on hand.
Prepare social media updates in advance
Keep your brand in the public eye by pre-scheduling a few social media updates over the festive period, including a general message wishing everyone a Happy New Year and outlining any major plans for 2019. This could be written up tomorrow, and scheduled to go out on January 1st – audiences won’t know (or care) that it was prepared a couple of weeks in advance.
Publicize back-to-work dates
If you’re going to work in the dead zone between Christmas and New Year, or not coming back until January 4th, publish these opening hours widely. Upload them onto customer websites, splash them across social media accounts and type them into No-Reply email notifications. It may be advisable to publish an emergency contact number in the interim, deterring people from making trivial inquiries with examples of when this last-resort option should be used.
Delegate hosting to a trustworthy company
At 100TB, our data centers and tech support experts remain online 365 days a year, with built-in redundancy ensuring online content is always accessible while also being available. Hosting a website with us means your holiday won’t be interrupted by software failures or downtime, with data piped rapidly and reliably to anyone at any time. You might come back to a stack of new business inquiries, but at least there won’t be any web hosting dramas or system maintenance issues waiting to be resolved…