If you own or operate a small business in San Jose, CA, you understand the special challenges faced by companies in the area. One of the biggest challenges is the high level of competition, as so many businesses offer such a high level of products and services.

In order to stay ahead of the competition, you have to be the best at everything you do. Even if your business doesn’t specifically deal with computers, you can greatly benefit from having the best computer services and support available. Everything from inventory to ordering to payroll to communications goes through your computer system, and you need to have the best to be the best.

The Costs of Downtime

Most people don’t realize how much they lose when they don’t have reliable computer systems. The five biggest losses if you experience any downtime at all are time, productivity, money, opportunities, and reputation, and you may not be able to recoup your losses once you are up and running again.

  • Time — Any time your computer system is down you spend at least some time waiting, and you probably have to spend valuable company time dealing with your tech support trying to find out the problem. Even if you have a backup plan, you will inevitably lose time when the problem begins. According to Gloria Mark, a professor from the Department of Informatics at the University of California, it takes approximately 23 minutes for someone to get back on task after an interruption. Instead of wasting your company’s valuable time dealing with computer issues, you could outsource this to an IT consulting company.
  • Productivity — Your workers may be able to continue with many of their tasks; however they won’t be as efficient, and there will doubtless be many tasks that must wait until later. Your workers can only be expected to work with the tools they are provided, so you need to make sure they have what they need to achieve their full potential. Your employees are your most valuable asset, no matter what your business, and you need to let them know you are trying to meet their needs.
  • Money — There are many ways downtime may be costly, including decreased productivity and loss of sales. Time is money, and any deals you can’t do while your system isn’t in operation may be lost forever. It might also cost you more to fix a problem with your computer system rather than paying for preventative measures, so it could be in your best interest to consider partnering with an IT consulting company for maintenance on your computer systems. According to Gartner, your company could lose between $140,000 and %540,000 per hour because of IT downtime.
  • Opportunities — There are a lot of opportunities that only come around once, and you may not be able to take advantage of them if your system was down at the time. If a customer comes in or calls, you don’t want to have to tell them that they need to come back or call back later because your system is down. Most walk-in customers don’t want to wait and will just go somewhere else instead. The field of business is dynamic, with constant movement and chances for deals, and you need to be ready to take them on.
  • Reputation — You don’t want to be known as the company that couldn’t get the job done when you really needed to because your systems were down. People need to think of your business as reliable and trustworthy, not undependable and erratic. Reputation is everything in business. You can have great advertising, but if even one customer tells his or her contacts that your company was unreliable and then those people tell their contacts, you may lose current as well as potential clients. On the other hand, a good reputation can gain you just as many customers as you would have lost from a bad reputation.

Your Disaster Recovery Plan

One of the biggest worries you might have is your disaster recovery plan. If there is a fire or a lightning strike or even a cybersecurity disaster, you need to know that you can keep going without stumbling or losing important data. Sometimes your system goes down because you weren’t able to detect early problems in your hardware or software, and good computer support might be able to help you catch those kinds of issues long before they become a real problem. Who you choose for computer support should help you achieve your goals in making a plan that will ensure you still have peace of mind even if other companies around you are suffering because they weren’t prepared.

One of the biggest requirements for a good disaster recovery plan is that it be proactive. You can get help finding storage solutions, including cloud storage, which will ensure your data is backed up and recoverable. You can also choose computer monitoring so that you can detect patterns early if someone is interfering with your computer system. If you really want peace of mind, you need to know that you can trust your system, and that if anything happens, there are people who will help you get back on track as soon as possible. You don’t have to believe in Murphy’s law–“Whatever can go wrong, wll go wrong–to see the benefits of being proactive and having a workable disaster recovery plan in place to protect your company from unforeseeable IT disasters.

The best IT consulting company will give you the answers you need, from the beginning of your relationship and throughout the course of your dealings. You should never have to wonder what is happening, and it is part of trusting your partners that they communicate when they need to. You aren’t an expert in IT, so you shouldn’t have to worry about not understand all of the in’s and out’s of IT. The best IT consulting company will use terms you understand, so you don’t ever have to be left in the dark.

With over a million people, San Jose has a lot to offer as a city, including above average living conditions. Silicon Valley is a leader in technology, and as a small business in San Jose, it is your responsibility to uphold that standard. This may seem like an overwhelming task, but it doesn’t have to be. You may be concerned at how much it will cost you, but in the long run, you will have large benefits to show for investing in your computer systems by hiring an IT consulting company.

If you feel like you could be doing better, as most people could, it costs you nothing to explore your options. Call for a free consultation, and see how BC Networks can help you achieve your maximum potential.