When we are discussing solutions with business owners about small business IT services in Orange County, sometimes they can have a hard time making the decision to invest in technology. It is especially difficult when things are running fairly smoothly. Often the decision makers are unaware of how much it will actually cost their company to be down for an extended period of time. Once they realize this cost, it is easier to help them see how important it is to invest in proper technology.
What are some of the items that should be included when trying to calculate the cost of when your business is down?
One of the largest hidden costs of a business down situation is the loss of productivity that your employees will suffer. If you pay a salaried employee $50,000/year, and your business is down for an entire day that is almost $200/per employee/per day. You would still be paying the employee, but they would not be able to perform their job functions while the business is down.
Loss of Sales
It is easy to calculate the loss of straight revenue due to an outage. If you already know how much volume in sales you do on a daily or even hourly basis, you already have the number right in front of you. If your business usually sells $50,000 worth of product or services in a single day, then the cost of a business down situation would be $50,000/per day (plus the other costs included in this list)
Loss of Customers
When a customer is unable to access your website or loses the ability to contact employees (if your email or phone system is down), those customers may not come back. They have lost confidence in your product or service, and have already started looking elsewhere to meet their needs. The cost of this scenario is definitely hard to calculate. You can try to determine it by how many new customers you gain on a daily basis, and then add up how much a customer spends over the life of their relationship with you. Once you have that figure you can add it to the previous two numbers.
Another problem that can happen when your business suffers a major outage is the destruction or damage that can be done to your critical data. Without a proper disaster recovery plan in place, an outage can cause significant damage or even destroy your company files, and customer information. Orders could be lost, and files that have taken years to compile could be gone forever. Calculate this cost by determining how much it might have cost the company to obtain the information. Some excel files could have data spanning a large amount of time that might even be impossible to replace. In this case, you may need to calculate the cost of replacing the file or the cost of not having the file at all.
Once you have some of these numbers determined, you will be closer to realizing exactly how much it might cost your company to be down, even for one business day. When you figure this out, the cost of new technology that could prevent a business down situation could be worth the money, and then some.