Disclaimer: These might seem boring but they will save you stress if things don’t go according to plan. … and most take less than a minute to check. If you only do one of these, please check that you are the legal owner of your domain name… its value to your business is unmeasurable … or at least the damage that could be done by loosing it is.
Do you own your domain names? (30 seconds)
Check who is the legal owner of your domain at https://www.who.is
We often take on customers who don’t actually own their domain name (e.g. lumiserv.com). This mainly happens because they assume that paying for their domain means they own it and that isn’t always true. Some companies who setup your IT or website will register your domain name for you but register it to them, so they are the legal owner of it. It’s not usually done maliciously but in the event of a falling out that person owns your domain. Thats like the power to freeze your bank account at a moments notice and it could stop your website, email and everything else running on it from working overnight. There is very little you would be able to do since they would be the legal owner. The good news is that its easy to check and easy to update the registry. You can check with this link and if anything is amiss, ask your provider to update it.
Will your phones survive a power outage? (~5 minutes)
Do you have a rule in place to automatically divert phones in the case of a power or internet loss at your office?
Modern VOIP telephones (sometimes referred to IP phones or SIP) require both power and internet connection to work unlike old phones that need neither. While you should have redundancy in power and internet (a second broadband line is relatively inexpensive – just make sure it’s a different backbone provider), you can also do things on your VOIP system to help you cope in the event of a failure. Most online VOIP systems these days will let you create routing rules and forward calls to any number. Check you can do this with your provider and make sure there is a rule in place that says, if the system can’t reach any of your phones, then divert all incoming calls to a mobile number. This will then happen automatically in a failure and doesn’t require you to fiddle about on your phone when the internet is down and you can’t get onto the system control panel to manually set the forward. All you need to do then is nominate someone’s phone or buy a £15 mobile on pay as you go for the reception… just make sure its always charged and turned on!
How much might it cost if your broadband went down? (1 minute)
Our friends at ITSB have a nice little calculator here https://www.itsupportbusiness.co.uk/it-downtime-calculator/
Most businesses just run with a standard broadband line for internet to their office and usually the cheapest one they can find. Now cheap doesn’t always mean bad as most providers all use the same physical equipment anyway but it does mean more risk. Most broadband, including business broadband, doesn’t carry a service level agreement (SLA) which means that the service could be down for an undetermined amount of time and the most credit you will get back is the cost of the service for the time it was down, usually less than £30. There are two ways to solve this, 1) get a better internet connection like a leased line, or 2) get a second broadband line (but make sure it’s on a separate backbone provider (BT, TalkTalk, Virgin)).
Is your website as fast as it can be? (30 seconds)
Speed test your website at http://tools.pingdom.com/fpt/
Cheap hosting is awesome when you start out but as you rely on your site more and drive traffic to it, it can slow you down. This is especially true if you sell via your website. But, with a barrage of studies saying that customers get bored and leave sites if they take longer than 3 seconds to load, I’d argue it’s important for everyone. A quick check will show you if your site is competing well or if it’s bottom of the pile. Keep in mind though that this could also be related to the way your site is coded so might need more investigation from your host or web developer.
Bonus: Are all systems go with your domain name? (30 seconds)
Check the health of your domain at http://mxtoolbox.com/domain/
This quick check will take a look at your domain name (e.g. lumiserv.com) and flag any potential issues with the way that it’s setup. You can ask your existing IT company about any warnings or problems you find or just give me a call and I can point you in the right direction to get them sorted. Remember that this is an automated tool and not everything it says will be correct for your domain so don’t be too alarmed if you get multiple warnings just like we have on our domain.
Originally written for lumiserv.com and published on the 23rd February 2015