You have spent a lot of time and effort to build a stellar online presence. What happens if something goes wrong? Can you recover your great Facebook page with a healthy set of likes? What about your followers on Twitter, or your connections on LinkedIn? Maybe you have an online store with loyal customers that suddenly went offline.
Here are some easy to follow steps to help you smoothly get back online.
- When you create or edit content, keep a local copy of the content and the original artwork. This allows you to quickly rebuild your online presence.
- Create a local, and up to date, record of your customers, likes, followers, and connections; along with profile information. When you are back online, reach out to contacts to have them re-connect.
Support for online transactions is now considered a given.
But what does that mean for your online presence? Perhaps you already provide support, or maybe you are considering your options. Whatever your circumstances, here are some points to consider
- How easy is it to add, or remove, options; or to scale up and down. As your business evolves, your e-commerce system has support those changes.
- If you have both a physical and virtual store, your e-commerce solution may need to tie both together; especially if you manage inventory.
- What fraud, security and other protections does the e-commerce solution provide?
- Being able to download records, or integrate with your back office/account systems, allows your operation to be more seamless.
- Be cautious about any ‘locked in’ long term contracts with solution providers as you want to have the option to move to another platform if needed.
- What upgrade, maintenance, outage, fail safe, and other support does the solution provide. The overall reliability of your e-commerce solution is critical to you business.
- What pricing schemes are available, and can they be customized and adapted as needed?
Contact us for a free assessment and recommendations for your e-commerce needs.
Getting started online typically involves three elements: Domain Name, Email Address, and a Web Presence. The most common ways of setting these up are
- Setting up your own site, by registering with Web.com, GoDaddy, Network Solutions, or another full service company
- Using Facebook, Google, WordPress.com, or another social media platform.
- Working with a service such as Weebly,1&1 Web Hosting, 10x Hosting, or others.
Consider each of these options in terms of how you want your business to grow. If you have any questions, or need more information, please do let me know. I will be happy to help.
A domain name is the “mycompany.com” name that is used for a web site and email address. My recommendation is that you purchase this separately from everything else, and don’t bundle. This gives you flexibility if you want to change or move your online business.
Your customers, and their information, is your most business asset. You need to have a realistic plan for backing up this information, and for recovering this information in the event of a loss.
Information about your customers can be stored in several files on different systems. Make sure that you back up each system and file in a way that you can recover and rebuild.
Some thoughts about setting the right balance of what get backed up, and how frequently:
How often do you update information about a customer, does this change depending upon how active the customer is ? Consider frequently backing up only the information that has changed, and having a longer period between full backups.
Can you afford to be out of contact with your customers for one day, one week, or one month ? It may be possible to set up a recovery process that quickly recovers key information and then brings back the rest over a short period of time.
Wikipedia has some great background reading on planning for disaster recovery.
As always, if you have any questions or comments, please do let me know. I will be happy to help.
With the explosion of social media, you can easily get sucked into the mind-set of needing to be online everywhere.
You need to plan your online presence to meet the needs of your customers. How are they most likely to be looking to find you online? Where are they most likely to look ? What is it that you want them to know about you ? One they have found you, how do you want them to stay in touch?
Think about how you use, and interact, with the Internet. Your customers are probably just like you.
Wikipedia has some great background reading. Check out What is Web2.0.
As always, if you have any questions or comments, please do let me know. I would be happy to help.