When I was a kid, there was one way to connect with my friends after school… through a telephone that was hard-wired to our kitchen wall. You remember the kind, with a super long stretchy cord that just barely reached into the pantry where I could sit for some privacy (or am I dating myself here). It could be so frustrating trying to get in touch with someone. If they weren’t home, the phone would just ring and ring. If they were home and on the line…the dreaded busy signal. I remember being amazed when call waiting and voice mail became available. Suddenly, I knew who was trying to reach me.
In those days, you were very limited by how you could connect with people. You had two choices: via the phone or face-to-face. The method of conducting business was one big paper trail. Every contract, every correspondence, every note you took, you made a hard copy and stuck in a file folder. When a client or prospect called, you would open your big metal file cabinet, pull out their folder, and all the information you needed was right in front of you.
Today, you can keep connected with your clients and prospects in so many different ways. Now you can text, IM, post on Facebook, tweet on twitter, post and comment on blogs and even video chat through a host of different devices….cell phones, iPads, iPods, and computers. Instead of a hard paper trail, most correspondences occur electronically. Every contract, proposal, and email is stored on your computer. You even save your notes on your computer. It allows you to work more effectively and efficiently than you were ever able to do in the past.
But what happens if your computer crashes and you lose all your data?
Imagine, a large prospect is calling with questions about the proposal you sent them. You sent it 3 weeks ago, so the details aren’t fresh in your mind. Your computer has crashed and you lost all your notes on the prospect, on the contract and on the negotiation process. This deal means a lot to you and your business and you can’t afford to trust your memory.
So what do you do? Do you pick up the call and try to scramble your way through it? Do you explain that you are having computer problems and let them know you will call them back once they are resolved?
It’s just like the old busy signal. In the end, when your computer crashes and your data is not readily accessible – then from a customer perspective – they aren’t able to truly connect with you. Most likely you were not the only business they received a proposal from, but you may have been the only business who didn’t address their questions immediately. That could be all it takes to lose a deal.
There are an estimated 76.2 billions PCs are used in businesses throughout the United States. That’s just in businesses. Most data losses are caused by hardware failures. Imagine 30.5 billion of those computers, laptops and desktops, failing and causing employers and employees to stop what they are doing to try and recover what is lost. In most cases recovery occurs slowly and in some cases, not at all.
What can you do to prevent this?
If you trust in a cloud-based online file storage service, such as Google Docs or Dropbox, everything you need is stored securely and is easily accessible in the cloud. You will not have to worry about losing business while you are working to rebuild your lost data, lost contacts, and lost client information. The cloud ensures that you and your business keep your lines of communication open. It’s like call waiting and voice mail for your computer – and no more busy signals between you and your customers!