What does downtime mean? In a business setting, downtime refers to periods during the day when nothing happens. Everything has stopped for a moment, meaning you and your employees are sitting around being unproductive.
Already, you can identify some major problems here. When people aren’t working, your business could lose a lot of money. The exact figures vary, but each minute of downtime can cost up to $9,000 a minute! This begs the question: what’s causing downtime and how can you stop it?
The exact causes can vary from business to business, but these are the three most common reasons small businesses experience downtime:
Faulty equipment causes many minutes and hours of downtime every month. This can range from a faulty network router to a broken manufacturing machine. Either way, the result is an inability to conduct your daily work.
How can you deal with this? For starters, do your research before purchasing any equipment to ensure you buy from reliable brands without a history of regular faults. Secondly, consider using things like equipment downtime tracking software to see when certain things stop working and unearth the causes. That’s a particularly good idea if you work in a factory setting and have lots of large pieces of equipment.
Human error is another leading cause of downtime in businesses across the world. All it takes is one error by you or an employee to make everything come to a grinding halt. This can be something as simple as filling in a spreadsheet incorrectly, causing downtime as you go back and correct it.
How is this manageable? To begin, consider automating as many tasks as possible to remove human errors. Next, train yourself and all employees to use software or hardware correctly. Untrained individuals are the most at risk of human errors that lead to downtime. If everyone knows how to do everything, downtime should be less prevalent.
Lastly, you may experience long periods of downtime because you don’t have enough work coming in. A lack of work means you spend hours a day sitting on your backside doing nothing!
How do you counter this? It’s simple; you improve your marketing strategy to bring in more work. This could involve some extra investment in a marketing agency or team, but it will be worth it in the long run. You want to create a business that constantly has a stream of work coming in, meaning you’re never left with too much time on your hands doing nothing.
To sum everything up, downtime is a serious problem for small businesses as it can cost a lot of money. The top three causes of downtime are equipment faults, human errors and a lack of work. Focus on preventing these issues from causing downtime and your business will be a roaring success in 2023 and beyond. Try to remember this one simple idea: you always want to be productive at work. If you ever find yourself in situations where there’s nothing productive to do, then you have a problem on your hands.