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Ask An Expert; Business Series

Welcome to Ask an Expert Business Series with Misty Lambrecht, the owner of Webfoot Marketing and Design, shareing valuable insights based on her extensive 15 years of experience in business startups and advising in Lincoln County. I recently worked with a non-profit that had a wonderful volunteer. This person did everything—she made bank deposits, set up a website, purchased a domain, created an email account, paid the bills, and even got a special phone number for the non-profit through Google that rang to her personal phone.

Everyone on the board praised her hard work and knew that if they ever had a question, Mary knew the answer. Mary volunteered and served on the board for years. While new board members came and went, everyone referred to Mary for important information about the non-profit. Then, one day, the unthinkable happened—Mary sadly passed away unexpectedly.

Sadly, this story plays itself out over and over in businesses, non-profits, and even

families. The person in the "know" can no longer tell us what we do not know. In this non-profit, all the information related to domain renewal, emails, PayPal, and bookkeeping and even the phone number was held on Mary's personal computer and cellphone under secret and secure passwords that she never shared or wrote down in a little black book under the keyboard. Even her husband, who hated computers, did not know how to turn it on.

Have you ever stopped to really think about what information you are holding that, if you

suddenly were gone, would highly affect the people you are working so hard to help? I

have heard of spouses who have no idea what bills need to be paid, employers who

have no idea how to access social media accounts or bookkeeping files because an

employee set them up. These resulted in websites and domains being lost completely

because nobody knows the company or renewal dates. Donor lists, scheduled events

the list goes on and of what could be lost.

It is important to make plans and procedures to protect your data, but you still need to

make important information available to preserve the flow and function of your

business. It’s important to value and trust your employees. We hire people that know

how to do things we don’t, but being completely blind to how things are done and

accessed is a major risk in the event of an emergency.

Using online cloud-based services with a chain of people that have access is critical to

business emergency preparedness. Having multiple people that know how to do one

job is crucial for backfill if needed. Using business-based emails and phones rather

than personal emails for business-related information, keeps your business data within

your business and control. Whatever your plan, do not be the only person that holds all

the keys.

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