Small business owners have got a lot to think about. Should they hire more staff? Should they open a new location? Does their business offer products or services that aren’t generating enough income? But here’s an issue that quite a few business owners don’t think about: How are you affected if the one person who has access to all your small business’ online accounts – everything from your business’ online bank accounts to its social media sites to its cloud-based payroll software – suddenly dies? Will you be able to access these important accounts?

Too much power?

The Wall Street Journal recently covered this issue on its Web site. It may appear as if an obscure matter, something that could never impact your company. But give it some thought: How important has the cloud become to your business? How about the Web? Do you run an active social media campaign, connecting frequently with your customers? You may not be able to access your business’ Twitter or Facebook sites if the only person who knew their passwords has passed away. Are there vendors to pay? You may not be able to if you can’t get access to your company’s online bank account. And what about your workforce? They want to get paid in a timely manner, right? They might not if you suddenly can’t open your company’s cloud-based payroll software.

The cloud isn’t fail-proof

The Wall Street Journal story defines the problem as a matter of trust. To put it simply, business owners put too much trust in the cloud. They erroneously feel that information they put in the cloud will stay secure forever. This isn’t true, though. The cloud doesn’t offer complete protection from hackers. Plus it doesn’t guarantee that you’ll be able to always access your critical business files, information and accounts. In the event you can’t access your online accounts because none of your living employees knows the passwords, having all of your important business matters stored online won’t be much help.

Solutions

Solving this problem, fortunately, isn’t difficult: You simply need to be sure that more than one employee knows the passwords for your online accounts. And you need to be equally certain that your critical accounts are either registered to your company or more than one employee. This way, should that key employee die, you’ll still be able to conduct business as normal.

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