One of the not-so-fun things about being an online entrepreneur is dealing with the inevitable circumstances when your websites malfunction or when you do updates that become problematic and take you offline for a period of time. Such is the case with one of my most popular web properties–the Black Internet Marketing Forum.
Some things to keep in mind to reduce your own headaches when things are working perfectly:
Let people know that you're going to be down while you investigate a fix. The last thing you want is to have folks visit your site based on all the other work you've done to promote and establish and enduring presence only to see that the site doesn't work. If you can provide some kind of message at the homepage or say something about it via your social networks, you lessen the chance that you'll lose new visitors or alienate current audience members who may think that you've gone out of business.
Know when to ask for help. Do all that you can to diagnose the cause of your difficulties and work toward a fast and effective fix. When it becomes apparent that you can't make the fix yourself of if you're losing too much downtime trying to do it yourself, swallow your pride and get some help via the support desk for your platform or application or via a paid expert available through any number of outsourcing services or networking contacts. It's better to get some help to get things back on track as soon as you can than lose opportunities (and money) while you continue to waste time tinkering without a clue as to how to make things right again.
Learn from the inconvenience and share your wisdom. Once you're back up and running, let the world know that you're online again and better than ever using special postings and messages throughout your network. It's time to rebuild confidence that the time away was worth it. Make note of what went wrong. If it's clear that you made some mistakes or could have minimized the downtime through some adjustments in the method or approach you used in the first instance, use that knowledge to help others. Your experience can provide a credible educational example for someone else who will go through the same thing and greatly benefit from your wise counsel as a person who has successfully lived through the struggle.
Patience is a virtue. Virtuous online entrepreneurs relish solving problems efficiently and effectively while maximizing the time they spend building their businesses.