Have You Secured ALL of Your Assets?

Like most campground owners I am sure that you know exactly where the title to the company car is, who holds the mortgage on your property (or where the property deed is), and how much insurance coverage you have.

Website Assets

Websites, domain names, hosting services get left out when talking about business assets.

There is one area that I have repeatedly seen campground owners in the dark about.  That is their website.  This is a MAJOR asset.  It cost you a lot of dollars to get it set up, it is delivering customers to your door and it could have a very negative impact if you were to lose it.

It isn’t that unusual for that kind of lose to happen.  It isn’t something that you have insurance to cover and it is difficult as well as costly to recover from.

Let me give you an example.

Not too long ago I had a new client that didn’t understand why his business had suddenly slacked off.  He hired me to create a marketing program that would bring back his business.

As a part of the process I began gathering all of his collateral materials, brochures, flyers, identifying the business internet footprint, and looking at his website.

Here is what I found.

  • His website didn’t have the current updates which he had submitted 3 months earlier.

The company that he had contracted with to create and maintain the website went out of business without notice.

  • He had no idea who hosted his website

The charges that he had paid to the website company for hosting services had not been forwarded to the actual hosting company.  When they didn’t get paid, they shut down the website.

  • He didn’t own his domain name.

Even though he paid for the domain name, the website company was listed as the only contact for the website.  When the company failed to pay for the renewal of the domain name, a company bought the name and was holding it for a ransom of $2,500.

  • He hadn’t received any digital inquiries since he changed managers.

He allowed his manager to set up an email address for inquiries.  When he had to fire his manager, he quit receiving any email inquiries about the park and the manager hadn’t shared the login or password for the email account.

  • All his collateral material referenced the website and the email address.

While he was still getting calls he had lost all potential business that relied on his website.

This was a disaster but we could recover enough to begin seeing business building within 3 months.  It took a lot of work and a lot more dollars than he had wanted to spend but we were finally successful.

The moral to this story?  Don’t ever forget that your website and online presence is a major asset just like the title to the company car or the deed to the property.

What do you need to do to make sure this doesn’t happen to you?

  • Have your web service company send you a zip file of your website after any major update. You are not in control of the service company and any number of things can happen that will affect your website.  With the zip file, you will at least not have to have a new website designed.
  • Know who the website host is and make sure that you have access to make sure that the hosting premium is paid. Make sure that the hosting service is considered reliable, reasonably priced and has firewall protection at a minimum.
  • Have your name and contact information on your domain name registration. There is nothing wrong with having your web service as the technical contact, in fact I would recommend it.  However, unless you are listed as the owner with your contact information, you won’t know when there is a problem that is could affect your business.
  • Do not let someone set up your business email without knowing the login/password information. No one else should be able to change the login or password except you.  Remember, this is your digital lifeline; anchor it to your business.
  • Anytime there is a change to your website name or email address make sure that the change happens on all your collateral materials as well. Your web company should be able to redirect any inquiries to the old website name or email address to your new domain until the old collateral material flushes out of your marketing populace.

While these steps won’t guarantee that you won’t face a web company shut down, you will at least be prepared to recover in the shortest time possible.

 

 

Need a nudge in the right direction?  Give me a call at 800-478-0516 and let’s talk about what problems you need solved.   Be sure to follow me on Twitter:  @RVStops and @FocusedWords and join my group on LinkedIn, “Social Media in the RV Industry” and “RV Park Management Software User’s Group”.   Check out my blog at www.FocusedWords.com/blog for more articles about doing business in the RV world.  Copyright by FocusedWords.  If you would like to reprint, please email pwright@FocusedWords.com with your request.

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