One Huge Business Failure


There’s something some people, such as myself, tend to overlook.

It’s a simple thing really, but absolutely essential. But as long as everything is fine, you tend not to think about it at all. Until it isn’t fine.

More of a housekeeping or maintenance thing really, but if you don’t do it, then it can be potentially very costly. And I have done it just recently. Like I-realized-it-today recently.

And I know better.

On the plus side, it prompted me to write this blog post about it.

What’s the one mistake that can fail your business?

Failing to regularly check that everything is working fine.

What do I mean by that? Let me give you a couple of examples that have caught me at one time or another.

  • Not checking your affiliate links are working
  • Not checking if your websites are working or need updates
  • Not checking your email feeds
  • Not checking that your automated backups are backing things up (you ARE making backups, right?)
  • Other such things that you forget once they’re in place

Let’s go over those a little more

Not checking your affiliate links

Sometimes those links stop working. I’ve had that happen. In fact, if I hadn’t been converting a bunch of emails recently I would have had several emails going out with non-working links.

There were different reasons such as:

  • the product wasn’t offered any more
  • the special deal ended and the offer was replaced with a non-affiliate offer
  • the product website moved to a new URL
  • the product was updated but given a new URL

That means not only do you have potentially lost profit, but the people who are trusting your recommendations lose a little faith in you.

Recommended action:

I recommend keeping all your affiliate links in a spreadsheet and one a month clicking on them to verify they still work properly. A few minutes is all you need to make sure your reputation, and maybe your wallet, stay intact.

Not checking your websites are working or need updates

You may have a blog that has great content but you don’t update regularly (ahem, yes I know, I’m really bad at that). Or perhaps you’ve set up a few websites that are stand alone or you have landing pages on their own URL.

Sometimes they crash, or they have automatic updates that failed and crashed your site. Or sometimes a plugin, theme, or other kind of add-ons have bugs or security flaws and crash your site.

Or sometimes they have updates and you haven’t been updating them and now your site is enough versions behind that features stop working.

Whatever the reason, if you have websites that you don’t check on regularly, then this WILL happen to you sooner or later.

Recommended action:

Similar to my recommendation for your affiliate links, I recommend keeping all your blog, websites, landing pages, or whatever else you have in a spreadsheet and one a month clicking on them to verify they still work properly and logging in to see if they have need updates available.

Not checking your email feeds

What does that mean?

You might say, “I get emails on my phone and I see them there.”

Good for you, I do that too, and that’s part of the problem.

Like many people, I have multiple email accounts and they all go to my phone. So if one account stops working, it’s easy to miss in the flood of emails from my other email addresses.

When I get an error on my phone telling me that it couldn’t fetch email from an address, it’s often a temporary issue but I need to pay attention and make sure it goes away on its own but sometimes I don’t get an error or an email saying there’s an error.

But it’s extra easy for me to not know about an issue because of how I set up my emails and today I had to fix a problem.

So some of my email accounts are checked by my phone directly. However, I also use a Gmail account to handle some of my other emails through POP3.

Now if you don’t know what that means, it simply means that I can read and respond to those email accounts through Gmail. So I only have to look at one email address to see several.

It’s similar to having your phone check your different email accounts.

So in my setup, I have several different mail accounts checked by Gmail, and that Gmail is checked by my phone. I can have six email accounts but I only had to add one to my phone.

Now here’s the problem I had: if my phone can’t get emails from Gmail, I get an error BUT if my Gmail can’t get emails from one of my accounts, it does NOT give me an error.

After all, the phone is only checking the one Gmail account and Gmail doesn’t send an email if it can’t get mail from your other accounts.

I have to actually log into Gmail, then notice that my normally busy email accounts are suspiciously quiet, then go into the settings where there’s an error saying it can’t get my emails.

And that’s what happened. I logged into Gmail for another reason, then realized I had an issue.

If you’re curious as to the issue, my host recently did some work on the server that my websites and email server are on. The IP address changed but I had nothing telling me the IP address changed. When I found out a few days later (today), I updated the IP addresses and that fixed the problem.

Recommended action:

I recommend that you take any errors you get seriously and check that day. If you don’t see any warnings then check weekly, or at least monthly. The last thing you need is to miss out on important emails, your business depends on it.

Not checking that your automated backups are backing things up

I have backups, in fact I have a couple of different automated backups and they get stored in different places. And why do you think I have several different backups? Because I have been caught with my pants down both by not having an automated backup AND ALSO by having the automated backups fail.

The website crashing and my needing to try to salvage it was bad enough and I know I should have had backups, either manual or automated, but I like automated because that’s one less thing I have to do. But at that time I didn’t have any.

After this I set up an automated backup but the automated backup service I used got disconnected somehow and I didn’t know it until after another website crash. Thankfully the last backup wasn’t that old so I didn’t lose very much, but now I have some redundancies.

And yes, I have run into an occasional corrupted backup….

Recommended action:

If you don’t know where to go, I recommend checking to see if your website’s host already makes backups (or if it’s an added feature that you have to pay for). Also there’s plugins if you use WordPress like WPvivid Backup Plugin or a website like ManageWP, both have free and paid versions. Set up at least one and check monthly that backups are still being made.

Other such things that you forget once they’re in place

This was never meant to be a comprehensive list, but I have committed all of these mistakes and had my online efforts crippled, at least temporarily, until I discovered and fixed them. Sometimes I didn’t notice for a long time.

There are probably other things, I’m sure I’ll think of some after I click publish.

Recommended action:

Make a list of things you should check on and be sure to add to the list things that come up.

Divide the list up by things you should do Daily, Weekly, Monthly, and any other time period you deem wise.

Also, put the list near your computer or on the calendar with reminders or add checking the list to your planner.

Whatever it is you use to keep track of things you need to do, make sure you add checking this list to it.


As I’ve said, I’ve made all of these mistakes, some of them more than once. Take your business seriously and put into place the boring maintenance and checks that should be done.

Anyone want to confess some of their biggest mistakes?