Website Succession Planning Software
   …keep your user names, passwords and online business access information organized, secure and offline. Just in case.




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Website owners who do everything

When you are vulnerable

Take control of the black box

Four things you must know

What do you have?

Protect your digital assets

Where are your digital assets?

How to access your digital assets

Be slow to delete - problems with accessing accounts

Trust one other person - take control over what happens

Who has access?

The secret power of information and being in control

    3. How INFORMATION Works For You… Control Requires Answering This Question: “How to Access It?”

This ONE AREA OF MISDIRECTION is the source of so many easily avoided problems and challenges that bring smart, efficient and competent online business owners to their knees and wreaks havoc in their businesses, because it’s so easy to avoid.

It may come as no surprise to you that everything we do in our lives, both online and offline, often requires a user name and a password. Here’s a quick story along these lines that I’ve got to share with you…

Several months ago I was having dinner in a local favorite restaurant. I enjoy this because it often gives me the opportunity to meet up with and “connect” with friends and even fellow business owners in an easy and comfortable setting. And it’s easy in such a casual setting to ask questions and get a conversation going about how “business is,” and I often do little mini-surveys by how I frame my questions. It’s also a perfect setting to talk about their websites and offer suggestions and advice in a non-billable setting.

As you might expect, when I began talking about the concept of Website Succession and the need to have all key access information in one safe and secure spot I saw more than a few blank stares when I brought up this topic. It’s not often you have a chance to see how at first an idea doesn’t make any sense, and then to watch faces transform when the concept of being in control of their information in the right way sinks in and they “get it” in relationship to their online business. Well, they do, and here’s where I find it gets even more fascinating.

When I get to the end of my usually enthusiastic explanations, I sit back to enjoy one-on-one what-if scenarios from my friends. I often learn what’s on their mind and what their concerns are. I can also tell by their questions that what we’ve talked about made sense, and I also learn what methods they are currently using.

But then it usually comes out. And this from responsible, hard working professionals and business owners who say “well… my web guy does all that.” Or better still I hear “I use one of those online places to store all my passwords and I keep the rest of them on my computer.

Wow! This floors me. Not because I’m standing in judgment, which I’m not, but because of what it means about their vulnerability… and about other business owners with websites who do exactly the same thing…

At those moments, I can’t help but think about one client and how the lack of user names and password information brought her to her knees and nearly crippled her employer’s operation. And how others could actually not know how much risk they face without their information being “in hand.” And how information stored on their computers can’t do a thing if something were to happen to them, or if their computers crashed or were stolen. Their entire online business could collapse, and jeopardize the livelihood of their families.

Their vulnerability still messes with my brain. But here’s the point…

After thinking about it, I remembered the news reports about the Marine who was killed in a roadside bomb in Fallujah and the nightmare his father had to go through to gain access to his late son’s email account on Yahoo!…He had to obtain a court order to have access to it.… Think of the emotional trauma this grieving father had to endure, not to mention the expense of the legal proceedings.

And right then, as I thought about this, I had an AMAZING REALIZATION

The problems of access to every day accounts, even beyond your internet business.

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If someone has to step into your shoes they’ll need this information:
  • You - the owner
    (Software also accommodates many owners)

  • Business information
    Include physical locations and required Tax Id numbers

  • Contacts
    Contact information for companies and individuals connected to your business.

  • Bank Accounts
    Banks you do business with, types of accounts with each bank, account information, how to access, and who has access to your bank accounts.

  • Email Accounts
    Email service providers and email accounts including user names and passwords. Emails connected to all your digital assets. Advise to be slow to delete email accounts.

  • Software Owned
    Software used to run your online business. Including versions, serial numbers, price, vendor and vendor contact information.

  • Computers and Other Devices
    Often overlooked are the passwords required to access your laptops and desktop computers. List the equipment you own, serial numbers and the access password required for entry and use.

  • Domain Names
    All domain names you own, registration costs and renewal / expiration dates. Have all domain names owned within one roster, regardless or registrar.

  • Domain Registrars
    Where a domain name is registered, the account information, user names and passwords, and how to access your account and who has access to this information. Ongoing costs associated with domain name, credit card used, email account associated with account.

  • Hosting
    Where your websites and blogs live. List direct hosting accounts and reseller hosting packages. Credit card used for payments and the email account associated with the hosting service. Access URL, user names, passwords and who has access.

  • FTP / HTTP
    How you access the back end of your websites and blogs to upload new content or change existing content. Includes server name, path, user names passwords and who has access to this information and authorized to do this work if not you.

  • Sub Domains and Blogs
    Each requires unique user names, passwords and access information.

  • Other Sites / Web 2.0
    For all the free service sites where you have content. Include all social media sites and other sites which require an email account associated with this service, user name and passwords in addition to how to access these sites, who is authorized to access these sites and also a note section for the purpose of each site. If you use an online password site, this is where to list it. If you use Facebook or Twitter, or any other service which allows multiple accounts within their program, this is where you list them.

  • Products
    The products you own and sell online. Include the type of product, cost and selling information, location of original work, date first appeared and product descriptions and notes.

  • Affiliate Program Income
    List the companies where you earn affiliate income. Including the account name, email account associated with their program, user name, passwords, estimated annual income, payment method and the bank account information which receives automatic deposits and who has access.

  • Joint Venture Partners
    Your Joint Venture Partners and contacts within each company.

  • Joint Venture Sales
    Joint Venture Partners who sell your products, how theyt’re paid for sales, and any service companies used for sales tracking and payment management services.

  • Service Companies Used
    Service companies used within your online business. Account information, access URLs, user names, passwords, emails associated with these services and the fees you pay to use these services.

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