My husband and I were in Europe on vacation, my first in years, having just given birth to my third child three weeks earlier. Suddenly, we received an emergency call from the store manager of our wine and butcher shops.
The computer servers at both of our store locations had crashed for no explicable reason, making it impossible for our sales staff to do anything — look up the price of a wine bottle, scan a barcode, even figure out sales tax. And here we were, stuck in a foreign country, stranded miles away, bouncing a baby and saying, “Oh, God.”
Without wasting any time, we decided to send a tech-savvy friend to both locations and have my husband walk him through the recovery process over the phone. We lost at least $4,000 in sales in just a few hours.
But after getting the servers up and running, and relaxing with a glass of Provence rose, my husband Jason conceived of our second small business — ShopKeep.com, a cloud-based point of sale app that runs entirely on an iPad. Now if one of our servers fails, we can still run sales on a backup computer.