When you own a small business, your data may be your best friend. All of the important information you keep about your business and your clients is vital for continuing growth. Think about it: Where would your business be without your website? What would you do without your design and branding data? Could you handle a disaster and their potential loss? There are IT disasters looming everywhere. Do you have a backup plan?
Across the globe over the last few years, we’ve seen hurricanes put cities underwater, we’ve seen tsunamis level entire communities, tornadoes flatten towns and forest fires ruin homes and businesses. Imagine your computer, with all of your precious data, being melted away into nothing. Backing up your sensitive and vital information will save you the heartbreak of a loss of data and maybe even save you money in recovery fees.
Back Up Plan
There are multiple ways to back up your data. Sometimes, it’s as simple as plugging in an external hard drive to your computer and running a program that automatically copies files over to it. You will then, of course, want to keep it stored safely at the end of the day, or else your backup won’t be doing much good. Some people choose to burn data to CDs and store them in safety deposit boxes. You should note, however, that some CDs can only be written once, and a new CD must be used if you change the material. Rewritable CDs are available, but are also more expensive. This is more time intensive, but might be worth it for end-of-quarter backups.
Another increasingly popular option is saving to the cloud. When you sign up with a cloud storage system, your data is securely stored in a remote server far from your computer. This can be a particularly handy service because all of your data is already safe and sound in a secure site, so you have no worries about finding a safe place to keep a hard drive or stacks of CDs.
Of course, as a small business owner, you know that your time is precious. You may not always have extra minutes or hours available to sacrifice your computer and let it back up fully. There are actually services and software available to business owners that allow them to back up their data and easily retrieve it as needed. Using such a service could save you time, allowing you to dedicate your energy on other aspects of your business instead of fiddling with IT problems. There’s a wide range of services and software available, and some will fit your business needs better than others. Do some research and purchase specifically what you need and what will allow you to make the most of your time.
It’s odd to think that we still receive paper receipts when we purchase something, even though we frequently purchase with a plastic card—or in some cases, with our mobile phones. Those paper receipts are important for accounting and tax information, yet in the case of a fire or a flood, they’re ruined. As you begin to back up your digital data, consider digitizing the other aspects of your life as well. You still might want to keep your hard copies around, but making digital copies of receipts could help save space in your desk. Digitization will also make your accountant’s life easier, and that’s always a good thing.
Even in the milder UK climate, fires, burglaries and floods still happen. IT disasters aren’t even limited to Mother Nature acting up. They can be triggered by a Delete button happy employee, a wrong click or hard drive failure. Protect yourself by setting up a backup system now so you don’t have to worry about recovery solutions later.