I am an optimist.  I believe things will work out.   However, when it comes to my business I also know that things can go wrong, and planning is not being negative, it is being prepared.

Accidents happen. But even minor mishaps can be major catastrophes for small business owners. Every year, thousands of companies are unprepared for the interruption caused by a minor fire, flood, and burglary or computer meltdown.

Creating, and implementing a Business Continuity Plan as part of your overall business plan ensures your business survives any disaster.

What should your plan contain? – Information Access is # 1

For many small business owners, the computer is the heart and soul of the business. Unfortunately computers crash, virus’ attack, natural disasters occur and every user makes mistakes from time to time.

The consequences can be disastrous. Rebuilding financial information, contact lists, E-mail records or project files can be time-consuming, expensive and sometimes impossible.

Important information should be copied to some type of external media.  I used to recommend  zip disks, CDs or DVDs, tape back-up or external hard drives.  Too often I found business owners diligently copied all their key files and stored the CD’s or external hard drive, right next to their computer. A flood or fire would wipe out both copies.   So if you use this technique, be sure you have a plan to take the copies out of the office on a regular basis.

On-line backup provides a simpler, more secure, and less time consuming solution. For a nominal fee, on-line back-up solutions allow you to store information on a secure, encrypted server. The costs vary depending on the amount of data to be stored.  One of the most affordable alternatives for small business owners is Mozy.com For just a few dollars a month, you can protect your business.

Update – in 2014 there are lots more options then there were when I wrote this post.  Dropbox, Carbonite, and Google Drive and Microsoft Sky Drive all offer lots of storage at a low price.  There really is no excuse not to have a regular backup routine. as part of your business strategy.

Not sure if you need to spend the money?  Ask yourself these questions: If my computer didn’t turn on tomorrow:

  • Would I still have a business?
  • Would I lose a significant amount of time, and money rebuilding my data
  • Would I know what to do?

Don’t like the answers?  Then it is time to explore a back up solution.