There is no substitute for preparing for the worst. The saying goes, “an ounce of prevention is worth a pound of cure”. This is so true especially in the world of technology. Bad things even if you think you have the most reliable products. Many different things can go wrong. Your computer, phone or network can just stop working. They can break from a drop or liquid contact. They can be stolen or lost. If you don’t have a plan for these possibilities then you may lose time, money and worse of your important and priceless data. Even if you don’t read past this paragraph just remember it is much more difficult, stressful and often much more expensive to try to retrieve your stuff after something has gone wrong.
We have all had a friend or colleague that has lost an important document, file or even their family photos. The trouble is that often we don’t learn anything from it we just feel bad for them and move on. If you don’t have a backup that happens automatically on a regular basis, you are leaving your data at risk. Now a backup may not be the same in everyone’s situation. You may only care about one thing, say a quickbooks file. Your backup may just be as simple as emailing it to yourself on a daily basis. You may think that you don’t have anything on your computer that is important. I have come across people and businesses that thought this they were fine when there computer was fully erased. The look on their face when absolutely nothing was where it once was is just horrifying. There is no reason to not have a full computer backup as it is very cheap and easy to do. Obviously the more information you have the more complex your backup will be. A single computer can rely on say two hard drives however an office may need a NAS (Network Attached Storage) and an online backup solution.
PC World has a great article on how to do this and they get into the “rule of three”. Basically you should have three copies of your files at all times. The first is your working copy the one that lives on your computer that you are using and modifying. The second and third are your backup and the backup of your backup. The importance of the third is that it is not in the same location as your main and your first backup.
Backing up the computer is not the only thing that is cheap and easy to do. The business world revolves around communication. The phone and email are often the most important things that remain functional in ones day. What if your phone was stolen, or found its way into the door just as you were closing it. What then? Well having a backup phone is also something that is cheap and easy. There are some smart phones that are as little as 60 bucks on a pay as you go plan. I’m not talking Samsung or iPhone mind you but still something that will keep your business up and running.
It all comes back to being prepared. No one wants something to go wrong but you don’t want to be caught unprepared if you do. Have a plan, periodically check your backups. Like a fire drill. Make sure that you can be there at all times for your customers.