While data recovery plans are a big deal to large businesses, small business owners to often do not even consider the concept until the worst happens. For a small business, making use of an inexpensive USB 2.0 portable hard drive to backup crucial business files can be the difference between a theft, fire, or computer failure being a minor inconvenience or a business destroying catastrophe. Having a backup plan, following it religiously, and securing the drive can be an absolute lifeline for a company.
Establishing a Plan
First, consider the files necessary to do business. These files will include accounting files, employee records and payroll information, and customer information. Additionally, if the company does computer oriented work, backing up all works in progress is a good idea as well. Once it has been decided which files to back up, how frequently to perform the backup should be determined. For most small businesses, once a week is adequate.
Follow the Plan
Backing up essential company data is only truly effective if it is regularly done. It is important to ensure that someone reliable is responsible for performing the backup. Establish protocol to confirm that the backup was successfully completed and establish a routine to deal with situations where the primary person performing the backup is unavailable. Keeping a current backup of the business’s important information is like buying insurance – you hope you never need it, but if you do, not having it can be devastating. Avoiding this devastation is as easy as sticking to the backup routine.
Secure the Hard Drive
The strength of using a portable hard drive for a small business’s important data is that it is small and can be quickly put in a safe. Securing the drive after the backup is complete is as important as performing the backup in the first place. While fire is the big catastrophe that enters people’s minds when considering the danger to company information, data stored on a computer is also at risk of theft, vandalism, or simple computer failure.
A large company with branch offices can get away with the creation of redundant files by exchanging data between locations. As the number of locations and distance between them increase, the chance of a single event wiping out every copy of crucial information is virtually nonexistent. For a small business with one location, things are different. The single location (and sometimes single computer) represents the risk that anything that harms the location could destroy the data. Establishing and following a sensible backup routine can eliminate this risk.