Use Technology to Protect Your Small Business from Disaster

I’m a solopreneur and wouldn’t want it any other way. I love the flexibility I have and the fact that I can go hang out with my mom in DC anytime I want and not have to worry about what’s going on back in the office.

I had to think about safeguards I needed in place so I could recover from most any disaster, especially since I travel with my laptop (which is also my office). (According to government statistics, 93 percent of companies that had trouble restoring their data after a data disaster are out of business within 18 months. A solo or microenterprise could be out of business that day!)

I have peace of mind because I have taken precautions to protect my little enterprise in case of a disaster. What have you done?

  • I’m organized and you should stop and take time to do it too. If you can’t find something now, you definitely won’t be able to find it in an emergency. All files everywhere should be stored using a logical system that anyone can follow. Don’t just save files: organize everything and make the system make sense. And don’t store junk that should be deleted! To organize any files, start out with broad categories such as Accounting, Administrative, Marketing, and break them down into subcategories. Then break down the subcategories into the next broadest and so on…always keeping like subjects together. (For more help getting organized, visit my Website.)
  • All of my crucial files are automatically backed up to an online vault every day as they change. I’m using MozyPro.com to back up my laptop and external hard drive. I especially like that they haveĀ 24/7 support and they keep my files organized exactly as I have them.I’ve also developed a system that outlines which files to back up, when to do it, and where the files are stored. If I ever need to recover data, I want it to be as painless as possible. By having a logical system, I’ll be able to do it with a lot less stress. (See my post on exactly what I back up.)
  • An external hard drive in my office automatically backs up selected files several times a day (files from the My Documents folder and QuickBooks are most important).
  • My Website server is a repository for files meeting planners might need to download if they can’t get to me.
  • Crucial files are also stored on my 4GB flash drive that I always have with me.
  • Processes and procedures for running my solo enterprise are documented in a binder and also stored online.
  • All of my contacts and client files are stored in my computer (and also stored online). And everything is filed logically so anyone can find it in a hurry.
  • Computer-Internet-banking-related passwords are saved in a special file on my computer. For extra security, I listed just enough of the password for me to know which one I used…the rest of which I have memorized.
  • Precious files such as my passport, car title, copies of credit cards and driver’s license, etc., are stored in my office in a fireproof safe that’s small enough to grab and carry.
  • Business insurance covers all equipment at full replacement value. (Take digital pictures of everything, and save them on a CD, Flash Drive, etc. Keep the storage medium inside a fireproof safe that’s specifically designed for media contents. Explore your options from vendors such as Schwab Corporation.)

For more guidelines on preparing a disaster strategy for your business, visit the U.S. Department of Homeland Security’s disaster preparedness Website at Ready.gov. You should also visit the Red Cross disaster recovery page.

Now is a good time to get quiet and think about how your business would survive a catastrophe. Don’t procrastinate about setting something up any longer. You never know…

P.S. You can learn how to organize your files with my eBook, Get Organized So You Can Think! Word documents that I created that will make this easy and also a File Index to get you started are attached.

PEACE.

One thought on “Use Technology to Protect Your Small Business from Disaster

  1. Great tips Peggy. I use a service from http://www.box.net for online storage that works well for me. One thing people may want to consider in additional to storage space is the amount of transfer bandwidth your service will provide. Especially if you’re planning on creating content that can be downloaded to the masses, like podcasts.

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