Great Ideas for your Small Business: Protect Your Business Data and Records
Before disaster strikes, spend some time figuring out how to protect your business records and computer data. The first step is to make sure your customer database, payroll records, bank records, and tax information are all duplicated and safely stored off site.
Details like this should be addressed in a formal disaster recovery plan. Nobody likes to think about a disaster befalling his or her business, but a solid plan will cover exactly how you could keep working even if you couldn’t get to your office.
Start the planning process by asking yourself these questions:
- Where would we work if the office lost all power or was damaged by fire or flood?
- Can we arrange to share space temporarily with another business?
- Do we have copies of all our essential business records in case our computer systems are damaged?
- How would we keep in touch with our customers, clients, and suppliers if the office were closed?
- How would we keep in touch with each other?
no matter what kind of business you operate, arrange for copies of critical business records to be kept by your attorney or accountant. If they don’t have the space, keep one set of records at home or in a secure, waterproof storage facility.
Before the end of each day, require everyone on your staff to back up their work on zip disks as well. Back up all data on rewritable CDs at the end of every week. While it seems like a hassle, getting in the habit of backing up data on a daily basis is critical in case of emergency.
Collect home phone numbers and assign a team of employees to keep in touch with everyone else. You might want to add remote call forwarding to your list of telephone services. With it, you can forward calls from your office line to anywhere without actually going into the office. Hope for the best, but plan for the worst.