Have you ever stopped to think what would happen to your business if your PC were to crash? Would you be able to continue to support your clients and/or generate income in the event of a computer failure?
If you run an online solo service business having a system in place that automatically creates a back-up of your PC’s files and folders is essential. It’s not just older PCs that are prone to glitches and complete system failures – it can happen to newer PCs too! Whatever age your PC and/or laptop is, you need to ensure that you have a system in place that will automatically back-up your critical files and folders should anything happen.
And to make the back-up process smoother, critical files and folder should ideally be stored in one place i.e. ALL files/folders relating to your business should be stored within the My Documents folder; downloaded programs should be stored in a downloaded programs folder; and any password and login data should be printed out as well as being stored within your My Documents folder.
So, what is the basic system you need? I recommend that you have two file back-up systems in place:
An external hard drive that you back-up to each day; and
An off-site back-up service, such as an online data back-up service, that backs up files automatically as soon as they’ve been updated.
Just stop and think for a minute how something like a hard drive failure would affect you and your business if you hadn’t got a recent back-up of your work; not just your day-to-day work but all your software programs too?
I’ll share a story with you about one of my clients who had some computer problems. Her laptop had died, and she said to me during one of our weekly check-in calls:
“I haven’t backed up my desktop. So if this goes, as well as the laptop … I’m sunk.”
How would you feel if you found yourself sunk? If you don’t have any back-up systems in place I suggest you take action now to avoid being in that same situation. Unfortunately I had an incident where my hard drive failed and needed to be replaced. Fortunately, I’d backed up all my critical work the day before on to CDs, but I still spent a lot of time recovering and downloading files and programs which I hadn’t backed up. Lesson learned!
The system that I had been using involved backing up files and folders to several CDs i.e. one for clients, one for accounts, one for business etc. It was time-consuming and a bit of a fiddle; consequently I didn’t backup as regularly as I should!
For a system (any system, not just back-up systems) to work it needs to be simple and easy to maintain, and once it’s in place should run like clockwork.
As a result of the situation I was in I created some new backup policies. I needed a more reliable system – one that was simple and easy to maintain, and would run like clockwork once I’d set it up.
My back-up system now consists of:
An external hard drive that I back-up to at the end of each day;
An online back-up service that automatically backs up my files, offsite and that I can access from any PC with an internet connection if I need to.
In addition to having this back-up system in place I also have my desktop computer connected to an automatic battery back-up so that if the power suddenly goes out I don’t lose the work I’m currently working on. I have four minutes to save and shut down the PC in the event of a power outage!
I recommend that you implement at least one of these back-up systems NOW! Both would be better. And get your desktop PC connected to an automatic battery back-up too!
About the Author: Office organization expert, Tracey Lawton, teaches professional speakers, coaches, and authors how to operate an efficient, organized, and profitable business. Learn how to create an efficient and organized office in 7 EASY steps, and receive free how-to articles at http://www.OfficeOrganizationSuccess.com
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