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Tips on Small Business Data Backup

Studies have shown that one of the primary reasons small businesses fail is data loss.  Depending upon the amount of data you have, data loss can be catastrophic making data recovery impossible if you do not have a backup strategy in place.

If you have yet to implement a small business data backup strategy it is time to get started.  Here are a few essential tips to help you get the ball rolling:

Identify Your Backup Needs


Every small business is slightly different which means you have to invest the time to conduct an assessment of your backup needs.  If you are not familiar with what data you have it makes it difficult, if not impossible, to choose data backup methods.  There are a lot of issues that come into play when backing up data such as file size, type of data, frequently used files, and other considerations.  Design a strategy for assessing your data needs and then follow through with it.

Choosing a Data Backup System


The sky is the limit when it comes to the number of options available for backing up important data.  As a general rule, you should use at least three different backup methods so you are covered in the event one happens to fail.  Here are a few options:

  • Online Backup: Cloud-based backup is a cost effective solution for any business regardless of size.  There are many online backup services such as Mozy and Carbonite that offer secure online backup.  These providers use multiple redundant backup locations including underground vault storage for securing important data.  Before you choose a provider make sure you know what questions to ask since the services will vary according to each provider.
  • Disk Backup: For local backup you can consider backing up important data to CD/DVD and then store it in an offsite location.  Other options include using a disk-based system and/or external storage device such as a hard drive or USB flash device.  You can also use disk imaging or “ghosting” to backup an entire PC operating system.


  • Server Backup: If you use servers for running small business tasks you should consider backing up the server in the event of system failure.  There are multiple methods for backing up servers including backup services that are provided by cloud storage companies.


It is also important to note that you should consider recovery time following a catastrophe.  How quickly will each backup system be able to restore your data and how long will the recovery process take?


Design a Backup Strategy


Design a strategy for data backup and then stay consistent with your backup efforts.  A sound backup strategy includes what to backup, how often to perform data backup, and when to perform log checks to ensure that the data was backed up successfully.  Also, depending upon the backup options you choose some of the methods such as online backup offer the option to set a time to automatically backup your data in case you forget to perform the process.

The bottom line is that data backup can never be too expensive when you compare it to what it would cost you to restore your small business from scratch.  For this reason, data backup should be one of the first things you consider when you start a small business.  If you need further assistance with designing an effective backup strategy, contact Thrive Networks today to obtain a strategy that caters to the data backup needs for your business.