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Your Business Data - Back It Up or Lose It

computer data storage devicesIs running your email backup one of those tasks on your to do list that keeps getting postponed until tomorrow? Does backing up your computer on a regular basis seem like more trouble than it is worth?

Computers are a mainstay of most modern businesses. Client contacts and financial records are easy to store and find on your office system. You may think of your computer as the most reliable assistant in the office, and you would be right.

However, even the most secure and well designed systems can get viruses, succumb to power surges or just crash. It's a little too late to make a backup after your system loses all of your files!

"That won't happen to me" is how many of us think about a computer catastrophe that could wipe out all of our business information. But you don't need to have a computer crash to lose all of your files, folders, programs, and emails. You could lose them because of a natural disaster, power shortage, errors in transferring files to another computer, or a partial shutdown.

Do you have your business information insured?

Most smart business owners have insurance against financial loss. Even though you don't expect to need it, you take out a policy to protect your assets just in case a catastrophe occurs. Backing up your computer with a variety of computer storage devices or computer cloud services is the most affordable insurance a business owner can invest in. Just a few minutes of your time makes sure that in case of any disaster, your business can be up and running again because the data you need to operate was saved.

How much is your time worth?

How long would it take you to re-create that list of clients' phone numbers, addresses, actions, results that you keep on your PC? How long would it take you to re-create articles you've written, marketing sources you've been saving, your list of newsletters and subscribers? And how long would it take you to hunt for, find, and download all those ebooks, reports, and programs you downloaded before?

Some data you simply can't recreate

For example, when you lose your email folders, you can't re-create the content of those folders even if you had saved the email addresses. It's all gone. Think about all the financial information and tax records that are safely stored away on your computer. How hard would it be to gather all of that information again? Business names and contact lists, personal information about clients, pictures, phone numbers, deadline reminders ...

Is it starting to make sense why you should have it saved somewhere else? The extra few minutes it takes you to back-up your data is an investment worth a fortune because you simply cannot re-create or retrieve all files, folders, programs that you currently have on your computer.

What you need to backup your computer

Backing up your data (all files, folders, programs), means you'll need to save your data to a disk, CD or location other than your hard drive. For example, you can save your data to:

1) Flash drives - Compact flash drives are now available that can hold a few backups with room to spare.

2) CDs or DVDs - You'll need a CD or DVD burner.

3) External hard drives - These are less expensive now than they used to be, but even the more expensive ones with up to 700 gigabyte capacity might be worth the price in peace of mind.

4) Secure, Web-based file storage service - These are online services where you can save your data. The benefit here is that your data is stored in a physically remote place so floods and fire or other catastrophes in your office area won't affect them.

But the most important thing you'll need is a willingness to change your habits. Most people I know back up their data once per week, often on a Friday. If your business depends on the data you store, you may want to do a backup more often. Many Web site owners and newsletter publishers do it daily. Given all the marketing, coaching, newsletter lists and all the software I download, daily back-up makes more sense for me.

Backing up email folders

I don't back up my emails folders to a CD but prefer using a program to do that. There are many nifty little programs that work miracles with backing up email addresses and all email folders. The process is quick and easy ... and you'll be very happy to have the information saved if a disaster ocurrs.

Don't put it off!

Backing-up your files may seem like just another addition to your busy schedule. But remember that you've worked hard to build your client or newsletter list ... and your practice. Take just a few minutes each week to protect that investment.

About the Author...
Joann Javons

also see in Technology -> Data Backup | Data Recovery

More about backing up your files around the Web:

5 Ways to Keep Your Emails Backed Up

The Importance Of Email Backup

Backup Tips: Keep Your Data Backups Safe, Simple, and Fast

Backup tips and strategies for Artists


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