So you are a small business owner, like me, and are worried about data loss? If you are not then you should be because data is what makes your business work and, in the best cases, grow. Probably you don’t have an IT guy that’s exclusively reserved for taking care of your data, let alone an IT department. But fear not, there are solutions that help business owner to finally have peace of mind knowing that their data is safe.
Don’t know where to start?
If you don’t know where to start with your analysis and backup strategy, I highly recommend reading my free Online Backup 101 Report. I already got hundreds of emails how this 20 page report has helped my readers. I’ll explain everything in detail, and you can even listen to it on your iPhone.
The first and most important question
The first question you have to ask is: Can your business still exist without the data you have on your machines? Allow me to guess: probably not. That is the first step to acknowledge the danger data loss implies. The second step is taking action. I recently talked to Gleb Budman, CEO of Backblaze a reknown unlimited online backup service, and he said the major competition he faces is apathy which means that people simply don’t react, regardless of the dangers and plummeting prices for online backup. So, don’t fall into that trap! Your business is a very important part of your life, probably your whole family depends on it. AND: hard drives do fail in more than 15% of all cases.
The hard facts to gauge
There are some hard facts that you need to ask yourself as a small business owner:
- How much data can you afford to risk?
- How much data do you really have?
- How often do you need to access this data?
- Where do you want to store it, on which medium
If you can answer the above questions then you’re one step ahead of other business owners who are putting their existence at risk just because they ‘forget’ to backup…But what are exactly your options? Let’s have a look at some here and then I’ll give you my recommendation what I do to backup my data. A word of caution: it is absolutely necessary to check if what I recommend is applicable for your business. Every business is different, so in general there is no one-size-fits-all solution. If you need a customized backup plan, please don’t hesitate to contact me.
1. Store your files locally with a NAS
If you don’t trust online backup providers with your data, you always have the option to store your files on a NAS (network attached storage). A NAS gives you the benefits of having your data always availabe in your network so that you can access it anytime you want. I personally use the Synology Disk Station though with only 2 disk with 2 TB each. It works great and very reliable. However, it is a bit pricey. You can certainly find a cheaper alternative with less disks in it but I highly recommend Synology.
A Network attached storage system is a great way of storing your data and also guarantee deduplication which means your data is constantly stored once a file gets modified.
People who do read me frequently know that I am paranoid about losing my data because it happened to me once. That’s why should always ensure having multiple backups. A NAS will give you this option: simply use one disk for your primary backup disk and then setup a second for a backup of the backup. I know this might sound weird but I know that you’ll give me a hug for this recommendation later
However, the best NAS is worth nothing if something happens to your environment. This could be accidents, like spilling coffee over your hard drives, theft or other incidents that destroy your beloved Network attached storage. That’s why I would always consider online backup with a reknown provider.
As you probably know I’ve tested dozens of online backup services so you don’t have to and I have cherry picked just the best solutions for small to medium sized businesses.
My recommendation: online backup
I already pointed out the importance of having multiple backups of your data. An online backup service for your business is the ideal secondary backup solution because it has several benefits:
- It is off-site. So no matter what happens to your (home) office your data is safe and always recoverable.
- It is a fairly cheap solution. Prices per gigabyte of storage decrease constantly.
- It is very secure. If you stick to well known providers (for my business I personally use MozyPro)
It literally only takes a few minutes of your time thinking about your backup strategy, but these minutes will be highly rewarded afterwards because hard drive failure is always lurking. What is your backup strategy? I always love to learn how other business owners store their data, probably I can even improve on my setting here.
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