If you are like most small businesses, you don’t have a systematic method or procedure for backing up your business data. I know this because I have talked to literally thousands of people over the years who find themselves needing a backup they don’t have.
So here’s a habit to get into that is not too hard to do, and that potentially can keep catastrophe away from your door. Backup on Fridays.
Now it’s true that it’s better to have a daily or nightly backup. And there are ways to do that that I’ll post about sometime. But don’t let perfection keep you from better. The best backup plan is one that will actually happen.
So if you aren’t making regular backups now, decide to make Friday your backup day. That way, your worst case scenario in case of a data disaster would probably be to rekey one weeks’ worth of data. For most businesses, that would be inconvenient but not a total nightmare. (Have the nightmare scenario? Click here.)
One critical element to this plan is to get your backup off your hard drive, and take the backup offsite.
Why? If you backup to your hard drive and your computer gets stolen, burned up, flooded, or just plain crashes the next time you turn it on, your backup is useless if it’s still on that computer.
But if you backup to a flash drive (aka USB drive, thumb drive, memory stick), CD, external hard drive, and you take it home or keep it in your purse or pocket, then you’re covered regardless of what happens to your office computer. Just common sense, eh?
A lot of flash drives have built in security, so you can password-protect your information.
You should backup not only your QuickBooks data files, but any mission-critical files, or files that otherwise would be inconvenient to lose (e.g. your /documents folder.)
So put it on your calendar for every Friday: BACKUP TODAY. It’s easy, it’s cheap, it’s important.
What is your backup plan or procedure? Does it work well for you?