Important contacts and contracts, client files, yearly taxes along with other sensitive documents, conclusive research and irreplaceable photographs are just some of the important data relegated to your small business computers. Having any of these items simply disappear would be a disaster. After all, losing important data can set your business back, while in severe cases, having this happen can even cause legal ramifications. So how do you avoid such tragedy? As almost anyone who has had this happen to them will tell you, it is imperative to backup all your data. This is not merely a warning, but rather a dictum.

Tried and true

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What is the best way to do this? Consider using a clone, a bootable backup system that will immediately step in if your computer’s hard drive suddenly crashes and burns without any warning whatsoever. Remember however, that backing up on a clone takes time, and so the backup typically takes place only once or twice a day. That means you will only find the material you have produced since the last backup if or when you discover you need to employ the clone. The hard work you put to task after that could be lost, which creates a major caveat.

Another backup

An external backup drive is another relatively safe backup system, especially if you only need to backup certain files instead of your entire hard drive. Doing so means these files will take over if or when your computer crashes. When that happens, all you need to do in order to recover what you lost is seek out another machine. Then, simply plug in the backup drive to claim your protected data. Not only will you be privy to the final draft, but also to any drafts you produced before that last one.

Getting cloudy

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Cloud services are also available to use when you need a solid backup plan to keep your files safe. Some cloud services give free space for a certain amount of data, but can be expanded if you pay the price to do so. Signing up for paid cloud service for a year or more may provide you with others services as well.

A last warning

Sometimes your backup system will fail. Sad, but true. So, to be fully prepared for this outcome, choose at least two different ways to backup. Have a solid Plan B should such a disaster ever happen. In the case of failing computers in the small business world, two plans are always better than one.


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This article was written by Jane Lasky for CBS Small Business Pulse.