Once you have started your small business and things are ticking along nicely, you will realise that you have quite a lot of data; invoices, client addresses, calendar and so on. If you think ahead and back up regularly, you will never experience the heart stopping moment when your computer won’t start in the morning and you know you have lost it all. For ever. It happens to many people, and there is really no excuse because creating a back up for all of your precious data is remarkably simple. The key to backing up is to make it part of the routine. If you are working from home part time, you might not use the computer every day, so deciding on a time and day of the week for a back up might not work – if that is a non working day, you might miss it and then of course the next day will bound to be the day everything crashes.
By far the best system is to make sure that every time you save the data is saved to both the hard disk and a supplementary one. If your data is sensitive, this should be in the same location as your PC or laptop, which of course makes it at risk if there should be a fire, flood or burglary. In this case, using a cloud would be wise. This is a virtual site online, often as an add on of a website or internet service provider. Some virus software offer the facility as well. This means that everything is stored whatever happens to the physical PC or laptop and of course also has the added advantage that you can access all of your files from absolutely anywhere you have internet connection – ideal for the workaholic on holiday. As a business tool a virtual storage facility is ideal as you can have input to your records in an emergency if you are away from home.
Some people who have just a small part time home business don’t have that many files on a computer or have a lower level of computer skills. For them the saving to a CD ROM might suffice and they may feel more comfortable with that. The problem here of course is that disks can get lost or they can degrade so it is necessary from time to time to check and copy them. Memory sticks are also an option if you don’t have much data and they have the advantage of being very small and easy to carry around. If you are planning a backup separate from your home working environment, it is possible to have a remote hard drive in another location. This is a good idea if you feel that the hard drive on your computer at home is at risk of damage, but most small businesses don’t really need such sophistication. Backing up to two places automatically each time is usually enough to give peace of mind.