Confessions of a Small Business Owner: "I have no data backup"

Dear Small Business Owner, 

You are not alone.  According to Symantec SMB, 50% of small and medium businesses have no backup or disaster recovery plan in place.  41% of those surveyed, stated they haven't given much thought to implementing a disaster recovery or business continuity plan. 

Statistics like these are impressive, aren't they?  Unfortunately, they don't actually help you solve the problem of not having a data backup plan, and they may even support the idea of NOT getting one.  Let's take a look at some questions that will help us decide if you even need a better, or beginning backup plan.  

  • How often is employee productivity and customer accessibility or service stalled each day from a downed network or system? (We mentioned the impact of this here
  • How much downtime can your business truly afford and what kind of backup or recovery solutions are in effect when systems are unavailable? (Can you go to paper, forms, an iPad App?)
  •  What level of IT support can be accessed?  Can it be accessed quickly enough to minimize damage?  Are you confident that your business can either be back online or be able to access lost data with minimal disruption? (On-site staff?)
  •  Are your systems protected from theft, hackers, and viruses?  Are passwords to sensitive data changed whenever employees leave the company or business unit? (Preventative steps, are you taking them?)
  • If you have some kind of backup... when was the last time you tested backup processes to ensure they are working properly?  How quick were your backups, back up?

Let's just say the answers were:  Very often, None, None, No, No. The thing that perplexes me, is not that it's happening.  It's WHY it's happening.  No chart, graph, or statistic ever clearly stated (none that I've found) why small business owners are neglecting this important piece?  Is it Price?  Fear of the unknown?  Security concerns?  Unable to decipher what to do... too many options that aren't clear? 

Ok, you probably don't have a great backup plan in place.  So what.  That doesn't mean you can't get one, or that it will be difficult or expensive.  It's not.  That is a statistic I DO know.  Costs are lower than ever for data backup solutions.  

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For about the daily cost of lunch at a chain restaurant, you can have a sweet little disaster recovery plan. 

IT Guide for Small Business Owners

About The Author

President of NSI, Tom has been helping small and medium businesses succeed in Connecticut for over 25 years.