The Value of Online Backup for Your Small Business

By on September 4, 2013
woman's hand on laptop keys

By Sharon Hurley Hall –

Backup may not be sexy, but it’s an essential part of your business. Whether you’re doing business online or offline, you’re likely working with software and computer documents every day. What would happen to your business if you couldn’t get access to them?

Why You Need to Backup Your Business Files

There are a couple of reasons why this might happen. For one thing, even though we rely on computer technology, we can’t rely on them always working. Computers can be derailed by sudden hard drive failures, power surges and viruses. And then there are natural disasters which can completely upset the normal business routine. When everything is going well, this may seem like scaremongering, but many business owners learnt the hard way that their disaster preparedness procedures weren’t strong enough.

Simply speaking, you need to have access to core business data whether you can access your office building and office computers or not. One way to make sure that happens is to use online backup. But which solutions should you choose and how should you set it up?

A small business owner will probably find it easiest to choose an automated solution. After all, if you’re running your business, you probably have enough to think about. That’s why it’s a good idea to choose an online backup solution that:

  • allows one click setup of the most common options.
  • has some customization options if you need them.
  • runs automatically in the background keeping your backup always up to date.
  • is scalable so you can upgrade as your business grows.

There are dozens of options to choose from, but here are a couple that have worked well for this writer.

Some Online Backup Solutions

Syncplicity is perhaps the ultimate set it and forget it backup tool. Install the desktop software and it pretty much runs itself, though you can also configure it to exclude folders if you wish. It backs up your key files to a repository in the cloud. As well as getting access to your files via desktop and mobile apps, you can also get to them via the web interface, which gives you access to your stuff even if something happens to your computer or business premises. And one particularly excellent feature is that if you need to transfer all your files from your old computer to a new one, all you have to do is download the desktop version onto the target computer, input your credentials and everything will automatically be downloaded into the right place. Another good choice is SugarSync, which offers many of the same features as Syncplicity. Its killer feature is storage of file revisions, which can come in handy if the current version of a file is corrupted in some way.

Of course, these are only two of the available options and depending on the size of your business, you may want an automatic cloud backup solution that also features encryption and allows you to backup dozens of computers automatically. If that’s the case, then check out one of these enterprise cloud backup solutions or read some of the reviews on this site, which tells us that every 1.24 seconds a hard drive fails.

Putting It to the Test

Finally, there’s one thing you have to do to make sure that your backup regime works – try to restore your files. An untested backup isn’t a backup at all – and it’s amazing how often you find that a key file is not accessible when you need it. Test the restore process for your backup solutions and make sure it results in files you can actually use – then you can relax in the knowledge that another protection for your business data is in place.

About Sharon Hurley Hall

Sharon Hurley Hall has been writing professionally for almost 25 years, and she does it because she loves it. She is a word nerd, a Scrabble fiend, fanatical about grammar, and is fascinated by learning new things. Since 2005, Sharon has mentored other writers to help them improve and build sustainable and successful writing careers. Sharon subscribes to the 'fine wine' theory of aging - getting older also means getting better! Connect with Sharon on her website.

3 Comments

  1. Marina Klima

    September 5, 2013 at 10:09 am

    Great post! I can still remember in the old days of computers, we use diskettes, CD and other disk drive to make backup. Yet those “offline” backups seems to be a hassle.

    Online backup is really the best thing to backup your important files.

    • Sharon Hurley Hall

      October 3, 2013 at 5:56 am

      Yes, there’s no substitute for it, Marina, though having more than one method is even better.

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The Value of Online Backup for Your Small Business