You've heard it a million times -- back up your data. Well you have thousands of files. You may even have terabytes of data. So what do you really NEED to back up? Unfortunately, it greatly depends upon your business, but there are 5 essential business documents that you should back up regularly (i.e. daily).
1. Tax and Business Documents
By business and tax documents, I mean things like tax returns & accompanying financial statements, business licenses, sales tax info, business purchase agreements, Federal ID numbers, LLC documents from the state, articles of incorporation or anything else of that nature. This should always be backed up. Period.
2. Business Accounting Records
If something happens, you NEED your accounting records. Again, these should be backed up daily unless you want to be trying to reenter things from memory. The IRS doesn't care if your building burned down at tax time. How can you collect on your work without your billing records? Or prove that you paid a bill from a vendor? If you have a separate accounting and invoicing system, make sure that they are backed up and/or on the cloud.
3. Customer Records
These, too, are essential to continuing your business. How much worth is a business without customers? NONE. Without your customer records, you could forget appointments, contracts or work to be done. Can you feel the money slipping through your fingers? Be sure to save customer records -- things like contact info, contracts, your CRM if you have one, and your job schedules if you have things like that. Even if you are unable to complete the work due to a disaster, you can let your customers know as soon as you are able so that they can find a replacement ASAP. Or you can find one for them! I bet they will be back when you are ready for them!
4. Essential Business Documents
This is probably the stickiest part of all of them because it would be different for every business. For a law firm, it might be their trial notes for open cases. Or estate documents they have done. For a doctor's office, it might be patient medical records. For a design firm, it might be Adobe license keys or graphics libraries they have purchased, or projects being worked on.
What items to do you backup? All of them? Or just certain categories?
Jen Steed writes about technology, travel and more. You can find her writing for various online and print publications. To talk to Jen or see all of her articles as they are published, you can follow Jen on Google+.