Even though Michigan is not well known for it's natural disasters, we are frequent recipients of blizzards and thunderstorms which can wreak havoc on your computer systems. And no one is immune to a building fire or other such disaster that could cost you your business. So how do you keep your business up, even in the face of disaster? Make sure your small business disaster planning uses the cloud!
Your business is virtually done if you have no way of knowing who owes you money. People who you need to pay will come find you. And a good chunk of your receivables will probably eventually pay. But how do you get the rest if your accounting records are gone? I'm pretty sure the IRS doesn't care about your building fire or the computer that got zapped in the last thunderstorm either. If you don't have your accounting records backed up in a location different than your business, you could be out of business permanently.
If you are in the service business, data on your customers is a big part of your business. Even if you bill through your accounting software (I'm looking at you, Quickbooks users), chances are that you still have data on them elsewhere. What lawncare services you provide for the Joneses with a reminder to call in spring for raking as requested. Or perhaps notes on a case you are working on. How about patient medical records? Or even notes on that business proposal you've been working on that could change the face of your business. Not spending $100's to potentially save tens of thousands of dollars is the epitome of penny wise, pound foolish.
Let's say there IS a natural disaster and you are prepared. Since most of your software and customer records are on the cloud, it's not a huge deal to buy some computers and have them shipped next day. You can set yourself up in a new building, your house or the next town over and be back in business in 48 hours. And if you have a business that people will need even in the face of natural disaster, you will be ready to serve. How's that for a business advantage?
How has the cloud saved your business time, money or both?
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+.