Data Disaster: 24% Never Back Up!

Someone arbitrarily decided that June is Backup Awareness month. Let’s celebrate with this pie chart from Backblaze:

Backup Frequency Chart

It’s hard to believe that almost half of computer owners never back up or only back up once a year. These users are headed for a data disaster because storage media always fail. On average, here’s the lifespan of common storage media:

  • 5-10 years: flash drives
  • 3-5 years: hard drives
  • 2-5 years: CDs and DVDs

I’m in the 8% that backup my files daily, and just last year I added secondary remote backups to my routine. I simply can’t afford to lose my clients’ valuable files and data.

As a small business, it’s critical you develop a backup routine. Losing even a month’s worth of files can significantly harm your productivity and success. Consider losing the last month’s billing cycle, the new spreadsheets you spent hours on, the countless emails exchanged and all the minute changes made to your documents.

Backup utilities automate the process of backing up. Once you configure the system, you’ll hardly have to think about it again– until you need the backup!

It’s All About the Backups, Baby

We’re taking a break from our regularly scheduled small business marketing article to discuss a necessary condition for all marketing success– backups of your data.

Yesterday, my faithful MacBook Pro went kaput (that’s the technical term). While I wait for word from the Apple repair center, I’m not worried. Everything is backed up, and I have access to all the files needed to keep my clients’ marketing ships afloat.

However, many people live in nervous fear over what would happen if their computer fails. Here’s a secret: computers are machines, and machines will fail. If your business depends heavily on data, you need to have a backup strategy.

To keep your marketing data safe and working for your business, here’s a checklist of what should be backed up.

Marketing Data Backup Checklist

  • Graphic design files – Your small business used significant resources creating graphics for your various marketing campaigns, and hopefully the designs are robust enough to use for future iterations.
  • Video files – Video creation might be one of the most labor-intensive parts of your marketing strategy. Backup the source files, along with the completed videos.
  • Stock purchases – Stock content like photos and video often represent a significant investment.
  • Campaign analysis documents – Those who don’t remember history are doomed to repeat it. You’ll want to keep your tracking and analysis data safe.
  • Website components – Most websites contain both a design framework and a database for content. Make sure both of these separate elements are regularly backed up.
  • Web services account names and passwords – No one remembers their email marketing provider, analytics service and social media account information. If you lose you browser history, you’ll need a backup of this information.
  • Contacts – For both customers and partners, including email, phone and address information.

Since you probably hire professionals for some of this work, you’ll also want to check with your partners to make sure they have a backup plan for all of your important data.

All of this backing up may seem like an expensive hassle, but the cost of a few external hard drives or monthly off-site storage fee might just save your business someday.