With the thick of winter approaching for much of the country, there are things SMB owners must do to ensure that the most important aspects of their businesses are safeguarded from the elements.
These to-dos vary from region to region and industry to industry. While most people maintain insurance on their home or apartment to keep their family’s valuables secure, it’s easy to overlook the office and your business. And for small business owners, this is doubly important. As a safety precaution, digitize important office documents so that they’re backed up online and available in the cloud. This includes bank statements, invoices, receipts, tax paperwork, contracts and anything else that would be crucial to have should an emergency arise. Read along for more tips on how to keep your most important records, recipes, plans and receipts safe from any storm.
Back up computers
Backing up computers is paramount to surviving system failures and physical damage. Experts recommend backing up important files at least once a week. You can choose to back up to a cloud service or an external hard drive, for example. To keep your teams from falling behind, schedule weekly time slots for file backups. Backing up your most important information, documents and manuals will help save you time in the case of a cyber attack, computer malfunction or physical damage. Be sure to keep your backup copy in a safe place, in a separate location if possible.
Digitize physical copies
Having important records in paper form are a huge liability should something like a flood arise. While physical copies are at times needed for formal processes, there are many instances where a digital record is helpful for both quick recall and in the case of an emergency. In the event of a storm, rising waters or even a broken water main, paper documents are easily the first thing to go if they are not properly stored. A quick way to protect yourself and your business from losing all that important information is to digitize it. Easy-to-use, portable scanners like the ScanSnap iX100 help you quickly scan and store that information in the cloud, with features like searchable PDF and automatic naming so you can be most efficient.
Make a plan
The best thing to you can do ahead of a personal, professional or weather emergency is prepare. Having a plan helps everyone know their responsibilities and how to help in the least amount of time. Sit down as a team every year and talk through emergency situations to ensure everyone is on the same page.
Take a moment to breathe
In moments of despair, tempers and emotions run high. Taking a moment to gather your team and collect your thoughts can save you from sloppy mistakes and unnecessary arguments. Before you do anything: sit down, make a to-do list, decide who to call first, and delegate from there.
Owning a business is already a lot of pressure – you know that! Preparing for the worst is something no one likes to do, but having a plan in place can make you feel less anxious. And should you ever need to implement it, you’ll be relieved that you’re ready – and can act swiftly to get back to normal.
The SmallBizRising Blog is designed to be an educational content hub pulling information, best practices and practical advice for the small business owner and features topics including accounting, marketing, technology and more. Be sure to subscribe to stay up to date with new content as it is posted. The blog was created by The Neat Company and receives contributed content from a group of contributing companies that provide technology, services and solutions to small businesses.