Why Small Businesses Need Backup and Disaster Recovery Plan


It’s safe to say we here at Empower IT are big proponents of backup and disaster recovery plans. Knowing they are the most important lines of defence against floods, fires, and power outages, we’ve seen first-hand how they can save a business in times of distress.

If you are new to backup and disaster recovery plans and want some additional information on how they work, you can check out our previous blog on the subject. There you will get a better idea about the difference between backups and a disaster recovery plan and why it is vital for your organisation to have both, not simply one or the other.

In this blog, we want to focus more on the why aspect. A lot of small business owners don’t necessarily understand why having backup and disaster recovery plans is important. And as a result, they neglect installing these systems, thinking they are more of a luxury than a necessity.

This cannot be further from the truth. You can think of backup and disaster recovery as a survival kit for your business. Let’s say you enjoy a hike in the Australian Alps. You would probably bring along a kit containing emergency rations, a flashlight, blankets and some other things to ensure that if you got lost or stranded, you could still survive while waiting for help to arrive.

Having backup and disaster recovery plans in place gives your business that ability to survive in the aftermath of a disaster until order can be restored. Let’s take a deeper look at some of the reasons why every small business needs backup and disaster recovery plans.

It saves your small business money

When disaster strikes, small business owners must be in damage-control mode. This means they will need to find ways to restore operations and minimize the impact the event has on their organisation. An EMC Global Data Protection Index survey showed that Australian businesses lost a staggering $65 billion in 2014 because of downtime-causing disasters. It is nearly impossible to go unscathed when one of these events happens.

What backup and disaster recovery plans give you is the ability to stay in the game and eliminate extended periods of downtime that costs thousands of dollars per minute. Remember, when it comes to not having functional IT systems, every second lost is money slipping away. Lost sales, staff being paid but unable to work, and repair expenses are just a few things that will end up turning the black on your balance sheet into red.

It saves your small business time

You’ve likely heard the expression ‘time is money,’ and it’s true no matter how cliché it sounds. Having backups and a disaster recovery plan in place will save you and your staff time across the board. You won’t have to waste time looking for backup copies of files that may or may not exist. You also won’t need to waste time in the aftermath of a disaster trying to find computer repair companies to help. Should a disaster happen, putting the plan into action is simple. A well-thought-out plan starts working immediately, ensuring no time is spent doing things that could have been handled before the disaster struck.

Something will go wrong

As much as we hate to say it, between Mother Nature, reckless employees, and modern technology, something is bound to go wrong. You never know when heavy rains will bring a flood, when an employee will leave a laptop on the Metro, or when a server one day will stop working for no discernible reason. Sure, small businesses might get lucky for a while, but a disaster, in one form or another, is imminent.

The one thing all these scenarios have in common is that their impact can be mitigated with a comprehensive backup and disaster recovery plan in place. Instead of panicking as soon as something goes wrong, you will be able to immediately work around the problem to ensure it doesn’t disrupt your company.

Customers won’t give you a second chance

Your clients are the reason your small business is successful, and you need to keep them if you plan to keep growing. However, the marketplace is packed, and chances are you have both local and national competitors just waiting for you to slip up. As much as your customers may like you, they won’t hesitate to look elsewhere for service if you are unable to deliver.

Even if a disaster, such as arson, is something you have no control over, clients cannot afford to wait for you to get back up on your feet. With a backup and disaster recovery plan, you ensure that customers stay happy and committed to your company because they know your business can withstand the worst.

Protect yourself from cyber attacks

Some cyber-attacks, including the much talked-about Locky and ransomware threats, can easily be worked around with a backup and disaster recovery plan. Although you shouldn’t fully rely on these anytime an employee lets malware make its way into your systems, it can be useful in certain instances to restore IT infrastructures that have been compromised.

In fact, it can be one of the most time- and cost-effective ways to get rid of malware since most files and systems can be restored in hours. Prevention is always the best way to go when it comes to cyber security. However, as we mentioned earlier, you never know what will happen, and being prepared with backups and a disaster recovery plan adds another layer to your defences.

The Director of Empower IT, Salim Sukari, says, “Small business owners tend to think about backup and disaster recovery plans in terms of ‘Can we afford this?’ when they should approach it with the mindset of ‘Can we afford not to have this?’ The initial capital outlays for these are not as great as some small business owners might believe, and when you look at a cost/benefit analysis of backup and disaster recovery planning, the decision for having it is actually very practical.”

Contact the knowledgeable staff at Empower IT for more information on why your small business needs a backup and disaster recovery plan. We can ensure you get the protection you need without spending money you don’t have. Finally, plan A might be your most important plan, but most businesses are only as successful as their backup plan. Ask yourself, how good is yours?