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Make sure your backup backs you up

Many in business are optimistic. They have an idea, however grand or modest, and they gather the capital and other like-minded individual and begin. If they are successful, their business can grow. That growth brings the chances of greater rewards and carries the risk of larger, more complex issues that could threaten the business.

A key element of any business is its organization. How that organization is set up governs much of the flow of the business. One important part of that organization is how do you cope with things when they go wrong. The proper management structure can help make your business resilient enough to withstand the shocks that accompany doing business in Minnesota and across the nation.

In addition to the management structure,  with the increasing reliance on electronic systems for many operational needs, you need to understand how those systems work and what redundancies you need. And once you identify those needs, you need to implement and test that they actually function.

Most businesses have customers who rely on their ability to deliver the goods or services they sell on time. As the recent Delta Airline computer outage showed, when systems failure means cancelled flights and unhappy customers, the costs can be tremendous. Delta's system issue is estimated to have cost the company more than $100 million in revenue and an untold amount of goodwill.

Delta had a backup plan, but apparently failed to test it fully and because of that failure, they did not identify server issues that brought the airline to a standstill when they attempted to implement their backup.

In your business, you may not see seven-figure losses, but a failure of your billing records, loss of your phone system or other critical systems could cost you greatly. From lost business to potential contract disputes or litigation of failed delivery dates, issues can range from minor to significant. In addition, you may appear incompetent and that can lead to a loss of confidence in your business.

You need to maintain up-to-date backups and practice regularly restoring a system from those backups to ensure that they contain accurate data, are not corrupted and that your employees understand the entire process to keep your business operating and successful.

 

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