Backups – You never think about them until it’s too late

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I was walking through C3 with one of our customers yesterday and the conversation turned to the software they used previously.

‘We can automatically import that in to C3 for you – that should save you a lot of typing’

‘Wow, that would be great! But I lost the files…’

I’ve heard this before. I never quite know how to respond to it – it usually ranks somewhere between, ‘bleh’ and ‘I’m sorry for your loss.’ Okay, that might be over swinging a little but it’s a big deal!

I’ll never forget the last files I lost – the pictures I’d painstakingly taken on my camera from spring 2004 to the summer of 2006. That was in the summer of 2008 and I’ve been a backup advocate ever since.

I’ve forgotten more stories than I remember about all the different ways people have told me about things they’ve lost. Sometimes it’s in a big catastrophe – Sasha lost a hard drive to apartment flooding. Often times it’s old hardware dying. More than most care to admit it’s often an ‘oops, I didn’t mean to do that,’ click of the mouse.

Whatever the reasoning – losing files stinks!

Losing files for business doesn’t just stink – it costs real money. If you’re lucky it’s just the labor of re-entering records from paper copy. Oftentimes it can require embarrassing phone calls or emails to clients or service providers trying to correct records that differed from paper or memory.

Regardless of whatever the method you use to recover from the loss most people recognize after it’s too late that they need a backup to prevent that loss again.

Learn from my mistakes – backup anything and everything you care about!

There are plenty of articles on the subject – I recommend an online backup system over other options – having to remember to burn a DVD or backup files to a spare hard drive saves the ‘oops, I forgot to do that.’ It also saves time, and makes backup a lot easier. Instead of thinking, “I’ll do that later,” it’s already been done.

I’ve had a lot of luck with Carbonite. Their basic package always has a coupon on the first page of google and it just works great with low effort. It’s probably the best 60 dollars a year I spend. There are plenty of other options – find the one you like the best.  The specifics really don’t matter – just getting a safety net in place that you don’t have to worry about and can reliably know that your files are backed up is valuable to your business.

Of course I need to bring this back around to making sure your backflow software system is backed up. In a backflow testing business your customer history is probably the most valuable asset to your company. Could you get all of your customer data back if it wasn’t there tomorrow? When was the last time you *know* you backed it all up? How about the last time you created an off-site backup in case something happens at your office?

If you’re not using C3 you should go do that right now – seriously, I’ll wait!

If you’re already using C3 – you’re done, nothing to worry about. We take backups seriously. Once a test is completed and a test report is generated that test report is stored in multiple locations designed to be reliable 99.999999999% of the time – yeah, that’s backed up.

Not only that but because you don’t have to download or install anything – if your computer goes down you don’t need to scramble to get a copy of your backflow application, install it, load your historic data and try to get back to business. With C3 you just login from a different computer and you’re back in business with zero interruption.

Go backup your data, seriously, nobody thinks about it until it’s too late.

Don’t wait until it’s too late, a few bucks a year is a lot better than a few thousand trying to get a damaged hard drive recovered or manually typing ten thousand customer records back in to a computer.

Let C3 handle your backflow records and rest easy knowing they are safe – but I don’t want to leave you thinking that’s enough – From family pictures to financial records, I’m sure your computer has something on it you don’t want to lose, make sure it’s backed up – There is nothing better than that panic when you realize your data is gone followed by an immediate realization that it’s all backed up and safe.


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