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8 Ways To Prevent A Home Based Business Catastrophe
Is your work at home business doing good right now? Do you depend on it, monthly? Does it generate a considerable amount of income for you? What if I said you could lose it in a blink of an eye? Far too many work at home business owners don't realize that their work at home business is only as "stable" as the computer that they use for it. Think about it. Many people build their entire work at home business around their computer. The computer is their link to all of their websites that make them money. It is also the place where they store their business software, e-books, products, customer information etc. Take that computer away and how will YOU go on?
Many people take their computers for granted. They think it's an absolute which will always be there for them. Many people don't realize that all it takes for that "life line" to be cut could be a small power surge or a hard drive failure. Poof! Just like that, your work at home business can be gone! Or imagine yourself the victim of a natural disaster, like a hurricane. Could your come back and pick up from where you left off? Or will you lose everything and have to start over from scratch? What can a work at home business owner who makes a living on the internet and relies on their computer, do to make sure he or she can recover from a catastrophe? Here are a few suggestions.
1) Separate your business from your personal work..
Ideally it would be nice to have two computers, one for your personal use and one for your business use. Perhaps you can't afford to have two computers, If so, then organize your business data separately in different folders on your computer. It can be as simple as creating a folder called "Business" and storing all relevant data and information in that folder. This will make it easy for you to locate and back up your data when needed.
2) Backup your websites.
This only applies if you have your own websites. It's always a good idea to backup your entire website and download the "dump" onto your computer at regular intervals. Backing up your website is a time consuming process and should only be done when ever after you make a significant change to it. Obviously you need to have your own web hosting account in order to backup your site. Affiliates who promote other people's websites cannot back up the site for obvious reasons. But even they can write down important information such as usernames and passwords along with important website addresses. Having a "hard copy" of important information is always a good idea.
3) Get your computer a surge protector
Your home business computer can easily be wiped out by a simple power surge. Protecting your computer from such a power surge is pretty easy these days. It's also cheap. You can get yourself a surge protector from a local Radio Shack for under $30. The latest ones also have a built in surge protector for your phone line that stops a surge before it reaches your modem. Those of you who have dial up modems should get this upgrade.
4) Print your important documents and file them
You might have important documents such as customer details or expensive e-books on your computer. Print them out and file them neatly. Store the files in a safe place like a bank's safety deposit box. You never know when a "hard copy" might come in handy.
5) Backup your computer on external drives
Buy two external USB Hard drives. Right now, you can get a pair of 80GB USB hard drives for under $150. Consider the cost as an investment and ask yourself which costs more - your business or $150? Once you get the two external drives back up your business data onto one of the drives regularly. If you have organized your data into a "business" folder, simply copy it onto the new drive. Make a backup of the first external hard drive onto the second one at least once a week. This ensures that you have TWO identical eternal hard drives at all times.
6) Don't keep the backups in the same place
I'd advice you to keep the second backup hard drive in a location other than your home. For example at your bank's safety deposit box. This ensures that, God forbid, something happens to your home, you always have another backup else where.
7) Make sure that your computer is protected from Viruses and Spyware/Adware
Having a backup is a good start but you must try to keep your computer in good working condition so that you won't NEED to restore from a backup. Make sure your computer has a virus guard installed and that you scan for malicious adware and spyware programs. Preventing a break down is as important as having a contingency plan.
8) Use common sense
And finally, there's no substitute for common sense. If that little voice at the back of your head tells you that the monitor is not a coffee cup holder, then listen to it. Try to prevent disasters before they happen by using common sense. It might save you a lot in the long run! There you have it. A backup plan for your online work at home business. I hope that you take heed and actually DO something about it before you end up losing your livelihood. Remember that prevention is better than "cure" and when it comes to your work at home business, I'm sure you'll agree with me on this.
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