Safeguarding your Computerized DJ Business|
Posted on Friday, October 22 @ 20:21:48 EDT by DJAdvantage
Topic: Tips and Tricks
If you're like most DJs today, much of your DJ business relies heavily on the use of computers and understandably so. No doubt about it, they make life easier, but what happens when your computer crashes? If you're properly prepared, not much. However, if you don't take the necessary precautions, the consequences could be devastating.
Think about all the things that you use your computer for (contracts, scheduling, email, music library, websites, taxes, etc...). Now, if you were to have a fire or your hard drive failed, would you be able to buy a new pc or replace the drive and pick up right where you left off?
For many businesses the answer is no. I have seen large hospitals who see hundreds of patients a day have their server crash and lose 6-9 months worth of patient and financial data costing an outrageous amount of money as a result. While many of our businesses don't operate on this kind of scale, there's really no excuse for this type of event to occur as it could easily have been prevented.
Here are the three basic steps to safeguarding your DJ business's data:
- Perform regular backups - If you're not backing up your files and data on a regular basis, you're just asking for trouble. Purchase a tape backup or CD burner and make it part of your daily routine to backup your important files and databases. Tape backups and others can be set to automatically run every night, so you don't even have to think about it.
For those of you who have websites, don't forget to get a copy of your website files. That way if your host's webserver has a problem, you're still ok. Even though you're paying them and it's their responsibility to safeguard your files, things can happen and it's best to be protected.
- Test your backups - Just because you have a backup doesn't mean that it's any good. As a regular routine, you should always test your backups to make sure they're valid. Let's face it, defective backups are the same as not having any backups at all. Either way, all of your data and/or files are lost.
From a database standpoint, create a test database and verify that you can restore the data. If looking solely from a file perspective, make sure that you can read the file. In other words, if you have created a contract or document in Microsoft Word, can you open the file?
Along the same lines as testing your backups, you should always test any software or operating system upgrades prior to putting them in place. Just because the manufacturer offers an upgrade or fix, doesn't mean that it won't cause different problems. By applying an upgrade on a test pc or server first, you can test for any problems reducing the need to restore from backup.
- Store your backups in a safe place - Think about where you currently have your data stored. Is it on your computer's hard drive or on a backup tape or disk? If so, is your data safe should your house or office burn down? If not, you need to think about where you're keeping your data and backups.
A good rule of thumb is to store multiple backups in different locations. Quite simply, keep Monday's backup at the office, take Tuesday's backup home, place Wednesday's backup at yet an even different location and repeat. Rotating your backup storage locations will help guarantee that should you lose your data at one location, you'll still have valid backups at the other two.
Now, this is not to say that you're in the clear if you're not computerized. The same principles certainly apply to those who do everything on paper. If there's a catastrophe at the home or office, you're still at risk if you don't have another copy of your paper documents in a safe place.
If there's one thing you take away from this article, it's to protect your business by eliminating the risk of losing your data, not to mention, your clients, your business and your livelihood. It may take a few extra minutes out of your normal routine, but it's worth it in the long run. It only takes one time to realize the importance of backing up your data, but by then, it's too late. With minimal cost and the necessary precautions you too can safeguard your DJ business.