Business is 'backup' and running

Mobile devices such as smartphones have become the number one tool for everyday business success. A recent YouGov survey for Vodafone UK found that 67 per cent of small business owners and employees said that their work mobile phone is vital to the running of their business and doing their job.

One of our customers, Timmy Wilkes, founder of Timmy’s Pies London, said that his work phone is “absolutely indispensable” as he uses it for a multitude of tasks. These include generating and receiving orders, staying on top of his business’ social media accounts, and paying employee wages.

Due to the nature of his business, Timmy does not have a fixed desk, so uses his phone for “absolutely everything” when out and about. Timmy is a prime example of how reliant a small business is on their mobile to run their business. It just goes to show that if you work on the go, getting hold of a replacement phone if yours is lost, stolen or damaged is essential. But what do you do when – if the worst happens and you have to replace your mobile – the new one arrives only for you to realise your data hasn’t been backed-up and you don’t have any of your key information and files on your new mobile?

Here are my top tips on how to make sure your business is back up and running as quickly as possible.

1. Keep your head (and your data) in the cloud, not buried in the sand

In today’s always-on and connected world, it is easier than ever to make sure your work information is backed-up. Whether you are backing up your mobile phone or your tablet, there are plenty of options available for how and where you store important information.

Seeing as so many mobile devices are already connected to the cloud, this is the most convenient choice. Often this cloud backup storage is free for small amounts of space, such as up to five gigabytes, but it can cost more depending on how big you want your slice of the cloud to be. That is the beauty of cloud storage; you can store as much or as little as you want, just be prepared to pay a bit more for the larger end of the scale. Also, unlike an external hard-drive, for example, cloud storage cannot be physically lost and is generally secured behind passwords and identification walls.

However, if cloud storage isn’t for you, that’s no excuse to not be backing up your phone - you can opt for physical storage methods such as hard-drives and memory cards instead. Rather than a subscription service, these are a one-off investment which, if you need it, can give you the physical reassurance that your information is backed-up.

2. If you have a system in place make sure you use it

The one thing worse than not backing up your phone is having a backup system set up but not actively using it. Devices often have automatic systems in place to backup files and preferences but these often need to be set up initially or prompted every so often. If an automatic backup service is not in place, a manual backup will be required instead which will need maintaining regularly in order to ensure that the most up-to-date information is saved. In today’s digital world, it is easy to assume that software and technology are working their magic in the background. Just don’t be caught out when it’s too late.

3. What information can’t you live without?

Choosing what to backup is a key thing to consider. Timmy of Timmy’s Pies says that the single most important aspect of his phone is his phone book, “all of our customer numbers, chefs, managers and suppliers are in my phone so if I lost it I would be pretty stuck.” In fact, 48 per cent of small business owners and employees agreed that their customer phone numbers/contact details are the most important information they have on their mobile in order to run their business, according to Vodafone’s research.

Whether it is clients’ contact details, account information, important emails or notes – thinking about what is business critical is important when it comes to backing up your mobile device. How long has it taken you to build up your contact list of colleagues, peers, clients and customers? Is the information in your calendar vital to the running of your business? These are important things you should be thinking about when backing up so you should set your backup preferences accordingly.

4. Test your backup

If you have never set up your mobile device to back up your data, it is worth testing your chosen method rather than wait until the worst happens and it turns out your backups were never done properly. Before you rely on your backup strategy to function flawlessly behind the scenes, you should test your setup by looking at your cloud account to check what information is in there, and look at the size, date and time of the last backup to make sure it’s running as it should be. You can even export contacts lists and other information to another source and check those files contain all your latest data such as your latest and greatest contacts list, for example.

5. Have a back-up plan to your backup

Even though it’s great to have your information backed up, the best way to ensure that your business can be back up and running after misplacing your mobile device is to have more than one copy of your phone data. When it comes to critical business information, saving a first copy of your data to the cloud and a second copy on your laptop will give you that second layer of a soft-landing which will help you sleep at night.

With smartphones having much the same abilities as a laptop these days, it is no surprise that work mobile phones have become “absolutely indispensable” to those who work on the go, like Timmy Wilkes.

When you get a replacement phone after it is lost, stolen, or damaged so you can no longer use it, make sure that you’re ready to get your business ‘backup’ and running quickly and efficiently.

Phil Mottram, Enterprise Director, Vodafone UK

Image source: Shutterstock/scyther5