Disaster Recovery plan for it, test it

I’ve talked about this before, disaster recovery, but I thought it worth a reminder.

Disaster recovery.  Many small businesses suffer or fail due to lack of even a basic back up plan.  Disasters, whether they be natural or technical issues like the loss of their data due to hard drive failure, statistically you’re going to be affected at some point – prepare!

 
We all suck at backup strategies and maintaining any form of a plan for the unexpected – will never happen to us right??
 

WRONG

 
In my 25 years working in tech support and the IT arena I’ve seen, rescued and had to report the permanent loss of critical business data, baby photos, wedding photos, photos of past loved ones. It happens, all the time.
 
Personally, I run local and cloud-based backups via iDrive, they offer personal as well as full server recovery systems including spooling up virtual machines to get back online almost immediately.

 

IDrive Remote Backup
 
For a small annual fee, you can backup and restore your computer, 2Tb is around $53/year and they have sign up deals/discounts.
 
Other strategies include using cloud storage like Google Drive, Dropbox, OneDrive, etc. as well as using external drives and USB thumb drives.
Be it a hurricane, hard drive failure or malware infection that encrypts and locks you out of your files – be prepared.
 
No matter what you do, do something. Plan for disaster and for recovery your business really does depend on it as do your loved ones and cherished memories.
 
Have a plan and more importantly – TEST IT!
 
Some Disaster Recovery statistics:
 
  • In the past two years, Over 50 percent of businesses experienced an unforeseen interruption, and the vast majority (81%) of these interruptions caused the business to be closed one or more days.
  • 80 percent of businesses suffering a major disaster go out of business in three years, while 40 percent of businesses that experience a critical IT failure go out of business within one year. In the case of suffering a fire, 44 percent of enterprises fail to reopen and 33 percent of these failed to survive beyond 3 years.
  • Companies are still failing to put strategic contingency plans in place. Analysts from Hughes Marketing Group have found that over the course of a month, 90 percent of small companies (fewer than 100 employees) spend less than 8 hours planning or managing their business continuity plans.
  • Vendors offering disaster recovery solutions have stated that between 60 and 70 percent of all problems that disrupt business are due to internal malfunctions of hardware or software, or human errors that may lead to fraud.
  • According to Timesavers International studies, the catastrophe most businesses experience is not fire, flood or earthquake, but rather something much more insidious—malware. In 2008, the United States was the top country for overall malicious activity, making up 23 percent of the total.
  • 93% of companies that lost their data center for 10 days or more due to a disaster filed for bankruptcy within one year of the disaster. 50% of businesses that found themselves without data management for this same time period filed for bankruptcy immediately.
  • Companies that aren’t able to resume operations within ten days (of a disaster hit) are not likely to survive.
  • Every week 140,000 hard drives crash in the United States.
  • 31% of PC users have lost all of their files due to events beyond their control.
  • 34% of companies fail to test their tape backups, and of those that do, 77% have found tape backup failures.

WooCommerce now offers Facebook Integration and Store!

WooCommerce has just announced their Facebook Integration and it is pretty awesome!

Facebook for WooCommerce banner

You can get the free WooCommerce Facebook plugin here

The WooCommerce Facebook Plugin offers two functions:

1. Facebook Ads Extension

The Facebook Ads extension allows you to build your brand, store and products online through the power of Facebook’s advertising network.

Maximize your campaign performance

Set up the Facebook pixel to build your audience, target your promotions for people likely to buy and reach people with relevant ads on Facebook after they’ve visited your website.

Find more customers

Connect your WooCommerce products to automatically create carousel ads that showcase your products and attract more shoppers to your website.

Generate sales among your website visitors

In a future release of Facebook for WooCommerce setting up Facebook pixel and connecting to your product catalog, will allow you to use dynamic ads to reach shoppers when they’re on Facebook with ads for the products they viewed on your website.

Measure the results of your ads

When you have the Facebook pixel set up, you can use Facebook ads reporting to understand the sales and revenue that resulted from your ads.

2. Facebook Shops on Pages: Creating your own online Facebook Store

Everyone’s doing it, so you probably should, too: sell to people where they spend their time: Facebook and Instagram.

With the Facebook shop section, we enable businesses to showcase their products and drive sales from their Facebook Business Page. If you don’t have one yet, it’s well worth setting up!

List your catalog

It takes just a click to send your entire catalog to Facebook. Any changes made on your WooCommerce website are automatically synced with your Facebook shop.

Merchandise your products

You can organize your products into collections and even tag them in photos to improve visibility and highlight your best sellers on both Instagram and Facebook.

Mobile-friendly shopping

The Facebook shop section offers a beautiful shopping experience on all mobile devices, letting you showcase your products on any screen.

What’s included?

Facebook shop integration

The shop section is a tab you can add to your Facebook business Page that lets you display your products right on your Page. It’s ideal for merchants, retail and eCommerce advertisers who want to reach customers on Facebook.

Click here for the guide on Setting up Facebook for WooCommerce

Etsy – A Hostile Marketplace?

The most obvious choice for crafters is to start up on Etsy right?

Well hold off and don’t jump the gun!  More and more crafters are being warned or banned due to trademark issues.  Stores have been closed and people’s businesses affected by the huge increase in reporting of supposed violations.

There seems to have been a surge in trademarks being made on common phrases and designs with the sole purpose of harming or excluding other crafters.   Trademarks have been registered for TV show phrases, simple word designs and even design descriptions like Milestone blankets – see example below.

It would seem also that other store owners/designers are reporting each other with what seems to be the intent to harm their businesses.

Etsy’s response to reports of possible infringements seems to be act (warn/ban) first and ask questions later.

Maybe the better approach to launching your business is to start your own eCommerce site rather than get into trouble with Etsy.

Another factor to consider is the competition on Etsy.  As crafters,  being unique in your designs, also follow the latest trends to drive sales.  Vying for the top spot in searches, ranking on sales, etc. takes time and in a sea of thousands of crafters selling their wares you could well get drowned in the results.  Using social media, your own store and advertising your company and designs locally will all help you stand out from the crowd.

Have you experienced these issues?  

Please share your experiences here or in our Facebook group

Know How To Market – First Impressions

How you present your business sets the first impression of you and your products and services.

Remember to register your company name, have it be memorable, spellable and pronounceable!

Make sure you register on social media and present yourself professionally online as well as in person.

 

Using Hotmail, AOL and Gmail accounts communicates that you’re a single person with little time and attention to branding.

 

 

Set up your business properly and take the time to make the first impression count!

Here is an example of a well thought out branding, check the license plate too!

First impressions count!