Winter 2016: Disaster For Your Data?
With winter just around the corner, everyone around you may be getting “all wrapped up” in the upcoming holiday season…
But you’ve got a business to run, customers to keep happy and mission-critical data to keep safe, even if a major blizzard, lightning strike, windstorm or epic flood is taking place right outside your door.
Here are 5 easy steps you can take this holiday season to get your office prepared for this winter’s worst, without seeming like Mr. Grinch.
Be ready for power outages. A power outage can hurt your business in more ways than you think. Besides employee downtime, it takes time to safely get everything back up and running. Then you need to make sure no critical files have been damaged or lost.
Autosave features can help minimize lost files in a sudden power outage. An uninterruptible power supply (UPS) can give your team anywhere from ten minutes to an hour to back up files and properly shut down equipment. If you need longer power durability during an outage, you might want to look into a backup generator.
Keep lines of communication open. Customer frustration due to production delays and not being able to reach key people at your company can be very costly in terms of both revenues and your company’s reputation. Here are three ways to make sure calls to your office don’t get bobbled when a storm rolls in:
- Create a new automated greeting to let callers know about changes in hours or closings.
- Set up an emergency override that automatically reroutes key phone lines to one or more numbers that can be reached during an outage.
- Make sure you and your staff can access voice mail remotely – from a smartphone, by e-mail as an attached sound file or transcribed message, or as a text notification.
Manage employees working from home. Many of your employees can work from home if need be. But you’ll need to prepare in advance if it’s not the norm at your company. Have your IT specialist check with employees who could work from home during rough weather. They’ll need a virtual private network (VPN) to safely access the company network. Be sure it’s set up well in advance to avoid any glitches when that winter storm hits and you need it most.
Have a disaster recovery plan (DRP) ready to go. Unless you can afford to shut down for days at a time, or even just a few hours, it’s absolutely critical to keep a written DRP on hand. Write out step-by-step details of who does what in every type of winter disruption – from simple power outages to blizzards, flooding or building damage caused by heavy winds or lightning. A downed network can cost your company big-time every minute it’s offline. Make sure your plan includes one or more ways to get it back up and running ASAP. Consider virtualizing key parts or all of your network so your team can access it remotely. Once you’ve written out your plan, keep one copy at your office, one at home and one with your IT specialist.
Get help from a professional you can trust. Trying to recover your data after a sudden or serious outage without professional help is business suicide. One misstep can result in losing critical files forever, or weeks of downtime. Make sure you’re working with a pro who will not only help set up a recovery plan, but has experience in data recovery. The old adage about an ounce of prevention applies doubly when it comes to working with the right people who can help you prepare for – and recover from – whatever winter throws your way.
Want help getting ready for winter? Call for a FREE Winterization Checkup.
Let us help you make sure your phone lines, Internet connections and internal network can take the tough weather. One of our experienced professionals will come in to examine your systems and review your disaster recovery plan with you to make sure nothing critical has been left out in the cold. Call me at <PHONE> or e-mail me at <E-MAIL> TODAY – you never know when a sudden storm will blow in.
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Why Goal-Setting Doesn’t Work
By Darren Hardy
When we were kids, we thought we could write down everything we wanted and mail it to the North Pole, and then, magically, all our desires would appear, on schedule, under the tree in our living room, complete with pretty paper and a bow.
I think many people must still believe in Santa Claus. You cannot simply write down a list of wants on New Year’s Day, stick it in a drawer for the rest of the year and wait around for your life to change. Sorry, but it’s time to grow up and get serious.
The heart of the problem
The first step to changing the trajectory of your life, as well as what you achieve and sustain, is to take complete responsibility for your circumstances today. Wherever you are in life right now is your own doing – good or bad, it’s your fault. Your parents aren’t responsible, the economy isn’t, McDonald’s isn’t; you are. You are 100% responsible for everything – by what you did, what you didn’t do or how you responded to what was done to you. Once we get that straight, then we can get to the heart of how to fix or improve any outcome as you desire.
You don’t get in life what you want; you get in life what you are
Let’s say you want to earn an extra $100,000 in income this year. Who do you have to become to achieve this? Once you’ve decided who you need to be in order to accomplish your goals, you have to figure out how this elevated person operates. How do they show up in the world? If you’re unsure, if you lack a vision of your potential, find a model. Emulating the habits of someone you respect is one of the greatest keys to moving from where you are to where you could be.
During the pursuit of what you want in one area of your life, be careful what you sacrifice in other areas. Also, be aware of the price you must pay to achieve the prize you seek. Some prizes might cost too much, and they might only be realized after payment has been made.
It’s up to you
Now is the time to write the script for the life you have always dreamed of having – the health, the relationships, the thriving business, the financial abundance and freedom, and the knowledge that you are making a significant difference in the world and with the people around you. You can have it all, but it will require you to get serious and relinquish the fantasies that debt fairies will leave a stack of cash under your pillow while you sleep. Or that the Easter Bunny will bring you miracle diet chocolate. Or that you can click your heels and your relationships will all be better. It will take rigorous planning, relentless commitment and steadfast dedication.
And that is why success is reserved for the willing few.
Who needs an office when you have a car? Microsoft has partnered with Mercedes on a project called In Car Office, slated to debut in 2017. Actually, the idea isn’t to replace your office, but to help you make your time in the car more productive. In Car Office links your car with MS Exchange, your calendar and other apps to help you make better use of your time in traffic. For instance, it pulls data from your to-do list to suggest calls to make and places to go. It can even program your car’s GPS with info from your calendar. And Mercedes isn’t alone. Volvo and other carmakers are adding features to help you get a bit more done from behind the wheel. DigitalTrends.com, 09.05.16
You don’t have to be a behemoth like Google to make a bundle from IoT. Smaller companies too can cash in on the “Internet of Things.” For instance, with data-rich sensors, cloud and mobility, the whole face of field service has changed. Smart companies are ditching the high cost of reacting to unplanned crises caused by broken equipment. Now, instead of fixing broken things, they’re offering service plans that assure nothing breaks in the first place. And people are more than happy to pony up for that kind of assurance. Field service, in fact, is now getting the type of high-tech makeover that IT, CRM, HR and marketing have already had. As smaller companies are now proving, it’s not just size that counts. Readwrite.com, 09.02.16
Betcha didn’t know your iPhone could do these 4 things: The iPhone might not be a superhero’s first weapon of choice, but did you know your iPhone could track any villain who nabs it? It even records every place it’s been over the past few months. Click through Settings > Privacy > Location Services > System Services. Need to send a self-destructing message? Go ahead, send that secret picture or video and tell it to self-destruct in two minutes. Head to Settings > Messages. Need to hang shelves in your Batcave? Just go to iPhone’s Compass and swipe left to access its level feature. You can even discover hidden power hogs. Navigate to Settings, then Battery, for a peek at your phone’s worst offenders. Mashable, 09.05.16
Trouble meeting deadlines? This app can help. If you’ve ever wished for a project management tool that’s just simple, intuitive and flexible, then Aeon Timeline is worth a look. It’s a little like a Gantt chart, but a lot easier to use. Aeon’s smart interface lets you map out all the parts of your project on a timeline. Just add people, places and resources to an event. You can link dependencies, so things get done in the right order. Then filter events to narrow your focus, and nest them to easily zoom in for more detail. You can even add bookmarks to easily jump to key milestones. Details and deadlines may not be your strong suit, but with this handy app, no one will ever know. AeonTimeline.com
Love digital books, but hate reading on a laptop or tablet? If you’ve never tried an e-reader, you are really missing out. So what makes e-readers so different? For one thing, they don’t let you do anything else. No temptation to tweet, or check up on work. They’re built just for reading. And they don’t shoot light into your eyeballs. With no glare, it’s a more pleasant read, even in sunlight. Plus, battery life is a breeze. You could easily go two to four weeks without a charge. Then there’s the content itself. Sure you can find endless material on the web, written for skimming, and for visitors with the attention span of a gnat. But isn’t it time you cozied up with a great novel instead? TheNextWeb.com, 09.02.16