Ensure Your Data is Safe and Sound with These 4 Tips

Has your business been affected by data loss in the past, or are you fearful that it could negatively impact your organization in the future? If so, you aren’t alone. According to a 2011 survey conducted by Carbonite, 48 percent of small businesses in America (between 2 and 20 employees) experience some level of data loss on an annual basis.

ensure-your-data-secure-tipsAccording to the same study, the top causes of data loss are hardware and/or software failure (54 percent), accidental deletion (also 54 percent), viruses and malware (33 percent), and theft (10 percent). Despite these numbers, nearly one-third of all business owners say that backing up their computers and servers is a hassle and not always their first priority. Unless you want to fall into the 48 percent that will likely experience data loss in 2015, it’s important that you take heed to the following advice.

Invest in Physical Copies

One of the most practical actions you can take is invest in physical copies of your most important files. In the case of server failure or a loss of internet connection, a physical, local copy can ensure you have immediate access to the information and data you need. Physical copies should be stored in a room and/or building separate from the original copies in case of destruction caused by fire, flooding, or other natural disasters. While physical copies are advantageous, there are also some disadvantages. One disadvantage is that it can be expensive. Another issue is that it’s still subject to physical failure or damage.

Reach for the Cloud

The most popular and effective method of backing up your data and keeping it safe is through some sort of cloud application or program. Also known as virtual storage, cloud storage keeps your files safe by electronically storing them independently from your physical servers or computers. This provides you with safe keeping in the case of viruses, malware, theft, or physical destruction. The disadvantage of cloud storage is that it is often the most expensive method and carries ongoing costs that scale as your needs grow. On the other hand, positives include having virtual copies readily available and the peace of mind that files are safe and secure.

RAID Storage

RAID storage, also known as redundant array of independent disks, is a widely used data storage virtualization technology that uses multiple disk drives to create a data redundancy system that keeps data and files safe within your physical servers. While it is one of the simplest methods for creating failover disk storage, it can take up a large portion of your drive capacity.

Be Prepared for Everything

Realistically, it’s impossible to prepare for everything that could be thrown at you. However, you can certainly protect yourself by anticipating the most likely data issues your company could face. In addition to the tools, technologies, and tips mentioned here, your company should consider investing in firewalls, encryption services, secure passwords, and other preventative methods that allow you to rest easy at night. For example, if your office is in a hurricane prone area, you can prepare for physical damage by having virtual backup storage systems. If theft is a concern, ensure all server rooms are properly monitored and secured. Preparation can prevent data loss in many situations.

In the end, your ability to keep your data safe and sound depends on how much time and effort you are willing to put into protecting your information. Whether it’s cloud storage, physical backups, or RAID storage, there is a solution for every business. In some cases, this may be a combination of multiple technologies. Regardless of which protection method you pursue, make sure your company is safe from potential danger in 2015.

Answers to Your Most Common Sales Objections

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For many small business owners, selling doesn’t come easy. In fact, for the majority of people, making sales calls and developing air-tight pitches is stressful and challenging. While there is a certain level of natural skill and personality at play, many shortcomings can be compensated for by understanding common sales objections and how to address them.

Businessman portraitAs a salesperson, it is your responsibility to uncover what is stopping a potential client from making a purchase decision. In most cases, this means answering the following objections with clarity, understanding, and patience:

  • Price. By far, the number one sales objection has to do with price. You will frequently hear something along the lines of, “Your products cost way too much and I can get the exact same service from someone else for much cheaper.” If that is a true statement, your best option is to justify the cost of your products or services. Try breaking costs down into smaller amounts and carefully explaining what they get for each dollar.
  • Lack of authority. The second most popular sales objection is, “I’ll have to discuss this after consulting my manager/boss/partner.” If you let them walk away from the table and consult other sources, you may lose a sale. Ideally, you should tell them to invite that person in or setup a joint meeting in which you can all discuss the sale together. You can usually accomplish this by claiming you have a special deal that can only be offered and signed off on if presented directly to the CEO or manager. This usually gets you in the door and allows you to present appropriate terms or discounts.
  • Complacency. Do you ever hear potential clients mention a fear of change? It’s usually guised in a statement like, “We’ve been doing it this way for 20 years and I don’t want to risk messing it up.” The best way to kill the complacency objection is to provide ample examples of when change has been good for your business, their business, or some other well-known company.
  • Bad timing. A classic objection is, “We’re too busy to get involved with this right now. Contact me next quarter.” This is often the easiest objection to overcome – if it’s actually true. Simply light a fire under them and make the offer so compelling they can’t wait any longer. It’s amazing how much time a customer will make for you when he or she has a clear understanding of how the sale will benefit them.
  • Trust. One of the most difficult objections to overcome is trust. In many cases, a new client will want proof that you can handle their sale. You can overcome this objection by presenting case studies, testimonials, and honest answers to tough questions.

Understanding Objections

While these are five examples of common objections, it’s equally important to understand the different types of objections. According to Brian Tracy of SuccessNet Online, there are 9 different types. From unspoken and excuse driven objections to honest and subjective objections, each person has a different way of objecting. Your success as a salesperson largely depends on your ability to decipher one from the other.