While nearly all U.S. small businesses back up critical financial data, most have not developed a formal emergency preparedness plan, according to a Small Business Disaster Preparedness Study from Sage North America.
The survey was developed to examine how U.S. small businesses back up important financial data and prepare for unexpected crises.
Sage, a provider of business management software and services to more than 6 million small and midsized businesses worldwide, conducted the study among 504 small businesses across the U.S.
U.S. SMBs at risk of losing financial data at hands of an emergency or natural disaster
The Sage study found that 94 percent of U.S. small businesses are backing up their financial data. However, six in ten small businesses backing up are keeping it on-site only.
“Backing up on-site may not be sufficient to protect small businesses from natural disasters — particularly if the business is located in an area prone to earthquakes, hurricanes, fires or flooding — or more common crises, such as theft or hardware malfunction,” said Connie Certusi, executive vice president and general manager of Sage Small Business Accounting Solutions.
“Data loss could have a serious impact on operations and crisis recovery. The development of a preparedness plan that includes solutions for protecting critical information, such us backing up off-site, could be the difference between getting a business on its way to recovery and worrying about its survival.”
The Sage study also found that 61 percent of surveyed small businesses do not have a formal emergency or disaster preparedness plan in place, citing that they haven’t had any issues in the past that influenced the decision to develop it (33%), they hadn’t thought about it (30%) or they don’t think it’s important for their business (27%) as reasons.
However, of the 38 percent of small businesses that do have a formal emergency or disaster preparedness plan developed, 88 percent reported that data backup was built into it.
- Of those small business owners who back up their financial data, 16 percent are using both on-site and off-site methods to do so.
- 48% of those small businesses who back up their financial data do so “daily” and 17% do so “a few times a week.”
- 62% of small businesses with a formal emergency or disaster preparedness plan put it in place as a “precautionary measure,” while 54% stated “it’s the smart thing to do” and 24% said “the nature of their business requires a level of preparedness at all times.”
The survey was conducted in February 2012 among Sage customers in the U.S. who are small business owners and has a margin of error of +/- 4% with a confidence level of 95 percent.
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