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As we’ve moved into a new year and reflect back on the past two, one of the most valuable things we can take from this time is how to be prepared and how to adapt when unforeseen events present themselves.
Over the past two years, you’ve surely experienced an increased dependency on information technology, not only in your personal life but within your salon operations, as well – from communication with customers to facilitating social distancing in your facility and everything in between. Now is a great time to reassess your disaster recovery plan. Many of us have been guilty of thinking “it won’t happen to me,” but if we’ve learned anything through these unprecedented times it is that unfortunate events can happen to all of us. Not sure what I’m referring to as it relates to your salon specifically? I’m talking about the unexpected technical disaster that could occur.
The actions you take before, during and after an unforeseen disaster can make all the difference in terms of its impact on your business. While you can’t stop some disasters from occurring, there are things you can do to minimize their negative effects and maintain some stability during a potentially tragic time.
As your customer database is the lifeblood of your business, one of the most vital components of your disaster recovery plan should be a regular schedule for data backup (stored offsite) in case you experience a damaging event such as a server crash. After all, if the location where your server is housed suffers a natural catastrophic event, it may not survive. Additionally, you want to make sure that this backup can be easily restored and that you have an available resource to assist you with that, if needed.
Another important preventative measure is to ensure that you have antivirus and monitoring software on your server and workstations in an effort to deter a malicious hacker from damaging your computer network.
You may have experience with managing a server and desire to host your database yourself as you have a high level of comfort when it comes to the associated required maintenance. Alternatively, the mere thought of being solely responsible for your database can leave you feeling a bit vulnerable, and that is completely understandable. If so, you may consider employing a hosting provider so that you have confidence in knowing that you are securing your database safely and that it is protected against unauthorized access. In some cases, your software provider might offer such services.
Over time, workstations and associated peripherals can also fail for various reasons. Have you given some thought to having pre-configured backup workstations available at your disposal? Do you use peripherals in your salon that are imperative to your operation, such as timers or receipt printers? If so, you should consider having extras on hand in the event one becomes inoperable.
It’s also important to document your disaster recovery plan once you’ve laid out the procedures for handling an unfortunate event. Equally important is the testing of the plan. Remember those annual fire drills you had to do as a child at school? Be sure to train your staff on the plan, and that it is easy to understand and execute, especially during what might be a chaotic situation.
A solid disaster recovery plan is an easy way to be prepared and alleviate the stress you and your staff will undergo should you have an unforeseen technical calamity at your salon. You will surely thank yourself when you are able to continue operating seamlessly without your guests knowing that you experienced an unfortunate event!
Melissa Damiani is the Sales Manager of SunLync Software, Inc. a member of the JK-North America group of companies. With the company since 2002, Melissa has served the organization in several capacities, and has extensive knowledge of all aspects required to deliver robust salon management software solutions that are designed to enable measurable growth within its users’ ever-evolving business models.
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