9 Records Management Mistakes Startups Make
Starting a business is tough, making sure it survives is even tougher, avoid making these mistakes and you make life just a little bit easier.
1. Poor Filing Habits
As you grow your business your filing increases. Keeping up with this admin may not be your top priority when you start out, but if you want your business to not only survive but expand too you will need to maintain your files. Well organised and maintained files increase efficiency and allow you to get on with other aspects of your business such as getting your products or services sold.
2. Not Implementing a Records Management Programme
If you are a Startup you have probably spotted a gap in the market and you are aware that trends and technology change rapidly. Likewise, information technologies, legislation and other factors can influence your Records Management Programme. This is why it is important to use a programme that is regularly reviewed and scaled as your business grows.
3. Failing to Create Backups
If your’s is a Tech Startup you should already understand the importance of backing up your electronic data. If you have spent months programming the hottest new app and your data gets lost and you have no backups what are the chances of getting your Startup running again?
Even if you are not in the tech industry, backups are vital to the ongoing growth of your business. Imagine losing customer details or contracts or even day to day files that allow you to run your business.
4. Failing to Validate Your Backups
Hard drives and other storage media do not last forever. This is why it is important to rotate your storage media and replace them every few years. Making backups and then forgetting about them is a big records management mistake. Always verify each backup has been successful and that no files are corrupt. Check your backups regularly and maintain a storage media replacement schedule.
5. Not Maintaining Data Security
Securing your data need not be complicated. You can start by using strong passwords on your computers. Of course, additional safety measures should include regulating what data your employees have access to. Other steps include not allowing staff to take data home with them and adding copy protection, access controls and audit trails to your data. Do not underestimate the lengths unhappy employees or competitors will go to get back at you or gain a competitive advantage.
6. Not Keeping Up with Laws and Regulations
Laws and regulations are part and parcel of doing business. While legislation can often be overwhelming you nonetheless need to stay up to date with them. If you destroy records that you should have kept you could land up in hot water. At best you may get a slap on the wrist and a fine, but you could also end up ruining your Startups reputation and ending up having to shut shop. Take a little bit of time early on to find out what laws and regulations apply to your Startup and its records. This will make for much smoother expansion going forward.
7. Not creating a Retention Schedule
A vital part of complying with laws and regulations that concern your records and data is the use of retention schedules. Taking the time to find out which records types must be kept and how long they must be kept for is an important part of safeguarding your Startup into the future. A retention schedule will make record destruction a much smooth process and can prevent the accidental destruction that could harm you and your business.
8. Not Keeping Backups Offsite
If you are backing up your data regularly then good for you. However, there is another step you must not forget, offsite backups. Imagine your offices are burgled and your computers stolen. What about your laptop getting lifted out of your car or at a coffee shop with your prize App Code? It’s one thing to replace your hardware but months or even years of work cannot be replaced. Ensuring you also have backups at a secure offsite facility can save your Startup.
9. Using Poor Offsite Storage Facilities
Not all Records Management facilities are equal. Self-storage units are probably not much more secure than your own garage. A secure facility will not only have top notch security, access control and CCTV monitoring but it will also have fire protection systems, regular fumigation and well-trained staff. Having taken the time not to make the above records management mistakes you should not slip up with this last one.
If you are a Startup looking to protect your growth then contact Iron Mountain now for the right solution for your business.