Ask an MSP ExpertQ: Every month I send a newsletter to my SMB customers to teach them about technology, the latest threats, and things they can do to protect their data. This month, in honor of World Backup Day, I’d like to use our newsletter to highlight backup. What are some of the most important things they should know when it comes to backup?

Customers usually don’t think about backup until it’s too late. That’s why World Backup Day is a great opportunity to talk to your customers about protecting their data — but your lessons shouldn’t stop there. Every day is an opportunity to teach your prospects and customers not only why it’s important to implement a hybrid backup approach, but how they can prevent data loss from happening in the first place.

We’re sure you’re already talking to your customers about backup, but you need to keep the message fresh and interesting to get their attention. So, we compiled a list of the four things we believe are the most essential to teach your customers about backup.

1. The real cost of data loss is more expensive than they might think

data lossGetting prospects to understand the value of an IT investment can be difficult, but the reality is the cost of data loss could put their business in jeopardy. They may believe that data loss will never happen to them, or maybe they’re simply too busy building their business to think about backing up their data and critical applications. No matter the circumstances, it’s important to deliver the facts on how much data loss can ultimately cost their business.

A study conducted by Everbridge found that the average cost of IT downtime was $8,662 per minute and that it takes about 27 minutes for an IT response team to act—costing small businesses much more than they bargained for. Reminding customers and prospects about the dangers of data loss can go a long way—and might help you win their business down the road.

In your newsletter, highlight an internal case study about a customer you saved from a data disaster, or share this case study about how cloud backup saved a yacht club from losing everything in a fire.

2. Backups can save them from paying ransom

Ransomware is big news these days, and your customers maybe have heard about some of the astronomical amounts companies are paying to regain access to their data. But there’s an easy way to recover from ransomware without paying the ransom.

In most cases the easiest and cheapest way to recover from ransomware is disconnecting from the network, removing the infection, and then restoring data from its most recent pre-infected backup. Seems simple, but the fact is 70 percent of business executives admitted to paying the ransom to get access to encrypted data, and 20 percent of those individuals admitted to paying more than $40,000.

Because most SMBs have limited wiggle room in their budgets, falling victim to a ransomware attack can be catastrophic. Some customers might think they’re safe because they are too small to be a target, but more than 70 percent of all ransomware attacks target SMBs. Thankfully, there is a low cost solution you can offer them—backups.

To further educate your customers about ransomware, share our e-book The Smarter SMB’s Guide to Ransomware with your customers and highlight one or two lessons from it in your email newsletter.

3. They’ll have peace of mind when you monitor their backups

It’s no secret that small business customers often have a low budget for IT, so many SMBs try to find ways to reduce costs wherever they can. This can be the reason some customers want to manage backups themselves, which can cause recovery issues down the road. Whether it’s a missed backup, a skipped software update, or a backup that wasn’t properly tested, customers can be left scrambling without their data if they try to manage backup themselves.

While you may not convince all of your customers to have their backups managed, you should warn them about what can go wrong if they try to take care of it themselves. Remind them that if you manage backup for them instead, they can have peace of mind knowing that their backups will be monitored consistently, potential problems will be identified and resolved quickly, and they’ll be able to restore their data easily if something does go wrong.

4. Backup is more than files and folders

If an application is critical to a customer’s business, it needs to be backed up. Often SMB customers believe they only need to backup the files on their desktop—but as an MSP you know there’s more to it than that. When you’re reviewing or creating a disaster recovery plan with your SMB customers, make sure they have all their bases covered and haven’t missed anything critical.

Ensure that they’re backing up their line of business (LOB) applications, mailboxes, client records, virtual machines, point of sale systems, financial and accounting applications, CRM software, electronic medical record systems, servers and devices, files and folders, and anything else that their business cannot run without.

As a new way to engage customers in your newsletter, create a small blurb about what they need to backup and include a Call to Action to evaluate their services. Are they backing up everything they need to? Have they added any additional devices or programs since you last spoke? Although you might have check-in calls scheduled on a quarterly or yearly basis with your customers, this gives them the opportunity to engage with you sooner. It can open up conversations, and ultimately you might find you can add on new services while you are at it.

With World Backup Day happening this month, it is the perfect opportunity to have a conversation with your customers about backup. In fact, a newsletter is a friendly and helpful way to get the conversation rolling. After all, backup usually isn’t on the top of a customer’s mind—until it’s too late.

Ask an MSP Expert is a weekly advice column answering common questions from MSPs and IT service providers. It covers topics ranging from pricing and selling to marketing and communications—and everything in between. 

Lauren Beliveau

Posted by Lauren Beliveau

Lauren is a Senior Content Marketing Specialist at Barracuda MSP. In this position, she creates and develops content that helps managed service providers grow their business. She also regularly writes The MSP’s Bookshelf and our Ask an MSP Expert column.

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