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How to Help Your Small Business Recover from Data Loss

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Written by Eva Benoit | eva.benoit@evabenoit.com | evabenoit.com

Photo via  Pexels

Photo via Pexels

Unfortunately, data loss is a common threat to business owners. Files are accidentally deleted, malware finds its way onto company servers, or a freak electrical problem wipes everything clean. Not only will this unfortunate event immediately shut down your business operations, but it can also negatively impact your company’s reputation in the long run. Even if you’re able to recover your data, your business can suffer from lengthy outages as you rush to get everything back up and running. Here's how to help your business recover as quickly as possible if you face a sudden data loss.

Hire a Data Recovery Specialist

The first thing to do when you discover a data loss is to call in professional help. Data recovery specialists can help you recover lost files and keep your downtime to a minimum. And outsourcing to a specialist, rather than trying to do it yourself, can quickly get your systems back up and running when your business experiences a technical failure. Attempting to restore lost data yourself can make the problem worse if you don’t know what you’re doing, so avoid googling DIY data recovery tricks or installing data recovery software. A specialist in data recovery loss know exactly how to work with software and hardware to recover data without causing further damage.

In the event of a system failure, Secure Data Recovery advises that you avoid operating your storage system and keep your computer turned off until a specialist can properly analyze your problem. By doing so, you will drastically improve your chances of a successful recovery.

Get the Facts Straight

One of the first things to do after a major data loss is to record everything you know about what happened. You’ll want to find out how much data was lost and what type of data is missing. Was it company financial records? Website files? Your customers’ personal information? Take note of everywhere the data was stored and everyone who had access to it. Don't forget to list email accounts and remote servers that may have held the data at some point. You’ll also need to determine if it was simply lost or if it was stolen. If the data was stolen, you’ll have to take some extra security measures as soon as possible to reduce the extent of the damage.

Notify Your Affected Customers

Since a data loss or breach puts your business’s reputation on the line, it’s important to make a statement to your affected clients or customers before the media outs the issue. Keep your notice free from technical jargon, and reassure the customer that you're doing everything possible to protect their information. If you want more tips on breaking the news to your customers, read this article by Business Insider.


You should also check your state regulations to find out what kind of legal responsibility you have and who you are required to notify about the lost data. This can help you avoid harsh fines for failing to notify regulatory bodies in the event that your data was actually stolen.


Take Preventative Measures for the Future

After analyzing the situation and determining the cause of the data loss, start planning so this doesn’t happen again. MSP Insights recommends identifying potential risks as a good place to start. Find out if your web hosting provider has security and accident-prevention measures in place to keep your data safe. Ensure you have a fail-proof backup system working so you can recover your business ASAP if an accident occurs in the future. Try to have 3 physical copies of your company’s data stored in 2 different formats, and at least one copy of your data stored off site. It’s also a good idea to teach your employees about data security and how to be on the lookout for malware or viruses.

As a small business owner, the first thing to remember when faced with a data loss is to remain calm. It's natural to panic in this situation, as many people do. Although your business may suffer a decline due to downtime or a hit on your reputation, it is very possible to recover when you take the correct actions.

Long-Term Care: Assess Your Risk and Make a Financial Plan

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Written by Eva Benoit | eva.benoit@evabenoit.com | evabenoit.com

Image via  Pexels

Image via Pexels

Who Needs Long-Term Care?

The chances that a senior will need long-term care at some point are about 50/50. When using the phrase “long-term care,” it likely conjures up images of people wasting away their golden years in a nursing home, but that’s not the case for the majority of people who end up needing it. Long-term care is a catch-all for any and all medical and non-medical services that help people live safely and comfortably when they are unable to care for themselves. While for some seniors that may involve entering an assisted living facility, for many, it might mean an in-home caregiver that helps out with daily chores as they recover from surgery.

People can be proactive when it comes to making sure they land on the better side of the coin. Certain lifestyle choices help reduce the chance of developing age-related illnesses. They can even change genetic makeup for graceful aging.  Furthermore, there are genetic tests that can detect hereditary problems before symptoms even begin to show.

  • Do not smoke. If you smoke, quit. Smoking actually damages your DNA. Also avoid drugs and only drink in moderation, if at all.

  • Eat a diet full of whole foods-- especially fresh fruits and vegetables that reduce your chance of developing heart disease, even if heart disease doesn’t run in your family.

  • Exercise regularly. Exercise keeps your weight at a healthy level, preventing obesity-related diseases. Furthermore, adding resistance and weight training to your exercise routine can help rebuild lost muscle tone. Regular exercise can even prevent early symptoms of dementia.

  • Be social. Senior loneliness is such a health threat in the United Kingdom that the government appointed a Minister for Loneliness as a response.

  • Genetic tests can help warn about diseases, including breast cancer, ovarian cancer, age-related macular degeneration, Parkinson’s disease, and more.

How to Pay for Long-Term Care: Medicare and Insurance Considerations


All the fruits and vegetables in the world can’t change happenstance-- even if you don’t think you will need long-term care, it’s still important to have a plan for paying for it. Medicare does not pay for long-term care. Even Medicare advantage plans -- like the ones offered by Humana that offer benefits for prescriptions, dental, vision, fitness services, and caregiver support -- don’t cover all types of long-term care. While long-term care insurance is an option, more and more people are opting out and looking to other methods of payment.



If you own a life insurance plan, you can sell it as a way to pay for the costs of retirement, including those of long-term care. Formally, this transaction is called a life settlement. Not all people are eligible to sell their life insurance; you have to submit health records and other information before a life settlement provider will agree. However, if you are over 65 and your policy is worth at least $50,000, it shouldn’t be a problem to sell your policy. You can receive the money in a lump sum or in regular payments so you can continuously pay for long-term care needs.

Seniors face 50/50 odds when it comes to needing long-term care. People who live active and social lifestyles fueled by a healthy diet can reduce their chances of needing long-term custodial care, but there is always a chance that something can happen. Paying for this kind of care can be a huge burden if you don’t plan for it. Medicare covers a lot of medical costs, but many of the costs associated with long-term care have to be paid out of pocket. Seniors with life insurance plans can sell them to life settlement providers as a way to free up cash that can be used on long-term care, whether they need it or not.

The Best Advice for Soon-To-Be Moms

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Image courtesy of  Unsplash

Image courtesy of Unsplash

Written by Eva Benoit | eva.benoit@evabenoit.com | evabenoit.com

Preparing for a new baby is pretty involved, and it can feel overwhelming as you try to get your ducks in a row.  Figuring out all the things you and your little one will need, and how to transition into your new role, are both exhilarating and daunting propositions.  Read on for the best advice for easing into this journey of a lifetime.


Start with self-care

There is an old adage that you can’t pour from an empty cup, and as a mom, it's easy to let go of filling your cup.  Tending to your personal well-being is of vital importance, and it’s prime time to develop a self-care regimen you can carry into parenthood.  As Mom365 points out, once your little one arrives it will be all too tempting to let your self-care fall by the wayside, but taking care of your basics like showering, dressing well, eating properly, and managing stress are crucial.  


With all that in mind, look for ways to make it easy on yourself when your baby comes along.  Treat yourself to some beauty-related goodies to simplify your skin care routine, and invest in a couple of appropriate outfits for nursing and bonding with your baby.  You can also collect some satisfying and convenient recipes to help keep your nutrition and energy up, and learn some stress management techniques.   For instance, making sure you get seven to nine hours of sleep each night helps your body keep stress in check, and exercising is shown to release endorphins, lowering stress levels naturally.  You can also use meditation as a great stress management tool, and there are apps available to help you along if you’re new to meditation.

Underwear is underrated

Your undergarments can make a tremendous difference in your life as a new mom.  For instance, investing in a few hands-free pumping bras means being able to tend to your needs without changing bras, regardless of where you are.  For women on the go, it’s far more convenient, since you can take care of business in your car, at your workplace, or wherever.  You should also invest in some underwear that will be comfortable. Since your tummy isn’t going to look the same, some women find they want to change styles toward options which are high-waisted, flattering, supportive, and stretchy.  If you have a C-section, you’ll want something particularly breathable, supportive, stretchy, and in styles that won’t pinch.  Have some well-chosen undergarments on hand so you’re ready when you get home from the hospital.

Make the nursery mom-friendly

With the excitement of a new addition to your life, it’s easy to focus on putting together an adorable nursery.  While it’s important for the space to be pleasing to your eyes, you also need it to be a practical place. Start with a smart layout, putting the crib away from the doorway so you can peek in at your baby during naps without awakening her.  Consider investing in a convertible crib, since it means you won’t have to buy a new bed as soon as your baby starts getting bigger.  Also set up a functional changing station with all your essentials organized and close at hand, and invest in a baby monitor so you can do housework and other tasks with peace of mind.  

Baby-proof your home

Setting up a great nursery is the first step in preparing your home.  But your baby will be crawling before you know it, so why not get ready now, before you’re juggling feeding times and dirty diapers?  Parents recommends baby-proofing each room, putting anything your infant could get into either in a secured location or well out of reach.  For example, chemicals, medications, supplements and other potentially dangerous supplies should be moved up high out of reach.  Furniture that invites climbing should be mounted to walls, outlets should be covered, and cords secured.

Babies change everything, which is extraordinary in all ways.  While you might sometimes feel you’ll never be ready, with a little forethought and planning, you and your home will be prepared for your baby’s arrival.  You’ll be a wonderful mom - congratulations!

Increasing Your Income With Side Gigs When You’re a Solo Parent

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Written by Eva Benoit | eva.benoit@evabenoit.com | evabenoit.com

Raising a child is a tough gig for any parent, but raising a child as a single parent can be exponentially harder. There are not only financial considerations, but also time constraints to take into account. And with all the responsibilities of being a single parent, who has spare time for a second job to cover the extra expenses? Leaving the house to work requires finding a sitter, and sitters cost money.

It is a difficult task for any single parent to make money, especially when it costs money to take time off from parenting in order to work. If you find yourself in this cash-strapped situation, check out one of these side hustles that can bring you extra income without leaving your child in someone else’s care.


Customer Service

Many companies hire part-time and full-time customer service representatives to man their online or phone support systems. If you enjoy helping people and don’t mind some of the challenging interactions that come with customer support, then you might want to consider applying to be a call center agent, telemarketer, or customer service or tech support representative. Some of these jobs can be done from home, and the hours can vary. It’s a great at-home option for someone who has free time at night when the kids are asleep.


Vending

Offline businesses also need staff to serve customers in person. Working at a physical location once a week could be the right move for a parent who has a day off from the kids. Talk to the vendors at farmers markets, swap meets, craft fairs, and flea markets, and offer your help covering their booths. It might only be seasonal work or an occasional festival, but the time you put in will help subsidize your income on the side.

Perhaps you would like to be a vendor at a market, fair, or festival to sell goods or crafts. Doing so would be a chance to earn income while bringing your family with you to work. If you’re selling goods in person, cash isn’t always the best payment to accept. Many customers don’t carry enough cash to make purchases, and you’d be missing out on potential sales by limiting your payment method to cash. As an individual merchant, you don’t need to have a credit card merchant account to accept card payments. A portable credit card machine makes it easy for anyone to accept payments from any customer with a credit or debit card. Unlike some of the pricier payment systems that businesses use, Square’s portable system is easy to use and affordable.

Selling Online

Look around you. Your house is probably full of things that you no longer need (old baby clothes, anyone?). Rather than let them take up space and collect dust, sell your things online to clear your home of junk and put some money into your pockets. You can go old school via eBay or Craigslist, or you can list on apps like Poshmark and OfferUp. Most sites take a percentage of your earnings, but there’s a layer of protection to the transaction when you sell through these websites and use an encrypted payment system.

Once you get past selling your unwanted personal belongings, you can use your newfound online-selling skills to start a side business. Many shops in the online marketplace began selling from their own stash and graduated to reselling discounted finds online for a profit. Shopping outlets and discount retailers like Marshalls, TJ Maxx, and Ross offer great deals on items that you can turn around at a marked-up (but still less-than-the-suggested-retail) price.

Money and parenting have a paradoxical relationship. You need one to make the other work, but doing one requires giving up some of the other. While having a family means needing to increase your household income to support the expansion, it shouldn’t require sacrificing the time that you get to spend with your children. Instead of giving up all of your family time to work, make your work fit in with the time that you have.

Photo Credit: Pixabay