Tag Archives: Computer file

Non Online Options for Backing up Direct Sales Data

Some people are not comfortable with backing up their data online which is fine.  I think a good backup system includes multiple options as you never know when one is going to fail.  For that reason, I have a variety of ways that I back up my direct sales business files as well as some of my other important data.  I will take you through the various locations of my data as well as where I back them up.

CD’s – A person doesn’t think of backing up their cds, but these can be scratched or corrupted in different methods in which case you would lose your data.  For this reason, you may want to copy that data directly onto your hard drive just in case.  Plus, cd’s can be easy to lose and you would hate to lose your direct sales business CD and not be able to work or not have your important files.

Flash Drive – A lot of files reside on my flash drive as I take them with me everywhere I go where i think i may need them.  This involves going to my day job or to my dad’s house if he needs me to help him with something.  It is also handy to move files from one location to another which happens if I am doing team training.  The flash drive is backed up onto my laptops hard drive as well as onto an external hard drive.  I also have an online storage account witBackup and Restoreh Dropbox that I will use.

Computer Hard drive – I currently run a laptop at home but I also have a desktop which does not work all that well.  When my desktop crashed, I did not have my data stored but thankfully I was able to get it operating long enough to retrieve my relevant data.  Again, a lot of this had been transferred onto my flash drive as I used it to go between the two computers, but there were bigger files I had not moved.  For this backup though, I have an external hard drive that has 1 terabyte of available space, which is ideal for backing up a computer hard drive as they tend to be big.  ‘

Laptop storage – I backup the laptop directly to the external drive.  Due to the size, I do not have other options of where to store files.  That said, pictures are burnt onto CD’s and other files could easily be put onto a CD.

Desktop – A desktop would have the same storage options as a laptop would.   I do know of people who have multiple external drives specifically for backup purposes.

External Hard drive – Unfortunately, due to the size of an external hard drive, the ways to back it up the hard drive are limited.  You can buy larger online storage options such as Mozy but then you will be paying a monthly fee and do you really need it just for your direct sales business files?  Pictures can be backed up to CD’s, and you may actually want to make more than one copy just in case one gets scratched or corrupted in some way.

When backing up your files, another good idea is to include a copy of the program you need to run the file.   Sometimes a file type is not supported by newer software so your files or useless or you may have a difficult time finding the program again if you re-format your computer.  For the amount of space the program makes, it is likely well worth it.

What methods do you employ to back up your direct sales data?  Do you use multiple methods like me or do you stick to just one?

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Keeping Track of Papers for Tax Time

Come tax time, if you cannot find the paperwork, then it is hard to claim it.  You can, but if you get audited, they are going to want to see the paper to back up your claim.  For this reason, it is a good idea to keep organized through the year so when the tax season sneaks up, you are ready for it.

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Envelopes/Folders – You can organize your direct sales paperwork in a variety of ways. For me, I have found that having a large brown envelope is a great way to do it.  I have one envelope per month for sales and have it organized as such – party summary (from my company’s backoffice) and receipts relating to the party attached.  I also write the order number on the receipt just in case they get disconnected.  As I do not have a lot of expenses beyond what I purchase from my direct sales company, I have just one envelope for expenses.  I could easily itemize these out by month or by type.

Electronic Files – Just like my paper files, I have a folder on my computer for all my electronic invoices.  I have them sorted out by type of invoice (party, supplies, long distance, credit card) and sort them into those folders and make sure each file is labeled by date.  A few clicks and I am able to find anything that I need.

Excel Spreadsheet – I do all my accounting via Excel spreadsheet as I find it easier than using software.  But, software definitely has its advantages such as being able to prepare a report for you at yearend to use for your taxes.  That said, if you are not comfortable with either option, a spreadsheet with a list of various expenses is a good idea to prepare for your tax accountant.  I recommend a few columns though:  Item, Purpose, Date, Amount less tax, Tax.  This will help your accountant classify the expenses and record them in the correct spot.

One of the best things you can do for yourself is keep on top of your paperwork and have it sorted out.  This creates less stress later on and you will likely find it helpful throughout the year.

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How often to back up your Direct Sales data?

As part of the discussion on backing up your data, one of the topics that comes up is how often you should take care of this chore.  A lot of it depends on how often the files change and the importance of the files themselves.Backup screenshot

Monthly – I think at a minimum you should back up your files on a monthly basis.  I don’t know about you, but I accumulate quite a few files each month such as sales specials, invoices, or random documents on a variety of different things.

Important Files – whenever you have some important files that you cannot bear to lose, you should back them up.  A great example of this is when you have updated or finished your accounting.  For most people, this is a dreaded chore and not one that they want to re-do.  Make sure you have a copy of it made so that you have it somewhere if need be.

File Syncs– If you are using online storage or if you have backup software, you can set them up to automatically backup your files without even thinking about it. This would only work with files that are on your computer’s hard drive versus on a flash drive, but this can be a great way to make sure you do not lose your files.

Backing up does not have to be difficult or time consuming.  If you have a calendar, mark it down or set a reminder on your phone or somewhere else.  Set the backup to go while you do other things such as clean up or watch tv.

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Backing up your Direct Sales Data – Online Options

When we think of our direct sales business, we think of things like getting customers, booking parties and finding people to join our team.  We prefer to ignore things like taxes, filing and other organization tasks (unless we enjoy those things).  Quite often we do not think about our data and how lost we would be without it, until it actually is gone!

Recently I lost my flash drive for a day or two.  I was lost!  I don’t know about you, but I keep most of my important files on there and do not copy it over to my actual computer all that often.  Once I found the drive, I quickly did a back up just in case!  (Note:  If you have cats and lose anything, open all the doors around where you last saw that object first, they like to bat things!)

There are several different options when it comes to data backup for your direct sales business.  You can find some that are free and you can find some that are paid.  Here are a few different options for you.server farm

Dropbox – This is a free online storage option – you start with 2 gigs of space and if you refer people and they sign up and download the system, you will get an additional 250 megs.  The free system maxes out at 8 gigs.  One of the great things about this site is that you can also share your files with others so you could have files on there that your team can access as well.   These can be put in their own special folder so that they cannot access your more sensitive data.  Consultants with my company are using this system to share all sorts of files with each other.  So much more convenient than putting out requests for created files!

Mozy – This is another site that I have heard great things about when it comes to backing up your data.  You can get a free account at Mozy which will let you backup 2 gigs worth of data at no cost but still enjoy all the security that the site offers.  The next option starts at 50 gigs for $6 a month nd if you sign up for a year at once you will get a month for free.

Do you use a different online storage site?  I know there are many different options out there and some are better for different options. Please post in the comments and let us know what you are using for online backup systems.

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