This article also appears on Talkin’ Cloud
Plenty of small businesses have trouble understanding the cost of backup and disaster recovery. Backup solutions they currently understand are probably things like file and folder cloud storage or maybe tape backup, which are both really inexpensive ways to have a rudimentary backup.
While a basic backup is a good first step, it’s nothing compared to what you could be offering. There are plenty of affordable and advanced solutions that can save clients money, but this requires you to amp up your knowledge of backup and disaster recovery practices. Doing so will not only help you refine your pitch for disaster recovery services, but also deliver these services in a way that’s affordable and effective for nearly any client. Here are some thoughts about DR some MSPs have never considered.
Disaster brings terrible events to mind, but for a business, a disaster is more likely to be something small like an accidentally deleted file, crippling malware, or the always-pervasive hardware failure. When you discuss disaster recovery, it’s important to make the distinction between a site-destroying event and the failures that are likely to happen. It’s not the big things you’ll be worried about initially; it’s the small things that bring business to a standstill.
DR vs. backup
The next thing clients may not realize is that backup and disaster recovery aren’t exactly the same thing. A backup is just one piece of the puzzle, and it’s worth nothing if you can’t recover quickly. Disaster recovery involves creating redundancies that can reduce or even eliminate downtime. This is a concept you need to help your clients understand, and the best way is to help them realize what downtime really costs.
Downtime is different for each business and it can differ based on what types of equipment might have an unexpected failure. Even still, you’ll catch any business owner’s attention if you show them how much it can cost a company to be down for a day or more. Your goal is to have them back up and running in a few hours or less—the benefit of disaster recovery becomes really clear when they see that a small monthly fee can ultimately prevent thousands in downtime costs.
There are various methods of delivery that make sense to different clients. Budget is likely one of the first concerns, but armed with the knowledge of what downtime can actually cost, most businesses will start to see the value. At this stage you’ve got to deliver something that makes sense to this client. Will their backups be something simple like basic hot-swappable drives? A BDR appliance? Knowing and understanding various delivery methods allows you to find affordable solutions that make sense to a wide variety of clients, even those that may not have the budget for more advanced solutions. For more ideas on delivering disaster recovery, see our guide Selling Disaster Recovery as a Service.
Showing continued value
Simply taking backups is one thing, but showing a client how this works is another. A client might not feel satisfied about paying for backup services and not actually seeing what’s going on. Since many backup software solutions can be deployed remotely, they might not even realize anything happened at all. Sending clients regular emails that show them the results of their backups and occasionally going onsite to perform hands-on tests are good ways to show clients what they’re paying for. For more info on some best practices related to testing, see our ebook Don’t Let a Disaster Be Your First Backup Test.
The bottom line is that clients need data protection and a way to reduce, if not eliminate, downtime. Equipping yourself with more knowledge about backup and DR is the best way to increase the profit you get from these types of services. There’s a lot to learn, but the more you know the easier it is to have conversations about how backup and disaster recovery isn’t just a good idea, it’s a time and money saving investment no business should do without.
Photo: Rupa Panda via Flickr