For any UK business, losing important business files and legal documentation can be a nightmare. This is why it makes sense to keep your important business documentation safe and protected away from risks and threats posed by unscrupulous people, by using professional document storage services, such as those offered by Restore Records Management.
While you are busy running a business, your time is mostly taken up performing the day to day duties and tasks involved with little time given to keeping on top of your paperwork and file management. This is why business owners will often choose to employ support staff to handle their administration and filing.
However, as time goes on your business or organisation will accumulate a lot of valuable documents, including legal papers, sensitive financial data and other critical records. For many business owners, storing all this valuable information can be a daunting task.
Not only will you need to organise your company files into date order, but with most of your paperwork needed to be kept for differing lengths of time before you can securely dispose of them, your file management can become a little disorganised and haphazard.
The physical risks of storing your business documentation
One of the biggest risks that a business owner is exposed to is the chance of their company records being lost to a fire or other disaster, such as a flood. There are other physical risks that should be a concern too, such as the risk of burglary where criminals want to steal your sensitive data for identity theft or fraud.
There is always a risk of malicious behaviour from one of your leading business competitors that may be willing to damage your business reputation by stealing documents to purposely cause a data breach to discredit your company, or to steal your confidential R&D files for their own gain.
Accidental data breaches are also more common than you think! This happens when a member of staff will accidentally throw out paperwork that contains sensitive company data during a yearly spring clean or in an attempt to free up some floor space in an office by throwing out old paperwork and filing cabinets without due care and attention.
The importance of keeping good records
Every business owner needs to keep good records for legal reasons. But keeping good records is not just about keeping your paperwork tidy and locked away in filing cabinets or boxed up in a storeroom.
Keeping good records means that you need to have an organised system that allows you to locate and retrieve key documents when you need them, especially when you are required to meet your legal obligations under GDPR regulations.
You will also need to be able to store, locate and produce financial documentation for inspection by HMRC should you be selected for an official audit. You need to make sure that your sensitive financial data is kept safe, yet is easy to retrieve when you need it. But how can you do this successfully with little stress, but at the same time giving your documents maximum protection?
Cloud storage and electronic storage
With a lot of UK businesses being encouraged to go 'paper-free' to reduce their carbon footprint and become more environmentally friendly, most businesses will utilise digital solutions such as electronic storage in the form of cloud storage and keeping digital backups.
Cloud-based online storage is a popular option for business owners. Cloud storage features multiple layers of security to help protect your information and keep it safe. However, if you only rely on cloud storage for all of your most critical information, it could be inaccessible should the internet crash, or the cloud storage server suffers a complete system failure that it cannot recover from.
While it can be a good idea to use cloud storage systems, it will also help greatly to make physical copies of your most critical records and store them securely away from your business premises.
This means that should your business premises suffer from a devastating fire, be affected by a serious flood, or gets broken into by burglars, the incident will not lead to your only physical copies being destroyed or stolen.
It makes sense to use secure off-site document storage services such as those offered by Restore Records to make sure that your most important and valuable business documentation is kept as safe as possible.
Doing this will also mean that you will be in full compliance with all current Data Protection Act rules and the more recent updated GPDR regulations.
What about smaller businesses?
You will be amazed to read that there are thousands of small and medium-sized businesses in the UK that still store all of their business-related information on stand-alone computers in their workplace.
Continuing to do this is very risky indeed, especially if your computer hard drive crashes or becomes corrupted. This would mean your business would lose all of your critical data, and the impact would be made much worse if you didn't make any backup copies.
While there is a drive to make businesses as paper-free as possible, it is still a smart idea to make a physical backup copies of all your critical data and put them into secure storage away from your business premises.
What are the best options for my business document storage?
There are a few options open to you for safe document storage and what you decide is best for your business is your decision, but it would be wise to ask yourself the following questions before you make a final decision about whether or not it is safe to keep your documents stored on your business premises:
How secure is my business premises?
How secure are my file storage facilities?
Is it easy for my workplace computers to be stolen?
Who has access to my business files?
Do I have adequate password security that is changed often?
How comfortable am I relying on cloud storage solutions?
Are my physical business files locked away from all staff?
Do I have valuable, irreplaceable documents that need to be kept in a safe?
Answering these questions will give you a clear overview of just how at risk your critical business documentation is, and if you get a strong feeling that you need to do something positive about this – do it now! Don't wait until it is too late!
Steps that you can take to protect your business documents:
Buy a business safe
If you don't want to part with specific one-off documents and would prefer to keep them on your premises, then it would be advisable to buy a business safe where you can keep these documents secure. Most business-grade safes are made to be fire-resistant and some are built to be water-resistant too, so depending on your flood risk, you would need to take this into consideration.
Most small business safes come in a variety of designs, and it would make sense to choose a heavy safe that is securely bolted into your floor rather than a portable one that could be stolen by thieves.
However, unlike our off-site storage options, business safes cannot be scanned and digitised, and therefore if you are not in the office, you cannot access the documents. Using our offsite-storage services, you can access digital files of your documents from anywhere.
With a business safe, if only a couple of individuals have access to the key or code, you have to wait for that person to open it for you to be able to access anything that is inside. Whereas, when using our off-site storage services, you can get speedy access at the touch of a button.
Secure document storage solution
A very workable alternative to going to the expense and hassle of buying and installing a workplace business safe would be to use secure off-site document storage facilities, such as those offered by Restore Records.
Restore Records has an excellent security track record, so by utilising our secure off-site document storage services you will be able to protect your important business documentation 24/7 within our CCTV monitored and security access protected premises.
Not only will your most important business documents be safe from theft, fire and flood, but by using our storage facilities your business will be fully complying with all current Data Protection Act regulations regarding the safe storage of your sensitive business data.
Our secure off-site document storage services offer:
Facilities: secure entry systems and CCTV monitored round the clock, GPS-tracked vehicles, vetted drivers and operatives at every stage, secure deep storage, latest desiccant technology for humidity control, specialist racking
Systems: industry-leading O-Neil's software for all our document management processes, our own Dovetail software that we tailor for you to manage your assets in-house. The two work together seamlessly and can provide secure audit trails and access on a need-to-know basis only
Barcoded, tagged files are easily traced for retrieval, collection and scan-on-demand and, finally, for secure disposal
An unbroken chain of custody right through to the Certificate of Destruction
Quick retrieval of documents that are stored in off-site storage. Customers can request document returns for next day delivery or even the same day in certain circumstances.
What can I store in your secure off-site facilities?
Our secure off-site document storage facilities are an ideal solution for keeping your business records safe and well protected. It is up to you what you choose to store with us, but after working with many thousands of UK businesses over the years, we can say that most businesses choose to store important documents with us such as:
Business insurance policies: These are important documents that need to be kept in a safe place should you need them in an emergency when you need to make a claim
Business mortgage documentation: If you own your business premises instead of renting it, you will need to keep your business mortgage documentation safe and away from risks of loss or damage by fire or flood, this includes any deeds and paperwork that relates to your property boundaries
Banking documents and financial data: You will need to keep a complete set of financial records for a set number of years before you can safely dispose of them. These are better off being kept in secured off-site storage
Tax records: Running a business and paying your taxes on time is important, so keeping a set of your tax records safe in an off-site location where you can easily retrieve them when needed is a safe option
Employee records: As an employer, you will have the heavy responsibility of keeping your employee's personal information safe and away from the risk of exposure and possible ID theft
But what about if you have very rare and precious documents or items of great worth to your business? If you feel you need a service that goes above and beyond our excellent secure off-site document storage services, then you should consider our Ultra-Secure Vault-Storage services.
What is our ultra-secure vault-storage service?
Restore Record's Ultra Secure Vault Storage is suitable for your assets that are so valuable or so sensitive that you need to take additional precautions when it comes to their safe storage.
When you need an extra level of protection for your documents or business assets to give you great peace of mind, then you cannot get better than our vault storage. This is because they are based within an ex-military establishment that was literally carved out of stone.
Our vault storage sits below ground and is security protected with access control and CCTV monitoring.
If you have very old or delicate business assets that need special care and handling, then our secure vault storage solution would be the best choice for you. Our vault storage facilities meet the highest conservation standards as laid down in PD5454:2012.
This means that your valuable business assets are kept in a stable, climate-controlled environment to help keep them in the best possible condition. Just about everything deteriorates over time, but making sure that your precious assets are kept in the right conditions and protected from rapid temperature changes, moisture, dust, sunlight and insect damage will help to slow down the deterioration rate.
We offer the best protection for your valuable business assets and ensure that they will be stored correctly according to their needs, which can include specialist racking, air handling and cutting edge desiccant technology.
Contact Restore Records
No matter whether you are a large business or organisation, a small or medium-sized operation – we will have a document storage solution that will meet your needs perfectly.
Why not contact our friendly team at Restore Records to find out how we can help to protect your company and help you meet your compliance for GDPR and more!