Around half of small businesses do not have a plan in place to deal with infrastructure failure, despite the average SME experiencing six outages a year, according to research from Symantec.
The main reasons for business downtime are cyber-attacks, power failure or natural disasters. Outages cost the typical small business £1,900 a day, said Symantec.
Some 41% of the firms surveyed said they had never considered putting together a plan, and 40% did not consider disaster preparedness to be a priority.
According to the survey, half of SMEs that have implemented disaster recovery plans did so after experiencing an outage and data loss. Of the 1,840 SMEs polled, 5% said they did not back up anything.
Intellectual property can be one of the most valuable assets for many small businesses, and this is something they risk losing by failing to back up data, said Ross Walker, director at Symantec, Ireland.
"Disasters happen and SMEs cannot afford to risk losing their information or - more importantly - their customers' critical information," Walker said. "Simple planning can enable SMEs to protect their information in the event of a disaster, which in turn will help them build trust with their customers."