Creating a Business Continuity Plan For Your Small Business
By Dave Roberts on Monday, September 30th, 2013
Is your business prepared for any type of disaster? Small businesses may not have as many employees or as much equipment, they are still as vulnerable to disaster as a large corporation. Many small business owners don’t want to take the time and the expense to prepare a business continuity plan, but can you really afford not to make one?
Make a List of All Possible Disasters
List different types of disasters and try to determine what could be lost in each case, and what you can do to prevent that loss. A flood will require different strategies from a power outage or a fire. Estimate how long it would take, and how much it would cost, for you to get your business up and running again.
The middle of a crisis is not the time to frantically search for phone numbers. Even small businesses need emergency contact numbers. Have all emergency contact numbers posted or programmed into every phone. Do you have a backup in case your main phone lines shut down? Could your clients contact you without ever knowing that your office was in the middle of disaster recovery? The same principal applies to email and fax. Communicating with staff and clients can mean the difference between complete shutdown, or minimal a business interruption.
Preserving Your Data
Identify all vital systems, documents, and data. In the event of a disaster, it is important to know that everything you need to function as a business is available. What if a fire or flood destroyed your office? Offsite storage is critical to preserving your business’ valuable information and it allows access to all of your stored data from any computer and from anywhere in the world.
A Temporary Worksite
It is also important to plan for a temporary worksite. Depending on the goods or services your business offers, can you continue smooth operation if your office is shut down? Storing products in a second location can allow you to maintain your regular business schedule.
Test Your Plan
One of the keys to successful disaster recovery is testing your business continuity plan on a regular basis. It is important that you and your staff know exactly what to do, where to go, and how to access the necessary items you need to keep your business running smoothly even if you are in the middle of a disaster. Schedule regular plan tests to ensure that everyone in your office is on the same page and ready should disaster strike.