Is your business prepared for any type of disaster? Even though small and medium-sized businesses (SMB’s) may not have as many employees or as much equipment as large corporations, they are just as vulnerable to disaster. A SMB business office destroyed by a tornado, for could, could be catastrophic to the future of the business.
Unlike most enterprise-level organizations, SMB’s have limited manpower and financial resources to invest in planning for a catastrophic event. The good news is that it doesn’t take a huge investment of either to develop a basic business continuity plan. Begin by developing standard operating procedures (SOP’s) for the following 5 critical dimensions of business continuity:
- Make a List of All Possible Disasters. The best place to start is to list different types of potential natural and human-caused disasters and determine what could be lost in each case, and what you can do to prevent or minimize the impact of that loss. A flood will require different strategies from a power outage or a fire. Next, develop estimates for each situation for the length of time and resulting cost to get your business up and running again.
- Develop a Communication Plan. The middle of a crisis is not the time to frantically search for phone numbers. Even the smallest of businesses need emergency contact numbers. Have all emergency contact numbers posted or programmed into every phone. Do you have an alternate mode of communication should your main phone lines shut down? Could your clients seamlessly contact you without ever knowing that your office was in the middle of disaster recovery? The same principle applies to email and fax. Making arrangements regarding communication are critical to keeping your business running smoothly. Communicating with staff and clients can mean the difference between complete shutdown, and a minimal business interruption.
- Develop a Data Preservation Plan. In the event of a disaster, it is important to know that everything you need to function as a business is available. Identify all vital systems, documents, and data. While it is important for every business to back up their data on a regular basis, what if a fire destroyed your office? For this reason, offsite storage is critical to preserving your business’ valuable information. Offsite data storage allows to access to all of your stored data from any computer and from anywhere in the world. In today’s high-tech business world, NOTHING is more important to the survivability of your business than data security.
- Identify 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 a smooth operation if your office is shut down? Should you be storing products or other critical resources in a secondary location? Etc., etc.
- 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 to the outside world, even if you are standing in the middle of a disaster. Schedule plan tests to ensure that everyone in the organization is on the same page and ready should disaster strike. Hopefully, you will never have to use your business continuity plan, but it is smart business to be prepared for any emergency should one arise.
Cardinal Point Technologies can guarantee the complete safety and security of your critical business systems and data for any and all potential disasters. Reach out to a Cardinal Point Technologies representative today to discuss your unique IT needs.