Running a business is a very busy job that some may neglect thinking about a disaster plan. But implementing a recovery strategy can be crucial if that time ever comes. More than 40 percent of small businesses don’t reopen after a major disaster, according to the Federal Emergency Management Agency. Although these statistics are scary to think about planning for these events are important. This article will put together a list to help your business return to glory after a disastrous incident.
What Kind of Disasters Are We Referring To?
There are many ways your business can experience a disaster. Natural disasters including a fire, a hurricane, an earthquake, or flooding can cause severe damage to your businesses facility. Other than natural disasters, companies also need to be prepared for disasters in the form of cyber attacks. Every year, more and more data is being created and stored online, and cybercriminals are becoming more aggressive in their attempts to attack business. Is your business prepared these types of disasters? Does your business have a plan of action?
Make Sure All Employees Are Safe
The most important thing when it comes to a natural disaster is the safety and well being of the employees in the company. Some may think about monetary loss, physical things within the office space, or plans to retrieve the data, but the first priority should be the people. One of the main priorities a company should add to its disaster recovery checklist is plan make sure everyone is out during a natural disaster. Think about an evacuation plan for a fire, earthquake, etc. and make sure all of the employees are safe. There are safety management systems, training, and even software for these types of events. Assign the Team Members a Task in Case of Future Disasters Disaster recovery starts with planning and preparedness. Identifying the different roles of the team should be a key focus even before an event happens. The company should assign responsibilities and tasks for each department. Your company should have a detailed list of responsibilities for each department. Furthermore, each department should have an even more detailed task list of responsibilities for each member of the team. This ensures that all the responsibilities don’t end up in the hands of just one person. You should think ahead and ask questions including, who will be making the decisions about relocation? Who is going to oversee the data on sales be accountable for any cash flow? Who are the people in charge of giving people access to secure systems? What will need to be done for each department for the company to be up and running again? These are only some of the questions that need to be handled in a time of crisis, and within these are many little tasks that need to be completed. The bigger the company is, the more tasks and responsibilities there will be. Make sure these are taken care of well in advance before any type of disaster.
Will Your Company Need a Backup Office?
In a time of a natural disaster, a need for a backup office might be necessary. For most companies, owning or renting two different office spaces (just in case) isn’t a viable option. The cost of having two spaces just doesn’t make sense for most companies especially smaller businesses. While the company figures out the details of the current office, this could mean allowing the team to work remotely in the meantime. This will not work for all businesses, but it will be a practical option for some businesses. But remember, downtime equates to losing money. An hourly cost will depend on your business, but the average business can lose anywhere between $301k to $400k per hour. Another thing a company can do to ensure a faster relocation time is having an ongoing relationship with a real estate agent that could speed up the relocation time. Being able to open up shop and relocate as quickly as possible could be the difference between the company recovering from the disaster or closing its doors for good.
What Is Your Data Recovery Plan?
Recovering data will be one of the most crucial tasks for a business to keep running after a disaster. For many businesses, data is the most important part of the company. This will include digital files, emails, and other important digital company data. Having a reliable backup plan is critical. The company should understand where and how their data is getting backed up. If your company only has their data backed up onsite, you should consider backing it up at an offsite data center or a cloud service. Ensuring your data is managed properly can guarantee your business will bounce back promptly. Digital data isn’t the only important company data. While designated people on the team deal with data recovery, another group of individuals should be making sure that physical hard-copy documents are also safe. This will need to be a part of the disaster plan.
Communication Is Key
There will need to be plenty of communication during a disaster. Communicating with everyone within the team will need to be at its finest during a time like this. Do you know how the team will communicate when email and phone lines are both down? Can the team communicate using personal mobile phones and email addresses? This can be difficult because most companies communicate using company emails and phones. How will your company communicate with customers? Your company may not be able to help customers during this time, but communicating with them and keeping them in the loop on what is happening should be on the disaster recovery checklist. This will certainly need to be a part of the crisis media kit. Make sure your company issues a press release as soon as possible. This will also include how the company is taking care of the issues and how you plan on being back to business promptly. Many businesses will lose customers during this time especially if their customers are left in the dark.
A disaster recovery plan should constantly be reassessed and changed if necessary. ing and going over the plan can also be beneficial since the team will be more familiar with it. So when the time comes, they will know exactly what to do. Understanding potential kinds of disasters and being ready for them can assure your business will be back as quickly as possible. It is also essential that the entire team work together to make this happen. Designating certain responsibilities and knowing how to communicate within the team and knowing how to communicate with clients and customers can be the difference between a successful comeback and losing the business. Company leaders should also know if you will need a temporary office and how and where your data is stored. Data is one of the most important parts of a business and making sure you can recover any lost data imperative. As it may be apparent, there are many moving parts to a company, even more so driving the fact that a disaster recovery plan needs to be put in the works if you haven’t already.
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