Too often a company finds they’re lacking in the data recovery and business continuity area only after something has gone horribly wrong. A crashed computer, floor or fire, or technology theft can put their business in serious jeopardy if there’s no plan in place to recover and keep going after a disaster occurs.
Business continuity is all about worse case scenarios and making sure you have a plan to handle them. Safe guarding data and keeping your company reachable by customers and “open for business” can separate the small businesses that close their doors from the ones that keep on going.
Over 40% of businesses never reopen after a disaster. (Forbes)
According to FEMA, only 60% of businesses survive after a disaster strikes, and of those, 29% end up never fully recovering and close their doors within the following two years.
But there are steps you can take to ensure your company is in the group of businesses that continue thriving after a disaster.
Technology Visionaries assists all types of businesses in north and central New Jersey with resilient business continuity plans. By preparing for anything, you can get ahead of any unexpected disaster and return to business as usual in no time.
How can you make your business disaster-proof? Read on for five steps you can take to protect your data assets and business for the future.
How Can I Keep My Business Going After a Disaster?
Planning for anything that’s going to interrupt your business, cause loss of data, and keep you from operating as usual is the key to bouncing back after a catastrophe happens.
What are the leading causes of business downtime?
- Hardware failure
- Virus/malware intrusion
- Human error
- Natural disasters or weather events
- Power outages
- Software/application errors
There are several things you can do to protect your company and livelihood.
Create a “What If” Assessment
In order to make sure you have all bases covered in the event of a business-stopping calamity, you need to lay out a plan in advance and identify all the potential systems that could be impacted.
Some of the critical operations to keep your business running may include:
- Phones & email
- Accounting data
- Website/shopping cart
- Access to customer records
- Ability to invoice and process payments
Start with the question, “What if this system was down due to disaster at the office?” then move onto, “What would be our plan B to keep that critical system in operation?” This will act as a roadmap for your business continuity plan.
Define Roles, Actions, and Communications
Once you’ve done your “What If” assessment, it’s time to get a plan together. You’ll want to list actions that will be taken in the event you can’t operate your business from your office location and define which staff member is in charge of executing each part of the plan.
Put a communications list (aka phone or text tree) together to give staff instructions on what to do. This will make it much easier to give everyone instructions at one time, such as, “Staff should work from home today until power is restored at the office, make sure you can login to needed applications, and contact Jim on this text if you’re unable to.”
Backup and Check Backups Regularly
That little green light is on and the arrows are spinning, so your computer’s cloud backup is fine, right? It might not be. Too many offices turn their backup on for the first time, then never check it until something happens and they need the data recovered. And too many times they find out it hasn’t been backing up what they thought.
It goes without saying that you should have all your data backed up using an offsite cloud-based solution to ensure business continuity, but you also need to check backups regularly to make sure they’re backing up as they should and not stuck due to reaching a data limit or some other software issue.
Evaluate and Adopt Technologies that Can Fill Gaps in Your Plan
If you’re working on your business continuity plan and hit a wall in a particular area, you may need to add a technology to fill that gap in your current tech solutions. Cloud-based solutions are designed for business continuity.
For example, if you’re using only analog phones that are based at your office, to keep your phone lines open for customers in the event of a disaster at your business, you may want to look into a low-cost VoIP phone plan as a backup that would allow you to transfer a toll-free number to a cloud-based phone that could be answered from anywhere.
Test Your Plan & Run Disaster Drills
Regular fire drills help train staff where to go in the event of a fire at the office. Business continuity drills can help do the same if a catastrophe strikes that makes it impossible to work at your office location.
Testing your business continuity action plan and response, reduces chances that something will get missed in the event of a real disaster, and also helps you identify and repair any weak spots that you plan may have.
Let Technology Visionaries Help You with a Comprehensive Business Continuity Plan
Let us help and take the stress out of planning for the unexpected. We can assist you with implementing a solid and secure business continuity plan, train your team, and be there to help execute it should something happen.
Don’t wait until it’s too late, get started planning today by calling us at 732-587-5960 or scheduling a consultation online.