Is your business ready to survive a disaster?
As business owners, we want to remain optimistic about our business’s future. But life can happen, and we need to be prepared. A good business owner thinks about all the risks to their business and has a plan in place to reduce or eliminate them.
In 2017 alone, we’ve already had floods in the Midwest and California, a healthy dose of tornadoes, and an ice storm. That was all before the recent flooding in Texas and the hurricanes currently threatening the Caribbean and Florida. And those are just the weather disasters.
In 2015, Nationwide ran a survey that revealed that three out of four small business do not have a disaster plan. The same survey noted that 52 percent of small business owners thought it would take three months to recover from a disaster.
2 Plans Are Needed
- A disaster recovery plan: This details the steps needed to recover the business from a catastrophic loss.
- A business continuity plan: This details the steps needed to keep the business running in case of a major loss, such as a loss of electricity, location, or key personnel.
There’s a lot of information online to help you create your plan. A few of the major items that should be covered include:
- Employee safety: You’ll need an evacuation plan in case of a disaster that is life or health threatening.
- Communication plan: How will you reach employees in an emergency?
- Electricity contingency: Will you need to access a generator?
- Internet contingency: Can your business survive without the internet for long periods of time? Or will you need to find a way to get connected?
- Location contingency: If your work site is inoperable, do employees have another place to report to?
- Employee roles: Who will carry out the plan?
- Private data: How will you safeguard private company and customer data?
- Systems: Do you have an inventory of hardware and software, including vendor technical support contacts? How will you prioritize which system to get back up first? Do you have agreements with vendors who can come to your aid quickly?
Creating a disaster recovery plan can be the lowest priority item on your to-do list as a business owner – until it isn’t. If you have a lot to lose, consider spending some time on a plan to give you peace of mind.