Following a natural disaster, nearly 40 percent of small businesses are likely never to reopen.
Whether it's a flood or less natural disaster like a cyber-attack, if your business hasn't taken steps to protect itself, you're at risk.
A disaster recovery plan can help you prepare for the worst and give you a game plan for getting back up and running once the waters recede. Keep reading for a few essential tips for creating a plan of action for your business.
Identify Every Type of Disaster That Could Affect Your Business
Before you can take action and start developing a business disaster recovery plan, you need to identify the disasters you're at risk for.
If you live on a coast you probably already understand the threat of hurricanes. The same for businesses in states prone to tornadoes. But what about less common disasters?
Political unrest, earthquakes, and fire are all disasters that businesses need to prepare for. Even a broken water main can cause serious flood damage.
Cyber-attacks are another common, yet often overlooked threat. A whopping 60 percent of small businesses are unable to recover and end up closing down within 6 months of a cyber-attack. Preparing for them before they happen can help prevent this.
By identifying all common and non-common threats, you can better prepare your business for anything that comes its way.
Be Prepared to Continue Critical Business Processes
The most essential element of a disaster recovery plan is ensuring that all critical processes can continue. If they can't continue, you should aim to immediately re-start following the disaster.
A few examples of critical business processes that need to continue even if other segments of the business are disrupted include:
- Operations in cities, states, or countries that weren't directly affected by the disaster. It can be disastrous enough to lose revenue in one area. But if operations cease across the board, your business could be dealing with a blow it can't recover from.
- Keeping products are the proper temperature
- Maintaining livestock or other living assets
- Protecting critical patient or customer information through proper data backup built to withstand disasters or cyber attacks
Your business recovery plan should emphasize keeping these processes operating. For instance, your business may not need its headquarters to be staffed and open to stay operational. But your shipments of products outside of the affected disaster area must continue.
Rank Recovery Steps by Importance
Besides an emphasis on critical processes, your plan should also rank steps for recovery in order of importance.
For example, your business may be able to operate for weeks or months without an office. This is especially true if your employees are able to work from home. But replacing your warehouse or fleet right away will keep your business open.
What steps should come first and which can wait depends on your specific business. Consider the processes, equipment, and other elements that are necessary for day-to-day function. Then, be sure to list those early in your recovery plan so that you can get them back up and running quickly.
Putting a Disaster Recovery Plan in Place for Your Business
You may not be able to stop a disaster from happening. But a disaster recovery plan can help lessen the interruption your business experiences. Done right, it will help get you back up and running as soon as possible.
Whether your business deals in sensitive data or not, protecting your servers and getting them back up after a disaster is critical. Contact us today to learn more about our recovery and backup services!