As a business owner, you expect to stay in control of what your business does. Unfortunately, there are certain variables in running a business that simply can’t be controlled, like the weather. Therefore, you need to take special care to ensure that these uncontrollable instances don’t become a threat to your business’ prolonged existence. To this end, we recommend a business continuity plan.
A business continuity plan is a strategy that covers every possible outcome of a situation that threatens the continuation of your business. It’s a plan which allows your business to keep operations moving even when it seems the world is against you. Take, for example, a lightning strike. It could fry the power infrastructure in your building. Similarly, the uncontrollable torrents of a flood could leave your business underwater.
Thus, the importance of preparing for such occurrences. You must enact a business continuity plan before any of these incidents have a chance to harm your organization. You certainly can’t go without one, as the risk is simply unthinkable. This type of preventative thinking is exactly what you need to keep your business afloat.
First, you need to decide what exactly needs to be addressed by your business continuity plan. Build out a list of where you stand to lose the most in case a disaster hits home. In other words, think about the absolute worst-case scenario. What’s the maximum cost of your organization losing all business functionality? How do these expenses affect your budget? How much time would it take to recover from such a catastrophe? This is called the Business Impact Analysis, and it’s used to help you prioritize the biggest problems in the event of a disaster.
Your business continuity plan should include the following:
- Establish the plan’s reach.
- Identify your key business areas.
- Establish which business functions are critical.
- Outline which business areas and functions are interdependent.
- Establish a limit to how much downtime each function can experience.
- Plan to continue operations.
Once your plan has been created and well-documented, and your responsibilities have been distributed to your team, you need to train your staff and test the process thoroughly to ensure that it works as intended.
You could have the best process in the world and it wouldn’t be complete without a comprehensive data backup plan. The ideal backup solution is one which allows your data to survive even an in-house disaster like a hardware failure, which can be done by storing it in the cloud or an off-site data center. These backups should be continually updated throughout the day to minimize data lost in the event of a disaster. Just make sure that you keep the backup in a separate location from the rest of your infrastructure, as you could lose both the original and the backup if they are in the same location.
We can’t know when you’ll experience a data loss disaster, but that’s why managed IT services that take preventative measures exist. To learn more about how we can help your business survive in the face of inclement weather or other dangerous scenarios, reach out to us at 607.433.2200.