How Prepared is Your Business for a Disaster?
In a recent survey of small businesses, only 13% of respondents believed themselves to be susceptible to a disaster resulting in data loss. That means 87% of small businesses must be located in a fortress where they are protected from every natural disaster--yeah right! No business is immune from disaster; therefore, every company needs a disaster plan.
While it's good to be confident in your business dealings, it's dumb to be overconfident about your company's ability to bounce back from a disaster. For example, 65% of small business owners think that if they were hit with a disaster and out of commission for a day, they would lose less than $500. The reality of disasters is that 40% of small businesses hit will never reopen.
The best thing you can do to prepare your business for a disaster is to move your office into a structurally reinforced cave, equipped with backup generators and armed guards, preferably of the ninja variety. You will also want to only hire only people that have degrees in computer engineering; this is the best way to protect yourself from employees making computer errors resulting in data loss.
Of course, if you decide to take all of these precautions, then you will essentially be a James Bond villain because you will have an underground lair full of ninjas and scientist; and if there's one thing we have learned from all 23 James Bond movies, it's that no amount of preparedness can safeguard you from Agent 007.
The next best thing you can do to prepare your business for disaster is to have a well thought out plan that's both practical and meets your budget. Three fundamentals you will want to cover with your disaster plan are 1) an immediate course of action, 2) geography, and 3) data protection.
An Action Plan
You will want to make sure emergency contact numbers are written down and they are easily accessible. This list should include the emergency contact information for every employee, along with instructions about what you should do in light of each kind of disaster. You will want to make sure this emergency contact list is updated, and you will also want to have an extra copy posted outside the office in the event your building is turned into rubble.
A Second Location
If something happens to your office, you will need to move operations to a backup location in order to stay profitable. It may be impractical to maintain a secondary office building just in case something happens, but it will be well worth it to have a second location picked out, along with arrangements with your IT provider to quickly hook up needed computer equipment. Also, don't overlook details like furniture and office supplies. Even if you are temporarily running your business with card tables and CRT monitors in an abandoned warehouse, this is still better than being out of business. Having an emergency plan for a secondary office will make the transition easier to quickly get your business up and running again. It will be very difficult to begin making calls to find a second office location and arrange for new equipment when your phones and contact information is ash.
The Importance of Data Backup
It's easy to replace bricks, chairs, and even computers (that's what's insurance is for), but it's almost impossible to replace data that's not backed up. Think about the time it would take to rebuild all the content on your database. This is why so many businesses close after a disaster because they need this information to operate, and doing the work to gather the needed information from scratch is too expensive and time consuming. In a recent survey, 81% of small businesses got it right when they identified data as their most valuable asset.
Directive can assist you with your business continuity plans by providing you with a backup and disaster recovery (BDR) solution that will automatically backup your data to a secure datacenter, just in case something ever happens to your location. BDR also has the ability to recover your data, making your entire network available to you as soon as you power on the computers at your temporary location. If you would like to be prepared for any disaster with a BDR solution, or if would like assistance in putting together a business continuity plan, then call Directive at 607.433.2200.