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, we have already seen floods in the Midwest and California, a healthy dose of tornadoes, and an ice storm earlier in the year. And those are just the weather disasters.
Are you ready?
In 2015, Nationwide ran a survey that revealed that three out of four small businesses 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.
The most common solution is to create two plans:
- A disaster recovery plan, which details the steps needed to recover the business from a catastrophic loss
- A business continuity plan, which 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 help 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 worksite 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?
- 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, then consider spending some time on a plan to give you peace of mind.