In a study conducted by Nationwide, over 75 percent of the businesses polled claimed they had no kind of disaster recovery plan in place. If you are a small business owner, you know all too well how easy it is for disasters to happen. Whether these disasters are the work of Mother Nature or caused by human error, having a business continuity plan in place is essential. According the Institute for Business and Home Safety, 25 percent of businesses that close due to a major disaster never reopen. Rather than leaving important matters like this to chance, you should work with professionals to develop an adequate business continuity plan. Below are some of the key elements to include in this type of plan.
1. Clearly Defining Your Team
The first thing your employees will want to know in the midst of a disaster situation is who’s in charge. Creating a business continuity team is a great way to have an answer to this important question before a disaster ever happens. When dealing with localized or even broader-based disasters, having the right team in place can make a big difference. The teams you put in place should plan and test throughout the year to keep the continuity plan up-to-date.
2. Meticulous Planning is Essential
Trying to think three steps ahead in a disaster situation is a lot easier said than done. Rather than trying to figure out what needs to happen when a disaster situation is unfolding, you need to have a meticulous plan in place well in advance. Establishing what your recovery priorities are after a disaster is vital. Are you more concerned with re-establishing customer connections, regulatory implications or your revenue first? Once you have the answer to this question, the rest of your continuity plan should start to fall in place.
3. Effective Testing
As with any type of plan, testing the elements you have in place on a regular basis is important. Having an out of date plan will typically lead to more confusion when disaster actually strikes. Reviewing, testing and updating your plan a few times a year is something you need to view as a priority. By doing this, you can discover any potential flaws in the plan and fix them before they cause any real trouble.
4. Crisis Communications
Having an effective means of communicating with your employees during a disaster situation is very important. Creating a toolkit that has a full range of various communication channels like telecom, intranet and email can be very helpful. When disaster does strike, you will have a number of different ways to reach out to members of your team if this toolkit is in place.
5. Employee Safety is Key
Nothing is more important in a disaster situation than keeping those around you safe. Reaching out to organizations like FEMA is a great way to provide yourself and your team with emergency response training. Tailoring the training to fit your particular business and location can help your team greatly when they are faced with a disaster.
6. Access to Business Resources
While keeping your staff productive during a disaster situation is important, so is protecting your data. Establishing a remote computer network to use during disasters is a great idea. A mobile network will allow you and your employees to work from home. Working with IT professionals is a great way to ensure a mobile network is fast and secure.
7. Continuous IT Operations
Establishing a number of offsite backups for your data can help you get through a tech disaster with ease. Many companies have avoided damage from ransomware attacks due to offsite backups and disaster recovery plans. An IT professional will be able to offer you advice regarding how to keep your data safe and accessible during a crisis situation.
Allowing the team at Monster Technology to help with your business continuity plan is a great idea. They offer a wide range of online backup and cloud-based services that can be very helpful during a disaster situation.