From blizzards, tornados, hurricanes, and floods to riots and acts of terror, the unexpected can leave small-business owners floundering – often for much longer than necessary. In fact, many businesses forced to short their doors temporarily during such times of crisis never reopen. From dealing with simple hurdles (cell phone dead and power out) to major problems (“I’ve been meaning to start regular computer back-ups…”), getting prepared can mean the difference between long-term success and failure.
A recovery plan also demonstrates to potential clients and investors that your business is a stable long-term partner!
A few ideas to get you thinking about emergency preparedness for your own business:
Keep an inexpensive plug-in phone in your supply cabinet. When power is out, none of your cordless phones around the office will work – so you want to be able to plug directly into the phone line.
We all know the office supply cabinet should include a good first aid kit — but how many small-business owners just haven’t gotten around to picking one up yet?
Where is everyone?
Do you know how to reach each of your employees and essential vendors? If so, that info isn’t stored on a single person’s computer in the office, is it?!
Where is everyone? Part two…
If your office is large enough, do you have a floor plan kept in a separate location? Such a document can be an invaluable aid in search-and-rescue efforts.
Redundancy, redundancy, redundancy.
A single off-site backup system such as Carbonite might be fine for archived materials and company files infrequently accessed, but what about current projects and active client files? Anything essential to the short-term operation of your business must also be backed up and accessible from multiple devices, both on and offline.
Put it in writing!
Writing down everything from the name of the contact person at your outsourced website hosting company to the chain of command when the head honcho can’t be reach proves your commitment to business’s survival. It can also serve as an important tool to ensure potential clients of your security plans and long-term viability.