Any business leader knows that downtime can ruin productivity and reduce revenue. That is never truer than in a disaster recovery situation. An unexpected disaster can put a company out of business if they are not prepared for it. There is now practically an entire industry dedicated to disaster recovery and business continuity.
There are various managed services providers that can assist you in planning for a disaster and having precautions in place, but you want one that has experience and expertise. Their primary focus is going to be your data protection. They can provide solutions like cloud backup and off-site data centers.
It is your responsibility as a business owner to have a complete strategy in place to protect your company, your employees, and your customers. There are several questions you can ask yourself to start building your disaster recovery plan. These questions are direct links to the types of strategies you should construct.
Factors to Consider.
- What is the most likely disaster to impact my business?
By their nature, disasters are unpredictable. You can’t know when or how they will strike, but you can make an educated guess. Think about the hazards of the region your business is in and work out from there. Also, there are strategies that are universal in their application, regardless of the type of disaster.
Look into ways to support your business if you lose power or if you experience a manpower shortage. What if you lost internet access or your location was suddenly difficult to leave or access? Ask yourself these types of questions and create answers that cover multiple types of problems.
- How does my business function without power?
A power outage is a pretty typical outcome from a disaster. A power outage will likely cause you to lose business, but it could also force you to throw out stock. This can put a small business out of work for weeks. If your business relies on perishable items, then you might secure the details for a rental freezer truck service. You can also purchase a power generator. To keep the food side of your business running, you might draw up a menu that is quickly prepared without power.
This is another case where managed IT services will come in handy. They can prepare continuous data protection for your business regardless of your power supply. Cloud backup services will feature secure file sharing and backup solutions for restoring your data.
- How do I keep my people safe?
In the hospitality industry, you will have to worry about the safety of your employees and your customers. The life and health of other people are critical and has to come before ensuring the operations of your business. Create a list of safe locations you can evacuate to in case of a fire or a gas leak. Build strategies for helping people that might need assistance leaving a hazardous area.
Look for ways to receive medical attention when it is not readily available. Come up with a way to account for your employees who may have gone missing. Recovery strategies must include fast response steps like this to reduce the loss of life and risk to the well-being of people.
- How can I maintain communications?
Establishing and maintaining communications in a disaster is crucial to calming people down and getting any help you might need. Find a provider that you trust to build an online backup service, but a business continuity plan needs to do more. Make sure your IT provider offers local backups of your data and then set about building a contact list.
This contact list is more than emergency numbers. It needs to contain ways to get in touch with many people. You should have a physical list of numbers to contact your workforce, insurance provider, business partners, vendors, and customers. Establishing these contacts will go a long way to convince people that you have the situation under control. It also gives you more resources to work with.
- How do I respond to contamination or control pests?
In case of an event like a hurricane or flood, it is likely that your facility can become infested with pests. Mice, mosquitos, or other pests can be difficult to get rid of once they settled in. Part of any backup plan should involve the actual recovery of your business.
Once the event has passed and your people have been secured, it is time to bounce back. Have the contact information for professional pest control. Build a strategy to deal with the negative publicity of a pest infestation by being honest about the situation and the actions you are taking to correct it.
When it comes to your IT services, work with an expert provider to set recovery time objectives and general data protection regulations. Nothing can fully prepare you for a disaster. That makes it even more critical that everyone knows their role and the actions to take. Business continuity management can be a difficult challenge. It is essential that you work with stable and reliable partners. A disaster recovery plan can save your business.