While you probably have systems in place to protect your data and equipment during the regular day-to-day, have you given much thought to what you’d do in the aftermath of a disaster? Unfortunately, when the unexpected happens, too many small businesses have to shut down — at least temporarily. Don’t let costly downtime impact your bottom line! Learn how to create a business disaster recovery plan so that you can protect your business and remain productive.
What Is Business Disaster Recovery and Why Is It Important?
Business Disaster Recovery is a term that refers to the process of recovering from a disaster. It can include recovery from natural disasters like floods, fires, earthquakes, or hurricanes — and emergencies like cyberattacks and power outages.
Disaster Recovery vs. Business Continuity
While disaster recovery and business continuity planning involve recovering from disruptive events, they focus on different aspects of business operations.
- Disaster recovery focuses on IT systems and how businesses can recover them if destroyed or damaged.
- Business continuity focuses on people and how they can continue working even if their systems aren’t operational.
Why Is Disaster Recovery Important for Businesses?
Data loss from a disaster often leads to lost productivity, revenue, and downtime, which can make or break small businesses with limited budgets. For example, the Small Business Association estimates the average cost of downtime per hour ranges from $500 to $1,000 for small businesses. That means a full day of downtime could cost up to $24,000!
Small Business Disaster Recovery Planning: What to Do Before, During, and After an Emergency
From floods to fires, many disasters can affect your business operations and compromise the ability to run your business. Here’s what you should do before, during, and after a disaster.
Before: Establish a Disaster Recovery Team and Plan
Long before disaster strikes, you need a plan! Identify a disaster recovery team, which should include everyone responsible for your company’s data and systems.
- IT personnel
- Financial managers
- Customer service representative
- Others who have access to sensitive information
Next, create your business disaster recovery plan.
Create Your Disaster Recovery Plan
A good plan can help prevent the loss of valuable data, equipment, and even lives. Your plan should be clear, concise, and easy to read, and include the following items.
- A list of all assets (physical or digital) important to your business operations
- A list of all data sources, systems, and business processes (Don’t forget to back up your data regularly too!)
- Contact information for vendors and suppliers, along with their roles in an emergency
- A list of all vital employees and their essential skills
- A summary of what happens if someone becomes ill or is injured
Need help building your business disaster recovery plan?
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During: How to Weather the Storm and Protect Your Business
Many disasters arise without warning. However, In the event of a severe weather event like a hurricane, you’ll often have time to protect your office before the storm strikes. If so, here’s what you should do.
- Move computers, servers, and other vital equipment to higher ground.
- Shut down electrical equipment that isn’t bolted down or has a battery backup.
- Pack up as much as possible in sealed, labeled boxes.
- Distribute a phone tree of emergency contacts.
After: How to Assess the Damage and Get Back to Business
The aftermath of a disaster can be both emotionally draining and physically exhausting but staying focused is essential.
First, ensure there’s no immediate danger to your employees and staff. Once everyone is safe and accounted for, assess the damage and create an inventory of items you’ll need to either replace or repair. For example, a broken screen or damaged casing is apparent; more subtle damage can include bent pins inside the machine or melted plastic traces on circuit boards.
If you have your data and applications stored on the cloud, you can allow your employees to work remotely while your repairs and/or construction are underway to get your office back up and running.
Get Help from Your Greensboro, NC, Disaster Recovery IT Experts
Make sure your business is ready when disaster strikes! Total Computer Solutions can provide prompt, local support before, during, and after an emergency.
Contact Us Today to Get Started on Your Disaster Recovery Plan
Call 336-632-0860 or schedule your FREE consultation.