Disaster is unavoidable. Weather is unpredictable, accidents happen and people make mistakes, sometimes costly ones. If you’re prepared with a disaster recovery plan, you can save yourself valuable time and money and get back to business with a minimum of fuss.
The first step in creating a disaster recovery plan is to prioritize your data. What is absolutely essential to the running of your business? Storing data in the cloud can ensure that nothing important gets lost permanently. There are numerous cloud storage companies, so finding one that fits your company’s needs shouldn’t take long. For large enterprises, cloud storage may be the only option. But smaller companies do have alternatives. As an additional backup, you could keep essential data, like client and vendor lists, on an external hard drive or thumb drive, depending on the size of your company, and lock it away in a safe place.
Once you’ve determined what data your company can’t function without, you’re ready to formulate an actual plan. Imagine what you would do if your business were destroyed by fire or flood. What steps would you have to take to get your company back in business in the shortest amount of time? What tools would you need? Figuring out how to overcome the worst thing that could happen will help you handle less severe disasters with aplomb.
Indispensable employees are curse. One scenario you definitely want to avoid is the one where mission-critical tasks can’t get done because Joe Everything is out sick and can’t be reached by phone, and no one, not even you, has any idea how to do his job. The best way to ensure that your business keeps running smoothly, regardless of who gets sick or injured and can’t come to work, is to have each employee record the tasks that she is responsible for completing and provide step-by-step instructions on how to do them.
Finally, if you haven’t already, you want to make sure your team operates like a combat platoon when it comes to disaster recovery. In a combat platoon, if the lieutenant falls or gets captured, then the highest ranking noncommissioned officer (NCO) steps up to take over. If the highest-ranking NCO falls or gets captured, then the next in line steps up to take over and so on all the way down to private. When it comes to executing your disaster recovery plan, there should be someone who can take over for you if you aren’t there. And that person should have someone who can take over if he isn’t there and so on, all the way down to the lowest ranking person in the company. This ensures that no matter who is absent, your disaster recovery plan can be executed and your business can be up and running in the shortest amount of time.
Life is unpredictable, so every business should be equipped with some type of disaster recovery plan. Don’t run the risk of losing vital company data to fire, flood or theft by neglecting to store important information and have a way to get your business “back on its feet” as quickly as possible.
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