Successful small business owners know that in order to remain successful they must prepare both for when business is going very well, as well as when negative events, such as a natural disaster occur.
While admirable, it’s simply not enough to prepare for good things such as a banner busy season because negative events do occur. Business owners who prepare for both the positive and the negative events that invariably happen in life, are the ones who will survive as well as thrive beyond a catastrophic event.
Evaluate Key Assets
Consider what your business would need right away in order to survive a natural disaster such as a flood, fire, or hurricane. What assets, both physical and virtual, come to mind? If you need to consult with others in your organization to create a list of essential assets, by all means do so. Having a clear understanding of what you need to protect the most, is the first step in a business recovery plan.
CONSIDER Possible Scenarios
Now that you know the assets necessary for your business to get up and running, consider each natural disaster likely to occur in your region. Then evaluate what would it take for you to respond most effectively to each possible scenario. This is the time to go into some detail for each possible negative event. How a business handles a lengthy blackout is vastly different than a response to a fire or flood.
Cover all the Bases
Consider all the various aspects of your business such as physical assets, virtual assets (business data), as well as personnel assets (critical employees) that mean the most. Perhaps your business relies on a steady flow of physical inventory in order to run smoothly.
Other types of businesses (especially online companies) rely very heavily on access to their business data and computer equipment in order to operate. Other businesses such as a plumbing or electrician’s shop, center their business around the availability of their expert employees.
Test your Disaster Recovery Plan
Depending upon the organization, testing a DR plan may include: how to keep employees safe until a threat is over, checking alternative ways in which to communicate with others both inside and outside the business, how to restore access to data and computer hardware, and in some cases, where to set up an alternative location to work from until the original physical location is restored.
Interested in more tips on preparing for natural disasters? Check out 7 Tips for Preparing Your Business IT for a Hurricane