Here’s a scary statistic for you: 95 percent of companies experienced a data outage in the past year. Here’s another one to rattle your entrepreneurial nerves: 32 percent of IT administrators do not test backup solutions for effectiveness.
Now let’s look at the impact of natural disasters on small businesses: Did you know 2,700 small businesses applied for disaster loans due to Hurricane Sandy? That helped save many of them—but not all. About 30 percent of the small businesses affected by the Hurricane had to close their doors for good. So how can you make sure you don’t lose your business (or even productivity) to a disaster? The impact of a disaster on your business hits in several areas. But having a disaster plan can protect you, both for the long and short term.
Here are three tips for protecting your business.
1. Stay Secure:
Do you store your data offsite or even in the cloud? If so, you’re already ahead of the game. However, make sure your hosting company also backs up your website on a daily basis; for extra data security you could do a local backup to your server. Don’t forget to look into insurance to cover your data specifically. Other basics include having a strong password policy, never letting employees access important data on their mobile devices, and investing in a good malware and virus protection program.
2. Have a Backup Plan:
If you can’t make sales, you can’t bring in revenue, so you’d better have a backup plan to continue selling. Whether you move your operation home or to another office facility, make sure your business is ready to go without a hitch. Talk to your staff and vendors about emergency backup plans and who will take care of what so you can keep operating. You don’t want productivity loss to turn into revenue loss.
3. Stay Transparent:
Make sure you have total transparency when it comes to a disaster. Don’t try to hide it from your customers or suppliers. Even if you believe you are still able to run your business as normal, if you let everyone know there is a possibility of delays your business will build a reputation for trustworthiness and honesty—plus your quick recovery is what people will remember, instead of the disaster.
For more help, visit the PrepareMyBusiness.org website. We never want to think about the worst happening, but being prepared can ultimately save you a lot of hassle, and might even save your entire business.
Photo Credit: Павел Игнатов/iStockphoto/Thinkstock