Small businesses have the hardest time with continuity of operations planning and insuring their operational integrity against the worst. From smaller budgets to solutions that simply aren't built for the scale at which a small business operates, it can be a challenge to protect the company from a natural or man-made disaster, and do so without breaking the bank.
According to Insurance News Net, there are five steps that every small business should take to help minimize risk and ensure they are able to bounce back after a crisis. Whether it's a hurricane or a data center power outage, small businesses have to be prepared. The Institute for Business and Home Safety reports that at least 25 percent of all small businesses fail following a disaster that they could have recovered from. Don't let your firm be among them.
Assess risk – The very first thing any company has to do, big or small, when it comes to disaster recovery planning, is assess the risks that your business faces. Every firm has unique challenges they have to overcome, whether they are based on location, business size or industry. Understanding these risks will allow a firm to develop a more customized, accurate strategy for overcoming a crisis.
Invest in insurance – Disaster insurance is a critical component of any business continuity plan. Companies that don't invest in insurance are only fighting half the battle. Being financially prepared for a disaster, as well as operationally, will minimize risk while promoting a swifter recovery on all fronts.
Perform systems analysis – IT is just as important as finances when it comes to disaster preparedness. Small businesses have to preform an IT systems assessment to address any potential weak points, as well as backup redundancies to ensure data loss is minimized and recovery speed is optimized.
Start now – Of course, one of the most important parts about ensuring the success of business continuity planning is starting as soon as possible. If your company doesn't have a strategy in place, you need to start working on one today, because the next crisis could be right around the corner. Consider the storms, power outages and snow emergency conditions in New England currently, and how small businesses in those states are fairing through the storm.
Reassess your plan – Last but not least, it is critical for a small business to reassess its disaster plan on a regular basis. Any time new technology is introduced, new employees are hired or a new year passes, it is essential to take a second look at your business continuity plan and ensure that it still meets operational demands.
For assistance in minimizing disaster risk, invest in business continuity consultants who can guide your company through the process.