While most business owners focus on beating their competition, freak occurrences like fires, floods, blizzards, theft and data loss can have a much more devastating impact on the company. In those situations, a quick recovery is key to assure your company's survival, as fixed costs remain even when you're out of service.
From major corporations to small businesses, a disaster recovery plan is vital to ensuring your company's success. Here are four tips to help you develop one:
- Risk assessment. Before creating a plan you have to know what can hurt you. Compile a list of possible external threats and then run through examples of what would happen should each occur. Knowing all the possible permutations will help you better plan for mitigating each potential disaster.
- Prioritize. When business operations go down, knowing what order to bring them back up in will help you maintain solvency in the interim and also provide a concrete schedule to have you back at 100 percent. Prioritize what can generate more business and get that and its necessary support systems up first, then move on from there.
- Strategize. Knowing what systems your prioritize over others will also help you better plan for potential next steps as well as preventing disasters from happening in the first place. Insurance can also factor into your mitigation strategy, helping to recuperate losses during downtime.
- Test and maintain. Once you develop a recovery plan, don't let the first test be an actual disaster situation. Schedule regular reviews of the plan, including tests and walkthroughs of various scenarios. This will help you better asses what works well and help you fix what doesn't.
There are so many factors to keep in mind when disaster planning that it can help to have an extra pair of hands working on the problems. Investing in business continuity consultants is the best way to bring experts in to ensure your strategies are up to par.