When a natural disaster occurs, the first duty of the owners of small and medium-sized businesses should be ensuring that all employees and their families are safe. Once this has been completed, an employer will hopefully have engaged in business continuity planning, and be prepared to roll out a protocol for getting employees back to work as soon as possible.
The failure to do so could have devastating financial consequences for a business owner. According to a presentation by the computer manufacturer HP and small business counseling resource SCORE, no geographic region in the country is completely immune to disaster conditions. And when emergency strikes, small and medium-sized businesses are reported to be the most vulnerable.
As one small business owner reported in the Access Markets International 2009 U.S. Small Business Overview Study, $2,000 is lost everyday that business operations cannot proceed on a normal schedule, which can significantly impact companies without the emergency resources of a larger corporation.
Considering the financial damage a disaster bears on employers, it would greatly benefit a business' decision makers to factor a fully functional hot site into a company's business continuity plan so employees can immediately resume their duties should the primary site prove non-functional.
However, hot sites can be costly, and the task of moving a company's entire data log to a remote site can put an incredible amount of stress on small business owners already burdened with many other responsibilities.
Therefore, it would be wise for employers to enhance disaster preparedness by deploying the services of a certified disaster consultant. With years of experience in hot site negotiation, a disaster consultant can level the playing field for a small business owner looking to equip an alternative site with the appropriate technology at a reasonable price. Moreover, it would be wise for business owners to research disaster consultants who promise free services unless they can provide savings.