While no business can be truly prepared for a disaster, business continuity planning can go a long way toward ensuring that a company mitigates the resulting damage. However, since many businesses don’t have the time or the resources to devote frequent attention to emergency planning, these esential documents could fall out-of-date and cause further problems when they’re needed most.
For this reason, small business experts suggest that business owners enlist the support of a disaster recovery consultant that can help them draft contingency plans and update these emergency itineraries regularly. By working with an experienced consulting group, companies may find that their small business recovery process goes smoothly from the initial communications stages, to the relocating of employees to the company’s hot sites and the eventual migration of daily operations back to its old offices.
How businesses can bounce back after a disaster
Entrepreneur Magazine profiled three franchises in 2011 that had positive experiences recovering from a disaster. One example the news source cited was the recovery of Ashland City Snap Fitness – which was hit hard by record-breaking floods in Tennessee – and saw most of its equipment damaged by floods. To make matters worse, the owner had failed to invest in flood insurance or disaster recovery planning, leaving him with $200,000 in damages to pay for, in addition to the lost revenue he would experience from keeping the gym’s doors closed.
However, the owner was saved by his good record keeping, which allowed him to apply for disaster loans to cover the costs. As a result, the business was up in running a matter of months. But, while this story is encouraging – as it shows an owner overcoming a lack of preparation – most business owners aren’t able to fall back on the resources of a larger franchise or on government disaster loans.
Ensuring data protection during a disaster recovery
Without essential business data, companies may not be able to contact their customers and clients after a disaster. This in turn could strain relations with big clients, or force them to do business with a competitor provided data and records are lost altogether.
However, by enlisting experts to help during the planning stages, businesses can draft interim measures that include backing up essential data on alternative worksites and securing temporary equipment to make these essential connections. Still, during a natural disaster, a company’s data access may not be within the realm of its control. Power outages or damage to critical systems could force companies to make snap decisions to ensure their operations. Consulting firms can provide assistance as they are able to help companies draft comprehensive alternative plans, ask the right questions to help ensure their execution and then put these protocols to the test.
How KETCHConsulting can prepare business owners for worst-case scenarios
KETCHConsulting – with its years of industry experience – can help business owners understand the real costs of a data loss or worksite damage, which can then help the company set its expectations and plans accordingly. While getting the facts about the costs of flood, hurricane or tornado damage may be difficult to hear, this information can help prevent the business continuity problems that result from a lack of preparedness.
In addition, KETCHConsulting also specializes in helping municipalities set measures that will increase their continuity of operations planning, bringing peace of mind to residents, who can rest assured that their hometown is prepared, no matter what nature has in store.