How do you plan for the unexpected? This isn’t a question you want to be asking yourself after a disaster has happened. Much the same way you use an insurance policy, a disaster recovery plan helps you limit the damage unexpected emergencies can have on your business.
When figuring out where to start with a disaster recovery plan, it’s easy to let worries over the different types of disasters – fires, theft, natural, etc. – prevent you from knowing how to begin. The truth is that the best disaster recovery plan is one that will work for pretty much any of them. We’ve compiled some tips to help you get on your way.
Step 1: How will you reach your employees?
If your business only has a couple of employees, reaching them is likely not going to be a problem – but once your numbers start to grow, so must your plans. Mobile numbers and email addresses can change, so make sure to ask your staff to keep you updated.
Store a copy of your contact records offsite in a location you can easily access, even if all of your business communication systems went down. (Hint: free services like Gmail or Dropbox are great options)
Step 2: Where will they go?
Depending on your industry, your business activities might need to go on even if your office space is not usable. If this is the case, you will need to plan how your employees can work remotely. If employees can’t work from home, make a list of critical roles that would need a desk and look into emergency office space.
A simple Google search yields plenty of options, so you can find something that’s close to home and also fits your budget. You may even want to plan ahead and store computers or laptops with critical software and system access on site.[bctt tweet=”A good disaster recovery plan will protect your business from all emergencies. Stop worrying; start planning.” via=”no”]
Step 3: How do you let your customers and business partners know?
Much like the employee contact list, you will want to have bulk contact solutions ready that can help you keep your customers and key business partners updated on your circumstances. You may even want to prepare a holding message in advance so that in the event of an emergency, you won’t be scrambling to pull one together.
You might also need to have a crisis PR plan in place if you’ll need to update the media. Decide in advance who will be your key spokesperson and at what points you might want to plan for media updates. Again, having a holding message prepared can save a lot of stress down the line.
Lastly, don’t forget about the power of social media. If your business isn’t already using it, this could be one more reason to take the plunge (check out our guide to social media for small businesses here).
Accidents and emergencies can happen, but you shouldn’t be lying awake at night worrying about them. If you follow the steps above, you can rest assured that you’ll have the basics covered.