Disaster Recovery Plan for Small Business

by Ed Martin

What would happen to your business if you couldn’t be there? Big companies spend a lot of time working on disaster recovery plans in case they lose a critical part of their business infrastructure. As a microbusiness owner, you are a critical part of your business. You are your business. You should have a contingency plan in case something happens to you and you become sick, injured or unable to work for even a short period of time.

It is too late to make plans after a catastrophic event. You need to prepare for this in advance so you can focus on getting better or dealing with your emergency. The biggest risk is a medical problem, but there could also be a family emergency, fire or natural disaster. The SBA has a quick disaster recovery guide for small business to get you started .

Big businesses make sure to have all their data and back-up servers off site. You should consider the same. There are plenty of inexpensive online backup tools like Carbonite and Mozy that can give you the same security. Be sure to include all your customer contact info, emails, whatever you need to keep your business going. That is simple. And then be sure to do the backups regularly.

If you are working on your own, make sure someone else knows where all your data is. Make a plan to inform all your customers and other important people you deal with if you have a problem. Write up some instructions so that someone else can do it if you can’t. Think about who can check your voice and email for you. Consider who can be a backup for you. If you have employees or partners, can they pick up for you? Maybe there is someone you can farm out work to so you don’t have to shut down. It could be better to outsource then shut down.

Disaster planning is really like insurance. It is something that no one really wants to consider, but they are glad they did when something bad happens and they need it. Insurance only works if you buy it before you need it. Disaster recovery planning is the same way. It works best if you do it now, before you ever need it. If nothing else by making a plan you might learn something useful about the way your business.

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