Many of the small businesses devastated by Hurricanes Florence and Michael probably wish they had put a Disaster Recovery Plan in-place before being struck. Hindsight is always 20/20. But it does not take a major hurricane to bring your business to a grinding halt. It could be a fire, server failure, burst water pipe, data breach, a runaway vehicle plowing into your building or one of dozens of other calamities. Your ability to recover quickly will affect your business's bottom line—and your employees, customers, vendors and suppliers.
FEMA estimates that nearly half of small businesses facing a disaster never reopen their doors. That’s why it’s critical to have a disaster recovery plan in place before the unthinkable strikes. Knowing what to do in an emergency will help you spring into action so you can resume serving your customers and community.
SCORE Citrus/Levy County is planning on hosting a Disaster Recovery Plan workshop in the very near future so stay tuned. In the meantime, go to our website, www.citruscounty.score.org At the very top, type “disaster recovery plan” into the search window and click the Search button. There you will find plenty of pages of free information on how to start planning for disaster recovery, checklists, resources for help when you face a disaster and much more advice and information at your disposal. All at no cost to you.
Here are a few key takeaways to start considering now:
2. Who will be on your recovery team and what are their roles and responsibilities?
3. What potential impact would a disaster have on your business? (For example, lost revenue, additional expense, unhappy customers, etc.)
4. Where will you temporarily relocate your business in the event of an emergency?
5. How will you communicate (internally and externally) during a disaster? Do you have emergency contact info readily accessible and multiple methods of communication available?
6. What procedures should be followed if you experience an interruption in accessing the technological tools necessary for running your business? What team members and vendors will manage the technical recovery process?
7. What data will need to be available at your off-site emergency location?
8. What are the critical business functions within your company and how will you restore them?
9. Do you have adequate insurance coverage to cover you in a disaster?
10. Do your vendors and suppliers have disaster recovery plans? Do you have backup vendors and suppliers you can depend on if yours are temporarily unable to serve you?
11. Have you communicated your disaster recovery plan with everyone within your organization and key business partners, so they're ready to act if an emergent situation arises?
The above are just a sampling of what you will need to address if you ever face an emergency that renders your business temporarily inoperable. If you need assistance in making sure you cover all the bases, consider reaching out to SCORE Citrus/Levy County at 352-249-1236. In addition to expertise and experience in all aspects of starting, running and growing a small business, we also have a Certified Mentor with risk management experience.
With the livelihood of your business on the line, there are many good reasons to make disaster planning a priority. Plan now to avoid debilitating consequences later.