Three out of five firms that suffer a major disaster go out of business or are sold. Preparing your business to survive a disastrous event involves a multi-step process: assessment, planning, implementation, testing, and documentation.
- Assessment: Brainstorm and list all potential losses. Then rate them on a 1-10 scale, with 10 being the most disastrous and 1 having the least impact on the business.
- Planning: Formulate a comprehensive, detailed action plan, using both in-house and outside sources. The plan should include both steps to prevent the loss and remedies to take if the loss occurs. Be as specific as possible.
- Implementation: Act on the plan. Determine what steps you must take to now insure a positive outcome if disaster strikes; Who will be accountable for taking these steps when and to whom will they report?
- Testing: For example, if you’re planning to deal with a computer crash, data recovery is essential. Test back-up media regularly to ensure that they will be available when needed. All too many businesses lose data due to malware or mechanical breakdown only to find that their backup is either corrupted or unavailable when needed.
- Documentation: Put the details of the plan (who, what, when, and where) in writing. Keep one copy in the office, another on the computer, a third off premises – and make sure that every manager knows these locations. Finally, review and update the plan every six months.
Although nothing is foolproof, implementing these five steps can go far to prevent a disastrous loss, or at least, mitigate its impact.
To learn more about developing a disaster plan for your business, feel free to give us a call at any time.