How To Create A Disaster Plan For Your Business

Being prepared for a disaster is very important for any business owner. It means that if the worst happens, you can keep things running as smoothly as you can. You’ll be able to keep working whether you’ve been hit by a flood, a hacking attempt, or a global pandemic. With proper planning, you can carry on serving customers, helping clients, and most importantly, keeping your business going. 

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Step One: Determine The Scope Of The Business Continuity Plan

This means identifying the areas of your business that could be impacted, how bad the impact could be, and the best plans to address these risks. This scope should cover how you’ll manage payroll, communicate with customers, and keep services on track. 

With no plan, you have to react to recover from a problem. Be proactive to prevent a disaster happening at all. Your plan should include a communication plan, budget, timeline, and roles and responsibilities. 

Step Two: Identify The Business Functions At Risk

What functions of your business would be most at risk in a disaster? Common areas to be impacted are network, data, and communications devices (IT services can help to protect these properly). Your whole business could be damaged by disasters that impact your physical office or storefront. 

Make a list of all your hardware and software. Include any serial numbers, license keys, passwords and technical manuals so you can restore systems. This also helps to process insurance claims faster. Keep these details on the cloud so you can access them easily, even if the office isn’t accessible.  

Step Three: Define The Disaster Risks

Disaster risk will be different in different locations. For example, if you’re based in Florida, you’re more likely to have a tornado problem than an office in London would. Find out what the local risks are, whether extreme weather or wildfires. Plan for these problems. Where you are, you could be hit by fires, electricity outages and hacking.

Step Four: Develop And Test Tactical Components

Find an alternative place for your employees to work. If you have the infrastructure for remote workers already in place, make sure these people can carry on as usual. Plan to move more people to remote work and change over business functions. If you can’t manage things remotely, find co-working spaces in the local area that you could use if you needed to. 

Backup your data in the cloud. Make sure that you can run all your services wither in the digitally or in the cloud. What equipment might you need? Do you know where to get this equipment if you need it? For cybersecurity risks, run a thorough security assessment to review your processes and network to find any vulnerabilities. 

Step Five: Assess, Refine, And Test

Share the recovery plan with the whole company. Other team members may have ideas to improve it or have questions that find areas you forgot to plan for.

Test the plan a couple of times a year. This means you can adjust if something changes, and also make sure everyone is familiar with the plan so downtime can be minimised if you need it for real.

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