Did you know that you can disaster-proof your business? Whether you’re new, or you’ve been running your business for a while, it’s crucial to disaster-proof your business.
In 2021, natural disasters alone caused an estimated global loss of $105 billion. With so much to worry about, it’s hardly surprising that many businesses fail to prepare. Not only doesn’t it feel great when your business fails, but chances are you’ll lose many of your most precious possessions and investments too.
You see, a little bit of disaster preparedness goes a long way. If you don’t have a plan in place for what to do when disaster strikes, your entire business could be put at risk. Read on as we share with you these 15 ways to disaster-proof your business.
How to disaster-proof your business
The best way to disaster-proof your business is to build a system that can handle failure. The key is to create a culture of transparency and accountability, so you can see problems coming and know how to deal with them before they’re even in the picture.
- Set up a disaster recovery plan. This is a written plan to handle critical decisions in the event of a major hardware or software failure or facility destruction.
- Set up an emergency operations plan and test it regularly. This outlines how your company will respond to and recover from a disaster. It includes detailed information on how you will keep your employees, customers, and society safe during the process. We recommend testing the plan twice a year.
Your emergency team should be composed of people with different skill sets who can respond quickly and effectively in an emergency.
- Keep an emergency contact list for all employees, vendors, and customers. Have a plan in place for contacting your employees if disaster strikes.
- Assess possible risks.
- Build an email list. What will you do if your business page gets restricted? What if your website with millions of readers gets hacked? How will you gain your audience back? That’s the power of an email list. You don’t have to start over if you lose your website or social media accounts. You can simply send an email newsletter and inform them of your new accounts or website.
- Create an offsite backup solution for your company’s critical data that’s easy to access and use when needed on any device or operating system (including smartphones).
- Backups of your website (static or dynamic) should be stored on a cloud-based service by your IT provider. This way, they are safely stored offsite in case of a disaster at your physical location (such as fire damage or flood damage). There should be two copies of your website one as a backup and one on a USB flash drive.
- Make sure you have an experienced IT team on call who can troubleshoot any issues that arise with your website or e-commerce platform during an emergency. Also, make sure this team has access to your company’s network remotely so they can fix any issues without having to be physically present at all times.
- Don’t forget about cyber insurance! It could save you thousands if something goes wrong later on down the line. Make sure the coverage you have will protect everything you need.
- Your IT service provider should regularly test your IT systems and disaster recovery plans.
- Data should be stored in multiple, redundant and remote locations (hard drive, offline, etc.).
- Use a password manager to help keep track of your passwords (and make sure they’re strong!) so that when something happens, and one of them gets hacked, the others will still be safe.
- Document everything. Keep multiple copies of your financial files, systems, and processes so that if something goes wrong and you need to refer back to them later, you can do so easily and quickly. Make sure to have copies of these documents stored somewhere outside of your business location.
- You should have your data backed up in multiple locations. Practice the 3-2-1 backup strategy. This rule states that you should have at least three copies of data stored at two locations online and one copy off-site on a flash drive and or printed paper.
- If a cyber attack, natural disaster, or employee theft of key company data takes place, how long will it take you to be up and running?
In a Nutshell
Running your own business is hard work. There will always be unexpected challenges that catch you off guard. But by keeping yourself up to date on the latest trends and vulnerabilities, you can better prepare yourself to face whatever comes your way.
After all, business disasters can be fixed. But they’re much easier to fix when you’ve planned for them in advance. Doing so will limit the damage and make your continued business operation easier. Take the time to consider backups and disaster recovery methods and more. Taking these precautions is one way to keep your business strong and profitable.
If you need help implementing any of these disaster-proof strategies, schedule a free discovery call with our experts today.