A small business is seldom immune, and in many cases a small business is the most vulnerable of all businesses because they simply aren't prepared for disasters. Large corporations allocate resources (staff and budgets) and are as a whole more prepared to face the unexpected. Most of the fortune 500 companies have disaster recovery plans in place to insure the continuity of their businesses.
So, what's the key ingredient necessary to recovery from a disaster with the least amount of damage to the business? It's really very simple. The key ingredient is a having a plan before the disaster strikes. It is virtually impossible, to be organized and strategically think through and implement a disaster recovery plan while in the throws of a disaster.
However, when all conceivable disasters have been imagined and contingency plans are calmly and methodically implemented in advance, a company has a tremendous advantage. Contingencies are now in place to fall back on when and if a disastrous event occurs. You are beginning to get the picture. Protecting the company assets and sustaining the least amount of damage, is simply a matter of planning and making that plan known to all corners of the corporation. It is importing to oversee properly implemented prior to any need. This is business continuity in a nutshell, and business continuity is becoming more and more important as we move into the new millennium.
Business continuity, for the small entrepreneur, doesn't have to be as complicated as we try to make it.
A few simple questions can help you determine how extensive your disaster recovery system needs to be. One of the first questions to ask is what would happen to the business if all of the data processed in the last hour was lost? How hard would it be to recover if you lost all of the data over the last 24 hours? Or what about losing a week's worth of data? If you are a banker, or a stock broker, losing even hour's worth of data would be unacceptable. You can imagine the nightmares that would cause! However, if you are a shoe store, losing data for a day would be inconvenient, but not tragic. These types of questions will help you determine the level of risk your company can live with, and how to move forward in your planning.
If data recovery is essential to your business, experts in this field are available to make sure you have done all that can be done to minimize any damage that could be caused from a disaster of any type. Expert disaster recovery planners and business continuity planners are trained to help find solutions that are not obvious. It is not necessary to re-invent the wheel!
If you are like most small entrepreneurs, you are probably able to put a perfectly good plan in place on your own. Take a few minutes and imagine the most disastrous event that could happen to your small business right now ? Do you have a plan as to how your small business would attempt to recover? A scary thought, but isn't it something that you should take a minute to consider and plan for. This enables you to put into place NOW the very things that you would want and need to have at the time of the disaster.
Pre-disaster planning makes recovering from the unthinkable possible. If you fail to plan, you can plan to fail. It is simple. Don't think planning for disasters are something to put off until you have nothing else to do. The success of your small business may depend on your taking the time now to review your situation carefully and consider all of the worst case possibilities for disasters that you hope never happen. Remember, disasters don't make appointments to happen!
What can I do if I didn't do my disaster recovery planning?
The most common disaster for a company is not the Tsunami or the hurricane, but the simple loss of data. Computer crashes, hard drive failures, and software malfunctions cost corporations millions of dollars every day. Disaster recoveries are completely dependent on the reliability of the backup systems in place at the time of disaster.
Server disaster recovery software is available for those caught without a plan or those who failed to properly implement a data backup plan. It is not always reliable, and often a very costly solution for a business. So, why take the risk. Consider your business continuity planning a top priority. If a disaster should strike, you will be very glad you did!
Renee Rich is a success entrepreneur and freelance writer offering guidance and suggestions for small to mid-sized businesses concerned with business continuity, time management, strategic internet marketing, business & money. Her many articles on these topics can be found at She gives information and tips to help grow your business, save money, and make informed buying decisions. You can find more information at: