The Importance of Disaster Recovery Plans for Small Businesses

By Randall Orser | Small Business

capsized-piggy-2015-12-09Disasters can strike any time or anywhere, and they can impact businesses of all sizes. Small business owners who think they don’t need disaster recovery plans are likely to find themselves struggling to recover in the event of a natural, economic, or other type of disaster.

The purpose of a disaster recovery plan is to spell out the actions that should be taken to protect the interests of the business, its employees, and its customers in the event that a serious problem impacting the company’s operations arises. Business owners who fail to plan for disaster recovery are at a loss regarding how to proceed when things go wrong.

Once a disaster strikes, it’s too late to stop and go through the planning process. To be effective, a disaster recovery plan must be in place before a problem arises. While it may not be possible to plan in advance for every possible situation that can harm a business, some problems are more likely to occur than others. By coming up with contingency plans for the most likely disasters, the negative effects of such events can often be mitigated.

The first step in creating a disaster recovery plan is to create a list of the events that are most likely to interfere with the company’s operations. For example, businesses located along the Gulf of Mexico need to have plans in place for handling a hurricane strike. Companies in parts of California need to have contingency plans in place for dealing with earthquakes and wildfires. All business that depends on access to data and information technology need to prepare for how to continue operations in the event of a server failure.

An effective recovery plan will list each possible type of problem and specify the steps that should be taken in the event that disaster strikes. Details about who is responsible for carrying out each step of the recovery plan should be specified very clearly, so there is no confusion regarding who is accountable for each task. When recovery plans can be implemented immediately, the process of returning to normal operations can be expedited.

Communicating the disaster recovery plan to everyone involved is very important. The plan itself isn’t what will help your business bounce back as quickly as possible from a disaster. It is the implementation of the plan that will help the company recover. When your disaster plan is written, it’s important to make sure that each employee knows his or her responsibilities and is prepared to act quickly and decisively toward the end purpose of helping the company return to business as normal.

About the Author

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