The day-to-day running of a business is more than enough to keep most entrepreneurs busy! It’s easy to put off disaster-proofing until tomorrow, almost indefinitely, until you find that a disaster has occurred and you don’t have a plan in place.
Disaster-proofing is essential for safeguarding the future of your business, and for restoring your peace of mind, too.
Identify the potential risks
As a business owner in Salt Lake City, some of the disasters that you need to mitigate are unique and based on geographical location.
The most common disasters to occur in Utah are wildfires, floods, severe storms, extreme heat and droughts. This means that you should focus your disaster planning around things like:
- Having to quickly evacuate your premises due to wildfires.
- Destruction of property due to floods.
- Alternative working arrangements if your offices become too hot for people to comfortably work.
Businesses in Salt Lake City wouldn’t need to focus as heavily on things like earthquakes and tornados, because statistically, they are less likely to happen. That doesn’t mean you should ignore these things entirely, but that they don’t need to be such a heavy focus.
All businesses, no matter what their location, also need to mitigate the risk of cyber attacks and hacking, as this could potentially cripple your business.
Identify critical functions
Once you know which disasters you are planning for, the next step in your disaster recovery planning is to identify your critical business functions. You can then create a plan based on keeping them operational in case of a disaster.
For example, if you absolutely can’t operate without your call center, then a key part of your disaster recovery plan should be planning for them to work remotely, and at short notice.
Safeguard your data
An essential part of any disaster recovery planning is to ensure that your data is safe. If you lose your physical servers due to a natural disaster, or your systems are compromised by a cyberattack, you need to know that you will still be able to access critical data and that your customer information is safe.
It’s a good idea to work with IT professionals to create a data recovery and backup strategy, as they will have experience of working with businesses in a multitude of sectors, and will be aware of the latest threats.
Draw up a shortlist of premises that you could move your critical business functions to in case of disaster, at short notice. For example, you could look at co-working spaces.
Be sure that you speak to these premises in advance, because they will be able to give you a better idea of what they can offer.
Insurance and budget
Finally, once you have decided what your disaster recovery plan is, you need to make sure that you can pay for it, should the worst happen.
Calculate how much it will cost to do things like rent temporary premises and reimburse staff for additional travel, and once you have your figure work out where the capital to cover it is going to come from.
Insurance policies may help to soften the blow, but it’s a good idea to have cash reserves as well so that you aren’t caught short.
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