57% of all small businesses do not have a disaster recovery plan ( yes 57% – you are not misreading). Now it’s true that most small businesses like yours will not experience a natural disaster that threatens your physical premises. However, it’s kind of like buying home owner’s insurance. You probably will never need it. But you may need it once, and it’s a lifesaver that one time you do need it! Without a database security plan, you’ll significantly hurt your profitability at best. And at worst, you’ll lose your entire business.
What should you do?
Let me explain with these tips:
1. What is a “disaster?”
When most businesses refer to this term, they mean a flood, fire, or tornado – something physically destructive. However, other “disasters” exist which are not physical but nonetheless cause great damage and disruption to your business. Power outages, computer hardware problems, telecommunications issues, and software problems all cause a ton of trouble. Or a computer virus. How will you respond to those situations?
2. A Couple of Important Questions to Ask Yourself :
To determine whether other situations qualify as “disasters,” you should ask yourself these questions:
- If any of these other events, like power outages, happened, how long could you stay out of production and not suffer catastrophic revenue loss, or worse?
- What industry regulations, if any, govern disaster recovery for your business?
3. Is Your Leadership Prepared?
All leadership and key employees should know precisely what to do when disaster strikes. That’s a must have. And, it’s nice to have backup personnel trained and ready. That’s not a must – but you should have them prepared.
4. Designate a “Disaster Recovery” Crisis Management Team:
If you’re a larger company, this could be several teams. If you’re a smaller company, all you need are different personnel to handle various areas of responsibility. Whoever ends up forming this team, the senior leaders on it must declare the actual crisis, communicate the initial objectives, and then guide the rest of the recovery. Other personnel on the team should build the specific plan that oversees the crisis, assign responsibilities to appropriate personnel, and manage the plan hands-on as recovery happens.
5. Evaluate Your Disaster Recovery Plan:
Let’s be clear – we could write a whole serious of blog posts on evaluating your disaster recovery plans. But we’ll give you the quick version here:
- Test it once per year
- Inventory your equipment, examine readiness, and see if you have any preparation gaps
- Give everyone in your company a copy of the plan and get feedback
- Make sure your senior management participates in the process and is ready to commit the time and financial resources to do so
Is disaster recovery planning something you don’t know how to do? That’s okay – you can always hire an IT support team to help you. It could be the difference between your business succeeding and failing.
For more information about Data Backup and Disaster Recovery, download our eguide: