Disaster Recovery Planning: How Planning For a Disaster Can Save Your Business
Small business owners who are interested in learning about disaster planning best practices to help increase revenue and reduce risks. Special attention is paid to how technology can significantly reduce data loss risks while also benefiting your business.
Do you remember the last time your business experienced data loss and the inconvenience that ensued due to a server crash, lost notebook or simple employee error?
Protecting your business data is always important, but during the current economic downturn the stakes are even higher. Small businesses are already feeling the pressure of significant revenue declines, disappearing profits and tightening cash flow. Losing business records or simply being “down” without access to vital customer and invoicing information can make a very challenging economic climate impossible to manage through. The losses in terms of dollar value and time can accumulate quickly as most small businesses today create, acquire and manage more data than ever before via email, spreadsheet/word-processing, accounting and payroll software. If customer data is also involved, the small business will have to confront other unforeseen costs related to legal ramifications of losing sensitive customer data.
Disasters do not wait for a convenient time. Disasters that lead to data loss happen at any time and create just the right situation for your data to disappear within the blink of an eye. Disasters leading to data loss can be caused by natural disasters (earthquakes, hurricanes and floods), technical issues (hard-drive failure, virus) or humans (deliberate or otherwise). In fact, 70% of small businesses in the U.S. experienced a data loss in the past year due to technical or human disaster alone [AMI U.S. Small Business 2009 Annual Overview]. Despite these high incidences, few small businesses have a disaster recovery plan to minimize these risks. Interestingly, the absence of a disaster recovery plan isn’t due to lack of interest, knowledge or awareness. For example, Figure 1 shows that the proportion has been growing yearly of small businesses who consider disaster planning important to their business.
Many small businesses find the tasks of developing a disaster recovery plan too overwhelming, too expensive or simply something that can be put off until they finally have the time. This paper will provide the guidance you need to implement a disaster recovery plan by helping to remove those
The purpose of this paper is to help you move from being a small business that is merely interested in disaster recovery to the growing group that realizes they can ill afford to take on any more risks during the downturn and are taking action to ensure their business and its data are properly protected. We will also highlight how a proper disaster recovery plan can benefit your business in other ways including improving employee productivity and potentially increasing revenue.
The first part of this whitepaper explains the risks associated with lackadaisical back-up or disaster planning practices, anecdotes by other small businesses that have “been there, done that” and why they took the leap to develop a back-up/disaster recovery plan. The second portion of this whitepaper lays out specific steps and best practices to help you get your disaster plan up to speed and reduce your business risks.
For more information regarding disaster recovery planning please visit one of the below websites:
www.drj.com: Disaster Recovery Journal with tips, tools and other helpful information to ensure your company is up to date on the latest developments and advancements of disaster recovery planning with a focus on best practices and changing laws and regulations.
www.ready.gov/business: A robust government-sponsored site developed in conjunction with the SBA, U.S. Chamber of Commerce and many other agencies. The site includes tips on disaster recovery planning from basic how-to-advice to broader emergency planning guidance. Since disaster planning and recovery doesn’t end with technology, visit one of the below websites to help you plan and be prepared across other aspects of your business needs.
www.stargazer.org: Stargazer provides practical services that actually help people take action to Get Organized, Take Control, Be Informed and Stay in Touch in time of emergency or disaster. The "learn and do" approach of Stargazer enables users to apply simple technology to protect essential information, to alert others about an emergency situation, and to track people and materials.
www.score.org: Includes “how to” articles and tools in addition to helping you find a local small business mentor, at no cost, to help you on a one-on-one basis.
Have questions about disaster recovery planning? Connect with a SCORE mentor online or in your community today!
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