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As a small business owner, you know that disasters can strike at any time and devastate your operations. Whether it’s a natural disaster, a cyberattack, or a power outage, having a solid disaster recovery plan in place is essential for the survival of your business.

With so much at stake, it’s best to have a disaster recovery plan. Having a plan will keep you on track and help mitigate risk. But according to the U.S. Chamber of Commerce Foundation, just 17% of small businesses have an effective disaster continuity plan.

This blog outlines some key steps to create a disaster recovery plan for small businesses.

7 Steps to Create a Small Business Disaster Recovery Plan

1. Create an Emergency Response Plan

Developing an emergency response plan helps small business owners and staff prepare for the worst-case scenario, which could prevent costly downtime or lost data from happening.

When developing an emergency response protocol for your business, it’s important to consider who should be involved and what duties and responsibilities each person should have. It will help outline how a disaster should be handled step-by-step, ensuring everyone knows their role. It’s also important to discuss potential steps a business should take to protect assets, inventory, and other property, as this will help ensure business continuity during a disaster. Finally, it’s vital to have a protocol for whom to contact and in what order, including authorities, yourself, and your security team, if you have one.

2. Develop a Business Continuity Strategy

A business continuity plan should supersede the disaster recovery concept, including components such as assigning responsibilities to team members, codifying recovery procedures, and developing workarounds. Each part of the organization must be aware of its role in the plan and the steps it should take in the event of an emergency. A framework for the plan should cover the infrastructure, fulfillment, customer service, human resources, and risk scenarios. It should also include a checklist to address all contingencies.

Testing is essential to identify and address weaknesses. You can create a structure for the plan and assign roles to team members. Formalizing recovery methods will also help you develop solutions for problems brought on by the loss of IT infrastructure.

3. Make a Communication Plan

As part of small businesses disaster recovery planning, creating a communication plan is essential. This involves ensuring that all channels, such as social media platforms and newsletters, are available to inform customers and clients about the organization’s state. Notifications should be posted outside the business and published notes in local newspapers.

In addition, emergency supply kits for employees should be created, including bottled water, first aid, cash, and device chargers. These kits can be regularly tested and tweaked to ensure they are effective in case of a disaster. Such measures will help business continuity plans to be effective and time-tested.

4. Review your Insurance Coverage

Companies should review their existing insurance policy to ensure they have sufficient coverage to pay for a disaster’s direct and indirect costs. For example, businesses should have coverage to replace or repair damaged or destroyed inventory, machinery, or other property. In addition, companies may need additional insurance that protects their business against specific disaster risks in the area.

This could include disaster insurance for natural disasters, such as hurricanes and earthquakes, or business insurance policies that cover specific disaster-related risks, such as cyberattacks and terrorist attacks. Businesses may also need to purchase add-ons to their insurance policy that cover damages away from their premises. Finally, companies should ensure no gaps in their coverage that could prevent them from collecting in the event of a disaster.

5. Compile Important Contact Information

To create a small business disaster recovery plan, it is imperative to have vital information at hand. It includes contact details of key people and organizations to contact during a disaster, such as local emergency management agencies, major clients and customers, insurance agents, and insurance company claim representatives. A structure for the plan can also be developed, allowing roles to be assigned and formalizing recovery methods.

Once the plan structure has been formalized, it is essential to identify potential scenarios and create responses to them. This will help with disaster preparedness and response efforts. In addition, to document contact information for those in the plan, creating a list of vital information for each person or organization that should be included in the program is essential. This includes their role in the business and any exceptional circumstances that could impact recovery efforts.

6. Duplicate and backup records and data

In a disaster, it’s vital to ensure your business’ backup and disaster recovery (BDR) plan is up-to-date. It ensures that critical data is not lost during a natural disaster, cyberattack, or hardware failure. In addition, you can use a backup device or solution on your computer to back up data. The latter can be a good option for businesses that want the assurance of continuous backup without hassle.

A backup solution on your computer can automatically back up important data and files to an external drive or the cloud. It ensures your business’s vital information is safe from natural disasters, cyberattacks, and hardware failure. Before implementing a BDR solution, it’s essential to understand the different options available. It will help you decide the best fit for your business needs and budget.

7. Test Your Plan

A disaster recovery plan is a crucial part of any business’s infrastructure. However, it must be tested frequently and revised as necessary to account for any changes in the industry. It would help if you had a strategy to try in your disaster recovery plan. Assign roles to team members and formalize the disaster recovery methods you intend to use.

Additionally, it would be best if you created solutions for problems caused by the loss of IT infrastructure. Finally, make sure your backup and disaster recovery plan is up to date and familiar with the FEMA guidelines. It will help prevent any catastrophes.

Conclusion

A disaster recovery plan is a plan that details your business’s backup plan and recovery plan in the event of data loss or other natural disasters. Any company that faces data loss or disruption to its operations needs a disaster recovery plan. It will help ensure minimal data loss and a speedy recovery. If you want a backup solution for your business, contact our experts at Braver Technology Solutions.

Braver Technology Solutions  |  WeMakeITWork@BraverTechnology.com
Boston 617.315.8515 | Taunton 508.824.2260 | Providence 401.484.7900

Braver Technology Solutions LLC

Kenny Rounds is the founder and CEO of Braver Technology Solutions. Kenny has established an impeccable business reputation for enhancing the technology environment of his clients while guiding and educating them around the perpetually shifting industry.

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