No matter how well protected your business is, disaster can still strike at any time, so it’s best to be prepared
If you run a small business, coming up with a disaster recovery plan may not be your number one priority. After all, you have the day to day concerns to keep you occupied, why make more work for yourself in case of a data breach or network crash that might never happen? But it especially important for small businesses to plan for disaster, as it is small companies, with less time and money to spare, which are more likely to go under if something goes wrong.
Make your business future proof, with help from the experts at Syntax IT Support London.
What is a disaster recovery plan?
A disaster recovery plan is a written document which lays out the various ways you will protect your business should anything go wrong. It should be kept in a secure, easy to access place, such as Cloud Storage, which you can get to even if your network has been compromised.
It should include short term and long term solutions to problems which will severely limit your ability to conduct day to day business. For example, how you’ll recover your IT infrastructure (the name of a reputable IT company in your local area, and any old software you can use in the meantime), or what you’ll do if your vehicle is stolen (details of local transport links, and car/van hire). Keep the details of your plan up to date by testing it regularly.
Who needs a disaster recovery plan?
There is a common misconception that it is only large corporations, with lots of data and money to lose in the event of disaster, who need to worry about having a recovery plan in place. This is simply not true. Every business, no matter how big or small, can be ruined in a single afternoon if they are unprepared when disaster strikes. In fact, small businesses are even more at risk, as they do not possess the same financial buffers or sophisticated IT systems as big, multi-national companies.
Drawing up a disaster recovery plan is a useful way to determine which assets are most important to the operation of your business. If your business isn’t able to run as normal for a certain period, a recovery plan can minimise the financial impact, and keep the reputation you’ve worked to build intact. A disaster recovery plan doesn’t have to be complicated, just practical. It can be as simple as having a spare laptop, or a way to access documents in case of a power cut.
What should your recovery plan include?
Here is a check list you should bear in mind when creating a recovery plan for a small business:
- Objectives – what is the plan for?
- Scope – what services and locations does the plan cover?
- Internal contacts – who within the business do you need to tell about the disaster?
- External contacts – which customers, clients, suppliers or remote employees do you need to tell?
- Incident response – what type of events will trigger your disaster recovery plan?
- Procedures – how does your plan of action change for different types of incidents?
- Alternative work location – if you can’t access your usual location, from where will you run your business?
- Insurance policies – what are your policy numbers and which one should you call?
- Plan review – how often will you check the details of your plan, and test it works?
Depending on the type of business you run, there may be other, more specific details you should consider, for example, if you’re a delivery company, what will you do if you can’t access your usual vehicle? Planning for the worst will allow you to focus on making a success of the here and now.