Many small businesses are forced to find out the hard way they were not prepared for a disaster. Hacking, fire, flood, or extended power failure can happen at any time and destroy your business. You may not even realize how dependent your business is on technology until you loose access to your network devices and data.
Follow these four steps to limit downtime after disaster strikes:
#1 Create a business continuity plan and test your plan quarterly
To prepare for the worst, you must not only devise a comprehensive plan, you must test it quarterly. Network threats are constantly evolving and technology is continually advancing. It is imperative to test, evaluate, and update your backup plan on a quarterly basis to ensure full business continuity when disaster strikes.
#2 Hire a reputable managed service provider to handle your network security, data storage and encryption, and to manage your backup appliance
An IT professional will provide you with expertise in protecting your network from hackers. They will make sure all of your data is securely encrypted and stored. Your managed service provider will also help you select and maintain a backup appliance to store your data. Hire a provider capable of tackling all of these important tasks designed to protect your business in a disaster.
#3 Purchase the right backup appliance
Your IT provider should recommend a backup appliance with advanced capabilities designed to reduce your downtime after disaster strikes. While it is extremely important to have a backup appliance that stores your encrypted data, you should invest in an appliance able to perform numerous tasks. It could take days to restore all of your settings and the apps installed on your devices. Buy an appliance that also stores all of this information for a seamless transition to your backup appliance. Don’t try to cut corners when making this important purchase. Your backup appliance could save your business from complete ruin.
#4 Train your employees on how to handle a disaster
Teach your employees your business’s continuity plan inside and out. They should be able to identify their role in the plan and know exactly which tasks to perform in a systematic order to get back up and running. Designate roles and run a practice drill. For example, have one employee designated to deal with the disaster itself. Prepare them to contact your insurance provider, attorney, the authorities and anyone else that may need to be made aware of the situation. Assign another employee to contact your managed service provider to make the switch to your backup appliance. Define employee roles in a disaster and practice carrying them out. A few hours of preparation will save time and money down the road.