With an estimated 28 million small businesses in the US alone, that equates to a lot of business owners! When running a business, there are so many responsibilities and tasks to take care of, it can be easy to simply forget about things that don’t appear to require immediate attention, disaster recovery plans being one of them.

Whilst we’d all like to think ‘business disasters happen to other businesses, not mine’, there’s no guarantee that it won’t happen to you at some point. And, with the number of potential disasters that can happen at any moment to small businesses, it’s almost impossible to block them altogether.

This is why having multiple disaster recovery plans before you need them is essential. So, if an unfortunate disaster were to occur, you’ll have a bespoke recovery plan already in place instead of rushing around, stressed, unsure how to resolve the situation. So, if you’ve not given much thought to business disasters and how you’ll recover, here are some plans you can get building right away to ensure you’re ready if disaster strikes.

Get all the insurance

Before even beginning to start a recovery plan, it’s essential you have all relevant insurance in place. There are plenty of ways to save money and cut costs when running a small business, but insurance isn’t one of them.

If you’re a new business owner and unsure of exactly what you’ll need if a disaster hits you, get in touch with a trusted insurance agent for expert advice. It’s likely you’ll need insurance that will grant significant compensation for any large losses you have, and even give your business money to keep things running until you’ve fully recovered and can start earning again.

Data protection

Aside from events such as floods or fires, almost every disaster a business could experience will be technical. Data is hands-down one of the most essential components of any business, regardless of size, and it’s crucial you’re able to recover everything even after an IT disaster has struck.

Creating backups is the obvious solution, but it’s important to create an off-site backup as well as using your computers on-site. If you don’t, if a disaster causes all your on-site computers to fail as well as the internal server you’re using, all your backups will be lost as well as the original data itself.

Physically moving your data backups to another location is an option, but what happens if they get lost whilst en-route to their destination?

Cloud storage is, therefore, one of the most secure data backup systems you can use, simply because it’s easily accessible to those authorized to, and will use a server entirely separate from your own which will protect it from any disasters your business may encounter. To learn more about Cloud storage and get business IT services, a little research goes a long way and will be vital for disaster preparation and recovery in the long-run.

Personnel requirements

Applicable for both physical and technical disasters, every small business will have some sort of personnel needs.

Try building a relationship with other like-minded businesses in your area so, when the time comes, you can perhaps rely on them to provide short-term resources you can use to get your business back on its feet. Or, if a devastating flood were to hit your workplace, do you have a list of people you can rely on to help clean up and salvage anything that’s left?

Thinking about every possible scenario when it comes to disasters is crucial to ensure you’re prepared for anything that comes your way. If your employees are able to do some work from home in the meantime, establish what can be done remotely, and have a plan of who you’re likely to allocate particular tasks to.

Look at the bigger picture

A disaster doesn’t have to happen to your specific workplace to affect your business. Perhaps the vendor you use to deliver the products you sell to customers has a fire in their warehouse, or maybe a disaster up the street could prevent any of your employees from getting to work.

Looking at the bigger picture and identifying everything you rely on to keep your business afloat will allow you to figure out any added plans or negotiations that need to be in place.

The goal of any small business owner is to keep their business safe and smoothly-run but, in the event of a sudden disaster, this simply isn’t possible. But as long as you plan ahead and come up with recovery strategies for virtually anything that could go wrong, you’ll be in the best position possible to handle whatever comes your way.

Lucas Giles owns a small computer and IT business. He also loves to provide information and research to others by posting on a variety of small business and tech websites.

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