Developing a Disaster Recovery Plan

January 13th, 2012

If you are a small business owner, you are probably aware that disasters can happen. Disasters can come in many forms. What if there is an earthquake, flood, or some other natural disaster that damages all your data? Imagine if a well-meaning employee accidently erases a crucial file? What if you download a virus that destroys important documents? These what-ifs can have you dizzy and worried. That’s why it’s vital that you develop a strong disaster recovery plan.

Decide What’s Important

The first step is knowing what you have and what’s essential. Take an inventory of all the data that is critical for your business to run. This will lead you to the data that needs to be backed up. Using an online provider or the cloud to store all of your data is one way to guarantee data recovery if your hard drive crashes and burns.

Make a Plan

The second step is figuring out the steps that need to be taken to get your company back on its feet as quickly as possible. Think about the worst possible scenario and how to recover from that. Which systems have to be recovered first and what technology is going to be required to do this?

Know Your Workflows

I’m sure you have a general understanding of the way your organization is run, but knowing each and every process is nearly impossible. That’s why you have employees. Have your employees document their workflows so that any team member can execute the tasks in case of an emergency.

Decide Who is in Charge

Depending on the type of disaster you go through, your employees could panic.  Before this happens, select one levelheaded person in the company to be “in charge” of the disaster recovery plan. They should know the plan as well as you do and maybe have helped you develop it. This is the person you turn to for execution of the plan, so that you can be the strong leader your employees need at a time like this.

When we hear of disaster people often think it can’t happen to them, but we never know what is around the corner. It’s important to be prepared. Having a strong disaster recovery plan will not only make you feel more secure, but will comfort your employees as well.

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