From earthquakes and hurricanes to power blackouts and cyberattacks, disasters can wreak havoc on business operations – sometimes permanently. According to the U.S. Small Business Administration, an estimated 25% of businesses don’t reopen after a major disaster.
The good news is that your business can avoid the worst consequences. The key is to think about what to do before a disaster strikes, not after. That may sound obvious, but you’d be surprised how many small businesses lack a plan for restoring operations: A study by Travelers Insurance puts the number at 48%. That same study also found that 56% of business owners spend less than 10% of their time identifying risks to their business operations.
It’s easy to feel overwhelmed by the prospect of a disaster – not only by what could happen, but also by the time, effort and cost of getting prepared. To help make disaster planning more manageable, let’s look at two free resources that are available to help you prepare for the unexpected.
Determine recovery time and costs with Live Consulting's recovery calculator
If a disaster struck your business, what would be required to restore operations and how quickly would you need to get everything functional again? That’s the first thing you need to know to put together a practical plan for keeping your business running. Live Consulting, a Denver-based managed services company, has created an easy-to-use Recovery Time Calculator to help you get started. This free tool enables you to determine how much downtime your business can afford, so you can plan your investment in recovery systems accordingly.
Why should you calculate your recovery time? Different types of business have different recovery requirements, so it’s important to evaluate your business as a specific entity rather than adopting a general categorization. To use an example from Live Consulting, compare a construction company that conducts most of its business out in the field against a stock trading operation that relies entirely on its network. The latter will need to restore its network operations much more quickly than the former to avoid serious damage. That kind of rapid recovery can cost more, but if it’s going to mean the difference between staying in operation and going out of business, the expense will be well worth it.
The Recovery Time Calculator provides a framework within which to think through how you use your business systems, how you protect them and how much their downtime will cost you based on lost revenue, cost of operations, overhead and other factors. Once you know your downtime cost, you have a good foundation for making decisions about how quickly you need to restore operations and how much it’s worth investing in recovery systems.
Step back and see the big picture with MyITpros’ planning document
Thinking through the recovery objectives presented by Live Consulting’s tool is just a small part of planning for a disaster. To help you with everything else, MyITpros offers a free business resumption plan template that covers every aspect of preparation.
With the business resumption plan template, you can:
- Identify potential disruptions and the different types of responses they require
- Set recovery level, recovery time and recovery point objectives
- Assign disaster recovery teams to be in place if a disaster strikes
Most importantly, the template provides you with the components of a complete plan of action for business resumption – everything from communicating with employees, customers and vendors, to locating your data backups, to moving to alternate sites and systems if necessary.
Get these two tools today. They won’t cost you anything, but they could save you plenty of grief by putting you on the path to disaster preparedness.
The purpose of this blog is to answer the questions you ask! Contact MyITpros if you are looking for help getting your business on the right managed services track for business continuity and disaster planning. For more information around disaster preparedness, check out our related posts on disaster recovery.