In the face of catastrophe, natural or man-made, a business can be left in turmoil, resulting in loss of work time and, thus, loss of business. The main question is how deep that loss will be.
Planning ahead is the best way to minimize loss in the long run. In order to ensure the least possible fallout in the event of a disruption in business, a company needs to have a disaster recovery plan in place.
Though a recovery plan can be quite lengthy, it can generally be broken down into five major steps:
1) Understand Your Business
Before you begin writing your plan, it is important to define your business in writing. Establish the basics of the company and what you are trying to achieve. You should also take inventory of how the company works and the essential day-to-day operations that keep it running.
2) Make the Necessary Preparations
In order to be well prepared for a possible disaster, you should identify what those possible disasters are. What disruptions are likely to come up? It can be helpful to play out some hypothetical scenarios and make a checklist of all equipment that can be used to aid recovery.
3) Implement a Plan of Action
Next, divide the plan into categories to make it more manageable. Come up with a plan of action for communication, clients or customers, vendors, employees and digital backups. These indexes will make it easier to utilize the plan if and when it is needed.
4) Manage and Maintain the Plan
Once the plan is made, it should be distributed to all employees so that they can familiarize themselves with it. When new employees are hired, the plan should be incorporated into any training or orientation they complete. Most importantly, the plan should be updated as often as necessary. As a business grows, so do its needs.
5) Drill and Practice
Aside from just reading the plan, employees should have an opportunity to practice what they will do in an emergency. Similar to the fire drills you had back in grade school, it is wise to practice your disaster recovery plan duties and procedures so that everyone is on the same page.
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