Preparing for the Unexpected with a Disaster Recovery Plan

Whatever size business you run, wherever you run it from, it is imperative you have a Disaster Recovery Plan. 'Disasters' don't just mean catastrophes like floods or fires. Anything that can bring business to a halt can be classed as a disaster.

Things like adverse weather conditions that hold staff back from getting into work, public transport strikes that do the same, police incidents or terrorist alerts that block access to your premises, power cuts and telephone or broadband outage. All of these can prove disastrous because they will stop you serving and communicating with your customers.

How long could you continue without your data, systems or telephones?

Imagine not being able to access your operating systems, data, files or telephone lines. How long do you think it would be before you started losing customers?

Precisely why you need to put together a Disaster Recovery plan. The plan will include contingencies for every critical element of your business. It will make you think about back-up plans for everything from accessing your data to keeping your lines of communication open and providing somewhere for your staff to work from.

Making good use of the cloud

When it comes to methods of continuing to run 'business as usual', lots of companies are getting set up to work remotely. If staff can work from home then everything can continue even if they're unable to get into work. Cloud based technologies will allow you to provide staff with remote means of accessing your company network. They'll be able to login to their own familiar desktop and access all their files and software just as if they were at work.

Another cloud based technology that proves incredibly effective as a back-up plan is a hosted telephone system. Also known as VoIP, this is basically a telephone system that works over an internet connection. So it's not affected by outage at the local exchange, and can be operated from anywhere. In fact with just a flick of a switch it can transfer to a back-up plan whereby your calls are re-routed to another number. Callers won't know any different so there's no losing face - or business.

Some companies are signing up to a secondary internet connection too to cover them in the event of losing their main broadband. This secondary connection comes via a wireless source, so is not dependent on any exchange and therefore makes an excellent back-up plan.

Make today the day you put together a Disaster Recovery plan

If your business hasn't yet put together a Disaster Recovery plan or you are yet to think about how you would react in a situation that could potentially stop you operating as normal, make today the day you take action.

If you'd like some help in getting started, your bookkeepers can prove a useful resource.

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