No matter the size of your business, the ability to continue doing business after a catastrophic event can be critical to the long run success of your company. Setting up a plan is simple if you follow these steps:
- Identify what you will need to continue working if your office was no longer accessible.
- Have a computer setup with the software you currently use so you can move to that system without any lapse in time or service to the customer.
- Review your communications, (telephone, email, ordering software, etc), that will allow you to fill your customer’s needs.
- Keep the alternative office and equipment off site, (home office or another location)
- Conduct an annual review of the plan and update as needed.
Flesh out each step to identify what you will need. It is best to keep things as simple as you can by not “doubling up” on everything. Remember, you will only need to keep your business running in this manner temporarily.
Some steps can be taken ahead of time that will significantly help in the event of a catastrophe. One way is to digitize your phones. We use Vonage, a voip system that uses the internet to transmit phone calls. The numbers did not change and if we lost the internet, power or worse, we would get our phone call in an email. Another step is off site back up where your data can be saved and easily accessible. Yet another step is to make a periodic image copy of your hard drive so that it can be used to replace a failed drive. The image has all the programs and data you are using up to the point it was created.
The Business Continuance Plan, (BCP), is something to think about periodically and updated as your business changes. An annual review is always a great idea to update your software needs, etc.