What could stop your company from operating for a day, a month, or a year? A flood or fire? Perhaps a key supplier shuts down? Or maybe a hacker or technical glitch crashes your website? And you suddenly lose power? When the hurricanes recently hit Texas and Florida, many businesses had to invest significant time and resources in adapting to the situation which put their overall financial success at risk.
Get started by brainstorming as many scenarios as possible that could devastate your business. The operative word there is "yours." Every company faces distinctive threats related to its size, locations(s), and products or services.
There are some constants to consider, however. Seek out alternative suppliers who could fill in for your current ones if necessary. Moreover, identify a strong IT consulting firm with disaster recovery capabilities and keep them a phone call away.
The right voice
Another critical factor during and after a crisis is communication, both internal and external. You and most of your management team will need to concentrate on restoring operations, so appoint one manager or other employee with the necessary skills to keep stakeholders abreast of your recovery progress. These parties include:
- Staff members and their families,
- Banks and other financial stakeholders, and
- Local authorities and community leaders (as appropriate).
He or she should be prepared to spread the word through channels such as your company's voice mail, email, website, and even traditional and social media.
Whatever you do, don't expect to create a disaster recovery plan and then toss it on a shelf. Revisit the plan at least annually, looking for shortcomings. You'll also want to keep your plan fresh in the minds of your employees. Be sure that everyone - including new hires - knows exactly what to do by holding regular meetings on the subject or even conducting an occasional surprise drill. And be prepared to coordinate with fire, police, and government officials who might be able to offer assistance during a catastrophe.
Thoughts and concepts
These are just a few thoughts and concepts to consider when designing, implementing, and updating your company's disaster recovery plan. Let us help you identify both risks and cost-effective ways to safeguard your employees and assets.