Well, summer is officially around the corner. And, for those of us here in the United States, that means we’re entering the hot, steamy time of year that often brings with it tornadoes, hurricanes and all sorts of other nasty weather systems (especially for folks down south).
What can you, as a responsible small business owner, do to ensure you’ll be prepared for the worst (or close to the worst) should anything happen in or to your business as a result of nasty weather or anything else that might come your way. What can you do now to ensure everything remains business as usual?
You create a worst case scenario, disaster preparedness plan, that’s what!
I’m going to walk you through my own personal disaster preparedness plan. Some of which I’ve had to implement a time or two myself over the years. Fortunately, I’ve never had more than a long power outage to deal with.
The basics. When you operate a business in this day and age, chances are it’s going to rely heavily on electricity and reliable access to the Internet. With those two things, you really can rule the world. You need a plan for what will happen if those core business necessities fail or are unavailable for a period of time. I have a generator in my home that can be used in the event of an extended power outage so my modem and computers can operate. I also have a team of trusted professionals available to handle important tasks if I’m unable to access the Internet for whatever reason. If you live in an area susceptible to tornadoes or flooding, you need a plan to get out of Dodge and get somewhere you can access those key services (Internet & electricity) should an emergency strike, and/or have a trusted individual on hand to take care of business until you’re back up and running.What can you do to ensure you’re prepared for the worst should anything happen to your business?Click To Tweet
Safeguard key information. Passwords, processes and procedures, account numbers, login information, website hosting information … you know, all of those things that could potentially bring your business to a halt if you didn’t have access to them. You should ensure they are all documented and in a safe place so, God forbid you you need to pick up and run in the middle of the night, you have all of the information you need. Whether it’s all written down in a book you keep in a safety deposit box, or it’s all backed up on a USB drive you keep in the car … have it readily available so it’s easy to access in an emergency.
Use the Cloud. The Jedi Knight uses The Force… the Jedi business owner uses the cloud. Once upon a time, all of our key documents were saved in an actual metal filing cabinet. Nowadays, our files are stored on our computers. I like having a backup for all of my important files. Whether that’s DropBox, Apple iCloud (which I hear can be a bit unpredictable, so beware!) or something like Basecamp; which we use here at BizEase Support Solutions for project management and file storage — have a Plan B. Then if something happens, you’ll at least be able to access key documents.
Back up your computer. All the time. That brings us to one of the most important things you can do to prevent a huge loss in your business … especially if your business is virtual. Back up your computer! Daily. Constantly. All of the time. Mac Users have access to Time Machine. It’s great. Use it. PC users have to rely on an external program or hard drive. Save important computer documents to a thumb drive daily. Or let DropBox back everything up continuously. I use DropBox as my hard drive, so no matter where I am or what device I’m using, I’ve got everything I need, safe and secure. It’s also a good idea to back up to an external drive in addition to DropBox on a regular basis too. But I don’t care what you do, just do it.
I’m sure you remember the old saying “Expect the best, plan for the worst!” It’s always a good idea to have a disaster preparedness plan in place so you CAN expect the best, even if you’re given the worst. It just makes good sense to be prepared.
Those are the basic things you can start doing now to save your fanny in the event of disaster. Or even if you’re just dealing with an extended power outage 😉
Do you live in an area susceptible to nasty weather and potential interruptions to your business? Do you have your own disaster preparedness plan? What other tips do you have to add to the list?
Let’s all help each other help each other!