A quick web search for “Disaster Recovery” could leave you feeling defeated. Such websites usually seem to be aimed at big corporations who can afford to spend the money or the super tech-savvy who understand the acronyms, big words, and hard to understand language. Guess what? It does not have to be that way. Disaster recovery is an option for every business, no matter the size or type of company and as a business owner, you should have a plan in place. The following suggestions will help you develop that plan and know how to implement it without spending a lot of time or money.
Part One – Your Data:
Know what date is key to survival. This might include the data in your accounting program, contact management software, your inventory software, email, or critical Word and Excel documents. Know where that data is located and what needs to be backed up. This is critical as is knowing how often that data is changed and updated. You must also understand the size of this data so that you can better understand your data archive options, saving you time and money on various products and services that do not fit your back-up needs.
Part Two – Your Plan:
You should always have a back-up location planned. Temporary offices or warehouse space can house your employees, computers, and inventory in case of a disaster. Keeping vendor contact information in a secure off-site location is a must. This will allow you to pass along special information or new delivery locations to your vendors. Communication is key for your customers, as well. Be sure you are able to maintain contact even in the case of an emergency, be it through email, U.S. mail, or even through a temporary homepage on your website that allows you to let your customers know what is going on. Make your employees know the procedure for the disaster plan and stay in contact with them to help keep things running smoothly.
On the technically side, advance contact with a Computer Rental Firm is key for helping your operations resume once disaster strikes as they can provide your company with office equipment from computers to photo copiers. You should also organize an off-site collection of all of your software media including key-codes, passwords, and user names. Investigate where your critical software came from. If it was custom installed by a professional, a simple trip to the store will not be the same as replacing it with the original. And of course, consulting with a trusted Computer Service Organization will help implement a data backup procedure and a plan for software installation and data re-Installation.
Part Three – Your Survival:
Remember disasters do happen and your survival depends on whether or not you are able to recover effectively with minimum loss. Keep in mind that a solid Disaster Recovery Plan must never be complex or expensive. And don’t forget to act now…you never know when a disaster may strike!