In business, keeping things in order is key. Having a comprehensive list of important contact details on hand, such as suppliers, service providers, emergency services, and equipment specialists, could save you a lot of time and energy when you are busy striving to prevent further damage and loss. Conversely, an outdated contact list could slow down your recovery efforts for hours or even days.
How do we manage our data?
As hacking and cybercrime advance, it’s more important than ever to frequently back up your essential files to a shared or external drive. Cloud servers, for example, are a good way to get your data back safely and quickly. However, if you don’t have an IT department to keep your security measures up to date, you must train your employees to detect and mitigate cyber risks.
Divide and conquer
Everyone should have – and know – their role in resuming activities. Emergencies are often chaotic, and without a clear division of labor, mayhem can quickly set in. Here are some ideas to look at:
- Make sure a few employees have basic first aid training; they will be able to offer immediate assistance while waiting for help to arrive if an emergency occurs.
- Train more than one person on important tasks to prevent everything from stopping due to the absence of a key employee.
A backup plan will help your business get on with the job with remote access to data, external arrangements, and pre-written statements to explain the state of your business. It can also be useful to group employees into sub-teams to better organize the response in a crisis. Do you have the right insurance? Are you up to date with your paperwork? Everyone should consider small business insurance, which will cover you for a multitude of problems.
Practice makes perfect
It is not enough to just put the recovery plan in place: it must also be tested and adapted regularly. Once the process in the event of a fire, cyberattack, theft, or other disaster is clearly communicated (and documented), it is relevant to test it. Simulation exercises, what-if scenarios, and ongoing staff training can help you see if your plan is working well. This can be undertaken monthly with your team to ensure that they, too, are aware of possible issues and how they can evade a problem. You want to keep your team safe, after all.
Remember that a lot depends on your business continuity plan. You want to hold onto your good reputation. And as the world changes in this fast-paced digital age, you need to react as quickly as possible. You must also be there to help your customers and partners in the event of an issue. You must be able to honestly and effectively communicate with them to ensure that things are all well. Any problems can result in loss of work, financial issues, and staff problems.
Therefore, having the best contingency plans ready to go will greatly assist you going forwards. You will then have a better chance of maintaining customer loyalty and your competitive advantage.