Business Continuity Plan. Be Prepared.
Mar 03, 2016
What if disaster strikes your business? An estimated 25% of businesses don’t reopen after a major disaster strikes.* Having a business continuity plan can help improve your odds of recovering.
The basic plan
The strategy behind a business continuity (or disaster recovery) plan is straightforward: Identify the various risks that could disrupt your business, look at how each operation could be affected and identify appropriate recovery actions.
Make sure you have a list of employees ready with phone numbers, e-mail addresses and emergency family contacts for communication purposes. If any of your employees can work from home, include that information in your personnel list. You’ll need a similar list of customers, suppliers and other vendors. Social networking tools may be especially helpful for keeping in touch during and after a disaster.
Having the proper insurance is key to protecting your business — at all times. In addition to property and casualty insurance, most small businesses carry disability, key-person life insurance and business interruption insurance. And make sure your buy-sell agreement is up to date, including the life insurance policies that fund it. Meet with your financial professional for a complete review.
If your building has to be evacuated, you’ll need an alternative site. Talk with other business owners in your vicinity about locating and equipping a facility that can be shared in case of an emergency. You may be able to limit physical damage by taking some preemptive steps (e.g., having a generator and a pump on hand).
A disaster could damage or destroy your computer equipment and wipe out your data, so take precautions. Invest in surge protectors and arrange for secure storage by transmitting data to a remote server or backing up daily to storage media that can be kept off site.
Protecting your business
If you think your business is too small to need a plan or that it will take too long to create one, just think about how much you stand to lose by not having one. Meet with your financial professional for a full review.
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