Small businesses face many threats. Without the backing of a large corporation or franchise, a team of hundreds of employees or the comfort of decades of experience, how can you protect yourself and your company? The answer is to have a plan.
Why is it important to have a plan?
Over the last number of winters we all watched the news with a sense of dread when flooding hit many parts of the country and peoples homes, businesses and farms were left under water. As much as we like to think that natural disasters and emergencies will never happen to us, the truth is we can never tell where a natural disaster may strike.
Our hearts and minds went out to those that lost their homes, but many businesses were affected too. Some buildings had smoke and fire damage, some did not, some had flood damage insurance but a lot did not, still others were completely destroyed.
If this were to happen to you, would you lose all of your customer information? Your human resources records? Your inventory lists? If your server was on site, and if your backups were on site, then that important information could be lost forever – and such a massive loss of information could prevent you from resuming operations.
How can you mitigate risks?
The best way for your business to bounce back after a disaster is to have a plan in place before the incident happens.Think off all the things that could happen to your company:
- The loss of your biggest client
- The loss of key employees
- The loss of inventory
- The loss of your data
Assess each threat and make a plan. You may need to diversify your client base, cross train your employees, insure your inventory and move your data to the cloud.
Is the cloud safe?
The internal aspects, such as diversification and cross training, are things you can do as the CEO, but when it comes to the cloud, many small business owners are still confused. Just what is this cloud and why is it important? How do I use it? Is it safe?
The cloud is basically your computer server room – off site. It is your information technology hub located in a secure facility that is set up specifically to handle everything from earthquakes to terrorist attacks. Data sent to the servers in this facility is encrypted. In fact, the data encryption level is comparable to, if not better than, what you get with online banking.
The important thing is, if disaster strikes your building, your digital data is safe and secure, enabling you to operate from a new facility and quickly recover your business.