Disaster Planning

You’re a Small Business Owner, (and if you are a locksmith who is a one-person-shop this applies to you), and you are probably thinking this doesn’t apply to you. Think again!

No matter how good of a business person you are, or how great you are as a manager, there will always be some kind of circumstance that is out of your control that will affect your business. It’s been 12 years since the United States suffered it’s greatest attack since the start of WWII at Pearl Harbor. Even Canada felt the affects with hundreds of airplanes detoured and landing there instead of on American soil. Think back twelve years ago… how was business on September 12?

Small Business Topic: How to Create a Disaster Plan

No one likes to think about such large-scale catastrophes such as this, but hurricanes, earthquakes, terrorist attacks, tornadoes – they can happen at any time. Fortunately, those events are rare, but smaller “disasters” such as computer crashes, power surges, and power outages can wreak havoc on a small firm.

Preparing for the worst can help minimize the risk. There are sample disaster plans widely available on the Internet, and some can be customized for your business needs.

Here’ s a short list of how to prepare to best protect your business, just in case disaster should strike:

Review Insurance Policies
If you are a business owner, it is smart to take out property insurance policies, which cover the cost of replacing damaged or destroyed equipment or buildings. Also consider business interruption insurance, which covers lost income in the event that your business is forced to shut down temporarily.

Develop a Contingency Plan
Make a list of back-up vendors, suppliers, and even competitors in case your primary location shuts down. The vendor and supplier could also be at risk, depending on location and the reason for the disruption. Consider alternative work sites so you can keep operating. If you are a locksmith, this could be your mobile van/truck. Keep a list of all your employees and how to contact them. They will need to be informed too. 

Back It Up, And Then Do It Again
Make a back-up copy of all critical records. These include accounting records, employee data, customer lists, inventory, and more. Keep that information in a separate location at least 50 miles away. Or, subscribe to an online cloud based service provider. If you set an automatic back-up overnight, once a month do a manual back-up to a separate device just in case a storm creates a lightening strike to your system which means your regular system AND your back-up are now destroyed.

© Copyright IDN, Inc.

Kathleen Kempf is the Marketing Manager at IDN-H. Hoffman.