Small and large businesses alike share some common business issues: hiring the right people, finding the right vendors, getting and keeping the right customers.  Unbelievably, businesses of all sizes are also largely unprepared to maintain or resume their day-to-day business if a natural disaster or emergency happens.

In 2008, a national survey commissioned by Office Depot, showed that  40 percent of small businesses were not ready for potential disaster. The prospect of preparing for a business-halting event is daunting, but necessary. Not being prepared to react quickly in an emergency can lead to loss of business. Using a cloud computing solution that supports document storage, project collaboration and information management can make the difference for you.

The benefits of storing data in the cloud are many. Cloud based solutions usually back up their data in several, redundant, geographically dispersed locations. So if something happens in your neck of the woods, their servers across the country are still up and running. Once the immediate danger has passed, with cloud solutions, you’ll have the ability to quickly and affordable implement disaster recovery plan for your business.

The key, is getting ready before disaster strikes!

Business Must Go On: Have a Plan B and C

Business continuity planning begins with having a plan in place and identifying what business critical processes have to be documented and backed up to preserve operations. The plan should include where calls are routed, provisions for employees, and how the core business functions will be sustained in case of an emergency. All of this can be stored in the cloud and be accessible to your team wherever they are.

It’s important that your staff understands what they can do to support business continuity. Pull a team with representatives from each department and have them develop a plan designed to maintain business processes, client relationships and employee safety.

Backup and Store Offsite

With scalable cloud storage offerings and quick accessibility, you can have backups of your electronic files, client databases, key business documents knowing they are stored in a secure remote location. You won’t have to worry about losing valuable information like your Client Database, work samples or business support when you use prepare by using the cloud to keep copies these important documents and your procedures of what do in case of emergency.

Taking Inventory for Insurance Purposes

Create an inventory of your business assets. There are some great solutions out there.  It will make insurance claims easier to process. Include images, serial numbers, date of purchase and warranties of equipment and electronics. Update your inventory as new assets are added to maintain accurate records. Store your inventory in a secure offsite location. If you don’t have the time to have staff do it, hire someone to come in and conduct an inventory for you.

Test, Test and Test

Don’t create a plan then leave it to collect dust. Make sure that your plan will work in the event of seasonal or manmade emergencies. Revisit it at least every 6 months to make sure it’s still valid and that key players are still in employment.

September is National Preparedness Month, but you don’t have to wait until then to get your disaster readiness plan in action. Check out www.ready.gov for more details.

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Nicole Chamblin
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Nicole Chamblin

I’m Nicole Chamblin, a productivity “coachsultant”, the Chief Visionary and owner of Visions Productivity Solutions. Through onsite consulting, virtual coaching and live training sessions, I love teaching ways to more effectively manage the 3 Ts™- time, team, and tasks. If you’re a small business owner or a department head of an established business that has never taken the time to put in place back end administrative processes to improve productivity, efficiency, communication and collaboration– I can help.
Nicole Chamblin
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