With the swarm of earthquakes in New Zealand and Japan and resulting tsunami warnings for both countries, it seems like a good time to focus on why small businesses should be prepared for a natural disaster.
As with most things, planning is key. The better prepared a businessâ€™s disaster plan is, the more likely it is theyâ€™ll weather the disaster and come out the other end.
The scope of the planning really depends on the business. One that publishes ebooks online isnâ€™t going to be out of action for as long as a gas station whose petrol tanks have been damaged.
Regardless, itâ€™s still a good idea for a bankâ€™s small business advisors to check with their clients and ensure they have a disaster recovery plan in place.
Discuss the potential natural and man made risks to a business with the business owner. Get them to conduct a brainstorming session with their staff to put all the possible risks to your business on the table. They can then begin to create a recovery plan. It’s also important to check their insurance is all up to date, as it can become a significant issue after a disaster, so make sure they’ve read the fine print on their policy.
It’s also important to keep customers and suppliers up to date with whatâ€™s happening. This means making sure their customer database and list of business contacts is current, so that the business owner can communicate whatâ€™s happening and when they expect to be back up and running again.
Having the right data security in place is critical, especially if the business suffers a burglary. It’s a good idea to carry out a data assessment, by analyzing which files are high value and heavily used. They can then prioritize which ones to keep secure. Encrypting sensitive data to help prevent security breaches and regularly backing up data, by securely storing it in a hosted cloud environment is the best way to protect essential computer files.
Here at TSBC, we can offer you great content around disaster planning and recovery, that you can share with your small business customers. Contact us on firstname.lastname@example.org to find out how we can help you.
Glen is the founder and CEO of The Small Business Company, a New Zealand based agency that specialises in helping banks communicate with small businesses through content marketing. He has written a number of books on small business principles and is a sought after consultant and conference presenter.