Saturday, 21 July 2018

Information and commentary for the small business banking industry

The importance of disaster planning

09 Dec

Planning is key

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 business’s disaster plan is, the more likely it is they’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 isn’t going to be out of action for as long as a gas station whose petrol tanks have been damaged.

Regardless, it’s still a good idea for a bank’s small business advisors to check with their clients and ensure they have a disaster recovery plan in place.

Risks and recovery

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.

  • Put together a recovery plan to mitigate the effects of a disaster, and how they intend to quickly rebuild their business following the event. Work through with them the likelihood of various events and how they. can keep your business operational.
  • Lay out some disaster recovery measures, such as ensuring staff can work remotely if they have to.
  • Safeguard the business’s cash flow, by putting measures in place to make the post-disaster situation a little easier so staff can really help the business to maintain cash flow and productivity.

It’s also important to keep customers and suppliers up to date with what’s happening. This means making sure their customer database and list of business contacts is current, so that the business owner can communicate what’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 to find out how we can help you.


Glen Senior
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.

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