When you are excited about starting up a new business, getting everything in place, creating your technology infrastructure, and starting people working are your main priorities. You want to be able to win those first vital customers and provide them with outstanding products and services. You want to build your brand and get your name out there, and you want to create a sustainable, profit making enterprise as quickly as you can.
Of course, most new entrepreneurs do spend some time worrying about things that might go wrong and trying to manage their risks, but one thing many forget to think about in the early stages when so much else is going on, is how resilient their operations are. Many fledgling businesses have given little thought to disaster recovery and business continuity, and unfortunately, this creates some very serious risk.
What Exactly Is Disaster Recovery?
Disaster recovery is one of those terms that seems like it should be self explanatory, but actually many people misunderstand what it can really mean to their specific business. While it implies the ability for a business to survive a major incident like a flood, fire or even a terrorist attack, it can also cover less dramatic events that could cause you to lose important files or data, be unable to reach your usual work site, or have important devices damaged. For a small start up, even something like you having your laptop stolen can create a situation where your disaster recovery plan would need to come into play.
Disaster recovery is about having a plan for the kind of challenging situations that could befall your specific business, so even if you don’t have a premises with a bunch of expensive servers on it that could be destroyed in a flood, you still need a plan for the things that might happen to you.
Another important aspect of this planning is how you will continue to operate during or after a disaster situation. This is known as a business continuity plan, and generally covers things like how you will keep in touch with key people, how you’ll access important records, and who will be responsible for what, so that your customers are affected by your situation as little as possible – or ideally not at all.
Most of the concerns around disaster recovery and business continuity are reasonably easy to address using technology. With mobile technology it is easy for most businesses to manage to operate when their site is unavailable for some reason, and thanks to cloud technology you can find solutions that will mean all of your data and files are backed up somewhere that won’t be affected by any situation befalling your business and will remain accessible. However, just because technology takes care of a lot of it for you, doesn’t mean you don’t need to give backup and disaster recovery some attention and have some actionable processes in place for your business.
If you haven’t done it yet, spend some time looking at your business continuity and disaster recovery strategies – you never know when you might be glad you did!