As I write this storms are lashing the UK and New York and New Jersey have declared a state of emergency because of severe weather conditions. I am desperately sorry for those whose homes and businesses have been badly affected and if that is you I hope you are getting the help you need. It appears that severe weather conditions are happening more and more frequently so are you prepared if the worst happened?
What do you stand to lose?
I hope that you have some insurance in place to help your business recover as quickly as possible from a major disaster but could you access your insurance details if you couldn’t get into your property in an emergency? When did you last check what your insurance covers? What else do you stand to lose?
Would you be able to access your appointments diary? What about your customer or financial records? Could you get at the the tools of your trade or some stock to carry on trading?
Businesses which have a disaster recovery or business continuity plan are more likely to survive than those that don’t so now would be a good time to develop your plan. Start with worst case scenarios and consider the impact on your business. This isn’t just about weather related disasters but could also include health problems, IT breakdown or cyber attacks, fire, major transport problems etc. For each risk identified think what the impact on your business might be.
Preparing for recovery
Once you know what the risks are you can start to prepare to minimise the impact and in many instances that is easier than it has been in the past. Could you use the Internet to carry on trading even in a downsized way? Would the Cloud provide you with the necessary back up for your customer database and financial records etc.?
Here are some Cloud based tools that might be just what you need:
- dropbox.com: storage for documents and photos, 2GB storage is free or 100GB is $9.99 per month per user.
- kashflow.com: accounting system with links to other cloud based systems for backing up documents and records (use my affiliate code AFTRAININGPACK to save money)
- mailchimp.com: email marketing package which would allow you to store customer contact details together with copies of previous mailings
- bookingbug.com: manage bookings and appointments
- simpleology.com: manage your tasks and to do list
I’m about to programme my insurance details into my mobile phone and to upgrade my Dropbox account so I can save all of my crucial business documents, what action will you take?