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Over recent summers hundreds of businesses have been brutally affected by wild natural disasters spanning the breadth of Australia. The lucky ones were back in business a few months later – but for many, flood waters, bushfires or destructive winds closed the doors of their operations forever. So what would happen if a disaster – natural or man-made – struck your business? Would you be ready? How long would it take to get back on your feet? Would you fully recover?
We understand that you’re busy and it’s easier to hope it might never happen to you, but everyone should have a business disaster recovery plan.
Don’t think it’s all too hard. Read the following and you will realise it might be easier than you first imagined:
- A good business disaster recovery plan must be documented (not just in your head) and copies provided to all key personnel. There are many specialist advisers and websites that can help you with setting up your own recovery plan, most with templates to make the job simpler.
- Business interruption insurance. This cover can include major outlays such as setting up new premises or re-establishing computer equipment and records.
- It is also worth considering Cyber Insurance. Traditional business insurance policies may not cover losses related to cyber-attacks and given the snowballing risks, Cyber Insurance is becoming another essential for business owners.
- Document Management Solution (DMS). All business documents should be scanned and kept in computer files. Important original documents such as mortgage papers, trust deeds, corporate registers, and signed agreements should be kept securely off-site, with scanned copies in your DMS.
- Daily computer backup to an off-site location is vital. Many businesses do regular backups but the backup file is frequently kept in the same physical location as the main data. This obviously doesn’t make sense. If you don’t have a separate location to store backed up files, another option is to upload a copy to a cloud-based service. This will ensure that your computer files can be readily available if disaster strikes and destroys your physical office.
- Written procedures. What does each person do in your business? If a disaster affected your personnel and they couldn’t work, how would you bring new or temporary staff up to speed? Have all of your staff fully document important procedures and store this securely off-site.
And finally, it is crucial to regularly review your business plan and procedures. Things change rapidly so keep your plan relevant to your growing business.