5 Useful Tips to Help You Create an Effective Business Recovery Plan

After disaster strikes, approximately 24% of small businesses never reopen their doors. Even with this in mind, a shocking 74% of businesses still don’t have a disaster recovery plan in place.

If you want to ensure your business isn’t added to these statistics, then don’t stop reading now. Here, you can learn what you need to do to develop a business recovery plan.

Understanding Business Continuity

Business continuity refers to maintaining the functions of your business or being able to quickly resume them after a serious disruption, regardless of if it is caused by a flood, fire, or a malicious attack by cybercriminals.

The business continuity plan provides an overview of instructions that organizations should follow when a disaster occurs. You can read more now about these plans to learn more about what they include.

Now, you can dive into the specifics of developing your plan.

1. Identify Your Critical Assets

You need to determine why you have to have access to each day to remain in business. The first step of creating a disaster recovery plan is identifying these critical assets and making a list of them.

Remember, “assets” is a broad term. It may mean physical assets, such as equipment and buildings, or it may be key employees or important data. However, it’s important to ensure they are really “critical,” which means you can’t be without them, even for a limited period of time.

2. Figure Out What Disasters May Occur

You must figure out what emergency situations may affect your business. It’s a good idea to think broadly. Some of the most common emergency situations include:

  • Cyber-attack
  • Earthquake
  • Political unrest
  • Tornado
  • Hurricane
  • Other weather events
  • Fire

It’s best to think of as many possible emergency situations that could affect your business and how likely they are.

The location of your business will determine the items on your list. For example, if you have a business in Florida, there’s a good chance that hurricanes will be on your list.

Every area has specific risks. If you aren’t sure what these are, you can visit the Ready.gov site where there is information about all the natural disasters that occur in each state in the U.S.

There are some businesses a public health emergency may also affect, such as a flu pandemic or even terrorism. If you really get to thinking, you can probably come up with a list of potential issues, but the goal of creating this list isn’t to scare yourself. You just need to know the most likely threats that will occur in your area.

By knowing these, you can develop a plan that’s flexible enough to handle other eventualities, too.

3. Have a Plan for Protecting Your Critical Assets in All Scenarios

Once you have a list of potential scenarios, consider the effect that each one would have on your business’s critical assets. For example, if your warehouse burnt down, what would happen? How would you keep your product being delivered?

If a tornado knocked out power, what type of effect would that have? What steps can you take to protect all your critical assets?

Create a scenario and solution outline for all the disasters on your list. This is going to serve as the foundation for your recovery plan.

4. Develop a Plan for Your Employees

At this point, you have three things determined: what your critical assets are; possible disasters for your area; and the effect of each listed disaster on your critical assets. Once you have this information, you can put it all together to create a recovery plan.

The first step in this process is to consider your employees. You need to figure out what all your employees should do for each emergency. Where should they go and what should they do?

What steps are you going to take to ensure they are safe? While you want to keep them working (if possible), safety always comes first.

For every disaster on your list, take a group of your workers and let them know the actions you want them to take. For example, if there is a hurricane, you can evacuate your staff and allow them to work from home until the danger is passed. The managers can be put in charge of boarding up the windows and checking to see when you can reopen.

5. Create a Communication Plan

After you have determined where everyone will go, you need to have an established way for everyone to communicate. Communication is often one of the most challenging issues in a disaster or emergency situation.

There are several options to consider. Some of the most common communication methods include:

  • Calling in to an emergency information line
  • Emails
  • Voicemails
  • Mass text messages

You also need to develop a system to keep everyone’s contact information updated. Create a database your workers can update on their own and make it part of their tasks to update this information a few times a year.

Creating Your Business Recovery Plan

As you can see, there’s a lot that goes into the creation of a business recovery plan. If you don’t have one in place, now is the time to create one and test it to ensure the processes and methods you outline will work for your business and employees.

If you are looking for more information about how to protect your business and how to propel it to even more growth and success, visit our blog. Our goal is to provide accurate and updated information for modern business owners.

Adam Hansen

Adam is a part time journalist, entrepreneur, investor and father.