No matter the size your startup, it's always important to prepare for potential security issues. You can easily take measures to reduce your risk of having a data breach disaster, but there are many other incidents that you have absolutely no control over, including the weather.
Therefore, every startup needs to take the time to assess their highest local risk factors and develop a disaster recovery plan that will get them back online as quickly as possible. Adding business continuity into this plan may even make it possible to keep moving forward without any extended interruptions.
Understand Your Needs
If you're uncertain on how to get started, it's wise to begin by reviewing all your insurance policies. After all, if your business is located in an area that is prone to flooding, you may not have the necessary rider in place to help you quickly recover from this type of disaster.
Additionally, many small companies on the East Coast found out during Hurricane Sandy that their business interruption insurance was not valid for the money they lost by being closed for several days. Therefore, it's best to ensure that you fully understand everything from the beginning and sign up for exactly the type of protection you are most likely to need in your area.
Find the Best Provider
Next, you need to take a close look at your providers. Many entrepreneurs make the decision to pick a cloud server provider that is located in another city or state in order to minimize their risk. The last thing you want is to lose information and have your website go offline for an extended period of time.
You can also get emergency call forwarding from some telecom services, and this makes it possible to avoid having your customers hear a busy signal for several days. Taking care of these potential problems is a good step toward ensuring at least some level of business continuity while you with the disaster recovery process.
Some studies have shown that local companies are actually much better equipped than national services to help other businesses and government offices deal with disaster recovery. In other words, if you need someone to help clear out your damaged office, it will probably be best to turn to a local resource.
Keep in mind, however, that whatever you do also has to be approved by your insurance company for any applicable claims. Local has its benefits and its downfalls, be sure to evaluate before you decide.
Help Your Local Community
Interestingly, the local disaster recovery option presents another business opportunity for entrepreneurs who are not afraid of getting their hands dirty. In fact, even if you have no interest in launching a company that cleans up after a disaster, you can still do something to help yourself and your neighboring businesses.
A prime example of this is an IT company that offers local rewiring services to buildings that are in the process of being rebuilt. Not only is this a good way to make a lot of money in a short period of time but it can also build goodwill in the local community. Of course, this type of work will only be viable on a regular basis in areas that are often pummeled by natural disasters. Otherwise, it would need to be a sideline service that complements what your company typically does.
Ultimately, no one can predict if or when a disaster will impact their business, but doing nothing to prepare for a potential issue will leave you far worse off if something does happen. Therefore, you need to review your insurance policies and your telephone and IT services in advance to make sure you're properly set up to deal with everything hackers, disrupters, and mother nature can throw your way.
Image By Gus Pasquarella (US NAVY) via Wikimedia Commons