Business Management

Small Business Disaster Plans

Small Business Disaster Plans owners have an enormous amount of responsibilities on their shoulders. Most don’t have the time to think about planning for a natural or man-made disaster. According to a recent poll by the National Federation of Independent Business, almost forty percent of small businesses experience a disaster at some time. Small Business Disaster Plans statistic is broken down to ten percent man-made (broken water pipes, mould outbreaks, etc.) and thirty percent natural (flooding, hurricane etc.).

Document recovery experts, like Joe Perko, Director of Field Services with Rapid Refile, LLC agree that this is one of the most common shortfalls in business planning. Although the experience of Katrina in New Orleans has motivated many companies and organizations in high-risk areas to develop disaster recovery plans, and to incorporate document salvaging as part of those plans, there remains a great number of people and businesses that have not formalized a response to potential property damaged and/or business interruptions said Joe Perko in a recent interview.

Regardless of the time, Small Business Disaster Plans remains very necessary for small businesses to take some steps to ensure a disaster doesn’t take down their entire business. Developing a recovery plan does not have to be difficult, it just takes some time and a little forethought.

There are a number of reasons small business owners give for neglecting disaster planning.

1- Lack of Resources (staff, outside resources)
2- Limited Budget
3- Don’t see the need

The need is very clear. Small businesses that go through a disaster without proper recovery plans are far more likely to fail. The Association of Records Managers and Administrators estimates that over sixty percent of businesses fail within two years of experiencing a major disaster.

Developing a Disaster Recovery Plan

When developing a disaster recovery plan, you have a few options. You can use online resources to put together one on your own or you can search for a third party company that can help you. There are a number of disaster recovery companies that will help you plan for alternate workspace, communication contingencies and computer storage and back-up in the event that flooding, a fire or other disaster destroys part or all of your business facility.

One of the most important and useful resources you can reach out to for disaster plan assistance is a document restoration company. These companies will assess your businesses document storage facilities and mechanisms and provide you with recommendations for how to better prepare for a water or fire disaster. Architects, doctors offices, lawyers, construction companies, tax preparers, and any other business using hardcopy or electronic records, x-rays, or pictures would benefit the greatest from consulting with such a company.

The importance of having a plan for document protection cannot be under-emphasized. A strategic plan for recovering water or fire damaged auditable records, X-rays, blueprints, pictures and so on is necessary to ensure functionality, and even survival, after a disaster, reminds Perko. Whereas physical structures can be temporarily replaced by off-site locations or office trailers, the paper trail of open contracts, patient files, tax documents, etc., is the irreplaceable lifeblood of a business.

Too often small businesses realize the importance of disaster recovery plans once it is too late. Take the time to do some research and develop a plan for your business so that it can exist for a long, healthy while.

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