I was visiting with an attorney friend the other day and he remarked that he likes to remind his clients to always be asking themselves the “what if” question. What if something happened to their business? What if there was natural disaster; or a man-made disaster; or really any drastic change affecting their company’s ability to conduct business as usual? I thought this was very good advice and worth sharing. When you are looking to the future of your business, giving thoughtful consideration to various risks and planning in advance how to respond to them could mean the difference between success and failure.
publish date: November 16, 2017
You don’t have to try very hard to find news of hurricanes and wildfires to understand that disaster can come unexpectedly and that the toll can be devastating. With this in mind, it’s easy to see the value in contemplating the “what if” questions. Let’s take natural disasters. If you didn't have access to your building, or if your normal business process was interrupted in another way, do you have a continuity plan that ensures you can still take care of your customers?
Taking steps to be prepared for disaster is unique for every business. Not just you, but each member of your team should have familiarity with the protocols for various situations. Poking and asking questions matter. How will everyone on your team continue their work if they don’t have access to the office, or if they don’t have internet access?
Any disaster planning should include a discussion on network and data security. Do you have a plan if you are attacked with malware and lose a large amount of data? Do you have successful backups of your critical data, and protocols in place as to how you will communicate with your customers in the immediate aftermath of an event? These are just some of the questions that need consideration when planning for various contingencies.
External threats shouldn’t be your only concern, though. Let’s say you run a business that stores personal information and one of your employees accidentally exposes it. Do you have a plan for how you will handle such an event?
Disasters happen, and when they do it’s imperative to have a plan in place that allows your company to operate and move forward. We are repeatedly reminded by current events that having normal business functions impaired is a real possibility. Starting to plan today will help make sure you and your customers are covered.