AT&T recently conducted a survey that sheds light on the vulnerabilities of small businesses and suggests ways to help protect your company from a disaster. The findings reiterate the need for small business owners to be more prepared.
Based on the survey results, here are four ways you can improve your disaster readiness, courtesy of this article by Alice Bredin for the OPEN Forum:
- Assess your preparedness. More than 25 percent of small businesses have experienced a disaster, emergency or interruption that reduced revenue in the past two years, according to the survey. Do you know how prepared you are? AT&T provides a list of questions here that can help you assess your company’s readiness. In addition, their Safeguard Your Business website features videos, resources and tips to help you evaluate and improve your preparedness.
- Develop a business continuity plan. 63 percent of those with under 20 employees don’t have a business continuity plan, while nearly one-third of companies with 20-99 employees don’t have one. The plan should identify roles and responsibilities for staff members and include ways you will communicate with customers. It should also describe how you will protect your equipment and facilities, operate without electricity and water, and evacuate if necessary.
- Make sure you’re properly insured. More than 25 percent of the disasters that afflict small businesses cost $100,000 or more according to the survey. To make sure you’re covered properly, identify every man-made or natural threat to your business. (You may want to check this list of disasters that commonly affect each state.) Then, meet with your insurance broker to update your coverage as needed. Don't forget to maintain an inventory of your business property, including purchase receipts, appraisal documents and photos. Also create a system to protect accounts receivable and tax records. Keep a copy of this information somewhere off-site.
- Back up your data. More than 40 percent of small businesses don’t back up their data daily, and that number grows to 63 percent for very small businesses, according to the survey, leaving them vulnerable if something happens to their physical structures. To help protect your data, make sure your company performs backups every day and stores the data on an off-site device or online.
Overwhelmed by all the companies offering online backup services? Click here for a summary of 27 online backup plans, maintained by Tim Fisher for About.com.
And if you are a Tribute or TrulinX user, consider our Quarterly Server Checkup Service and Disaster Recovery Service. Our staff will log onto your system on a regular basis to monitor disk space, ensure backups are being made, check for operating system updates or hardware problems, and more. If you experience a hard disk failure or other equipment malfunction, a temporary replacement server will be shipped to you ASAP after receipt of your backup data. Call 1-800-TRIBUTE for more details.
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