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Disaster recovery plans for the 3 main types of business disaster

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This short guide outlines the three main types of business disaster you should prepare for, and the disaster recovery plan steps you can take to get back on track again.

It’s easy enough to forgo certain components when it comes to disaster recovery planning and preparation. As a business owner, you need to take precautions and have specific policies in place so you can handle things that may disrupt your business. But for smaller businesses, the lack of foresight can prove to be a business’s undoing.

You may not notice that your business is failing until it is too late. You need to think about what goes into defining your business. Now, what would happen if there was a complete disaster? Would you be able to operate? If you don’t know, or there is no disaster recovery plan in place, what is the worst that could happen?

Disaster recovery plans: the 3 main types of business disaster

Data loss

One of the cornerstones of IT services these days is their ability to protect a business from security breaches, or even human error. Whether there is a disaster on a natural level or a company suffers significant data breaches from internal or external culprits, it is so important to realize how devastating losing your data can be to your company.

Depending on the size and the operation, the cost of losing data is staggering. It could go into millions of dollars. Not only this but losing data triggers a set of dominoes that slowly unravel your business. Your security is exposed and the data has disappeared.

And in addition to this, you lose trust from the people that matter, your customers. Protecting your data is so important. Ensuring that you have significant protection in place through IT services, but also making sure that your employees understand the importance of two-factor authentication and the impacts of one simple data breach on a business.

Cyber ​​attacks on companies are increasing, and data loss is not uncommon as a result. Many companies have now realized how important regular backups are in order to be able to copy back the data in the event of loss, e.g. due to an attack, hardware defect or operating error.

But this is exactly where the last important step begins, which most people lose sight of again: the restoration of the data, the so-called restore. It is practically the most important step in the entire process, because without a functioning recovery, the backups will not be of any use.

As an emergency plan, the disaster recovery plan defines all measures, processes and specifications that are initiated in the company to restore the data in the event of a disaster.

In the event of data loss, the restore plays an important role. After all, in our digitized world, data has a high corporate value and forms the basis of many business processes. For this reason, the maximum tolerable recovery times are also specified in the Disaster Recovery Plan, which can only be adhered to if the recovery process runs smoothly.

Losing clients

Whatever happens to your business, your clients aren’t likely going to care how it happens. Whether you suffered a natural disaster or a data loss, all they will want to know is when you will be back up and running again. If you’ve lost relevant information or you’ve hit a bump in the road, you’ve got to manage your clients’ expectations as part of your disaster recovery plan.

Because if you tell your clients you cannot help them anymore or you need to start from square one, this is a conversation that will have no winners. Clients and customers have needs, and they need you to fulfill them. Ultimately, if you aren’t equipped to deal with the customers’ needs, they will very simply go somewhere else.

When a customer has got it into their mind that you are not prepared for recovery or they are worried you won’t be able to handle their business, it spirals out of control. The news will spread, and word-of-mouth is a help and a hindrance in the modern world. But from your perspective, bad news will spread like wildfire and people will soon begin to wash their hands of you.

Companies have a 20 to 40 percent chance of convincing former customers to return. You can increase your chances by carefully choosing which customers are worth the time and effort.

1. Determine which customers you want to win back

The first step in winning back lost customers in your disaster recovery plan is to find out if it’s even worth it. If the person in question has been difficult to deal with or used up too much of your time compared to the income they generated, it may not be worth the effort. As with most companies, the following principle applies: 20 percent of your customers generate 80 percent of your sales. If the lost customer was part of the 20 percent, then you will likely want to win them back.

However, if it was part of the 80 percent, you might want to analyze in your disaster recovery plan a little further whether it is worth using your company’s resources to do this. If you find that there is no point in getting a customer back, it is inadvisable to waste your time and money here. Rather, focus on those customers with whom you have a higher chance of conversion and who will recommend your brand to friends / family in the future.

2. Find out how likely it is that the customer will return

Once you’ve determined that you want the customer back, it’s time to determine if it’s realistic that that customer will come back at all. Remember that the intent of winning back customers is that it is cheaper and more efficient to find a lost customer than a new prospect. On the other hand, if you put your efforts on the wrong customers, budget could also be lost.

For this reason, you should first analyze the customer’s behavior to see if they are open to return. A customer who left because they thought the price was too high is more likely to return than a customer who was lost because of a poor customer experience. A customer who has left because of both the price and poor service is most likely not going to return.

Business interruption

The most visceral of anxieties in running a business is being acutely aware of how much money you are hemorrhaging with every passing minute. Any moment that work is not occurring means you’re losing money. The knock-on effect of losing a daily income will spread to the employees.

Business interruption impacts your employees in massive ways. From your perspective, productivity depletes. Any employee downtime means money is going down the tubes. But also, employee downtime gradually causes a lack of faith in your abilities from the people that work for you. Doubt in your abilities, much like the customers’ lack of faith, will begin to spread. When the business suffers interruption, there are obligations for you to provide them with reassurance and financial support.

However, it’s not always possible. If you are hiring freelancers, these are usually the people that go first. But when you start to drop employees, it’s unlikely they will come back. It’s not just about them looking for a different job, but it’s about them losing their faith in you completely.

You can always hire new people, however, you’ve got to think about the amount of time it takes to upskill these individuals. You may have worked very hard to get the organization perfect. And when an employee loses their faith in your abilities to lead, but you don’t provide any form of reassurance, why would they come back? Would you?

To ensure effective business continuity, the disaster recovery plan must be preceded by an analysis of the impact on business development. This Business Impact Analysis (BIA) shows which business processes and components are indispensable for the continuity of operations. Building on this, the disaster recovery plan must include the following 4 phases that are important for business continuity management:

  • Damage assessment and immediate measures
  • Ensuring emergency operation
  • Complete restoration of normal operation
  • Review and possible adjustment of the disaster recovery plan

The costs of a disaster recovery plan

The business might not recover at all. But if there is a plan in place the costs can be staggering. When you consider the costs of recovery associated with a data loss, the finances can be crippling. There are so many different factors associated with this one type of business interruption.

The loss of data can result in paying to replace hardware, as well as factors like employee productivity, profits, and the time and cost of inputting the data. If you do not have a disaster recovery plan, the time it will take to get the business up and running is another aspect to consider. Turning a business around may very well take longer than you think.

It could be a year before the business is able to get back to what it once was. Approximately 1 in 20 businesses never recovers from a data breach. And as data breaches are far more common these days, especially as businesses are weaker in their lines of defense, it is so important to have a disaster recovery plan for every eventuality.

Conclusion

You have to prepare your business. If your company suffers any form of disaster, it can be difficult to bounce back from. As so many companies have recently discovered in the light of the pandemic that it can completely obliterate your business overnight, it is so important to get into the mindset of preparing and covering every eventuality. It’s not an easy thing to do, and it requires a lot of time, effort, and energy, but it is so important because if you know what the worst-case scenario would be, you are arming yourself with the right tools.

About Business Woman Media

Our women don’t want to settle for anything but the best. They understand that success is a journey involving personal growth, savvy optimism and the tenacity to be the best. We believe in pragmatism, having fun, hard-work and sharing inspiration. LinkedIn

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