Business continuity can be an overwhelmingly complex and daunting project for any size business. It covers so many components that it is nearly incomprehensible for a small business to consider. In fact, most small businesses simply don’t consider it at all. Unfortunately, not having some form of continuity and contingency plan in place has forced so many small businesses to cease operations and/or fail after a disaster.

As a business owner you need to invest some effort in continuity, no matter how small. If you’ve never considered it, don’t know what it is, or have thought about it and decided it was too much effort or too expensive, please read on. For the purpose of this article and as it relates to small business, we will greatly simplify continuity and define it as any process or processes that help you and your business to recover from a disaster or event within a set timeframe with limited impact on your business and/or clients.

Why simplify it so much? To show you that continuity planning is not something reserved only for the largest enterprise organizations. It is something that you too can implement to protect you and your business from any situation that may arise, without being overwhelmingly expensive. Simple, inexpensive steps can be put in place over time that will give you piece of mind and the ability to focus on what is most important, your business.

First and foremost must be backups. Backing up and storing your most important data is the first and most important step to building continuity. You have a multitude of low-cost options when it comes to data backup. With this one process in place you can access and recover data in any situation that may arise. With a solid backup plan in place you have the first, and most critical, building block of your continuity plan.

These days, almost everyone has some form of backup in place. And while it is most certainly the first building block of continuity it is only the first part of the first block. Whether you have a backup in place now or plan to implement one, you need to answer a few questions first:

1. Am I backing up everything I need to backup?
2. Do I know exactly what I should be backing up?
3. Do I know the amount of storage space I need for my backups?
4. Have I planned for expansion?
5. Are my backups secure and/or encrypted?
6. Where are my backups stored? Is it a secure location?
7. Can I access my backups from anywhere at any time?
8. Are my backups versioned (do I have to ability to restore any point in time)?
9. Who has access to my backup data?
10. Is the backup plan fully documented?

If you answered “I don’t know” or “no” to any of the 10 questions above, you need to evaluate your plan and make the appropriate adjustments. We at Lescault & Walderman can assist you and your business with the evaluation of an existing or the development of a comprehensive backup plan. We can also work with you on other facets of your continuity planning. It really isn’t that expensive to develop and implement a simple plan to protect you and your business. Contact us today for your free consultation.

Tony Niemetz
Author
Lescault & Walderman