When it comes to disaster readiness, can you ever be too prepared?
According to the Association of Small Business Development Centers, the effects of a disaster can be quite profound:
- More than 1 in 4 businesses will experience a significant crisis in a given year;i
- Of those businesses that experience a disaster and have no emergency plan, 43 percent never reopen;ii
- Of those that do reopen, only 29 percent are still operating two years later.iii
Make no mistake about it. Disaster preparedness is central to business survival, particularly when it comes to protecting a company's most valuable and irreplaceable assets: its people and its data.
Is your small business vulnerable? A recent study found that:
- 71% of small businesses do not have a disaster plan in place;iv
- Nearly two-thirds (64%) stated that they do not need one; and
- 63% are confident they would be able to resume business within 72 hours if impacted by a natural disaster - even though history shows this may be optimistic.
To help educate small businesses on the importance of disaster preparation, Office Depot developed this guide - "Expecting the Unexpected: Disaster Preparedness Strategies for Small Business" - to provide small businesses with simple and affordable solutions.v
We urge you to read on. Disaster preparedness could be the wisest investment your business makes.
In disaster planning and recovery it is critical to protect your people and your data.
Having a sound contingency plan can help your business to successfully recover from a disaster - be that a catastrophic event, like a hurricane, tornado, or fire, or a more regular occurrence like a blackout or flood. Being prepared will also help prevent disruptive events that can be anticipated and reduce the impact of events that are unavoidable.
One of the biggest misperceptions revealed in the Office Depot survey is that disaster preparedness planning is expensive. In truth, preparation can be achieved simply and affordably. But one thing you can be assured of: Not having a contingency plan or backup systems in place can mean closing your doors for good. So it is critical for small businesses to take disaster planning seriously.
Planning is key. You do not need a million dollar solution, just a common sense one that protects you, your employees and your business.
i A January 2005 survey conducted by Continuity Insights magazine and KPMY Risk Advisory Services
ii The Hartford's Guide to Emergency Preparedness Planning published by The Hartford Financial Services Group
iv The "Disaster Preparedness" survey conducted by TNS NFO for Office Depot was designed to better understand the attitudes and perceptions that inhibit small business from investing in business continuity planning. The poll of 2,500 people (representative of the U.S. household population 18+ on age, gender, geographic division, income, household size; household designation and market size) was conducted February 13-16, 2007. In order to qualify for this study, respondents must have stated that they were either a business owner or a decision maker (e.g. Executive/Senior Management)
vDeveloped with contributions from Jon Toigo, a data storage and technology expert and author of numerous books on disaster recovery planning