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December, 2006 
 Accidents Happen
Do You Have a Plan?
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Accidents happen! But even minor mishaps can be major catastrophes for small business owners. Every year, thousands of companies are unprepared for the interruption caused by a minor fire, flood, and burglary or computer meltdown.

According to a recent NFIB National Small Business Poll, man-made disasters affect 10% of small businesses, and natural disasters have impacted more than 30% of all small businesses in the USA.

Creating, and implementing a Business Continuity Plan will ensure your business survives any disaster!

 Information Access
 Copy and Store Key Files

For many small business owners, the computer is the heart and soul of the business. Unfortunately computers crash, virus' attack, natural disasters occur and every user makes mistakes from time to time.

The consequences can be disastrous. Rebuilding financial information, contact lists, E-mail records or project files can be time-consuming, expensive and sometimes impossible.

Important information should be copied to some type of external media such as a zip disks, CDs or DVDs, tape back-up or external hard drive, then stored off- site. Many business owners diligently copy all key files, and store the CD's or external hard drive, right next to their computer. A flood or fire will damage both.

An on-line backup provides a simpler, more secure, and less time consuming solution. For a nominal fee, on-line back-up solutions allow you to store information on a secure, encrypted server. The program runs overnight, in the background, as long as you leave your computer on. The cost will vary depending on the amount of data to be stored.

More info on on-line backup! 

 Operation Continuity
 More than Just Data

Having access to your information is a key starting point, but surviving a crisis requires more than just data recovery. Your disaster recovery plan should also include:
  • Where you will operate if your office is damaged or destroyed.
  • How you will finance equipment replacement. Do you have adequate insurance to replace office furniture, equipment, inventory and other assets?
  • How you will cover business expenses. Continuity insurance provides additional insurance to cover expenses such as moving, or damages caused by missed deadlines.
  • Documentation of everything you own. Even if you have adequate coverage, most policies require a detailed list of what was lost, damaged or stolen.
  • Who will take care of your customers if you can't. In the event you can not complete a project or meet a deadline because of the business interruption, do you have a relationship with someone else can serve your customers on a short term basis?

Get a complete inventory. 

According to the Financial Planning Association, of the businesses that suffer a disaster, 40% fail to reopen and 25% that reopen close within a year. Plan ahead!

Disaster may never strike, and you may never need to execute your plan. But if something does happen, a well thought out plan, will help you through the transition, and increase the odds that a temporary business interruption does not become a permanent one

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