The Real Disaster is Not Having a Plan: Part 1 of 2

Your business doesn’t just put products or services into the marketplace. It puts food on the table for you, your employees and their families. You work hard every day to increase the success of your business. But have you done enough to ensure its survival? Natural and man-made disasters happen. And they can put your business in serious jeopardy if you don’t have a disaster recovery plan.

Already thinking “I don’t need that?” Then you need to read today’s post and the follow-up next Tuesday. First, the hurricanes and floods in recent years impacted far more businesses than you would guess. Second, other kinds of disasters take down hundreds of businesses each year. Labor unrest, catastrophic equipment failure and power disruptions are only a few of them.

Physical Damage Not the Worst Part

The news footage is always grim. Roofs blown off, flood waters rising, and inventory floating down the street are the images that stick in our minds. And they are, of course, devastating. But most times, the most destructive damage caused by these disasters isn’t captured in the front-page pictures and network news videos.

Your business depends upon finding and engaging with customers, completing transactions, collecting payments and managing accounts. Producing things doesn’t matter without the mechanisms you need to sell them. In a disaster, your data, print and mail capabilities need protection, too.

1. Your Data

Clearly the central nervous system of any business today. Accounting records, purchase history, status reports, customer information, account management and more. Where IS your data in a disaster? Was it washed away? Where is it stored? How do you access it?

2. Your Commerce

In a disaster, you want your business to continue or (in the worst cases) reopen as soon as possible. But where do things stand? How will sales happen? Were the orders tracked or lost? If you are due revenue for past sales, how do you collect it? How do you fulfill orders and bill for them promptly to protect the vital income streams?

3. Your Communication

Even beyond the financial follow-through on orders, you need to maintain customer relationships. You hope loyal ones will stick with you, but how will they know when and where your business will reopen? And what if they need something you just can’t supply? Will they discover (and prefer) another provider? How can I solidify their business and get cash flowing again as soon as possible?

A Disaster Recovery Plan Prevents Bigger Disasters

But in this case, preparation could literally mean “everything.” Put in place a solid business continuity and disaster recovery plan to safeguard all these areas. It can permit your business to maintain customer-facing transactions, meet obligations and protect vital channels of communication with customers and prospects.

Likewise, a disaster recovery plan can protect the most valuable asset of all: your data. By aligning with a trusted partner and an advanced-technology data center, you store your data securely in redundant locations and fully protected environments. Physical systems guard it from fire, power outages and other threats. Technologically advanced security protocols limit access to that data to only those you designate.

And best of all, should this plan ever need to be implemented, your customers will never notice the difference. Information will be accessible to them as always, as if it were being hosted on your website.

How to Create a Disaster Recovery Plan

In next Tuesday’s post, I’ll be more specific on the steps you need to take to put a disaster recovery plan in place to protect your business. There are many details to consider, and it’s wise to identify them up front. It’s perhaps even wiser to align with someone with specialized expertise in this area. But, more on that next week.

For nearly 100 years, Superior has been helping businesses thrive through print and promotional product management services and sales enablement tools. A disaster recovery plan is another essential tool to help protect those businesses. But the details are important—more on that Tuesday.

We believe in attention to detail. (Our ISO certification is pretty solid evidence of that.). Our customers have given us the Best of Print and Digital award two consecutive years. We think that says quite a bit, too. Contact Superior today to start a discussion on a disaster recovery plan, or any other way we can help. See you here on Tuesday!

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