Guide to preparing a disaster recovery plan for a small business
The aim of any disaster recovery plan is to prevent disaster from striking or preventing any further damage in case it was too late to prevent it and to help the business recover, shortest time possible from the impact of the disaster in case it caused a lot of damage.
How to go about preparing a disaster recovery plan
Steps followed include;
- Acquire management commitment towards the plan, they are the overall head in the business and so for the plan to be effective it has to have a go-ahead from the management.
- Establishment of a planning committee, the process is quite involving and we can’t risk utilizing the business resources for an endeavor that will not yield results or burden a single person with the entire process. The committee is tasked with, developing the plan, evaluating it and implementing the recovery plan.
- The planning committee conducts a risk analysis and its impact on business, its aimed at assessing the impact of disaster occurrence on the business such as safety of critical documents and vital records of the business and the extent of damage that may occur e.g. in case of a natural disaster. It then assesses the cost of minimizing these risks.
- The committee evaluates and establishes the priorities (what is more crucial, that the business can’t do without) in each department and assesses the effect of them not functioning (how long can the business operations proceed without the service) so that they will be given priority in the recovery plan to prevent bringing the business activities into a standstill.
- Having established the points of priority the committee evaluates the alternatives that will be used in the various process; in case this process fails, which is its alternative for the business to get running? Data is then collected on all equipment in the business and recorded, on employees; contact and back up contacts, insurance policies and all important records in the business and where they are located.
- Having gathered the relevant information, the plan is then documented, stating every detail and procedure to be undertaken in case of a disaster including whom to contact, measures to take before more help arrives, backup equipment and where to get them and how to access them too.
- Once the plan is in place, it has to be tested to evaluate its efficiency, identify areas that need modification, in the process of testing, the team will gain training on what to do when the need arises. The test criteria are established by the committee and they facilitate the actual testing.
- Once it’s texted and found to be effective and the appropriate modification made it’s submitted for approval by the management and on approval it becomes operational.
This is a simple guide that every manager of a small business will be able to follow and come up with a recovery plan. Protect your business data and ensure the going concern for your business.