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How to Create a Resilient Business

It’s easy to get caught up in the complexity and chaos of the day to day. Sometimes we find ourselves stressing over the little details and we forget to take a step back and look at the big picture.

Though you are faced with an infinite amount of small tasks to keep your business running, only one word is necessary to keep your head above water: resilience.

Proactively preparing for any form of problem your business might face and having an immediate response when things go wrong, defines a resilient business.

In the face of a disaster, your reaction should be quick, decisive and concrete. It doesn’t matter if you have two employees or a hundred. Many small businesses make the mistake of overlooking threats, thinking nothing disastrous could ever happen. In fact, 68 percent of small businesses have no tested response to large scale disasters, like tornadoes, let alone small problems like power outages.

Sometimes technology fails. In a world run on information, it is absolutely essential that your business is prepared if and when it does. If you’re not prepared, you risk losing clients, your reputation and upsetting employees.

This can all be avoided if you prepare for short and long term disasters. So, is your business resilient enough to brave the storm?

Short Term Prep

First and foremost the best way to mitigate a crisis in the short term is to have a disaster recovery plan in place. Take inventory of the weak areas of your business that are most vulnerable to threats. It is important to assume the worst. Then outline each of these scenarios and choose what to do ahead of time so you aren’t stuck panicking if something disastrous happens.

The goal is to minimize the amount of time it takes for you to get up and running again. When it comes to managing your data, here are two ways to recover your data in the short term.

Virtualization

This allows businesses to store and compress data onto fewer servers. This keeps your files on a single virtual container, instead of spending an exorbitant amount of money on a large backup data center. It gives you the high availability of a large recovery system at a fraction of the cost.

Cloud Computing

Ever think about moving to the cloud? In the event of a disaster, being able to access your data virtually anywhere in the world is by far one of the quickest ways to recover. Most Cloud Based SaaS packages even include automatic data backups and continuity solutions. This also enables your employees to work remotely and collaborate, even if your building is burned to the ground.

Long Term Prep

When looking at the big picture, disaster recovery is not enough. Business continuity planning, however, is designed to ensure the longevity of your business while maintaining alignment with your overall goals. Many small businesses keep this on their to-do list, but never actually follow through. Planning for long term can be time consuming, but it may end up saving your business in the end. It’s not as hard as it sounds.

Recognize Your Needs

Like your disaster recovery plan, look at the weak points within your organizational infrastructure. Do not limit yourself to only natural or man-made disasters, but also areas of your business that could easily be disrupted due to changes in technology.

Impact and Risk Analysis

After figuring out the weak points, it’s time to assess the extent which each of these weaknesses threaten your business. Focus on the day to day threats that could disrupt your business, such as power outages, email issues or server crashes. Restructuring the way you operate inevitably develops into a pattern that promotes longevity.

Look for Ways to Simplifying Planning

New technology trends can be very useful for business continuity planning. BYOD policies, cloud computing and virtualization can all be used to help cut costs and minimize risks. The simpler your plan is, the easier it is to recover from disruption. Keeping up with tech trends can both improve and simplify this planning process.

Thinking your business can’t be disrupted or isn’t susceptible to man-made or natural disasters is naive at best. Even an incremental amount of downtime can end up costing your business thousands of dollars in lost revenue. Creating a business continuity and disaster recovery plan will prepare you for those long and short term problems every business faces. Plan ahead and become the resilient, unstoppable force you want your business to be.

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