Although it may sound dramatic, disaster proofing your business is essential – regardless of how big or small your company may be. Fires, floods, theft and general mishaps can all bring your business to a grinding halt if you do not have a decent plan of action in place.

Here we look at 8 steps that you can take to make sure that your company doesn’t get caught out in the event of a disaster:

Business protection

1. Put your plan in writing

Get your team together and create a comprehensive plan of action that will work for your business. Simply following a template that you’ve found online isn’t good enough, it needs to be tailored to your organisations own particular needs.

Keeping a copy of this document offsite, preferably in more than one place, is vital. Also, be sure to include all of your emergency contact details for your employees and suppliers in there too.

2. Let everyone know about it

Once you have a plan in place it is important to tell everyone that it affects, which should mean the whole company. Hold a meeting where you go through the plan in detail with your entire staff, pointing out their individual responsibilities along the way. Hand out paper copies and electronic access information for the plan so your staff can retrieve the strategy wherever they may be.

3. Find an alternative site

Having an alternative site where your workers can carry on running the business in the event of a disaster is vital if you want to maintain smooth operations. From the backup site you will be able to communicate properly to any suppliers, customers, or indeed employees that you may need to contact, even when your main premises are inaccessible.

4. Check your backup plan

Ensure that your current backup plan will sufficiently cover your business in the event of a disaster. Data is vital to many businesses in the digital age, and yet many fail to implement regular backups. This leaves them vulnerable should the worst happen.

Don’t just leave it at electronic data either. Paper documents should also be backed up too. Document scanning services will ensure that your essential paper documents are protected and stored on a CD, DVD or portable hard drive.

Data backup in the cloud

5. Check your file recovery plan

Backing up your files may be essential, but can you retrieve them in the event of a disaster? Your disaster plan should include details on how your files will be retrieved if your system is down. Comprehensive data recovery information on where hard copies of your data are being held should also be included in your plan.

6. Know who’s in charge of who

Having an effective chain of command will help employees know who they can turn to if a disaster was to strike. If the company’s hierarchy are not available at the critical moment it is vital that the responsibility falls to someone who is capable of handling the situation correctly.

7. Train those important staff members

The staff members who have been chosen as part of the disaster team should receive adequate training and guidance on how best to deal with the situation. Training is vital, and ensuring that each individual can handle the emergency tasks assigned to them competently will allow the plan to unfold without a hitch.

8. Test, test and test

Regardless of how much time you spend putting your plan together, there will be teething problems initially. Doing a test run of the disaster plan will help to iron out any issues that may be found before it’s too late.

Disaster proofing your business is vital if you want to ensure that your company can keep running should the worst happen. By following the 8 steps above you will be well on the way to having a plan in place that will work for your organisation.