Picture by Christina@wocintechchat.com from Unsplash – CC0 Licence Disasters for small businesses arrive in all forms. In some cases, a catastrophe can affect a small business so much that it is unlikely to ever recover from it.  Catastrophes that could strike a small enterprise include natural disasters like floods, tornadoes, earthquakes, or hurricanes. Moreover, cyber attacks, such as viruses and trojans, can seep into and wreak havoc for small companies’ IT equipment and data. Equally, power shortages are detrimental to a business and often mean immediate and lengthy downtime.  The best way to prevent a disaster of any kind from destroying the business you’ve created is to prepare for the below two priorities. In no particular order, here is what you need to prepare to protect;

Company Intel

A company’s information entails multiple confidential sources, such as customer details, such as their address and bank details. The enterprises’ bank account and financial records. And the business’s plans for the future, and drafts for new projects and products.  If the information mentioned were to get into the wrong hands, such as cyber-criminals. Or a thief stole the business’s desktops. This would pose a significant threat to the livelihood of the business. Potentially pushing the company to close. There is also the risk of losing customers because clients no longer feel confident in keeping their details with your business.  Protecting company intel should be towards the top of your priority list. You can either instruct your IT team to evaluate your existing systems. Otherwise, you can hire IT professionals to do it for you. By diagnosing your current IT processes and data protection protocols, computer experts can conclude on what anti-virus software is necessary and whether your company could benefit from a cloud computing service.

Protect Your Employees

Your staff legally and morally deserve a plan of action should the worst event occur at work. Often, your office’s geographical location, for example, can help you identify the most likely natural disasters you should prepare for. Equally, assessing the crime rates in your area can also give you a better indication of the likelihood of a robbery.  All in all, it’s important to research your premises, and the area, to evaluate and determine health risks and disasters that could occur. From here, you can develop a plan to prepare for these events. Preparation might include training for management and employees, including, first aid training and fire drills. It’s important to test people’s knowledge of the premises regularly too. Such as where the exits are, and what they would do if they saw a fire occurring.  Preventative measures should be trained in the workplace too to avoid accidents. Such as effectively managing cables to prevent people from experiencing a nasty fall. And wearing PPE when handling toxic chemicals to protect a person’s skin and eyes, and lungs. Beyond training, it’s essential to provide staff the resources to prevent a disaster, such as a fire, for example, becoming worse. Meaning, fire safety doors, multiple extinguishers, and clear exit routes should be ready. If the pandemic has taught us anything, it’s that we should also expect the unexpected. And prepare for whatever the world throws our company’s way. By spending time to focus on potential problems, we can hopefully preserve the business’s livelihood, and keep operating when the disaster has passed.

 


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