While safety is everyone’s #1 concern during a hurricane, we also understand the importance of business continuity before, during and after the storm. Business down time can be devastating to Small- or Medium-Sized Businesses (SMBs). Here are some tips to make sure you are prepared to get your business operations back up and running in the event of a natural disaster.
// Have a Tested Plan.
The first step is to make sure you have a well defined Disaster Recovery Plan (DRP) in place. If you have an in-house IT team, or an external managed service provider, you may already have this in place. However, don’t wait until hurricane season to make sure, and test your plan regularly, as things change often in business. Run a mock disaster recovery test to assess your plan in action, identify any weakness or kinks, and make adjustments before a problem arises. A solid DRP will include a list of your critical business functions with an analysis of your processes and recovery plans for each, as well as a recovery time objective.
// Protect Your Assets – Physical or Digital.
Take a good look at your office and make sure you’ve considered the potential damages a hurricane can bring. Turn off and unplug computers and equipment if possible and raise things from the floors wherever possible in case of flooding. Power outages are often inevitable during a hurricane – make sure your data is protected and backed up, as well as accessible by your off-site team if you need to get up and running and don’t have access to your office. If it’s critical for your businesses to remain operational, maintain temperature control, or you just want to protect your assets in the event of an extended power outage, you should consider installing a standby generator. Finally, it’s a good time to make sure you have the proper insurance coverage to protect your assets.
// Enable Your Team For Remote Work.
Once the storm has cleared, or even in the days leading up to a storm, you’ll want to make sure your team is able to work remote if necessary. Whether your office is inaccessible, or your team just needs to be home with their families, you can enable them to work from home as necessary by making sure files are accessible, there is a point person assigned for critical projects, and all employees have the tools and methods in place for ongoing communication. Many SMBs will provide their employees with laptops, cell phones and a mobile hotspot to make sure they have what they need to get back up and running remotely.
// Establish a Communication Plan.
Make sure your team knows who to contact and establish a point person for critical projects. Another thing that’s often overlooked is making sure you have your team’s personal contact details up to date. Communicate with your customers and vendors as well if there is critical information they need to know or downtime you are anticipating.
// Utilize Your Cloud VoIP Capabilities.
This scenario is exactly what a cloud voice communication system is made for. Maximize your unified communication tools to help with business continuity. Ensure customers can continue to reach you as necessary by forwarding your calls to cellular devices, keep team members in communication with tools like instant messaging and video conferencing, and more. Your system may do more than you know – get in touch with your provider to understand your system’s capabilities, or maybe it’s time to consider upgrading to a new system that allows you to facilitate communication in the event of a disaster.
Our Gage Cloud Voice platform is truly the last phone system you’ll ever need. More than just a phone system, Gage Cloud Voice a cloud based, carrier-class complete VoIP communications solution that gives business the ability to be accessible anytime, anywhere, on any device, precisely for scenarios like disaster recovery after a hurricane. In addition, we offer a complete suite of fully managed IT services with our Insite program that will assist with backups, security monitoring, disaster recovery, and more. Contact us today to learn more about our services or schedule a consultation.