Business Continuity Plans – Even Home-Based Businesses Need Them

Often times home-based business owners feel that they just aren’t big enough to follow processes and procedures like self-standing companies do. This might be true to some degree, but certainly not when it comes to business continuity/disaster recovery (BC/DR) planning.

Big corporations have BC/DR plans in place. They even test them, often every quarter or every six months. And they update, revise, retest, and start all over again. Many small and medium businesses are beginning to see the need and are following suit. They realize the importance of being able to recover quickly and get back in business. And they realize that if they have no plan, they’ll have little success.

But is there really a need for a business continuity plan for a home-based business? Absolutely! Even if your business exists in a bedroom that has been converted into an office, you still are a business. Right? And if you are a business, you need to be prepared for business interruption.

Two main causes of business interruption are computer crashes/technology issues and disasters. You won’t need a plan as big and as in depth as a large company, but the need is just as urgent.

TECHNOLOGY

If you have a computer crash, and lose all of your company information, how will you remain in business? Here are some questions to consider:

– Are you backing up your computer onto an external hard drive, tape or a CD?

– Where are your backups stored?

– Do you have 24/7 access to your backup drives/tapes/CDs?

– Are you backing up your computer every day?

These are key questions. With the reasonable pricing of online backup services, it makes sense to utilize the technology. You won’t have to remember to back up – it will just happen automatically. (An added bonus is that this is one less task for you to worry about.)

DISASTERS

If you are the victim of a fire, tornado or any other disaster that prevents you from doing business, what will you do? Since you’re home-based, you will also need to find a new place to live!

– Where will you live?

– Who has some space that you can use until your house is rebuilt?

– How quickly can you file your insurance claim?

– Who will take care of your customers?

– Do you have a plan in place to be able to contact them?

– What happens to your partially-completed projects?

A huge part of a disaster preparedness or business continuity plan is an asset inventory. This is important for both your home and business contents. Being able to provide the insurance company with a thorough, detailed list of all you lost will ensure a maximized claim and will allow you to file it quickly.

This will enable you to be back home – and in business – quickly. The shortened downtime will help you retain your customers, lessen the stress you’ll experience and get your revenue stream flowing again quickly.