Every company relies on technology to operate in the 21st century, but technology isn’t failproof. With more and more critical information existing only in digital form, it’s become essential to take steps to keep everything backed up in the event of problems. A disaster recovery plan is one way that businesses prepare for the unthinkable. For small and medium businesses (SMBs), they’re critical.

A disaster recovery plan outlines the most critical assets to protect and steps to take during or following a disaster. When time is of the essence, knowing how to respond can mean the difference between survival and shutter for good.

Many SMBs Don’t Survive Major Disruptions

According to FEMA, between 40 and 60 percent of all businesses fail following a disaster – SMBs typically trend towards the higher end of that spectrum. Unlike established enterprises that may have significant resources, SMBs are frequently much more vulnerable to substantial disruptions in their operations. A prolonged period of downtime can leave a company out of business for good.

In business terms, a disaster is defined as any event that disrupts critical business functions. These are functions that the business must undertake to operate, such as the ability to transact sales or process data. Disasters have many origins, from physical or natural to human-made or technological. Among the most common sources for catastrophe include:

  • Natural disasters
  • Fires and floods
  • Cybersecurity breaches
  • Lawsuits or other legal trouble
  • Technological failures
  • Industry-specific disasters

Some of these are foreseeable – businesses in areas that experience hurricanes or tornadoes know to anticipate and take steps to prepare for each. Others, like a cyberattack or electrical fire, may not be so easy to predict.

It’s not uncommon for SMBs to put off disaster recovery planning because of the amount of work involved in developing and testing a plan. Business owners have a million things to worry about, and disasters frequently fall into the category of things that happen to “other people.” However, that’s dangerous and a big part of the reason why many SMBs fail when their operations get disrupted.

Disaster Recovery Improves Security and Operations

Putting a disaster recovery plan in place can improve the security and overall operations of a company. That’s because the process requires companies to take a hard look at their environment, practices, and existing industry hazards.

Disaster recovery planning can force a company to take steps to mitigate potential disasters due to carelessness, ignorance, or from the adoption of “good enough” approaches that work but aren’t ideal. It can also help address hazards that can’t be eliminated due to the nature of the industry.

This is particularly true when considering the many technological origins of disasters in the office. Consider that the 2019 IT Outage Impact Report by LogicMonitor found that 51 percent of all technology failures that led to disasters were completely avoidable. In many cases, outages occurred because of misconfigured settings or the use of outdated hardware that wasn’t designed for the capacity at which the business used them.

Likewise, human error accounts for more than 90 percent of all data breaches. In many industries, such as financial or healthcare, data breaches constitute a severe risk that may quickly spiral into disaster.

Traditional loans are considered high-risk for small business financing in the immediate aftermath of a disaster. Small businesses need access to gap/bridge financing, as well as low-interest, flexible terms and/or forgivable loans, particularly during risky economic times. This kind of loans are perfect to many who are being denied before by the banks since in this process they give loans without a credit rating check.

Managed Services Can Help SMBs Prepare for Disaster

All SMBs should have a disaster recovery plan, but that doesn’t make the creation and testing of one any less daunting. Therefore, many business owners turn to managed services to help create a plan.

A managed service provider can prove valuable both during disaster recovery and disaster response. For example:

  • Managed IT services can eliminate common sources of breaches or technological failures while assisting with backups or alternative ways to operate.
  • Managed document services can ensure a regular document backup takes place so that no critical information is ever lost.
  • Managed services of all types can take over disaster response for the company’s technological assets, leaving staff free to deal with evacuating employees, customers, or physical assets.

Smile and Get Started With Disaster Recovery Today

Nobody likes to think about the worst-case scenario, but not doing so is a recipe for disaster – literally. With the chances of failure following a disaster so high for SMBs, business owners cannot take the risk of being caught off-guard. Likewise, while many disasters are avoidable and can be mitigated, others are simply a fact of life. That makes preparation vital for an agile, effective response.

Working with a managed service provider can take away the stress of disaster recovery planning. These professionals can perform an assessment and empower a company with insights on the right steps to take. Enjoy the guidance of experienced professionals, a keen view of the company’s operations, and a disaster recovery plan that works.

Smile empowers companies with the tools they need to succeed. Start a conversation about disaster recovery planning now.