Most business owners ensure they have financial statements close at hand to help them make decisions…financial forecasts, what-if scenarios, cash flow analysis’ and other data-rich documents to help them plan for their success. Many of hours have been spent at conference tables hammering out business plans and succession plans to prepare for the future. As a business owner, you have probably found yourself at some time or another, up at night worrying about various situations that could do serious damage to the viability of your business. You may even have experienced nightmares just thinking about what could happen. Maybe reading about the misfourtune other businesses have experienced has causeded you some stress as well. But have you followed through with your fears to create a disaster recovery plan that will protect your business and keep it running smoothly should a disaster occur? Nearly six out of ten businesses have no plan for disaster recovery! Consider these five tips and maybe you’ll sleep a bit better at night.


1) Define a broader spectrum

What could devastate your company’s IT infrastructure?  Think of disasters beyond Mother Nature’s obvious floods and tornadoes. Remember the Northeast blackout of 2003 that affected eight states and part of Canada for up to two days?   What would happen to your data if you lost power, had computer hardware issues or had a virus infect your computers?

2) Tipping Point

Where is that fine line that you can sustain being out of business?   You should consider how long you could lose revenue and still be able to bounce back, or could you even bounce back?

3) Do “they” know?

The leaders of your company should be prepared for disasters.  Going over the plan with them and other significant personnel ahead of time is vital.

4) Assign the team

The size your of company will determine how many teams may be necessary.  The key is to define the goals that the team will address, assign responsibilities and manage other personnel during the crisis.  It’s important to include succession planning and identify the executive leadership that will announce the disaster and trigger the plan into action.

5) Evaluate and test

The cliché: “All hands on deck” comes to mind here.  Executive management must be engaged in the process and willing to invest time and resources.  Testing should be done annually, especially as technology and equipment change over time.  The plan should be distributed to all employees and listen to any feedback. Employees often discover the tiniest of day to day issues that could become significant issues in the face of a disaster. Listen to their ideas and concerns and act accordingly.  Someone down the line may discover something that could be the difference between a successful backup plan and a complete disaster.

Database security plans don’t have to be expensive, take the time to formulate the best plan for your company.  Work within your company to evaluate your threat level and if needed, seek help from a data protection partner.

The author, Robert A. Martin, is the President of Great Lakes Computer Bob has a B.S. in Electrical Engineering from the University of Akron.  He joined the company in 1995 and has held multiple positions including Large Account Sales, Sales Manager, VP of Operations, and now serves as President.  Although he oversees all operations, Bob’s primary focus is in the areas of sales development, strategic direction, government sales and large account management.   Bob lives in Avon, Ohio, is married and the father of two, and is an avid outdoorsman. Bob is the author of Great Lakes Tips on Tech Blog.