Questions about disaster planning? Ask away!
- What types of businesses should use the Micro-Biz Disaster Plan?
- Is this plan right for my business?
- Why do I need to buy a plan? Why can’t I do this myself?
- I need one-on-one help. What do you offer?
- What is an outage? Does this mean power outage?
- I’m busy running a business. Will it take a lot of my time to implement this disaster plan?
- Can we outsource Disaster Recovery Planning?
- I’m not located in the United States – can I still use this product?
- No one can prevent a disaster. Why should I spend time and money trying to “prevent” disaster?
- How can I protect my family and personal property from threats and disasters?
- What is the difference between a “Business Continuity Plan” and a “Disaster Recovery Plan”?
- What is mitigation?
- I own a very small business – I don’t have to be concerned with cybercrime, right?
- How do I get started?
- What does it take to develop a viable Disaster Recovery Plan?
- Is it really necessary to disrupt business by testing the plan?
- How do I make sure the plan isn’t overkill for my company?
What types of businesses should use the Micro-Biz Disaster Plan?
The Micro-Biz Disaster Plan was specifically created for solopreneurs, entrepreneurs, micro-businesses, web-based businesses, and service providers – serious business professionals – who rely on technology to run their small businesses. These businesses need to implement a disaster plan to prepare for and quickly recover from outages. Example small businesses include: corporate consultants, marketing/sales consultants, professional speakers and trainers, event planners, wedding planners, virtual assistants, designers, website developers, independent real estate professionals, those who sell products via the Internet, small retail shops, and many others. Remember, no matter what type of business you have, business continuity is your goal.
Is this plan right for my business?
The Micro-Biz Disaster Plan was created FOR small business owners BY a small business owner – an expert in disaster planning and business continuity. In fact, this is the only disaster plan that is specifically designed for solopreneurs, entrepreneurs, and micro-businesses. Other disaster plans geared to larger businesses – and huge corporations – provide overwhelming details to address multiple physical locations (such as regional sales offices), data back-up strategies for enterprises with hundreds or thousands of employees, and many other complex procedures that simply don’t apply to the small business.
Why do I need to buy a plan? Why can’t I do this myself?
We can answer this question with a few words: streamlined process and successful results. The Micro-Biz Disaster Plan is an easy, organized system created by Karen Cleveland, a highly experienced business continuity expert. Unlike other “disaster” plans, the Micro-Biz Disaster Plan is created for small businesses and identifies what a business like yours needs. This means you won’t need to figure out what you should – or should not – include in your plan.
The product’s Guide provides a streamlined and tested process for you to customize the Template. The Guide also includes lots of suggestions, recommendations, and links to additional information. In short, Karen has done the research, so you don’t waste time researching options that don’t fit your needs. You already have a list of the best options to consider. The Micro-Biz Disaster Plan clearly guides you through steps to mitigate risk and recovery from an outage, threat, or disaster.
On the other hand, some business owners may choose to create their own disaster plan. This is fine, however, they may conduct research, collect a lot of information, get overwhelmed, and get stuck.
You can’t afford to be stuck! You must implement prevention tools, risk mitigation procedures, and disaster recovery strategies. This way, you’ll get peace of mind knowing your business is as prepared as possible.
I need one-on-one help. What do you offer?
Karen Cleveland has assisted other businesses with individualized consulting and would be glad to discuss this option with you. To be clear, she does not provide a “do-it-for-you” service. While Karen is an expert in disaster recovery planning for small businesses, she is not an expert in your business. You or a partner, employee, or virtual assistant must actively participate in the disaster planning process. That said, many consulting clients find it valuable to meet with Karen to discuss prioritizing their disaster planning activities and hear her recommendations for mitigating threats for their specific businesses. Click to schedule a session. As a reminder, the consulting fee for the first 30-minutes will be applied to your purchase of the Micro-Biz Disaster Plan.
What is an outage? Does this mean power outage?
In the disaster planning and business continuity industry, when we talk about outages, we are referring to the many man-made incidents and natural disasters that can cause a business to lose access to something important. For example, in addition to a power outage, your business can lose access to a critical website or online tool, the Internet and email, or private customer data. Theft, loss, human error, and cybercrime can lead to a surprising (and unnerving) variety of outages! While you can’t control and prevent all outages, you can take precautions, mitigate your risks, and implement procedures to quickly recover from an outage.
I’m busy running a business. Will it take a lot of my time to implement this disaster plan?
Implementing the Micro-Biz Disaster Plan is not a complex process, but it does require some time and energy from you to accomplish it correctly. Yet, we promise, you’ll quickly understand your risks and be motivated to move through the steps. Also, you’ll be guided through a staged approach, so you can assess your business’ key vulnerabilities and immediately take steps to mitigate your risk. Remember, you must protect your business and your income. We encourage you to start right now. You’ll be glad you did!
Can we outsource Disaster Recovery Planning?
Many larger companies utilize consultants to develop Disaster Recovery Plans. However, the consultant works closely with a team of employees representing the full range of business operations, and top management reviews the plan and makes decisions about expenditures for risk mitigation. Your micro business may have an assistant or a couple key employees who can complete much of the Disaster Recovery Plan, but as the owner, you have the broader perspective and must be very involved.
You may want to outsource some of the mitigations you decide to implement as a result of recovery planning. We can recommend resources who specialize in supporting small businesses with backup and security, for example, they can set up, test, and periodically verify your backup procedures, or ensure your wifi and computer are utilizing sufficient security measures.
I’m not located in the United States – can I still use this product?
The Micro-Biz Disaster Plan is perfect for anyone doing business in the U.S. or internationally, as long as you (or a team member) is fluent in English.
No one can prevent a disaster. Why should I spend time and money trying to “prevent” disaster?
You’re right, no one can prevent a disaster. But, as a small business owner, you can reduce the likelihood of some threats as well as reduce the impact a disaster would have on your business. Remember, business continuity is your goal.
Here are some compelling reasons to implement a disaster plan:
- According to an October 2005 survey of small businesses conducted by The Ad Council, 92% of respondents said it was very important or somewhat important for businesses to take steps to prepare for a catastrophic disaster, but only 39% said their company had a plan in place.
- Companies that aren’t able to resume operations within 10 days of a disaster are not likely to survive.
- A whopping 25% of companies do not reopen following a major disaster.
We often consult with small business owners about risk tolerance and risk management. In other words, how much risk can your company tolerate, and how much are you willing to spend to mitigate various risks? In planning for the unexpected, we encourage business owners to weigh the risk versus the cost of creating a contingency plan. Invest the time to plan now or, later, you may be forced to make difficult decisions about how to quickly recover from a disaster or outage.
How can I protect my family and personal property from threats and disasters?
Since your family may not be together when something happens, it’s important to plan in advance how you will contact one another in different situations. We recommend you visit Ready.gov. This helpful resource, presented by the U.S. Federal Emergency Management Agency, makes it simple for you to prepare, plan, and stay informed in case of emergencies by providing a Family Emergency Plan you can download, complete, and print.
An important part of protecting your family is having sufficient food, water, and other supplies in case your family needs to “shelter in place.” You’ll find several sources for supplies in our Resources section. (link to the Resources page, if possible, link to the “Shelter-in-place guidance and resources” section.)
Several sections in the Micro-Biz Disaster Plan address outages that can affect your family and personal property as well as your business. As you customize the plan for your own business, you may want to address your family’s response and recovery needs as well.
What is the difference between a Disaster Recovery Plan and a Business Continuity Plan?
Consultants who work with large companies often make a distinction between Disaster Recovery Plan and Business Continuity Plan, but the terms are frequently interchangeable. A Disaster Recovery Plan typically details what needs to happen after a disaster strikes. A Business Continuity Plan addresses the various mitigations – such as data backup procedures and security procedures – that should precede and, ideally, deter a disaster.
The Micro-Biz Disaster Plan addresses both disaster recovery and business continuity. It provides the guidance and specific steps you’ll take to respond to and recover from an outage and the actions you’ll take to mitigate any outages.
As a side note, you might also hear people use the term Business Continuity for when discussing their succession plan – how they want their business to proceed after their retirement or death.
What is mitigation?
The Merriam-Webster dictionary defines mitigation as “the action of reducing the severity, seriousness, or painfulness of something.” When we’re talking about disaster recovery for your business, mitigation includes everything you can do to reduce the likelihood of a disaster or outage and everything you can do to lessen the impact on your business.
For business continuity, mitigation examples include following a secure password policy to reduce the likelihood of being hacked. Another example is setting up comprehensive backups of your website, so you (or your support person) can quickly get it “live” after a loss.
The Micro-Biz Disaster Plan includes recommendations to mitigate the risks associated with 17 different outages that can impact your business. Learn more.
Wrong. Small businesses have become hackers’ main target. Why? The Wall Street Journal noted the following in an article titled “Hackers Shift Focus to Small Firms”:
“With limited budgets and few or no technical experts on staff, small businesses generally have weak security… In the time it takes to break into major company like Citigroup, Inc., a hacker could steal data from dozens of small businesses and not get detected.”
The article cited three incidents: one business lost $22,000, another lost half its annual profit, and the third company went out of business. Please don’t assume you don’t have to pay attention to cybercrime because you’re a “small” business!
How do I get started?
Purchase the Micro-Biz Disaster Plan and in just a few minutes, you can be creating a customized Disaster Recovery Plan for your business!
If you would like to talk with Karen Cleveland about how this Disaster Recovery Plan can address your specific business needs, schedule a 30-minute consultation (the fee will be applied to your product purchase).
We also recommend you subscribe to the blog, so you’ll receive tips and updates about the latest tools and methods specifically related to protecting your small business.
Take these steps to get started, and you’ll be on your way to protecting your business and your income!
What does it take to develop a viable Disaster Recovery Plan?
First and foremost, you must take an objective look at your business’ vulnerabilities. That’s why the Micro-Biz Disaster Plan is structured to help you:
- Identify and prioritize the threats, outages, or disasters that are most likely to impact your business
- Determine the recovery steps that are right for your business
- Learn mitigation approaches, tools, and strategies you can apply to your business
- Implement the necessary mitigations to reduce the likelihood of outages and the potential impact of a disaster
Developing a “real” Disaster Recovery Plan – one that is truly useful in an emergency – takes some time. But you can breathe easy, because there are many ways to streamline that time commitment, even if you have a busy schedule. You can:
- Delegate information-collection tasks
- Identify the outages with the highest likelihood and/or the biggest impact on your business, so you can develop your Disaster Recovery Plan in phases, starting with the high-risk outages
- Use the suggested response and recovery procedures
- Use the recommended resources, products, and services
Is it really necessary to disrupt business by testing the plan?
Remember the BP oil spill of 2010? The disastrous 2005 hurricane season? The widespread blackout in the U.S. Northeast in 2003? Half-hearted disaster recovery planning is a failure to perform due diligence. Testing your plan helps you perform that due diligence – and helps to ensure your business will survive a disaster.
How do I make sure the disaster plan isn’t overkill for my company?
The Micro-Biz Disaster Plan was created specifically for small businesses. This means the complicated, often overwhelming features of other disaster recovery plan products have been excluded. (Most disaster plans are created for very large companies and corporations.)
In addition, the Micro-Biz Disaster Plan walks you through a Risk Analysis, so you can determine where your business is most vulnerable. You’ll use the Risk Analysis results to prioritize the most-likely outages – and identify and prioritize the mitigation and response action items. Keep in mind, the Micro-Biz Disaster Plan was created specifically for small businesses. It will guide you through the critical steps to mitigate risk and protect your business, should a disaster or outage occur.