Every Business Should Have a Plan to Stay in Business

Over the last few weeks I’ve had the pleasure of making a number of presentations to and connections with businesses and organizations over the topic of Business Continuity.  I’m thrilled that people are thinking about this and that my interactions brought about some great discussions.

Businesses can and do fail in the aftermath of a disaster!

Let’s look at some numbers:

  • Over 25% of businesses do not reopen following a major disaster (Institute for Business and Home Safety)
  • 70% of small firms that experience a major data loss go out of business within a year (Price Waterhouse Coopers)
  • 80% of companies that do not recover from a disaster within one month are likely to go out of business (Bernstein Crisis Management)
  • Of those businesses that experience a disaster and have no emergency plan, 43 percent never re-open; of those that do reopen, only 29 percent are still operating two years later (The Hartford Financial Services Group)

The Institute for Business and Home Safety says that each year disasters such as floods, hurricanes, tornadoes, and wildfires force thousands of businesses to close.  But even more common events, such as building fires, cause the same result.  So what can you do?

  • Ensure that your building meets local code and safety standards, including electric, plumbing, chemical storage, and fire safety (don’t forget the smoke and carbon monoxide detectors and fire extinguishers!).
  • Check your insurance plan to ensure that you are getting the best coverage possible.
  • Back up computer data and files regularly to an offsite location.
  • Create a disaster plan for your business to address life safety issues.
    • Create a business continuity plan to address how you will stay in business after a disaster.

There are a number of resources for business preparedness available at the following: