Colder temperatures and stormy weather have caused many people to start thinking about how the winter could affect their companies. But when it comes to being prepared, business owners should act now, before they find themselves facing a crisis.
Backups and Redundancies
Creating backup copies of all of your files is a good rule of thumb for every business. This is especially true when winter storms threaten to take down your IT infrastructure. These backup copies should also be updated frequently. Storing backup copies in the cloud or at an offsite location ensures that you have access to them if your building ends up getting damaged by a storm.
Data isn’t the only thing that needs protecting. Your physical infrastructure also needs to be taken into account. This means having surge protectors on all network appliances and maintaining an uninterrupted power supply. If the power goes out, an uninterrupted power supply can prevent data loss and potential damage to your hardware.
Connecting With Your Staff
During a snowstorm, be sure to keep in touch with your employees, either on the phone or through email. You should already have a plan in place for communicating and collaborating when everyone’s not in the office. After making sure that everyone is all right, you can start putting that plan in action.
While inclement weather will likely affect your productivity, a good contingency plan lets you make progress on the projects currently in your pipeline.
Severe storms can sometimes cause power outages. In cases like these, it is best to conserve your batteries. While you won’t be able to have extended conversations with your employees, you will still be able to keep in touch with them for a longer period of time. Additionally, if your network or email system is down, you can use an outside channel like Twitter or Facebook to communicate with your employees.
Talking to Your Clients
Many of your clients will probably be concerned about the storm’s effect on your business, so it is best to connect with them as soon as possible. If your staff cannot get to work and therefore cannot answer the phones at your office, then update your voicemail recording to let your clients know about the situation.
Your website will be a crucial way to connect with your clients during a storm, so make sure to update that as well. Similarly, social media can let you provide up-to-the-minute reports on the status of your business. You can use both of these platforms in tandem by directing your clients from your website to your social media accounts, and vice versa.
The key to customer communication during a natural disaster is to be informative, considerate, and accommodating. After all, a lot of your clients are probably facing the same issues that you are. Most of them will appreciate your extra effort during a stressful situation.
Sending your clients a thoughtful email is a good way to show that you care about what they are going through. The message to your clients should confidently state that your company is continuing to serve them. You should also offer to help them through this emergency, if they need any immediate assistance.
In addition to having a plan for the time during a storm, you should also have a disaster recovery plan for when the storm passes. The first step in this plan should be taking stock of the situation.
If any of your computer equipment is wet or damaged, do not turn it on or plug it in. You should also check with your managed service provider to make sure that your network is still running. Your MSP can also help with restoring any data that may have been lost and replacing any damaged equipment. It can also set up a system that frequently creates backup copies of your files.
With the right disaster recovery plan, your business can weather the winter storms. Contact us to learn more about preparing your IT infrastructure for potentially catastrophic events.
For more information on how ECC IT Solutions can protect your critical business systems, applications and data, give us a call or fill out the form below for a complimentary IT Needs Assessment.