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Business continuity planning

Michelle Turner, TRYP

As a young business professional I would like to talk about something that not many people think about until it’s too late, Business continuity planning.

It doesn’t seem to matter what your age is, we all hope nothing will ever go wrong. Do you have a plan in place if the worst were to happen to you?

In my line of work I often come across disasters at work places, which will completely shut down a business or even completely destroy a business. Some of the needs to know basics in continuity planning are; where is the sprinkler riser? Who has the key to turn it off? Where are the vital documents kept such as Payroll? Are my employees going to show up if I cannot find my payroll documents to issue checks? What if it’s a regional disaster? Will my employees even be able to get to work? Will they be dealing with disasters or family matters of their own? If my business is destroyed, where will my employees go? These are things to think about ahead of time and not after the fact. In the midst of a disaster, information is usually slow to come forward, but decisions need to be made now. This can cause a lapse in what we think versus what is fact.

In the past I have seen a business that had a major flood in their multi-level building, which contained floors under the street level. As they were sifting through the “what’s next” process, they realized they had made a vital mistake. Although they were smart enough to back up their hard drive daily, the back-up was left in the computer room, in the basement. What this meant is their computer back-up was now also two floors under water. They were only protecting themselves from the mainframe crashing and having to restore their computers, not from everything being under 20 feet of water.

Unfortunately it’s hard to think about every possible scenario out there that can cause business interruption. However by doing some basic preplanning you can help avoid some of the heartache by having your plan ready. Most business cannot afford to be shut down for any unplanned days. And as most of know, if something is going to go wrong, it will never be at 2 p.m. on Wednesday, it’s going to be at 3 a.m. on Sunday morning. That’s just Murphy’s Law.

I am proud to say that I have my business continuity plan put together. Do you?

Michelle Turner is the current Marketing Director for BELFOR Property Restoration, and is a member of Tahoe Regional Young Professionals.


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