The owner opens the doors for the first time with hope. Hope that the future will now be brighter. Hope that customers will come…and purchase. Hope that customers will love them and want to come back. Hope that maybe the business will become a legacy to be left to their children.
Weather emergencies such as floods, tornados, hurricanes, and earthquakes can have severe impacts on businesses. Vandalism, burglaries, theft, and robberies may also be threats to a business. Modern times have added cyber attacks as a threat the business community must guard against.
The question I want to raise here is how well are you prepared to deal with any of the events mentioned above? Security of people (employees and customers), property, and data must always be in the business owner’s thinking. It must be something for which there is a plan.
What about backup systems? Do you have processes that can be implemented if your power goes out? Or, processes that implemented in case you lose internet connectivity while your internet service provider (ISP), bank, or cloud-based accounting provider endures a denial of service attack? Do you do weekly and/or daily backups of your business computer? Where do you store these backups?
Large companies do nightly backups of their systems with duplicity. They will keep a backup on-site and another one somewhere else, maybe even in another town or state. For most small businesses, an out of town site might be a little over the top. But, it is still a good idea to keep that backup offsite somewhere. Such backups make reconstructing and restarting much simpler in the event of a catastrophe.
I often tell my clients that starting a business is much like being the parent of a baby. It must be protected and cared for in many similar ways. Until the business is firmly established in the industry and market, it faces many threats. To survive, the owner must have a plan of what to do in nearly any scenario. The Small Business Administration (SBA) has some good tools on their website and there are a number of good articles on the internet relating to cybersecurity.
My hope for you is that you will take time to evaluate the threats faced by your business and develop a plan that will position you to survive these threats and ultimately realize your hopes for your business. Your Angelo State University – Small Business Development Center advisor can assist you in this evaluation and plan.
“Business Tips” was written by James Leavelle, Business Development Specialist and Certified Business Advisor of Angelo State University’s Small Business Development Center. For more information on the topic of this article or the services of the ASU · SBDC, contact him at James.Leavelle@angelo.edu.