Starting up a business is risky - plain and simple!

Once you’ve got your idea, you then have to plan and implement it in such a way that it grows into a fully formed established business, all the while overcoming any landmines that may be in the way. Building a business from the ground up entails spending a lot of valuable time and effort, so why would you then leave the business exposed to the devastating effects that the wide range of possible disasters that could occur?

Working with thousands of businesses, 08 Direct have been able to recognise the effects that disasters have upon businesses, and also the amount of disasters that can occur. Many businesses are continuing to work without a protection ‘shield’ against possible disaster, leaving them vulnerable. We’ve put together our top 10 tips as to how startups can ensure they can protected and prepared for disaster from day 1:

Back up your data – If you’re going to do anything to prepare your business against disaster, then this is the one you need to do. If you plan to run your business mostly electronically which, let’s face it, most business’ do these days, you’ll be collecting important information and data from day one. Now imagine you lose all of it? Save yourself, and your business, from disaster by backing up your data regularly in a safe, reliable place. Cloud storage has grown in popularity recently because of its secure yet accessible nature, allowing data to kept safe off site, so that it is reachable from any location.

Train all staff – Your staff are the ones that ensure the day-to-day running of your business is smooth, so these are the people that will be the first port of call if anything was to go wrong. For this reason, it pays to make sure that each and every staff member knows the business and its plan of disaster procedures inside out.

Be secure – It may sound obvious, but the premises from which your business is run holds every fundamental element of your business, equipment, data, contacts etc. Keeping your premises alarmed when unattended, keeping information stored in secure places and using data protection software will ensure that you protect yourself from theft and other such security issues.

Be flexible – The business marketplace and its circumstances are ever changing, so your business needs to be able to change and adapt to the landscape. Being flexible will ensure that your business is not only able to keep up with current trends and consumer demands, but it will also prevent any changes resulting in negative effects for your business.

Don’t place all your eggs in one basket – In the interest of protecting yourself against disaster, placing all of the responsibility upon one person could be a bad thing, so it pays to back up your back up. I’m not saying tell everyone everything, but ensuring the responsibility is spread amongst a numerous people, or you’ve outsourced your disaster plan to a trusted person or business will help you rest assured that you’ll be able to call on someone when your first choice isn’t available.

Reliable equipment – Whatever area your business is in, the equipment and technology that you buy is going to be an important element of your work. With this in mind, it’s very important to ensure that it will always be in a useable state. Cutting corners and the cheapest option may be great for immediate business cash flow, but, will it benefit your business in the long run if you have to keep replacing it?

Regular Maintenance – Your premises, equipment and in many ways, your staff, are all elements of the business that should be reviewed and maintained regularly to ensure that they remain as productive as possible. Keeping on top of things will also ensure that any problems that may arise could be caught in the early stages and nipped in the bud, starving off any disasters that may occur.

Have a contingency plan in place – If, god forbid, disaster does strike, having a comprehensive plan in place will ensure that the effects are able to be minimised. Ensure that those who need to be in the know are, and that staff members are confident with what is to happen in the case of various situations. One way to do this is to regularly practice your procedures, a little like a fire drill, in order to build confidence within your business that no matter what happens, you can overcome it!

Insurance – You wouldn’t drive your car without insurance, or go on holiday without travel insurance, so why would you start a business without business insurance?! This is one of the best ways to protect your business when disaster strikes, as it provides a kind of ‘safety blanket’ if you will, letting you rest assured that even if your business suffers a disaster, you’ll be able to bounce back from it.

Article written by Katherine Evans, PR & Marketing Executive from www.08Direct.co.uk

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