Guest post from @Cindy_Bates, Microsoft VP, SMB (US)
What runs through your mind when you flip on the evening news or catch the headlines onyour mobile device and see that another tornado or hurricane has devastated town“X”, leaving countless businesses, not to mention residents, in dire straits?
I’m guessing you feel empathy, perhaps followed by the question, “Wow, if thathappened to me, would my business survive?”
Well,these are actually really important questions to be asking yourself, regardless of whether you live in an area prone to natural disasters. Disasters can happen anytime, anywhere, and they’re not just physical. Virtual disasters that wreak havoc on IT networks can be just as destructive as physical catastrophes, paralysing businesses and threatening their survival.
In fact, the US Department of Labor estimates more than 40 percent of businesses never reopen following a disaster and, of the remaining companies, at least 25 percent will close in two years. [Ed’s note, figures for the UK are comparable. A 2011 study released by the Security Minister found that cybercrime in the UK cost £27 bllion, with businesses taking the biggest hit, losing £21 billion.]
Furthermore, with fewer resources than larger corporations, SMBs have a harder time recovering from virtual and physical disasters than their larger counterparts.
I don’t bring all of this up just to make you afraid, but rather to make you aware and point you to a great resource that can help get your business get ready for “the worst,” should it happen. Microsoft has just published a free disaster preparedness e-guide, available here, specifically tailored to SMBs. I encourage you to set aside some time as soon as possible to check out the guide and determine what steps your business needs to take to be able to withstand the unexpected.
And if reading the guide sparks any questions related to disaster preparedness, feel free to engage with me on Twitter at @Cindy_Bates. I’m more than happy to keep this conversation going and help out with answers to your questions and concerns.