Home business articlesMarketing  ecommerce  home based  online internet business  free course
  16 hours of free training in just 5 minutes a day. Teaching you how to grow your online
internet business,
by learning about marketing your home business or ecommerce website with
easy to understand articles.
 
Sign Up Here To Get Free
Business / Marketing Tips
Name:
Email:
  Home              Index Mission Statement Links                  Articles

Sign Up Now

Google
Web .foxonlinelearning.com

 

 

 

10 Steps to Creating Your Online Business Disaster Plan

Copyright 2009 OnlineBizU.com

I'm a 2005 Hurricane Rita evacuee and fortunately made it through a hellish evacuation process and ensuing hurricane with hardly a scratch. Running from a hurricane and dealing with its landfall isn't something I've ever had to do before, nor is it something I'd ever like to do again. However, as an solo business owner, I'm quite thankful that I have an online business. The fact that I own a virtual company and can operate from anywhere that there's electricity and phone service was of great help to me in this disaster. It was a primary factor in helping me reopen my business a scant 4 days after the landfall of Hurricane Rita when so many brick-and-mortar businesses were still shuttered for weeks after the storm.

As an online business owner, what can you do to make your business disaster-proof? It seems that we have an increasing number of hurricanes making landfall in the coastal states, and add to that an increased number of other types of natural disasters like tornadoes, earthquakes, wildfires, mud slides, ice storms, blizzards, etc. makes me think that there is no ideal location in which to operate a business. Accepting that natural disasters are here to stay, here's what I learned from my hurricane evacuation that helped me get my business back up and running quickly:

1. Know the location of your vital papers. You should be able to quickly put into a folder the following for you and your family:

--marriage license

--birth certificate for you and your children

--social security card

--bank account information, including bank routing number

--driver's license or state ID card

--car title/mortgage info and insurance contact info

--house deed/mortgage info and insurance contact info

--apartment lease or copy of a utility bill and renters insurance contact info

--employee ID card

If you have documentation of your home contents, bring that information as well. In a disaster, you'll be asked to prove where you live and that you are who you claim you are, especially when applying for disaster assistance. You may also have to initiate damage reports on property, so having those files at your fingertips will help you expedite the process.

2. Have an online backup of all of your computer data. I back up my computer in two ways--to an external portable hard drive as well as to an online backup service. I use both because my files are my livelihood -- I would be dead in the water without them -- so I want to leave absolutely no room to lose my data. For my external backup, I use a 100 GB portable drive made by Seagate, and for my online backup, I have unlimited backup available through Carbonite.com

You can also use an online office system, like CentralDesktop.com or OfficeZilla.com, to upload and store many of your data files, calendar events, or contacts you might need to access.

3. Create a file with vital contact information. I copied a file with all of my usernames and passcodes for websites, bank accounts, etc. to my USB flash drive (a key chain-like device with 4 GB of memory) as well as the physical and email addresses and all phone numbers of friends, clients and family members -- anyone I needed to contact during the evacuation period. I manage my passcodes using RoboForm2Go, www.roboform.com, a portable version of my password manager software. You'll also want to take along your children's school contact info to be able to check on the current operating status of your child's school, as well as local media website info. My lifeline in getting current information about my home city was through the websites of Beaumont's newspapers and television and radio stations. If you keep your contact info in Outlook and want to create an online backup, you can do so through Plaxo.com. All you need to access your info in Plaxo is a computer and to know your username and password.

4. Know the primary office/computer equipment that will be required to get your business up and running. I had operated with a minimal amount of my office equipment during this time due to my being a house sitter for a friend for 2 months. So, upon receiving the mandatory evacuation order, I knew that to run my business, I needed my desktop PC, flat panel monitor, wireless mouse and keyboard, speakers and associated cords, modems, router, backup portable external hard drive, office telephone and associated cords, laptop computer, printer, box of software, and scanner. It sounds like a great deal of equipment, but I packed it all into 2 boxes from U-Haul (1 small and 1 medium box). I knew I could work for at least 2 months comfortably with just this equipment.

5. Know the location of your primary paper files for your clients/business. I have 2 sets of files -- ones for the immediate short-term that I use frequently and my lateral file drawer files that are primarily reference files. I grabbed the contents of the two drawers of my 2-drawer file cabinet (which hold my immediate short-term files), all of which fit into one small U-Haul box.

6. Have a backup telephone plan. I wasn't sure what I was going to do for phone service for my business, as all of my clients are scattered across the US and in Canada. Just to be safe, I upgraded my cell phone plan, and had a prepaid calling card (purchased an AT&T calling card at SamsClub.com at my disposal if I needed it. As luck would have it, my hotel offered an unlimited Internet access/long distance plan for an additional $1.88 per day, so I happily signed up for that, saving myself a fortune in phone calls and Internet service fees.

I now have Vonage.com as my phone service, so in the event I had to evacuate again, I could take my office phone and Vonage modem with me and have phone service at my office number by simply plugging in my Vonage modem to my new Internet connection.

7. Have a backup Internet access plan. Since power restoration to my home was estimated at 2-8 weeks, I had to find temporary lodging. I looked for a hotel that offered high speed Internet access and was able to use their system for my Internet access. However, once I found the hotel, I also called the tech support of my DSL ISP and found the local dial-up numbers for the area in which the hotel is located. I never had to use the dial-up service, but it was good info to have. If you have cable or DSL Internet service, now is the time to discover alternate Internet access plans to be able to get online should your DSL or cable access be out-of-service. You should also know how to access your email online through your ISP if you don't have access to your computer. If your ISP doesn't offer a version of webmail, you can use this service free-of-charge, Mail2Web.com.

8. Bring along adequate office supplies for a month. I threw in pens, pencils, post-it notes, a calculator, stamps, envelopes, tape, stapler, paper clips, note pads, etc. that would last me at least a month while I was out of my office. I used a portable plastic file case to carry these items.

9. Outline your office procedures to help you operate independently or be able to delegate tasks. Instead of carrying your business operations info in your head or have it stored in various files across your computer, what makes more sense is to document all of your office procedures, as well as computer and client info, so that everything you need is in one document. I can then upload this doc to my Yahoo account, my backup files, or carry it with me on my USB flash drive.

10. Bring a digital camera to record the event and/or record damages to personal property. I wish I'd had a digital camera to record all that I witnessed during my evacuation from Hurricane Rita (I now own a Canon Powershot A630). My sister took tons of pics, but I would've loved to have had the same opportunity. More importantly, however, is the need for a digital camera to record damage to your home and property. In a wide-spread disaster, it can be at least a month, usually more, before your insurance adjuster will be able to assess damages to your property. In the meantime, however, you need to start repairs, like placing a tarp on your roof, boarding up broken windows, removing downed trees from your house or yard, or cleaning your refrigerator of spoiled food. In many cases, your insurance will cover the repairs or food replacement, but you need to carefully document the "before" scenario in order to receive compensation for your loss.

Don't let a natural disaster destroy your business. Take some time now to prepare your disaster-readiness plan, and get back into business as soon as you can!


Online Business Resource Queen (TM) and Online Business Coach Donna Gunter helps independent service professionals learn how to automate their businesses, leverage their expertise on the Internet, and get more clients online. To claim your FREE gift, TurboCharge Your Online Marketing Toolkit, visit her site at www.OnlineBizU.com. Ask Donna an Internet Marketing question at www.AskDonnaGunter.com.

Source: http://www.submityourarticle.com

Permalink: http://www.submityourarticle.com/a.php?a=18833

Have a nice day!

Google
 
Web www.foxonlinelearning.com

 

 

Home Business Ideas
Blogging / Podcast

Affiliate Marketing

Customer Service
Email Marketing

Entrepreneurialism
Ezines

Google
Linking Strategies

Negotiation

RSS

Security

SE Optmization

SE Tactics

SE Submission

Small Business

Technology

Team Building

Social Networking
Venture Capital

Video Marketing

Web Design

Web Development

Webmasters

Website Promotion

Website Traffic

Site Map


Business Marketing
Tips Index:

 
 

 Ecommerce

 

 Business

   Selling
   Advertising
   Management
   Planning
   Marketing
         
1 2 3 4 5
6 7 8 9 10
11 12 13 14 15
16 17 18 19 20
21 22 23 24 25
26 27 28 29 30
31 32 33 34 35
36 37 38 39 40
41 42 43 44 45
46 47 48 49 50
51 52 53 54 55
56 57 58 59 60
61 62 63 64 65
66 67 68 69 70
71 72 73 74 75
76 77 78 79 80
81 82 83 84 85
86 87 88 89 90
91 92 93 94 95
96 97 98 99 100
101 102 103 104 105
106 107 108 109 110
111 112 113 114 115
116 117 118 119 120
121 122 123 124 125
126 127 128 129 130
131 132 133 134 135
136 137 138 139 140
141 142 143 144 145
146 147 148 149 150
151 152 153 154 155
156 157 158 159 160
161 162 163 164 165
166 167 168 169 170
171 172 173 174 175
176 177 178 179 180
181 182 183 184 185
186 187 188 189 190
191 192 193 194 195
196 197 198 199 200
         
         

 

 

Home & Index
Mission Statement
Links

Sign Up Now!
to get Free
Busines & Marketing Tips

Unlimited 

Autoresponders by AWeber


Subscribe and receive 5 popular summaries FREE!    
    Free Articles - Home Business. Ecommerce, Marketing covers USA, New York, Seattle, Philadelphia, Washington DC , Chicago, Baltimore , Atlanta, Dallas , San Francisco, Canada, England, Ireland , and India    
Previous Article   2009 Foxonlinelearning.com   Next Article