Contributions to Profit Prepare Your Catalog Business for
Prepare Your Catalog Business for
By Jim Gilbert
As I sit here on a Sunday afternoon, the sky outside is black and Florida once again is weathering a storm. This one carries 60-plus miles per hour winds and torrential downpours, and the electricity is out in half of my town — and it's only April. By the time you read this column, the real hurricane season will be just weeks away.
Even if you don't live in a hurricane zone, consider the disaster preparedness checklist below, as disasters of all forms — earthquakes, terrorist attacks and power outages — can strike at a moment's notice. Natural disasters in other areas of the country also can affect your business.
Always Have a Plan B
Devise some measures you can take to assure your business's continuity during emergencies. One of my clients literally went out of business for an entire week during its heaviest mailing season due to a hurricane. All of its internal systems were in one place, from the call center to the Web site, so when the electricity went out, so did the business. By the time the next hurricane hit three weeks later, the company was better prepared by getting a backup call center ready.
Here are some ways to prepare:
1. Write a short disaster plan. Make sure all department heads are familiar with the plan. Get your vendors — especially your Internet and telephone service providers — involved (the ones who can help restore your business and communicate your status to customers). Publish a list of all emergency contact numbers for your key personnel and vendors. Include home and cell phone numbers, and home e-mail addresses as other ways of contact if the main communication channels go down.
2. Always back up your data and keep multiple copies of the data off site in different locations.