Disaster Recovery Plan
A home based business disaster recovery plan will protect you in the event of an unexpected disaster, illness or injury.
If a catastrophe strikes your home office, or an unforeseen injury or illness prevents you from performing your business functions, you will want to have your disaster recovery plan already defined and written down well in advance.
Your clients need to know they will be taken care of in case of an emergency. No one plans to have something terrible happen but it is always safe to be prepared. You are no longer working in an office with other administrative professionals who can take over your work responsibilities while you are away sick, injured, etc. Once you have started a virtual assistant business, you have become a solopreneur. You need to have a plan for backup in case something happens to your most important asset – you!
Here are some things to include in your home business disaster recovery plan:
Fireproof safe: Have important papers, insurance documents, contracts, etc. kept in a fireproof safe. These can be found at any large discount or office supply store.
Files: Keep your files for all of your clients neat and easy for anyone to find anything they are looking for. Have your client list with contact phone numbers and email addresses filed neatly so that it is easy for anyone to step in and contact your clients for you if needed.
Bookkeeping. Keep your receipts neatly filed and keep your business books up to date in case you need someone to help with your invoicing and receiving payments. Make sure someone knows how to access your bank accounts and make sure payments are processed and no checks bounce.
Backup Person: When you are creating your emergency plan, you need to have someone who can step in for you in case you cannot perform your duties. Clients will need to be confident that a trustworthy person will be in contact with them in case you cannot and that someone will be able to finish any projects you may be working on for them. Perhaps you have a relationship with another virtual assistant who could step in for you if something happened to you. A local person who has access to your home office would be the best option.
Second Computer: Do you own a second computer with access to the necessary software? If not, do you have access to another computer if something catastrophic happened to your home? The great thing about a virtual assistant business is that you can access your business from any computer in any location. There are software programs that allow you to access your computer from any location.
Save all software installation disks and online links with installation codes for reinstalling your software when needed.
You may want to keep a copy of your backup disks and software program disks in a fireproof safe or in another location, for instance a safety deposit box. Today many software programs are downloaded rather than installed from disks; however, you do need to keep a copy of the license numbers and access codes you will need to reinstall this software in case you need to replace your computer. I keep a disk of all my emails which have the installation link, access codes and proof of purchase that I received when I purchased the software in a safe place. I have used this twice when replacing my computer and my hard drive and this has made reinstalling my software so much easier and less stressful than trying to find all of this information when already stressed over a computer breakdown.
Clients want to know their information is protected on your computer and all papers and information about their business is secure. A good disaster recovery plan will also ensure your clients are taking care of in case anything should happen to you or your home office. No one wants to think about something terrible happening, but it is always best to be prepared in advance.
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