How your top 10 clients can impact your disaster recovery

Yesterday’s mini-rant about the Flip (which I otherwise *really* like) codec thing aside, our disaster series continues today with a discussion about planning for your disaster recovery – before things go bad.

Aymee Ruiz with State Farm Corporate Media Relations sent me this list of disaster recovery planning steps, which I suggest you use as a high-level starting point to formulate your disaster plan BEFORE things go bad. There’s also some discussion of what to do afterwards, so be sure to use that to add to your disaster recovery plan NOW so that you don’t find yourself looking at the ground when your agent asks you if you have <whatever>.

Using that Flip recorder to document your assets isn’t a bad idea either. Just make sure the videos are stored somewhere other than at your business location, preferably in a secure, online location.

Next, I thought it might be wise to discuss something that might make you a little uncomfortable.

Making a top 10 list

You probably already have it in your head, but you may not think about it much.

If the disaster forces you into a position where you can handle the work of only 10 clients…which 10 will it be?

If you think back to last week’s post about the restaurant/catering business that burned, remember what he did first that was super-critical: He kept the catering business alive and kept the cash flowing.

In the eyes of his catering clients, there was no fire.

Despite all that was going on with the public-facing retail side of his business, he kept delivering and kept accepting catering orders. He focused on the relationships and facilities provided to him that kept that piece of the business going while the recovery of his retail business was in motion.

Don’t get me wrong, I’m sure it pains him deeply every day that his retail serving area is closed… but the priority had to be the catering clients. Bigger tickets. Repeat business. Loyal business that appreciates the little things they do that other caterers don’t do.

You need to have that in mind as well. Which clients will get that sort of service, and which will have to wait?

Sure, it’d be ideal that none will have to do without, but the reality is that unless you’ve planned *very* well and you are *very* lucky, some aspect of your business is going to have to sit for a while.

Does that thought provoke you to look at your existing business a little differently?

Do you have another income stream for your existing business that functions without access to your retail (or public-facing restaurant) location?

If you have a retail store, do you sell on eBay? Etsy? Yahoo stores? Your own online store?

If you have a restaurant, do you cater events or corporate meetings and the like?

No matter what you do…is there a core revenue stream you can establish (or that you already have) that doesn’t depend on your physical business location?

It’s easier to get one now than it is in the middle of a crisis. Get to work.