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A Safety Net for Your Business

Tuesday, March 22, 2011

What an astonishing start to the year. Who could have predicted the run of natural disasters and the effect it would have on Queensland and the economy as a whole?

Out of Office Matters is dedicated to the business tools and aids available to assist transient and remote working. So what perfect timing to consider the out of office practices within your business and how implementing a few of these could form part of your disaster management plan.

  • Cloud Computing: It’s quite the buzz word these days and while it appears to be a high-tech solution, it is a surprisingly user friendly and cost effective business solution. Basically speaking, it’s about moving away from storing your documents on your hard drive and moving towards multi server storage in the “cloud”. The benefit of this is access to documents wherever you are, so, if you lose your computer systems in the event of a disaster, your files are safe.

Note: Don’t just store operational work files here; what about your insurance policy details etc? Don’t rely on hard copies alone.

  • Virtual receptionist: What happens if your staff cannot make it to work? What happens if the phone lines are down to your business? Losing out on new customers can affect the bottom line for business owners so having a professional telephone answering service can be a godsend in the event of a disaster. Having no calls being missed gives the impression that it is business as usual giving you the time to return the calls and maintain your business’s professionalism.

  • Environmental: I am passionate about environmental matters and I feel this is a great opportunity for businesses to have a look at the paper in their offices and consider their excessive usage. Consider if your business was flooded and you lost all of the paper files, what would you do? Have you considered scanning all of your incoming mail and storage files? By reducing your paper consumption and converting hard copies to electronic, you could be saving both your business and the planet.

  • Outsourcing: OK so consider for a moment that you have lost everything and need to start again. What would you do differently? Do you need the overheads of a permanent premise? Would your business benefit from a virtual office address instead? Would it benefit your business to book a boardroom for meetings and utilise your now vacant M2 for your business? How about utilising virtual assistant services? Could staff work from home? Then remote server log ins, cloud computing access and phone diverting services may be all you need to be fully operational again.

The point is, whether your business has been affected by the disaster directly or not, it is a useful exercise for us all to consider our out of office practices and consider what measure we could take in minimising the effects of a disaster.


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