July 2014

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44 | www.cedmag.com | Construction Equipment Distribution | July 2014 A Closer Look Running a business day to day is hard enough with- out additional challenges. Unfortunately, those "additional challenges" can and do occur, and they must be managed. One of the most significant is dealing with natural as well as manmade disasters. Without proper preparation, these events can actually put you out of business. A small business can and should make preparations for disruptive and catastrophic events in an effort to maintain a viable business, according to James Nelson, president of Busi- ness Continuity Services (www.businesscontinuitysvcs.com), an international consulting company that provides expertise for private and public sectors in business continuity management, crisis management, data center management and consolida- tion, emergency management, facility risk and vulnerability assessments, IT disaster recovery, and risk management. "A business worth growing is a business worth protect- ing," said Nelson. "Delays in planning for the unexpected can harm or destroy your business. A good plan today is better than a perfect plan tomorrow." Understand Your Risks The first step in disaster planning is to understand your risk landscape - both internal and external. What are you most at risk for? This varies. "For example, if you're in Minneapolis, you have differ- ent physical risks than if you are in Miami," said Bob Boyd, president and CEO of Agility Recovery (www.agilityrecovery. com). "You need to tailor your plans for the higher risks for your region." Agility Recovery works with the U.S. Small Business Administration (SBA) and the Federal Emergency Management Agency (FEMA) on the PrepareMyBusiness (www.preparemybusiness.org) monthly webinar series. The SBA and Agility also work together to encourage all small businesses to have a recovery plan in place. Agility Recovery offers testable, turnkey disaster recovery solutions and busi- ness continuity services for small and midsized businesses. "Customers pay a monthly fee," said Boyd. "We help them get prepared, and develop a plan for them. If something happens, we provide all of the assets they will need, such as generators, office space, phone system, computer technol- ogy, etc., so they can open up again." Take some time to consider the risks to your business location(s) and determine if there are some interventions or measures that you can put in place. What are the major risks that these locations are exposed to? "The most frequent risks most companies face are fire, flood, severe weather, and seismic activity," said Nelson. "Any or all of these can result in loss of power and What Would You Do If It Happened To You? Now, not later, is the time to prepare for disasters and how your business will cope, manage, recover and survive. BY WILLIAM ATKINSON

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