As much as we may try, we simply cannot control the uncontrollable. While you hope it will never happen, there is always a risk that your business might be suddenly affected by a fire, flood, earthquake, or other disastrous event. While you cannot control a disaster, you CAN control your preparation for one, by taking time to create an information digitization and storage plan that can help to minimize the disruption to your business, your life and maybe even lessen the financial impact. Proactive planning can pay you tremendous dividends should an unthinkable event occur.
One area that should be addressed in your Disaster Recovery Plan is the retention of your valuable personal and business information. How will you be able to access irreplaceable and information-rich documents, so you can move quickly to help minimize your downtime, and restore your business and its cash flow? Here are just a few ways using a scanner can help you prepare for a disaster and prevent data loss:
- Digitize your critical paper documents and store them offsite or in the cloud. If your office is affected by a disaster, or even if you’re merely unable to travel to your office because of a disaster, if you have an internet connection, you may still be able to access your most important documents if you’ve scanned them and saved them to a cloud storage site. You may wish to consider making backup copies of business financials, corporate documentation, customer and vendor contracts, HR files, employee contact information, or other critical business paperwork.
- Scan business cards and maintain a complete digital directory of business associates.A disaster could destroy your business card directory. It could also render your email server inoperable. But if you’ve scanned and saved the information from the business cards of your professional contacts, you give yourself a greater opportunity to maintain “business as usual” with your external partners in the event of a disaster.
- Help expedite insurance claims by scanning completed forms and sending electronically. If a disaster does strike, you’re almost certainly going to be filing insurance claims. Rather than sending completed forms through the mail, consider saving time by scanning them and emailing them directly. If an insurance company is going to be dealing with an increased volume of claims due to a disaster, getting your paperwork in as early as possible may help move your claim closer to the top of the pile. Your digital file, with time-stamping and track-ability, may prove helpful should payments get delayed.
We all hope that our businesses will never be affected by a disaster, but as you can see, it can make financial and business sense to invest in a scanner and begin to migrate your most important information to the cloud. Even more so, it can help ease anxiety and frustration and help expedite your return to normalcy.