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Small Biz Puts Protection Before Continuity In Survey

Despite a recent history that includes terrorist attacks on American soil, the resulting war against terror, and a flurry of virus activity, most small businesses aren't concerned enough to develop specific plans to keep their businesses up and running in the event of a disaster. However, they do recognize the need to protect their data and computer systems from natural disaster and hacker attacks.

A survey of 237 small business conducted by Small Business Pipeline in April found that 73% have no written plan that defines a strategy for responding to disaster. Of the 27% that do have such a plan, about 80% actually review the plan on an annual basis with their employees.

Six of 10 have done no formal quantification of how much it would cost their business if it was interrupted for any extended period of time. Of that small percentage that have performed this financial analysis, 56% say they'd lose less than $10,000 per day. That result is perhaps not too surprising, given that more than half of the survey respondents have less than 10 employees. Another 27% have less than 50 employees and 16% have less than 100.

In a somewhat contradictory finding, the highest number of respondents, 35%, ranked disaster recovery as about equally important as other business functions such as customer service, technology operations, finance and accounting, and so on. A full 34% said disaster recovery is more important while 31% said it's less important. Despite these findings, there's no apparent sense or urgency to plan for disaster.

There was some good news: 56% of survey respondents do have a defined sequence of steps to be followed if their physical location becomes unavailable.

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