Backup and Disaster Recovery: Your Competitive Advantage

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Has your backup and disaster recovery system saved the day for your business when faced with a natural disaster or major area-wide service disruption? Hopefully you returned to business as usual, with minimal disruption to your day-to-day operations and without too much inconvenience to your customers.

While many business owners think of a disaster recovery system mainly as a form of safeguarding crucial digital information, it is also a competitive advantage that can actually win you new business in the wake of a major technology disruption.

The Early Bird Gets The Business

When Superstorm Sandy hit the Eastern United States in October, 2012, the massive natural disaster left behind millions of dollars of property damage to devastated homes and businesses across a wide area. However, it also provided opportunity for those businesses that quickly recovered to offer immediate services to customers in need. Businesses that were able to open their doors (or at least provide some sort of service) before their competitors could gained new customers who needed immediate help.

The Mr. Rootor franchise based in Freehold, New Jersey is one example of how a cloud-based backup system allowed a small business to not only minimize downtime, but achieve a valuable advantage over other area businesses that took much longer to recover from the storm. With the help of their corporate offices, and thanks to the online recovery systems, they were soon able to start helping area residents in desperate need of their help.

“We have very tight systems,” Mr. Rootor President Mary Kennedy Thompson explained in an interview with NBC News and Entrepreneur Magazine. “We were able to get them working cell phones and went into their software, which was on the cloud, and were able to send an e-mail to all their customers saying they were open.”

Advertise Your Ability to Recover Quickly

The key to turning your backup and discovery strategy into a selling point is to make sure your existing and potential customers know about it. This is particularly true if you operate in an area prone to natural disasters such as tornadoes, hurricanes, blizzards, ice or wind storms, or frequent power outages.

Quick Disaster Recovery Benefits Business-to-Business Organizations

If possible, include a case study or testimonial on your website or print material illustrating how you recovered quickly to help your customers in the wake of a recent disastrous situation. This is particularly powerful if you are a business-to-business organization, as your clients will also want to become operational as quickly as possible to serve their own customers after a major service disruption.

Getting The Word Out in The Wake of a Disaster

It’s important to let the public and your existing clients know that your business is up and running as soon as you can and in a variety of ways. In addition to emailing existing customers, Mr. Rotor staff distributed thousands of printed fliers across the local area by placing them on car windshields in parking lots and posting them on bulletin boards.

Tell The World You Are Open for Business With Social Media

While internet, radio, and television access may be limited when the power is out, many people will still be able to use their smartphones in the first 24 hours after disaster strikes.

As soon as you are open for business, get the word out by email and social media – especially on Twitter and Facebook. Use hashtags that include your local area, the disaster itself, and your type of business. The key is to look at what’s trending to choose the hashtags that Twitter and Facebook users are following. Remember, a current backup and disaster recovery system is more than just a tool to protect your business, it can also give you an edge over the competition when the time comes.

Photo Credit: The U.S. Army via Compfight cc

Sarita Harbour

Sarita Harbour

Sarita Harbour is a Canadian freelance writer specializing in technology, web design, marketing and personal finance. Her work appears at websites such as Yahoo! Homes, IBM Midsize Insider, Money Crashers, Web Designer Depot, and the Content Standard. Sarita is the author of Build Your Brand With Pinterest and Instagram: How a Photo-Sharing App Achieved a $1 Billion Facebook Buyout in 18 Months. She graduated from the University of Guelph where she studied Psychology and Computer Science.

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