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When It Comes to Rebounding from Disaster, Planning is Everything

When disaster strikes, it can severely affect your dealership operations.

According to an analysis by Cox Automotive, approximately 1 million vehicles were damaged by Hurricane Irma and Hurricane Harvey. The effect of natural disaster on a business is catastrophic, sometimes resulting in a total loss. But what about other forms of disaster? Power outages, water leaks, fire, server crashes and cyber-attacks are threats as well. Statistics vary, but the consensus is that the survival of your business depends on how well you can recover from a disaster. While you can’t plan perfectly for every eventuality, you can minimize the damage and hopefully not become one of the 40% of businesses that do not reopen after a disaster. (FEMA)

Many dealership owners could not explain the difference between business continuity and disaster recovery. But when it comes to planning well, it is important to know how each step impacts your resiliency.

Business continuity focuses on the business.

A comprehensive disaster plan outlines the process by which critical services can continue with as little disruption as possible during a disaster. Common facets of this plan include production, client service, accounting, and sales.  To ensure continuity of business operations, the plan must have a champion, supported by a diverse team that represents the various functions of your dealership. The plan must answer the key question, “how will we re-establish services to their normal operating level?” A vital subset of your business continuity plan is insurance review. Make sure you check your policies before their renewal dates to guarantee that you have a good handle on the risks for which you are covered. Additionally, you may find that you need to obtain business interruption insurance, also known as business income insurance.

Disaster recovery is all about your data.

A functional disaster recovery plan focuses on the storage, replication, and recovery of data and is a vital segment of business continuity. Make sure that your dealership electronically backs up your data on a daily basis. Backing up data on-site, or even in the region, may not be a good idea as disasters that affect the area could also affect your backup center. There are many options for backing up your company’s data. The professionals at our firm can make recommendations to you on ways to guarantee your data is safe and help you prioritize your document backup structure.

Disaster can strike at any time, but the fall season is ripe with opportunity for many areas of our country. Restoring customer confidence is mainly dependent on how well you can regain internal footing. The professionals at our firm can help you develop a plan that ensures your financial structure survives following a disaster. Please contact for more information today.

Councilor, Buchanan & Mitchell (CBM) is a professional services firm delivering tax, accounting and business advisory expertise throughout the Mid-Atlantic region from offices in Bethesda, MD and Washington, DC.   

Contact John R. Comunale, CPAView Profile

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