Once steps have been taken to maintain electronic data, it is time to safeguard other, more tangible items. This is a prime opportunity to get to know your banker better, because now you need a safe deposit box. You may wonder why you should you store items off site. Well, what if the roof falls in, there is a flood, or some other occurrence that make it impossible to retrieve tangibles? It does no good keeping these items in an office safe. The bank vault is your best bet. Here is a list of ten items that need to be included:
1. A complete set of labeled keys for all doors, sheds, vehicles, file cabinets, etc;
2. An up-to-date book of passwords;
3. Checks, checks and more checks, along with account and telephone numbers;
4. All insurance policies;
5. A quarterly physical back up of your accounting computer, if it is not completely backed up at the accountant’s location;
6. A list of all business property, along with pictures, updated annually or whenever a major purchase is made;
7. A back up of client files;
8. Your up to date business and marketing plan;
9. Any papers that are not replaceable, or would be difficult to replace, such as licenses, patents, formulas, agreements, etc. (You can make good color copies of things you have hanging on the walls and use them, while storing the originals in the deposit box);
10. The plan for how you will deal with disasters – The Business Continuity Plan (that’s what we are building here, step by step).
Once you have gathered together all of these items, make sure to get a safe deposit box that is big enough. In fact, get the biggest one you can, because there always may be stuff you need to add to this later.
Join me next month as we continue to discuss building a Business Continuity Plan, and check out our other posts dealing with the HVAC industry. As always, your experiences are what makes this blog interactive, so your comments are welcomed and encouraged.
Patricia Burkhart is the executive director of Controlled Release Technologies, Inc., a research, development and manufacturing firm based in Shelby, North Carolina. CRT is an EnergyStar Partner and manufacturer of independently-certified Green products for HVAC maintenance. Since 1986, CRT has been creating leading edge HVAC maintenance products that have become industry standards, used in thousands of commercial buildings world-wide. CRT employees are members of BOMA, ASHRAE, ASHE and the American Chemical Society. www.cleanac.com (800) 766-9057.