High Street Business: What to Do When Disaster Strikes?

30th August 2018 by Matthew Jordan

With the recent disaster of our beloved ex-bank building, one of Belfast’s most iconic and historic buildings (housed by high street business, Primark), businesses’ must be asking themselves: how¬†would will our business and communications be managed in the aftermath?¬†In the wake of a disaster to a business, the questions asked include:

  • Do they stop trading?
  • How do they liaise with customers?
  • Have they a phone number to be contacted on by their insurance company?
  • Can staff work from home in the meantime?
  • How do they help their staff overcome such a life-changing moment?

Many businesses aren’t prepared for such disasters that Belfast City Centre faced during the week of the Bank Building fire. Many establishments near to the building were forced to close; most notably Zara’s main NI store and Tesco. We will be looking at what the next steps are for businesses. What are the fundamental basics that the organisation will face before they face more significant challenges down the road?

bank building fire belfast

How Do They Communicate With Their Customers and Staff?

After seeing the building blazing, it got us thinking about how much technology can help us prepare for such disasters without being experts in the field.

If every business had a Disaster Recovery Plan in place for both computing and telephony, it would make life significantly easier when needing to communicate after such disasters. Even for the SME sector, we can all have a plan in place, and it shouldn’t cost an arm and a leg.

Most of us use cloud computing to some degree currently, ask yourself, if you had to work from a remote location at short notice could you access all you need to run the business? Could customers still call you on the main landline and can you operate as usual without being in the office? In many cases, this isn’t a reality.

Businesses have seen significant value with moving their data and computing services to the cloud, yet when talking about their phone system, this is still we want the cheapest possible.

voip solutions

Not Every High Street Business Is the Same and Neither Should Your VoIP Solution

When making considerations on moving your phone system to the cloud, start thinking of disasters such as Primark and ask questions around specific scenarios to ensure your covered no matter what the situation.

  • Can my workers work from home with their desk phone on their computer?
  • Can customers still contact us on the landline number and hear our announcements /IVR’s etc
  • Will my voicemails always be accessible?
  • Can I make outbound calls while still presenting my office number?

These are just some questions you will need to take into consideration when moving to VoIP, whether that be an on-premise solution or hosted. We all take for granted the basics of turning into the office, until the day that we no longer can.

Primark, we’d all like to think, will be prepared for such disasters. However, how many other SME’s are now affected in the area?

Don't forget to share!