Disaster Recovery Plan

A disaster recovery plan is a documented process to recover and protect a business IT infrastructure in the event of a disaster. Basically, it provides a clear idea on various actions to be taken before, during and after a disaster.

Disasters are natural or man-made. Examples include industrial accidents, oil spills, stampedes, fires, nuclear explosions/nuclear radiation and acts of war etc. Other types of man-made disasters include the more cosmic scenarios of catastrophic global warming, nuclear war, and bioterrorism whereas natural disasters are earthquakes, floods, heat waves, hurricanes/cyclones, volcanic eruptions, tsunamis, tornadoes and landslides, cosmic and asteroid threats.

Disaster cannot be eliminated, but proactive preparation can mitigate data loss and disruption to operations. Organizations require a disaster recovery plan that includes formal Plan to consider the impacts of disruptions to all essential businesses processes and their dependencies. Phase wise plan consists of the precautions to minimize the effects of a disaster so the organization can continue to operate or quickly resume mission-critical functions.

The Disaster Recovery Plan is to be prepared by the Disaster Recovery Committee, which includes representatives from all critical departments or areas of the department’s functions. The committee should have at least one representative from management, computing, risk management, records management, security, and building maintenance. The committee’s responsibility is to prepare a timeline to establish a reasonable deadline for completing the written plan. The also responsible to identify critical and noncritical departments. A procedure used to determine the critical needs of a department is to document all the functions performed by each department. Once the primary functions have been recognized, the operations and processes are then ranked in order of priority: essential, important and non-essential.

Typically, disaster recovery planning involves an analysis of business processes and continuity needs. Before generating a detailed plan, an organization often performs a business impact analysis (BIA) and risk analysis (RA), and it establishes the recovery time objective (RTO) and recovery point objective (RPO). The RTO describes the target amount of time a business application can be down, typically measured in hours, minutes or seconds. The RPO describes the previous point in time when an application must be recovered.

The plan should define the roles and responsibilities of disaster recovery team members and outline the criteria to launch the plan into action, however, there is no one right type of disaster recovery plan, nor is there a one-size-fits-all disaster recovery plan. Basically, there are three basic strategies that feature in all disaster recovery plans: (a) preventive measures, (b) detective measures, and (c) corrective measures.

(a) Preventive measures: will try to prevent a disaster from occurring. These measures seek to identify and reduce risks. They are designed to mitigate or prevent an event from happening. These measures may include keeping data backed up and off-site, using surge protectors, installing generators and conducting routine inspections.

(b) Detective measures: These measures include installing fire alarms, using up-to-date antivirus software, holding employee training sessions, and installing server and network monitoring software.

(c) Corrective measures: These measures focus on fixing or restoring the systems after a disaster. Corrective measures may consist keeping critical documents in the Disaster Recovery Plan.

The Plan should include a list of first-level contacts and persons/departments within the company, who can declare a disaster and activate DR operations. It should also include an outline and content stating the exact procedures to be followed by a disaster. At least 2-4 potential DR sites with hardware/software that meets or exceeds the current production environment should be made available. DR best practices indicate that DR sites should be at least 50 miles away from the existing production site so that the Recovery Point Objective (RPO)/Restoration Time Objective (RTO) requirements are satisfied

The recovery plan must provide for initial and ongoing employee training. Skills are needed in the reconstruction and salvage phases of the recovery process. Your initial training can be accomplished through professional seminars, special in-house educational programs, the wise use of consultants and vendors, and individual study tailored to the needs of your department. A minimal amount of training is necessary to assist professional restorers/recovery contractors and others having little knowledge of your information, level of importance, or general operations

An entire documented plan has to be tested entirely and all testing report should be logged for future prospect. This testing should be treated as live run and with ample of time. After testing procedures have been completed, an initial “dry run” of the plan is performed by conducting a structured walk-through test. The test will provide additional information regarding any further steps that may need to be included, changes in procedures that are not effective, and other appropriate adjustments. These may not become evident unless an actual dry-run test is performed. The plan is subsequently updated to correct any problems identified during the test. Initially, testing of the plan is done in sections and after normal business hours to minimize disruptions to the overall operations of the organization. As the plan is further polished, future tests occur during normal business hours.

Once the disaster recovery plan has been written and tested, the plan is then submitted to management for approval. It is top management’s ultimate responsibility that the organization has a documented and tested plan. Management is responsible for establishing the policies, procedures, and responsibilities for comprehensive contingency planning, and reviewing and approving the contingency plan annually, documenting such reviews in writing.

Another important aspect that is often overlooked involves the frequency with which DR Plans are updated. Yearly updates are recommended but some industries or organizations require more frequent updates because business processes evolve or because of quicker data growth. To stay relevant, disaster recovery plans should be an integral part of all business analysis processes and should be revisited at every major corporate acquisition, at every new product launch, and at every new system development milestone.

Your business doesn’t remain the same; businesses grow, change and realign. An effective disaster recovery plan must be regularly reviewed and updated to make sure it reflects the current state of the business and meets the goals of the company. Not only should it be reviewed, but it must be tested to ensure it would be a success if implemented.

What To Note While Shipping To China

With a lot of players entering the international logistics market, shipping to countries that are located thousands of miles away from you, has become a hassle-free task today. Gone are the days, when you had to wait for relatives or strangers from a particular country to pass on things to your near and dear ones staying there. With international logistics becoming highly cost-effective as well, you can use them for your business and personal purposes quite easily. One of the hot shipping destinations is China. It is one of those economies that has been growing at an exponential rate. Hundreds of thousands of items worth millions of dollars get shipped to China on a daily basis. Here are some of the important processes that are involved while sending goods/shipment to this country.

1. Customs clearance/paperwork

When you want to send anything to China, you should be aware of the custom laws and regulations prevailing in that country. Items, whose values are quite low (approximately lesser than 500Yuan)are free from customs duty. If you are sending items that are worth more than this value, you need to pay the required customs fee and submit all relevant paperwork, so that your shipment doesn’t get rejected. Chinese laws are quite strict when it comes to documentation. You should have a checklist of the requirements and plan accordingly, so that you don’t miss out on anything.

2. Method of packing

Whenever you ship anything to China or any other country, you need to take extra care while packing your products. Fragile items should be covered in cardboard boxes that are well corrugated so that they are well-protected against abrasions and friction. All the items should be sealed to avoid leakages, breakages, spillage and other related mishaps. Your shipments involve a lot of investment; therefore, it is only natural that you take enough care in ensuring that they reach their destination safely and perfectly.

3. Banned items

This is one of the most important points that you need to keep in mind when you are shipping anything to China. Every country has different laws related to the list of prohibited items. You should be fully aware of the rules that stop you from taking certain items into Chinese territory, so that your package is not confiscated at the time of security checks. Prohibited items mostly related to food, electronics and other materials like wood, cane, bamboo etc. Under each category, you should know the list of items that are allowed or disallowed, permitted weight and other aspects, in order to get your shipments cleared without any hassles.

4. Service provider

This is the first step that you need to follow when you decide to send your shipment to China. Choose a service provider who is highly reputed in the world of international logistics and who has enough experience in this field. When you choose the right company, you will be given professional guidance about the items that can and cannot be shipped to a particular destination, saving you lot of time and embarrassment.

How To Use A Call to Action for Better Advertising Response

Wouldn’t you like a simple but extremely powerful way to pump up sales, get better quality leads, and practically eliminate advertising waste?

Here’s an insider tip.

Hey, you and me… we’re in the marketing trenches together. Every day. And we’ve lived to tell about it.

But what may surprise you is that very few business owners employ this simple but powerful “tool” in their advertising.

This tool I’m hinting at is called… tada… a call to action.

What? Yes, it’s a call to action.

If you don’t ask, then you don’t get. Sounds reasonable, right? But very few business owners (or their creative staff) use this simple tactic to boost sales.

All… and I mean all the marketing pieces that I write, and this includes white papers, print ads, landing pages, emails, you name it, includes some sort of call to action.

It’s the very core of the type of advertising I use. This is called direct response marketing. And it works… like gangbusters, if done correctly.

Why Use A Call To Action (CTA)?

First of all, it works. It’s a great way to move people down the sales funnel.

Second, it measures the effectiveness of your copywriting.

Think about it. The more responses you get directly indicates how compelling your copy must have been. In other words, your copy message is doing its job.

Now that you know the advantages of using a CTA, let’s look at a few examples. They’re not as difficult to come up with as you may think.

When you think about your “call to action” think about what objective you want the reader to do…

… sign up for a webinar, download some information, visit your store or call now.

Pretty simple, right?

If you’re stuck or just can’t find good ideas for your call to action, then start an advertising swipe file.

I’ve talked about this before but as a reminder, a swipe file is a collection of good ads that are producing good results. And how you’ll know that these are “good” ads is that you’ll see them running over and over again.

Savvy marketers do not like to spend money on advertising that is not producing. It’s all about a good ROI (return on investment). And only good direct response marketing gives you this opportunity.

Now while I’m on the subject of putting together your CTA, it’s only natural to talk about your writing style. Specifically, the words you choose.

According to social-media-scientist Dan Zarrella, verbs outperform adverbs, adjectives and nouns when eliciting ‘shares’ on Twitter.

This is true not only for Twitter and other social media but nearly any media outlet.

Here’s a few bold verb examples that produce results:

Register

Subscribe

Buy

Download

Donate

These are much better than the plain old vanilla ‘click here’ and be sure to tell your reader what benefits she’s getting, for example…

Download your free copy of our business survival guide

Subscribe to get your free reports

Register now to get in on this webinar

And so on.

Now let’s add some urgency to the mix.

We humans sometimes need a bit of pushing sometimes. Adding some sincere urgency to drive the funnel can be just what’s needed to get us moving.

Here’s a few examples to get your creative juices flowing…

Offer expires

First 50 people only

Hurry, the price goes up at noon today

While supplies last

And one of personal favorites is ‘Immediate Download.’ It’s a great call to action because folks like downloads and they like immediacy. Bam. Here you got both.

Last, let’s talk about risk. Actually, let’s talk about reducing removal or removing risk from your offer or call to action.

As you can imagine, risk removal or reversal is a powerful marketing tool.

How do we lower the risk?

Oftentimes doing business for the first time with a new company is a scary deal. After all, you know or trust this “new company.” And who hasn’t been burnt before. Heck, these days trust has flown out the window, right?

So why not start by truly focusing and empathizing with your prospect and clients. Put yourself in their shoes. Again, they do not know you and they don’t trust you. Make a point to earn their trust… and keep earning their trust.

Prove that you truly care by showing them you’ll shoulder the risk. Communicate this in all your marketing messages.

Here’s a few examples…

“Start your no-obligation 30 day free trial”

“You have a no-hassle, no-questions asked, 100% money back guarantee”

“Not Satisfied? No Problem! We’re double your money back immediately”

You get the idea.

Use these ideas to create a strong “call to action” in your next advertising pitch.

Yours for bigger profits,

Tips to Set-Up Your Own Company As a Foreigner

There’s nothing like setting up an offshore company, but you also need to understand the limitations you have. The primary restriction being the laws in the foreign country, you will need to make sure the support of a legal expert. Though you can read articles and books on the business laws of your desired country, the chances of knowing them all are less.

Law, as you may know, is ever-changing and you can’t really do much about it other than keeping yourself updated with the nitty-gritty. Therefore, you must have a trusted legal partner with you who will work for your interest. Here are a few tips to help you find a good legal expert;

· Review Online Listings of the Lawyers: There are websites that give free reviews of the businesses.

· Ask for Recommendations and Referrals: Speak to your friends and family members who have had recently worked with lawyers. Ask them who they hired, what kind of service they have opted for and where they happy with the services. It is equally important to ask whether they would recommend.

· Make a List of Potential Attorneys: While doing so, jot down the attorney’s name, contact number, address and website address. This way you can organize your search.

· Review Attorney’s Website: Every website usually provides information about each attorney who is working for the firm. It is suggested to check the attorneys’ educational background as well as the work history. Typically, you should seek a lawyer with at least 3 to 5 years of experience in practicing the kind of law you need help with.

· Write out Questions about the Lawyer’s Practice: Generally, you will find the basic information about the lawyers online, say such as; how long she/he has worked and/or where and when she/he went to the law school. But there are certain areas that you will need asking questions; like not every firm states their pricing online as that may vary from one lawyer to another.

Plus you will need to know about the time frame, right? You should ask them a tentative time period for the delivery of work. Similarly, you need to ask about their availability. Ask how quickly the attorney can start working on your assignment and then decide so.

· Bring Documents to the Meeting: If you have fixed a meeting with the lawyer, he/she may ask you to bring the documents. Make sure you have them with you. Show it to the lawyer so that he can have a better understanding of your situation.

Once you have ensured these, you will in a place to take a wise decision.

Choosing The Best Accounting Software – Sage or Quickbooks

QuickBooks versus Sage

QuickBooks and Sage One are two mainstream business administration administrations. Both offer marginally unique administrations. QuickBooks concentrates more on accounting and bookkeeping administrations while Sage One is a component rich undertaking administration benefit. The two administrations cover in a few classifications, at the end of the day, the two administrations enable your business to develop in various ways.

How They Help Your Business QuickBooks Online versus Sage One

QuickBooks offers effective bookkeeping and accounting devices while Sage helps keep representatives on-assignment when chipping away at cooperative tasks. Here are a couple of the manners by which both QuickBooks and Sage can help your business:

Advantages of QuickBooks

QuickBooks has been a well known private venture bookkeeping programming since the 1990s and conveys many years of experience to the table. Today, QuickBooks Online saddles new advances like distributed computing to streamline business administration. QuickBooks likewise has a 30 day free trial.

QuickBooks Online enables business administrators to abstain from depending entirely on a bookkeeper. Here are a couple of the advantages QuickBooks conveys to the table:

Wage and cost following: Easily screen how much cash your business is getting and how much it’s investing over specific times of energy.

Adjust with ledgers: QuickBooks synchronizes straightforwardly with financial balances and Visa accounts, which implies all exchanges made in your records will consequently show up in QuickBooks.

Accounting apparatuses: This is the place QuickBooks truly separates itself from Sage – QuickBooks offers a full suite of accounting instruments to help deal with your business, including pay and cost following, finance administration (on more elevated amount accounts), and budgetary administration devices.

Adaptable designs: If you as of now utilize accounting programming or finance programming, at that point it might appear as though there’s no point behind QuickBooks. Be that as it may, plans scale as indicated by your necessities, and you don’t have to pay for the majority of the QuickBooks accounting instruments on the fundamental arrangement. Plans scale to address the issues of your business and the most minimal level arrangement begins at $12.95 every month with insignificant accounting highlights.

Advantages of Sage One

Sage is basically an undertaking administration apparatus that offers a couple of essential accounting highlights – including cost following and receipt announcing. It’s as yet an amazing alternative for the present organizations, yet it won’t have the capacity to deal with the greater part of the accounting administrations your business requires.

All things considered, Sage helps organizations in various ways, including:

Task administration on the cloud: Businesses are more gainful on the cloud. Cloud-based venture administration is one of the essential advantages of Sage One. Various representatives can at the same time deal with a solitary venture and work together in the cloud.

Solicitations and statements: Every Sage One record accompanies boundless solicitations and statements. You can send a boundless number of solicitations and statements to your clients. These solicitations have your business’ logo stuck at the best and give an expert face to your business.

Include boundless colleagues: Sage offers two designs. On the more elevated amount design, Sage One Accounting Standard, there’s no restriction to what number of colleagues you can have chipping away at a solitary task. That is a brilliant advantage for bigger organizations.

Versatile designs: The least Sage One arrangement, Sage One Invoicing, is generally utilized for following wage and costs and sending solicitations to organizations. The higher arrangement, Sage One Accounting Standard, is an element rich task administration benefit that likewise incorporates everything from the Invoicing plan.

QuickBooks Online versus Sage One Supported Services

Versatile applications: QuickBooks and Sage both offer a suite of portable applications for the iPhone and iPad and also Android gadgets. With the two administrations, you can perform basically all center capacities over the applications – including venture joint effort and cost following.

Online access: You can get to QuickBooks and Sage One from any web associated gadget and all information will match up crosswise over gadgets on the web. Regardless of whether your gadget isn’t upheld by portable applications, you’ll have the capacity to login and see account information from your versatile program.

Cloud bolster: Sage and QuickBooks both utilize cloud servers to synchronize data over all gadgets. Sage spends significant time in offering cloud-based venture administration administrations to its customers.

Similarity: Sage and QuickBooks can be utilized close by each other however they’re not straightforwardly perfect with each other.

Ledgers: Users can include financial balances and Visa records to QuickBooks and record data will consequently adjust over the product. Sage One additionally gives you a chance to add ledgers to the stage, in spite of the fact that exchange data won’t naturally match up.

Online installments: Sage gives clients a chance to acknowledge installments from customers by means of PayPal. Clients can likewise utilize the inherent online installment handling framework, Sage Payment Solutions, which acknowledges Mastercard installments in return for exchange expenses. QuickBooks does not offer installment handling of any kind.

Different Points of Comparison On QuickBooks Online versus Sage One

Free trial: Sage One offers an amazing free trial. Clients can test the product for nothing without submitting charge card information. Clients approach the full suite of Sage One administrations amid that trial. QuickBooks additionally offers a free trial, in spite of the fact that you have to enter Visa information and drop your record before that 30 day time span is finished. On the off chance that you don’t drop your record in time, at that point your record will start to be charged as an ordinary membership.

Boundless utilize: Sage One gives clients a chance to add boundless quantities of partners to a solitary venture. Clients on all designs can likewise send boundless solicitations. QuickBooks additionally gives clients a chance to make boundless solicitations and evaluations.

Additional expenses: Sage One charges additional for adding managers to your record. As a matter of course, all designs have a solitary executive and including more administrators costs $10 every month. Something else, the value you agree to accept is the value you’ll likely observe on your month to month charge. QuickBooks constructs its evaluating in light of highlights, and the more you’re willing to pay, the more highlights you get. The most elevated amount designs match up your record with Intuit Online Payroll, where you’ll have to pay $2 per representative every month to document finance charges.

Our Verdict On QuickBooks Online versus Sage One

Sage One and QuickBooks give two unique sorts of administrations. QuickBooks has practical experience in accounting administrations while Sage One has some expertise in customer invoicing and venture administration.

Nonetheless, the two administrations do cover in a few classifications. The two administrations let clients track salary and costs over characterized timeframes. In that class, the two administrations are for all intents and purposes meet, despite the fact that QuickBooks has a slight edge because of its capacity to naturally match up exchange data crosswise over financial balances.

When contrasting QuickBooks versus Sage, you ought to likewise consider the extra administrations offered by the two stages. On the off chance that your business every now and again expects workers to team up on ventures, at that point a task administration benefit like Sage One is a phenomenal method to spare time. In the event that, then again, you don’t have a decent accounting administration, at that point QuickBooks can help.

Obviously, there’s nothing preventing you from utilizing both Sage One and QuickBooks. A few organizations utilize Sage One simply as an invoicing and undertaking administration apparatus, while QuickBooks handles all other accounting usefulness. That is alright as well.

Basically, QuickBooks is an element rich accounting program that lets you consequently synchronize business data crosswise over financial balances, while Sage One is a cloud-based task administration benefit with broad invoicing highlights. The two administrations offer impressive incentive to your business without burning up all available resources.

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