Business Continuity Management: The Key to Long-term Success

When disaster strikes, you can never be too prepared with a backup plan. Learn how a business continuity plan can help your small business recover from any type of disaster.

You never know when disaster will strike. Whether it’s a natural disaster like a hurricane or tornado that destroys physical property or an outbreak of a serious illness, what might happen to your small business in the face of adversity? There are steps you can take to be prepared for the worst. Business continuity management is the process of developing a strategic plan for restoring critical functions in a certain time frame following any type of disaster.

What Can Business Continuity Management Do for My Business?

Business continuity management is a practice that can fortify your business against the unthinkable. A small company is especially vulnerable during a disaster. They have limited resources and fewer employees than a large company. Therefore, business continuity management and a solid business continuity plan are critical for success.

There is a difference between a business continuity plan and a disaster recovery plan. A disaster recovery plan is usually geared toward complete rebuilding and restoration after a disaster, while business continuity planning is geared toward getting the business back up and running during the disaster. While this is a slight difference, the key is that recovering from the unthinkable can take time. Business continuity planning eliminates the need to shut your business down completely, allowing you to serve customers at a time when they need support the most.

Why Should I Create a Business Continuity Plan?

The great thing about developing a business continuity plan is that it is inexpensive. In fact, small businesses can usually create a solid business continuity plan with little to no cost. It’s almost like an insurance policy that costs your business nothing in terms of premiums. However, the potential paybacks for a good business continuity plan are impressive. After all, you can’t afford to have the doors of your business closed. With a plan, it is possible to keep things running smoothly, even in the event that a major disaster takes place.

How Do I Create a Business Continuity Plan?

Here are the basic steps to developing a business continuity plan:

  1. Determine critical roles in the company and train a potential backup. If there are individuals in your company who play vital roles, it’s important to make sure someone else can step in and do the job in the face of adversity.
  2. Include vendors and suppliers in your business continuity plan. It’s possible that you’ll lose valuable contact information for vendors and suppliers in a disaster. Include the contact information and pertinent details about vendors and supplier so you can continue to get the products you need to conduct business.
  3. Determine essential pieces of equipment. There are certain equipment pieces that are fundamental to your business operation. How could a trucking company continue to operate if its fleet were damaged in an earthquake? Is it possible to rent trucks? Where else can you make copies if the copy machine is damaged? These are considerations that will help you execute better business continuity management.
  4. Explore backup worksites. Where else can you conduct business? In the event that your facility becomes inoperable, you need to explore alternative options as part of your business continuity plan. Hotels, community centers and public libraries are good places to consider.

With a business continuity management plan in place, your company can continue to thrive even in the face of adversity.

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