At last count, there are an estimated 32.5 million American small businesses and new ones launching every year. Those small business owners must juggle a lot of responsibilities.
They must navigate vendor relationships to ensure they always have the stock or inventory they need. They must worry about hiring good employees.
In the present business landscape, they must also take steps to ensure good cybersecurity measures are in place.
It's no wonder that many small business owners overlook business continuity as a priority. The possibility of a national disaster or local emergency lurks in the background. Yet, it's rarely an immediate enough concern to prompt business continuity planning.
If you lack a business continuity plan, keep reading for three tips on creating one.
1. Evaluate Threats
The reality is that some threats are more likely than others, often based on your geography.
Let's say that your business operates on the Atlantic coast. The odds of a hurricane shutting you down are dramatically higher than wildfires.
If you operate in the mid-west, tornadoes pose more of a threat than earthquakes.
Knowing what kinds of problems are likely lets you prioritize planning for those threats first. Once you get plans for those high-likelihood problems in place, you can move on to worrying about low-likelihood problems.
2. Identify Crucial Functions
Yes, in the long term, all of your business functions play a crucial role in business survival and success.
Of course, most disasters and emergencies are not long-term problems. Good business continuity planning must separate the essential from the important.
For example, let's say you're an e-commerce business owner. Your IT functions are essential functions for your business to survive. A local grocery store, on the other hand, can probably live without IT for a while.
Most businesses rely on marketing and advertising to keep customers coming in. Yet, those business functions are not crucial for most businesses in an emergency.
Watch Our Video: Why You Need A Disaster Recovery Plan
3. Building Your Plan
Armed with knowledge about the most likely threats and your crucial business functions, you can build a formal plan for dealing with them.
There is a lot of overlap between business continuity planning and disaster recovery planning. While the former addresses the overall business, the latter focuses on things like IT infrastructure and data preservation.
Many businesses fold their disaster recovery plan into their business continuity plan.
Write out your business continuity plan. Identify specific resources for specific problem areas.
For example, where will you get supplies? What insurance company do you contact?
Consolidating resources and specific action steps makes business continuity management simpler and easier for everyone.
Business Continuity and You
Business continuity can look like a problem you can put off until another day, but disasters and emergencies don't strike on a schedule. Putting together a business continuity plan may well mean the difference between your business surviving a disaster and closing up forever.
Envision IT Solutions specializes in the Technical side of business continuity planning. For more information on business continuity service, contact Envision IT solutions today.