Business Continuity for small business

So far this month, we've seen both 2 natural disasters (Typhoon & Taal Volcanic eruption) and a 'man-made' disruptions (Sinulog Festival in Cebu) hit the country which affected business operations.

The natural disasters caused various industries to suffer while the festival disrupted the cellular signal shutdown and therefore affected online entrepreneurs' activities. Although Sinulog boosts tourism and related industries, there's always a trade-off in other areas of business.

Business interruption can be costly, and a Business Continuity plan guards against business disruption in case of unforeseen events. The objectives of business continuity planning include:

-Ensuring the health and safety of all personnel
-Minimizing interruptions to the business's ability to provide its products and/or services
-Minimizing financial loss
-Being able to resume critical operations within a specified time after a disaster

Good business continuity planning should look at the business as a whole — with a goal to support business resilience. Business continuity describes a complete solution for backup and disaster recovery. A strong business continuity practices will have you minimize losses and recover faster while keeping your employees, your data and your business safe.

Create a business contingency plan

Determine the potential Risks to your small business - Figuring out what types of disasters will most likely  help you focus your continuity plan and not waste time and money preparing for something that's very unlikely to happen. Prepare for natural disasters (Earthquake, Flooding, Volcanic eruptions..etc.) as well as man-made ones like the building safety, business location/neighborhood and the like.

Also, don't forget about growing risks that are often overlooked such as cyber-attacks, hacker activity, and sabotage.

Create a List of Essentials to restart business - Decide what would be absolutely essential for your small business to start operating again in case of disasters. These essentials may include personnel, data, equipment, financial allocations, and infrastructure protection.

Create a Crisis Communications System - Plan and decide who will communicate to your people as well as the public. What communication channels to use (SMS, e-mail, social media..etc..). And also where to source information to assess risks (Government, DRRM groups, weather updates, media and the like).

Keep Up-To-Date On-Site Evac plans &  Emergency Kits - What should personnel do when they're notified of an evacuation? What routes are available? Where should people meet? Who's responsible for checking to see that everyone is safe?

Prepare your supply chain - For product based businesses, having access to alternative suppliers can help in times of crisis. It’s also a good idea to find out if your key suppliers have a recovery plan in place.

Protect Your Business Data - Consider diversifying your data storage (On-site & cloud) as well as multiple back-ups to keep records safe and available, even if a disaster wipes out your own data center.

Have Adequate Insurance for recovery - Review your insurance policies based on the potential disasters you are preparing for (Fire, General non-life, business interruption and so on..).

Get to Know Your Neighbors - Opening the lines of communication and involving businesses around you might help in sharing the costs of some expenses or resources in general when disaster strikes. Coordinated emergency plans are especially important for businesses that share adjacent space such as those in malls or along city streets.

Put It All Together and Test it - After combining all of the above, exercise regular drills with your staff to figure out what’s effective and where your preparedness plans need fine-tuning.

Business continuity is everyone’s responsibility. Prepare, Plan, and Prevail!

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Business Continuity for small business Business Continuity for small business Reviewed by Vernon Joseph Go on Sunday, January 26, 2020 Rating: 5

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