Business Continuity (Business Survival)

Yes that's right, business survival! What's this you say? I am not talking as some sort of business analyst or advisor, for I am neither.

However, have you ever thought about what would happen to your business if there was an earthquake, a terrorist attack, a flood, a fire, or some other kind of disaster?

I"ll give you some things to consider and the page here is to get you thinking about this important subject. Much more exists on the topic and I invite you to do some research to learn more about this.

Ask yourself these questions:
  • Can you handle extended power outages?
  • Do you have in place a business survival plan in place to mitigate the consequences of a major business disruption?
  • Do you have a backup means of communication to connect with key employees, business partners and clients? Do they as well?
  • Do you have offsite backups of key files, projects as well as important financial information?
  • Do you have other assets such as buildings, vehicles and/or other things that need to be tended to in the event of a disaster?
  • Does your insurance policy cover the sort of emergency most likely to occur in your location?
 
Some things to consider:
  • Computers can have UPS devices in which to plug your expensive electronic equipment in.
  • Doing daily offsite backups can certainly be a lifesaver if something happened such as a fire.
  • Communicating with your employees, business partners and clients on what they can do, or how you will proceed in the event of a disaster can go a long way to alleviate stress if push comes to shove and things go south.
  • Employees may not want to be contacted, especially if they need to be with their families to provide and protect them. It is after-all, family first, and also it can be dangerous under certain conditions to require your employees to separate from their families. For one thing, families need to unite together and will instinctively do so, therefore intentionally requiring an employee to come to work may prove particularly challenging in an emergency.
  • As above with your employees, some of your business partners and clients, who also have families, may not wish to be contacted. It all depends.
Depending on the nature of your business such as service, manufacturing or farming, and the nature of the emergency at hand, will dictate a response that will need to be addressed accordingly. As such, the preparatory phase will need to take that into account.

A disaster may occur when your business is closed for a holiday, or when a key employee may be on vacation, and of course at any other time.

This gets complicated and management needs to be aware of this and look at the worse case scenarios and prepare for them. If you can develop a business survival strategy and practice drills with your employees and business partners, all the better. Convincing your partners may not be very easy, but explain to them in simple language that it is to their advantage to consider a plan. Compare notes and exchange each others plans as well.

If you have a farm, get on track with your neighbors to see what can be done as a community to get through troubling times. I imagine some of you have already gotten this taken care of, and if so, that's great.

Ultimately you must ask yourself the question; Would my business survive a '123' emergency under 'XYZ' conditions? If you feel that it wouldn't, it isn't too late to see what can be done to beef up things to be better prepared to handle things should your world be turned upside down.

Some links to get you started:
1. Continuity Co., LLC
2. Business Continuity Institute
2. Business Continuity - Wikipedia

Resources

Angelique Weiley - Emergency Response & Disaster Recovery Plans For Your Business!!!
Business Continuity Management - The Time Is Now