You already have a business plan, but do you have a business continuity plan? The former is a guideline for your entire company’s processes, but the latter is specific to a disaster or emergency incident. Ironically, most small businesses never even consider the importance of a business continuity plan, often because they mistakenly assume that they can rebound after an event such as a weather-related shutdown, fire, terrorist event, technological disaster or others.
The truth is that every business, even if it’s a small business, needs to be ready to recover after unexpected events. And that necessitates having a business continuity plan.
What Is a Business Continuity Plan?
A business continuity plan is essentially a script showing what to do before, during and after any type of unexpected disaster or emergency. For example, it should outline how to protect the business when you know that hurricanes are coming, as well as what to do if the power is knocked out, the office structure is damaged, technology is lost, phone systems are down or people can’t safely get into the workplace.
Though you probably don’t want to ever have to use your business continuity plan, it could be a lifesaver if you ever need it.
Why Many Small Businesses Don’t Have a Business Continuity Plan
Would it surprise you to learn that many small businesses have never given a second thought to why a business continuity plan is important? The excuses might include:
- We don’t have the time to write one. (This is an investment, and well worth the time.)
- Everyone will know what to do in a disaster. (Your employees may not have the same ideas that you do to protect the business.)
- Our customers will be understanding if there is an emergency. (Customers, even loyal ones, are not always as forgiving as business owners might assume.)
If you have been operating without a business continuity plan, it’s time to get started.
Why Is a Business Continuity Plan Important?
As you piece together a business continuity plan, be as comprehensive as possible. You don’t have to write it all in one night. Ask other employees for their input, and try to imagine all the potential scenarios. The goal should be to get your operation running smoothly after any kind of emergency. Doing so will lessen the likelihood of massive income loss, poor public perception and confused or angry employees.
Need more assistance? Contact business planning experts, such as other business leaders, for their advice and help. It’s definitely a project that will provide tremendous peace of mind, just in case.