Planning ahead for events you hope will never happen.
Running a business requires you to serve your customers, regardless of market conditions. A continuity plan can help your business stay running – no matter what the crisis. Whether it’s natural disasters, bad publicity or a global pandemic, you need to make sure you spend time planning ahead for events you hope will never happen.
Know Your Risks
The two biggest mistakes small businesses make are failing to identify a potential threat and underestimating the severity of a known threat. After completing a risk assessment, you will be able to determine the greatest threats to your business and their potential impact on each business function or process. For a list of natural hazards that may affect your business’ location, use the Insurance Institute for Business and Home Safety’s ZIP code tool to identify hazards in your area, and generate a customized list of projects that can reduce your risk.
Know Your Operations
Your ability to respond quickly to any business disruption can make the difference between survival and closure. Determine the maximum amount of time you can endure being closed after a disaster by identifying your key business functions and processes.
Know Your Employees
Make sure you record information about all employees so each person can be contacted at any time in case of an emergency.
Know Your Key Customers, Contacts, Suppliers and Vendors
Record information about your current suppliers, those you could use as an alternate and your key customers and contacts.
Know Your Technology
Back-up data and records that are vital to perform critical functions on one or more types of media. The goal is to ensure your data and IT systems are available as you resume operations.
Know Your Finances
When disaster strikes, it is critical to know exactly what to do. That’s why the time to prepare your business’ finances is before a disruption occurs so your business is ready to respond, recover and continue operating.
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