Boss Lady

You need to stop neglecting your business continuity plan. Here’s why

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It’s no secret that small businesses can suffer interruptions. Things will inevitably go wrong in your processes at some point, preventing you from delivering to your customers. The good news is that events which threaten business continuity are rare – perhaps only occurring once or twice in the lifetime of the firm. But at the same time, they can be catastrophic.

Business continuity plans are, therefore, an essential part of any business plan. However, because of our innate bias against accepting the possibility of extreme outcomes, and the general optimism of entrepreneurs, continuity planning is usually pretty low down the list of priorities, if it’s even on them at all.

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Here are some of the reasons why you need to stop neglecting your business continuity plan.

Cyber-attacks are a daily event

According to Brian White, one of the founders of a company that offers cybersecurity advice to the US Department of Homeland Security, companies need to be able to react almost instantly. The problem he says is that the time between the beginning of an attack and the loss of critical assets is too short for C-suite to make a response plan. Once the intrusion is detected, it’s usually only a matter of seconds before systems are wiped, data is stolen, and viruses are installed.

He says that it’s not so much about what companies need to do at the time of the attack that counts – it’s how they respond in the aftermath. Recovery, he says, is just as important as prevention. His advice is for companies to practice everything, rehearsing what each person in the team will do following an attack on critical systems. Companies, he says, shouldn’t be of the belief that their firewalls and antivirus systems will protect them. None of these systems are 100 percent fail-safe.

Electricity outages threaten business

Could your place of work operate without electricity? Probably not. But if there’s a power outage, you can be in serious trouble, especially if your business model requires being online all the time.

It’s a good idea, therefore, to have plans in place ahead of time to prevent outages from storms or poorly maintained infrastructure from interrupting your business. As part of your business continuity plan, investigate generator hire and see whether you can keep your operations going in the event that your electricity supply is severed.

Key people can leave your organisation overnight

You might think that the people in your organization are here to stay. But according to research by Mckinsey, that’s unlikely, especially among Millennial workers. Unlike in previous eras where most people were happy to have a job and stick with it, today the vast majority, (more than 70 percent) of Millennials are seeking alternative employment.

Do you rely on key people in your organization? What would happen to your business plan were they to leave? Chances are you’d struggle to deliver your services. This is why top business leaders focus on creating what is known as an “agile” culture – one where another person can slot into the role of somebody who leaves with minimal cost and downtime.

About Business Woman Media

Our women don’t want to settle for anything but the best. They understand that success is a journey involving personal growth, savvy optimism and the tenacity to be the best. We believe in pragmatism, having fun, hard-work and sharing inspiration. LinkedIn

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