How to develop a business continuity plan? I think we’ll all agree that it’s better to have a plan when disaster strikes than not have a plan. Yet, what if I told you that the majority of business owners won’t take the time to do that kind of planning? In this video I’m going to share with you an easy way to integrate business continuity planning into your annual and semi annual business planning, so that in the event that some untoward thing happens, the company is able to weather that and survive.
Hi, my name is Jody Ann Johnson with ActionCOACH Team Sage, where we help small business owners to grow their business, free up their time, make more money and to have choice of the opportunities they want to seize. Before we start, please subscribe to my channel.
First, let’s talk about what constitutes an untoward or disastrous event in your business. Obviously, in South Florida hurricanes are something that we have to deal with every year and people will sometimes think about planning for hurricanes, although most businesses, in all honesty, really don’t. But there’s more than just the climate, the weather and hurricanes that can impact or be a disaster in your business. Let me give you some examples. You could lose a key team member in your business; that can be disastrous. You can lose a key client in your business; there’s a gentleman that I know who just lost a client that represented 60 percent of his business, and let me tell you, he’s scrambling. Disaster in his business untoward event. The death of someone in the owner’s family or in the business; a team member who dies unexpectedly or even expectedly, that was a key team player. It could be an infrastructure failure: a machine that broke down that’s a costly repair. Maybe it’s a twenty five thousand dollar repair on that machine and you hadn’t planned for it. Or maybe the equipment is old and that part is no longer available, and you’ve got to buy a new piece of equipment. It could be either an unintended or malicious data breach that caused a huge breakdown in your business, and it relates to your customer data and information. I have a client that thought that their computer was being backed up, and it was being backed up, but it was in a closet that wasn’t cold and none of that data was backed up – it actually was a disaster for them, all of their former information was gone and it took six months to put that back together. Talk about a disrupt to your business. It could be somebody who has a new competitor that’s come into the marketplace and has an innovation that you haven’t invested in yet. I have another client that owns machinery that’s available today and is purchased at a lower actual acquisition cost, and is better and faster than the machinery that he bought five or seven years ago, that he’s still using. But this guys come in with new equipment and can do it for less money, also a huge disruption in the business.
So as I go through this list of different ways that the business can be adversely affected, it either may have happened to you, as it’s happened to me, or it could be someone that you know that it’s happened to. Yet, have we taken the actions necessary to protect the business from the effects of these kinds of things? More than likely not. So what I’m suggesting is that we weave this kind of thinking into our annual and semiannual and quarterly planning. When you’re sitting down and looking at the business where it stands, what’s working, what’s not working, add an item to your agenda, about where is our business vulnerable. So that you can begin to take a step in each of those areas that you’ve identified toward shoring up the vulnerability of the business.
It could be that you need to be out there continually recruiting, particularly now with such a low unemployment, and looking for talent that may become available to you. It may be that you need to be socking away that profit rather than taking it as distribution, so in the event that equipment malfunctions, you have the ability to go out and purchase that. It may be that rather than having everything on your laptop or your employee’s laptop, that you actually have things stored up in the cloud so that you could have access to them in the event of a hurricane or in the event of that person leaving the business. So look for yourself where are the vulnerabilities in the business, and begin to put together a business continuity plan that’s going to make sense. Woven into your annual planning, your semiannual and your quarterly planning, this becomes a much easier task to delegate out to different team members and to also get resolved, so that when something does happen, the inevitable rare event that is uncommon yet commonly happens in businesses, you’re prepared for that.
While the thought of this may be formidable and you feel like: I don’t have the time, I don’t have the money, I don’t have the team members, I don’t see how in the world I can get this done… I leave you with this: if you don’t have time to implement this kind of planning, are you going to have time to clean up the mess when the inevitable happens?
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