Two of the focuses of my blog are Financial Literacy/Money and Business/Entrepreneurship. Something to consider when starting a business is the continuing of your operations. Even if you don’t think about it at the beginning, you will want to eventually. The following contributed post is entitled, An Introduction To Business Continuity.
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Business continuity is a subject that few business owners consider. In many ways, this reluctance is understandable; entrepreneurs tend to be optimistic people, who always look for, anticipate, and then plan for the best case scenario – so focusing on business continuity goes against their instincts.
However, as an entrepreneur, one of your foremost concerns should be that your business is always able to continue to operate. In fact, it could be argued that business continuity is perhaps the most essential concern.
Why is business continuity so important?
To put it simply: if your business cannot operate, then you don’t have a business. While it is vital to spend time strategizing to improve your company’s SEO performance, capture the attention of new customers, design your office layout effectively, and all of the similar ways that business owners seek to improve their business, these efforts can only bear fruit if the company can fully operate.
Due to the above, it is helpful to see a focus on continuity as the underlying structure of your business. With good continuity, you can think about the future, seek to improve performance and strive for success – because you can always be confident that the company can be relied on to survive.
How should you begin focusing on business continuity?
Business continuity is a wide-ranging concept, and considerations as to how you can keep your business operational should apply company-wide. However, there are two particular areas that should be focused on first: your companies’ IT and network and your premises. Both of these are essential to your business being able to stay afloat; most businesses rely on their IT systems for everything, from managing finances to customer communications; while your physical premises hold your stock, are where you meet with clients, and – in some cases – a retail space. If you can protect these two areas, then you can be assured of excellent continuity.
How can you ensure continuity in these areas?
● When it comes to your business’ IT, network, and data, planning and backups are crucial. It is best to contract a professional service for this purpose; you can learn more about the benefits of doing so, research companies, and then choose a provider who specializes in ensuring continuity in the most important areas.
● Protecting your premises encompasses many different considerations, but perhaps the most important is building maintenance. With proper maintenance, you can be confident that your business’ property can survive rain, shine, and everything in between. In addition, it’s also advisable to look for a good commercial property insurance policy that covers the costs of everything that might be lost in scenarios such as fire and flooding.
How can you address continuity in other areas of your business?
With the most important aspects covered, you can move to examine other aspects of your business in terms of continuity. By and large, the simplest way to do this is to examine an area of your company and ask “what can I do if…?”, for example:
● What can I do if… one of our suppliers goes out of business?
● What can I do if… one of our clients goes into liquidation and cannot pay invoices owed?
● What could I do if… multiple employees were to fall ill at the same time?
● What could I do if… the company receives an unexpected tax bill?
There are no answers to these questions that fit all businesses; most are subjective, depending on your cash flow and other resources. However, by asking these questions – all of which genuinely could happen, and would be hugely detrimental to your business – you can begin to formulate a way to prevent these problems, or how they could be overcome if prevention is not possible.
With a focus on business continuity, you can protect your business against the worst case scenarios, and ensure that your company is able to thrive for many years to come.