Business Continuity and Risk Management: Setting Up for Success
Severe weather and disasters are becoming more frequent in the United States, with 18 separate storms causing more than $1 billion in damage in 2022. Keeping your family safe is the number-one priority, but you should also consider your business’s future with business continuity and risk management. The decisions you make now could prevent interruptions to your business operations.
Planning ahead could make the difference between your small business failing or succeeding. Implementing a business continuity plan sounds daunting, but it’s a necessary step to take as a responsible business owner. It’s your chance to take steps for planning for risks that your company could face when disaster strikes.
Luckily, you’ve discovered this comprehensive guide to mitigating risks and protecting the business you’ve worked hard to establish. Continue reading to develop your business continuity plan today!
Table of Contents
What Is Business Continuity?
Business continuity is the ability of your small business to continue functioning after disaster strikes. Planning involves assessing risks at your company and facility to keep employees safe. The goal is to keep everyone safe while keeping business operations running.
Your continuity plan will help you keep your functions operating with little downtime. It’s a wise way to prepare after natural disasters and cyberattacks. It’s a critical step toward protecting your business when the unexpected happens.
Continuity is critical to continuing to provide value to your customers. You can’t predict when significant disruptions will occur. Having a plan and mitigating risks ensures you continue to meet expectations and customer demand.
Steps for Business Continuity and Risk Management
There are specific steps you should take when planning for risks. Most businesses still need to establish a plan for cyberattacks and natural disasters. A small company with idle employees could lose up to $500 per hour.
Getting your network back online and your company operating saves thousands of dollars daily. The situation is dire when you realize that 25 percent of businesses don’t reopen after disaster strikes. Here’s a closer look at the steps you should take to protect your small business.
1. Find a Partner
Working with a trained and experienced partner to assess business risks is an excellent first step toward business continuity. Evaluating and identifying the risks helps you prepare for disaster so it doesn’t affect your company or employees.
Look for skills related to cloud servers and data management to keep your company functioning. Their knowledge of security systems and hardware knowledge will help you store your data and back up your files.
Use Google and Yelp to find a partner for your managed services that will help with mitigating risk. The best options will have mostly five-star reviews from happy clients.
2. Conduct a Risk Assessment
Using this time to run a risk assessment for your business is best. Accepting that your business has weaknesses is one of the first steps toward protecting what you’ve built. Look at your network and operations to find any areas of weakness you can improve.
You’ll identify the vulnerable areas and invest money to patch them. Errors in equipment could result in preventable injuries. Ensure your business has Workers’ Comp coverage by visiting wesellworkerscomp.com.
Security and power are two other areas to focus your risk assessment. Determine where your business is weak in those areas to find solutions. Solar panels and a backup generator are fantastic ways to overcome power outages and run your operations.
Assessing your security will help you find the best malware and data storage solutions. You’ll have access to data within minutes and have your company operating again.
3. Use a Business Impact Analysis
The next step involves determining what must be done to keep your business flowing when disaster infringes on your operations. Knowing how much revenue you’re losing with each hour of downtime will help you find the solutions to keep your business operating.
Considering how disasters and cyber threats affect your company’s employees’ productivity is vital. Data backups are one of the best ways to get the data you need to continue working with clients and customers.
Understanding how your business is impacted by the risks it faces is an essential step for preparing. You won’t be caught off-guard when using an impact analysis.
4. Develop Your Policies
Now that you know how your business is affected by disasters and cyber threats, it’s time to develop your business continuity plan. The best plans will help you and your employees come together and find quick solutions when issues hit the fan.
Use clear and concise plans to help your employees know what to do when disaster strikes. These plans will aid with disaster prevention and recovery. You’ll have a much easier time managing the threats to your company with detailed and helpful strategies.
5. Use Contingency Plans
Contingency plans are another vital ingredient for your small business’s continuity plan. Your contingency plans will get your business back in action and operating again. It could include data recovery and file redundancy.
Review these plans with your employees to ensure everyone is on the same page. Your company will be back online with little disruption and fewer lost sales.
6. Test Your Plans
The most effective way to determine if your risk management strategy is effective is by putting it to the test. Run a simulation and move through your data recovery processes. You’ll get a clearer idea of how your systems work.
The results of the test will help you make adjustments to your continuity planning. Change the systems that didn’t work as intended and maintain those that functioned perfectly.
Prioritize Business Continuity and Risk Management Today
You’re playing with fire with your small business if you’re not planning for risks and developing strategies to overcome and solve them. Business continuity and risk management is one of the most vital aspects of running a business.
Cyber threats and natural disasters are more prevalent than ever, but your business continuity plan will help you prepare for the worst. You’ll identify business risks and create strategies to mitigate them and reduce losses.
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