The main purpose of a business continuity program is to help respond to and recover from a disaster. However, there are elements of a business continuity program which provide an every-day benefit, if utilized properly.
When it comes to expense and capital spending, knowing what threatens your business can help ensure you measure the appropriate amount of risk against the benefits of taking certain actions such as physical or product expansion. For example, if your power needs are already threatened, consider how expanding your dependency on electricity by bringing in additional equipment could increase your already substantial risk.
A succession plan can double as a career pathing process within your company and also encourage cross training for critical functions.
Standard Operating Procedures
SOP's are perhaps the most versatile aspect of business continuity planning. Most companies will already have documented procedures on how to perform each job function by the time they get around to building a resiliency program. SOP's are instruction manuals for employee's and should be designed as such. SOP's should list dependencies on equipment and training, qualifications, and detailed step-by-step instructions on each job function. They can be broken down into sub-functions or, for a small company offering one product or service, a single SOP may be all that you need and easier to maintain. SOP's can be used to:
When reviewing your suppliers, you may realize that you have an unbalanced dependency on a particular supplier. If that is the case, you may want to dedicate time to researching alternate suppliers. You may find that another supplier is more stable at the same or even better cost than your current supplier.
Review and Training
Conducting table top “war game” exercises with your staff can help uncover inefficiencies in your organization and may cause you to consider process elimination or restructuring of staff or processes.
For many companies, developing a business continuity plan is a one time occurrence. If you struggle to justify the time and expense in developing and maintain a continuity program, consider that a quality and comprehensive program can offer many tangible benefits beyond being prepared for some unkown future crisis, more than justifying the investment.
"If you are failing to prepare, you are preparing to fail."-Benjamin Franklin
Branding is the process of setting your business apart from the competition. It's how you control how people view your business and connect with it. Branding is used by major companies, from Coca-Cola to McDonald's. However, small businesses can also use it to influence public perception.