Business Continuity For Small Businesses

Tim Boyle

business continuity plan

You, like us, are busy getting things done in your business and at home. We want our business to keep going strong with and without us. Yet not many of us take the time to plan properly for business continuity. We should!

Business Continuity Is Not Automatic

Let’s face it, we all face unexpected adversities and disruptions in our lives. These can be minor or they can be major, be brief or last for months or years. Causes of disruption are diverse, including health, personal, relationship, financial, and of course unexpected market and business disruptions. Think about it for a moment, that is a lot of risk that your business is facing. Don’t hide behind “it won’t happen to me”. I was perfectly healthy one day, and the next day I was dying. From there on, life and work would never be the same. And I am not the only person having to cope with a major life/work changing situation. It could be you, or someone critical to your business too. What happens to business continuity in that case?

Do You Have A “What If” Scenario?

For small and medium size businesses, the consequences of these unexpected adversities can be huge. In many cases it can result in prolonged periods where you cannot give yourself 100% to your business and of course this can have dire consequences on you, your family, and your employees.What if you, or your most senior manager, your most critical person could only work at 20% capacity, or even 50%? Unfortunately most business owners do not have a plan for what to do to maintain business continuity BEFORE these events happen and it is often too late once they do occur.

2 Ways To Protect Your Business

The good news is there are many ways we can protect ourselves and through a bit of proactive planning ensure we can get on our feet as soon as possible when one of these “events” occurs.

Appropriate Insurance

The most obvious way is to have adequate insurance cover in place. These should include key policies like:

  • Income Protection,
  • Business Expense insurance,
  • Key Person insurance,
  • A Buy/Sell agreement,
  • Life Cover
  • Adequate asset insurance cover.

Planning And Preparation

Beyond good insurance cover though, there is an additional exercise I suggest any business owner should do. This normally involves a facilitated half-day workshop that will set you up to deal with adversities when they arise.

Why a workshop?

  • Because thinking about risk is a challenging exercise
  • Anyone of us doing that kind of plan alone is tempted to see only one perspective and ignore some options
  • An unbiased moderator can push us beyond the “quick and easy answers” with which we are tempted to see as “good enough”

The key questions to explore:

  • What are the potential disruptions you and your business could face?
  • Which of these can and should be insured for?
  • What will you do if any of these occur?
  • How do you think about a framework for dealing with these?
  • What is your action plan?

From my personal experience, I know that

  • Although a methodology and sound framework developed in advance may not avoid many of life’s unknown adversities,
  • It is an invaluable tool for softening the landing and getting your own life and business up and running when these events occur.

So, Where to from here

Your first step is to organise a facilitated half-day workshop with an experienced business person to help you think through and plan for these.To know more, feel free to contact me.

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