Five Tips for Creating a Small Business Continuity Plan

Is your business ready to deal with disasters? When a business owner starts a business, they rarely think of bad things happening, otherwise, they wouldn’t have started the business at all. They are natural optimists and always ask ‘how to do this?’ instead of ‘can I do this?’.

As your business grows, gets more staff, and has a wide economic influence in the community – it starts to become its own entity that is separate from you which you have to nourish and care for. In the long-run, if the business fails to operate normally, the staff, as well as the community relying on it will suffer.

With limited capital, assets, and manpower, small businesses are more vulnerable to disasters. It’s best to plan ahead than to be sorry in the long-run.

Here are strategies that can help prevent a breakdown in business operations:

1. Make a list of possible disasters

Consider your location and the history of catastrophes that have struck that area. It’s highly likely that the same events will occur around the same time as cyclones and tornadoes. Prepare for these events by planning ahead on alternative power sources or an emergency fuel service.

2. Delegate, rather than be 1 person wearing a lot of hats

It’s common for small businesses to start out with just one person – you. For a small business to flourish and increase revenue, you’ll either need to take on more work by yourself or hire staff to do the repetitive tasks for you. Doing everything will eventually take its toll. You’ll experience fatigue or worse – burnout.

Take care of yourself by getting enough time for proper rest by assigning some tasks to other people in the team. This way, if one team member would get sick or be unable to do his duties – the whole operation would not suffer.

3. Secure Important Data

Data breach is major issue as it has the potential to result in huge losses for the company not to mention the damage to the brand’s reputation.  Stocks may plunge or investors may avoid placing money in your company. Keep an inventory of the company’s confidential or restricted information and who has access to it.

A good plan today is better than a perfect plan tomorrow.

George Patton

4. Select a Temporary Workplace

If you’re unable to work in the usual office or workplace, make provisions for a temporary workspace or workplace where you can temporarily resume operations

5. Assign a team member in-charge for each phase of the business continuity plan

Assign a coordinator and a back-up coordinator. Enforcing an emergency plan would be faster if there a clear leader that will determine the situation and decide quickly the proper response for the disaster.

Training or practice should be done for any business continuity plan to be successful. Ideally, it should be done once a year or once a new employee is hired. Test if your emergency plan works.

The time of crisis is not the best time to craft a detailed emergency response or business continuity plan. Having a plan in place before disasters happen will reduce loss or damage to the business.

Holly Shaw
Holly is a freelance writer. Holly has worked in the health and safety industry since graduating from university. When not writing about health and safety practices, Holly can be found researching new travel locations.