Whelp, first of all, if we all had comprehensive business continuity plans, rebounding from the pandemic would have been much easier. Did I just say that? I did! I know it may not be a popular opinion to state that we, business owners, are responsible for how we react to external circumstances for our business when they are highly unexpected. So I answered the second part before the first. This is WHY you should care. There will always be unexpected variables which impact businesses.
What is "business continuity"? According to Investopedia, it's "prevention and recovery from potential threats to a company". (https://www.investopedia.com/terms/b/business-continuity-planning.asp) So let's talk about some threats:
- The economy
- Supply chain challenges
- Unexpected increases in demand, or decreases in supply
- Labor market changes
- Lack of available qualified talent
- Legislative changes
- Natural Disasters
- Change in customer preferences
- Cyber attacks
......... and dare I say, PANDEMICS!
And there are several more threats that may impact your business, and likely will at some point.
Business Continuity Planning (BCP) is a systematic process of looking at:
Business Impact - Which threats pertain to your business, evaluating which are most likely to occur, and the impact if they do occur?
Recovery Plan for Critical Business Functions - Specifically how will you recover the core functions of your business?
Organization of Team(s) to Manage Disruptions - Develop a team, with specific responsibilities to make the plan and oversee it's components.
Training and Testing - Train team members and staff, and then test the plan. If something isn't working, this is where you make adjustments.
Public schools have been doing this for years. I grew up in California so fire drills and earthquake drills were commonplace, but the negative impact of a lack of preparedness in an elementary school would be catastrophic to the community. Therefore, the school systems evaluate the impact, create a plan for critical service recovery, have teams to manage the emergent situation, and train and test... and test... and then test more.
Given the current situation, many business owners feel that this ship has sailed. Why do BCP now? Business continues, even during a pandemic. If you want to learn how to prepare your business for the breaks in continuity, I am happy to chat (over coffee, phone, or via internet) about how we can help.