Although over 95% of businesses have some form of business continuity plan, many of these plans fail because they’re not thorough enough. When you’re looking to improve your company’s resilience against downtime, financial loss, and damage, there are certain factors you must consider properly.
Below, we outline what you need to know about business resilience, and how you can improve your company’s contingency planning.
What We Mean By “Business Resilience”
Business resilience, also known as business continuity planning, is essentially how a company defends itself against potential and real threats to its operations. This can include preparing for cyber threats, employee negligence, and natural disasters.
Put simply, business resilience is how quickly a company can adapt to changes affecting its day-to-day processes.
The Purpose of Business Resilience Planning
The reality is that around 40% of small businesses struggle to reopen or continue operating after disaster strikes. Why? Because they fail to implement an effective resilience strategy. They learn from their mistakes when it’s too late to fix them.
The purpose of business resilience planning, then, is to give your company the best possible chance of staying on its feet after disaster strikes. After all, you don’t want to become another statistic.
The 5 Critical Elements of Effective Business Resilience
If you’re wondering where to begin with contingency planning, don’t worry–here are the top 5 areas you should be covering.
1: Knowing what business resilience means to your organization
Understand, firstly, what business continuity means to you. This means understanding your customers, your long and short-term commercial goals, your infrastructure, and where your unique priorities are.
Perhaps it’s customer service, or data protection, or your supply chain. Make sure that your plan includes details on how to get your most critical processes up and running again after a disaster.
2: You need something more than a skeletal emergency response plan
Sure, you need a response plan if a natural disaster strikes or hackers bring down your IT infrastructure, but addressing the immediate aftermath of a disaster is only the first step to business continuity. What’s just as important, if not more so, is how you plan on handling the following hours, days, and even weeks after the incident. A basic emergency response plan outlining evacuation procedures and emergency contacts is insufficient.
3: Devising cost-effective solutions
Business continuity planning doesn’t have to be costly. That’s why it’s so important to devise a plan that works for your particular business needs. If you’re unsure where to start with cost-effective business continuity planning, it makes sense to work with an IT services provider for help and guidance.
4: Cybersecurity planning
Cybercrime is one of the biggest threats that businesses of all sizes face nowadays. From hacking attempts to data breaches, the risks are serious and no business can afford to overlook their cybersecurity. Perform a risk assessment of your network security, your hardware and software, and the threats most commonly affecting businesses operating in your particular sector.
5: Training and testing is key
There’s no point in developing your business continuity plan if you don’t test how effective it is. Furthermore, you must ensure that your personnel knows what’s expected of them, who to report to, and where to go for further advice.
Don’t wait for disaster to strike. Test your continuity plan now.
While it’s true that every business is unique, it’s also true that, with the right business resilience strategy, you’ll minimize the effects of downtime on your organization. By bearing the above 5 considerations in mind, you’ll help your company thrive in challenging times. For more information on IT strategy, disaster recovery planning, and the latest cybersecurity threats affecting your business, contact us today.