Business continuity is a vital part of any company’s overall strategy. This is especially true during unprecedented moments in history – like right now.
The goal of a business continuity strategy is to ensure consistency in your company, no matter what happens. This strategy is useful in both extreme situations like fire, flood, or pandemic – and during mundane circumstances like the business owner taking a phone-free vacation.
Why You Need a Business Continuity Plan
Many company owners keep most of the knowledge required to keep the company going in their heads. It’s wonderful to know that you have the knowledge to run your company stored in your mind. However, keeping all of that knowledge to yourself means that you are the one and only person who can resolve everyday issues, answer questions, and supervise quality control.
If you plan to expand your company, this knowledge cannot remain in your head. You need to provide it to your leadership, along with the resources necessary for them to train their teams.
Making essential knowledge into procedures and processes that others can follow provides additional benefits, including:
- Consistent customer experience
- Improved quality control
- Ability to delegate
- Proof against external changes that you cannot control (a recession, pandemic, hurricane, or other disasters)
- Rapid new employee training
- An existing framework for any issue that may occur
- Provides support for an exit strategy
- Reduces hands-on work for the business owner
Seven Steps for Business Continuity
One of the issues that we encounter when working with business owners on a continuity plan is that they are so hands-on that they do not have time to create the plan. Setting down all of the company knowledge that you keep in your head can feel overwhelming when you already have the entire company to run.
With that in mind, we wanted to provide seven simple steps that you can take right now to begin your business continuity plan.
1. Take a look at your business as a whole and ask yourself – which part needs the most help? For example, perhaps the sales department always seems to be on your plate, or you are consistently dealing with issues in production.
The department that you seem to be continually fixing is the department with which you need to begin.
2. Bring in your team. This is not something you need to do on your own. They can help you create or write down all of the processes and procedures in your problematic department. This, like your whole company, is a collaborative activity.
3. Work with your team to create a flow chart. This is a rapid way to spot inconsistencies and discover rough spots that need more established processes and procedures.
4. Establish a repository for all of this information that is accessible to all who need the information.
5. Assign the appropriate metrics to track an area’s success. This will allow you to see how your processes and procedures are working – and provide you real data on which to act over time.
6. Set down your processes and procedures for the area.
7. Have the leadership train the rest of the staff on these processes and procedures – and test them. If something comes up and the framework needs to be modified, be sure to have one person assigned to do so. This person should also track how the modifications are working.
A lot goes into creating an effective framework for business continuity. To learn more about our strategy for business continuity, watch this interview with the founder and CEO of Business Success Consulting Group, Adi Klevit.
Be sure to contact us directly when you are ready to start planning! We provide a free initial consultation so you can understand how we will benefit your company.