You may not be able to predict the future of your business, but you can prepare for it
“A backup plan means, somewhere in my head, I think I might fail and this word is not in my vocabulary.”
While it’s valiant to not have failure as an option, those in the world of business know that many things are often and simply beyond their control. To that, we offer Alan Lakein’s response: “Planning is bringing the future into the present so that you can do something about it now.”
Disruptions can come in all shapes and sizes, from Mother Nature to unexpected tariffs. According to Public Safety Canada, a Business Continuity Plan (BCP) is a proactive process that ensures the continuous delivery of your business’ critical services or products.
But it’s been found that many Canadian small and mid-sized enterprises either do not have a formal plan or a detailed plan, and that information is not shared with the necessary employees or teams. If you are still on the fence about creating one for your business, here are five ways a continuity plan can help operations endure when the worst comes knocking.
1. A BCP can help you recover your losses
A good BCP can get you back on your feet in the shortest time possible since the data to calculate potential revenue loss, time of recovery and severity of disruption is readily available based on the identified dependencies. Learn how this company got back on its feet, with production roaring at 95 percent, just five weeks after a fire.
2. A BCP can help you focus on what matters
When creating your BCP, you have no choice but to ask some hard yet crucial questions about your business. You may be surprised by what you think is important and what ultimately makes the final list. There will be plenty to distract you when disruption strikes and little time to waste. Your BCP will help to stay focused when seconds count.
3. A BCP can provide brand protection
Your business is not an island. You have employees and customers who rely on you. Having contingency plans show you are committed to both. Go through any ‘Best Places to Work’ lists. The one common denominator that makes each product or service great is how that business treats its employees and customers. Now imagine what your brand will gain if you’re able to maintain service levels even in the face of an economic crisis or natural disaster.
4. A BCP can give you a competitive edge
The reality is that business is about the opportunities between supply and demand. If your business is standing tall in spite of the storms because of a great continuity plan, then take pride! How you weather adversity will linger long after the disruption is over.
5. A BCP can support data security
If your business’ data storage equates to the file cabinets currently erect in the corner of your office, they may be the best place to start. Federal and provincial regulations typically require payroll, tax, accounting and employee records be kept between two to seven years or be subject to hefty penalties as a result.
Even without the threat of disruptions or disasters, a business’ longevity naturally dwindles with time. Industry Canada reveals, on average, 7,000 SMBs go bankrupt every year, citing poor management as the top reason. As cliché as it sounds, when you fail to plan, you are truly planning to fail. Fortunately, it’s easily preventable with the right countermeasures in place.