Your business may be doing well now, but you can never be sure of what the future holds. The economy could crash and leave your financial security in danger. A natural disaster could strike and destroy your physical store. Even something as simple as more competitors popping up in your area should be something to watch out for.
These uncertainties are the reasons you should always be prepared. You can do this by ensuring that your business has a continuity plan. It is the only way your business can stay afloat when the times get rough. So, what should you include in your continuity plan? And how will you know when it is time to apply it?
Identify possible scenarios
You must first identify the different problems that can arise for your business. Make a risk-and-threat assessment based on the many factors surrounding your business.
Is your business located in an area prone to weather-related disasters? How will a recession affect your business? Up to what point will you consider a decline in sales a danger to your livelihood? If new competitors put up shop in your location, will that drive healthy competition or be the cause of your business’ downfall?
Only you will be able to gauge what type of risk reduction plan is viable for your business. You will need this to incorporate into your recovery protocol.
Set up management and recovery protocol
If your business operations are disrupted, you need safeguards set in place to ensure that your business will stay operational during a time of crisis or can bounce back immediately after the said crisis.
You must have a set of guidelines that staff members should follow when disaster strikes. For example, your warranty management system must be able to alert customers about your situation. Say, warranties, returns, and exchanges will have to be put on hold for the time being. Or, your store will have to close for a week. Or, certain sales and promotions will have to be stopped.
Once the situation has been contained, recovery is the next step. Now, forcing an immediate business recovery may seem like the best option to regain traction. However, without proper planning, you might just find yourself in another tight spot. You would not want that.
Ensure continuity operations
Business continuity must have cost-effective strategies in place. You will not want to spend any more money, especially with the losses you have already incurred.
Find which areas your business lacked during the crisis and improve on them. For example, your staff may have been too relaxed at their jobs leading to lower sales, so seminars and training can help them get better at work. Know the causes of your problems and provide solutions.
Disasters can strike at any moment. Make sure your business is ready for any incident and has certain safeguards and protocols in place to prevent and act upon a crisis. Failure to do so will mean the inevitable downfall of your business and your livelihood.