As a small business owner, you likely know how quickly an unexpected event can occur. Disruptive events come in many forms, from natural disasters to hardware failure. These events can have a detrimental impact on your business operations and bottom line.
According to the Institute for Business and Home Safety, nearly 25% of businesses that are forced to close their doors due to a major business disruption never reopen. Small- and Medium‑Sized Businesses (SMBs) simply can’t afford to recover from such events.
An effective small business continuity plan is the best way to save yourself from any losses because of unexpected issues. While you may already realize the importance of small business continuity planning, you may not have any extra cash lying around to invest in the process.
Luckily, there are low-cost ways that you can prioritize business. In this post, we’ll discuss the basics of small business continuity planning and provide a few tips on how you can get started with planning on a budget.
What is Small Business Continuity Planning?
Small business continuity is the process of maintaining critical business functions and quickly resuming them when a major disruption occurs, such as natural disasters, fires, floods, construction accidents, or malicious cyber-attacks. A small business continuity plan covers procedures and instructions a small business must follow in the event of a disaster.
The plan covers business processes, assets, human resources, business partners, and more. A large portion of the plan prioritizes IT infrastructure and its restoration after a major crisis.
An effective business continuity plan outlines which key processes should be in place to ensure that your business can quickly and easily resume standard functionality in the event of a disaster.
Benefits of Small Business Continuity Planning
Having a small business continuity plan in place provides many benefits, including the following:
Enables immediate action
A detailed Internet business continuity plan outlines how to address different disaster scenarios. This allows your employees to quickly mitigate the issue and minimize its negative impact on your business.
Mitigates financial loss
A small business continuity preparation plan minimizes downtime by laying out a guide for backup and recovery procedures and ensures that you'll always have access to the resources you need to continue operations. This will allow you to deliver your products or services to customers on time and avoid missing any new business opportunities, ultimately mitigating detrimental financial loss.
Increases competitive advantage
Having a small business continuity plan will help you stand out from your competitors. The fact that you can provide services with little to no interruptions or delays can convince potential customers to choose your company over another.
Meets legal regulations
A business continuity plan is necessary for any industry that handles highly sensitive data, such as companies in the healthcare industry. Regulators require businesses to be able to keep data secure and resume operations with little to no disruptions, even in the event of a disaster.
Small Business Continuity Planning on a Budget
Discuss business continuity with your insurance provider
Having a business continuity plan in place shows that you are aware of your business’ risks and have taken measures to prevent crippling financial loss. Depending on your insurance provider, you may be able to receive a discount on your premiums if you share a copy of your business continuity plan with them.
Check other budgets for extra cash
Business continuity has an impact on each part of your business. With this in mind, it can be argued that a small portion of each department’s budget would benefit toward the creation and maintenance of business continuity planning.
Discuss business continuity with your sales team
Are your customers asking if you have a business continuity plan in place? This has become a common question for many consumers, and if you don’t have one in place, you may lose business to competitors who do. Talk with your sales team to see if they have lost any business for this reason. Winning that lost business may be enough to fund your planning process.
Consider business continuity software or tools
As a small business owner, you’re fully aware that time is money. You can save time by creating and managing your plan through a business continuity software or tool. There are many different options available that can help you save time and money by quickly identifying potential threats and streamlining the planning and recovery process. If you’re interested in investing in a business continuity software, check out Gartner’s review of the most highly rated options.
It’s always better to be safe than sorry. If you follow these tips, you’ll be able to save money while setting your business up for success in the event of unexpected circumstances.