A Guide to Creating Business Resilience Plans

An effective business resilience and continuity plan allows your business to continue operating under any circumstance. 

That means you don’t have to take massive financial hits or file for bankruptcy when disaster strikes. As demonstrated by the pandemic, disaster preparation can mean the difference between business success and failure. 

This article will teach you what to think about when creating your Business Resilience Plan and things to avoid.  

How to secure your business with a Business Resiliency Plan? 

Business disasters and disrupting situations are often a matter of when, not if — and it’s your responsibility to be ready.  

To start creating your plan for business continuity, here are three important areas you need to consider: 

1. List relevant and potential situations

What are the threats and risks that can limit or stop your operations completely?  

No one can predict the future, but you can list potential situations that you think can happen, judging from current and previous local and global conditions. 

Because the effects of a business stand-still can be dire, you are better off preparing for the worst situations rather than the best. Take COVID as an example, some warned a pandemic would be the next global disaster, but few companies were ready to transform their businesses overnight. You should also explain how you intend to solve the problems with a list of potential situations. 

Talk with other leaders in your organization to get the most accurate predictions. Explain what impact these problems may have and how you can quickly solve them for business continuity.  

2. Increase inventory visibility and flexibility

Global supply chain problems or unforeseen events can negatively impact your ability to deliver products to customers. Sadly, Inventory planning is often something many companies take lightly. When it comes to it, you want your inventory bulletproof, even in times of disruption.  

That means you need to adopt visibility and allow for complete inventory flexibility. That gives you insight into what you have and where. This lets you quickly adapt to market changes. Some events may need you to reallocate your inventory, which is also a critical area to plan for. 

3. Use an effective technique to fill in the gaps

No matter the circumstances, be it internal or external, you want to keep business continuity.  

You want your Business Resilience Plan to prepare your business for any disrupting circumstance and scenario you may encounter. The truth is, you often do not know how people will react in disasters.  

For many staff, logical reasoning may not be implemented, making an easy-to-follow plan extremely important. 

To fill in the gaps, your strategy should include: 

  • Preparation exercises and mock examinations to prepare your organization 
  • Crisis management team organizational charts and contact information  
  • Plans to keep critical functions and infrastructure up and running 
  • Common business dangers and situations that may happen 
  • Statistics and risk-analysis of potential hazards 
  • Employee responsibilities in a crisis 
  • Checklists for different scenarios 
  • Business process workflows 
 

Quick readability is key, so make sure the document is not a wall of text. Take advantage of white space, write clearly and concisely, and use images to make it easier to read. Highlight important elements and be sure to include numbered and bulleted lists. 

Common business continuity mistakes you should avoid 

Disregarding business continuity can lead your business to stand-stills or complete halts when unforeseen disasters strike. 

It doesn’t have to mean a hurricane or another pandemic. Seemingly trivial events, like an employee quitting or increased electricity prices, can have massive consequences for some businesses. 

Not having a plan 

The biggest mistake I see companies make in Business Resilience is not having a plan.  

Business Continuity Plans and Disaster Recovery Plans are something we talk about in the IT world, but often, businesses completely miss any formal or written version of them, and it’s more common than you might think.  

If you ask business owners to show you their Business Continuity Plan, you’d be surprised if 20% of them can. Especially in SMB markets where companies are less operationally mature. Naturally, the risks of missing a plan for business continuity are massive, particularly for small businesses that can’t afford a data crisis. 

Failure to assess your risks and dangers 

Not all risks are relevant for all businesses.  

For example, ransomware locking employees out of their computers can be a disaster for a small accounting firm relying on systems and applications. But for a café owner, cyber security is probably the least of his or her concerns. However, a natural disaster that forces a café owner to close their doors for months would be. 

These four dangers are the most typical for small and medium-sized businesses: 

  1. The unexpected departure of an important employee 
  2. The inability to survive a recession 
  3. Inadequate systems and processes 
  4. Natural disasters 

 

Assess and plan for relevant threats to your business size and type. 

Summary 

Creating a Business Resiliency Plan is not something done overnight. 

It needs careful strategizing, consideration, organizational planning, and often, expert help. Furthermore, it needs to become a culture.  

Successful continuity relies on your people knowing the risks and what to do if those risks become reality. A critical start is creating your plan; not having one can mean the difference between business failure and success. 

Make sure your business doesn’t stop when disaster strikes. Let us help you! 

 

Since 2001, StepUP IT Services has been helping businesses in Eugene and throughout Oregon with their technology needs. We are your IT partner. We manage and maintain your technology, empowering your organization to reach its goals. Making you happy is what makes us happy.

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