Business continuity

Businesses face challenges all the time but when disaster comes calling, as it fairly does from time to time, those that survive is due in part to a strong business continuity plan. Giving the tools for survival, what else can a continuity plan bring your business?

Risk is an inherent part of running any business. Some risks we can predict, others we can’t. Natural disasters, such as poor weather, we can appreciate from drought to flooding. Other risks are so hard to imagine that we assume they are the stuff of fiction, like a global pandemic that shuts down whole economies for weeks on end.

Pivoting in these times means being an agile business, and that means having a business continuity plan. ISO 22301 takes a closer look at such a plan, and how your business will survive the next challenge that comes your way.  

The importance of business continuity

1 The potential to save the business and livelihoods

Employees are relying on your business for a wage. Suppliers are relying on your business too. These are not responsibilities to be taken lightly. Taking time to create continuity and emergency plans provides a basis to consolidate thinking and action if the worst should happen.

2 Confidence

Nothing is guaranteed. A business continuity plan won’t guarantee business survival against all odds but it gives a level of confidence that there are avenues and actions that can be taken.

3 Protects the supply chain

Without raw materials, many businesses simply could not survive. By forming this style of plan, you can consider all aspects of your business including priorities and where they lie in the whole picture. How quickly will supplies dwindle? What are the options for sourcing from different suppliers or locations?

4 Mitigates financial risk

The 2020 pandemic threw businesses and whole industries into uncertain times. Even those with a financial buffer could only see in the short term, unsure how they or their industry would survive. Understanding risks and how you need to react can protect valuable investment. It can also showcase stability for future investments too.

5 Look beyond the crisis

A crisis can last for a matter of hours or months. Either way, you need to be able to see beyond the crisis, understand the new landscape in which your business will be operating and understand how to make changes that change these challenges into opportunities. 

6 Promotes resilience and agility

A business can be similar to steering an oil tanker – it takes some time for a change in direction to take effect but with an organisation, by the time these changes take effect, it can be too late. Remaining agile and resilient to changing market conditions means having an innate understanding of the industry you operate in and the wider world beyond it. How quickly can you adapt?  

The importance of business continuity cannot be underestimated. Many owners, directors and shareholders have learnt hard lessons from the past year. Could business continuity a tool worth exploring for your business?