Benefits of Business Continuity Planning: Does Your Small Business Need It

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Every meaningful business needs a back up. Think about it. Even our lives, because of its importance, are sometimes insured by some policy in the event of unplanned incidents. Well it doesn’t mean you get a copy of your life back in the event of something but in essence there was a plan for the uncertainty. In this post, we will dig in to understand the benefits of Business Continuity Planning a bit more, its technicality and how much small companies really need it.

Business continuity in its entire technicality is about protecting the organization’s life. Research has shown that the bigger the organization, the more assets to be lost in the event of a disaster. Research has also shown that maintaining this insurance called a Business continuity plan (BCP). It takes up a lot of planning, time and resources which not all companies, most especially smaller companies might not be competent enough to have for a longer time. Some experts have even argued that a business continuity plan if setup properly can help in times like that of a pandemic as the covid19.

 

Benefits of Business Continuity Planning

 

  1. It protects your organization’s life
  2. Business continuity planning (BCP) helps prevent data loss, hardware failure & cyber attacks among other software engineering threats
  3. A business continuity plan aims to set out apparent functions and duties, for instance, individuals that are required to organise all links or connections with customers, employees and other emergency services.
  4. It consists of a variety of eventualities that ensure that major business activities will persist regardless of complex issues or conditions, such as when a fundamental computer system or some other infrastructure is not present.
  5. Significantly, it also makes simple emergency processes that make sure that the security of employees is a major concern.
  6. Since it necessitates an assessment of all the major aspects of an organisation, business continuity is a priceless management tool.

 

 

Do Small Businesses Need it

 

Before we say yes or no, consider the following;

The triumph of a business is due to both security and prosperity

Large sized business that chooses to outsource for services would prefer to work with an organisation or company that has a business continuity plan

The magnitude of any continuity plan will be based on the risks that every business handles; it would hence be as big or small as required.

Some of the threats that a small business faces could involve Fire, Technology malfunction, personnel problems, refusal of access, thievery committed by employee, the passage of viruses, misplacement of significant data, defect of products, bombing and legal actions. A small business organisation that consists of 20 to 40 staff may utilise 4 major recovery groups that include:

  • Emergency reactions and damage analysis
  • Crisis supervision
  • Information systems and data
  • Core business and support role

A small business organisation that is comprised of 40-80 staff could utilise 8 major recovery groups which include:

  • Emergency Response
  • Damage Analysis
  • Crisis organization
  • Administration
  • Corporate sustainment
  • Information systems
  • Data
  • Major business

An organisation that consists of 140 employees would consist of more than 8 recovery groups, dividing the major business team into three extra teams or they could divide the information systems into 2 teams. Hence the larger the business, the more recovery groups will be needed and every team or group will need to create their team’s plan.

History creates a lucid image of the brunt of disasters on small businesses including the significance of business recovery, specifically on small businesses recovery to community pliability. An estimate of 4,500 small businesses that employed a total of 44,000 workers were affected as a result of the disaster that occurred around the World Trade Centre when the September 11 attacks occurred. Out of all the businesses affected, 700 small businesses that employed a total of 8010 human resources were damaged in the world trade centre complex. When the hurricane happened in Katrina, New Orleans, about 70, 000 businesses were totally destroyed by the storm.

The triumph of a business is due to both security and prosperity. A business should be created with the plasticity to succeed in altering situations and strong enough to undergo a disaster situation. The capability to resist severe incidents such as flooding and fire, and immediately re-open for business is significant.

There are also the commercial advantages to mull over, as companies that have business continuity plans look more experienced in business dealings. For instance, large sized business that chooses to outsource for services would prefer to work with an organisation or company that has a business continuity plan. Securing the future of a business regardless of the size should be the most important goal of every business entrepreneur. The smaller the business the more necessary it is to have a business continuity plan in place. Any transformation, regardless of how small could affect a business and its profitability. The magnitude of any continuity plan will be based on the risks that every business handles; it would hence be as big or small as required.

 

 

Business continuity or Survival (Small Businesses)

 

Business continuity refers to those activities performed daily to maintain service, consistency and recoverability. This brings to our attention that for a business to be in compliance with business continuity, it must perform series of activities almost daily. These activities include many routine tasks. Small businesses may not have such resources for these activities because most of them are struggling to survive. Majority of them do not survive the first 5 years. Research has shown that only 50% of small businesses starting small make it to 5 years (Forbes.com & Ropega J., 2011).

So should the business owners be bothered about Business continuity. Standing strong on your feet seems the ideal thing to do for a small business. Studies have shown that business continuity is not a contributing factor to most of their failures. The majority of them fail due to lack of money, inadequate management skills, insufficient capital, poor sales and other reasons among which business continuity isn’t one of them (cnbc.com, 2014 & Ropega J., 2011). Business continuity planning (BCP) helps prevent data loss, hardware failure & cyber attacks among other threats. Engaging in business continuity is time consuming, demands trained staff and finance to effect (Green C., 2014). Small businesses do not have the man power, time and resources that bigger companies typically possess

 

 

Why Big Businesses cannot do without it

 

Every meaningful business needs a backup. Even our lives, because of its importance, are sometimes insured by some policy in the event of unplanned incidents. The saying “no one knows tomorrow” has proved its worth and authenticity one too many times that millions of dollars in the world today has gone into protection without actually protecting anything. At the same time, not protecting your business could mean taking a leap with your eyes closed. After all it has been stated so many times that it is more risky to not take a risk.

The biggest corporations in the world today might not be where they are today if they had not set up a plan to cover for potential risk/damages. They have looked at the benefits of business continuity planning and have weighed the risks. These businesses have objectives they have to meet and thanks goodness for technology, they are able meet up. However these technological advancements come with attached risks, which include non-availability of business applications and breach of financial information (Haji J., 2015). So as a business, what do you do to ensure that in downtime, money is not lost and customers remain loyal? You build a contingency plan, or as its also called, a Business Continuity Plan. A business continuity plan according to the business continuity institute is “A collection of procedures and information which is developed, compiled and maintained in readiness for use in the event of an emergency or disaster” (thebci.org)

 

The word “disaster” in the definition above introduces the term “disaster recovery”, a branch of security/contingency planning. Contingency planning is how organizations prepare for, detect, react to and recover from events that threaten the security of information resources and assets (Cai J., 2016). Others in the tree of security/contingency planning include business continuity and incident response. This tree’s aim is to withstand any threat to the life of a business caused by an unplanned incident. In another simpler term, it is a way of protecting your organization’s life.

 

 

 In Conclusion

 

We have looked at the benefits of business continuity planning. Overall, business continuity has proven a 73 percent increase in the perception that natural disasters are intense threats to businesses and an 11 percent increase in fears that are based on the concept of data security.

Business continuity refers to those activities performed daily to maintain service, consistency and recoverability. Every meaningful business needs a backup. Even our lives, because of its importance, are sometimes insured by some policy in the event of unplanned incidents.

To gain a competitive advantage in today’s global market, business continuity is important for any organization (Venclova K. et al, 2013). The traditional disaster recovery is not enough for bigger corporations as critical systems, functions and components of the business and its data cannot be shut down even for a minute (SANS). Developing and maintaining business continuity plan costs time, money and human resources (Venclova K. et al, 2013).

Are you a small business owner? Do you consider having a safe haven for your business in the event of any uncertainty? Are your data and files hosted on the cloud or are you not digitized at all? Contact us at Fortran House today to discuss your needs and map out a way forward.

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