SUCCESSFULLY SECURING YOUR SIGNIFICANT BUSINESS SEGMENTS AMIDST CHAOS
– By Yousif Faraj (Associate Member of the Business Continuity Institute)
Today’s studies and research show that fifty-two percent of small businesses have effectively drawn up business continuity plans in case of potentially serious threats or disruptions. Out of this figure, averages of twenty-eight percent of businesses ensure that their business continuity plans are up to date.
If you represent the forty-eight percent of small businesses who do not have a business continuity plan, you can be headed for a potentially serious disaster. This article will take you through the importance of business continuity and how it can be carefully implemented in your business today.
Business continuity applies to all businesses, regardless of their nature, size or objective. It is the simple act of taking responsibility for your business and giving it every chance of survival when the harsh winds come blowing. In other words it is the status of sustained, uninterrupted operations of a business.
How? Well, business continuity immensely assists in gaining a strong in-depth and 360 degree view of the risks involved, advantages and disadvantages of strategies and so on, implemented in any stage of the business that may be affected based on the threatening circumstances that could possibly materialize.
EXISTENCE OF BUSINESS CONTINUITY
Think about the effects of business continuity and the information it portrays about a business. Now imagine your business without it. Unimaginable, isn’t it? Business Continuity allows the business to plunge nose deep in making sound business decisions without any concern of unexpected threats that could seriously affect the business.
One proven fact is that businesses practicing business continuity can more confidently embark on new ventures projects or launch new products / services because they have a better understanding of their entire business and the risks factors it faces.
THE TRADITIONAL APPROACH
Whatever the size of your business, the key components of business continuity and the steps to be taken always remain the same. Although, each business tends to use their own methodology for implementing business continuity and have their own approaches, the principles will always remain static. The six principles that form the basis of Business Continuity are as follows:
1. Business Impact Analysis (BIA)
– Understanding your business (Products / Services).
– Understanding your business processes and procedures.
2. Maximum Tolerable Period of Disruption that the business can afford to lose
– The time allocated to commencing the critical activities.
3. Recovery Time Objective
– Your objective time for resuming the critical activities.
4. Risk Assessment
– Comparing the risks to the critical activities.
5. Building Resilience
– Developing strategies to ensure the continuity and recovery of your critical activities.
6. Business Continuity Plans
– Pulling everything together in one big plan.
Once you have been able to identify, develop, acquire and document all six principle areas of your business, you will be able to exercise your business continuity plan and ensure that it is risk free, guaranteeing the three major elements of business continuity management – Resilience, Recovery and Contingency.
It is your business and therefore it is your responsibility to strengthen its resilience. At the end of the day, it all comes down to the firm steps, decisions and actions undertaken that differentiate your business from your competitors. Your ability to carry out this responsibility effectively determines your position and bottom line as to whether your business is successful and whether it can remain successful in the face of threats and difficulties.