With many businesses being crippled by natural and man-made disasters on a daily basis, it’s important to have a business continuity plan in place for your business. This way, your business will be able to effectively cushion the effects of these disasters.

In case you are feeling lost, business continuity planning involves identifying the internal and external threats that your business is exposed to, and putting necessary measures in place to provide effective prevention and recovery following a disaster.

In simpler terms, business continuity planning involves putting necessary measures in place to keep your business going if it should be affected by adverse conditions, such as a storm, fire, crime, or data loss. It is the least expensive way to have your business insured against the devastating effects of these disasters. What are the benefits of business continuity planning?

10 Benefits of Business Continuity Planning

1. Your business survives after a disaster-: Business continuity planning helps you protect your business beforehand against various unforeseeable disasters that can disrupt your business. A well thought out, practical, and effective business continuity plan can make all the difference between coping with disaster and closing down due to disaster.

2. You understand your inefficiency-: A business threat can be likened to a patient about to the operated upon in the theatre. The priorities are clear: maintain the blood supply (cash flow), oxygen supply (communication links), and at all cost protect the vital organs (the staff and premises). Business continuity planning involves a thorough analysis of your business to decide which parts are vital and as such need to be protected the more.

Are your data servers vulnerable to attack? Is your business within a location where heavy flooding occurs each time it rains? Business continuity planning prompts you to ask questions in these lines, and take necessary action.

3. Staff morale gets a big boost-: To find and keep excellent staff, you need to instill confidence and a sense of security in them. Making your staff aware that you have a business continuity plan in place sends signals that they won’t get laid off after a disaster. This feeling of job security alone is a morale booster that improves employee productivity and inspires them to give you their best efforts.

4. You gain market edge-: Having a business continuity plan in place can push you far ahead of the competition. Why? The reason is because it sends signals that your business will continue to thrive no matter what happens. Of course, your business will attract more customers as a result, because nobody wants to do business with a company that has no protection against disaster.

Would you keep your money in a microfinance bank that has a business continuity plan or one that is likely to close down after an armed robbery attack?

5. Communication within your business improves-: Business continuity planning relies heavily upon communication. There is a strong need for the right communication to flow to and from the right people (those who can detect possible threats and fix the problem) at the right time. It also involves maintaining communication with customers, staff, and suppliers even if your business is disrupted by a disaster. Even your normal day-to-day business will benefit from the better communication facilitated by business continuity planning.

6. You enjoy reduced insurance premiums-: Having the right business insurance policy is a smart way to protect your business against risks, but it’s expensive. However, having a solid business continuity plan can help reduce your insurance premiums significantly, as the plan will demonstrate your commitment to managing risks. If your insurer is convinced that you have taken huge steps to prevent disaster, then they will regard your business as “low-risk” and will reduce your insurance premium as a result.

7. The value of your business increases-: A business that can easily cope with any disaster that haunts it is a more valuable and reliable investment than others. Investors are willing to invest in such a business. Banks and other loan-issuing institutions are willing to support such a business. But no one wants to invest in a risky business. In addition, business continuity planning increases the overall worth of a business; just as a waterproof smartphone is more expensive than one without protection against water.

8. You demonstrate compliance-: In some industries, the demand for business continuity plans is now trickling down from big businesses to smaller companies. Having a business continuity plan helps your business enjoy the benefits of complying with the requirement.

9. You get good bargains-: Once you have understood the principles of business continuity planning, you can spot weaknesses in other business and use that to your own advantage. For example, if one of your suppliers is asking for a price increase, ask about their business continuity plans. If they have none, then tell them you cannot agree to a price increase by a company that is not immune from disaster.

10. You sleep well-: With a business continuity plan in place, you can always rest easy knowing that your business will get going in the face of any disaster. So, when a thunderstorm happens or your data server gets hacked, you don’t get a heart attack.

Ajaero Tony Martins