Your company is at risk. Yes, if you operate any type of business under the sun, that business is prone to a lot of risks. You may think you are very careful. You might have insurance in place. You might have trained your staff perfectly and might even hire only professionals. But the truth is that there are still so many things that are beyond your control. Even if issues like machine breakdown, theft, and fire are under your control, what about the other stuffs like earthquakes and Tsunamis that we don’t hope for but still happen and are beyond human control?
It’s just best for business owners to hope for the best and take steps to put structures, facilities and activities in place to help reduce these risks. These are some of the few important steps you should take to mitigate business continuity risk and get your business up and running again after being hit by an unforeseen disaster.
First, what is business continuity risk?
Business continuity risk is just one of the different types of risks that a company face. It is the likelihood that an unfortunate event would occur that would lead to disruption of services or a complete close down of the business.
No business owner wants this to happen as it would lead to many other problems such as loss of revenue, loss of key employees, loss of customers and suppliers, and loss of market leadership. As a business owner, you can reduce your business continuity risks to the barest minimum by taking the following steps.
9 Action Steps for Mitigating Business Continuity Risk
Your first step to take is to carefully identify the probable business continuity risks that your business is exposed to. Is it loss of data? Is it loss of important documents? Is it loss of key staff? Or is it loss of customer confidence and credibility? You have to carefully look into the potential losses that your business might suffer if a disaster strikes. Only then can you start to plan on how to reduce or eliminate such risks.
2. Understand the risks
Now that you have identified the potential risks, your next step is to understand the situation better. How exactly would loss of documents affect your business? If a disaster renders you unable to meet up with production of goods or supply of your services, how exactly would it affect your customers and your income? These are just some of the questions that can help you understand potential risks better.
3. Possibility of occurrence
Next, you should look into the possibility of such a disaster or event happening. Does it happen quite frequently? Does it happen only once in a very long while? The more likely an event would happen, the more efforts you should put into fighting such risks.
4. Create a budget-: You should always have a budget for risk management. Getting your business up and running again after being hit by a disaster would definitely cost you money. And you must be prepared for this.
5. Devise your risk mitigation strategies
You have to come up with plans and strategies that you would use to eliminate the risks your business is prone to. Some risks can be managed through insurance or risk transfers. You should look for a way to fight or reduce all types of risks. This could mean buying insurance policies, ensuring that your staff is well trained, or having an emergency fund.
Next, you should come up with a business continuity plan, which would detail all the steps that you will take to ensure continuity of business operations after your company has suffered a disaster. You may not be able to afford the cost and time it would take to put things back in proper shape, so you may need to run skeletal services for a while or arrange for your staff to work from home pending the time you would be able to put things back in place again.
7. Consider cost effectiveness
In addition, you should carry out a cost-benefit analysis to determine the cost effectiveness of your business continuity plan. If you would be spending too much money, that is a financial risk on its own—one you would want to avoid at such a time. Therefore, you should carry out a cost analysis and come up with the most cost effective business continuity plan.
8. Schedule for periodic assessment-: You shouldn’t just stop when you have a plan in place; it is important that you continue to review your business continuity risk management plan and make adjustments whenever necessary.
9. Carry everyone along-: Lastly, you should always try to carry the management and key staff along at every phase of your planning process, so that everyone understands and knows what to do when a disaster occurs.