It doesn’t matter what type of business you are operating, things can go bad very quickly, and you need to be prepared to take action to keep your business from collapsing in those critical moments when everything goes wrong. Practicing effective business continuity is the best way to make sure that your company keeps running even when it doesn’t seem like it should.

business continuity
photo credit: Summer Skyes 11

Problems Occur with Every Business

It doesn’t matter if you are operating an ice cream truck, or a 500-man corporation, there are natural disasters, machine failures, and problems caused by human error that can cause your business to come screeching to a halt. The best way to avoid falling apart when the pressure is on is to prepare for as many different problems as you can. Take some time and think about what your business requires to continue running. Be specific as possible about what your company needs and write it down on a piece of paper to aid with your planning efforts.

Taking Precautions

If your business relies on software or information stored on a computer you need to make sure that that information is backed up somewhere safe. Even if you keep all of your important information in paper form you need to make copies of those papers and keep them backed up in a different location.

It’s standard practice to backup all of your company information, and most business owners already know that. Unfortunately many of them don’t bother worrying about it and they don’t realize how reckless they are being until it’s too late.

If you rely on a specific service offered by another company to run your business, try and find an alternative supplier in case the other company stops offering the service you need in the future.

Make a Disaster Plan

During a disaster most people aren’t thinking clearly, and it can be overwhelming to try and figure out the best way to react for your business. Take the time and create a disaster plan for the company when things are running smoothly and you will have a guide when you don’t have the luxury of a relaxed environment to plan out how your business will continue functioning.

In your plan consider which of your employees are vital to the company and the roles they fill. Get contact information for all the important members of the company including any outside contractors that you deal with and make records of that information in case someone else in the company needs to get in touch with them.

Detail exactly what needs to be done in an emergency, and explain who should be doing what. It’s also a good idea to come up with a different location to conduct business if everyone currently works at the company office. It could be possible for everyone to telecommute, or maybe you could make arrangements for a backup venue for a temporary period in case of a flood, fire, or anything else that chases everyone out of the building.

If you aren’t prepared for problems to occur you are going to be hit much harder by them when they do come up. It may seem like wasted energy to plan for a bunch of circumstances that will probably never occur, but you will thank yourself for doing it when that day finally comes and you know exactly what to do.

You have worked hard to build up a respectable business. Entrepreneurs know that businesses aren’t always successful and getting yourself into a profitable company is an achievement that should not be taken lightly. Don’t throw away all that you have worked for because you weren’t willing to plan for the unexpected. Set aside a little time each day to work on your business continuity and plan for life’s many curveballs.

About the Author: Joshua Turner is a writer who creates informative articles in relation to business.