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Is now the time for Business Continuity Planning?

Now is the perfect time to develop or amend a Business Continuity Plan

Amid the COVID-19 Pandemic, businesses have been forced to adapt quickly, without warning and the ability to prepare. Many employees now work from home. We have watched employers implement new technologies, software, and protocols. We have seen institutions creating physical barriers and marking floors seemingly overnight. Venues, including corporate offices, have introduced capacity limits.  We have also observed many restructures which have directly affected our clients, colleagues, friends, and family. All of these changes have been caused by shifts in consumer behaviour, government restrictions and the overall economic pain.

Although it is counter-intuitive, now is the perfect time to update or create a Business Continuity Plan. A Business Continuity Plan enables a business to act quickly and effectively to sustain its operations during an event. It itemises your critical business processes, essential personnel, the systems required to complete these processes, and allows you to continue to operate effectively in the event of an emergency or disaster. The plan gives you the tools to sustain and recover your business through any event.

During an event such as the pandemic, reviewing or creating a Business Continuity Plan gives rise to business flexibility which may not have been their previously, or previously considered. By developing your plan now, you can determine what systems, processes, and functions are critical in real-time, while it is at the forefront of your thinking.

Similarly, by updating or creating a plan now, you will be able to develop or amend a system which truly reflects your organisation’s work from home capacity. It also allows for the different technologies, systems, software that have been quickly implemented to be itemised and documented.

Capturing your normal, now, understanding what has to be done, when it has to be done and what is required to do it, will ensure you are better prepared for the next pandemic, disaster, or emergency. Having a Business Continuity Plan available within your organisation will give your business a competitive advantage over those that do not.

What is Strategic Business Planning? 

Strategic Business Planning is an ongoing organisational process that allows companies and employees to define goals, prioritise work towards said goals, and allocate resources towards achieving them. With an average of 95% of employees not understanding their company’s strategy and overall goals, and with over 90% of businesses failing to meet their strategic targets, it’s more important than ever to take the time to re-evaluate your targets and educate your employees. 

How Would Strategic Business Planning Benefit My Business?

Strategic business planning serves five main functions:

   1. It will help you prepare for your business’ future. 

‘The future’ is a broad term, and could refer to weeks, years or decades down the track. Looking beyond the short-term is crucial when reminding yourself of where you’re going, and for helping you stay on track to get there. Assessing your business’ day-to-day procedures and practices is vital, but without considering the future, how can you prepare for what is ahead? Strategic business planning can help you see the bigger picture and work more effectively towards your vision – even if you’re currently off track.

   2. It helps you stand out amongst your competitors

Implementing a core strategy will help all team members focus on your company’s unique ideas and values. Keeping these in mind will keep you in your customer’s minds, where they will see you as reliable and trustworthy.

   3. It showcases your stability.

Having a clear plan in place makes it easier to stay on-course as you will always have it to fall back. This stability ensures that your business can stay true to your foundations, which can transform your audience into a tight-knit community who will remain loyal to you for remaining loyal to yourself. When your business is stable and consistent, not only do you customers and key stakeholders benefit, your staff and leadership team benefit from feeling secure and on track.

   4. It supports internal and external alignment.

Managerial strategy allows a team to bond together and shows customers that you’re on the same team. This in turn enhances internal morale and external satisfaction. Crises disrupt alignment and instability, and while some are unavoidable, there are measures you can take to prepare for the unexpected. Strategic planning helps steady your alignment and keep your business on track even when a crisis occurs, leading to better outcomes in all aspects of the business.

   5. It guides your organisational action.

If a crisis or emergency does occur, how would your business act? Having a strategic plan ready to implement into your day-to-day means that you are prepared for whatever occurs. Your plan pre-emptively makes key decisions about how to act, what to do, and how to respond, giving you greater opportunity to respond well. Strategy guides direction, so all actions taken are well sewn together and align well.

How Can Strategic Business Planning Help in a Crisis or Emergency? 

Whether it’s security, economic, or disaster-related, an unexpected negative event can turn your life— and your business— upside down. A strategic business plan can help to mitigate those risks and ensure your business’ longevity. 

It pays to be proactive rather than reactive, and having a clearly defined business strategy and direction will help keep your business on track and working towards your vision. Proactivity allows you to carry on with your day-to-day, knowing that if the worst happens, you have a concrete plan in your hands.  

Schedule regular meetings with your team to discuss and brainstorm ideas. Ensure that all team members are aware of what potential crises are most likely to occur, and what to do if they, or less likely emergencies, do occur.

Need Help With Strategic Business Planning?

If you don’t have a strategic business plan in place, we hope this article has helped you understand the importance of doing so. If you need help amending your strategic business plan or need to create a new one from scratch, our friendly and helpful team at Resilient Services is more than happy to assist. Get in contact with us on 0439 005 271 to initiate the Strategic Business Planning process today.

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