Amid disruption, business continuity is often a matter of preparation. At the height of the pandemic, SMBs were unquestionably hit the hardest. All too often, preparation for disaster comes down to the size of the business. Enterprises have more resources to weather storms and are more likely to plan for the unexpected.
While small, SMBs can still think big and take advantage of business continuity best practices. Connectivity and communication are more vital than ever for success. Leveraging advances in 5G connectivity will keep any business agile and ready for changes in the market. Here’s a look at the importance of business continuity planning, how small businesses can get started, and ways to leverage the right technology for an agile business.
What Is Business Continuity Planning?
Business continuity planning is a situation-specific plan that addresses potential threats to the long-term operation of a business. While not all threats can be foreseen or avoided, the goal of a business continuity plan is to identify those scenarios that are most likely to occur and determine preventative measures and responses that can be implemented prior to an event.
Why Do SMBs Need a Business Continuity Plan?
Small businesses often operate on minimal resources and can’t afford to be out of commission for even a short period of time. A business continuity plan makes sure this doesn’t happen by helping small businesses smoothly transition from normal operations to crisis mode with minimal disruptions.
A key point about business continuity is that it isn’t just about surviving disasters. It’s also about preparing for long-term change that could threaten your business model and brand. A disruptive competitor or market shift can be as harmful to your business as any disaster.
How to Get Started With Business Continuity Planning
For small businesses, business continuity planning is often as simple as having a couple of people who know how to do every job in your company. When someone gets sick or quits unexpectedly, those people can step in and make sure the work still gets done. That’s especially important for small companies where one or two employees can have a big impact on operations.
When you’re thinking about business continuity planning for your business, you should consider how it will apply to each department. For human resources, it means having a succession plan in place at all times so that someone can always fill a leadership role if necessary. For marketing departments, business continuity plans might include backup files for ad campaigns in case something goes wrong with your primary digital assets. Whereas, production departments may want to consider creating multiple backup suppliers for disruptions in the supply chain.
Because priorities and operations vary between companies, business continuity planning will look different for every business.
Every business continuity plan should include these four elements:
The goal with prevention is to avoid the problem altogether by proactively identifying and addressing potential threats. Prevention also encompasses everyday activities that keep your business running smoothly, such as employee training and maintenance of IT systems.
If you can’t avoid a disaster, your goal is to reduce its impact. For example, if you know there’s a possibility of flooding, you might move your equipment to higher ground or invest in waterproofing measures.
This is where you deal with all the issues that arise once a disaster has occurred. Your response team should be able to quickly assess the situation and respond accordingly, minimizing any damage caused by the issue and resuming operations as soon as possible.
In the event of an unavoidable disaster, your plan should include steps for recovering lost data and restoring normal operations as soon as possible.
Within an increasingly connected world, prevention and mitigation is often a matter of tech infrastructure and digital transformation.
In a Crisis, Digital Transformation is Key
At the center of any business continuity plan is an organization’s ability to maintain critical functions and processes during a crisis. The technology that supports these functions and processes is crucial to managing the operational impacts of a crisis. Digital transformation refers to combining technology with processes and services to improve business operations. This can include things like adopting cloud-based software solutions, developing new services and products, improving security and data protection, and more. The key is to adopt new technology that helps your business become more agile, flexible, and competitive.
It’s not an option for businesses to digitally transform; it’s a necessity. If you’re not continually evolving with technology, your business will be left behind. Your customers will expect you to meet their needs for speed and convenience. Your tech-savvy competitors will be quicker and more efficient. Your employees will want new tools that help them work smarter.
Digital transformation is especially important for small- to medium-sized businesses (SMBs). The majority of SMBs are at least two years behind when it comes to embracing digital technologies. Large companies are typically better funded and can move quickly on digital initiatives. SMBs often have limited resources and are hesitant to invest in new technology due to cost concerns, lack of knowledge, or risk aversion.
Future-Proof Operations With 5G
How can you keep your business as agile, flexible, and competitive as possible? 5G for small business is the answer.
5G will unleash new opportunities for small businesses by providing an ultra-fast network that delivers low latency — the time it takes for data to travel from one point to another — and high upload and download speeds. In addition to providing a superior mobile experience, 5G will enable many more applications and devices that can help your business grow.
A business can be proactive and agile when it has a strong network connection. Many companies are still stuck with outdated networks that were built for voice communication, not data-rich applications. Through the use of 5G, businesses can help ensure they will have the capacity to perform critical operations that require large amounts of data to be transferred.
Beyond internal operations, small businesses need to stay connected to their community and customers so they can keep up with trends, promote their products and services effectively, and offer personalized experiences. To do this well, small businesses need to invest in a network that is strong enough to keep up with the increasing demands on their bandwidth.
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Business continuity is more important than ever before. Businesses with a dynamic 5G infrastructure will have the upper hand over the competition. When implemented correctly, small businesses can take full advantage of the progress in technology to adapt quickly and stay competitive.
weBoost for Business makes it possible for SMBs to keep pace with advances in technology without paying enterprise-level prices.
Curious about what weBoost can do for your business? Shop our complete lineup of business solutions today or reach out to us with any questions.