5 steps to ensure business continuity AND save money

By Graham Hill

March 4, 2020

More than 40% of businesses affected by the Manchester bombing went out of business never to return.

We’re all aware of the traumatic and often tragic immediate impact of events such as flooding or terrorist attack. The long term effects on businesses and individuals however is often forgotten and can also be devastating.  

High impact, high likelihood

Most business owners know they should have a plan in case disaster strikes, but we all struggle to prioritise something which might never happen even if the impact to the business could be catastrophic.

Coronavirus (or Covid-19 as it is now known), has suddenly made the ‘Business Continuity Plan’ or BCP a priority for many organisations. This isn’t surprising.  The chances of being adversely affected by the virus are substantially higher than many other extreme risks a business might face.

Keep calm and carry on

For over 20 years we have been supporting our customers in times of emergency. Whilst our ‘overflow’ virtual receptionist package provides call answering for staff lunch breaks and busy times on a daily basis, we instantly switch to handling all of your calls if your telephone systems go down or staff fall ill.

Five steps to peace of mind

Our customers rely on us to be there come-what-may. Consequently we have always made sure our own contingency planning is second to none. The steps we’ve taken have not only prepare us for the unknown, they have also improved efficiency and cut overheads at the same time:

  1. Remote Working
    Many companies already enable staff to work from home where they can. We are no exception. Our staff mostly live locally to our headquarters in Newbury, but often work from home. They enjoy the added flexibility and work life balance home working can offer which in turn enhances the quality of service they provide to our customers.
  2. Cloud based systems
    Having your software and services in the cloud is a must for effective business continuity. Data centres are designed to deal with the unexpected. Back up generators, ‘co-located’ data in one or more locations and a host of other risk reducing features ensure they are usually a far better place to store your company data than any office would be.
  3. Contingency planning
    Not only useful for when all-out disaster strikes, it can also expose everyday weaknesses within your organisation. For example key workers can be incapacitated or leave suddenly at any time – mitigating this risk improves efficiency even when disaster doesn’t strike.
  4. Insurance
    Its easy to regard insurance as a necessary but unwelcome cost. Its true that if disaster strikes it can be the only thing that keeps a business going, but even when disaster doesn’t strike emphasising your contingency planning and insurance cover can help differentiate you from your competitors.
  5. Telephone answering service
    We know our customers feel more confident in uncertain times having a reliable virtual receptionist service on-board to ensure business continuity. They know that calls will still be answered if staff are sick or can’t work. In normal times that same virtual reception service ensures calls aren’t missed and staff aren’t distracted by endless sales calls. All for a fraction of the price of hiring someone internally.

We’re not complacent though. Our plans are under review in light of the current Coronavirus threat and maybe with many others doing the same more resilient and better prepared businesses might be a small silver lining to the ominous clouds up ahead.

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