Your business is your livelihood, but what would happen if you suddenly couldn’t be there, either temporarily or even permanently?

Illness or an accident can happen without warning, affecting not just you but your loved ones, your employees, and the others who count on you.

Fortunately, there is a way to protect your legacy and make sure things go on smoothly in your absence. It’s called business continuity planning.

What is Business Continuity Planning?

Business continuity planning simply prepares for the unexpected as much as possible ahead of time. With it, you ensure that you have the key personnel and processes in place to keep your business running smoothly.

Steps to Business Continuity Planning

Business Critical People

You’ll need at least a skeleton staff of key personnel that know how to run your business when you’re not there. Identify these individuals at the earliest stage and put together a brief list of key job functions, contact information and any other information you’ll need.

Communicate with Key People

Sit down with key staff and figure out processes and systems for everything; examples include product sales, customer enquiries, customer service, and so forth. Assign every staff member specific jobs to be done in your absence and train on any necessary systems.

In addition, cross-train key personnel for essential functions so that you have backup in the event a given staff member is not available.

Appoint a Second in Command

This person should be able to step in and carry out your instructions to the letter. You should also trust this person to handle and protect sensitive information.

Interim Instructions

In the event you can’t return to work at all, you’ll need to leave detailed instructions for the next interim or permanent owner. Not only will this protect your company’s financial profile, it also means that your family won’t have this struggle with tough decisions during a difficult time.

Although it’s not comfortable to consider these questions, it’s absolutely necessary to have a business continuity plan in place. We understand your business is more than your occupation – it’s your legacy, so protect it properly.