You want to take care of your reputation and your clients’ privacy and profitability.
Establishing a predictable, stable path forward means being prepared for the unexpected.
You could try to develop your own business continuity planning strategy, but make sure you are aware of best practices.
With that in mind, here are four ways to keep moving your business forward when the rest of the world is chaotic.
Consider everything from diseases like the Swine Flu or SARS to an earthquake. If there are small things you can do to mitigate your risk, like making hand sanitizer available in the office, put those measures in place sooner, rather than later.
Remember what Benjamin Franklin said, “By failing to prepare, you are preparing to fail.” Instead of encouraging employees to come in when they are not feeling well, make arrangements where people can be productive at home.
Go through a risk assessment matrix building exercise that will provide some perspective on the likelihood of events happening, weighed by the severity of their impact on your business.
- Document dependencies
- Establish acceptable downtime
- Put your continuity planning to the test!
Doing a “dry run” on your business continuity strategy in controlled circumstances is better than in the throes of panic.
One of the most important factors in a business continuity plan is communicating it effectively. Establish a Business Continuity/Disaster Recovery Task Force (sounds much cooler than a committee) to prepare for events you have identified in your risk assessment matrix.
Distribute cool hunter orange vests for the members, especially if you work for a large firm or company. If you only have a team of two or three you can probably skip the vests.
Create a plan for each of the disasters that you have identified. Focus on the most likely scenarios that would truly bring your organization to a grinding halt.
Bring your entire organization up to speed on the high-level plans in case of disaster. At the very least, let them know who in their department they should contact.
Establish locations where your employees could meet up and get back to work in case of an unexpected event. In some cases, getting your team’s head back in the game after a disaster strikes is a big step.
Having cloud-based systems in place to provide off-site client data access is an excellent strategy.
Preparing ahead with business continuity planning can save your Los Angeles CPA firm from a system failure, power failure, or natural disaster. Creating a comprehensive strategy can dramatically reduce the impact of an unexpected business interruption, and keep your company from losing focus.
Has your firm experienced an extended business interruption that could have been minimized by business continuity planning? Tell us about it in the Comments section below.
And to follow up on the tips introduced in this article, be sure to download your free guide, 12 Ways for CPA Firms in LA to Utilize Technology More Efficiently.