Small and medium businesses (SMEs) operate in a relentlessly challenging environment that continually requires making payroll amid economic uncertainty, finding and retaining top-notch staff, adapting to ever changing technologies, and perhaps most difficult of all — staying competitive in a tough marketplace.
The competitive factor is particularly challenging, because it isn’t just about providing the best products and services; it also means being constantly available, informed, and responsive to your team, suppliers, other organizations, and, of course, your clients + customers.
To succeed in a tough marketplace, a small business must be accessible, without significant interruption, even in the most adverse of situations. This kind of ongoing accessibility is an important aspect of business continuity — a critical success strategy that doesn’t just happen, but requires proactive planning.
Adverse situations that can disrupt business continuity include:
- Electrical or Internet connectivity outages
- Illness for staff — individual or pandemic
- Team members’ personal/family emergencies
- Office equipment failure (computers or network infrastructure)
- Natural disasters and/or severe weather conditions (such as snowstorms, earthquake, fire, or flood)
- Unexpected security breaches, including computer viruses & cyber attacks.
Most SMEs realise these situations could strike at any time. Many, however, are not prepared to handle them effectively once they do, and as a result, normal operations can be seriously affected – in a very negative way. Business continuity planning can mitigate the havoc that disruptions are likely to cause by ensuring there is a blueprint forquick recoverability in every circumstance you may face. Such planning can be crucial to the life of a business, because an inability to prevent or recover quickly from disruptions can mean lost revenue.
Planning for a quick recovery.
The quicker SMEs can recover from adverse situations, the lower the probability their operations will be interrupted. This translates to lower risk of losing revenue and less impact on overall business productivity. Having a business continuity plan in place before problems occur will help the organisation reduce interruptions from significant impact to minor inconvenience.
Although there are several aspects to a business continuity plan, a major component of any plan should be the small business phone system capabilities, not just its equipment or data. The below downloadable PDF explores how different kinds of interruptions can adversely affect an SME’s business continuity and illustrates how, through advanced features such as resiliency and mobility, the Avaya IP Office Phone System can help SMEs overcome interruptions and maintain business continuity.