The modern business world is filled to the brim with threats that can potentially ruin your brand’s reputation, and at the very least cause downtime that could hurt your revenue.
As if ensuring business continuity was not difficult enough, now you’re faced with a global pandemic that is putting companies big and small in danger.
Needless to say, now is the time to employ the right leadership style along with the right strategies and technologies to minimise the risk of downtime and ensure your business remains productive and efficient despite the odds.
Building a thriving remote workforce and on-boarding remote employees, elevating cyber security, improving collaboration and communication, these and other solutions will be vital in keeping your business competitive and relevant in the new normal.
Most importantly, though, investing in business continuity will ensure your company stays afloat financially when faced with the most difficult periods of the global pandemic. To achieve all of this, you will need to take the following tips to heart and implement them into your business strategy quickly. Here’s what you need to do.
Identify the risks and threats to your company
First and foremost, you need to analyse the current trends in your market and industry to identify the risks and threats that might be lurking around the corner. Analysing the threats in your industry and market allows you to identify where your company is most vulnerable, what it is least prepared for, and how you should approach each threat before it strikes.
Needless to say, your company is probably exposed to more than one risk, especially in the new normal where so many things are different. You’ll need to complement your findings with some brainstorming and creativity, because you also need to imagine scenarios in which your business continuity could be broken.
This can be a breach in your data centre, a system failure in your communications, problems with your remote work processes, poor human resources planning and employee organisation, and many other business-disrupting scenarios.
Of course, you also need to prioritise. You can’t expect to tackle all challenges at once, otherwise you might strain your resources too thin. Rather, be sure to organise your findings according to the most pressing issues, and work your way down to the most benign risks and threats.
This approach will ensure you gradually strengthen your company’s “defences” and protect your organisation on all fronts.
Ensure seamless collaboration with PM tools
We are not going to devote an entire section of today’s story to the importance of embracing remote work – that is a given in the new normal. What we are going to point out is the importance of ensuring seamless collaboration for your remote employees, and between your remote departments.
Along with a unified communications system (more on that in a moment), implementing a comprehensive collaboration tool will prove vital for facilitating collaboration between high-performing remote teams, as you need a centralised location where everyone can work together in real time.
Choosing a cloud-based project management tool is a great way to provide your remote employees with all of the digital features they need to track projects, delegate and assign tasks, work together and exchange important files, and much more. However, one of the key benefits of PM tools you might not have considered is that such software helps ensure accountability as well.
Working under the remote work model is difficult, and one of the first things that might come to light is how the lack of accountability can stifle productivity and business continuity. Using a PM tool means that every action is logged and that everything has its reference point, meaning that you and your employees can track every aspect of every project with ease.
Streamline and unify internal and external communications
In the new normal, one of the first things to put companies big and small in danger is the lack of communication continuity – which can jeopardise your entire operation if not addressed immediately. Communicating with employees and customers efficiently and effectively is difficult enough without a global pandemic, when people are not working remotely.
Nowadays, though, maintaining communication continuity might seem like an insurmountable task if you don’t unify your communication system. You can do this by implementing a centralised cloud-based system like VoIP (voice over internet protocol), for example, but you need to be careful when choosing plans and providers.
Finding the best VoIP service provider for your needs can be tricky if you haven’t identified the biggest threats to your company (go back to the first section if you haven’t) and if you haven’t identified the communication bottlenecks and disruptions in your network.
Why? Because these insights will help you choose a provider and VoIP plan that has all the features you need to keep your business running smoothly.
In order to ensure communication continuity, you will typically want to get a low-cost phone system, a mobile app to keep your on-the-go employees connected, call analytics with conversational AI to make customer support more efficient, and other advanced features. Look for a VoIP plan that does all that without making you break the proverbial bank.
Optimise workforce planning and scheduling
Another way your business continuity can go down the drain is if you’re poorly managing your employees, workflow, and resources. It’s important that you put the right HR tech into place along with other resource management tools that will allow you to optimise scheduling and planning for the new normal and the remote workforce.
There’s nothing worse than realising one of your employees didn’t sign in from their computer and missed a whole day of work because you failed to optimise their schedule, or investing too much human-power and financial resources in one project without allocating enough resources for the rest.
You need the right planning and scheduling tools to help you do this in the new normal, so make sure to grab a feature-rich tool that will help you organise and manage all assets in your company with ease.
Set a disaster recovery plan and assign a team
Trying to protect your company from various disturbances is all fine and dandy, but what happens when disaster actually strikes? You can’t prepare for every possible threat out there, so when something does go awry, you need to have a clear battle plan and a designated strike team to nullify the threat and get you back online. We’re not in a war movie, but the military lingo fits well to illustrate our point.
Every scenario and every threat should have its disaster recovery plan and a dedicated team to carry it out. Make sure to make your disaster recovery plans as succinct yet actionable as possible and invest in thoroughly employee training to make sure they are fit to carry the plan out when disaster strikes. You also want to assign a damage control team to handle all the negative press and PR during that time.
The new normal will be a trying time for many businesses around the world. Some will adapt to the new trends, and others will inevitably perish under the strain of remote work and the uncertainty that the COVID-19 pandemic has brought to their industries.
If there is one threat that trumps all others, it’s the threat of losing business continuity and putting your brand, your employees, and your revenue at risk. With these tips in mind, though, you should have no problem staying online and productive at all times while reaching new heights of success in the new normal.
About the Author
Jolene Rutherford is a marketing specialist – turned blogger, currently writing for technivorz.com. Interested in digital marketing and new technology trends. Love sharing content that can help and inform people.