« Business Continuity, Continuity of Operations Planning

Business continuity benefits the whole community

Small businesses can contribute more to disaster preparedness than larger companies.
Small businesses can contribute more to disaster preparedness than larger companies.

A company needs to put a disaster recover plan in place to protect its assets and revenue stream, but many firms find that their business continuity planning has an impact on the community around them as well. In fact, according to Inside Tucson Business, business continuity is a key pieces of the community fabric, and is essential for the growth of the business and the area it resides in.

"The significance of business continuity extends beyond the obvious economic importance of trade, taxes and employment. In 1997 James Austin wrote a paper for the Harvard Business School titled 'Making Business Sense of Community Service,'" noted Ben Buehler-Gracia, a member of the Tucson Metropolitan Chamber of Commerce and contributor to the news source. "Austin surveyed 9,800 Harvard Business School graduates and 316 CEO's of Fortune 500 companies. The results may surprise those who love to demonize the business community. Over 80 percent of those surveyed were involved in local or national non-profits and encouraged their employees to volunteer as well. Business people recognize that a healthy community means a healthy business."

This concept extends beyond community service to continuity of operations planning.

Businesses that strengthen themselves against a natural or man-made disaster will be, by proxy, strengthening the community around them. Their employees, who live in that community, will be better prepared for a crisis, and be able to pass that training on to their families, neighbors and friends. This has a much broader impact than many companies realize.

According to the Business Mirror, the private sector has an important role to play in overall disaster preparedness. The humanitarian efforts of larger companies should be matched by small businesses, on an appropriate scale. The massive global or nationwide contributions to disaster recovery that firms like Proctor & Gamble make can be done on a smaller scale within a company's local community, providing training for natural disasters and assistance with clean up efforts.

The news source noted that budget and manpower aren't the sole factors that provide a proactive response to a catastrophe. In fact, small businesses are more likely to see the real situation than the government of big enterprises because those effects are happening in their communities. This means that small businesses need to be the first ones to make preparations and take action against foreseen and unforeseen crises.

"Preparedness on the part of the private sector ultimately begins with the smaller businesses."

In order to optimize disaster preparedness and planning, small businesses should bring in expert consulting to maximize their efforts for minimal expense. The right help will go a long way toward optimizing performance in times of need.