For some companies, downtime or natural disasters spell the end of their operations. However, it doesn’t have to be this way. Below, we take a look at some business continuity successes, and what other companies can learn from their stories.
What is business continuity planning?
Also referred to as contingency planning, business continuity planning is all about a company’s ability to bounce back after an incident causes downtime. In other words, it’s how well a business adapts to changing circumstances beyond its control.
Business continuity planning is important because recovering from downtime is a costly endeavor. In fact, up to 60 percent of small businesses fail to reopen after downtime, whether as a result of natural disasters, employee error, or cyber crime, because the costs are simply too high to recover from.
How, then, do successful businesses rise above these challenges and stay operational? Let’s take a look at some examples.
Business continuity planning saved these companies
In no particular order, here are three companies that credit business continuity planning with saving their operations.
1. Cupcake Kitchen
Houston-based bakery Cupcake Kitchen lost access to its premises for around three weeks after a hurricane caused severe water damage. The company lost multiple appliances and perishable goods to a total loss of around $30,000.00.
The owner actively kept her customers notified on social media about what was happening and the steps she was taking to get the bakery up and running again. A few months later, revenue returned to 80 percent of pre-hurricane levels.
The key point here is that, as a local business, the owner found a way to connect to her clients and ensure they understood that the kitchen would open again. She turned an obstacle–picking a new location for her bakery–into an opportunity, which is a hallmark of a great contingency planning strategy.
2. Georgia Power
Georgia Power, a major electricity supplier, lost a transformer to fire damage back in 2017. In response, Georgia Power aligned with a tech company to upgrade its transformer testing capabilities.
The transformers now have sensors that record dissolved levels and instantly alert engineers if the levels exceed a safe amount. What’s more, the transformers generate gas readings at far more frequent intervals than before.
What does this tell us? Well, Georgia Power instantly reacted to the crisis and took steps to prevent a similar incident from arising in the future. They learned from the failure and moved the company forward as a result.
3. Gaille Media
In 2017, Gaille Media, a small online marketing agency, lost its entire office space to hurricane damage. No one could enter the building for three months, and it wasn’t possible to salvage any hardware from inside.
What happened? Surprisingly, it was business as usual at Gaille Media. The agency continued operating because it kept its business data, and all its backups, in the cloud. Employees worked remotely and provided their usual service to clients. The office didn’t reopen and the employees all now work remotely.
The key takeaway is that Gaille Media had an effective contingency plan in place before disaster struck. They understood their core business processes and ensured that, whatever happened to their physical office space, they could access the data they needed to run their day-to-day operations. This is a great example of a truly proactive business continuity plan.
The good news is that it’s possible to keep your company afloat and active even when disaster strikes. As you can see from these company success stories, all it takes is some careful business continuity planning. For more information on business continuity planning and how the right strategy can save your company, contact us today.