A resilient business falls into two main areas:
- You have a variety of income streams to spread your income. This means that if one stream takes a dive for some reason, you still have other sources of income. This is called diversification. This is covered in more detail here.
- You have a disaster recovery plan in place. This documents what you will do if specific disasters occur. Meaning you can get your business up and running again as quickly as possible. Or conversely, you can temporarily close it with the minimum fuss if that is also what you need to do. This is covered in more detail here.
Diversification is a business strategy decision. You could already have in progress if you have set out your business goals for the year.
It is the last point that so many of us Solopreneurs ignore and which we will focus on for this month’s challenge.
You may think that as a small business owner who runs their business single-handedly that a disaster recovery plan is a bit ‘big corporation’ to worry about. But in fact, it is probably more vital to a small business that has a single point of failure, you!
What happens if you get sick, or your place of business has a fire or gets flooded. Whilst you don’t want these things to happen, they are not so out-there scenarios. You could easily envisage them happening – and do you know what you want to do in these circumstances?
Making a plan for the what-ifs will leave you free to focus on creating a success of the here-and-now. So let’s take some time this month to get your disaster recovery plan in place.
Remember, if you want to learn more, please join our Facebook group, Bloom on Etsy Support Group. Here I can answer all of your questions on all of the monthly challenges I do.
Action 1: Identify your disaster scenarios.
Think of all of the scenarios that could realistically happen to your business. Scenarios that would stop you from either working or selling your products.
These could be small scale, such as your computer stops working, or your main supplier stops trading. To something as major as you are rushed to the hospital unconscious.
Action 2: Complete a Business Impact Analysis.
For each of the scenarios you have identified, detail what the impact is to you and your business.
Can you still trade, can you still work?
How long can you cope with the ongoing disaster before it affects your income?
Will there be a different impact if the disaster occurs at different times of the year.
This is your Business Impact Analysis.
Action 3: Decide on your initial responses in your disaster recovery plan.
In this step, you will look at all of the different scenarios and work out how you will respond to each of them.
This will become your Recovery Strategy.
Firstly decide on your initial response. You are looking to document when a disaster strikes what is your first move? What steps should you take to stay safe? Who should you contact, etc.?
Action 4: Document your recovery strategy for each scenario.
Once you know what your initial response is, you next need to identify and document what you need to do to lessen the impact on your business.
These can be actions that you take at the time of the disaster occurring, or done ahead of time to minimise the impact.
Decide what you should do to prevent the loss of assets, inventory, and other property. This can include workarounds to get you back operational, even if it is on a temporary basis.
Preemptive actions could include doing things such as taking regular backups, duplicating important records, finding suppliers that deliver quickly, etc.
If you decide on a workaround while you get fully operational, try and assess how long you can continue with the workaround in place.
Make sure you identify the gap between what you need to do and what you currently do and put actions in place to fill that gap.
There should also be a note of who to contact and in what order.
Action 5: Assign responsibilities in your disaster recovery plan.
Once you have your Recovery Strategy in place make sure you assign responsibilities to the actions.
If the response to a specific scenario requires someone else to do something, make sure they understand what they need to do, and regularly test that they can do it.
Finally, always make sure the Disaster Recovery plan is kept up to date and accessible for all who need it.
If you want to learn more, please join our Facebook group, Bloom on Etsy Support Group, where I can answer all of your questions on all of the monthly challenges I do.
If you want to find out more about disaster recovery plans check out this post.