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How to build a resilient small business

One thing a crisis can highlight in your business is how resilient it is? Have you thought about what would happen should your business be hit by a crisis? This may not be a comfortable thought but it is important to consider the potential risks to your business and how you can plan for them. Let us guide you to make your business more resilient.

STEP 1: Identify the critical assets in your company

Every company has these six broad categories of assets:

  • People refer to your employees, suppliers and customers.
  • Data refers to all the digital information you have on your business.
  • Operations are the daily workings in your company to get the product or service into your client’s possession.
  • Inventory is the supplies, stock and raw materials you need to create your product or service.
  • Equipment refers to the computers, servers, printers, furniture and speciality equipment.
  • Buildings refer to the physical places where your business operates from and can also include storage facilities you may use for your business.

It is important to make a list of the critical assets in each of these categories for your business.

STEP 2: Make a list of risks in your environment

The next step is to identify the hazards which could harm your business. These can be divided into natural and man-made hazards. For natural hazards, you can consider fire, flooding, thunderstorms, and landslides. For man-made hazards, you can consider data breaches, computer viruses, power outages, epidemics, theft, terrorism, and civil unrest to name a few. With these hazards in mind, you need to identify the impact each could potentially have on your business. These impacts can range from negligible to catastrophic.

STEP 3: Design a plan

Now that we know which are the critical areas in our business and the potential risks we could encounter in our business we can make a plan for each eventuality. This is a great time to get key employees involved to help develop contingency plans should you have a crisis. By having your employees involved in developing contingency plans, they will highlight factors you may not have considered.

STEP 4: Think creatively

Another way to build resilience into your business is to consider unique ways to improve your customer service or product. You could also consider leveraging different communication channels to reaching existing and potential customers. It is important to nurture relationships with your customers on an on-going basis as they will appreciate being kept in the loop about how you and your business are navigating through the crisis.

STEP 5: Hire resilient employees

When you hire employees, it is important to ask them some questions which give you an idea of how they will react in a crisis. You could ask them about how they reacted to change in a past situation. Or you could build in a situational scenario and ask them how they would react to this. By assessing their response, you will know if they are a good fit for your company or not.

By following these five steps you will be well-equipped to create a resilient business which can pivot and be agile when crises hit.

For further information on building a resilient business, check out this small business resilience toolkit from Facebook.

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