Danielle McElwee

Apr 17 2017

Business Spotlight: Business Continuity Workshop Wrap-up

Safeguard Iowa Partnership
Dutch Geisinger

Dutch Geisinger of Safeguard Iowa Partnership

Recently, 20 business owners/managers participated in a Hills Bank Business Academy event to hear Dutch Geisinger and John Halbrook from Safeguard Iowa Partnership discuss keeping businesses opened during emergency situations. Topics covered included why you need a business continuity plan, what a business continuity plan is, and how to get started. Here’s an overview of what we learned:

According to ready.gov, one in every three businesses has been affected by extreme weather or severe storms, and on average business loss equates to $3,000 per day for small businesses. Nearly 60% of small businesses impacted by disasters never recover and fail within the first three years, while 25% never reopen their business doors.

A business continuity plan allows key operations of a business to continue without stoppage regardless of adverse circumstances of the disaster events. According to the Eastern Kentucky University Department of Safety, Security, and Emergency Management, without a business continuity plan, your business is susceptible to:

  • Lost income
  • Increased/unexpected expenses
  • Regulatory fines
  • Contractual penalties
  • Customer and employee dissatisfaction

Safeguard Iowa Partnership estimates that only 35% of small to mid-sized businesses have a comprehensive business continuity plan. Some considerations for your business include:

  1. Have a disaster recovery/business continuity planning document.
    A written document should be shared with employees so they know what to do in a disaster situation.
  2. Identify how your business carries critical processes.
    Many businesses have critical processes including customer service, financial obligations, dependencies and inter-dependencies, health and safety of personnel, and contractual obligations including customer confidence.
  3. Identify key employees, functions, and resources.
    Create a contact list (both internal and external) will help alert notifications to employees, vendors and customers.
  4. Describe recovery of essential processes.
    Pre-planning is critical so you can make timely decisions if you need to recover business functions.

How to get started with a business continuity plan:

  • Develop key emergency contact information.
  • Establish key relationships and partnerships.
  • Develop redundancies for paper documentation.
  • Understand your insurance policy.
  • Identify critical components like redundancies, equipment, suppliers, customers, employees, and business functions.
  • Train and education employees.

Attendees received a free business emergency guide as well as a business continuity workbook and template. If you would like to become a member of Safeguard Iowa or for more info and resources visit http://www.safeguardiowa.org/.

Danielle McElwee

About Danielle McElwee

Danille McElwee is a Vendor Management Officer at Hills Bank. She has been with Hills Bank since 2010 and works with Third Party Vendor Management and Business Continuity Planning. Danielle can be reached at danielle_mcelwee@hillsbank.com.

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