Solutions for Your Business Impact Analysis

In previous posts I spent time talking about the importance of thorough Disaster Recovery Planning (DRP) and Business Continuity Planning (BCP), in summary here are the main functions of each. DRP identifies the way in which a business organization will restore operations following a catastrophe, for instance a hurricane, tornado or terrorist attack. A BCP is broader, it establishes how a business will rebuild full operations in the event of a tragedy after the DRP is in place, or what to do in the case of a far more benign event such as a server malfunction or maybe a truck hits your power pole and now your business is without electricity.

The initial step to develop a Business Continuity plan is a Business Impact Analysis (BIA). With all of the acronyms I’m confident it’s apparent that the government is involved, a BIA is required by the financial institutions regulators as an element of the BCP. A BIA is established by stakeholders, management and key employees; in a nutshell it identifies and prioritizes vital business functions vs. non critical business functions of a corporation, recognizing all functions are essential, the BIA forces a decisive review of business operations. For instance, in the event of a destructive hurricane the organization could have limited resources, the BIA group must identify if it’s more essential for the impacted organization to first concentrate on answering the phones, produce widgets, deliver widgets or service widgets. When the BIA is complete, management will have directives how to first concentrate resources. As soon as the BIA is done the group can turn to the DRP and BCP by first focusing on the functions revealed in the BIA as first priority.

The crucial elements of a BIA are:

• Identify and prioritize business functions

• Establish the importance of business units or divisions

• Identify the impact of business interruptions

• Examine regulatory and legal implications of business disruptions

• Establish the most permitted downtime and tolerable losses

• Estimate the resources needed to recover

In the event of a large disaster, it’s reasonable to summarize that for any banking business, a priority should be to find a way to be available for its customers. Regulatory agencies require financial businesses to restore business functions in a minimal period of time. Business interruptions ought to be minimal especially for community banks and credit unions with one or two branches. A resource to solve many if not all of the crucial elements in a BIA is a temporary bank building. These are mobile office buildings which are fully outfitted as a fully functioning bank branch will teller windows, a safe, drop box and drive up window.

Most of the companies that specialize in temporary bank buildings have Disaster Recovery programs for the financial sector. These packages can be fluid in nature so that the contract scope meets the unique needs that a bank determined in the prior planning. Typically, by entering into a Disaster Recovery Program contract with a portable bank company, upon notification the temporary bank building provider guarantees to supply, deliver and set up a fully functional modular bank building within a specified period of time. With this sort of contract in place assures the bank that equipment is going to be available. Portable bank buildings are very specialized pieces of equipment, in the event of a large catastrophe they may become hard to find if you do not have a partnership in place.

Managing the problems in the days and weeks after a disaster are frenzied enough, adding the stress of trying to satisfy the requirements of your affected customers as well as meet the criteria of your regulators by to finding short-term facilities inside a storm ravaged area can be a difficult task. For a minimal annual fee, consider entering into a Disaster Recovery contract with a reliable temporary modular banking supplier and you’ll achieve several things, a complete BIM leading to a well-executed DRP and in the event of a disaster a completely operational facility delivered at your directive with a telephone call.

Business Consultant Business Plan: Leave the Holes

Today we are going to talk about your business consultant business plan and I am going to challenge you to leave the hole. Let me explain what I mean. As consultants we do a lot of thinking. Our job is to think on behalf of our clients, but when it comes to our own business we think too much. Whether you are creating your first business plan or fifth generation new growth plan, I am going to challenge you to leave the hole. Don’t try to think through all the iterations before you actually roll the plan out. Don’t try to come up with every contingency, every plan A, B, C, D, E, F and G. Do your best to come up with sharp thinking, trust your thinking, and then roll the plan.

Old Mindset: Holes are bad and you must fill them. The old mindset that most of us have is that holes are bad and you must fix them. There is a fear that comes along with holes. We don’t want anybody to assume we haven’t thought our plan all the way through; we don’t want the public embarrassment. However, one thing about holes is that holes don’t make mistakes. If you allow your fear of failure to drive you, you will rush to create a new process to solve for a problem that may not exist at all. That rushed process can create plenty of mistakes. But if you have the courage to leave the hole then no new problems will arise. You can manage the situation with more patience and savvy.

Also, consider that a hole is a legitimate data point. Customer complaints are data. Lost revenue is data. Low employee morale is data. Even if you get a zero as the specific output, that is a data point as well. The holes you find are prompts to ask great questions. Think about how the work is supposed to be done. If you realize a hole, this is an opportunity to brainstorm around how the hole got there and solve for the root cause.

New Mindset: Holes make us better. In the spirit of a new mindset, holes actually make us better. Holes remind us of how our best work is done. You review a process, see a hole and think about what’s supposed to be there. How do you want it to work in a best case scenario? The existence of holes allows you to brainstorm in that way. Thinking this way gives you an eye for greater opportunity. Perhaps the existing process is healthy, but maybe you notice a hole before that process begins, or after the process ends. Those holes allow you to see what additional value can be added as an introduction or conclusion to your process.

Holes also represent real (and valuable) business pain. If you are supposed to have a five step process and you consistently miss step two, the consistent miss causes your business pain and pain teaches lessons. Pain attracts attention. None of us like to be around pain, but it’s hard for us to forget real pain. Business pains are things like lost clients, lost revenue, lost employees, lost opportunities, and lost bid prospects. These pains allow you to zero in on the holes that exist and fix them. Take the opportunity to become a better company.

Have the courage to leave the holes. Sometimes you have to go through loss or pain in order to appreciate what in that process needs to be changed.

The system doesn’t work if you cheat it. With that said, you must have the courage to leave the holes and the system doesn’t work if you cheat it. If you insert yourself in certain parts of the plan to cover up holes, you are cheating. You are not allowing the process to stand on its own and that’s necessary if you are going to make an honest analysis of it.

You can’t be afraid to discover a hole. You do your best thinking, put together your best strategy, and realize errors after roll-out. That’s what happens in business. You can’t be afraid of finding a hole later on in the process.

Don’t rob your company of the discipline it needs. You need the courage to leave a hole so that your entire business can see that an error has developed in how you do business. Because the solution may not reside in you as the lead consultant, that solution may reside in some other business relationship. But if you don’t have the courage to leave the hole, then your entire community can’t notice the hole and rally to fix it. Your business community includes your team, employees, vendors, customers, and clients. You all work together to create the best possible business environment. Be transparent with the holes so everyone can be part of the solution.

As the leader of your consulting business you have to be okay with making a mistake and you have to be OK with possible embarrassment. You’ve got to be OK with certain systems and certain processes failing. Those failures give you an opportunity to improve and that constant spirit of improvement is what makes you attractive as a consulting company. The fear that drives perfection only makes you weak and it’s a matter of time when that weakness is revealed to the marketplace. Have the courage to reveal the holes in your business and then work hard to improve them.

Various Benefits Of Using The Internet For Businesses

The advent of the Internet has made it possible for many small businesses to grow and compete with major organizations. It has allowed new businesses to increase their visibility as well as revenue and reach to its potential customers with little hassle. An entrepreneur who understands how to make the best use of the Internet and applying practices can maximize the potential of his business. Listed below are a few more benefits that you can avail by using the Internet.

Advantages of the Internet:

1. Earn unlimited money: If you work for someone, you can earn only a limited amount of money, no matter how hard you work. But if you look for options on the Internet, you will surely come across a lucrative method of your interest, which can help you earn as much money as you want. Since you will be working on your own, you need not have to give reports to anyone, and you can work with your own comfort. No one will restrict you or put any kind of limit in earning profits on the services you provide. You can sell your products or services at whatever price you want.

2. Market throughout the world: Are you looking to expand your business throughout the world? If yes then the Internet can be the best option for you. Offline businesses are just limited to the local population for selling their products or services. On the other hand, if you have an online business, then you can promote your products or services through trillions of people across the world. But for this, you need to learn how to market your business effectively so as to reach your target audience.

3. Work flexible hours: This is one of the major advantages of having an online business since you need not have to work continuously like in an office. Since you are your own boss, you can set your own timings. You can work in any situation or at any place where there is an easy access to the Internet. This way, you can spend some time with your family and can enjoy with your friends, and you need not have to take any permission from your seniors.

4. Compete with big businesses: You can easily outrank those big businesses across the world in case you are good with describing your product or services the best way. You just need to put up a nice sales pitch as fast as you can and compete with billion-dollar businesses. The Internet is a great equalizer. The big businesses cannot form a monopoly and run anyone out of business. Internet businesses are the best option for beginners and for small entrepreneurs.

5. Minimal Initial Investment: Online business is one that you can start with minimal initial investment. You just need to have a computer and an Internet connection. You can sell information, products, services and do a lot more things like designing a website, creating a promotional video, etc. Simply explore your interest and start promoting it through online sources.

So what are you waiting for? Look for the best option online of your interest today and start making money with minimal hassle and investment.