Ensure your business is resilient
It’s 3 a.m. and you’re awoken by a phone call from the fire department alerting you to a fire at your business. You soon discover that the servers have melted, contact files are destroyed, passwords are lost and stock is ruined.
Too often, operations are crippled and customers are left in the lurch. The result can be devastating.
“I have seen businesses crumble because they couldn’t recover after a fire,” says Penticton Fire Department Chief Larry Watkinson. “From our experiences, businesses are often set back due to business interruption and not planning for the aftermath of a catastrophic situation.”
In today’s uncertain world of extreme weather, electronic data breaches and property crime, any such scenarios – from floods and fires to power outages, robberies or cyberattacks – can be chaotic.
But a disaster doesn’t have to mean disaster for your business. Taking time to plan ahead is key to building resiliency.
Watkinson will take the stage at an upcoming business forum in Penticton on Dec. 4, which aims to prepare business leaders for the unexpected. Also speaking is Abigail Cabunoc Mayes of the Mozilla Foundation, the non-profit known for its Firefox browser. Cabunoc Mayes will speak about the health of the internet and how applying open-source principles can increase a business’s reach and impact.
Other speakers will discuss cybersecurity, crisis communication, business continuity plans and property crime prevention. As a finale, participants will test their newfound skills to react appropriately during a disaster simulation presented by Carla Taylor of the Canadian Red Cross.
FutureBiz is organized by the City of Penticton’s Economic Development department as a proactive effort to empower businesses to remain competitive. Now in its second year, the forum attracts participants from throughout B.C. and is open to all business leaders, innovators, thinkers and entrepreneurs who seek insights for a changing world.
Why is such an event so important today? Here are five reasons to prepare for the unexpected:
- Protect your company’s reputation
When a crisis hits, there isn’t time to plan. Responding swiftly will determine whether your business weathers the storm or is derailed by interruption and brand damage. By preparing a robust preparedness plan, you can remain in control in a crisis and protect your company’s reputation.
- Minimize downtime
Time is money. A business continuity plan is key to minimizing operational disruption and laying out procedures to recover quickly.
- You’ll communicate better with customers
A crisis can be crippling. The last thing you need is a livid customer arriving at your store after battling rush-hour traffic, only to find your door closed. Some thoughtful pre-planning can improve your communication efforts and minimize frustrations.
- Survival of the fittest
When the going gets tough, the most resilient will survive. According to the 2019 CIRA Cybersecurity Survey, 71 percent of Canadian organizations experienced at least one cyberattack, with 13 percent of cases damaging their reputation. Learn how to appropriately respond to any scenario.
- Prevent the issue in the first place
With some risk assessment and planning, you may be able to save yourself stress, money and potential loss of business by spotting a hazard before anything happens.
BC Business is a sponsor of FutureBiz Penticton. Find out more at www.futurebizpenticton.com.