Be honest. When you hear the phrase “business continuity”, do you zone out? Yes, it’s a dry, well-worn topic, but it’s imperative to business survival.
Behind the jargon is a very real and vital concept. Business continuity simply means: can your business trade on despite disruption and economic strife? The pandemic was the ultimate test of business continuity, but plenty of other, smaller events can also affect the well-being of your company.
Over the years, I have created my own business continuity playbook. These are areas to build on and prioritise during the good times to ensure peak performance during challenging situations.
Here are my six secrets of business continuity.
1.) Empower your team
This can be one of the hardest lessons for any entrepreneur to master. As your business grows, you must empower your team to make decisions on your behalf. The only way this is possible is through a strong and consistent company culture. If you were hit by a bus tomorrow, would everyone in your organisation know how to keep going? Can they anticipate your next move? Start fostering team autonomy now, before you need it.
2.) Enhance your reporting
Your people can only make the right decisions if they can access the right information. You need to track all the metrics that matter to your business and ensure that your reporting tools are easy to access and understand. BigChange has spent years honing its reporting tools so that vital information is there at a glance, in real-time.
Automated reporting is one thing, but it’s important to build automation into every process you can. Find out what wastes the most time for your team – are they fiddling with spreadsheets? Are invoices taking ages? Lengthy paper-based processes can really hamper a business during tough times, sucking up resource and dampening agility. Take back control through smart software. BigChange promises to dramatically increase productivity, letting your people do their jobs instead of getting bogged down with admin.
4.) Constant communication
Over-communication is infinitely preferable to silence. You need to be speaking to your teams honestly, constructively, and often. A steady flow of communication between teams and across different departments means that problems or blockers are discovered and dealt with more quickly. Make sure you, as a leader, are constantly speaking to people at all levels in your business. Ask them what’s going well and what’s going not so well. Create opportunities for people in different teams to chat and compare notes. Silos only breed rivalries and inefficiency.
5.) Get the right partners on board
A business with the right funding and right support will weather any storm. When I chose Great Hill Partners as a key investor in the business, I knew that their involvement would ensure business continuity through financial stability and a unity of purpose and focus. The investment also helped us make a huge investment in people, hiring across all key areas of the business – in our development team alone, we now have 100 people working on our software. In customer success, we have 70 people working tirelessly to drive customer growth and help them get the most out of our technology.
6.) The right tools
You have the right people and the right partners, and communication is consistent and strong – now, all you need to do is to give everyone the tools they need to excel. Usually, this means having the right technologies in place to drive growth and efficiency. At BigChange, we use our own software to manage jobs, partner up with other firms and help our own mobile workforce to be more efficient, driving less and working more productively. We created our suite of tools to be a one-stop shop for customers so they don’t have to go out and pay for multiple technologies.