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In a day and age when a host of concerns—power outages, fires, illness of key staff, stolen laptops, or criminal activity —can greatly disrupt your business, every business owner needs to be prepared.

A carefully thought out business continuity plan for your Nashville business can help you cope with a crisis - and enable you to minimize disruption. It can also help safeguard your staff, assets and reputation while protecting your bottom line. 

First, you need to determine what the greatest threats are to your business. To calculate the risks, we recommend using this formula: Threat  X  Vulnerability  X  Impact = Risk.

                •             Threat – What is the likelihood that an event (natural or man-made) will occur? The events generally fall into three categories: natural (flood, hurricanes) man-made (fire, workplace crime) and technology (data breaches, system failures).

                •             Vulnerability – What are the risk factors or gaps that could increase the likelihood and/or impact of the event?

                •             Impact – What is the impact or costs that an unplanned event could have on your business? How could it negatively affect your team and interrupt your business processes or technology?

                •             Risk – By looking at the threats, vulnerabilities and potential impacts, you'll have a broader understanding of the risks to your business.                                

When conducting the risk assessment, we also recommends focusing on people, processes and technology.

                •             People – Whether it's a severe weather event or a man-made accident like unintentionally cut power lines, it's important to think about how such events could impact your staff. "If 30 to 40 percent of your staff is not available to come into work because of an unplanned event like a flood, that could have a catastrophic effect on your business," Hirst says.

                •             Processes – The risk management cycle begins with an inventory of business-critical processes and functions. "For example, identify the most critical parts of your business that need to be operational as soon as possible following a disaster," Hirst says.

                •             Technology – It's important to map out the step-by-step procedures to restore critical technology resources. If your office laptops are stolen, do you have the devices backed up? Could you communicate with your employees if a disaster happened during or after work hours?                                

As a Nashville area business owner, your goal is to think about risks and to discover your vulnerabilities, then estimate the impact on your business. When a crisis hits, this advanced planning and preparation will help you through the most chaotic of situations.

Contact Johnston & Associates Insurance today at 615-716-2123 for all of your Nashville general liability insurance needs.

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