Think Business Continuity in a Start-up

Events like 9/11 and tsunami hitting Japan after the Tohoku Earthquake in April 2011 have emphasised the importance of planning for business continuity and each new event has forced companies to think about new aspects when planning for business continuity. For example 9/11 made companies sit up and think about offsite storage of key documents and stopping of manufacturing of specialised chips in Japan after the tsunami made companies relook at their supply chains and critical vendors.

Ensuring that you can run your business and service customers after a business disruption is critical. The business disruptions don’t have to as big as a magnitude 9 earthquake however its impact on the business can be similar, especially in a Start-up enterprise.

In the initial phases when you are developing your product and working with limited customers it is important to ensure you have thought about things that can go wrong and disrupt your business. Examples of these could be:-

– disagreements between co-founders or some co-founders leaving (case of Housing.com )
– leaving of a critical employee
– unable to hire the right skill sets when it is time to scale up
– crashing of computer/harddisk with key piece of code/website
– unexpected competition from new or established players
– A key vendor backing out

The founders should spend time to review their business practices, infrastructure and business relationships to ensure they are aware of any critical points of failure (which in a start-up maybe all!!!!) and look at possible backup plans they can formulate before hand to ensure they don’t too many crisis to manage. They could even have someone from the outside do a quick review to ensure they are covered all angles.

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