At the beginning of 2020, developing a business continuity plan may not have been a top priority. Or maybe you thought it was only for large businesses. Fast forward to today, and a business continuity plan has become an essential staple in business planning.

There are more business risks than ever before to consider that can affect business continuity. Businesses are being shuttered, reopened and shuttered again from the pandemic, fires, hurricanes and damage from riots, just to mention a few of the more common issues in this unusual year.

The biggest benefit of a business continuity plan is the process of developing it. It helps you think through the steps you should take if a business interruption occurs. If you have a disaster recovery plan – or even a few steps jotted down of what you’d do – then you have already started a portion of the process.

Here are some of the major pieces of a business continuity plan to consider developing for your business.

Roles and Responsibilities

In this section, the business stakeholders should be identified and listed. On a high level, questions like these should be answered:

  • What is each person’s role within the company, and how would that change if the business is interrupted?
  • What new skillsets should be acquired in the case of a disruption?

Potential Impacts to Your Business

This part of the continuity plan lists major scenarios where something could go wrong with your business.  It should include things like weather events, fire, riots, theft, leadership interruptions, cash flow shortages, and the long-term impact of the pandemic. For each event, an analysis should be made as to how it will affect the business and what possible outcomes could occur. This part is also called a Business Impact Analysis.

Recovery Strategies

Once you’ve identified impacts, the next set of questions covers how to most effectively recover from them.  These remedies might include seeking additional financing, selecting backup locations, checking IT department functionality, creating alternate supply chain and distribution sources, and identifying many more actions along these lines.

As we’ve seen this year, this is just as important to think through for small businesses as it is large businesses.

When owners and employees are not in the middle of an actual disaster, they can better map out a recovery strategy that’s optimal and cost-effective for the business.

Implementation

A good plan should be implemented through distribution, testing, and training. All stakeholders should read and understand the contents of the business continuity plan. The plan should be tested in drills and exercises when possible. Employees should be trained so they know their part and feel comfortable carrying it out if under high stress.

The long-term viability of your business is important, and it can be strengthened when you put a business continuity plan in place.  If we can help, feel free to reach out any time.

This is a great video to help you understand and gain control over your A/P process:

You no longer need professionals to create quality videos. Video creation has gotten so easy that anyone can do it with the right tools. Many smartphones can take quality video, and the best news is you don’t need expensive video editing software. All you need is an app and your imagination.

There are many reasons to create a video:

  • Web pages that include video rank higher than those that don’t have video
  • Because people love to watch video, videos will often reach more people than text articles
  • Video is often the best way to educate people
  • Your message comes more alive when you use more senses: sight and sound

The first step is to figure out what you want to say.  Here are some video topic ideas for your business:

  • A customer service tip
  • Your company mission, vision, and values
  • Your company’s origin story
  • Behind the scenes look into a production process
  • An event, sale, or service promotion
  • An employee spotlight
  • A customer spotlight
  • A product spotlight
  • A how-to
  • A deadline reminder
  • A new product or service announcement

The next thing you need is a rough script of what you want the video to say, as well as graphics you can use to illustrate your points.

The final thing you need is a video creation app. Kristen our Marketing Manager recommends using InShot for easy yet comprehensive mobile video editing. When searching for video editing apps on your phone, there are free and paid plans to choose from. Other popular video apps include Adobe Spark and Magisto.

With most video apps, you have hundreds of templates you can choose from to help you get started. You can easily replace your text, graphics, and sound with your own items, or ones that the software provides.

Have a favorite video editing app? Let us know!

Don’t be afraid to try your hand at video creation.  It’s an easy way to impress your customers.

The purpose of marketing is to create relationships with customers and prospects. Since people may receive hundreds of marketing messages per day, it’s a good idea to get creative with marketing efforts. So why not have some fun with it? Here are some unique ways to grow your relationship with your customers.

  1. Celebrate an obscure or fun holiday.

For example, August 27 is National Just Because Day.  It’s a day to do random things, which can be pretty easily tied to whatever your service or product is. You can do something as small as send an email or as big as hosting a live event on the holiday you choose.

  1. Feature a customer or staff member.

A great way for customers to get to know your team and for your team to get to know your customers is to feature them in a short write-up that you post or send out.

Make this fun by sharing things like favorite ice cream, activity they would love to do, country they want to visit most, most fun responsibility they have at work, and more.

  1. Highlight community work.

Does your organization have a favorite charity?  If so, share experiences with your customers.  Many customers value and prefer to support businesses that make community contributions. Go as far as holding a volunteer day or do a write-up for donations in your newsletter.

  1. Take a survey.

When is the last time you’ve been asked a “deep” question?  Send a survey that asks your colleagues and customers a question like what inspires them.  Then share the results, with their permission, of course.

This type of activity can lead to meaningful conversations and a deeper connection with your customers.  It may also provide great insight into how you can connect with what’s important to your clients.

  1. Provide a gift guide.

Is it close to Christmas or another holiday where gifts are exchanged?  If so, your customer might benefit from a gift guide you can put together.

You don’t have to own a retail store to benefit from this idea.  Service organizations can provide gift certificate and other ideas in their gift guides.  And you don’t always have to list only your own items. Add your customers’ and suppliers’ items and make it one big “business family” affair.

  1. Tell people a story.

Do you remember your first sale?  Write a story about it, or the first day you opened your new location, your first hire, or another fun business milestone.

People love hearing stories about how others got started.  Don’t be so private that you miss out on this wonderful way to connect with clients.

Try these six fresh marketing ideas to create a meaningful connection with your customers and prospects, and watch your relationships blossom.

August 18, 2020, North Conway, NH. New Business Directions, LLC is pleased to announce that Rhonda Rosand, CPA has been named a 2020 Top 100 ProAdvisor by Insightful Accountant, an independent news and information source written specifically for the small business advisor to keep up with current technology, trends in the industry and continuing their education.

This list recognizes the leading consultants who have embraced the ProAdvisor program and have leveraged it in order to better serve their clients and grow their own business. “We’d like to congratulate everyone who made this year’s list,” said Insightful Accountant Senior Technical Editor, William “Murph” Murphy.

“This is the seventh year of our ProAdvisor awards,” said Insightful Accountant Publisher and Managing Partner, Gary DeHart. “The ProAdvisors who make this list are the best in the business. Any small business would be well-served working with any one of the winners on this list.

About Insightful Accountant: Insightful Accountant is an independent news and information source written specifically for the small business advisor who needs to stay current on the latest news and offerings in accounting technology; including updates from Intuit, Xero, Sage and the hundreds of add-on products serving the small business ecosystem. With news and insight specifically written to help the advisor better serve their clients while building their firm, Insightful Accountant is unlike any other news source serving this space.