US Bankcard Services Industry Blog

Monday, April 25, 2011

SMB’s Assistant: Business Continuity: A Plan Part 1 of 3

As a merchant, you not only have to be concerned about the safety of your staff, your suppliers, your customers and your business (as well as being concerned on a personal level) but you must be concerned about business continuity plans - that is, keeping your business ‘continuing’ during and after the disaster.
There are certain fundamentals that we all must realize. The most important is disasters are real and happen to real people. Before disaster strikes, you should consider the following for your business and its well-being:

  1. Develop a plan: what is priority; what is preparedness and how do you implement;
  2. Protect personnel – how do we evacuate, how do we negotiate, how do we train;
  3. Notification system: can you contact family, customers, suppliers and even competitors easily;
  4. Protect company assets: Do you have a strong box; are your valuables and important documents safe or easy to travel;
  5. Business machines: is data regularly backed-up; is there power back-up; are the machines insured; are credit card machines and registers prepared;
  6. Inventories: Are they accurate and up-to-date; is it insured; are there back-up suppliers;
  7. Location: Is there an alternative place, virtual or real, that would allow for a skeleton operation to continue;
  8. At USBSI we have a plan and we want to share the aspects with you.

For more specific information please visit CSO
In part 2 we will touch on business resumption, and in part 3 we will put a ‘full’ plan outline together.