As online retailers of the 21st century, we do most of our work the digital way. Although technology simplifies the job drastically, it also introduces multiple potential points of failure into the system. We already have to deal with things like natural disasters, server outages and market collapses. Bringing more and more technology into the picture means that we also have to account for malfunction in each of those tools. As a web based business owner, things like your website shutting down and the customer database being wiped out or hacked are the stuff recurring nightmares are made of. For multi-channel retailers, the threat is still greater because there is so much more at stake! So what should you do to ensure that you sleep like a baby at night? Among other things, the key is business continuity planning. Business continuity is a field of study and analysis that deals with planning and strategizing to ensure that the critical operations of a business remain running smoothly despite serious incidents or disasters that might otherwise interrupt them. Studies have shown that at least two out of five businesses who haven’t considered business continuity collapse within the next five years of a disaster. If you are still not convinced, here are 5 points that will surely change your mind in incorporating business continuity planning in your strategy.
Why should you incorporate
business continuity in your
multi-channel sales strategy
1. Ensure smooth business operation
A business continuity plan helps you identify the kinks in your business model that might lead to potential disasters. For multi-channel operators, it can be anything from load testing a website to data security. This is essentially a pre-emptive strike to the impending disaster, making sure that your business is running smoothly and without vulnerability.
2. It is your fire escape
Of course, not all disasters have internal reasons. There are some that you can’t do anything about. Natural disasters in the past ten years, like the 2005 floods in Mumbai, the Gujarat earthquake of 2001 and the 2004 Indian Ocean Tsunami caused thousands of business owners their livelihood. Online retailers need to plan for such contingencies. The way to go about it is to identify the most crucial aspects of the multi-channel retail business and create systems that will enable remote operation in case of a catastrophe.
3. It protects your valuable data
Multi-channel online retailers typically have loads of valuable data. There are customer databases, inventory management sheets, receipts, not to mention the data on the orders under processing. One of the major concerns of business continuity planning is ensuring that all your data is disaster proof. Using a multi-channel inventory management system like Browntape can give you access to your data from anywhere and you can rest assured that it is stored safely.
4. It reduces your downtime
Business continuity management is like preparing an emergency kit for your business. Without it, you will be completely clueless as to what to do once the calamity is over. With a continuity strategy in place, you will be able to land on your feet and commence with your operations.
5. It prevents you from going out of business
Most importantly, it prevents the worst. The ability to cope with a serious incident depends upon a lot of factors. It is best for it not to be kept to chance. What makes an online retail business successful is its longevity in sustaining a certain amount of standard. This only comes by patiently recognizing pitfalls on the road and side-stepping them. Therefore, it is crucial for you to include business continuity planning in your multi-channel operation strategy.
For any queries or more information on multi-channel sales strategy and business continuity, don’t hesitate to get in touch with Browntape.