As the owner of a construction company in Houston, you’ve likely experienced more weather delays than you can count. While we can’t control the weather, we can control our own actions. As a business owner, one of those actions should be a suitable business continuity plan to keep your company moving forward.
Otherwise, delays may translate to lost income, inability to pay vendors and workers, requests for deposit refunds, and more. Business continuity in construction isn’t as cut and dry as in other industries. But with the right Managed IT Department (MID), you can put a business continuity plan in place that will carry your business through cyber attacks, flood waters, and more.
Business Continuity Checklist For Your Construction Company
Houston is susceptible to all types of weather and all businesses are at risk of cyber attacks. Proactive measures, like creating a business continuity plan, may easily be the difference between which companies survive and the ones forced to permanently close their doors.
Have confidence in your construction company’s business continuity plan. Connect with BITS today to get started!
1. Identify Scenarios That Could Inhibit Business As Usual
There are always the usual suspects – floods, fires, and freezing temperatures. Unfortunately for Houstonians, we’ve seen all 3 of these wreak havoc on residents and businesses alike.
However, did you know that cyber attacks are also a major player when it comes to identifying what could jeopardize your business operations? Yes, it’s true! In fact, cyber security should be your top priority when it comes to protecting your business, employees, and clients.
For instance, consider that you fall victim to a ransomware attack. In this type of cyber attack, hackers hold data hostage, typically with promises to return once an untraceable ransom payment is made. While you try to work out the details, you may have limited or no access to the data you rely on to run your business.
However, there is no telling if the hacker will ever return the data. We discourage our clients from paying these ransoms. Instead, we will work with you to recover your data and help you move forward with heightened security.
2. Review Post-Incident Recovery Successes & Failures
The progress of many construction projects is dependent on the weather. That being said, you’ve likely already encountered several scenarios that would trigger your business continuity plan into action.
Hopefully, you’re already in the habit of documenting each situation along with notes afterward describing what actions were taken. Even better is if you’ve included post-incident documentation on whether those actions had positive or negative results.
However, every process has to start somewhere. So if you’re not already in the habit of documenting post-incident recovery, this is your sign to start.
Overall, documentation is key. And this task is even easier when everyone knows their duties and responsibilities. This is why BITS encourages our clients to have team meetings to discuss who will do what in the event of a crisis.
Then, afterward, continue to have team meetings and trainings to discuss what worked and what didn’t. Be open to your employees’ ideas and make sure to document, document, document.
Furthermore, it’s best to have these meetings shortly after scenarios happen so everything is fresh in everyone’s minds.
3. Maintain A Business Continuity Plan
Now that you are going to begin documenting your in case of emergency plan, it’s time to turn it into a full business continuity plan.
Start by speaking to your Managed IT Department (MID). A good MID, like Brooks IT Services, will have experience developing business continuity plans for construction companies like yours.
Plus, you can go over risk management protocols to help prevent human error from triggering a business continuity plan. This can include password protocols, phishing training, and more.
However, you also want to make sure your employees receive proper training so they know what to do in an emergency. Since there are different types of potential emergencies, duties and responsibilities may change with each scenario. It is up to you as the company’s leader to ensure everyone is well-versed and comfortable performing these tasks.
As you pre-assign tasks for critical areas and functions, run through scenarios and document the results. This will help you to maintain the strongest business continuity plan possible.
Need help developing a business continuity plan? Contact BITS today to learn how we can help.
4. Invest In Tools & Supplies To Keep Employees Safe
To keep business operations running, you need to have the proper tools and supplies in place. This may include everything from a generator to sandbags to portable laptop chargers and umbrellas.
However, you’re not just planning for a flood. Instead, you need to be prepared for any scenario that could make it difficult to run your business. Here are some of the items your MID may encourage you to have on hand in case of a business continuity plan trigger.
Weather and cyber attacks can wipe out power to your business. If you want to keep operations running and always be prepared for the worst, a generator is a wise investment. However, you need to know how to use it and how to do so safely. For instance, you’ll need fuel on hand to power the generator. At the same time, you’ll need to keep the generator a specified distance from any building. Not following the safety precautions for a generator can be deadly.
If high water would put your business or any construction projects at risk, it’s a good idea to have a stockpile of sandbags. Do a test run with your employees so everyone is familiar with how to fill the sandbags. Then, determine how the sandbags will be placed to divert flood waters.
If there are employees you rely on, make sure they have access to transportation no matter what emergency occurs. Being in construction, you and many of your employees and vendors likely drive pick-up trucks. During your business continuity training, find out who would be willing to pick up the employees without truck access.
Mobile Work Rig
If weather or a cyber attack could prevent your staff from working in your usual location, then it’s time to think about a mobile work rig. This may include durable laptops and other devices, walkie talkies, radios, your new handy generator, and a Wi-Fi source.
Furthermore, you want to make sure that you have access to your files and documents. Speak to your MID to make sure your data regularly backs up and how to access it in case a hacker tries to take it hostage.
Partner With BITS To Ensure Your Business Continuity Plan Is Secure & Actionable
You can plan all you want but at the end of the day, you want to make sure your business continuity plan is both secure and possible. After all, what’s the point of developing a plan with detailed steps that prove impossible under unique circumstances?
Brooks IT Services works with construction businesses like yours to develop, test, and train business continuity plans. Together, we’ll identify your needs, delegate tasks, and run through scenarios with your team.
For business continuity planning and all your IT needs, Brooks IT Services is your turnkey solution. Contact us today to get started.