US small businesses ignoring business continuity

Get free weekly news by e-mailBusiness continuity management ranks relatively low among the many priorities facing US small business owners, according to a survey conducted by Travelers.

The survey, conducted at America's Small Business Summit 2010, held May 17-19, 2010 in Washington, D.C., also found that nearly half of small businesses are operating without a business continuity plan.
"Small business ownership, while potentially very rewarding, also carries with it great risks," said Marc Schmittlein, President and chief executive officer, Travelers Select Accounts. "Owners largely focus their efforts on growing their business and, too often, they overlook risks that could stunt that growth and/or even shut their doors for business permanently. The most successful owners are those that balance their pursuit of growth with a prudent approach to risk management."

According to the survey, ranked in order from highest to lowest, business owners' most pressing priorities are:
1. Marketing and sales
2. Managing cash flow
3. Attracting financing
4. Attracting and retaining employees
5. Identifying and managing insurable risks
6. Compliance with federal and state regulations
7. Protecting against litigation and lawsuits.

In addition to the relatively low priority placed on risk management, 44 percent of small businesses are operating without a business continuity plan.

The survey found that business owners are confident that their businesses are protected against insurable risks that can result in significant financial losses or even cause them to go out of business altogether. In fact, only six percent of business owners are not at all confident that their business is adequately protected; 53 percent are somewhat confident and 41 percent consider themselves extremely confident. This confidence comes despite the fact that 39 percent of business owners are unable to make the time necessary to effectively identify and manage operational risks, given competing priorities.

Schmittlein continued: "While confidence is key to a small business owner's success, so much of what can derail a business is outside of the business owner's control. There is no reason for a business owner to bear risks that can be avoided. Developing a business continuity plan is a critical success factor for business owners with a long-term view."

More information.

•Date: 22nd June 2010 • Region: US •Type: Article •Topic: BC statistics
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