Turning a Business Contingency Plan into a Business Opportunity

Note: This expanded service leverages a more basic one.  If you've not already read it, we suggest you first look at Telecom Business Continuity and Disaster Planning before going further.

Either during or after a client creates and implements emergency/disaster contingency plans – and if it’s made part of the plan – the client has the opportunity to recapture (or at least partially offset) of the cost of that plan and turn it into a recurring profit center.

While Telecommunications Continuity Planning tries to ensure that a client remains in operation, it’s not something that can be outsourced unless the client plans plans to share his or her communications system as well.  And if that’s also a possibility, then be sure to also read Tenant Services Help Pay the Rent.

However, a client can provide Business/Natural Disaster Continuity Planning and Preparedness services to his or her customers and/or suppliers for mutual benefit without also having to offer resale of telecommunications services.

Here’s our advice to our clients in this position:

There's no reason to keep this wonderful strategic capability a secret.  You’ve become a more reliable, hence more valuable strategic partner to both your suppliers and your customers.  Make sure you publicize the fact that you have additional capacity and are willing to allow a limited number of strategic partners to share it.  You are not going to become or pose as disaster recovery experts.  You can tell them to have their Plan A in place, and all you are offering is a Plan B that they don't have to develop themselves.  Those with plan As will appreciate and will be grateful for the opportunity, whether or not they choose to avail themselves of it.  Those without Plan As will (or at least should) be doubly grateful.

Your suppliers will be interested in what you've done because you've strengthened your part in their distribution chain.  By informing them in detail about how you've secured your operating continuity you will make them feel less secure and more vulnerable about theirs.

The key point is, you are not proposing to assume any responsibility for their operations.  You simply can make available to them the same tools with which they can secure their own operations, and as part of your service, you will help guide them through the training and implementation process. Why does this make sense for them?  Because they will not have to undergo all the learning and implementation issues you faced.  Since they will not have the exact same needs, they will not use the same resources as you.  If they are in a different time zone or operate over different time zones, they may be affected while you are not.  And once the relationship is in place, your supplier will have an additional incentive to help you during difficult times.

Your customers will have similar incentives.  Those too small to have the financial or technical resources to forge their own plans will be receptive to a cost-effective solution.  Those capable of implementing such plans by themselves may not have the time or budget for it.  Equally, they may decide to take advantage of your platform because you are now perceived as such a reliable supplier.

Ultimately, you may get enough businesses on board to justify adding additional features, robustness, and redundancy, the cost of which your new partners should be more than willing to help you shoulder as part of their ongoing service charges.

It's an open, honest, win-win for all.  And aren't those the best investments?