A business continuity plan (BCP) is a contingency measure you put in place to protect the company from unexpected disruptions. It could be natural disasters like floods, earthquakes, fires, or cyber-attacks.
A BCP will help ensure the operations continue, your staff is secure, and business assets are safe. Remember, you never know when such calamities will happen. Adequate planning can help you avoid losing revenue, customers shifting to your competitors, and incurring high costs, which could lead to a decline in your profits.
Significantly, your plan should be well-detailed. The plan’s goals and the financial resources dedicated to achieving them should be described in detail. With that in mind, below are five steps you can use to build your business continuity plan:
Step 1: Form A Business Continuity Team
Having a continuity team ensures you have reliable individuals you can rely on should a disaster happen. They’re a significant component when creating your BCP. Pick dedicated staff from every department in your company. Ensure they’re keen and organized in their work. Here are some of the most critical roles that will need to be filled in your BCP team:
- Governing Management: The staff in charge of this acts as the connection between enterprise managers and the BCP team.
- Program Facilitator: This person is in charge of arranging activities related to creating the plan, like budgeting and developing recovery plans.
- Information Officer: This team member is responsible for acquiring and distributing information associated with the BCP.
Meanwhile, most businesses operate with an intricate information technology system comprising computers, data servers, networks, websites, phoning systems, etc. Managing all these can prove hectic. Therefore, you’ll also need a strong expert IT support team who can help you when the need arises.
If you’re in the US, it’s best to look for reliable companies like Tech Advisory that offer IT support in Providence. They can assist you in creating a complete strategy to stop repetitive IT-related problems, do regular consultations, and quickly remedy your technical issues.
Step 2: Evaluate Risks
After you’ve compiled a reliable team, assess all the risks that may affect the company and include them in your business continuity plan. It’d help if you gathered input from all the major stakeholders in your enterprise. From their perspective, you’ll know where there’s a significant risk and the measures needed for the threats to be averted.
Such risks include natural disasters like tornadoes and fires, information technology attacks like malware and data breaches, and other online crimes. After identifying all the risks, discuss them with everyone to get their take on where the loopholes are and how the risk can be mitigated.
Step 3: Conduct A Business Impact Analysis
A business impact analysis is a critical part of BCP because it involves scrutinizing how disruptions and calamities can impact essential scopes of your business. You can use the information to decide restoration priorities and policies.
In addition, a business impact analysis will allow you to see how the key roles operate and associate with one another. It guides you on what to do when significant functions stall, how they’ll affect business income, and how to continue future business plans.
Making it work is possible if you get honest and well-detailed feedback from managers and the staff in your company. They’re the ones who know the business inside and out. You could gather information from them through questionnaires, workshops, and meetings. Also, take the initiative to learn and understand how every department is different and its equipment.
Step 4: Document The Plan
Once you’ve gathered all the information, it’s time to compile it. You may have to write a few drafts before the final copy. The plan should include goals, objectives, structure, budget, timeline, BCP teams, relocation plans, IT disaster restoration, and testing schedules.
Once you finish compiling the plan, keep the hard copy in a secure place. Distribute hard copies to the company’s key players and leave several soft copies stored on the cloud.
Step 5: Test The Plan
Testing the BCP lets you know if the plan is productive or not. It’s necessary to do a test regularly to see if any flaws need amendments. This also helps ensure the plan is up-to-date and precise. Perform drills that simulate emergency scenarios to test your company’s preparedness. Also, reviewing it is essential because your team members may change from time to time.
A business continuity plan enables your business to stay functional in an emergency. Thus, it should be detailed and contain all the information about your business and the areas that could be significantly affected when the company suffers a problem.