The business world is ruthless, and any disruption in operations can have disastrous effects on your company. Of course, the impact varies depending on your business’s size and the industry you’re in. Nevertheless, unplanned downtime can cost you a lot.
And we’re not talking only about money. When your company can’t handle disruptions, it can negatively impact your reputation among customers. And it doesn’t end there. Your employees can also notice your incompetence, which lowers their morale and productiveness.
But the main question is not why you should avoid disruption. It’s how to do it. And there’s one answer to that – developing an efficient business continuity plan. Without one, your company will find it extremely difficult to prevail in the hostile economic environment we have now.
What is a Business Continuity Plan
In a nutshell, a business continuity plan is a prevention and recovery system a company can create as a part of risk management. A BCP should involve the list of potential threats, their impact, and how a venture intends to deal with them.
A plan is designed to protect your company’s assets and ensures it works well without any significant disruptions. But BCP is much more than just a recovery and prevention tool. It also provides managers with the necessary information and improves their decision making.
Keep in mind that threats and solutions might differ depending on the company and industry it’s in. But no matter what type of business you manage, the best choice is using business continuity software.
But as many companies are offering this solution, you need to ensure you do thorough research. A good idea is also to check the international benchmark for business continuity management systems before the purchase.
BCP’s Main Components
But creating a business continuity plan is easier said than done. The real question is how to make it efficient. Below, we’re going to discuss things that every BCP should contain. Implementing them is key to ensuring your plan will work in the future.
List of Threats and Their Impact
Every continuity plan should contain a list of potential threats and their possible impact on your company’s operations. Your list should be broad, and it ought to mention every potential disruptor, even those with the lowest likelihood of occurring.
The best idea is to group the threats depending on their nature and level of impact. Many companies fail to name all the awaiting risks, only to discover that they don’t have the right defense program. With that in mind, your list should include:
Physical threats, e.g., fires, floods, earthquakes, etc.
Communication and network outage
Biological threats, like a pandemic
Acts of terrorism
Remember, the list may differ depending on the type of your company, the market, and the industry you operate in.
Preparation and Communication
Once you prepare the list of things that may put your venture at risk of disruption, you need to plan ways you intend to deal with them. Once you do that, you have to ensure all your employees know what you expect them to do in the event of a potential threat.
With that in mind, your BCP has to be transparent and easy to understand. But sharing your plan is not the only thing you have to do. Preparation also means you ought to perform training so that your employees get more practical views of how they should act to decrease downtimes.
Keep in mind that if you don’t intend to share your continuity plan, creating one is pointless.
Testing and Updates
But once you create your plan and share it with your entire team, you have to ensure it will work properly when the danger comes. In a nutshell, you should review it. Go through different scenarios, and see how your business reacts.
Doing that will allow you to see whether your continuity plan requires corrections or improvements. What’s more, regular testing will help you update your plan and increase its effectiveness.
Many companies fail to review their BCP, only to find out later that they aren’t appropriately prepared.
Don’t forget that the business world is continually changing, and threats are evolving. That’s why if you don’t want to find yourself in a disastrous situation, ensuring your BCP works as it should is critical.
Any disruption in the company’s operations can have disastrous effects on your finances, customer-relations, employees’ morale, and reputation. That’s why you should take all the necessary steps to prevent them from happening.
But of course, sometimes it’s an impossible task. You can’t predict every threat and its possible impact on your operations. The coronavirus pandemic is an excellent example of that. Nevertheless, you can still reduce potential downtimes.
All you need is an efficient business continuity plan. As you can see, creating an efficient BCP is not a piece of cake, and it requires a lot of consideration. Nevertheless, taking your time to draw such a plan is critical if you want to ensure your venture survives any disruption.