5 Things to Consider When You’re Making Your Business Continuity Plan
by Mashum Mollah Starting a Business 18 December 2017
Running a business can be a rewarding endeavor. You get the satisfaction of building something, while also making an income. But not everything involved with operations can be fun and games. For instance, creating a business continuity plan won’t necessarily bring personal fulfillment. This doesn’t mean that you can skip such an important step of protecting your company. Here are five things to consider when making your business continuity plan.
What Is a Business Continuity Plan?
Based on the name alone, one can assume that business continuity is about organizational preservation. And that’s exactly correct. Business continuity planning deals specifically with disaster mitigation. Bad things happen to all kinds of businesses. Sometimes these things come as a surprise to corporate executives. Although, a surprise often still shows warning signs. Business continuity plans take a holistic view of risk, and outline actionable steps in response to realized disasters.
Understand Existential Threats
The first thing to do when creating a business continuity plan is to understand your existential threats. This can be a whole host of things. If your company has all its operations in California, earthquakes will be a major concern. In Florida, a company needs to have a plan in case of a hurricane. These are just a few obvious examples. It’s your job to sit down and figure out all possible disasters that might throw a wrench in your operations.
Know What Elements Are Essential
Once you have identified the most prevalent threats to your business, it’s time to look inward. What are the things that you absolutely need in order to maintain functionality? For a shipping company, this might be delivery vehicles. Prioritize the key elements that you can’t live without. Then, start brainstorming ways to ensure the safety of these assets in any conditions.
How Will You Rebuild?
You will likely lose at least some important tools in the event of a major disaster. Even well-prepared organizations are vulnerable to catastrophic loss. This is why you need to have a pre-set plan for how you will rebuild your company and replace key assets. You won’t be able to do this effectively if you wait until something bad happens. It’s essential to have a strategic reconstruction plan before the onset of disaster. Commercial insurance is a huge aspect of this part of your business continuity plan. Make sure your plan covers your self-identified existential threats.
Will Your Data Be Secure?
Hard assets aren’t the only thing that can be destroyed in a natural disaster. You also need to consider your data. Nowadays, data is arguably just as valuable as major physical investments. It’s inseparable from customers’ and your own security. Data also provides deep insights into operational analytics. You don’t want to lose your data. A cloud backup is a great way to guarantee your information stays safe in all circumstances.
Where Will You Go During Interim Period?
Last, but not least, you need to have a place for your employees to go if your buildings are destroyed. It’s a good idea to have a contingency space where you can pivot operations in the event of a catastrophe. Otherwise, you can plan to temporarily move employees to another of your permanent locations. This, however, only works if there’s ample space and your company actually has multiple offices. Don’t neglect the importance of finding a backup work area before you need it.
There’s nothing glamorous about creating a business continuity plan. However, doing this can be the difference between the success and failure of an organization.