Steps for Creating a Business Continuity PlanJanuary 19, 2021
Let’s face it, you don’t always know when a disaster is going to strike your business and when there are occasions like earthquakes, floods, or harsh weather conditions as well as power shortages, cyber-attacks, and more. So, when a disaster strikes, it can cause a huge loss of sales and revenue for your brand. Small businesses are the worst to suffer and are particularly vulnerable when these disasters happen – most of them are not even able to open back again after something like this. The key to combatting this is planning and that’s where a business plan comes into action. A business plan is a proactive approach to safeguard your business from some kind of disaster strike – it outlines a strategy to maintain the essential functions of your brand until the threat is resolved.
What does a business plan entail?
A business plan is a plan of action that allows you to prepare your brand for any kind of threat or attack. This can be in the form of a weather condition, fire, theft, or even cyber-attacks that are not in your control. This plan is designed based on risk assessment and identifying the important functions of your brand. A good business plan should clearly outline the plan for your business and is a good document to share with your business partners to ensure secure financing.
First, take a look at your business and identify the elements you need for your plan i.e., plan for safety, communicate with your employees, IT, and any other location you can move your business to. While there is no one-size-fits-all plan for every company, each brand needs to create its own business plan.
Regulatory review and landscape
The first step to a business continuity plan is finding out if you need anything from your government, state authorities, or any industry-specific laws your firm will need to follow through. Does your firm need any external guidelines from investors, partners, auditors? Ensure you check this for your plan to be valid across the board.
The second step is to perform a risk assessment and identify the potential business risks based on the severity of the situation. List down risks and threats that are acceptable and those that you need to take action against, create a plan, or leave it as it is. You also need to consider the company culture, cost, and any other issue that you encounter which may include an evaluation of your company’s risks, determine the most likely threats to happen, assess the potential impacts of various business scenarios as well as the recovery options and communication plans. Always prioritize your findings and develop a road map.
Perform a business analysis
As a part of crisis management, you need to review the various units that make up your firm and understand the tools and functions critical to them. This ranges from highly valuable recovery points to critical functions like applications, systems, and more. You need to outline internal and external dependencies as well as important staff members and backups with a similar skill set. This will help you determine the amount of downtime your brand can withstand.
Create a response plan
Having a proper incident response plan is crucial for every company. If an incident does occur and it interferes with day-to-day business operations you should be prepared a responsible action to take. Your response plan should be created with a mindset of when not if an incident should occur. This will ensure that it is realistic, detailed, and effective in case of a disaster striking. Make sure that every department from the IT, operations, HR, and service providers should be involved in the plan and check if there is a need for improvement. Having these plans ahead of time is important as you can see what role each one would play and how it can impact your response and recovery process.
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Remember nothing is certain, you may never encounter a threat to your brand but if you do you need to be prepared. Being fully aware of your level of risk is what needs to be done to keep your business moving ahead and it will give you a competitive edge as well as help you mitigate any financial risk involved. Creating your whole plan slowly will help you be at ease in case any threat happens as you know that if a disaster strikes not all will be lost.