Every business—no matter how big or small—faces threats, many of which are beyond their control. A business continuity plan can help to protect businesses, minimize risks, and prevent disruption if there are bumps in the road.
4 key areas to include in a business continuity plan
Businesses face an array of risks. From cyber crime, security breaches and natural disasters to pandemics and problems with equipment and machinery, business owners should always be prepared to change course, implement backup measures or make decisions that will keep the company on track.
The primary role of a business continuity plan is to offer a plan B if things don’t run as smoothly as anticipated. The worldwide pandemic has shown company owners and customers that anything is possible, and that planning for emergencies is a necessity.
Research suggests that 51% of global businesses do not have a continuity plan for emergencies, including pandemics. When drawing up a business continuity plan, it’s crucial to focus on these four areas:
- Identifying potential threats, hazards, and risks
Every company is unique, and the type and severity of threats will vary according to the individual business. Your plan should be customized and centered on the threats that are relevant to the industry in which you operate, your location, your customer base and the type of business you own.
Identifying threats is the first stage to preventing problems and reducing risks. Once you have listed the most significant hazards and risks, you can take steps to address them.
- Appointing a team and determining responsibility
If incidents or issues crop up, you need to be able to act swiftly. Once you have identified potential obstacles, risks and hurdles, determine who you want to charge with the responsibility of leading the recovery operation and assign roles.
If your employees know what their role is and what they are required or expected to do if the continuity plan is called upon, this will facilitate a more seamless, effective response. Always ensure that roles are clearly defined and communicate openly with staff members to ensure that they understand the part they will play.
- Analyzing the impact
Your business continuity plan should include a thorough analysis of how your business could be impacted in the event of different scenarios playing out. Impact analysis will enable you to understand the potential implications of different situations and evaluate what is at stake. The findings of this research will enable you to outline priority issues and highlight elements that are critical to the survival and growth of the business.
- Arranging off-site data backup
Cybersecurity should be a concern for every company owner. The cost of downtime is estimated at $5,600 per minute. Computers are the heartbeat of most organizations in 2021, and even a minor breach can have devastating consequences for small, medium and large businesses.
Ensure that your business is protected and make copies of critical data. If you don’t have an in-house IT department, working with an experienced, innovative, reliable Indiana IT company is advisable.
Running a business involves navigating choppy waters and trying to avoid potential business icebergs. A business continuity plan is a collection of protocols, policies and procedures that can be implemented to try and minimize damage, disruption and losses in the event of an unexpected incident.
If your company doesn’t already have plans in place, now is the time to draw up an effective, tailored business continuity plan.