There are some things that you simply cannot control like: natural disasters, outages, fire in a server room, or even a disgruntled employee taking revenge by disrupting your business operations. A comprehensive business continuity plan can help address all of them and even more.
Carrying on with business as usual is easy when nothing out of the ordinary is happening. But the fact is, crisis can strike anytime. And when it does, you need to bring back your operations as quickly, safely, and efficiently as possible.
That’s where a well-made business continuity plan (BCP) saves your day.
While we all hope for the best, BCP will prepare you for the worst.
In this article, we will delve deeper into why BCP is so significant and explain how you can create one for your business.
A business continuity plan explains in great detail all the steps that your company should take to mitigate or recover from different incidents. It can also help you protect your business’s assets and employees during disasters.
The most obvious benefit of having a BCP is that it provides a clear picture of how to proceed in case of disasters. But that’s not all, it also tells you how those disasters will impact your operations and how to implement the necessary procedures to mitigate them. Furthermore, it helps you check if the systems you work with are up to date and comply with an ever-increasing list of regulations.
Another huge advantage of having a continuity plan is its ability to ensure that you always have secure and continued access to your IT systems. It dictates how your team and your IT service provider can reach crucial platforms, your available bandwidth, and whether you need to boost your network capacity.
The overall effect can hardly be overlooked. Protecting you from financial loss, lost productivity, and a damaged reputation, decreasing your risk of losing your business and/or team members.
What specific threats should your plan address?
Here’s a quick list:
As we saw in the recent past, pandemics can make or break your business plans in numerous ways.
They can force your employees to work from home, they can prevent you from distributing your offerings due to supply chain problems, or simply make your services less popular and available.
But luckily, good BCP can help you overcome these bumpy periods.
In your continuity plan, you should have detailed process of how your team will communicate throughout the period and perform business off-site. And maybe even provide several options of service distribution.
Natural disasters are extreme geographic phenomena, including tornados, tsunamis, volcanic eruptions, wildfires, and earthquakes. But they’re hard to predict and can lead to disastrous consequences within seconds.
And similar to global pandemics, natural disasters can disrupt the supply chain in affected areas. This is why your business continuity plan should have a scenario of working with a severely disrupted supply chain.
Loss of power, communication, or water shutoff can hinder your day-to-day operations. It’s especially true if such outages are lasting longer than two-three hours.
There is a high chance of losing not only short-term profits but also long-term customers of your business, so make sure to prepare for outages as well.
Cyberattacks are computer-based attacks on your technical assets. The most common examples are ransomware, theft of confidential information, distributed denial of service (DDoS), and database attacks like SQL injections.
In the best-case scenario, you won’t even notice anything until your company’s data is being sold on the dark web. But in the worst-case scenario, you could lose access to all business data and assets rendering your company worthless.
If you don’t have an in-house IT department, reach out to an MSP who specializes in cybersecurity. Better safe than sorry.
Developing a foolproof continuity plan requires a serious meticulous approach. Here’s basics of what your strategy should involve:
Business continuity doesn’t just comprise your IT systems. It encompasses all the essential business functions, like PR, human resources, and operations.
Since your company is unique, you’ll need to create a plan for your specific business goals.
So, determine the most important processes and work out a way to back them up in case something happens.
Choose a handful of managers and anyone else who can contribute to the plan, such as your IT service provider.
Choose the emergency response leader and make it clear that they’re responsible for making sure that everyone acts according to plan when disaster strikes.
Identify, research, and analyze your potential threats thoroughly. Discuss them together with your team and see what would happen if you had to cut back, eliminate, or modify certain services.
And make sure to document all the issues, tough questions, and great ideas along the way.
Most of all your clients prefer transparency during crises. And the only way to meet their expectations is to ensure that your customer support team understands your continuity plan and knows how to act accordingly.
It may be necessary to hire more people to make sure that client inquiries are answered promptly.
To see how your business continuity plan works in action, run some trial runs. This way, you can pinpoint any weaknesses, unforeseen changes, or missing aspects. Then, based on your findings and feedback, work with your staff to make plan implementation smoother.
Just the fact of having a continuity plan is already a big step in increasing your customers’ and shareholders’ confidence in your company. If your response to emergencies is effective, your customers will definitely appreciate it.
Disasters may be the ultimate test of your leadership abilities.
Instead of leaving your company to chance, create an all-encompassing business continuity plan before any emergencies arise. Make sure everyone is on the same page, and you’ll be able to come out of any situation like nothing ever happened, preserve your brand, prevail over your competition, and mitigate financial losses.
If you need more insights into developing a continuity plan, get in touch with us today. Let’s set up a 10-15-minute chat to determine your goals and how to achieve them.
Here at EB Solution, we provide reliable and cost-effective IT support to business owners in Toronto and eliminate the headache of IT management. Unlike other providers, we offer personalized service to our clients and make sure they’re never without a solution. By tailoring each plan, we can ensure that all of your company’s needs are taken care of, with the least worry or headache.