Disaster can strike at any time. And when it does, it may cripple your business operations, unless you have a business continuity plan (BCP) ready. It?s different from a disaster recovery plan (DCP), though the latter is a part of a BCP. DCP only focuses on the recovery of the organization?s IT assets, while BCP ensures that the business continues its operations in general.
Why make a business continuity plan?
Having a BCP for your company has several benefits. One of the most obvious is that your business can continue its everyday operations, thus allowing you to keep making sales. Aside from this, there are other advantages:
- Possible to work in remote locations – In the event that your office can?t be used because of disaster, you?ll know how to keep key business functions running by thinking ahead about how employees or key personnel can continue working from remote locations. You may also have a certain place ready to be used as your temporary office if needed.
- Downtime can be lessened – When disaster strikes it can stop your business operations immediately. Without a business continuity plan, you have to figure out what to do next the moment it happens. However, if you have an existing plan in place, you can immediately start to execute what needs to be done so that you get your business up and running in no time. Time means money in every business and that?s why it?s important not to waste any time unnecessarily.
- Continue to provide for your customers – If your business operations stop, your customers may start trying out other products or services from other companies. They may forget about you if they don?t feel your presence. Since a successful BCP will keep you up and running, you?ll be able to keep hold of your loyal customers and even continue to make new ones, especially if your competitors do not have a business continuity plan and are afflicted with adverse circumstances too.
Factors to consider when creating a BCP
Since every business is unique, there?s no single BCP that works for all. However, there are common factors that must be considered by every company when devising one.
- People to manage a BCP – As with any project or program, there should be a committee to take over the management of the business continuity process. This is unlikely to be achieved by a single person. It is best being a collaborative effort, where people have specific roles such as appointing an executive sponsor that takes care of funds and coordinators who oversee the overall process.
- Analysis of business impact – You need to determine which products and services are the most important to your business operations. Ranking your products according to how critical their impact to your business is will help you determine which products to prioritize during the recovery phase. With this in mind, you can prevent bigger losses and maximize the efficiency of your recovery process.
After determining which products, services, and functions are most vital to your business, you can start creating a plan on what to do in the event of a disaster. It should clearly tell the process that must be followed, as well as the specific roles of individuals. There are existing sample plans that you can find on the Web and you can follow the format of a business in the same industry and customize the plan to suit your individual company.
Your BCP plan must be studied carefully for quality. Every area should be reviewed properly to ensure the plan is a success. Since the needs and processes of the company may change, it?s also important to review the plan once or twice a year to ensure that it?s still appropriate for your business.
If you are truly serious about establishing business security, a BCP isn?t a process that you can easily neglect. Remember, you never know when a disaster can strike! The sooner you get a plan of action, the better. Contact us today to see how we can help you develop a plan that will work for your business.