What Is A Business Continuity Plan And Why Is It So Important?

Business Continuity PlanYou built your business with hard work, time spent away from your family and a lot more money than you probably thought it would take – which is why it is vital that a business continuity plan is a part of your overall business model.  Whether your business is large or small, a business continuity plan will help to ensure that the sacrifices you made to get it off the ground and turning a profit won’t be in vain.

What Is a Business Continuity Plan?

A business continuity plan (BCP) is a set of strategies that you create to help you recognize potential threats and risks to your business, to help you protect your personnel and assets and to ensure that your business can continue in the face of a minor or major disaster.  A good BCP should include:

  • An analysis of potential threats 
  • Emergency contact information for all staff
  • A breakdown of areas of supervisory responsibility
  • An appointment of disaster recovery teams for specific areas like IT and security
  • Information about offsite data backup
  • Designation of an alternative work facility
  • An explanation of essential equipment
  • A back-up plan for services, like power and communication, and a plan for recovery after the disaster has passed.
Why You Must Plan For The (Almost) Unexpected

Though assessing possible threats and risks to your business is a part of your BCP, the reality is that you won’t experience most of the things on the list.  The problem is that you can’t predict which threats will devastate your business, so it is imperative that you have a plan in place for each kind of threat, regardless of how likely it is to happen.  According to Forbes magazine, more than 40 percent of businesses never reopen after a disaster and of the businesses that do reopen, only 29 percent were still operating after two years.

Why Your BCP Must Evolve

Your business continuity plan is a living document that must be reviewed and adjusted periodically to take into account any new products or services you offer, new technology, new staffing and new priorities.  Additionally, you must be willing to consider input from your employees when you update your BCP, and you must keep them informed of any updates.  Here are just some questions to ask yourself to determine if your BCP needs to be adjusted:

  • Are there new threats or risks to my business?
  • Have I added new facilities that must be added to the plan?
  • Have there been any changes to my business processes?
  • Is there a change to key personnel contact information?
  • Are work responsibilities assigned to the right staff?
  • Does my BCP include lessons learned from previous business disruptions?
  • Have I reviewed my business insurance coverage with my insurance agent?

All businesses, especially small ones, are vulnerable to disruptions (at best and business-ending catastrophes (at worst).  Take steps to ensure your business is as prepared as possible by creating a business continuity plan.  To find out more about business continuity planning and how we can help get your business back on its feet after a disaster, visit us at Service IT Direct at https://serviceitdirect.com/.

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