Creating an effective business continuity plan is not only a smart business strategy but also an essential component to ensure your business can survive during a crisis or pandemic. If your company wants to create a business continuity plan, search no further. You have come to the perfect place. This post covers the method and benefits of building one. The article will serve as a complete guide to business continuity plans.
What is Business Continuity Plan?
A business continuity plan is a process of outlining the potential effect of disastrous situations or crises on your business operations. Part of it involves making policies that help you respond correctly to different situations. The objective is to ensure your business can recover quickly after a crisis.
The main goal of a business continuity plan is to protect your business's people, assets, and property. It helps you position your brand in a way that you can recover from unexpected interruptions, financial downfall, property damage, or even loss of life after an emergency.
Importance of Business Continuity Planning
Why should you be bothered about having an effective business continuity plan? Nobody can deny that the start of 2020 was tough for many businesses. While some companies had to turn to a completely remote approach to continue their operations, others were forced to shut down entirely until further notice. This coronavirus pandemic came in suddenly and unexpectedly. It required businesses to take drastic measures that many organizations were unprepared for.
Like the pandemic, many companies do not realize the need for a business continuity plan until a crisis already happened. Here is how an effective business continuity plan could save your company significant time and cost in the wake of an economic crisis.
Benefits of Having an Effective Business Continuity Plan
Below are 5 benefits that businesses can enjoy if they implement a business continuity planning policy.
1. Your Business Will Be Ready to Deal With Unexpected Circumstances
Companies cannot expect their employees to know what exactly to do in times of a sudden crisis. If you leave each one of your employees to respond in their way, you will end up having a lot of confusion, frustration, and mess in your procedures. If the situation gets worse, besides huge financial losses, a crisis could even lead to a loss of life. A business continuity plan helps you avoid such chaos by documenting procedures well before the situation. This ensures your employees can get the required training beforehand and prepare to protect themselves without panicking. When they are trained to handle emergency situations, they can make more informed and smarter decisions when a crisis hits.
2. Your Business Will Have Established Safeguards
A common misconception among small and large businesses is that they do not need a business continuity plan as long as they have insurance. That’s a bit far from the truth. A business cannot ever fully rely on insurance. Some things are not covered by insurance, such as the peripheral damages of an accident, which may include loss of market share, loss of customers, and other operational setbacks. Only a business continuity plan can help you bolster such safety and security for your company.
Every business should allocate a specific portion of its revenue to reinvest into its operations and safety. Creating a business continuity plan implies that your company will be investing in its future and security so that if any unexpected circumstances arise, your business can still survive. The time you will spend building and maintaining a business continuity plan is precious. You must keep in mind that as long as your business survives, your fixed costs will continue after the mishap, even if you close down your facility, office, or outlet. The faster you can recover and get back to your operations, the quicker you can catch up on your sales.
Threats, disasters, and disruptions can cause a loss of sales and revenue and incur costs much higher than your regular operations. This can badly hurt your firm’s profitability. But if you have a business continuity plan in place, you will be able to recover from these damages faster than your competitors. This will give you a massive edge in your industry. If the other players in the industry take time to recover, you might be the only brand offering the kind of products and services that you do to your customers during that recovery phase.
5. Your Business Will Be Able to Preserve Its Reputation
Companies that make it a point to create a business continuity plan can bounce back quickly and continue their operations as usual in a short period. This means these companies do not need to make hasty or last-minute decisions. This sets them free from stressful situations and helps them maintain their reputation in front of their customers and target audience. If you create a business continuity plan before an emergency arises, you will have the benefit of appearing competitive and trustworthy in front of your target customers.
Steps to Create a Business Continuity Plan
Here are 5 easy steps you can take to develop an effective business continuity plan.
1. Assemble a Business Continuity Planning Management Team
The makeup of this team will depend on the objectives of your business continuity plan and the size of your organization. A good plan should include details about the actions your staff needs to take in times of an emergency, along with the methods and lines of communication to use. It should also include the critical IT services that must be urgently available.
Build a contact list of the key people who need to join your company’s business continuity planning team.
Provide a comprehensive overview of each person’s roles and responsibilities. It is good to let everyone know what they will expect in disastrous situations.
Create a process and convey to everyone how your business continuity plan will be updated from time to time.
2. Ensure the Wellbeing of Your Employees
While working on your business continuity plan, prioritize the safety and wellbeing of your employees during and after a crisis. They will look up to you, the community, and the government to be protected. Practice transparency in your policies and be proactive about them. For instance, during the ongoing pandemic, many companies expanded their remote work arrangements that allow people to work flexibly.
Depending on which industry you cater to, you might need to reallocate your resources and reorganize your teams. This often requires employee well-being programs to ensure nobody gets deprived of their rights. Your aim should support a safe and healthy working environment for everyone.
Make sure your communication channels are streamlined so that you can get in touch with all your staff at the same time.
3. Understand the Risks Your Company Might Face
Once you have your team in place, you need to conduct a business impact analysis. This will help you identify the key risks and threats your company is most vulnerable to face in times of crisis. The team should brainstorm a list of potential risks to your business procedures, supply chain, reputation, and employees. This is the most critical step in creating a business continuity plan.
4. Implement Recovery Strategies
Once you go through an emergency or disaster, and start incurring financial losses, it might feel challenging and overwhelming to focus on the path of recovery. This is where your business continuity plan comes to the rescue. Ask yourself questions like those listed below.
Do you have a way to continue making sales?
Can you meet the demand for your products or services in a way that’s different from your regular procedures that have been disrupted?
Can you offer your employees to work remotely from their homes if your office or facilities have been damaged?
Addressing such concerns in advance can go a great length in saving your neck when a disaster actually occurs.
5. Test Your Plan and Make Improvements
The last step for having an effective business continuity plan is to test it in hypothetical situations and scenarios to make sure it works. Train your staff to implement the processes implied in it. Guide your employees to keep themselves updated with the plan. Validate your business continuity plan as you manage various risks in your regular business operations. Make improvements to the plan if necessary.
A Bonus Tip for Having an Effective Business Continuity Plan
Image taken from Strikingly
If you want your business and brand name to survive in an economic crisis or pandemic, a bonus tip is to build and maintain a professional and attractive website. Your website will showcase the prime information about your company and keep it alive even if your facilities or operations are disrupted temporarily. Not only that, but you can also use your website as a one-stop platform to market your products and services. That’s even better than just having a business continuity plan.
If you want to build a website efficiently and cost-effectively, create one on Strikingly and get done with it within a day. Our platform is developed to help individuals and organizations develop great websites for their business without hiring a web developer or writing any code. We provide you with a user-friendly editor with a drag and drop interface, where you can add and update any content you like and publish it to make it go live in just one click.
At Strikingly, we take pride in our growing customer base and are here to answer any queries you may have through our 24/7 live chat support.