A business continuity plan, or BCP for short, is like a map that helps a company stay open and running even if something unexpected happens, like a big storm or a power outage.
Imagine that your company is a big building; inside that building are all the things that make your company work, like computers, phones, and machines. Business continuity planning tells the people who work at your company what to do if something happens to the building or anything inside it.
For example, if there's a big storm and the power goes out, your business continuity planning will tell your people at the company where the backup generators are and how to turn them on so they can keep working. It also tells your employees what to do if they can't get to the building, like where to go and how to stay in touch with each other.
Your BCP should also have a list of significant phone numbers and contacts, like the electric company and the police, so the people at your company know who to call for help.
Your company needs to have a BCP because it helps them keep working and serving your customers, even if something unexpected happens. Just like you have a plan for what to do if there's a fire drill at school, a BCP is a plan for your company to ensure your business gets rolling even during an emergency.
What is Business Continuity Plan?
Your business continuity planning is a roadmap for how your company will continue operating during and after a disaster or other unexpected event. Think of it as a plan B when things don't go as planned.
Business continuity planning is crucial because no business is immune to disruptions. Whether a natural disaster, a cyber attack, or even a power outage, unexpected events can happen anytime. They can have a substantial impact on your business's ability to function.
Business continuity planning will outline the steps your company needs to take to minimize the impact of a disruption and get back to normal operations as quickly as possible. This plan includes identifying critical processes and resources, developing procedures for maintaining or restoring those operations, and communicating with employees, customers, and other stakeholders.
One key aspect of business continuity planning is testing and regularly updating the plan to ensure it's effective. It is crucial to ensure that your company is prepared for disruption and that each employee understands their ad-hoc tasks and responsibilities. A BCP is not a one-time document. It's a living document that needs to be reviewed and updated on a regular basis.
Why Do You Need a Business Continuity Plan?
Business continuity planning is critical to help you stay afloat during tough times. Here are five reasons why your business needs a business continuity plan so you won't be sorry:
1. To stay in business
A business continuity plan's whole point is to ensure that a company can keep operating during and after a disaster or other unexpected event. Without a plan, your business could be in serious trouble if something unexpected happens.
2. To minimize the impact of a disruption
Business continuity planning will outline the steps a company needs to take to minimize the impact of a disruption and get back to normal operations as quickly as possible. This can help a business bounce back faster and with less damage.
3. To protect your reputation
If a business can't keep its doors open during a crisis, it can damage its reputation. Business continuity planning can help your company maintain its reputation by showing customers and other stakeholders that you're always prepared.
4. To keep employees safe
If you create a business continuity plan, you can ensure that employees are safe during a crisis, which is vital for their well-being and their families too.
5. To comply with regulations
Many industries have regulations that require companies to have a BCP in place. They even offer a guide to business continuity plan--take advantage of that. An effective business continuity plan can help you stay compliant and avoid costly fines or penalties.
Anatomy of a Business Continuity Plan
A business continuity plan (BCP) comprises several parts, each with an important role to play. Here are a few of the most critical parts of a business continuity plan:
1. Risk assessment
This part of the plan looks at all the things that could go wrong, and how likely they are to happen. Risk assessment helps your company determine what to plan for and how many resources to allocate.
Once the risk assessment is complete, business impact analysis looks at how different disruptions could impact your company's operations, finances, and reputation. Here, you can prioritize what you need to protect the most.
3. Emergency response
This section outlines your company's steps immediately if something happens. The emergency response would include:
- who to call
- where to go
- how to communicate with fellow employees and your customers
This part of the plan outlines your company's steps to return to normal operations as quickly as possible. This part might include restoring power, getting back online, or relocating to your designated temporary location.
5. Testing and maintenance
A business continuity plan is not a one-time document. It needs to be tested and updated regularly to ensure it's still effective and, relevant to your current business needs and resources.
This section describes how your company communicates with other employees, customers, and stakeholders during and after a disruption.
A business continuity plan is a comprehensive document that takes a lot of work to create but believe us. It's totally worth it.
Write an Effective Business Continuity Plan
Writing a business continuity plan (BCP) can seem daunting, but it's a pretty straightforward process once you break it down into smaller steps. Here's a basic outline of how to write an effective business continuity plan:
1. Understand your business. You need to understand your business well and how it operates before you start writing your plan. You have to identify the critical operations and resources that need to be protected in case of a disruption.
2. Conduct a risk assessment. When you do the evaluation, look at all the different things that could go wrong and what can be disrupted. Ask yourself, "how likely is x likely to happen?". Answering this question will help you prioritize what you need to plan for.
3. Identify critical operations and resources. Once you understand your business well and the risks you might face, you need to identify the critical operations and resources essential for keeping the business running. You might include things like power, internet, and key personnel on your list.
4. Develop procedures. When you know what to protect, develop strategies for maintaining or restoring those operations and resources. For example, you should include steps to turn on backup generators or relocate to a temporary location.
5. Test and update the plan. As previously mentioned, your business continuity plan is not a one-time document. Create a schedule for when you need to test its effectiveness and timeliness. You don't want an obsolete solution for a pressing emergency.
Build Your Business Continuity Plan with Strikingly
Image taken from Strikingly
Strikingly website builder is a tool you can use to create a website for your business continuity plan. Here are a few ways you can use Strikingly to create a BCP website:
- Create a dedicated page for your business continuity plan. You can create a dedicated page on your website that outlines your business continuity plan and provides essential information for employees and customers in an emergency.
- Include a link to your BCP on your homepage. You can include a link to your business continuity plan page on your homepage so that it's easily accessible to anyone who visits your website.
- Create a contact page. You can create a contact page on your website that includes important phone numbers and email addresses for employees and key contacts.
- Use Strikingly's built-in blog feature to post updates. If an emergency occurs, you can use Strikingly's built-in blog feature to post updates on the status of your business and any changes to your operations.
- Create a landing page with a call-to-action. You can create a landing page with a call-to-action encouraging employees and customers to download a copy of your business continuity planning document and keep it handy. You can upload a PDF copy of your business continuity plan and hyperlink it on a button, a text, or an image.
- Use Strikingly's customizable templates to create an effective and professional-looking website for your business continuity planning.
An effective business continuity plan BCP is not just a good idea. It's essential for any business. It's better to be prepared and have a plan than to be caught off guard and struggle to survive.
By using Strikingly website builder, you can create a user-friendly and professional-looking website for your business continuity plan that provides critical information and updates to your employees, customers, and stakeholders.