A business continuity plan (BCP) is a pre-determined and pre-drafted protocol to guide your
business on how it will overcome business disruptions that may be caused by an emergency or
any other cause. Made of a serialized checklist of risk aversion actions to implement, a business
continuity plan addresses both human and natural disasters that can strike a business halting all
operations. Such disastrous scenarios include:
- On-premise accidents
- Weather incidents, such as hurricanes, tornadoes, and floods
- Supply chain disruptions
- Technology outages
- Cybersecurity and breaches events
- Any other significant process, system, or operational failure that can bring the operation
- of the business to halt.
A business continuity plan aims to alleviate the damage incurred by the business and reinstate
operations before the above-mentioned scenarios can completely halt the business operations.
Even in small scenarios such as a storm damaging the business’s physical building infrastructure,
other business domains can be triggered bringing the entire operations to a halt. For instance,
consider the negative effect of a Tornado that damages the only warehouse your business uses to
store inventory, or a cyber-security attack that holds hostage your customers’ account and
payment information. When such incidences occur, a business continuity plan gives your
business the direction to take, keeping risks mitigated and ensuring the business operations are
not halted to ground.
What Is The Need Of A Business Continuity Plan?
A business continuity plan has one goal- to keep your business running productively and
smoothly in the event of an emergency. The severity and rates of BCP emergencies indeed vary
from one business to the other, the fact is that at one point, your business will experience a
human or natural disaster with an immediate effect. A business continuity checklist will ensure
that when such an eventuality strikes, be it a software failure, a storm, or a supply chain
interruption- they will be controlled and contained incidents that will not escalate. Here are some
business continuity plan benefits that organizations enjoy:
Businesses need to assure their partners, customers, and third-party vendors that things are still
under control during emergencies. It is professional to comfort and swiftly communicate to
employees what has happened, what has been affected, and what steps are currently being
undertaken to restore operations Clear communication ensures employees’ confusion and stress
are maintained at a minimum. Every department understands what is expected of them according
to the BCP procedure and checklist as well as who to consult for further concerns or questions.
Your business brand reputation hangs on the end quality of your services or products. In the event these deliverables become inconsistent in any way, clients will take note. Their dissatisfaction can in turn become a threat to your business. When an organization’s operations experience disruptions, business continuity plans effectively patch the interrupted or affected resources, including reinstating infrastructure, building, technology, personnel, and any other element needed for the business to operate normally. This ensures that the quality of your business goods and services is maintained as consistency is prioritized that protects your brand and customer base.
Recovery and business continuity plans prevent disruptions from turning out to be huge and existential business crises. This is their main role. If these plans are mismanaged, your business can be exposed to a cacophony of irrecoverable damages that would have been avoided by preparing for the incident through BCP in the first place.
According to a recent report by Business Times, technology outages alone such as downed networks causes small businesses around $6000 per minute. While the exact figures will range for different businesses, all organizations understand the importance of service or product continuity to maintain their revenue flowing. The faster your organization operations can be restored, the smaller the losses incurred and downtimes
Continued service and product excellence
Well-crafted business continuity plans turn severe business emergencies into hiccups. Operations are quickly resumed from where they stopped and your business can continue to serve customers and clients, deliver value and continue to protect the overall image and integrity of your business.
How Is A Business Continuity Plan Prepared?
Every organization is impelled to have its own BCP to continue productivity in times of disruptions. Before coming up with a BCP, you will need to analyze your business impact profile. This is known as Business Impact Analysis (BIA). This includes calculating your key business domains such as physical infrastructure, personnel, technology, and equipment across your business that does not have a plan B. You will need to calculate the cost associated with interrupting each domain. Here is a break down of a BCP:
The executive summary paints an image of your business continuity plan as a whole. It contains details about your goals as well as an outline of what you’ll need to do to keep your company running if an incident occurs. When you’ve analyzed the possible risks to your company and crafted some strategies for coping with them, the executive summary section is usually written last.
The objective section of your business continuity plan outlines your goals and helps your employees understand what is required of them in the event of an emergency or incident affecting business operations.
The glossary defines and clarifies words, meanings, and acronyms used in your business continuity plan.
Risk management plan
Your vital business practices are defined in the risk management strategy. It evaluates the threats to your company and the measures required to mitigate the potential consequences.
Business impact analysis
A business impact analysis describes the essential business practices, also known as critical business activities that are critical to your company’s survival. They help you to identify
- Resources needed for supporting every activity
- The impact of stopping these activities
- How long can your business operate without these activities
Incident response plan
Your emergency response plan includes all of the details you’ll need to respond quickly before, during, and after a crisis or incident. There may be other documents or proposals attached to the plan.
A clear statement indicating when the plan will be activated should always be included in the opening section of the BCL incident response plan. This includes the details of the person authorized to activate the plan.
Now that you clearly understand what is a business continuity plan and why its critical to an organization, it is the high time you need to implement one or improve an existing one. When a business continuity incident or emergency occurs, the business continuity plan serves as a point of reference as well as a roadmap for strategy and tactics to deal with the situation. Contact us today to learn more about the business continuity plan. We will help you to craft a professional BCL for your business that will save you when disaster strikes.