If a disaster were to occur, would your business be prepared?
Small businesses in all industries should have a business continuity strategy in place. No one expects a disaster such as a hurricane, tornado, or fire to occur. At the same time, no one is immune to such events. In the following article, we’ll be explaining how to create the best continuity plan for your small business.
But first, let’s define exactly what a business continuity plan is.
According to Investopedia, a business continuity plan (also known as a BCP)
“is the process involved in creating a system of prevention and recovery from potential threats to a company. The plan ensures that personnel and assets are protected and are able to function quickly in the event of a disaster.”
For example, let’s say your business is located in an area that tends to have a lot of bad summer storms and, sometimes, even tornados. In this case, planning for a possible tornado — or a bad thunderstorm that could cause damage — is a wise idea. You’ll want to think about everything that could possibly go wrong, as well as solutions to each of these potential issues. It’s important to have a business continuity plan in place no matter how many people you employ or how much stock and equipment you have.
Follow these steps to create the best possible business continuity plan for your company.
1. Decide what your biggest threats are.
What are the biggest threats to your business when it comes to disasters? From tornados and storms to hurricanes, earthquakes, and floods, there are certainly potential problems that could cause widespread issues for your business. Start by making a list of these events.
2. Figure out how you’ll keep communication flowing.
Often in a crisis, the first thing to go is communication. In a storm, you might lose your phone lines, electricity, and Internet connections, for example. If this were to happen, what would you do? You need to have a backup plan in place so that you can keep the communication going.
3. Decide on a method to maintain data access.
After ensuring sound communication in the event of a disaster, it’s critical to ensure that your data is safe. Even during normal times, it’s essential to maintain constant backups of your data. When it comes to potential disasters, you’ll need to plan for all relevant scenarios. Data should be able to be accessed even if the power goes out, networks go down, or your physical building has been compromised by fire, water damage, or another such problem.
4. Find a temporary place to continue operations.
Lastly, know where you and your co-workers and employees will be able to go to continue on with business when you can no longer work in your brick and mortar establishment. This might be a satellite office location, a newly rented office, or even someone’s home.
While setting aside a few days to create a comprehensive business continuity plan may seem like something you don’t have the time or patience for, know that, in the end, it will be more than worth it. Businesses who plan ahead and hope for the best but expect the worst will always be rewarded for their preparedness. Consider sitting down with your co-workers, employees, and shareholders to create a comprehensive business continuity plan for your business today.