Keeping your business running smoothly during natural disasters, severe weather, economic downturns, and bad publicity is important for your employees, customers, and bottom line. No matter what the situation, you want to make sure that you have prepared a back up plan to avoid any unnecessary hiccups. Follow these steps to create a business continuity plan to be prepared in any crisis.
What is a business continuity plan?
A business continuity plan addresses concerns should anything unexpected arise in the marketplace, your area of business, or within company itself. Not only does a continuity plan prepare your company in case a natural disaster should occur, but it also provides a succession plan should anything happen to the current leaders of the business, like sudden illness or death. The plan should also give instructions on how to proceed in the event of a lawsuit, labor dispute, or distribution issue.
Good business continuity planning takes into account how to safeguard the company not only from outside threats like earthquakes, floods, and data hackers, but also from inside threats, like an employee who leaks sensitive information. Too often companies have tight backup plans for outside-based situations, and don’t spend enough time planning for internal, employee-based issues. Having data leak prevention policies in place in your continuity plan allows for quick action to mitigate any major damage.
What does a business continuity plan typically include?
Before you start creating your business continuity plan, assess the employees, leadership, corporate strategy, and resources (both internal and external). Completing this step alone helps identify smaller issues to fix long before they turn into something damaging. This step also gives you the opportunity to find weaknesses in the company, restructure if necessary, and create a solid foundation for your company moving forward. Using a business continuity plan template can ensure you cover all of the possible disaster scenarios that can affect your company.
Phases of business continuity planning
- Analyze: Identify your business’s processes and critical functions and ensure that the correct resources are in place to execute your plans. Use FEMA’s business impact analysis worksheet to help determine operational and financial impacts that could affect your business.
- Recover: Create backup plans for every possible disaster that may come your way to allow for quick action and resumption of processes.
- Create a Plan: Write up your business continuity plan and train your employees or designated business continuity team members so your company is prepared for any situation that may arise.
- Practice: Train and test your employees. Make practicing your business continuity plan a standard part of your company’s routine. Practicing allows you to see weaknesses and possible gaps in leadership or procedures. Be sure to fix them before a disaster occurs. It also allows you to see your plan in action and to see if what you’ve created on paper can actually be carried out in the real world. Through these drills, employees are able to understand their roles and responsibilities while honing their abilities and act more calmly during times of crises.
- Test the Plan: Having a third-party professional walk through the plan with you will allow for an outside eye to double- or triple-check to see if you have forgotten any details, or have any flaws in your plan. Taking this extra step will add strength to the overall strategy, preparedness, and execution of the business continuity plan.
Need help creating a business continuity plan?
Blackhill Restoration specializes in business natural disaster and continuity planning and preparation. We will consult with you and the managers who run your business or commercial buildings. We work with both commercial and residential buildings in the Austin, Temple, Belton, Killeen, Bryan, College Station, Houston, Waco, San Antonio, and surrounding Texas areas. Blackhill is a first response, emergency services restoration team that is here to help when the need arises.