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The recent pandemic, natural and man-made disasters brought adverse impacts on organizations around the world. They have often left organizations crippled for several months due to economic loss and even caused the inability to continue operations. This article describes five tips that will aid an organization in developing a dependable business continuity plan. 

A Business Continuity Plan (BCP) aims to ensure that an organization can maintain continuity of essential operations such as sales, service delivery, and manufacturing after a disruption has occurred within or outside your organization.

Benefits of Business Continuity Planning  

  • It ensures that all activities and responsibilities continue without disruption.

The plan enables an organization to continue its essential functions after disasters and emergencies happen. It will ultimately improve the external image, business relationships, and reputation within the community.

  • It enables an organization to recover faster.

The key to a successful BCP is the fact that it enables an organization to recover faster. A well-rehearsed and documented plan will also save time and money, making a huge difference for the company, employees, and customers.

  • It reduces human casualties and economic loss.

The consequence of poor BCP can result in an accumulation of loss that overwhelms business continuity managers, compromising their capacity to provide prompt and quality support. This could result in people being injured or killed, and businesses shut down due to a severe economic loss.

  • It saves lives and livelihoods.

A BCP can ultimately reduce the damage caused by emergencies through increased preparedness and efficient response. It also removes the risks of exposure to injuries, death, loss of property, interruption of vital services, and environmental damage.

  • It raises awareness among employees about their roles and responsibilities.

The BCP takes an integrated approach to prepare for potential emergencies that could occur within the organization or outside. The implementation of this plan creates awareness among employees about their roles and responsibilities, which will ultimately help increase commitment towards emergency preparedness.

Helpful Tips for Business Continuity Planning

1. Understand Potential Risks

Before you can start planning how to respond to different disruptions, you must understand what events could disrupt your business and how they could affect your business processes. There are several ways to identify risks that can impact your business continuity, some of which are listed below:

Natural hazards: earthquakes, hurricanes, volcanic eruptions, and tornadoes are just a few examples of natural disasters that could disrupt an organization across the globe.

Human-caused accidents & terrorist attacks: Bombings, fires, and train derailments have resulted in massive losses for many well-known companies worldwide.

Business disruptions: An employee strike or traffic gridlock on main highways can slow down operations significantly depending on the type of service your company offers.

Computer security threats: Malware, viruses, and worms attack computers in various ways.

2. Describe Your Organization’s Goals & Objectives

Before developing a business continuity plan, you need to collect information about your organization’s essential functions and organizational structure. It is equally important that your business continuity strategy reflects your organization’s corporate goals and objectives.

3. Build a Business Recovery Team

The most crucial ingredient for any BCP is a team of responsible employees or business partners committed to maintaining business continuity. It will help if you build your Business Recovery Team (BRT) by appointing leaders and members to represent all the functional areas that play an essential part in the successful implementation of the recovery plan. The BRT should be provided with the following resources:

Organizational charts: This will help ensure that every department’s role and corresponding primary coordination point.

Critical functions list: It is necessary for you to know which functions are considered vital to your organization so that they can be prioritized when a disaster strikes.

Employee training & awareness programs: These would help ensure that staff members know their responsibilities during and after disruptions occur.

4. Maintain a Consistent Testing Approach

Your plan would only be as strong as its weakest link, and you need to test your business continuity plan at regular intervals. The entire team must participate in all BCP tests to identify any potential gaps in the recovery strategy. The main objective of business continuity planning is to ensure quick recovery without impacting your organization’s reputation or being liable for financial losses due to delayed services. 

5. Check the Company’s Insurance Policy

Every business owner should know that insurance is not just for catastrophic events. It can also protect you from many other risks. For example, if your organization suffers a serious cyberattack that results in financial losses, the insurance policy would cover those expenses until things are back to normal. You need to review your company’s general liability and cyber liability insurance policies to ensure that they fully cover all potential threats.

A business continuity plan can help you protect your most valuable asset – your company. Whether it’s an office fire, a natural disaster, a pandemic, or another type of emergency event that disrupts your organization’s operations, these five tips will help ensure that you are prepared to survive and recover from any disruption in service with minimal interruption to day-to-day activities.