There are many events that can disrupt the smooth flow of a business. Power outages can leave you without the capacity to operate. Natural disasters like floods and earthquakes can prevent you from even getting to work. Cyber-attacks and human error can be internal problems that set you back.
If you are unprepared for these possibilities, you risk losing your company. Insurance will cover some things but not all, and nothing can compensate you for lost customers who went to a better-prepared competitor.
Why Is It Important to Have a Business Continuity Plan?
Most business should have a backup plan ready for a worst-case scenario. A business continuity plan will help your business limit disruption and damage from disasters. A business continuity plan will do the following:
- Identify Critical Business Functions
How long can you afford for your business to be down? Is it a couple of days? Maybe just a few hours? Unless you can afford for your operations to be down for a week or longer, you need to develop some sort of backup plan. Some disasters require a lot of cleanup and equipment replacement.
- Minimize Business Disruptions
Critical business operations are the must-haves to continue to serve your customers without disruption. These operations can be working phone lines, charged computer devices, access to specific files, etc… We will help you identify the unique, critical pieces for your business.
- Provide an Alternate Work Location
Additionally, if your normal location cannot be used because of a natural disaster, power outage or other circumstance, you must have a backup location that can meet the requirements of your critical business operations. Having this plan laid out in advance saves your business precious downtime.
- Ensure Backup Data is Accessible
How quickly do you need access to your backup data? Even if your main operations can afford to sit idle for a time, which is unlikely in the modern business climate, you may need to have access to your data for a variety of reasons. Customers may become nervous and seek reassurance that you have everything under control, for instance.
- Secure the Correct Insurance Policy
Do you have the right type of insurance? There are many kinds of insurance for businesses and many details that go into making a policy. You can easily replace some things, but you must make sure you have adequate coverage. Your business continuity plan may depend on what sort of insurance policy you have.
Once you have a plan in place, you must make sure the appropriate employees know what they must do to maintain business continuity if disaster strikes. Not every disaster is the same, so you may need contingencies within your plan depending on the type of disaster you experience.
According to a report from the Federal Emergency Management Agency (FEMA), 40 percent of businesses do not reopen following a disaster and 25 percent fail within one year. Crafting the right business continuity plan can go a long way towards keeping your business healthy even when an emergency strikes.