Running a business requires adequate preparations for an unplanned crisis that may erupt at any time. You’ve probably seen how many people have had to shut their businesses down because they couldn’t operate well whenever major problems arise. But on the bright side, the negative effects of these unexpected circumstances can be mitigated with well-plotted business continuity planning (BCP). It’s basically a procedure of putting up a strategy to guarantee your enterprise can continue to operate during and after a pressing crisis.
It’s essential to have a BCP for your business regardless of its size. It’ll eventually decrease the impact of a disruption on your operations and maintain your reputation. With that in mind, below are seven best practices in business continuity planning:
Work With Reliable IT Companies
Information Technology (IT) is critical in your business. Thus, it should be part and parcel of your business continuity plan. Various IT issues can erupt in your company, like cyber threats and technical problems with your computing systems. These issues may lead to downtime, which is detrimental to your company. As a result, many clients will move on to other reliable companies.
If you’re in New York City, such cases can be monitored and solved by reliable NYC based IT services. Plus, there are numerous things a managed services provider can help you with, like assessing cyber security risk, helping with long-term organization, testing the operating system, and providing end-user support.
Moreover, a managed IT company can store your company’s data and back it up for quick retrieval in the event of data loss. These can help in ensuring your business continuity even in the face of a data breach.
IT professionals can also help you with disaster recovery. For instance, should a fire raze down your business premises, they can help you bounce back by purchasing new hardware components to replace the damaged ones. So, don’t hesitate to outsource IT services as an integral part of your BCP.
Conduct Risk Assessment
It’s essential to do a risk assessment during business continuity planning. Doing so will help you spot probable risks that could disrupt your operations. These can be natural disasters like earthquakes or thunderstorms, pandemics, cyber-attacks like phishing or malware, and other unexpected events.
Checking the critical areas in your business can assist you in comprehending the probable impact of these risks on your enterprise and determining the ones that need a quick remedy. It’s something that you need to do regularly to guarantee the plan stays relevant as new risks emerge.
Set Up A Solid Communication Procedure
A business crisis can be very disruptive, and the best way to ensure everything is well handled is by having an effective communication channel. So, make sure you have a well-defined process for how you plan to communicate with your staff, customers, and suppliers, even before the event of an emergency. It’s also vital to communicate emergency response procedures like communication protocols, evacuation procedures, and contingency plans.
Moreover, developing vendor and supply chain management protocols can help decrease the impact of these disruptions and ensure that critical supplies and services are available when needed. So, make sure you look into the essential suppliers to know how to reach them. A clear and open line of communication can help all crucial persons in your enterprise be updated.
Establish A Crisis Management Team
Your company needs crisis management personnel in charge of managing an emergency and ensuring that the organization continues to operate. The team should be diverse. It must consist of representatives from each company department to ensure every critical area of your business is represented.
Then, designate a leader for the team who is proactive, well-trained, and available so they can make decisions quickly and effectively in the moment of need to decrease downtime. They should also be equipped with the necessary tools and resources to communicate effectively with each other and with external stakeholders.
Test Your Plan
It’s essential to test your business continuity plan to ensure that it functions as envisaged. It’ll help you avoid instances where the suggested methods fail upon carrying them out just because you forgot to test their feasibility. If you test your plan, you have enough time to think of all the possible results it may entail. Then from it, you can tell the strategies that’ll work for your enterprise and the ones that won’t.
Motivate Your Staff
Your staff members are essential components of a business continuity plan. Thus, make sure you train them regularly on what continuity is all about. It’ll allow them to be ready to execute the plan when there’s an emergency. They’ll also feel included in most of the enterprise decisions.
Regularly Update And Improve The Plan
The needs and the crisis can change with time. So, after creating the plan, it doesn’t help to leave it as it is until a problem emerges. You need to update and improve it continuously.
By upgrading and improving your BCP, you can guarantee that it will always be relevant and functional. So, along with all your staff and the crisis management teams, make sure you do continuous reviews, integrate the lessons you learned from a crisis that has happened, and the things you’ll put in place to ensure you’ll be prepared for another problem.
Having a well-created business continuity plan is critical for your business to ensure you can function in the event of an unexpected calamity. So, approach threats proactively so that you can operate continuously instead of being weighed down by unfortunate events. Follow the best practices outlined herein for a more guaranteed outcome.