Are you and your business trying to sort through a business continuity plan? Every successful business needs one. Having a continuity plan in place can ensure that your company maps through any situation, unforeseen or otherwise. Current times have caused companies to gameplan through adversity more than ever before. It all boils down to one question: how can your business survive (and thrive) when something unforeseen hits? What will you do? Where will you go? Who’s responsible for what? See below for several business continuity planning steps that you should consider while you build yours. Make sure to use every tip that’s listed here.
1. Set Concrete Goals
Before you get going on creating and implementing a brand new continuity plan, you need to set some goals. What are you hoping to achieve at the end of this new plan?
What departments does the continuity plan need to provide details for? How specific and detailed do you want your plan to be? How will you determine a good continuity plan from a bad one?
While a business continuity plan is based in large part around IT continuity planning, that isn’t the only facet you need to cover. People need to be told what to do. They need to be educated on how to respond. They need to know how to prioritize each step.
For example, say a flood prevents you and your staff from going into the office for the next several days. How can your staff carry out business as usual? What IT needs need to be met? How can you train them now to be prepared to work remotely in the future?
2. Tackle Emergencies First
The biggest threat against your company is an unforeseen emergency. It can cause your entire business to force a shut down within a moment’s notice.
All of a sudden, your top priorities go from calling 80 clients by the end of the day to making sure everyone is safe and works out the details of the aftermath.
This includes things like the steps to take to get back on track, how to assess the damage that was done, and how to work with limited resources for the time being. You’ll also want to plan your finances accordingly.
The last thing you want to do is lay people off of work because of the impact of the emergency. Budgeting and saving ahead of time starts with your business continuity plan.
3. Assign a Task Force
In a perfect world, you’d be able to train your entire staff on the details of your business continuity plan and they’d know exactly what to do if the time came. Unfortunately, that isn’t a realistic scenario for most companies.
Because of that, you’ll want to appoint a few people to champion your business continuity plan. They’ll help you plan it, control it, memorize it, and put it to action.
The task force that you assemble should be comprised of at least one person from each department in your company. That means legal, human resources, IT, distribution, finances, sales, marketing, and operations.
Some will be in charge of their respective jobs such as IT and HR. Others (such as sales and marketing) might be tasked with things not normally in their job description such as disaster recovery, excavation, and customer support.
4. Provide Great Detail for Your IT Needs
Thanks to the growing resources that technology is offering, it’s never been easier for your company to carry out as normally as possible, even after a disaster.
To make sure your company stays afloat while it recovers, you need to ensure your IT needs are met. Many companies turn to an integrated managed IT service for support in their business continuity plan.
Using integrated managed IT services can provide your business with a cloud-based system your staff can access remotely. IT can also help with your service desk, enhance your security, and monitored surveillance.
Imagine being able to access all your essential files and documents from your home, hotel, or wherever else you might be. Better yet, a managed service is monitoring to ensure no one else has access to that storage except the ones you grant permission to.
This means that, while the business continuity task force works on recovery, the rest of your staff can go about their operations as normally as possible. Albeit from their home.
5. Perform a Business Impact Analysis
Of course, to prepare an effective business continuity plan, you need to identify what you might be up against.
The possible threats to your business will depend on factors like your location, business model, industry, staff size, and so on. Performing a business impact analysis (BIA) will help you determine what those threats are and how much damage they can do.
These could be anything from a worldwide pandemic, cybersecurity hack, or anything in between.
After listing the threats, the BIA will also assess what areas of your business model are essential for continuity. Having the BIA will help your task force assess what steps need to be taken to keep those departments up and running even in the direst of circumstances.
Use These Business Continuity Planning Steps to Your Advantage
Now that you’ve seen several concrete business continuity planning steps to consider, it’s time to get things in motion.
You never know when disaster could strike. Taking the time to build a continuity plan as quickly as possible will ensure you’re ready for anything.
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