Disasters happen when you least expect them. But is your business ready for an emergency? Can it handle the unexpected and come out strong if an emergency happens? It’s important for you to consider the worst-case scenario for your business in the case of a disaster or emergency, which is why you need to create a business continuity plan. If not, your business and its bottom line will greatly suffer in the end.
It’s vital that you take into account every little nuance when it comes to preparing your business for a disaster. Although a continuity plan might sound like it’s difficult or challenging to create, it’s really not – as long as you know what the major parts of one are and why they’re crucial! Any continuity plan must be as comprehensive as possible to cover all areas in your business – whether it’s not being able to access important documents or dealing with data loss, a complete business continuity plan will save you lots of time and money in the long run.
When creating a comprehensive business continuity plan, you’ll want to take into account the following:
- Threats – You’ll need to ask what sort of threats will your business be targeted by? Don’t just jot down simple threats that can be prevented. You need to consider all threats – from the viruses to devastating emergencies. It’s important to treat each threat as a major problem that’ll need to be addressed.
- Critical Processes and Workflows – After you’ve identified all the threats, you’ll need to identify your workflows and ways to accomplish them. What sort of processes will you business need to go back to normal after a threat?
- The Command Chain – In any threat, you’ll need to establish who will be in charge and the necessary command trend. You’ll need to designate someone as the leader and make sure everyone knows.
- Employee Safety and Evacuation – Since employees are crucial to your business, you’ll need to take their safety into consideration if something happens during work hours. Create an evacuation plan to keep them safe from harm.
- Contact Information and Communication Plan – If there is a disaster, you’ll need to alert everyone in your company and its customers. You’ll want to inform them of what’s happened, what’s happening now and provide them with a timeframe for how long you think the threat will last. You’ll also need to provide updates on any developments.
- Backup Location and Processes – You’ll want an off-site location so that operations can potentially continue uninterrupted. Having your data backed up somewhere is especially important!
- End Of Disaster Criteria – You’ll also want to define what will your end-of-disaster criteria will be, which should include conditions that need to be fulfilled before the recovery process begins.
- Post-Incident Debriefing – Once everything is okay and there is not longer a threat, you’ll need to take some time to debrief and go over how it could have been prevented. This is also a good time to see if your continuity plan needs to be redone or more comprehensive.