There are many potential issues that could face different businesses. A lot of businesses are able to adapt to these issues themselves, but then there are other occasions where more needs to be done to ensure an organisation will move forward in the right way. One of the most efficient ways that this can be done is by using a Business Continuity Plan (otherwise known as a BCP).
What is a Business Continuity Plan?
A business continuity plan is essentially a document containing all the important information necessary for a business to keep operating during unplanned detrimental events. The BCP will be responsible for stating all of the essential functions of the business in question, identifying which processes and systems need to continue operating and the best way that they can be maintained. The BCP needs to take into consideration all of the different disruptions that could potentially impact a business.
Some of the most common risks that will be covered within a BCP include:
- Cyber attacks
- Natural disasters
- Human error
Some of these risks are more feasible than others; however, they are all very much possible. A BCP will preserve the health of a business, its reputation, and its employees, meaning they are very important to organisations. IT administrators are usually in charge of putting the plan together, but other members of staff also commonly contribute.
Why Are Business Continuity Plans So Important?
Having a BCP means that businesses are in a better position to understand potential threats and vulnerabilities within their organisation in a time of crisis. Leaders of businesses have the ability to react and adjust quickly if there is an interruption to business when they have a good continuity plan in place.
Customers can continue to be served during unprecedented times when a good BCP is ready, which means that an organisation is not going to miss out on revenue during a crisis, and they are going to improve its reputation as well. The steps that need to be taken by each department should be thoroughly outlined and run by employees to ensure their execution is feasible.
What Should Be Contained Within a Business Continuity Plan?
When a business is putting together a BCP, it should make sure that it includes the following:
- The important data right at the beginning of the plan, this includes what the plan is preparing against and crucial contact information.
- A change in management processes.
- The purpose and scope of these changes in management processes.
- Advice on how to successfully use the plan, including different guidelines as to how the plan will effectively be initiated.
- Information on different policies that occur within the business and whether these need to continue.
- The procedures necessary to respond to the emergency.
- Step-by-step instructions on how to execute these procedures.
- Multiple checklists and flow diagrams.
- A glossary that contains information on all of the terms used within the plan.
- A schedule outlining when the plan should be tested, how it can be reviewed and how it can be updated.
What Questions Should a Business Ask Itself When Putting a Plan Together?
If your business does not have a BCP and wants to put one together, you should ask yourself the following questions:
- Would the business be able to function if access to servers, laptops and the internet were unavailable? If yes, how?
- What are the single current points of failure?
- Are there any risk management systems and risk controls in place?
- What key skills and knowledge are most important when it comes to recovering the business?
- What is the minimum number of staff necessary to run a data centre and other operations? What would be the key functions of these staff members?
The Steps Involved in Making a Business Continuity Plan?
The process of putting together a BCP that functions well can be broken down into five crucial steps. These are:
- Gather and analyse information. This information means business impact analysis and assessment of risk.
- Plan design and development.
- Implementing the plan.
- Testing the plan to make sure that it works efficiently.
- Maintaining and updating the plan as the business develops over time.
Is There Help Available for Business Continuity Plans?
Putting together a plan can be tricky for different businesses, but there is help out there when you need it. This comes in the form of different consultants, management tools and planning software, all of which will be able to assist. The approach an organisation needs to take will vary depending on how complex their business is, what kind of assets they have in place, how big the business is and what services the business offers. The likes of what staff members can offer and the budget on hand also need to be taken into consideration.
Do You Need Help Putting Your Plan Together?
If you need some help implementing your plan, then there are a couple of things that you will need to look for. The first is information. You need to know exactly what you are planning against in order for your plan to work effectively. In order to do this, you need to research the different threats that businesses face now, for instance, the likes of the energy crisis and support from the pandemic being withdrawn.
The next thing you need is advice from experts who will be able to advise how affordable what you’re proposing is. This could mean reaching out to financial advisors and liquidation experts who will be able to confirm what changes should be made to your proposed plans if you are to have them work.
Both of these services can be provided by Simple Liquidation. Our team of experts can advise on the current problems that face businesses and how effectively you can combat these problems. If you would like further information or have any questions, do not hesitate to get in touch.