The reliance of society on technology and the worsening state of our planet makes everyone susceptible to unforeseen challenges such as disasters, climate emergencies, and natural hazards. Businesses today face a lot of unprecedented exposures to danger and threat. Many results in financial loss, unemployment, or sometimes death.
Creating a business continuity plan (BCP) is essential for small businesses and corporate scaled ones. It is a vital component of ensuring survival before, during, and after a crisis. This article will help you understand what BCP is and why this strategy can help your business.
What is a Business Continuity Plan?
A Business Continuity Plan (BCP) is a company strategy that defines the potential effects of a crisis on its business operation. Usually, these plans include policies or various responses to the situation to ensure that the business will continue to process and quickly recover after the disaster.
The main goal of having BCP is to protect the business, its employees, and assets. It also helps the organization to foresee any unexpected business interruption, financial impact, loss, property damage, and how the company can recover from these problems.
Why Does a Business Continuity Plan Matter?
Businesses are prone to be affected by disasters to some degree, from minor to catastrophic. According to Agility, “52% of companies experienced disruptive events in the last five years.
However, many businesses still misjudge the importance of a business continuity plan and the effects of the crisis. Threats and disasters can cause revenue loss and higher costs for recovery. Thus, whether you operate a small company or a huge enterprise, it is vital to be prepared for these disasters to some degree.
BCP can help businesses consider any potential disruption to the operation that could affect customer experience and relationships. It can help you retain your customers and prevent income loss.
Likewise, BCP can also help your company to be prepared during disasters. Businesses cannot rely on insurance alone as it may not cover all the costs in recovering. Having a backup plan while navigating through post-disaster damage
Anatomy of a perfect BCP
Suppose your company does not have a BCP yet. In that case, you can start by assessing and listing your business process and determine which areas are vulnerable. You can try capturing this information through the benefits of data science. Data science and analytics can help identify your company’s weak spots and important business branches that can affect your business significantly if they stop operating a day to a week.
Out of these extracted data and analytics, develop a strategy that involves the following:
- Identify the scope of the plan
- Recognize goals and objectives
- Key Business Area and impact analysis
- Critical Functions and Employees
- Business Areas and Function that depends on others
- Acceptable downtime for each essential function
- Plan to maintain business operation
You can also include other aspects such as disaster recovery plans that include elements of your company’s IT Infrastructure—creating a cloud-based disaster recovery database that holds information about your budget, technology, suppliers, and resources. It can help your organization record remotely any critical business system after a disaster.
What are the benefits of a Business Continuity Plan?
Here are four crucial benefits of how creating a business continuity plan can help your business:
1. Build confidence with your customer and employees
Two of the most significant stakeholders of your business are your clients and employees. When a disaster hits your business, your clients and employees are affected. One is the delivery of service disrupted, and the other impeded income.
A great benefit of a business continuity plan is that it can give both employees and clients the needed assurance on the capability of the business to still function in times of disaster. For employees, knowing that no catastrophe can cripple the company and their source of income can reduce anxiety and insecurity. It can help them feel confident about their jobs and deliver quality service. Having BCP can also help your company increase its retention rate.
For clients, knowing that a business will continue providing the services that they rely on even during times of disaster can help clients establish loyalty with your business. In addition, maintaining a brand reputation that boosts confidence in its employees can increase customer loyalty and overall perceptions of people to your services.
2. Avoid excessive downtime
Regardless of your business, continuous service delivery is one of the best capabilities to invite more loyal clients. In this digital age, most companies rely on a database or the internet to render their services. Everything is automated, from inventory, payment, to the advertisement. Everything is 100% handled by a computer.
Likewise, malware attacks are predominant in technology. These attacks often lead to data breaches, data loss, or infection that can cause many problems to the daily operations—industries such as finance or healthcare that any kind of disruptions cannot be tolerated at all.
One benefit of a business continuity plan is that it ensures continuous service delivery is not hindered, or customers are negatively affected by the disaster. BCP can help companies prepare for these attacks or interruptions to help valuables’ information be safe from being stolen.
In addition, having a BCP in place prepares companies with data backups that can replace any lost information that might hamper business operations. For example, having all vital information stored only on one network can destroy your company’s workflow in an IT crisis. Using cloud computing benefits a business in accessing essential files or documents when an IT crisis emerges.
Having regular backups in cloud storage ensures a company that its data is secured and accessible at all times.
3. Save lives during a disaster
BCP saves not just your company’s but also your employees’ lives. BCP does not only include a plan for your company. It also needs to have an extreme emergency and evacuation plan. Emergency and evacuation plans like fire drills or evacuation drills will save lives when needed. This shows that your corporation cares for its people and employees.
Likewise, as mentioned earlier, disaster affects the profitability of the company and its employees. Do not let an unanticipated crisis set back your business and employees’ incomes. A BCP can help you protect your business‘s finances while providing continuous employment and revenue for your loyal people.
4. Gain a competitive advantage
Your competitors most likely do not have an established business continuity program, unlike yours. In case of a disaster where most businesses cannot operate, having the ability to respond, recover, and serve your customers will show how reliable your brand is. It makes your company attractive to current and potential partners and customers, another great advantage of a business continuity plan.
Consumers will watch your brand closely, building trust with your brand and giving you a competitive edge.
No one knows what the future holds. There is only a tiny chance that you will encounter a crisis that will affect you. But it does not hurt to be prepared for disasters that may affect or disrupt your business operations.
Being fully aware of the risk and how to solve it can help your business in times of a financial crisis, worldwide pandemic, and disasters.
Thus, protect your company and maximize the benefits of a business continuity plan.
Author bio: Roque Pospos is a digital content specialist for Flexisource IT, an Australian marketing agency consists of agile experts and certified professionals committed to improving traditional marketing practices.