All businesses need contingency plans in place. Whether you’re carrying out risk assessments or documenting procedures to follow for a power outage, you need to be proactive with your planning. That’s why securing business continuity is essential.
You want to do everything you can to ensure your business can continue running for as long as possible, regardless of the circumstances you find yourself in. And this is where a Business Continuity Plan (or BCP) comes into play.
What is business continuity?
Business continuity is your ability to ensure that any unplanning incident or disaster that takes your critical systems offline doesn’t severely impact your business’s core business functions and general operations. In simple terms, it’s your ability to keep going when disaster strikes.
And by disaster, we mean anything from natural disasters such as a hurricane, flood, earthquake through to cyber-attacks. But it isn’t just major natural disasters you’re planning for either. It’s any unplanned incident – and for an online business, that can include losing a key employee or supply chain failure.
How is business continuity different from a risk assessment?
A risk assessment analyses the likelihood of potential threats happening and minimises the risk around them.
On the other hand, a Business Continuity Plan details how your business will react and adapt when there is a significant disruption to your business.
They both come under the Risk Management framework. One reduces the risk, whilst the other handles the fallout.
What is a Business Continuity Plan?
A BCP is a proactive plan that sets out how you will protect yourself, your personnel and your business during and as a result of a disaster. It details the process you will undergo to either continue running or get back up and running quickly in extreme circumstances.
It’s there to minimise confusion by providing written procedures to follow during a crisis. You want logical decisions to be made, which isn’t always possible, when in a crisis environment. By having everything documented and set out, you’re minimising the need for decision making and reasoning. You’re creating clear instructions to follow whilst you’re in the best position to make them.
The risks you face from not having a BCP in place
You may think that you’re too small a business to worry about having a BCP in place. However, it doesn’t matter how big or small you are – you still face risks, and you need to handle them if you want to protect your business.
The goal of any BCP is to keep you, your personnel and your business safe. Top of your priority has to be the safety of yourself and your colleagues. Your business is then next on your list of priorities.
If you don’t plan for risk management, you risk losing out financially. Not only in terms of lost revenue but also in terms of downtime and equipment losses. And then there’s your reputation. If your business is facing a crisis, your clients want to know how it impacts them and how quickly regular service will resume. Manage it badly, and your reputation will be negatively affected.
All businesses need contingency plans in place. Often, it isn’t just you that is reliant on the income your business provides. That’s why you want to do everything you can, to ensure your business can continue running for as long as possible, regardless of the circumstances you find yourself in.
If you’d like a little help securing business continuity and creating a BCP, why not get in touch? I can help you with this as part of the admin consultancy service I provide to businesses just like yours. So let’s talk! You’ll be able to schedule a 30-minute coffee chat to discuss it further here.