When disaster hits, there is sometimes little to no warning. It is very possible to lose the company you’ve poured your blood, sweat, and tears into, and that is where your business continuity plan comes into effect. It provides you with the playbook you will need to successfully recover from whatever life throws at you.
Business Continuity Plans: The Basics
Your firm’s assets need to be protected so that you can ride out a potential storm and remain intact. Your business continuity plan will contain policies that are thought out ahead of time and not while under the duress of dealing with a rapidly-changing environment.
Your key stakeholders will be involved in assessing your weakest points and working to devise a strategy that aims to best protect these. In addition, your team needs to research worst-case scenarios, understanding how these are likely to unfold. You can look at what has happened to other companies that are similar to your own in various situations to see what has worked and what has not.
This is your chance to cover absolutely anything that is possible ahead of time, and this will include the period leading up to the emergency, during the crisis, and afterward. You’ll also need to think of how you will function within your community, responding appropriately to concerns and fears people may have.
While considering possible disruptions to your enterprise, some of the most common contingencies are fire or floods, things that can do damage to your physical property. You would do well to examine the insurances currently in place, making changes where needed, and the same holds true for a flood or a tornado.
Power outages are real considerations, and you’ll need to tailor your approach on the specificities of your products and services. Bomb threats occur in our modern world with increasing frequency, and you’ll need to not be scrambling as to the proper protocol in such situations to keep employees and customers safe.
Compliance breaches also occur and may require you to work with governmental agencies for their resolution, and the same is true of cyberattacks. Active shooters have entered the premises of businesses on occasion, and you may need to work with a security expert to develop a plan to ensure the survival of your crew.
What Does Your Plan Need To Cover?
The beauty of your business contingency plan is that it can be completely flexible in terms of its scope and contents in order to meet your particular needs. In general, however, it should contain an explanation of its purpose and objectives.
Outline the roles and responsibilities of those who will be in charge, and be sure to highlight any ways this may be different than the norm. If heightened powers will be given to some, be sure to articulate this, so he or she will be free to perform their jobs more effectively.
Risk mitigations plans are crucial, as any and all efforts to diminish the effects of destructive forces on your company will be paramount. You’ll need to list the tasks required to maintain operations, even if on a diminished scale, and you’ll need to include directives on escape or exit procedures.
Data backups and their locations are a must, and you’ll also want to have a way to protect digital assets, such as websites and email lists. Contact information for staff, management, and local authorities should be kept and updated whenever necessary.
Fidelman & Co walks alongside budding companies who are seeking to partner with investors and financial institutions, providing oversight for the preparation of presentation models. We also assist in the areas of financial consulting, and management strategies. Reach out to us today, and we look forward to answering any questions you may have.
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