We have run several articles on how to prepare for various disasters, including hurricanes, active shooters, tornadoes and more. But one thing we haven’t covered in detail, which is key for properly recovering from the effects of any disaster, is how to develop a business continuity plan (BCP).
Disasters disrupt business. Disruption leads to lost revenue and extra expenses, which means reduced profits for you. Insurance will not cover all costs and definitely cannot replace customers lost due to disruption. A BCP to eliminate or cut down on disruption is essential for every business.
Ready.gov recommends four steps to developing a sound business continuity plan:
- Conduct a business impact analysis to identify time-sensitive or critical business functions and processes and the resources that support them
- Identify, document, and implement to recover critical business functions and processes
- Organize a business continuity team and compile a BCP to manage a business disruption
- Conduct training for the business continuity team and testing and exercises to evaluate recovery strategies and the plan
There is also free software to help you develop a sound BCP.
OFB-EZ (Open for Business)
Offered by the Insurance Institute for Business & Home Safety, this software and smart phone app make it easy to recover after a disaster strikes. According to their site, “With its non-technical language and streamlined layout, any business owner can create an easy-to-use recovery plan tailored to the individual business, providing confidence if the worst occurs.”
Business Continuity Planning Suite
Available from Ready.gov, “this software was created for any business with the need to create, improve, or update its business continuity plan. The Suite is scalable for optimal use by organizations of any size and consists of a business continuity plan (BCP) training, automated BCP and disaster recovery plan (DRP) generators, and a self-directed exercise for testing an implemented BCP. Businesses can utilize this solution to maintain normal operations and provide resilience during a disruption.”
Of course, developing a great BCP is essential, but it will mean nothing if your staff is not properly trained—so be sure to conduct regular training and exercise sessions.
For more information on preparing for disasters, contact Vanguard Resources.