Maintaining Business Continuity
In today's world, new businesses keep arising from motivated people who want to start their own business for many reasons; either they have ideas that they want to manifest and capitalize on, or they want to feel the satisfaction that comes with independently owning a successful business.
There are many aspects to consider before starting a business. However, the main objective would be to keep the business running. However, there will be times when business operations are disrupted due to various reasons. During those times, business owners need to have a plan that would mitigate any sort of risk associated with those disruptions; this is when a business continuity plan goes into action.
What is Business Continuity?
As the name suggests, a business continuity plan is a plan of action that needs to be followed to keep the business running during unplanned disruptions of operations. It includes a list of all the possible risks that can disrupt a company's activities, and outlines the procedures needed to be done in each risk to reduce major losses of personnel and assets and to continue functioning as quickly as possible. The risks that can interrupt business operations include earthquakes, fire, weather-related disasters, epidemics or pandemics, economic issues, and cyber-attacks. Moreover, companies should generally create a business continuity plan in advance.
Why should a business have a continuity plan?
In ordinary circumstances, it is already difficult for entrepreneurs to maintain smooth operations of their businesses, so disasters will definitely put a strain on the efforts of keeping the company running. Loss of function due to disruption of business operations will eventually lead to a drop in profitability due to loss of revenue, higher costs, and customers moving to competitors to avail of their products and services. Furthermore, insurance will not be enough to cover the costs and bring back the customers. To prevent exacerbating the effects of a disaster, no matter how small or big, a business continuity plan should be organized in advance as part of an organization's strategy for risk management in order to mitigate the domino effect of the damages that could befall the business from unplanned catastrophes. Having a continuity plan will help a business to continue operating even in difficult times, minimizing inevitable losses. By having this plan, the company's assets, personnel, and the company itself are kept protected even during crises.
Creating a business continuity plan.
A business continuity plan generally includes inputs from a company's stakeholders and personnel and should mainly include the following:
Risks. Enumerate all the possible risks and determine how they could negatively affect business operations
Scheme. Outline the procedures to be executed to minimize the risks and losses. the scheme should include;
goals and objectives
a continuity team with critical roles and responsibilities
recovery and continuity strategies
Testing. The plan must be tested before it is implemented to ensure that it is functional.
Implementing and Training. Upon implementation, all personnel must undergo thorough training to ensure that the continuity plan procedures are followed precisely. Although a continuity team is assigned, all employees should still be aware in order for the plan to work.