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September 7, 2022

Business Continuity Planning: What You Need To Know

No matter the size of the business, every business needs to have a business continuity plan. This important document serves as a guide to keeping your essential business functions operational during unplanned emergencies, such as natural disasters, disease outbreaks, cyberattacks and other external threats.

What is a business continuity plan?

A business continuity plan helps you prepare for a disruption in your business, especially something unforeseen. Your business continuity plan establishes risk management procedures with the objectives to prevent interruptions to critical services and resume normal operations as smoothly as possible. It also documents the critical information — functions, vendors, personnel, communication methods and more — that your business needs in order to continue operations during an unplanned event.

Why do you need a business continuity plan?

It’s important to think about business continuity before an emergency occurs. That’s where a business continuity plan will come into play. There are a few common misconceptions when it comes to business continuity:

  • “Our people will know what to do in an emergency.” Without direction, most people won’t be instinctively aligned on what to do in an emergency because of many variables. And in emergencies where communication is a hurdle, the lack of a central plan can lead to disruption and confusion.
  • “We have insurance to cover our losses.” Insurance is important, but it has nothing to do with maintaining your business operations during the crisis itself or getting back to business quickly.
  • “We are not a big enough company to need a plan.” Even if you’re a small business, it’s important to think about how your operations may be impacted by a variety of scenarios and have a plan in place to mitigate problems during such events.

How do I create a business continuity plan?

  1. Start with a Business Impact Analysis (BIA). Think of a BIA as a risk assessment of each department or area of your business. To understand the impact of an event, you should review all functions of your business and how disruptions would impact them.
  2. Consider recovery strategies. Recovery strategies are alternate means to restore business operations to a minimum acceptable level following a disruption. Think about the Who, What and How of getting it all done at the most fundamental level.
  3. Develop a plan based on your organizational needs. Every company is different, so you won’t find a one-size-fits-all option. You should identify critical functions and people, your recovery strategies, and how you will communicate with employees, vendors and customers.

Interested in more about business continuity and risk management? Learn more about how we keep your money and personal information safe at Grow.

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