Jan 31, 2024
The Benefits of a Business Continuity Plan
Unfortunately, nearly one in five businesses suffer a disruption from fire, flood, or other emergency each year. An even more concerning statistic, when this occurs around a quarter of businesses never reopen.
For these reasons, it’s important you don’t have a complacent outlook. You must have a business continuity plan in place so that your organisation can recover quickly from a crisis and for the long term.
Here, we’ll discuss what a business continuity plan entails and explain in further detail how it could help your business.
What Is a Business Continuity Plan?
Sometimes referred to as a BCP, a business continuity plan is a documented system businesses develop to mitigate risk and establish recovery procedures in case the worst happens. Emergencies accounted for in the BCP include fire, flood, natural disaster, and cyber attacks.
The first step towards creating a business continuity plan is carrying out a risk assessment. This should outline how specific risks would impact the business and operations. Next, you should establish and implement ways to mitigate those risks. Include an action plan that will be carried out in case of an incident and outline the steps your organisation must take to recover, including who is responsible and how long this will take.
One of the most important elements of a business continuity plan is to highlight critical business functions, i.e. the processes and services your business would need to be able to execute as a bare minimum in order to stay afloat. Remember that you should continue to refine and update your BCP as your business grows and time goes on.
The Benefits of a Business Continuity Plan
The data shows that many businesses fail to recover from a disruption. Your business doesn’t have to be one of them.
If you can retain critical functions, then you’ll be able to continue operating your business in at least some capacity in the case of an incident. For instance, you may store inventory at separate locations so that if you lose one, the other can keep the supply chain going.
A business continuity plan allows you to anticipate and prepare for every eventuality. You can implement multiple fail-safe plans to guarantee a quick recovery for your business.
Naturally, the quicker your business is back up and running the less profits you’ll lose out on.
Another key point to remember is that without a business continuity plan in place, you may scramble to get your business up and running again in the case of an emergency. When pushed for time, you may not make the best financial decisions and end up paying more than you need to, for example, to make fixes and replacements.
Your capacity to cope with and recover from an emergency speaks volumes about the way in which your business is run. You may have measures in place to keep paying employee wages even if you suffer a financial loss, for example. This helps you maintain relationships built on trust and retain employees.
With a business continuity plan, you also prove that you’re doing everything you can to keep serving your loyal customers. This means they’ll stick with you even in the hard times and the reputation of your business remains intact.
Why Businesses Need a Business Continuity Plan
It’s tempting to have the attitude that “this won’t happen to me”. But, we only have to look at the recent pandemic to conclude that the unexpected can disrupt your business and have a significant impact on its future.
There’s a chance you will experience a disruption. It's a fact that natural disasters are occurring more frequently across the globe and this is only going to get worse in the years to come. Similarly, cyber attackers are always finding new ways to commit fraud and attack businesses.
You can’t rely on insurance alone. Naturally, every business needs insurance. In the case of a disaster or emergency, you’ll use this insurance to fix up your establishment or replace equipment lost for example. However, insurance can’t account for the business you’ll lose out on when you can’t serve customers or ship their deliveries, for example.
It’s important to delegate responsibilities. If a crisis occurs, leadership should know for what and whom they’re responsible. This is outlined clearly in a BCP. Furthermore, your people have easy access to the instructions they need in the event of an emergency.
It makes business sense. The purpose of a business continuity plan is to put precautionary systems in place. You know what critical functions your business requires and how you will restore them ahead of a crisis. This means you will execute your plan quickly and recover as quickly as possible with minimal financial losses.
How a Business Continuity Service Can Help
In some cases, a business isn’t well-equipped to develop a BCP and requires additional support. You can employ a business continuity management service such as Fire & Evacuation Services to carry out a number of key tasks.
For instance, a business continuity service can send qualified professionals to perform a comprehensive risk assessment. It can help you to develop plans to mitigate risk more generally in order to keep your staff, customers, and assets safe. More importantly for us here, business continuity services will put together or help you improve your business continuity plan.
This plan evaluates the resilience of your business and establishes fail-safes to get your business back up and running in case of an emergency. The latter includes steps you may need to take in case of the loss of vehicles, premises, and utilities as well as staff shortages and supply chain issues.
A business continuity plan is your organisation’s roadmap to responding to a crisis. It’s vital to guarantee you recover from disaster swiftly and with as few financial losses as possible. The truth is, the better your BCP, then the better your chance of surviving a crisis as many businesses don’t recover at all.
If you have further questions about setting up a business continuity plan as a preemptive measure for your company, feel free to get in touch.