Building a Business Continuity Plan

Association of Business Training
July 6, 2012 — 920 views  

A business continuity plan identifies critical company procedures and the potential impact of a threat to an organization. It then outlines plans of action to maintain or restore operations. Disruptive events can encompass everything from a simple power outage to a natural disaster. By having a strong business continuity plan, a company is better able to withstand the variables of a disaster and get back to serving customers.


While insurance policies designed to cover fires, floods and most natural disasters are common, they are often not enough. A formal outline detailed in a business continuity plan can keep a business afloat as it recovers. A practical approach is needed to establish a plan, create a checklist and develop strategies to deal with different worst-case scenarios.


Here are three things to remember when creating a business continuity plan:


1. Remember the basics of risk assessment. The success of a business continuity plan depends on its completeness. Company leaders must accurately identify everything a potential disaster may impact to determine the necessary course of action.

"It's an analysis of the impact to the business of a lack of something, like technology, people to do the job, or something as simple as a certain machine," Ted Brown, president and CEO of KETCHConsulting, a Waverly, Pennsylvania-based firm that provides a range of disaster recovery services, told "A lot of people don't do that and end up investing in protection in the wrong areas."


2. Schedule preventative measures. According to the Federal Emergency Management Agency (FEMA), fire is the most common disaster to impact a business. However, it is not the only one. Preventative measures such as inspections, information, plans of action for every employee and expert recommendations on structural updates can be helpful.

3. Train employees. To ensure the success of a business is not dependent on any one individual, a company may want to train multiple employees to do a job. As a result, if a worker leaves unexpectedly, becomes injured or dies, a business will be able to handle their absence. In addition, the health and well-being of a work force will encompass their emotions as well as their physical health. A business that takes this into account when determining how responsibilities can be delegated may have a greater chance of surviving a natural disaster and later thriving.

Association of Business Training