How your small business can integrate a Business Continuity Plan

Posted in General, Business

Small business owner working

As a small business owner, you focus on the growth and day-to-day success of your business. You might not always think about the “what if?” scenarios that could disrupt your profit and daily operations. However, if life throws you a curveball, it is crucial to have a Business Continuity Plan to ensure you are ready for any emergency or crisis.

What is a Business Continuity Plan?

A Business Continuity Plan helps your small business identify risks and prevent, respond and recover from any potential crisis. It safeguards your employees and assets while allowing your business to be flexible and adapt to maintain profit and daily operations.

Here are four steps to help you develop a business continuity plan that works.

1. First, identify your risks
No one can predict the future, but there are ways to anticipate the potential. These risks can arise in a variety of ways, such as natural disasters, cyberattacks, pandemics (like COVID-19), involuntary business shutdowns, safety threats or anything else that would challenge your small business performance. Build your response plan to defend against any possible risks.

2. Analyze your business
Analyzing your small business isn’t just about your financial status. It’s about identifying the people, places, vendors, processes and programs that are crucial to the survival of your business. When developing your Business Continuity Plan, determine what is necessary to restore those critical operations and then prioritize that list from there.

3. Create a plan to maintain operations
In any effective Business Continuity Plan there are three parts: prevention, response and recovery. Prevention often takes form in precautions like testing fire alarms and installing cybersecurity software. The response is the pre-determined set of steps you and your employees take when something happens to ensure safety, as well as maintain business operations. Recovery is strategic and involves deciding how your business will rebuild and grow after a disaster, as well as the resources to get you there.

4. Test and update your plan regularly
After you have created and established your Business Continuity Plan it doesn’t stop there. Your plan should be updated multiple times a year to avoid outdated responses. Additionally, it is good practice to conduct training for employees based on scenarios that are covered in your plan. Everyone is busy and has a full plate, which could cause your BCP shift to the back burner. However, if you do not dedicate time to the regular upkeep of your Business Continuity Plan, it will not be helpful when you need it.

For more information on how to prepare and protect your small business, contact your independent Integrity agent today.


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