When people start to think about business continuity for their business, they often go straight for data backups and recovery. Questions they may ask are: is my data being backed up? Will it be safe and secure some where offsite? What is the process to restore it all ? All of these are valid questions that should be answered by a business continuity plan, but data isn’t the only important aspect of the plan. Below we outline 3 other topics that are vital for developing and implementing your business continuity plan.
Money is the driving force in business. Without it there would be no business. If something happens to your company’s building, let’s just say your building is flooded, in the aftermath you will have an overwhelming number of things to deal with and pay for. While waiting for the building to be cleaned up, will the company close? Do you have enough money to pay expenses while you’re not taking new orders? Think payroll, vendor invoices, rent, loan payments, equipment replacement, etc. Having a plan to deal with these things and money set aside for that emergency allows you to be more prepared to pay for such an event, and will keep you operational long into the future.
Developing an in-depth business continuity plan covering every aspect can prevent your business from going down in the first place. Make sure that plan includes having proper IT security, proper physical maintenance of the premises, and proper maintenance of the equipment. These can help prepare your company for a disaster. If your company is prepared with a plan on what to do and how to do it, you will be able to communicate more efficiently and stop your business from having any downtime at all.
Communication to your employees, vendors, and customers about how to handle a business continuity level event is essential to making sure the company gets back up and running as fast as possible. If an event occurs, your employees need to know where they can work from, how can they work, and if they can work at all. Vendors as well as customers need to know how to get in contact with the company and continue to do business. With great communication, everyone still knows what to do, and they’re not left thinking that they should start looking elsewhere while you get back up on your feet.
Business continuity isn’t just about back-ups, money, prevention, or communication. It is about all these topics and more. Business continuity is about knowing your business well enough that it can continue to run (or even thrive) during a disaster. Since our environment is always changing, so too should your Business continuity plan. Be prepared, don’t focus on just one aspect of your plan, spend time to develop each topic fully and in depth so that you will be able to recover quickly and efficiently.