Create a Business Continuity Plan in 5 Steps
What’s a Business Continuity Plan and why do I need one?
It's not always going to be smooth sailing for any business. If you're reading this during the COVID-19 pandemic, then you've seen this fact first-hand. You can give your business the best chance of making it through a crisis with a Business Continuity Plan (BCP).
A Business Continuity Plan should be an essential part of how you can manage your business through disruptions, with the least possible risk to your cashflow and your team’s well-being.
A BCP lets you set contingency measures so that all the necessary processes for your business keep running.
How do you develop a Business Continuity Plan?
First, form your strategy team. This team will determine the main goals and provide input through their knowledge of different business functions. This team will likely consist of yourself, the senior management, and business unit leaders.
Then, assign someone to lead execution. This main point of contact could come from operations, HR, IT, or finance, depending on your organizational structure and business type.
Next, consider these questions.
- What are your key business processes?
List down which processes are essential for your business. For example, a B2B SaaS business could put sales, customer support, and product development as their most necessary processes.
- What threats pose risks to your company’s operations?
Identify the risks that would disrupt your key business processes. These could be natural disasters, a public health crisis, social unrest, and so forth. Rank these in terms of likelihood of occurrence and severity.
- How much downtime and loss would occur?
Conduct a business impact analysis and see how much the potential loss would be with downtimes of varying lengths. These losses could come from decreased sales, increased expenses, unavailable staff, etc. By quantifying losses and modeling different scenarios, you’ll have a good idea of what steps to take next.
- What measures should you to take ensure your key processes keep running?
Your key business processes are only possible through many moving pieces, like your staff, external stakeholders, equipment, and information infrastructure. After listing them down, set contingency measures so that these pieces are always in place. Examples would be training team members cross-functionally, making sure core staff are available by providing accommodation, and finding alternate service providers.
And don't forget, have back ups of everything!
- Where would business processes be conducted?
You no doubt have an all-star team to run your business operations, but they still need a workspace. In the event that continuing to use your original workspace isn't a possibility, you would need to set up alternate work arrangements for your staff.
Determine what kind of workspace would be best suited for them based on the nature of their job function. Do they need spaces that have high security networks and dedicated IT support? Do they usually conduct their business out-of-office? Are spaces for team collaboration necessary? Are they able to work from home?
There isn’t a one-size-fits-all solution to finding the right workspace. However, in times when market conditions constantly change and your business needs a designated physical workspace, the ideal choice would be one that offers the most flexibility.
This is where options like coworking hot desks and short-term private offices come into play. These flexible workspaces don’t require a significant upfront investment to use, helping you move quickly and manage costs at a time when cash flow may be a problem.
A major disruption can be unnerving even for the most seasoned business leader. However, having a Business Continuity Plan in place can help put you and your team at ease and keep morale high in uncertain times.
Need help with finding contingency workspaces for your business? Feel free to contact us to explore your options at firstname.lastname@example.org
P.S. Here’s a bonus - we’ve also made this quick summary of the points above for you to easily reference: