Business & Finance

Creating a Business Continuity Plan

Business resilience is now at the forefront of every single business owner in the world. After the pandemic, planning for absolutely anything is a very real prospect. And it can be done! You just need to work on your business continuity plan (BCP). 

A BCP plays a massive role in risk management, as it works to try and keep your business operating under extremely difficult circumstances. If you are completely new to a BCP, you may be wondering how you can get started. Here, we lay out the basics for you.

How to Put One Together

The first thing you need to do is a company-wide risk assessment. What kinds of risks are all your departments facing? What are the key components to your processes and procedures? What are the mission-critical areas of your business? 

The risk manager you have or you hire, needs to work with the executive who is responsible for the finances, operations and people. This usually means you will have a 5-person team of the CEO, risk manager, CFO, COO and CHR working together to see where threats to core processes lie, and what can be done to prevent them from materializing.

Who Should Have Input

We’ve kind of given the ghost away, but aside from the CEO, CRO, CFO, COO and CHR, there are lots of reasons to believe managers and employees should have input. According to PWC, managers are the ones on the ground, who know what their teams are like and how well they are likely going to behave during a BCP situation. 

So keep your ear to the ground, listen to managers, hear their view of what the mission-critical areas are and how best to keep them functioning during something like a power outage or flood scenario.

How to Execute

Let’s say there has been a power cut across the city in which you are based. Firstly, you need to make sure that your IT infrastructure is able to function somehow; maybe an emergency power generator can be used. 

During this potentially threatening time you will need to engage with your cybersecurity provider, who can monitor your data, make sure encryption services and firewalls are operating so a hacker cannot take advantage of the situation. 

Then you want all your relevant managers and executives to run through the checklist of actions required to keep their particular mission-critical activities running. 

What to Include

You need to have provisions for people in place. This could be anything like torches, personal protective equipment, first aid kits and emergency training. You will also need energy solutions, such as the one already mentioned. 

Next you will need to communicate with relevant stakeholders, what is going on, what the situation is like and what you are doing to get back to normal. This could be informing investors, the media, regulators, etc. Once the situation is resolved, refer to your notes so you can improve your BCP.