Business Continuity Planning

The Ultimate Guide To Business Continuity Planning For 2022

Khyati Hooda
By Khyati Hooda 17 Min Read

This guide will help know about business continuity planning and how to develop one to help protect your company and keep it running smoothly incase of a disaster.

Your business is your career, your livelihood. It may be the project you’ve been working on for months and years, or it may be a new company that has just launched. 

Regardless of when you started your company, you risk losing all of your hard work if you don’t have business continuity planning in place. 

What is Business Continuity Planning? 

A business continuity planning is a document or set of documents that detail how your company will continue operating during and after an emergency. It may be called a disaster recovery plan, an emergency response plan, or an incident management plan.

A business continuity plan should include procedures for preparing for emergencies and responding to them when they occur—the goal is to ensure that your company can still provide its products and services when disruptions happen.

It is crucial to plan for business continuity. When a disaster strikes, it can leave a company with gaping holes in its workflow and devastate its finances. To limit the damage, you need to plan to help minimize the risks.

What are the Types of Business Continuity Planning?

Source

We’ll explore the different types of Business continuity planning s and their purpose within your overall business continuity planning.

Business continuity planning focuses on the implementation, maintenance, and management of a system designed to defend against disruptions and the recovery of resources, services, and activities required to maintain the continuity of essential business functions, according to ISO 22301.

An effective recovery strategy may resemble a series of business continuity plans implemented in prioritized order and updated regularly by department-level teams.

Crisis Communication Plan 

When a disruption happens, a crisis communication plan guarantees that firms can communicate with customers, employees, and other stakeholders quickly, correctly, and confidently. 

It also includes the legal implications of public statements- like who will make them or what they should say. The goal is to minimize reputational damage that results from poor communication during an event. 

A crisis communications plan outlines the following:

  •  The people responsible for doing internal and external communications separately;
  •  Internal as well as external stakeholders (customers, business partners, or suppliers);
  •  Primary modes of contact between all these individuals; 
  • Secondary methods of contact between all parties regarding various situations which might occur during said disruption.; 
  • Standardized messages are handed out internally before any crises have occurred.

Crisis Management Plan

A crisis management plan is created with upper-level executives in mind, and it specifies the high-level responsibilities that will aid the organization’s overall response.

Typically, it does not deal with recovery activities of single business processes. It instead focuses on assessing what might happen if there was an unexpected disruption and how to react accordingly:

  • The framework will aid top-level managers in assessing the situation and its disruption impact.
  •  Timeline for activating a plan 
  •  Activities or resources need to recover across an entire organization. 
  •  Roles for those who execute a plan

Crisis management plans focus on coordinating response and recovery tasks throughout the organization. They typically do not focus on a single business process or activity; instead, they provide resources and guidance to allow the whole organization to recover. 

There is no specific rule as to who should be part of a crisis team-but. Generally, it should consist of those that can make decisions for the company in a time of need.

Disaster Recovery Plan (DRP)

A disaster recovery plan helps restore critical IT infrastructure in case of a disruption. A DR’s primary concern is restoring critical IT operations after a crisis, unlike other aspects of business continuity planning , which business managers primarily run.

A disaster recovery plan outlines three things: 

  • Data loss (RPO) and downtime thresholds have been established (RTO). 
  • The functionality each application will have after restoration. 
  • Technical specifications to restore software or hardware – e.g., host, networking, security -among other items: 
  • IT professionals’ roles in managing the recovery process testing procedures they follow to ensure success before deployment.

IT disaster recovery plans are essential to how intertwined organizations are with technology; however, they do not replace a complete business continuity strategy.

When a disruption happens, a crisis communication plan guarantees that firms can communicate with customers, employees, and other stakeholders quickly, correctly, and confidently. 

It also includes the legal implications of public statements- like who will make them or what they should say. The goal is to minimize reputational damage that results from poor communication during an event. 

A crisis communications plan outlines the following:

  •  The people responsible for doing internal and external communications separately;
  •  Internal as well as external stakeholders (customers, business partners, or suppliers);
  •  Primary modes of contact between all these individuals; 
  • Secondary methods of contact between all parties regarding various situations which might occur during said disruption.; 
  • Standardized messages are handed out internally before any crises have occurred.

Crisis Management Plan

A crisis management plan is created with upper-level executives in mind, and it specifies the high-level responsibilities that will aid the organization’s overall response.

Typically, it does not deal with recovery activities of single business processes. It instead focuses on assessing what might happen if there was an unexpected disruption and how to react accordingly:

  • The framework will aid top-level managers in assessing the situation and its disruption impact.
  •  Timeline for activating a plan 
  •  Activities or resources need to recover across an entire organization. 
  •  Roles for those who execute a plan

Crisis management plans focus on coordinating response and recovery tasks throughout the organization. They typically do not focus on a single business process or activity; instead, they provide resources and guidance to allow the whole organization to recover. 

There is no specific rule as to who should be part of a crisis team-but. Generally, it should consist of those that can make decisions for the company in a time of need.

Disaster Recovery Plan (DRP)

A disaster recovery plan helps restore critical IT infrastructure in case of a disruption. A DR’s primary concern is restoring critical IT operations after a crisis, unlike other aspects of business continuity planning, which business managers primarily run.

A disaster recovery plan outlines three things: 

  • Data loss (RPO) and downtime thresholds have been established (RTO). 
  • The functionality each application will have after restoration. 
  • Technical specifications to restore software or hardware – e.g., host, networking, security -among other items: 
  • IT professionals’ roles in managing the recovery process testing procedures they follow to ensure success before deployment.

IT disaster recovery plans are essential to how intertwined organizations are with technology; however, they do not replace a complete business continuity strategy.

Why Is Business Continuity Planning Important For Your Company?

Business continuity planning is a crucial part of any business. It’s how you mitigate any risk to your company and ensure minimal impact in the event of an emergency or disaster. You could lose money, time, customers, and credibility if you don’t take the time to plan for these events. 

Depending on the organization, a business continuity plan is tested two to four times a year. The schedules vary depending on the type of organization and factors like a turnover in personnel number.

Standard tests include table-top exercises, structured walk-throughs, or simulations. Test teams are usually composed of a recovery coordinator and members from each functional unit.

  • Table-top exercises often occur in a conference room, where the team examines and goes over the plan together. They are looking for gaps and ensuring that all business units represent therein.
  • Structured walk-throughs are a way to identify weaknesses in staff members’ plans. For example, your team may be working through the test with a specific disaster in mind. You can use drills and role-playing during this type of exercise as well! 
  • A disaster simulation intends to determine if you can carry out a critical business function during an actual disaster. To perform this test, create an environment that simulates one, including all of the equipment and personnel needed for it. The ultimate goal of a simulation like this is to see whether or not your plan would work in practice and theory.

To minimize the chance of missing a hole, it’s important to include new team members during each phase of continuity plan testing. A “fresh pair of eyes” might notice gaps or lapses in the information that experienced employees could overlook.

What are the Benefits of Business Continuity Planning?

Business continuity planning is not friendly; it’s necessary for every business, and disruptions can be costly. 

Without having an emergency plan ready beforehand, you risk the financial loss of both products and money and customer confidence which affects the reputation.

Here are some benefits that come with having one.

1. Maintain Business Operation

You can help mitigate financial losses and send a message of stability to your team members and customers by maintaining business operations during a crisis. Having strong partnerships with human resources will be important in this case.

2. Preserve your Brand and Reputation

It is essential to conserve your brand and maintain a positive reputation. With disasters and disruptions being likely these days, it’s unlikely you’ll be able to follow through with your plan in silence – the world will be watching!

Brands that seem prepared and able to rise when disaster strikes with strength, consistency, and grace will prove their resilience.

3. Build Confidence of Customers

Customers want to feel confident in the service they’re receiving and that it will continue for a long time. In disaster situations, consumers look to their favorite brands as an example of how they react on the public stage and if they can weather the storm.

4. Gain Competitive Edge

A competitive edge is the ability to gain an advantage over competitors. When many businesses are affected by a disruption, it can be challenging to get business moving again and regain consumer trust in your brand. 

In times of disaster, too, consumers oversee brands for their reaction- quick but poised action will help build that trust, so you’re ahead of your competition!

5. Protect your Supply Chain

Don’t rely on only one provider for your supply chain. Supply chains are a great example of the maxim, “Don’t put all your eggs in one basket.” Disruption to supply chains is likely because it could happen in many ways.

 For example, a pandemic could shutter manufacturing facilities, or natural disasters might cripple transportation in a critical geographic area. 

By developing alternate options ahead of time, you will prepare if something should suddenly arise and disrupt your supply chain unexpectedly while not relying on services from just one company.

Business continuity planning provides a proactive response to the many challenges of running the business. Disaster recovery, cost savings, and customer retention are crucial factors in business continuity planning.

How to Develop a Business Continuity Planning?

Source

 If your company doesn’t have a BC plan, start by assessing the business processes and determining which areas are vulnerable. This is essentially an analysis of vulnerabilities called a BIA. Your business continuity planning should include the following components:

  •  Identify Disasters That Could Affect Your Business
  • Determine Which Risks are Preventable
  • Assign Ownership for Plans
  • Make Sure People Know Their Responsibilities
  • Practice Your Plan Regularly
  • Identify the dependencies between business areas and functions.

One tool for business continuity planning is a checklist that includes supplies and equipment, data backup locations, where the plan is available and who should have it, contact information for emergency responders.

And if you do already have a DRP in place, then don’t assume all requirements have factors in you need to be sure about what time restoration will happen! 

Check with key personnel from successful organizations during disasters to get their insights on crafting an effective long-term strategy.

What is the Impact Analysis of Business Continuity Planning?

A business continuity plan is a tool to help you recover from a disaster or crisis. The goal is to minimize the risk and disruption to your business while maintaining your company’s core values and mission. 

In other words, its design is to keep your company running in the event of an emergency. 

There are three components to a successful business continuity plan:

  • Reduce potential risks.
  • Create redundant systems that can take over if something goes wrong with the primary system.
  • Take steps ahead of time so that recovery is as easy as possible.

The impact analysis of business continuity planning will help minimize the risk and disruption for your company no matter what happens during a crisis or disaster. 

If you don’t have a plan in place, you’re more likely to experience significant interruptions to your day-to-day operations and lose vital data from your employees and clients.

The Final Thought

In the event of a disaster, business continuity planning ensures that your organization continues to function. It includes policies, a plan of action, and a risk assessment.

If your business doesn’t already have a plan in place for this type of risk, it’s time to get one. If you don’t currently have a plan but want to learn more about it, this article can help you draft one.

Developing your business continuity plan can help you avoid disasters that could shut down your business and keep your organization running smoothly.

Related: How To Start A Property Management Company?

Share this Article
Posted by Khyati Hooda
Khyati is an entrepreneur, marketing consultant and growth hacker. She helps sustainable revenue growth through marketing for SaaS and subscription companies. Her expertise lies in building scalable customer acquisition strategies and implementing effective digital marketing campaigns that drive high-quality, low-cost leads for startups. Khyati has managed over $50M in marketing budgets across various industries including technology, finance, education, retail, consumer goods and more - successfully delivering over 15x ROI for her clients.
Leave a comment

Leave a Reply

Your email address will not be published. Required fields are marked *