No matter the size of your business, a business continuity plan is vital to ensure you can continue to operate despite unforeseen circumstances. While you might not want to think about power outages, natural disasters or cyber attacks, they are unfortunately a part of running a business.
Thinking about them now rather than when they actually occur will help you proactively take steps to minimize their impact altogether. Fortunately, there are some simple steps you can take to determine if your current plan is up to task or if you need to consider making some changes. A solid plan should include a disaster recovery plan, a business impact analysis, and regular testing to make sure it works correctly.
1. A disaster recovery plan
Disasters come in many shapes and forms. They run the gambit from inclement weather like snowstorms and hurricanes to power failures train outages and more specific threats such as data breaches and system failures. What they all have in common is that they all necessitate the need for a disaster recovery plan.
If you don’t have the expertise to create this plan yourself or simply don’t have the time, working with an expert is probably your best course of action. A third party can help you identify the risk and impact to your business, and how to recover from it.
Even if you’re shut down for only a short period of time, it could affect multiple systems and clients that could cascade into bigger issues. Consulting with an expert will help you to determine what kind of solution you need to get back up and running again, for today and for the future. Establishing the plan will also give you peace of mind knowing you’re prepared for multiple worst-case scenarios.
2. Business impact analysis
It’s vitally important to include a business impact analysis (BIA) in your business continuity plan to reach the best possible outcomes for success in your SMB for years to come. The goal of a BIA is to analyze potential risks that could negatively impact your business, resulting in lost productivity, ROI, increased expenses, customer dissatisfaction, and more.
Again, this can be done in-house or through a professional IT service provider. However, to ensure you get the most comprehensive solution, it’s best to get a professional IT service provider with a proven track record.
3. Test your business continuity plan
After creating a BIA, it should be tested thoroughly before putting into practice. Testing provides a great opportunity for pinpointing weak spots in your plan, making sure you’re complying with codes and laws and confirming that it’s achieving its purpose. It can also help you determine if your employees require additional resources or training in specific areas and reinforce any procedures that might have fallen through the cracks.
Testing can also help you to find holes in your solution. While you can’t anticipate every possible disaster and the consequences, it can raise questions about what’s important and help prioritize resources. It’s important to involve everyone in the process, from the leadership team down to every last employee so you can make sure all procedures are implemented across the organization.
The bottom line
Although we’ve covered what a typical business continuity plan should include, designing your own will involve a more thorough analysis of your needs. Whether you conduct this process yourself or outsource the job to a trusted managed IT services provider, be sure your business continuity plan prepares you for the future growth of your business.
Naturally, you’d be wise to seek a partner that always goes above and beyond for your organization – which is where KJ Technology can help. Start the conversation with us. We’ll help you understand the next steps to building the best possible business continuity plan for your unique case.