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What Does a Business Continuity Plan Typically Include? Plus 5 Tips For Creating One For Your Business

Human errors aren’t the only risks to businesses today. Even Mother Nature can deliver a wicked blow to your operations. The 10 worst climate-driven disasters in 2018 cost US companies over $80 billion dollars in damages.

That’s why the key to survival for any company is to know how to prepare for these risks before they happen. One way to prepare is to have a business continuity plan in place. You can find out here what does a business continuity plan typically include and tips for creating one for your company.

What is Business Continuity?

Business continuity means resuming your company’s operations after a significant interruption.

These disruptions can include human errors, cybersecurity attacks or natural disasters. Continuity strategies can help businesses guarantee that they’ll continue to deliver vital services and sidestep personal injuries.

What Does a Business Continuity Plan Typically Include?

Business continuity plans (BCP) spell out procedures for companies to follow during and after an emergency. Elements of a BCP includes:

Staff Governance Structure

Companies should create a governance structure that highlights their roles and responsibilities during an emergency. BCPs also include leadership contact information for employees to call if an emergency is underway.

Effects on Employees

BCPs can have a section that describes the company’s policies on how employees will be affected during a crisis. These policies should advise staff on how to use the BCP and when it should be launched. BCPs can have procedures for direct employee actions like telecommuting or travel restrictions.

Business Impact Analysis

A business impact analysis (BIA) classifies the company’s critical service or product priorities. The BIA ranks which services or products mandate rapid recovery attention during an emergency. There are plenty of online worksheets to help you get started with your BIA.

Strategies for Recovery

This segment includes detailed descriptions on how to prepare the company to operate at minimum service levels. These segments should also state what is acceptable downtime for the business. These recovery strategies should also state how the company plans to recover its assets during the emergency.

Tips For Creating a BCP

When your ready to start writing a business continuity plan, follow these few tips to get started on the right path:

1. Business Continuity Team

Select a business continuity team to draft your BCP. This team should include managers from each of your company’s divisions. Appoint HR and IT staff members to this team as well.

2. Goal Setting

Ask your BCP team to outline the goals of your plan. Objectives might include avoiding injuries or reducing staff stress levels during emergencies.

3. Information Collection

Inventory your existing resources and consider impacts to them during a worst case scenario configuration. Identify assigned BCP team members responsible for collecting this data for your BCP. This information will be vital for building your business impact analysis.

4. Schedule BCP Testing

Be sure to also include disaster testing strategies in your plan. The results of these tests will show you whether your BCP is meeting it’s intended goals.

5. Set Milestones/Timelines

Don’t let time pass you by. Establish timelines with due dates for your BCP to complete each milestone. Schedule regular updates with your BCP team leadership to hear about their progress.

Next Steps

If you’re ready to put a business continuity plan in place, you can start today. Check out our website to find out more on what does a business continuity plan include. We also have guidance on how to evaluate existing BCPs so that you’ll know for sure that your organization is secure today.