A business continuity plan (BCP) is an incredibly important part of your business plan. As much as you might love your current business plan, if it doesn’t have a BCP it will not last for long. It’s the best fight back against major disruption. Even if a government decides to give businesses a stimulus to keep the economy going, nothing is as valuable as having a BCP.
Within this plan, you need to ensure that you have an expert online reputation service under your wing. You need to know what you look like online to other people and if you have someone to manage this for you, you’re going to come off looking fantastic. The three basic stages of a BCP are, loss prevention, damage limitation and cost containment. Let’s explore each one of these so you can make a basic BCP.
This area of the BCP is the simplest. Design policies that will prevent losses from occurring in the first place. Let’s say your business offers a power cut. Buy an emergency backup generator that you can keep running for as long as you have fuel. You can buy the fuel you need on this Website. The fuel arrives in boxes, easy to store and easy to use. It’s also rated EN 590, so it’s able to be used in the most modern machines today. The emergency generator will keep your business from dropping off the map during bad weather, power grid fault, damage to lines etc.
Other loss prevention policies you can implement are things like separation of duties. One employee should not have the authority to order materials and then pay for them too. This is setting yourself up for major disruption and financial loss.
Okay fine, something got through the net and you are in the middle of a crisis. This could be something like a fire breaking out at your warehouse. As the event is happening, you can limit the amount of damage it wreaks. This can be doing things such as installing sprinklers so if a fire breaks out it will not go from room to room. Damage limitation of your warehouse during a flood can be things like having another warehouse close by. Transfer as much vital inventory as you can to it and begin to utilize it like your normal warehouse. You may not have stopped the damaging event, but you can limit its impact.
What about after the event, what do we do then? You try to contain as much cost as you can. This can be done by having an insurance policy in place. If your warehouse and inventory inside it were worth $100,000, but your insurance covers that amount, then you haven’t made a financial loss. Another thing you can do to contain damage is to speak to the media and get your story straight. This helps to keep your reputation out of the mud as customers might think the event was caused by your negligence.
These three stages are the basics of business continuity planning. It doesn’t cost a lot to form and implement policies like those above. All you need to do is to take your time to think strategically and make sensible policies that work when you need them to.