Emergency scenarios strike without warning. Anything from natural disasters to trade wars to social unrest can impact your organization’s productivity. Is your company ready for the unknown with a business continuity plan? Continuity planning is a cohesive process that goes beyond emergency drills, business insurance, and IT backups. Learn about business continuity planning and how this process can keep your organization thriving in any event.

What Is Business Continuity Planning?

A continuity plan is a framework that guides your organization through essential functions before, during, and after a disaster. This process should be a holistic framework that covers everything your company would need to do to stay operational. 

Continuity planning goes beyond immediate emergency response or disaster recovery. These plans are useful in case an emergency does occur, but they’re a retroactive response. Disaster recovery focuses on restoring lost resources and capacity. On the other hand, a business continuity plan helps you maintain ongoing operations despite unexpected interruptions.

Reasons You Need A Business Continuity Plan

When everything is going well, it’s easy to focus on the present. Planning for emergencies can feel stressful or unpleasant. However, there are many reasons why a continuity plan will help your organization in the long run.

Emergencies Are Confusing

Don’t assume that your team knows what to do in case of an emergency. People often respond out of panic or make faulty assumptions during fast-paced situations. You can reduce confusion and encourage your team to make safe choices by preparing a continuity plan ahead of time.

Insurance Won’t Cover Everything

Business insurance is a vital part of any emergency response, and its importance shouldn’t be discounted. However, your insurance policy might not cover all consequences of an emergency, such as decreased market share, loss of customers, or delayed product launches.

Maintain Your Client Base

Local clients may need your services more than ever during an emergency. You can maintain good relationships and even win new customers if you’re able to keep operating during a crisis.

Protect Your Data

Data such as proprietary research, sales records, customer databases, and other information sources form the foundation of many modern businesses. Automated IT backups can miss information, especially if your system is backed up infrequently. Your business continuity plan should account for all your data in case of an emergency.

Consider All Scales

A disaster doesn’t need to be large-scale to impact your business. Something as localized as a broken pipe or a single-user hack can cause major problems for your organization. You should plan for extensive emergencies as well as relatively minor occurrences.

What Does Continuity Planning Address?

Your continuity plan should cover any scenario that could interrupt normal operations. Whether you’re facing something as benign as a two-hour power outage, or as serious as a terrorist attack, a continuity plan offers a path forward. Your plan serves as a valuable reference document that supports your team when the unexpected occurs. Staff can feel confident during uncertain times when they have a clear framework for what to expect.

A solid business continuity plan includes:

  • Flow of communication between staff and customers
  • Continuing essential operations
  • Responsive customer service
  • Robust data security
  • Information, documents, and records

In addition to maintaining operations, a continuity plan also supports your community. Many organizations struggle to reopen after an extended loss of service or a major natural disaster. A continuity plan helps you continue to serve your customers and provide employment for your team. 

Learn more about RACK59’s business continuity services here.