Having a business continuity plan in place is essential for any company that wants to ensure the longevity of their business. Business continuity management helps to ensure a company can respond and adapt to any potential disruptions or disasters that may occur. Without proper planning, a company’s operations and processes could be significantly impacted, leading to costly disruptions or worse.
At RiskLogic, we understand the importance of having a comprehensive business continuity plan in place. Our team of experts works with world-class brands to create customized plans that help them reduce risks, improve preparedness, and create resilience.
Based on our experience, we wanted to provide others with our top tips to ensuring continuity in emergencies. Here are five ways organisations can improve their business continuity plans:
Identify risks and prioritize them to improve Business Continuity
Before you can create an effective business continuity plan, you need to identify potential risks and prioritize them based on their potential impact. By understanding the risks you face, you can be better prepared and create a plan that is tailored to your company’s needs.
Risks that a business could face that may need to be identified and prioritised include:
- Cybersecurity Risk: cyberattacks, data breaches, and other malicious activities.
- Operational Risk: supply chain disruptions, natural disasters, and pandemics.
- Financial Risk: market volatility, currency fluctuations, and fluctuating customer demand.
- Regulatory Risk: employment laws and data privacy laws.
- Reputational Risk: negative publicity or customer complaints.
Develop a Business Continuity response plan
Once you’ve identified and prioritized your risks, you need to develop a response plan. This plan should include specific steps to take in the event of a disruption or disaster. Steps that could be included in your response plan include:
- Establish a Business Continuity Team: Form a team of key stakeholders to plan and coordinate the business continuity and disaster recovery efforts.
- Develop a Business Impact Analysis: Identify and assess the impact of a potential disruption on the business operations.
- Implement Controls and Procedures: Implement and review procedures and controls to ensure the business continuity plan is followed and updated as needed.
Test your Business Continuity regularly
You should test your business continuity plan on a regular basis to make sure it will work in the event of a disaster. Without proper testing there is no other way to assess the effectiveness of current plan.
There are a few methods to testing your business continuity plans including:
- Run a simulation: A simulation can include a full-scale exercise of the plan, with staff members acting out their planned roles, or a smaller test that focuses on a specific area of the plan.
- Conduct a tabletop exercise: A tabletop exercise involves a discussion of the plan among staff members, led by a facilitator. The facilitator will ask questions about the plan and encourage discussion about how to improve it.
- Conduct a risk assessment: A risk assessment is an important part of any business continuity plan. It should be conducted regularly to identify potential risks and assess their impact on the business. This can help identify weaknesses in the plan and provide an opportunity to revise or update the plan as needed.
Establish communication protocols
Establishing clear communication protocols is essential for business continuity planning. This includes identifying the people who need to be informed in the event of a disruption, as well as setting up communication channels and establishing protocol for communication with customers and stakeholders.
By having clear communication protocols your team can efficiently and effectively communicate to internal stakeholders, as well as external media representatives during and after an incident.
Monitor and review your Business Continuity plan
Once your business continuity plan is in place, it’s important to monitor and review it regularly. This will help ensure the plan remains relevant and up to date, as well as identify any potential areas of improvement.
One part of this stage is to conduct the risk assessment that was mentioned earlier, however there are a number of other ways to review your plans to ensure their effectiveness.
By following these five steps, businesses can ensure they have a comprehensive plan that is up to date and can help them respond quickly and effectively in the event of a disruption or disaster. We’ve found in our experience that these are the most often missed things that businesses can implement immediately, therefore helping them withstand incidents far more effectively than ever before.
For a more comprehensive, detailed and tailor-made approach to your business continuity & resilience, our team of experts can help you create your own business continuity plan to create world-class levels of resilience.
Contact us today to get a deeper insight into this topic from our team of consulting experts.