Every business has its ups and downs. This article talks about how you can do your business continuity planning (BCP) in a better way as it is the BCP that allows you to continuously deliver your products or services even under adverse conditions.

Business Continuity Planning prepares an organization for the internal interruptions – power failure, technical problems – and external threats like natural calamities, supply chain problems and more.

BCP ensure that your organization has the backup of both hard and soft assets to prevent or recover from a crisis situation. It allows you to continuously deliver your products or services even under adverse conditions.

Vital steps of BCP:

Expect the Unexpected

Your business can get interrupted from a number of possible scenarios. Downtime resulting from natural calamities, like hurricane, fire or flood, or from internal issues like power outage, hardware failure, or any kind of human error, leads to decreased productivity and hence loss to the revenue.

While a CEO develops his disaster recovery strategy in advance, he should consider all possible downtime and disaster scenarios and should chalk out preventive measures for each.

For example, there should be a fire alarm system in the building along with sprinklers and other fire fighting equipments. There should be a timely checking and maintenance of the equipment to make sure they are working fine.

Conduct a Business Impact Analysis

Business impact analysis will help you develop the action plan you need to follow at the time of any structural or natural disaster. It involves three steps:

1. You should know about your key product and services
that bring you highest profits.
2. For these particular product and services, you
should decide the duration you can stop delivering
3. Identify your critical inputs so that you can
continue to offer your products and services.

Educate Your Manpower About BCP

Being the CEO of the company, you should ensure all your employees are aware of Business Continuity Planning. They should know exactly how to act in any kind of crisis situation. For example, conduct regular training sessions on BCP for your employees. Organize fire drills on fortnightly or monthly basis to help your staff stay proactive.

If you are running an IT company, maintain a reliable data storage system and encourage your staff to store the data in that system in order to prevent loss of data due to any technical problem.

Plan to Keep Your Manpower, Systems, and Information interconnected

The business continuity plans and strategies must cover information (data), systems (hardware and software), manpower, and processes (operations and services) along with their connectivity with each other. If the connectivity between workforce, and systems & data disrupts, there will be no business.

As part of thought and planning process, you should look for the best strategy to manage critical systems and components during bad times.

Be Ready With Continuity Strategies

You can continue to run your business effectively after disruption, if you give some forethought and develop efficient continuity strategies. These strategies may include:

• Cross-training staff
• Hiring equipment
• Consider borrowing equipment
• Having back-up equipment
• Retaining old equipment at the time of replacement
• Practicing manual processes as an
alternative to computer systems
• Keeping a track of alternative suppliers
• Keeping copies of insurance policies, contracts and
other valuable documents off-site

Review Your Plan

The needs of business keep on changing with the market. Review your business continuity plan every six months and make the necessary changes. Keep an extra copy of the plan at some other site.

You can also seek assistance in developing business continuity planning at executive business coaching. At CEO coaching, you will get to meet like-minded professionals from non-competitive organization who will share their good and bad business experiences. Knowledge sharing at a CEO peer group will help you define your strategies in a better way so that the show goes on in any condition.

Author's Bio: 

Tom Bordon is a freelance writer who has extensively written about CEO club and CEO conferences. His articles focus on guiding CEOs, COOs on how to manage their time efficiently and make new business plans, and strategies in a CEO association or CEO peer group.