The innate characteristic of business is synonymous with risk. A wise business person will first consider their likelihood of success before positioning significant resources on an investment that may or may not succeed. The discrepancy between overcoming a business downfall and going belly-up often depends on preparation. The most profitable strategy to curb a crisis from leaving the future of a business at risk is to devise the right continuity plan.
From the perspective of Ripple, tough times do not last, only rigid plans. Accordingly, a Business Continuity Plan (BCP) is crucial now more than ever to survive during tough times.
A BCP abstracts how a business will continue operating during an unplanned service upheaval such as cyber-attacks, extreme weather events, government policies, regulations changes, unprecedented health crises like the COVID-19 pandemic, crippling supply chains, and many more. It entails distinguishing possible risks and then carrying out precautions and strategies to mitigate them.
Your BCP is as sharp as your weakest link, and you only get to realize it when it gets challenged during emergencies. Whether you are a small enterprise or a large one, BCP will help you respond faster to problems and lessen, if not prevent, the negative impacts of your business. Make sure you do not create these typical mistakes when establishing yours.
1. Don't confuse BCP with the disaster recovery plan (DRP). Many people assume that a DRP is similar to a BCP, where in fact, the former is just one part of a comprehensive BCP. In other words, the BCP encompasses a DRP. Consequently, the BCP radiates on continuing business operations while DRP diverges on recovering the original business processes.
2. Don’t assume your first plan is going to work. Sometimes, the plan is not the problem. Sometimes, the real culprits are managerial issues, poor assumptions, and even white-knuckling that plan against all odds. And if you can recognize these sorts of hurdles at the moment and find ways to run around them effectively, you can keep the first plan from becoming a failure and the following one — and the one after that. After implementing a plan, no business has a crystal ball to determine what will transpire. That signifies that assumptions are a necessary evil.
3. Don't go for an easy scenario; always make it credible but challenging. Dealing with all possible outcomes instead of the easy ones will help develop a plan that will prevail over the test of all scenarios. By raising awareness of what could happen, you may speck warning signs of brewing challenges and counter them accordingly. When a worst-case circumstance occurs, your planning augments extraordinary importance by enforcing numerous outcomes and documenting rapid efforts to contain the harm.
Formulating a BCP is conceivably not the most relaxing day you will carry at work. But it is an integral chunk of driving a resilient industry. Thus, it is vital that you, your cross-functional emergency preparedness team, and anyone else you pinpoint who may convey something valuable to the table take this earnestly.
1. PRE-CRISIS: Prepare, develop, and practice ways to respond to several scenarios. How can you appropriately plan for so many probabilities? Simply put, you cannot. You, therefore, restructure and develop perspectives about several strategies to help your business navigate. This stage also requires you to point out the goals and objectives most essential to the way you operate. Those goals will guide your risk assessment, the BCP process, and possible recovery procedures.
2. DURING CRISIS: Implement your company's crisis response plan. An event becomes a crisis due to its extent for far-reaching financial impacts on the organization. Should this event develop an extensive effect on your business by starting to impact other services such as payments and clients, you must shortly raise this to the emergency preparedness team to render organizational decisions to reduce regulatory and reputational effects.
A crisis mostly begins at a departmental level, but it can inherently magnify the entire organization. For this reason, a departmental crisis management plan is ideal so that you can detail when to switch on the overall organizational strategy, how, and by whom. However, you must note that the impacts you aim to reduce in an identified timeframe and at a tolerable level are unachievable if you lack the knowledge required to execute the overall plan.
3. POST-CRISIS: Analyze, adjust, and update your response for the future. There is no more excellent way to find out if you can continue your business after a crisis than by running a workout that assesses the premises of your plan. Any holes uncovered by the activity can be employed to evaluate your existing strategies to adjust the objective. Test and retest and implement changes until you are pleased with the outcomes. However, it is essential to be receptive that business reversals will likely need revamping your plans. Moreover, it will assist you in noticing any missing factors or weaknesses. Then, once you have made any updates based on the feedback, start training all your team accordingly.
Quick Notes on the Benefits When You Validate Your BCP:
You would appreciate the process of planning and administering business workouts effectively and efficiently while obtaining maximum results;
You would formulate the most reasonable strategy framework for administering and analyzing your workouts; and,
You would defeat setbacks to your BCP, whether because of budget limitations, time constraints, or conflicting prerogatives.
Disasters can just hit you at any time. Staying ahead of it before it happens is an absolute game-changer for the success of your business. So, is your business ready to survive and recover instantly from such crises? Start reweighing your business continuity plan now!