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How to Make an Effective Business Continuity Plan that Covers All Bases

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For every business, the show must always go on no matter what happens. For every business strategy, there needs to be a backup plan. And then another backup plan for that backup plan. As an entrepreneur, you have to cover all the bases to ensure that everything goes according to plan, or you’ll be burned while putting out all the fires that will inevitably come up.

Business continuity planning, according to business resource Investopedia, is “the process involved in creating a system of prevention and recovery from potential threats to a company.” Crises can appear in different ways—physical danger, lack of staffing, major confusion, crunch times or even public attention and scrutiny.

Disasters and crises can be unpredictable, and it doesn’t hurt to have a plan or two on the side. Here’s how you can craft a risk reduction plan that covers all bases.

Step 1: Assemble a Team

To ensure that your business continuity plan will work exactly as it should, you need to form a team in your company to handle such situations. You don’t have to hire a dedicated team for this. You can pick members of high-performing teams, especially those known to be responsible. They must know the ins and outs of the whole working process, must work as one and make tough but effective decisions on the fly.

Step 2: Analyze Potential Threats and Impacts

Every critical function of the company must be addressed, especially those that are time-sensitive. From here, you and your team will need to find all the potential problems and assess the severity of the threats depending on their impact on the said business processes. From minor hiccups, such as Internet slowdown, to company-wide crisis, such as total Internet outage, having the foresight to think of all possible scenarios can help your company and employees rise to the occasion.

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Step 3: Prepare a Foolproof Strategy

The information you’ve gathered will be helpful in developing possible solutions to ensure that work continues at an optimal operational level. Considering the nuances of the possible crises, you and the team must develop a plan to tackle the problem. It must be action-oriented; the steps to perform the tasks outlined must be clearly defined, from the person to execute the action to the tools to be used.

To make it foolproof, you and your team must make contingency plans for your contingency plans. Having a backup strategy or two cover all the bases and all possible scenarios.

Step 4: Test Your Plans Thoroughly

In order to learn that your plans do work, you need to test them constantly. You’ll see how your disaster recovery plan works during times of duress, despite being in a controlled environment. It also lets you see any possible flaws for your plan, and as such, your team can work out the kinks to ensure that when the time comes, your company continues to work uninterrupted. For example, if you have cloud-based backup solutions implemented, ensure that the data they preserve are constantly updated. You also need to have a physical backup in case the cloud storage fails to retrieve your data.

Being prepared for the worst will always be helpful to ensure the best interests of your business. Have a fully working business continuity plan so the company will always run in peak conditions in times of crisis.

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