If you’ve ever thought about how to protect your house in the event of an emergency, be it natural or otherwise, you’re probably familiar with a continuity plan to some degree.
In the case of a house fire, you might have planned your route to the nearest fire extinguisher. Maybe a family member is in charge of calling 911 while another is tasked with grabbing the family pet, provided it’s safe to do so. It’s also likely that someone is in charge of rounding up the unscathed valuables before escaping to safety. If you haven’t devised emergency plans with your family or housemates, it’s wise to do so.
What is described above is essentially a continuity plan. It ensures that you take the least damage possible, allowing your family to continue living relatively the same after the disaster. A business continuity plan, or BCP, has the same function but it’s for an organization, and it’s a little more involved.
An effective BCP incorporates objectives, risk-assessments, cross-department cooperation, and maintenance. A significant amount of planning goes into a well-designed BCP in order to make sure all the bases are covered. Business continuity plans are especially important for small businesses, because they have fewer resources available to stop a catastrophe. Specifically, startups don’t have the manpower of a larger organization and should plan accordingly!
In the house fire example, each family member may have a different, specialized task to carry-out. Similarly, a small business may have task-oriented individuals or small teams that are responsible for working on separate but equally important functions, such as PR and damage assessment.
In order to create the best possible business continuity plan for your small business, there are six steps you should follow. This infographic from Nextiva is sure to get you started on preparing for the worst-case scenario.