How to Create an Effective Business Continuity Plan in 5 Easy Steps

How to Create an Effective Business Continuity Plan in 5 Easy Steps

In a place like North Carolina, where tornados can occur with almost no warning at any time of the year, businesses simply cannot afford not to take every possible step to protect their assets. That’s why business continuity planning should never be put on the backburner.

An effective business continuity plan gives organizations something to fall back on when the unexpected happens. Whether it’s a natural disaster or a cybersecurity breach, your business needs to have the measures in place to ensure a quick recovery with minimal financial losses.

Step #1. Risk Assessment

The first step toward formulating a robust business continuity plan is to conduct a thorough risk assessment that evaluates the specific dangers facing your business. Your risk assessment should consider both physical risks, such as natural disasters and theft, and cybersecurity risks concerning vulnerabilities in your network.

While conducting a risk analysis, you may also find some weaknesses in your network that will need to be secured as soon as possible. You’ll need to identify every possible point of failure too, such as individual endpoints like mobile devices and workstations. Afterwards, you’ll want to assign a risk factor to each system.

Step #2. Impact Analysis

A business impact analysis (BIA) is a core component of any comprehensive business continuity strategy. Beyond just making sure that your backup systems are viable, a BIA defines the possible impact on every aspect of your business, such as your IT systems, employees and bottom line.

The job of an impact analysis is to identify the key areas of your business before prioritizing each individual process and system. This means identifying the cost of unscheduled downtime affecting each system, thereby enabling you to define and prioritize recovery times and objectives.

Step #3. Plan Development

The third phase of developing a robust continuity plan is to collate the findings from both your initial risk analysis and business impact analysis and build an actionable plan based on the information gathered. The plan development stage should include a list of all essential contacts and employee obligations in the event of a disaster.

Once you’ve finished developing the plan, you should have a thorough roadmap in place that details the recovery methods of each individual system, outlines priorities and sets the responsibilities of your employees. Finally, you’ll want to review the plan with your key stakeholders before distribution.

Step #4. Plan Implementation

No matter how complete your business continuity plan is, your efforts will be for naught if it’s not properly implemented. Once you’ve refined your plan and finalized everything with management, it’s time to distribute it and make everyone else on your team aware of it.

No business continuity plan is complete without proper staff training to ensure its implementation will be successful following a disaster. Training sessions should be provided to all employees to ensure that they’re aware of their responsibilities and comfortable with following the instructions laid out by the plan.

Step #5. Testing & Maintenance

Just because you’ve built up and implemented a solid business continuity plan doesn’t mean you’re out of the woods yet. In fact, disaster recovery and business continuity planning are part of an ongoing and constantly evolving process, and that means regular testing and maintenance.

A business continuity plan is only as good as it is relevant, and that means keeping it up to date. Every time you implement a new business process or a new system, the threat landscape will change. That means you need to update your plan accordingly to consider the new changes.

No matter how well you guard your business, disasters are sometimes unavoidable. However, while you have no control over when disaster strikes, business continuity planning does let you control the outcome. That’s why businesses are turning to Founders Tech to prepare themselves for any eventuality. Contact us today if you’re ready to make your business continuity woes a thing of the past.