"Everyone expects things to return to business as usual after such an event, but for many business owners, reality is much more devastating," says
According to the
A written Business Continuity Plan (BCP) is a comprehensive plan for the continuation of critical business operations after a disaster to minimize decision-making during an event and make recovery more effective. Following are the four phases Webb suggests to help businesses develop and maintain a BCP:
Assemble the people who understand the operational aspects of your business to identify which events create the greatest threats to your organization. Here in
Florida, we automatically think of hurricanes or floods, but hazards also include technological events such as cyberattacks, utility outages or fires.
- Business Impact Analysis
Gather and analyze information about business functions to determine which are the critical elements of your business with the greatest risk potential. Don't waste time or resources if there is minimal impact on operations. Remember that key employees and management succession are important aspects. The essential part of this phase is asking the right questions -- although the process may seem overwhelming, there are a number of tools available, as well as trusted advisors to assist you.
- Develop Recovery Strategies
In an effective BCP, people come first. It's essential to communicate successfully with employees, customers and vendors. After you've identified the business impact of each critical function or process, develop the recovery capability. Your objective is to identify the people, facilities and assets required to achieve the four "R's" of Response, Resumption, Recovery and Restoration.
- Implementation, testing and monitoring
To be effective, the BCP must be written and communicated to all employees on an ongoing basis. However, risk is not static. Personnel changes, potential threats and critical functions change over time. A BCP must be validated periodically through testing or practical application and then kept current.
Properly placed and managed insurance coverage through an experienced advisor is essential to supporting your Business Continuity Plan. Not all insurance policies are created equal, so you must be proactive with your insurance advisor to evaluate your exposure and design an insurance program that meets your needs before you need it.
It's always better to be intentional rather than random, whether you're talking about business success or business survival after a catastrophe. Never forget that others are depending on your survival and continued success after a catastrophe: employees, their families, your customers, suppliers and vendors – and even your community. Now is the time to prepare. Will you be ready?
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