A strong business continuity plan is a critical part of any company's success, as it ensures both the company and its clients that operations will continue, even in the event of an emergency. These plans help minimize downtime while maintaining the availability of customer service functions, keeping businesses viable.
Despite the obvious benefits of a business continuity plan, companies often under-invest or make mistakes while creating one. This leads to a loss of time and money, both during the flawed plan's drafting and when an emergency situation arises. Here are three things to avoid when creating a business continuity plan:
Over-reliance on insurance
Make no mistake, insurance polices are important to continuity planning, but they're not the only part. Some businesses overly rely on business interruption insurance. While insurance policies can supplant lost revenue or infrastructure, it won't bring back customers who left while service was down.
Continuity planning takes account of various emergency types and details how to minimize downtime to retain your client base in time of need. In this way, it saves you money in the long run, as it is easier and less expensive to retain clients than it is to acquire new ones.
A business continuity plan isn't only for "the big one." While major catastrophes should be a part of a continuity plan, anticipate situations of all sizes as every plan must be all-encompassing. A best practice is to create plans that can be adaptable to multiple situations, dialed up or down as the event requires.
Once a plan is complete, it shouldn't be the huge binder that sits on a shelf and never gets opened. It isn't the Oxford English Dictionary. No one is going to reach for that during an emergency and, even if they do, they'll just be wasting time while looking up the plan for the relevant contingency. Break it down into smaller pieces that are easy to disseminate and use at a moment's notice, like checklists, wallet cards, handouts and other point-of-use materials.
Any company can avoid these problems by investing in the right business continuity consultant who will understand its needs and integrate the latest trends, technologies and improvements into its plan.