Make sure you've considered every possibility when it comes to disaster preparedness and recovery.

3 basic tips for business continuity planning

We often discuss advanced techniques for improving and optimizing continuity of operations plans, but sometimes it helps to go back to the basics. Focusing on some of the fundamentals of business continuity can help firms refocus and ensure they are taking the right steps toward protecting their operations should a disaster occur.

Below are three of the most important, basic steps toward preparing and protecting a business from a crisis:

Create a plan – The first step in business continuity is planning for any and all disasters that could befall a business. In such a global economy with cloud services and remote operations, even firms in the Midwest need to consider how a hurricane in Florida will affect their workflow, so creating a well-rounded business continuity plan will ensure a successful return to profitability as quickly as possible.

Make a redundant IT network – Redundancy is king in business continuity, particularly with regard to technology. Creating a redundancy network will provide a backup, much like a hot site acts as a secondary office location. Not all disasters shut down a business's physical location, but an Internet outage could create a major setback, so having a secondary strategy for any IT networking needs will ensure continuity in the face of such a crisis.

Secondary supply chain – Another, increasingly common business continuity issue is a disaster that strikes partners and suppliers, rather than the principal business. Companies need to ensure they incorporate a backup supply chain strategy to prevent downtime when a crisis strikes their suppliers to allow an easy return to normal operations regardless of the threat.

For assistance in setting up these basic steps in continuity of operations planning, consider hiring a consultant firm to optimize your organization's strategy.