Here are five reasons why you need professional help when
preparing a BCP for your business:
If you believe that that a BCP is a hurricane preparedness
plan, you are very mistaken. Such a plan caters only for this type of natural
disaster. There are many other disasters that can significantly affect your
business for example, fire, robbery and other criminal activity, loss of
critical staff who are knowledge experts, etc. Mitigating such disasters must
be an integral part of your BCP.
You don’t know what needs to be restored when a disaster
occurs. The key factor in any restoration plan is knowing what needs to be
restored. Business continuity and disaster recovery is not just knowing what
your products or services are, but also knowing all of the essential elements
necessary to allow those products and services to produce revenue.
You have an idea what to do in the event of a disaster and
feel sure that everyone else knows what to do, but it’s not documented
anywhere, neither have any actual tests been conducted to see if your plan
works. Even worse yet, you don’t have ownership of, or staff buy-in to your
You have heard about business impact analysis but don’t know
what it means or how it relates to your business. Moreover, you don’t know all
of the risks that your business faces and there are glaring omissions in your
business restoration procedures.
You have a BCP, but haven’t updated it in the past year to
reflect changes in business processes and procedures, staff, market environment
and socio-economic conditions. And, you haven’t included pandemic planning (an
increasing threat), in your BCP.
The tragedies in Chile, Haiti, Japan, New Zealand and the
recent tornados and flood in the USA, have placed disaster preparedness in the
forefront of the minds of both large and small business owners more so than
ever. While numerous homes were destroyed and unfortunately, lives lost, both
large and small businesses also suffered significantly from these tragic
Reports illustrate that many of the small and medium-sized
businesses will never recover from these disasters because business owners
didn’t have a plan to restore their businesses. Typically, many small
businesses don’t have a business continuity plan in place to deal with these kinds
of events, which when they occur, can be devastating or ruinous to the
While it’s essential to have a disaster preparedness plan in
place for our families, it is just as important to have a business continuity
plan for your business. Having a plan that has been well-tested and validated
will boost the chances of restoring your business after the disaster has
However, not everyone who says they understand business
continuity and disaster recovery or have a business continuity plan actually
knows what they are talking about.
Business continuity planning, at first glance, is often
considered a low risk exercise, with some management teams believing that the
only disasters are acts of terrorism or natural. However, there are a
multitude of unpredicted events that could stop your business from serving
customers; one of your organisation’s most important assets.
Is your organisation’s business prepared for even the
If you have been tasked to produce a continuity plan, the
responsibility can seem overwhelming. You may find yourself asking the
question, “Where do start?”(See five reasons chart above)
Having identified these reasons, how, then, do small
business owners prepare for the restoration of their entire businesses? What
actions must small business owners take to guarantee their businesses (revenue
sources) are sheltered and can be recovered quickly post disaster?
Identifying business processes and assets that support your
organisation is a great place to start. People, buildings and
services are business dependencies that contribute to changes in business
environments. Uncertainty, natural disasters, terrorism and world
economics transform corporate scenes. Are you ready?
Producing a plan does require business intelligence where
business processes are mapped and connected. Realising the relative
significance of each asset and process are crucial components to the
continuation of business, especially after an unexpected event occurs.
Once assets are identified, risks begin to emerge; risks
that could be related to a loss or disruption of any of your
assets. Registering business dependencies provides BCP teams with a road
map to devise contingency plans.
Developing a plan is just the start of any organisation’s business
continuity planning activities. Implementing new processes and
procedures, communicating and treating the plan as a living and growing
organism that is tested, authenticated and updated, will help to mitigate risks
in a liquid environment.
If you don’t know a lot about business continuity and
disaster planning and need some help, then hire a solid provider who can
produce a comprehensive BCP for your business to ensure its survival. It
certainly is an investment worth making. VisionQuest provides expert advice for
clients to develop business continuity plans to ensure their business survival.
In conclusion, having a comprehensive business continuity
plan can mean significant savings to you during the planning phase and a more
efficient and successful restoration should a disaster affect your business.
Guarding your revenue sources in a disaster can make the difference between
your business suffering, and possibly failing, and returning to business as
normal, delivering your products and services to your customers.
For more information
Managing director, VisionQuest Management Services Ltd
Email: g[email protected]