As COVID-19 has spread, the futures of businesses around the globe have come under serious threat. Many companies have found themselves underprepared for such a crisis and are now realizing why a business continuity plan is essential.
Although no one could have foreseen a worldwide virus shutting down businesses, a business continuity plan does prepare your company for many worst-case scenarios and help you adapt to adverse circumstances. And it’s not too late for you to both get your business back on track now and plan for future disruptions to your business.
What Is Business Continuity?
Business continuity is the process of maintaining essential functionality in a business even after disaster has struck. Having a strong business continuity plan in place is vitally important for companies’ survival through economic downturns and recessions.
Business continuity involves crafting a plan to help protect the key areas of your company as well as aid with recovery if and when disaster does hit. This plan considers various negative and unpredictable events and maps out what your business might do in these situations to recover and continue to run profitably. A strong business continuity plan goes beyond simple disaster recovery to include not only your IT and other company resources, but to involve each department of your organization and plan for their communication and transition during times of crisis.
If you already have a plan in place, you are likely using its steps right now to navigate your business’s operations during the coronavirus pandemic. However, if your company still needs to create a plan, then you should be thinking about the most important elements to include.
How a Continuity Plan Helps Your Business
A business continuity plan can help your business remain running despite disruptions, increase in profitability (especially during negative circumstances), and gain more trust from customers, employees, and shareholders.
When your company can continue operating without disruption during a crisis, customers will gain trust in your ability to provide them with the products and services they need. On the other hand, if your ability to serve them falters, they may take their business to competitors who have managed to handle crises better, which will cost you both financially and reputationally.
The current circumstances surrounding the COVID-19 pandemic have already proven that companies that can quickly adapt to calamity with creative solutions will weather storms much better than companies with only one operational option available.
Even when there’s no immediate crisis that requires you to use your continuity plan, showing your customers that you are prepared for disruptions will show that you are proactive and prepared to serve your clients under any circumstances.
How to Start Your Business Continuity Plan Now
Many business owners may be wondering where to even begin when creating a business continuity plan. You should start by analyzing the different aspects of your company and how they are likely to be affected in the result of a large-scale disruption such as a fire, data breach, or other disaster that could disrupt your daily processes. Take inventory of the services and equipment that are essential to keep your basic operations functioning. You should involve members of each department in this planning to ensure that your plan adequately covers all areas of your organization.
Once you’ve taken inventory, you’ll need to create solutions to keep those essential operations running. These solutions might include actions employees can take as well as technology solutions. For example, many companies have added remote work tools such as VPNs, Remote Desktop Services, and other long-distance solutions to their continuity arsenal after COVID-19 has forced them to work remotely. Preventative IT solutions might include Cloud data backups and employee cybersecurity training. And of course, you’ll want to create a plan for your employees’ well-being and safety in the event of an emergency.
Once you’ve created your plan with input from your departments and IT professionals, you should test it periodically by running simulations to ensure that your organization remains prepared.
Work with an Experienced Managed Service Provider
To create a business continuity plan that’s as comprehensive as possible, you will need to evaluate the needs and capabilities of your entire organization. An experienced Managed Service Provider can aid your process by analyzing your IT needs and providing possible solutions for each area of your business.
Total IT is a Dallas IT company with a team of dedicated professionals who are committed to giving your business the best possible future. We can help equip you with IT tools to aid in your business continuity plan, such as VoIP systems, VPNs, Cloud computing, data backups, disaster recovery plans, and more.
With a strong business continuity plan and excellent IT support in place, you will be significantly better prepared to survive the next crisis your company faces and continue to thrive despite less-than-ideal circumstances.