Any business that hopes to survive long-term has to prepare for emergencies. A common way to do so is with a business continuity strategy.
Business continuity keeps you going during disasters. Here are 15 of our best business continuity tips that you should know.
What is Business Continuity?
Anything that disrupts your operations qualifies as a disaster. A business continuity plan guides your organization through disasters with minimal adverse impacts.
Long periods of operational downtime are often the end for businesses. You still have to pay your employees and business operation expenses even though you aren’t earning money. If you can navigate emergencies, your business could be at risk.
15 Tips for Strong Business Continuity
- 1. Create a business continuity plan.
While this one may seem obvious, you need an overall disaster strategy. You should have something that guides your team through emergencies and helps minimize your losses.
- 2. Designate a continuity team.
Establish a designated continuity team responsible for creating a business continuity plan and activating it during emergencies. Include team members from different departments to ensure that your entire organization can maintain continuity.
- 3. Create continuity objectives.
Part of your continuity planning should include creating continuity objectives. These can be your goals for your overall plan, what aspects of continuity you want to focus on, and how you want to come out on the other side of a disaster.
- 4. Perform a risk assessment.
To properly prepare for disasters, you have to know what possible disasters might happen. Perform a risk assessment of your company’s vulnerabilities and identify potential disasters you could experience.
- 5. Prioritize your disaster planning.
Because each disaster requires a different continuity plan, try to prioritize the most likely and most dangerous threats. If you could experience a specific emergency any day, you want to make sure that you’re prepared for it before starting to plan for an improbable scenario.
- 6. Include instructions for your team in your plan.
Your business continuity plan should include more than your overall strategy. It should also contain instructions for your team to guide them through the disaster. Emergencies are incredibly stressful, and your plan should let every team member know what they need to do following a disaster.
- 7. Examine your current resources.
Examine what resources you currently have to guide you through a disaster. Make sure you look at your technology, financial resources, and protocols and decide what is good to keep for your new continuity plan.
- 8. Fill in the gaps.
There are probably going to be gaps between your new continuity plan and your old one. Find them and fill them in. You want to ensure every aspect of your plan is functional now so that you’re always ready for a disaster.
- 9. Create an emergency contact list.
An emergency contact list lets your team know who to contact in case of a disaster, including emergency services and business contacts. You should also clarify what communication methods they should use during an emergency that could disrupt your usual communication channels.
- 10. Have asset backups.
It’s never a good idea to store all of your information and assets in one place. Decentralize your system with cloud backups or similar solutions that ensure your assets are safe if your system becomes compromised.
- 11. Determine your RTO.
Your RTO is your recovery time objective. It’s your goal for how quickly you want to restore your operations. Ensure that your RTO is reasonable and achievable, and do everything you can to help your team achieve it.
- 12. Train your employees.
Even with thorough instructions, your employees will likely panic in an emergency. It’s a natural human reaction.
To minimize panic and confusion, train your employees ahead of time. Teach them how to respond to disasters and let them know exactly what they need to do.
- 13. Test your plan.
You don’t want to discover that your plan won’t work during an emergency. You need to perform testing and drills to find any holes in your continuity strategy and plug them before a disaster occurs.
- 14. Continuously update your business continuity plan.
As time passes, your continuity plan will automatically become outdated. Continue to update and review it to ensure that all the information within your plan is accurate and up to date.
- 15. Put people first.
Your employees and clients are the heart of your business. No matter what strategy you create, make sure that they are your top priority.
A strong business continuity plan gets you through your operational downtime while minimizing your loss. Don’t risk your business by not preparing for an emergency. Make sure you have everything you need to weather whatever disaster comes your way.
AlleoTech can help you create a strong continuity strategy that guides you through disasters. Contact us today to work with our experienced team of IT professionals and develop the best continuity strategy for your business.