Business leaders across the country are faced with daily challenges in light of the ongoing coronavirus crisis. From unexpected budget cuts, rapid changes in key markets, and a daily influx of new questions on everything from government bailouts to employee safety and job security, the adage of living in ‘uncertain times’ will certainly ring true for the foreseeable future.
Coping with uncertainty in business is complicated in the best of times, no less through a global pandemic. At findcourses.com we’ve recognized the complex challenges businesses are faced with and have compiled a resource guide of everything you need to know about business continuity.
With a well-strategized business continuity plan, you can make use of all the tools in your expanding wheelhouse in order to:
- Remain operational;
- Protect your employees as best you can in terms of health and job security;
- Strategically allocate resources;
- Create long-term plans for unexpected changes in circumstances in the political landscape, your business’ financial resources, and market changes;
- Ensure holistic longevity for the entirety of your business for as long as possible; and,
- Implement a post-crisis recovery plan.
Your organization may already have a business continuity plan in place, or business continuity may be an entirely new concept for you. In either case, it’s never too late to start putting crisis strategies in place, and we’re here to help.
Follow five simple steps to form a business continuity plan, and use the list of resources organized by category to find resources you need to put an impactful, bespoke business continuity plan together. You can also skip right to the resources most pressing for your business from the list below:
How to Form a Business Continuity Plan
According to Facility Executive, there are 5 key steps in forming a BCP:
1. Form A Dedicated Business Continuity Management Team
Having a dedicated Business Continuity Management Team will ensure that you have a specific group of managers who are fully-versed with your organization’s plans for keeping your business running throughout the duration of the crisis at hand.
2. Conduct a Business Impact Analysis
Business Impact Analyses are complex and thorough, but well worth the effort when your business is faced with the complexities of navigating any type of crisis. Typically, a business impact analysis requires a long-form questionnaire like the one found on Facility Executive. With a Business Impact Analysis you can:
- Identify critical business processes,
- Interdependencies among stakeholders,
- Supply chain dependencies,
- Minimum time needed to recover operations, and,
- Minimum staffing required to support business as usual.
3. Identify Resources Needed With a Gap Analysis
Now that you have a clearer understanding of all the resources your business relies on to stay operational, you can compare the resources you currently have, with the resources you need in the wake of a crisis. This type of analysis will help you grasp recovery requirements for your business post-crisis, compared to current resources, and allow you to make well-informed decisions in order to close any potential gaps.
4. Explore and Implement a Recovery Strategy
Identifying risks and resources for your business is an important, and difficult process to go through. Remember that crises won’t last forever, and you’ll also need to create a plan for your organization’s recovery. Base your recovery strategy on the resources you identified in your Business Impact Analysis. Some recovery questions to go over with your team could include:
- Recovering access to your facility after damages or long periods away;
- Facilitating staff safely returning to their workspaces after long periods away; and
- Plans for remote working.
5. Test Results, Explore Improvements, Re-Strategize Where Needed
The final (and perhaps most crucial step!) of your Business Continuity Plan is testing it out. Risks for your business are never set in stone, and risks can even change as a crisis develops. Testing your business continuity plan can be difficult to accomplish in a literal sense, but run through the potential hypothetical scenarios as best you can to ensure that you’ve identified as many contingencies as possible.
Are you ready to form a business continuity plan?
Explore business continuity courses to ensure that you’re getting the right advice from experienced and practiced business continuity professionals.
Business Continuity Resources:
COVID-19-Specific Business Continuity Resources:
- Free Templates from the CIPD:
- Emergency Protocols / Business Continuity Plan
- Pandemic Contingency Continuity Plan
- Policy on Controlling the Spread of Infectious Diseases in the Workplace
- Letter to employees reminding them of their responsibilities in relation to the control of infectious diseases
- Managing coronavirus checklist
General Business Continuity Resources:
- The Open for Business E-Z Toolkit from disastersafety.org