Startup Basics: Why You Need a Business Continuity Plan

In January 2019, the U.S. Midwest went through a winter spell—a Frozen-type of a spell. The temperature only Antarctica has, without warning, swept through several Midwestern states, creating panic and chaos.

Several reports state that this “dangerously low temperatures” resulted in power outages, deaths, temporary closure of offices, and many business interruptions.

U.S. Midwest is a relatively cold area, but a freezing temperature like this is rare. Nonetheless, it happens.

If you are planning to build a startup company, how do you protect your business from natural and man-made disasters? Read on to find out.

Business Continuity Management System

business continuity management system is your business’ risk management plan to protect it from disruptive events, reduce the likelihood of these events, and ensure that your operations bounce back immediately.

Business continuity plans prepare a company for any of the following disasters:

  • Cyber attack
  • Fire
  • Power disruption
  • Sabotage
  • Natural disasters
  • Accidents

Companies usually have plans for all of these except cyber attack. This is evidenced by a whopping 668 incidences of data breach cases in 2018, exposing more than 22 million records. The number is much lower than the previous years, though, which means solutions are already available. What’s left is for business owners to take advantage of those solutions.

How do you adopt a BCMS for your business?

Business team at a conference room

First, you need to have a business continuity plan. This plan should be ISO 22301-compliant and should contain the following:

  • Roles and responsibilities of people in your company during and after a disaster
  • Response activation procedure
  • Details of plans on handling the immediate consequences of a disaster
  • Communication plan details, particularly how employees, their relatives, and other relevant parties will be contacted should a disaster strike
  • Recovery plans
  • Media response plans
  • Standing down plans

What should your business continuity management system include?

You should have preparatory tools. Several companies now offer reliable software for this purpose. You may ask your dealer to explain how it’s used and implemented. Next, you should have internal auditing tools. These tools will help you assess the strengths and weaknesses of your company. Pain points and other areas of concern are also identified.

You should also have proper documentation and backup tools. Any word processor or spreadsheet will do, and any secure cloud storage should suffice. In addition, you should have communication tools—ones that are secure and reliable even at times of disaster.

Lastly, you should have data recovery tools. For online businesses, there are plenty of options for small, medium, and large data recovery needs.

In other words, you should have preventive, response, and recovery strategies. Preventive strategies are the methods you have to prevent any disaster from happening. The preparatory, auditing, and documentation tools are necessary for this part. You also need to audit and take note of the areas in your business that need the most protection.

Response strategies are the processes you use once the disaster has already happened. The documentation and communication tools are needed here as well. The recovery strategies employ whatever recovery tools you have in mind.

Any business these days is lucrative and susceptible to threats. We don’t know how and when disruptions will happen, so before officially launching your startup, make sure you have all these planned out.

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