With volcanic eruptions, bushfire crisis, viral outbreaks, and other natural calamities happening around the world, it’s only logical that you look into your business and devise a plan in case you come face-to-face with a catastrophe. Natural disasters and emergencies are unpredictable and can disrupt your operations. This is where having a business continuity plan comes in handy.
Business continuity refers to an organization’s ability to maintain core functions and operations during and after a natural disaster or any unexpected incident (e.g., malicious attack by hackers). A business continuity plan (BCP) lists the procedures a business must follow, covering business processes, human resources, business partners, data storage, and other similar scenarios.
There are several measures you can take to prepare your business. For one, an outsourcing service can address business continuity vulnerabilities. An outsourcing company can take charge and manage your human resource limitations, provide continuous customer support, and serve as a back-office arm. Simply put, they can provide ongoing care and service for you in the event of disasters.
Below are more tips to ensure you’re putting together an effective plan to mitigate risk, maintain necessary business functions, and operate smoothly after a major setback.
A business continuity plan can apply in different contexts where a business is hampered, not just during natural disasters. For instance, it can apply to scenarios wherein you encounter cyberattacks and employee strikes. Knowing the potential threats and identifying them can help you better prepare and plan for contingencies.
Moreover, it’s essential to get a picture of what will happen during and after a business disruption. For instance, what happens if your small brick-and-mortar business is affected by a hurricane? Unpreparedness may cause you to shut down your operations for quite some time.
With a BCP, you are assured that both on- and off-site backups are put in place to maintain operations. For instance, enlisting a BPO company—customer service outsourcing can help deal with customer orders, and back-office outsourcing can support your on-site team in case they can’t come to work.
The effect of disasters and other disruptions will not be the same for all businesses. Its impact on yours will be different, especially when you consider any existing preventive measures of disaster management plans. For instance, if you have power generators, the risk of delayed operations might not be as large as those that don’t have one. However, the threat cannot be ignored.
It’s essential to know and understand the business impact of possible disasters. What would be the cost of a power outage for every hour? How will communication loss affect the business? Knowing these factors can help you prioritize the precautions you need to take and the necessary steps for recovery.
In the event of an emergency, you will want to avert the “bystander effect” at all costs. This happens when no one takes action during a crisis or distress and everybody effectively becomes an eyewitness to the turmoil that follows. To avoid this, you must delegate the responsibility for emergency preparedness to a team.
This team will be responsible for planning and managing all aspects of your continuity procedures and activating it during a real disaster. They will establish and monitor alert levels, assess the impact of an emergency on the business, ensure necessary supplies (emergency safety equipment, hygiene supplies, and more) are on hand, and perform a trial run, among others.
Make sure to assign employees from across your organization on the team to improve communication and the expedient collection of information.
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Don’t put all your company’s resources and most valuable assets in one area, without backups, for you may lose everything in even a minor catastrophe. This puts your business at immense risk.
You must replicate or backup your data, infrastructure, and operations off-site. You can have a cloud backup solution where you can store and recover your business’s essential data for insurance. If possible, do have a backup location in case you need to transfer your core operations and functions after an on-site disruption.
To make sure your BCP goes smoothly, you must educate your employees about their roles and responsibilities in such a situation.
Their training must include informing supervisors, contacting your recovery team, and following the business continuity procedures and instructions. You must also clarify where to get company updates when communication channels are impaired.
Finally, it’s not enough to have a BCP; you need to be proactive. Conduct drills and mock recoveries to test any holes and weaknesses and see which aspects need improvement in your continuity planning and cybersecurity. Do this at least once a year to check your systems and recovery procedures.
Additionally, trial runs can help you reevaluate and update your BCP. Perhaps some members of your recovery team or emergency contacts have left the company, or your recovery procedures have upgraded to advanced technologies. Make sure your emergency preparedness team reviews the BCP at least twice a year to ensure it’s updated.
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There’s no heads-up or notice when a disaster is about to strike. Even when you get a lead time to prepare for it quickly, a lot of things can still go awry since disasters unravel in unpredictable ways.
Business continuity is a protocol that is developed and outlined ahead of time, not when a disaster is already happening. Failure to plan can cost your business sales and revenue and possibly tarnish your reputation. You wouldn’t want a one-time catastrophe to derail your operations, would you?
How well do you think your organization can deal with disasters that interrupt your business operations? Reach out to SuperStaff to learn more about how call center services Philippines can help bridge vulnerabilities and address potentially threatening situations.
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