A business continuity plan is a great way to prepare your small business for unexpected events or emergencies that could impact buildings, personnel, and technology. Yet, there are a few common elements of a business continuity plan that businesses often overlook. To make sure your business continuity plan sets you up for success, it’s important to understand the common gaps and pitfalls that could lead to extensive losses if not addressed.
Lack of a communication strategy
When a business is faced with a crisis, timely communication is critical. When thinking about business continuity preparation, it’s important to keep organizational communication at the forefront of the planning process. Yet, business continuity plans often do not include a communication strategy.
The communications section of a business continuity plan must address the steps to take when a crisis first occurs and outline how to communicate with key stakeholders. To make sure your crisis communication plan is effective, it’s important to implement processes that ensure all employees keep their contact information up to date.
Failure to plan for staff shortages
Staffing shortages can be caused by a range of factors from weather conditions to power outages. Many businesses fail to account for the possibility of staff shortages in their business continuity planning.
An effective business continuity plan should include steps on what to do if there is not sufficient staff to cover critical business operations. Whether your strategy involves hiring temporary help or bringing in employees from other departments, it’s important to define this in advance so you can minimize business impact when faced with staffing shortages.
Lack of data backup strategy
Data losses and breaches are some of the most prevalent disruptions that face businesses today. They can be caused by a number of events, including unintentional erasure of files or folders, cyber attacks, server crashes, and data center outages. Data is critical for any company, and losing it can disrupt sales, logistics applications, and many other elements of your business.
With that said, data backup strategy should be included in a business continuity plan. At minimum, it should define key steps to take when a data loss or breach occurs, the personnel responsible for executing the backup plan, and a schedule that routinely checks systems and backup data.
It’s impossible to predict when a crisis will occur, but if you take some time to evaluate your business continuity plan with these common gaps in mind, your business will be more likely to withstand the unexpected.