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Disasters of the natural and cyber nature happen every day and many smaller companies are simply not prepared for the immense amount of recovery that it takes to get back to work. As a mid or smaller level company it is essential that a business continuity plan be in place to aid in the recovery of the business after any disaster.
In order to create an effective and useful business continuity plan it is first essential to understand what a business continuity plan is and how to create one. Put quite simply, a business continuity plan, also frequently called a disaster plan, is a plan that is created to help streamline the recovery process following a natural disaster or any disaster for that matter that interrupts and potentially halts the function of the business in question. This can be something like a tornado, flooding, a hurricane, a fire, or a cyber attack that cripples your computer system.
This type of plan is generally constructed in several different steps in order to be the most effective that it can possibly be. The first part of the process involves taking an in depth survey of your business and what it takes to function on a day-to-day basis. This is not something that is going to be done in a few hours and generally a few days of observation are needed to create an in depth snapshot of what your business needs to function.
This step may be things like what inventory do you need, what equipment do you need, how many employees are necessary, what type of communication do you use, what type of utilities, what space you need, etc. This is essentially everything your business needs to function on the most basic level. This is going to provide the stepping stone to create your entire plan and to know what you need for the next parts of the planning process.
The next step is to actually construct you plan. This means thinking about where your business will function in the event of a disaster, where you will get the supplies and inventory you need, how you will contact your employees and your customers, and so on. This is going to be the step that takes the longest and it can be broken up into several smaller steps.
To help create your plan you should first set up some sort of communication. This can be something like an email address, a computer that is kept off site, a phone number customers can call that will not be affected by disaster and the like. Communication is the most important part of any business and it is important to keep communication open at all times no matter the disaster or the state of your business following this disaster.
The next step is to consider how you are going to back up information. This might mean storing information off site, having a cloud account that keeps your information safe, or employing a third party company to store your information remotely. This is going to be a crucial step as well, as lost information can be the end of any company.
After all is said and done it becomes necessary to educate your employees about the steps that you have put into place and the strategy that has been created. This is going to help insure that the recovery process is as fast as possible and that your employees are ready and willing to help you get back on track after any disaster.