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Whether they liked it or not, most companies received a crash course in business continuity planning in the last few years. From social unrest to the pandemic, businesses who didn’t previously have an eye on their technological stability became quickly aware of it (sometimes to their unfortunate demise). Now though, almost every size of business understands that it’s vital to cover the basics if they intend to keep their doors open as the unforeseen arises. After all, if these last two years taught us anything, it’s that the unexpected happens.  

While a business continuity plan cannot completely safeguard your business from all the unexpected possibilities, it can certainly minimize the damage they inflict. Essentially a well thought out plan can make the difference between survival and shutdown during a crisis.

What is business continuity planning?

Business continuity planning is the process of creating a blueprint that helps your business respond and recover effectively from an unforeseen issue or event. This blueprint serves as a step-by-step guide that you can follow during almost every kind of imaginable emergency: everything from a pandemic to a fire to a cybercrime attack. It keeps your business running as smoothly as possible while management (and sometimes your entire staff) operates in triage mode.

A business continuity plan is not a sure-shot method to survive a crisis and it will never eliminate the impact of the disaster, but it gives you the best chances of survival. If you don’t already have one, here are 3 key reasons why you should focus on creating one ASAP.

  1. It helps retain clients
    If you have problems functioning, it will affect your clients. For example, if your server or email is down, or your delivery process breaks, you won’t be able to fulfill your promise to your clients. Even worse, you may not be able to communicate about the crisis to your clients which adds to their frustration. A business continuity plan addresses these issues beforehand and can help reduce not only how customers experience the issues, but also proactively addresses any possible problems it may create for them.
  1. Salvaging brand image and reputation
    There are certain events that end up affecting only your business, like ransomware attacks, virus attacks, data leaks, etc. While these may have no direct impact to your customers, the loss of trust can be devastating, particularly to companies where trust is the foundation of commerce (professional services, financial services, healthcare, and education to name a few). Even retailers who lose simple customer data like state of residence will experience damage to their reputation because consumers will begin to distrust the security of their payment information. Having a business continuity plan that adapts to such events can be save a company from years of brand clean-up.
  1. Minimizing revenue loss
    Many types of attacks such as social engineering, whaling, and social impersonation have an ultimate goal of a big payday. Since the breach in these instances are because of human error, companies may feel that there is little they do to proactively reduce their risk. But this is where a business continuity plan decreases the threat of human error while it minimizes potential revenue losses.

How difficult is it to set up a plan?

Like all good planning, it’s all about the set up. First steps include research, brainstorming, and recognizing trends. Business continuity planning takes some labor investment so for those interested in getting it right the first time, engaging with a Managed Services Provider (MSP) who’s skilled at technological plans can minimize your overall investment. And it can make sure that the plan you put into place has the highest probability of success no matter the issue that arises. Contact us today to see how it easy it is to start the process.

Take a look at our follow up article on the ‘Essentials of a Successful Business Continuity Plan’ to understand the building blocks of creating a plan that works.