Your business continuity plan needs to be comprehensive, it needs to be realistic, efficient and adaptable. The counter-intuitive side of business continuity is the fact that you need to adapt to whatever problem comes your way, despite having no idea what the problem is going to be.
If you knew what problems were on the horizon, then you would have probably avoided them already. Your continuity plan is about sectioning off your business and keeping as many parts running as possible.
What Sort of Problems Should You Expect?
Natural disasters are one of the most common problems, and it is not always a massive hurricane or earthquake that causes the problem. Sometimes it is an abundance of snow, and others it is a small flood that has rendered your toilet unusable.
Global pandemics don’t happen all the time, but there is often a global health issue that scares people in a way that affects your business, from swine flu and bird flu to the Covid problem that killed off far more businesses than it did people.
Utility outages are often a big problem, especially when your business relies on added amounts of a utility, such as natural gas, electricity, water, etc. Fuel shortages are also a problem for some companies, especially companies with larger vehicle fleet.
In those cases, a business continuity plan is less important than just how much you can afford to safety stockpile just in case.
You Need to Tackle Each Problem As Thoroughly As Possible
Ideally, you need to consider all the problems that you couldn’t avoid. For example, with a fuel shortage, you cannot avoid it. This means you need to create a business continuity plan for fuel shortages, and in some cases, it may include stockpiling fuel.
Energy outages are pretty easy to plan for if you have your own backup generators, but you have to consider how long they will run, and at what capacity your business can operate at when they are running. Floods and such may seem unavoidable, but there are many steps you can take.
For example, many companies use their bottom floors for customer interfacing, reception areas, and meeting rooms. The actual business, the manufacturing, the production itself, often happens on the second floor or above so that flooding isn’t a massive business-killing issue.
Even factories that have everything on the ground floor are able to set up drainage and water deferment systems so that if there is a flood, then they are in no trouble.
Also, if floods are very rare (such as only happening after very big snowstorms), then look into ways to allow your area to flood in a way that causes the least amount of damage and allows for the quickest cleanup.
What About When Your Problem is Cyber?
There are plenty of ways your business may grind to a halt for a technical reason. Perhaps your computers were hacked, or your servers were jammed, or maybe a ransomware attack has occurred and you are not paying the ransom.
No matter what the problem is, you should consult the IT Gurus both before a disaster in order to help you plan, and during a disaster if you feel your progress is slowing. Be sure to keep the IT Gurus in mind when you are making your business continuity plans.