Business Continuity – What It Means To You
What is Business Continuity?
When disaster strikes, the key to recovery is planning. A business continuity plan (BCP) can help your company recover quickly from any catastrophe. By reviewing all possible risks and hazards, a BCP outlines the procedures that enable your organization to continue to deliver products and services, while minimizing the cost to your company’s bottom line.
Why is Business Continuity Important?
With today’s heavy reliance on technology, the consequences of not having a BCP can be condemning to an organization. The loss of goods and materials, productivity, damages, etc. can have a devastating effect on your bottom line. According to the Federal Emergency Management Agency, 40 percent of businesses do not reopen after a disaster and another 25 percent fail within one year. A similar study from the United States Small Business Administration indicated that over 90 percent of businesses fail within two years after facing a disaster.¹ Avoid being a statistic and create a BCP that demonstrates to your customers that your business can weather the storm and continue to provide them with the goods and services they expect, in any situation.
Implementing a Business Continuity Plan
When developing a BCP, it is important that all potential hazards and vulnerabilities are analyzed. Once evaluated, the BCP should clearly communicate the procedures to allow your organization to continue to function. The following are just a few examples of what should be taken into consideration when outlining a BCP:
- Data backup and recovery (hard copy and electronic)
- All mission-critical systems
- Financial and operational assessments
- Alternate communications between customers and the firm, and between the firm and employees
- Alternate physical location of employees
- Critical business constituent, bank, and counterparty impact
- Regulatory reporting
- Communications with regulators
- How the firm will assure customers' prompt access to their funds and securities in the event that the firm determines that it is unable to continue its business ²
Have a specific list of step-by-step procedures to ensure these critical business elements can withstand a disaster. Make sure the procedures are communicated fully and easily located for reference.
Natural catastrophes and man-made disasters can strike at anytime so be prepared. By setting your organization up for fast recovery, you’ll suffer less loss and be back to business in no time. Creating a BCP is one of the best investments your company can make.
- Federal Emergency Agency. (2016). Planning. Retrieved from https://www.ready.gov/planning
- Financial Industry Regulatory Authority. Business Continuity Planning. http://www.finra.org/industry/business-continuity-planning