Creating a Winning Business Continuity Plan

Good business leadership skills means being ready for the worst, because you can’t expect to always be on top of your game. So many things are out of your control; a calamity can strike, an economic downturn could affect sales. All these can happen without notice. When it does, it can really hurt your business.

Having a business continuity plan is the best way to be ready for the bad times. A well run business must have this plan memorized by key leaders and managers to ensure that things run smoothly even when the unexpected happens. Preparing one when a calamity hits may be too late, you may not have enough time to create and implement it to rescue your business.

If you don’t have one yet, then you ought to get your team together and start drafting your business continuity plan now. A business continuity plan will prepare your management team and employees for internal disruptions and external threats by providing you a specific course of action for any possible scenario.

Here are a few essential guidelines for a continuity plan:

Expect the worst

List all the bad and not-so bad scenarios that your business might face. Expect that there will be all sorts of unexpected downturns, calamities, internal issues, human error and so many more. When you make your plan, make sure you factor in the worst possible scenario and jot down the preventive measures and recovery plan for each.

Draw out specific action points

The continuity plan must be specific and complete with clear action points and goals for every possible scenario. Knowing the next steps to be taken will give your employees a sense of direction, especially in times of uncertainty. Don’t forget to list key profit drivers and products that need to be continuously managed, and vanity tasks or departments that could be let go or downsized if the company needs to cut down on expenses.

Educate your employees

Once your business continuity plan is in place, make sure the information is cascaded to the rest of the organization. Good business leadership means taking the time to discuss this continuity plan to senior managers, then asking them to relay it to their down line. Each employee in the organization must be aware of what to do and how to act in the case of a worst scenario. Everyone must immediately move into emergency mode without groping in the dark. Conduct training sessions to educate each one of your plan and how their roles tie in the big picture.

Keep essential processes running

Your continuity plan should take into account key business process like data storage, hardware operations, work force, information systems, and other key services. These essential processes must be kept interconnected and running smoothly so that the overall business production is not disrupted. When you are able to manage these critical systems, you can continue running even during adverse circumstances.

CEOs with good business leadership skills know how important it is to create business continuity plan not only for the business but also to help your employees keep their jobs even when times are down. You owe it to your people to be on top of every situation.

© 2013 Incedo Group, LLC