Business Mentor: Do you have a business continuity plan?

Armando Bartolome

Posted at May 02 2020 09:17 AM

Business Mentor: Do you have a business continuity plan? 1
Salons and hairdressers are some of the small businesses affected by the COVID-19 pandemic. Picture taken in Mandaluyong City on April 29, 2020. Jonathan Cellona, ABS-CBN News

No one is completely prepared when disaster strikes. But we cannot let a disaster overpower us. We need to find ways to rise up and continue where we left off.

The coronavirus pandemic will continue to have deep and long-term effects on our economy. We need to brace ourselves for the next few months because for sure, business will continue to be slow. We will need a lot of help from everyone and a lot of understanding and patience.

2020 started badly for our country. We had to deal with the eruption of Taal Volcano which affected so many of our kababayans. What happened was beyond our control and all we can do was to be united in reaching out to those who needed help. The businesses in the affected area were badly affected, important events had to be canceled, classes needed to be suspended. But after a few weeks, everything was almost back to normal.

After COVID-19 we also need to bounce back!

Business Continuity Plan Defined

A business continuity plan outlines the possible impact of any calamity or disaster, establishes policies to respond to these dire situations and helps the business to recover quickly so that the business can function as usual.

This is generally created in advance with the company’s stakeholders. Here, the company’s goal is to protect its personnel and assets during and after an emergency.

In creating the company’s business continuity plan, it should include, but is not limited, to the following:

  • Contact information of (disaster) management personnel
  • Coordination with local emergency personnel/department
  • Explanation of where to go during an emergency 
  • Goals and objectives
  • Information on data backups and site backup
  • Key roles and responsibilities
  • List of tasks required to keep operations flowing
  • Plan maintenance protocols
  • Policy, purpose, and scope
  • Risk mitigation plans

Having a business continuity plan is essential for any business. Any threat, disruption, and calamity can lead to a great loss in revenue and additional costs which can affect the company’s profitability. Even if the company has insurance, it does not always cover every cost associated with the incident. Thus, having a business continuity plan can just be the only way to save the company during such times.

The advantages of having BCP in business are:

  • The company/business will not be caught by surprise, thus being able to handle unexpected situations seamlessly.
  • The company/business will be able to continue providing suitable services after the disruption.
  • The company/business will be able to preserve its reputation and revenue stream.

COVID-19 has indeed taught us a lot of things aside from being extra-careful with our health. It has opened our eyes to the need to be prepared for unexpected situations.

Guide in Creating A Business Continuity Plan

1. Create a team that will implement and execute the plan. The number of members of the team depends on the size of your company. These individuals would be in charge of creating the standards, training additional members and ensuring that the processes go on smoothly.

2. Understand the operational, financial, and physical risks to your company and what types of risks are possible. List down all the possible risks and threats, and how they can impact your operations. Create a comprehensive questionnaire to gather the information that you may need.

3. Identify a company’s recovery requirements versus its current resources. You may discover that there is a discrepancy with the resources that you have to what you will need. Thus, find ways on how you can fill the gap.

4. Identify recovery strategies for your business and describes how to implement them.

5. Test your business continuity plan to make sure it is effective, observe results and make recommendations for improvement. The plan that you have created will need to change and adapt as the company grows.

This is like having a backup plan just in case the normal operation is not possible. The plan that you need to create should not be difficult to understand. It should be made simple so that the business continues and retains the necessary revenue needed during a threat, disruption, or disaster.
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For more information, you may contact Armando "Butz" Bartolome
by email: business.mentor@butzbartolome.com
FB Page: Butz Bartolome
website: https://www.butzbartolome.com