What is Business Continuity Plan (BCP) and Why Is It Important For Your Business?

Blog
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July 15, 2021
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By
Michelle C.

Does your business have a Business Continuity Plan (BCP)? As the recent COVID-19 pandemic has demonstrated, it is important for businesses to be well-prepared for any unprecedented event. In this blog post, you will be introduced to Business Continuity Plan (BCP) and why it is crucial for every business to have. 

What is Business Continuity Planning (BCP)?

Business Continuity Planning (BCP) is the process of formulating a plan for how your business will continue to operate should a crisis occur. This crisis could be anything from a fire, flood, or natural disaster to a global pandemic like COVID-19. The important thing in a business continuity plan is that it is general enough to be applied to a wide variety of situations but with enough room to add in specifics as needed based on the situation to which you are responding to at the time. This plan should be written well in advance by your Human Resources (HR) team when it is needed so that it can be reviewed and tested by the people responsible for putting it in action. 

What types of businesses need a BCP?

All businesses regardless of size or industry would benefit from having a BCP. You and your employees rely on income generated by your business and your clients rely on you for the products and services you provide. This will not change in the wake of an emergency situation. 

When will my BCP be applicable? 

In the current climate, everyone is implementing business continuity plans to respond to the COVID-19 global pandemic but a global pandemic is not the only situation where a BCP will be needed. The following is just a short list of situations where having a BCP is necessary:

  • An electrical fire has burned down part of your building
  • A broken water main has caused flooding in your building
  • Your business has been attacked by hackers
  • Your office area has been heavily flooded
  • Malware is accidentally downloaded onto your system causing extensive damage

A good BCP can help your business in the face of a wide variety of business disruptions that you may encounter.

Why is my BCP important? Who does it affect?

A BCP is your organisation’s best shot at surviving a major business disruption. It will not only reduce the amount of downtime your organisation will experience, but it may also even be the difference between remaining open or going out of business for good. A BCP gives your employees and managers an idea of what to expect should the worst happen so they are prepared to react and get down to business faster.

Your BCP affects everyone connected to your business, employees, customers and partners alike. A good BCP will have directions for who needs to return to work when, who is responsible for what during any downtime, what systems are in place for working from home or other remote locations, who is considered essential, and any other information your employees need to keep your business up and running through a disaster. 

Your BCP will also impact your customers and clients. It is important that your clients know what to expect from your business in the aftermath of a disaster. Any disaster will naturally cause unease in your clients, which is why having a plan is incredibly important. A plan lets them know that they can rely on you, no matter what. 

The Bottom Line

The COVID-19 pandemic has had serious impacts on economies around the world. With movement control orders and the mandated temporary closure of businesses deemed non-essential, many organisations have seen a fundamental change in the way they do business. This includes most small and medium enterprises (SMEs). 

SMEs may not be as well-equipped to handle a major disruption in business, like the one caused by this pandemic, which is why a BCP is especially important for these businesses. A BCP allows SMEs to react quickly to any business disruption, reassuring employees and clients that they will be there to weather the storm and continue to provide service as usual.

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