Business Contingency Planning: 4 Things You Need To Prepare

No business owner knows when a disaster is going to hit their firm. For instance, if the server crashes, you could lose a significant number of loyal customers. Such an occurrence could turn the business upside down. Established companies can also go through the same thing, but what keeps them going is a set of strategies prepared to cover such an unfortunate situation. This is where contingency planning becomes of the essence

So, what’s a business contingency plan?  It can be defined as a proactive strategy that clearly lists and explains the main course of actions to be taken by all personnel in response to unforeseen disasters. This plan plays a significant role in ensuring proper risk management, disaster recovery, and business continuity. This article aims to expound on some of the main things you’ll need to prepare in a business contingency plan. 

Contingency planning

1. Emergency Preparedness Checklist 

One of the most important things that should be put into consideration is the emergency checklist. The main reason why you need a contingency plan in the first place is to avoid panicking when disasters hit your business. In your strategy, there should be a list of things that’ll be used to ensure that everything is brought back to normal within the shortest time possible. Apart from emergency tools and equipment, the checklist also comprises of various people who will be actively involved in the process.

Here are some of things to include in your checklist:

  • Employees’ leader in case the managers are unavailable 
  • A legal counsel that’ll be accessible if and when required 
  • First-aid kits
  • Emergency numbers

2. An Alternate Communications Center

If you have your communication center in the same building as the rest of the departments, you run the risk of losing your business in case disasters strike. Communication is, perhaps, the most critical aspect of any business. It becomes even more significant when the company faces unforeseen problems, such as fire or natural calamities. In such cases, if your loyal customers don’t get any information from your side, they might start looking for alternatives. 

 It’s always recommended to have an offsite communication center to avoid having all your operations being shut down by a single disaster. Alternatively, you can have onsite and offsite communication centers so that you can quickly set up the latter when needed. The advantage is that you’ll have the resources to reassure your customers that things will be back to normal as soon as possible. Also, make sure you appoint the people that’ll take charge of this department to avoid confusion. 

3. Keep Your Records Intact

Although documenting your operations is an essential aspect of a business, not all companies give it the seriousness it deserves. As part of the contingency plan, you’ll need to record all processes that keep your business moving. Remember, no matter how insignificant an activity looks, it might play a considerable role in the recovery process. 

Therefore, urge your employees to document all the daily tasks they’ve accomplished. These records should be kept in an offsite store. The same goes for computer files. To make your plan even more efficient, you should employ cloud computing across all departments in your firm. After backing up your data, make sure these files are accessible by the relevant authorities.

4. Insurance 

If you’ve not yet insured your business, then you’re playing a risky game with your investment. In fact, this should be your priority because trouble can come at any time, and you could end up losing all your property. Whether you’re running a startup or an already developed business, the need for an insurance cover is equally the same. It can mean the difference between recovering and closing your doors after a disruption to the normal operations. 

Make sure you have regular meetings with your insurance agent to discuss your current situation and any updates. This will give you adequate knowledge of how to file a claim quickly. It’s worth noting that you should consider a policy that will not only cover your physical losses, but will also reimburse business disruptions.

Closing Remarks

A contingency plan ensures that your business recovers quickly from disruptions that may significantly hinder all operations. A good strategy is one that keeps all the possible outcomes into consideration. An emergency preparedness checklist is one of the main requirements for a successful contingency plan. Communication is a crucial aspect during such times, therefore, having an alternate communication center will be very useful. Also, don’t forget to keep your records safely and follow up on your company’s insurance cover. 

About Mohit Tater

Mohit is the co-founder and editor of Entrepreneurship Life, a place where entrepreneurs, start-ups, and business owners can find wide ranging information, advice, resources, and tools for starting, running, and growing their businesses.

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