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How to Create a Business Continuity Plan
Are you ready if a disaster strikes? You buy insurance for your business, but what would happen if a natural disaster struck or some other calamity? You need a plan that will help your business continue if anything were to happen.

1. Have Contacts for ALL Employees
You need to have a complete list of your employees that not only include their name, but home phone, cell number, home address, email address, and the position they currently hold. We also recommend adding what other positions they could hold if the prime person were not available.

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2. What must be Done at the Office
Write out what jobs must be performed at the office and what jobs can be performed with an Internet connection or by an employee that telecommutes. This would not only help you in a crisis, but can help you save money now by delegating out telecommuting jobs that save your employee gas and the company money.

3. Have a List of All Contacts
You need to have a way to contact any customers, clients, or other contacts at any time. You need to have their name, company name, phone number, and email address.

4. Make a Copy of Critical Documents
You need to identify and copy any critical documents. We recommend keeping an electronic and hard copy of said documents. Keep them in a safe place, and in more than one place.

5. Make a List of All Critical Software, Equipment, and Supplies

What programs, equipment or supplies do you need to run your business? Would you have access to those things if something were to happen? Would you be able to get the necessary equipment if you needed to rent or do your job if certain software was unavailable? Make a list of those critical things and devise a way to be able to get them if something like a fire were to happen.

6. If the Building is Gone, Where do you Meet?
In the case of fire or natural disaster a central meeting location is necessary. You need to pick a place where everyone can meet if something were to happen. You also need a back up of that place in case your first choice is unavailable for whatever reason. It doesn’t matter where you choose but a place where you could still conduct business until your office is functional again.

7. Collect and List your Business Contingency Plan in One Place
Even if you compile all of this information it is not helpful if you cannot get to it or the documents are scattered in several areas. You also need to make the information accessible to others in case something happens to you.

8. Write it Out
This may seem laborious, but having step by step instructions are going to be extremely helpful. Guidelines and How-To’s bring calm to a storm and will help you make sure you have what you need. Go through exactly what needs to happen, don’t assume anything, and keep this step-by-step instruction with your Business Contingency Plan.

9. Test the Plan
Testing is necessary. Just like fire drills they prepare you and your employees in case of emergency. You get a sense of what needs to be worked on, where you might be missing something, and because people will have done a test run they will be able to think more clearly and calmly if the real thing happens.

10. Revise and Repeat
Your business is fluid and will change: employees, clients, customers, buildings, products, etc. So it is necessary to look over your BCP to make sure that everything you have is current. If people or places are no longer available change it. Then re-test with employees.

The more prepared you are the better you and your employees will be if any calamity or disaster strikes.

Start Now and Let AvailX help you with the organization and implementation of your Business Continuity Plan . Or you can contact us at 817-485-5658