Contrary to popular belief, business continuity plans (BCPs) are not synonymous to disaster recovery plans (DRPs). BCPs refer to the business operations between disaster and recovery, while DRPs detail what happens to the business once it’s recovered. If you don’t know how to make a BCP, your Los Angeles business is going to find it difficult to recover, if at all.
Identify the essentials
Identify key personnel, documents, contingency equipment options, and contingency locations. Find out which employees should work onsite, and which employees can work from home. Important documents include legal papers necessary to restart your business, bills, and banking information. In case your equipment gets damaged during the disaster, you should know where to rent backup equipment until you have the resources to purchase new ones; the same principle applies for your contingency location.
Document the essentials
After you’ve identified all your business’ key aspects, document them. List the contact information of entities that can assist your company while you recover, such as IT consultants, lawyers, and bankers. Organize all this information.
Create a “To-Do” List
When disaster strikes, every employee should know what to do in a jiffy. To this end, create step-by-step instructions for every department. Communicate this plan to your employees as soon as you can. Don’t forget to make backup copies of the instructions and compile them all in a single file.
Test the Plan
It’s one thing for people to know what to do; it’s another to actually do it. To ensure that everyone fully understands the BCP, pick a day—Friday or weekends, for instance—where everyone can act as though a disaster struck the business; for example, simulate what everyone will do to execute your company’s plan for data recovery in Los Angeles. Don’t forget to inform everyone outside the company who’ll be affected by your “drill”, such as customers and partners. Even if the plan seems to work the first time around, test it regularly, e.g. every few months.
Evaluate the Plan
After completing the test, ask your employees to give suggestions about your BCP. Revise your plan according to the best suggestions, and make several copies of such. For example, your plan for data recovery in Los Angeles may not take into account the idea that you can outsource data recovery services. If possible, make a Plan B, or even a Plan C, in case of events like unavailability of your contingency location.
You don’t have to carry out your entire BCP on your own. You can outsource services for data recovery in Los Angeles, among others, to help your business come back to life should anything bad happen. For more information on business continuity plans, read bizsecurity.about.com/od/businesscontinuity/a/5bus_cont.htm.
Five Steps to Creating a Business Continuity Plan in LA