Are you prepared for the unthinkable?

Business continuity planning is a great tool to make sure your business will operational under emergency circumstances.

What will your business do in the wake of a disaster? Bojana Dobran offers a definition and purpose for Business Continuity Planning in an article.

Business Continuity planning is threat prevention or handling strategy. The purpose of this strategy is to list out all the potential risks or threats that may affect a business’s operations. Once identified, lay out the appropriate policies and procedures for what to do to mitigate these issues if they do occur. Implementation will ensure that your company will remain operational even in the wake of a disaster.

For many new businesses in the start-up or early growth phases, this likely isn’t part of your thinking with all the many tasks being handled to grow your company. However, without this type of contingency planning, failure is almost certain.

Dobran provides these steps for Business Continuity Planning:

As you look to incorporate Business Continuity, the first challenge is to review your business structure.

  1. Identify the business-critical processes in addition to the systems that enable them to run.

  2. Next, identify which measures (such as data backup) are already in place. At this point, you can search for all documentation that will enable the recreation of these systems.

  3. Your organization should have a designated team member in charge of disaster management. This individual (or management team) will be responsible for reinstating the company infrastructure in the wake of a disaster. While this role may not be a full-time one in most organizations, it is imperative that you have somebody who will oversee the disaster recovery plan.

  4. Finally, you should assign roles to other team members on what they can do in case of a problem. Training, both initial and ongoing, is imperative for this role to succeed.

Michigan State University Extension partner, Northern Lakes Economic Alliance (NLEA) regularly meets with companies to identify their needs and business continuity/disaster plans.

Michigan State University Extension has had a unique relationship with the regional economic development organization Northern Lakes Economic Alliance (NLEA) for more than 20 years. Recognizing the strength of combining resources, this partnership focuses on economic development, entrepreneurship growth and community infrastructure throughout a four-county region in the northwest Lower Peninsula, specifically Antrim, Charlevoix, and Cheboygan counties. As a result, the NLEA utilizes resources offered through MSU Extension as it provides leadership to state-wide programs sponsored by MSU Extension.”

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