According to the Federal Emergency Management Agency (FEMA), more than 40% of businesses never reopen after a disaster, and for those that do, only 29% were still operating after two years.

Data recovery statistics are equally alarming. By some estimates, 70 percent of companies go out of business after a major data loss.

Business Continuity Management (BCM) has a higher return on investment for Small Medium Enterprises (SMEs)

SMEs have more to lose should they be caught without a disaster recovery plan in a disaster. While large corporates may have resilience arising from the diversity and spread of income sources, and operational work locations, smaller organizations more often than not have none of these advantages. For most SMEs, the exposure is far greater due to an inherent and almost inevitable concentration of critical risk factors.  Due to a simpler structure, business continuity plans developed for SMEs are also often more straightforward and easily implementable.

A robust business continuity and disaster recovery plan helps with coping with a crisis, minimizes disruptions and reduces losses, ensures continuity of operations, boosts clients’ and investors’ confidence, gives a competitive advantage, and provides additional compliance benefits.

Here are the top 5 tips for a business to survive in case of a disaster

1.  Develop a very robust Business Continuity Management Plan which includes the following-

Potential Threats and Impacts– A comprehensive business continuity and disaster recovery plan identifies potential threats and their impact that might affect the business. Since different types of disasters have varied degree of impact, it is important to identify the types of risks that can affect the business.

Response and Resources– For each risk scenario, the plan includes an appropriate response. This will describe the actions to be taken, the people involved and the resources required to restore operations. It should also include how the severity of impact affects the steps of recovery.

Roles and Responsibilities– A BCM plan identifies the members of the business continuity team with a detailed description of roles, responsibilities, and actions. It also sets out a procedure for making critical decisions or escalating responsibilities in a major crisis.

2.  Train your employees on how to handle a crisis

While creating a plan is the first step, educating the Disaster Recovery team and employees about their jobs and responsibilities is the second and most crucial step. Many businesses who have best in class BCM plan fail at the time of execution. Awareness of the plan amongst employees is imperative for a successful execution.

3.  Ensure Access to the contact information and templates required to execute a plan

The company should have templates for internal announcements and news releases covering different scenarios as well as an updated employee directory with contact information. It should also have contact details of suppliers and emergency services. To support crisis communications, there should be access to the contact information for key clients, vendors, and key investors.

Since such data is very fluid and keeps on changing from time to time, companies should leverage cloud hosting technologies for easy and quick access to such data.

 4.  Test your BCM plan on a periodic basis

Testing the plan is another important step. If the plan is tested regularly, it will not only ensure that the employees are trained and know the steps that they need to take at the time of crisis but, it will also help in identifying potential gaps and areas of improvement.

5.  Implement a Business Continuity Plan Management software to help execute and manage the plan

Finding a software that can help with all the items listed above can not only help with easy execution at the time of need but can also prove to be a great return on investment by helping manage the plan and its various aspects.

Learn about the Provana IPACS all new Business Continuity Plan Management Module.