When disaster strikes, make sure your business can survive the aftermath. Learn the difference between a BCP and a DR and how to fill one out. Prepare for business disruptions and emergencies, and make it easier to implement business continuity strategies with Lumiforms free online checklist.
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In the event of a disaster, businesses need a plan to continue their operations. Ideally, this plan would be written up prior to the catastrophic event. A Business Continuity Plan (BCP) or Business Continuity Management (BCM) template is used by business continuity managers and IT teams to develop strategies for maintaining business continuity in the event of an unplanned interruption to services. These are emergencies such as extreme weather events, building evacuations, power outages, etc. The BCP form is used to identify operational areas, resources, and recovery strategies with a high impact on the business and the associated personnel.
A recent example of a disaster was the COVID-19 pandemic that saw countless small and privately owned businesses closed forever. Companies had to think on their feet. They came up with ideas as unprecedented as the pandemic. One that made the global economy come to a grinding, screeching halt in a matter of days. Entire retirement funds evaporated, people lost their jobs, and stores were shut down.
However, many businesses prevailed by capitalizing on their own wit, cunning, and resourcefulness. They implemented curbside pick-up along with other enterprising tactics to keep themselves afloat during the height of these trying circumstances.
It remains true that not all businesses are big enough to absorb the cost of hunkering down and waiting it out. And with no end to the pandemic on the horizon, store owners need to adapt their business strategies to change with the times.
After the amount of time, money, and effort you’ve invested in your company, it would be a shame to lose everything and start over from scratch, especially if you were already nearing the end of your career. In short, a good BCM is designed to keep the business alive in circumstances that would otherwise make it fail. Preserve your hard-earned money by being prepared with a business continuity plan. Try this free BCP sample template for information technology
1. The advantages of a BCP checklist
2. The primary aspects of a business continuity plan
3. The importance of a business continuity plan
4. Differences between BCP and disaster recovery
5. How you can use modern technology for a BCP
Having a checklist ready in case of emergency is always a good idea to guarantee the following:
But why does a business need a BCP?
As much as 50% of businesses fail within the first five years of opening. Why? There’s a myriad of factors, including lack of resources, poor marketing, management issues, disagreements between investors and owners, and failure to pivot—to name a few. But this risk of failure can be greatly mitigated by planning for every inevitably.
But what makes a BCP effective? It won’t do if it's done incorrectly, rushed, or fails to take into account every and all contingencies that could lead to its eventual demise.
There are three key elements that should be taken into consideration while creating a business continuity plan, or a business disaster plan as it’s otherwise known:
Business owners need to establish a plan of action to protect themselves against internal and external threats. To do this, a checklist should include these six essential elements:
Below, you’ll find a successful, ready-made example:
Purpose of the business continuity plan including which IT functions are prioritized for recovery during an emergency.
This plan will prioritize the recovery of critical IT functions and equipment in the case of an unforeseen emergency.
Add systems/ IT systems which are at risk
IT equipment/ program
Destruction or damage to the servers
Description of function
Computer servers house all pertinent data to the company.
Rate the impact on business continuity
Critical High Medium Low
Description of impact
Without the use of the servers, the company risks the loss of data and customers.
Implement the use of backup servers and drop boxes. The backup server will be housed in a separate location, and the drop boxes will provide an offsite data backup and storage.
Name of representative
IT Business Continuity Manager
Name: John Smith
Phone Number: 255-855-1447
Address: 427 Redland Drive Spring Branch, TX, 78070
Any interruption in your business operations equates to a loss of money, and to make matters worse, in the event of a disaster, you don’t just lose big revenues but also incur big expenses. Insurance can help but it’s not likely to cover all the costs. Plus, there’s the issue of losing customers to your competition.
All these are complex challenges that require a well-thought-out strategy to effectively address. That’s why a business continuity plan is a must if you want to be geared for growth — no matter what. Regardless if you’re a new startup or a Fortune 500 corporation, staying competitive and retaining your market share is essential. This won’t happen unless you’re able to bounce back effectively and immediately.
The reasons why this is important can be summarized in the following bullet points:
Since this article focuses on delineating how a business continuity form is critical to keeping stores open and running during times of crisis, this section will be dedicated to defining how DRs differ from BCPs.
First, it will be helpful to contextualize a disaster as any event that causes a great deal of damage or loss of life. However, it isn’t necessarily limited to natural calamities but extends to man-made ones as well.
Some examples include:
Or severe weather events such as:
Nowadays, businesses almost always have a digital component and, depending on the type of trade a business conducts, this could mean a disruption in those operations or obstacles of a more physical nature, like a closed road preventing customers from reaching the store. The level of severity will largely depend on the type of disaster and the business’s plan for handling them.
There are some overlaps between the two types of plans. The main difference is a business continuity plan is more proactive and a disaster recovery plan is more reactive. But the contrasts don’t end there.
Slowly, businesses are starting to transition to paperless systems, capitalizing on the digital era and all the joys of modern technology. Of course, each type of record keeping has its pros and cons. Where paper documentation can be easily lost to water, fire, or just an unorganized filing system, digital documentation is open to cyber-attacks and power outages.
Any disaster affecting IT activities can result in hundreds of thousands to millions of dollars in lost revenue and damage (depending on the size of the business), so it’s imperative that those risks are mitigated by a pre-prepared disaster recovery plan. Even with the associated digital era risks, as long as the necessary precautions are taken, businesses can reap the rewards of a computer-based operating system.
At the end of the day, it’s no competition. Analog documentation is better organized, more efficient, and all-around safer than traditional means of record keeping.
A paper-based template for the Business Continuity Plan is difficult for management to maintain and keep up-to-date. Lumiform, the powerful mobile app for digital forms, helps companies move to a paperless planning process. Create your own continuity of operations plan template, evaluate the accuracy of the recovery process, and update your plan as needed from your mobile device. With Lumiform, you can:
To help you get started with paperless planning, we've put together the best templates for a sample business continuity plan that you can download and customize for free.
You have questions or would like to schedule a personal demo? We are happy to help you!