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Sample Business Continuity Plan


A business continuity plan is an essential document for all businesses as they plan to maintain operations in the event that the company should endure adverse conditions. These conditions can include fires, theft, loss or damage, or anything that interrupts operations. It is a supplemental document to the company’s business plan.

Business continuity planning is often confused with disaster recovery. Disaster recovery refers to rebuilding and restarting after a disaster has occurred that has caused operations to halt. Business continuity refers to keeping the operations going through a catastrophic event or adverse conditions.

Developing a business continuity plan is made up of several steps. It includes project initiation, assessment of risk, assessment of business impact, plan development, plan testing, communications, and training. This process can be simplified for small or medium sized businesses depending on the structure of the company. However, larger businesses should pay close attention to each step.

In developing this document, it is often helpful for a company to start with a sample business continuity plan and adapt it to fit their company. The following outline is a sample business continuity plan that can be used as a worksheet to get started in the development process:
•    Emergency notification contacts
•    Purpose
•    Scope
•    Objectives
•    Definition of disaster
•    Recovery teams defined and team responsibilities
•    Instructions for using the business continuity plan
o    Disaster declaration
o    Notification
o    External notifications
o    Data backup plan
•    Specific disasters defined and instructions
o    Fire
o    Natural disaster
o    Network service provider outage
o    Flood or water damage
•    Plan checklists
•    Conducting a detailed damage assessment
•    Recovery phase, return to normal operations

In utilizing the above sample business continuity plan, the content of the document will determine its effectiveness. The plan is only as good as the information in it.  The information should be accurate and up to date. Utilizing resources such as (the FEMA site) can offer suggestions that can enhance the content of this plan. 

Making the business continuity plan available and clear to all members of the company is key to its success. It should be distributed to all employees and posted where it can be readily available.  Companies should review the procedures at least semiannually to ensure that the information has remained current.  While testing is listed as a step in developing the business continuity plan, it is something that needs to be done on an ongoing basis as procedures and practices can change over time. Any test failures may result in revisions to the business continuity plan.

A good business continuity plan reduces a company’s operational risk and should be a part of its core documents. It alleviates the risk of operational losses related to any business function should adverse conditions occur.

Free Business Planning Training -  Sample Business ContinuityPlan

Session 1 - How to Plan a Business 

Session 2 - Making a Business Plan

Session 3 - Marketing Business Plans

Session 4 - Example Business Plan

Session 5  - Fress Business Plan Templates

Session 6 - Examples of Business Plans       

Return from Sample Business Continuity Plan to Example Business Plan

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