The Philippines is one of the world’s most disaster-prone countries and when typhoons, floods, earthquakes, and landslides strike, every aspect of society is placed at risk. While one cannot control the forces of nature, one can put into place measures to mitigate the worst effects. Protecting one’s business in such circumstances can be a huge challenge but if one knows how to plan and prioritize, one can be better prepared to face these obstacles.
This is #SafeInAStorm SIKAP’s series about protecting your business during disaster-related disruptions! These blogs will provide practical tips on boosting your disaster resilience in the different aspects of your business.
Part 5: Protecting Your Future
“Adopting business continuity plans is not a question of choice but a double imperative for the Philippines as earthquake and typhoon risks are very high and seriously threaten business assets and profits…
Corporations need to start thinking about what they can do to better protect their businesses against disasters as they are already paying a very high cost for not doing so.”
- Margareta Wahlström, the UN Secretary-General’s Special Representative for Disaster Risk Reduction
In this final installment of our #SafeInAStorm series, we bring everything together and talk about how you can lay the foundation for a quick and stable recovery after any type of disaster through effective Business Continuity Planning.
What is Business Continuity Planning?
Business Continuity Planning (BCP) is an essential part of any business, especially if you’re trying to stay resilient in the face of calamities. BCP involves developing systems to prevent and recover from all kinds of threats; it is risk management while in a dynamic environment.
Business Continuity Plans are not one-size-fits-all. Organizations need to adjust their resilience strategies to cover all the essential elements of their operations - such as employees, customers, assets, and data. Companies with a robust BC plan are in a better position to deal with any unpredictable disruptions.
Here are the basic steps to create your Business Continuity Plan:
- Assemble Your Avengers
Identify the key members of the team who will be building your business continuity plan. These should include all those involved in essential business processes including HR, sales, marketing, IT, operations, finance, and others. All departments should be represented so that all aspects of the company will be covered in the plan.
- Conduct Your Business Impact Analysis
You will need to think of every possible kind of risk your company could be exposed to. You will analyze every part of your business and identify potential risks and vulnerabilities, including financial costs. Once identified, you will create strategies to mitigate these risks and you will even allot a budget to address these potential threats. Don’t forget to include health and safety concerns to ensure that your employees will be able to cope with any impending disaster. The BIA will help you identify critical information like your key stakeholders, any supply chain gaps, and your levels of resilience.
- Determine Your Recovery Time Objective
This involves identifying the acceptable levels of service while your company is recovering from a disaster such as how many hours you can afford for your system to be down or how potential delays can impact your business. This also includes factoring the potential loss of sales because of a disruption and when to resort to using your backup data.
- Communicate and Coordinate
Bring all the pieces together and communicate to all the relevant stakeholders. For your internal communication plan, consider all the departments, roles, and people critical to your operations. You can develop a call tree and also determine the most effective communication channels (Teams, Viber, Slack, email, SMS, etc.) to use during an emergency. For your external communication plan, you need to ensure that you inform all your clients, suppliers, and partners of the status of your operations.
- Rehearse, Review, Revise, Repeat
The job doesn’t end once you’ve created your plan. You need to test it, see what works, go back to the drawing board, and make the necessary adjustments. The plan might be effective during one disaster but ineffective in the next. Business continuity involves constant evolution as you adjust to a dynamic and ever-changing environment. Never stop updating your business continuity plan and you will always be prepared for unexpected threats.
This concludes our #SafeInAStorm series! We hope you were able to learn some valuable lessons about protecting your business from various hazards.
But this is only the beginning! This will not be the last time we will be tackling these topics, we only aimed to introduce these strategies during a particularly tempestuous time. As we all continue to recover together from the pandemic and the other disruptions this year, let us continue to learn more about how we can build our resilience!
#SafeInAStorm #SIKAPMSME #ResilientMSMES #ResilientPH