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What is a Business Continuity Plan? 

You have worked hard to build your business over the years. You need to implement a plan that outlines how your company would continue to function after a significant disruption. You have insurance on far less valuable objects;  a well crafted plan is as important as the stop-gap of insurance.  Insurance only provides replacement value.  A business continuity plan provides a plan to not replace, but to survive and thrive.  Having a well-drafted business continuity plan in place is important to ensure your business goals are carried out, despite any unexpected events. The plan also serves as a prevention and recovery system for any threats that could occur, and identifies weaknesses within the business. 

What is the Purpose of a Business Continuity Plan?

The primary purpose of a business continuity plan is to ensure the company can continue operations in the event of the unexpected. A business continuity plan can outline how a company’s mission will be sustained in the event of various disruptions, such as:

  • The death or incapacity of the owner
  • Fire, flood, or other natural disaster
  • Cyber attacks
  • Pandemics
  • Terrorist Attack
  • Civil Unrest
  • Emergencies
  • Service outages

While succession planning is key to the continuity of a company, a business owner should strongly include a business continuity plan as part of their estate plan. An estate plan along with a business continuity plan are important regarding family-owned businesses. Without a succession plan, a company can fail due to lack of competent leadership, conflict between new owners, or unintended tax consequences that result in a forced sale.     

What Should Be Included in a Business Continuity Plan?

A good business continuity plan requires a comprehensive business impact analysis. The document should identify the potential vulnerabilities of the business and outline how these risks should be mitigated. Once a business owner is aware of the risks that can affect their company, they can develop an effective response strategy to reduce the impact and allow operations to continue with little or no down time.     

The roles and responsibilities of the people in the business should be outlined to meet a crisis with confidence. The plan should address the resources needed to move forward after a disruption. Procedures should be in place if a remote office must be set up. The plan should include a crisis communications strategy that establishes emergency notification procedures and identifies stakeholders, external contacts, and staff for communications.

Information technology disaster recovery is an important part of a business continuity plan and every business should have a comprehensive cyber security insurance policy in place. An IT disaster team should be put together who can act when necessary to recover IT systems and data and procedures should be specifically delineated if an unplanned outage response occurs.  

Implementing Your Business Continuity Plan

A business continuity plan is not simply a document. A business continuity plan of action and should be tested to determine where improvements can be made in your company’s response. Testing a business continuity plan can also ensure each key player knows their roles and responsibilities when carrying the plan out. To ensure it is effective in the event of an emergency, the plan should be revisited on an annual basis to reflect any changes in the company’s structure. 

Contact an Experienced New York Business Attorney

If you’re a business owner, it’s essential to have a skillful corporate attorney by your side who can assist you with creating a solid business continuity plan. Offering dedicated representation and high-quality legal services, Brinen & Associates assists clients with a wide variety of business matters. Call (212) 330-8151 or send us a message to learn more about how we can assist you.         

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