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If you have a plan for heavy snow, will it be triggered by a severe weather warning, or only by actual snowfall?One event could also have multiple triggers, each of which initiates a different part of your plan (see Example 2, below).
Creating and maintaining a business continuity plan helps ensure that your business has the resources and information needed to deal with an emergency.
A well designed plan will help you minimize the risk that an emergency poses to your employees, clients and suppliers, the continuity of your business operations and your bottom line.
Contingency planning isn't just about major crises and natural disasters.
It can also prepare you for more commonplace problems, such as the loss of data, staff, customers, or business relationships.
The first step is to identify your business-critical operations.
These are the key processes and functions without which your organization could not operate – for example, your supply chain, your internet connection, or your ability to comply with legal standards.
Identify the people who need to know about what's happened.
This could include employees, suppliers, customers, and the wider public, as appropriate.
This reveals which risks require the expense and effort of risk mitigation.
Business processes that are essential to your organization's survival, such as maintaining cash flow and market share, are typically at the top of the list. But in some cases it may be safer or more cost-effective to tackle it in other ways: to avoid the risk, by investing in new equipment, for example; or to share the risk, by purchasing an insurance policy.