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Business Crisis Management And Continuity Plans

Your business doesn’t operate in a vacuum. As much as you’d like to seal it off from the rest of the world’s problems, that’ll never happen. You must plan for disruptive, possibly business-threatening events to weather the storm (perhaps literally) and continue operating.

What Is Business Crisis Management?

Business crisis management is the process of preparing for, responding to, and recovering from an unexpected event or situation that threatens to:

  • Disrupt your normal business operations
  • Damage your reputation or 
  • Jeopardize your financial stability 

It could be a crippling computer hack, power outages, a natural disaster, civil unrest, or a new Chik fil opens next door, and the traffic paralyzes your area. You’ll need to implement strategies, procedures, and plans to mitigate the impact of a crisis and minimize your losses as a business shareholder lawyer  will share.

Key aspects of business crisis management include:

  • Identify potential risks, their likelihood, and your vulnerabilities and develop strategies to mitigate them. This may involve conducting risk assessments, scenario planning, and creating contingency plans
  • Create effective communication channels and policies for disseminating information to employees, suppliers, contractors, customers, and business partners like your bank and legal counsel. This includes providing timely updates, addressing concerns, and managing your company’s reputation
  • Implement policies and procedures to respond to a crisis as it unfolds. You could create an emergency response team that coordinates resources and makes critical decisions to mitigate the crisis’ impact
  • Thoroughly review your crisis response and identify your strengths, weaknesses, and areas for improvement afterward. This may involve conducting post-mortem analyses, updating crisis plans, and staff training as our friends at Focus Law LA will advise.

The participation of different departments and management levels, as well as clear leadership and decision-making during high-stress situations, will be essential. Although you may not predict the crisis that strikes, planning for one is crucial to protect your company’s long-term viability and reputation.

What Is A Business Continuity Plan?

It’s part of crisis management, but it’s a comprehensive document outlining procedures and strategies to make sure your critical business functions will continue during and after a disruptive event or crisis. A BCP’s goal is to minimize downtime, mitigate financial losses, and maintain customer satisfaction, reputation, and overall business resilience. 

A BCP gives your organization the best chance at surviving a disaster by providing ready-made directions on who should do what and in which order to keep the business viable, according to CIO magazine. Without planning, your company may be slow to recover from a crisis or may not recover at all.


  • Is a playbook to help your company maintain or quickly resume functioning despite a severe disruption
  • Outlines procedures and instructions your business must follow to lessen downtime
  • Should cover human resources, business processes, assets, business partners, and whatever’s essential to your company’s functioning

There are multiple steps in creating or updating a business continuity plan. You should start with processes that are most critical to your business, which are the most vulnerable, and what losses you’d face if the processes slow or stop, whether for a day or a month.

You should determine how quickly you need to return to normal and how significant a loss you can suffer until it threatens your business. You can then create a plan with specific, achievable, and realistic steps to maintain the business.

What’s The Difference Between The Two?

They differ in their timing and focus. Crisis management:

  • Primary concern is responding to and recovering from a crisis as it happens, while business continuity planning prepares for and mitigates a crisis’ impact before it occurs
  • Deals with immediate and short-term responses to a crisis. Business continuity planning takes a “big picture” view of a company’s long-term resilience and the ability of its essential operations to function under various disruptions
  • Seeks to minimize the damage due to a crisis while mitigating its impacts. Business continuity planning ensures uninterrupted critical business functions, meeting customer expectations, and safeguarding the company’s overall sustainability

The two create a foundation for your company’s effective risk management. They help minimize disruptions, protect your reputation and brand, and help ensure your long-term success in an unpredictable world.

Contact an attorney for help creating your business plan today.