Business Impact Analysis: The First Step In Business Continuity Planning

Posted on: 25 May 2021


Do you want to do business continuity planning for your small business? This important step will help ensure that your business and your employees experience the least disruption in the event of a disaster. But before you can begin making a plan to recover from disasters, you first need to conduct a business impact analysis. What is this analysis? And how can you get started on yours? Here's what you need to know. 

What Does a Business Impact Analysis Do?

A business continuity plan's goal is to minimize business interruptions. But in order to do that, you must know how the various parts of your business affect each other and which you must focus on in an emergency. The business impact analysis is a research project to determine these two things.

For instance, if your offices lose power and cannot function, this impacts your ability to process sales and ship goods. Restoring these customer-facing services would be the most important. And while many individual functions of the offices wouldn't be able to function without electricity, the analysis would identify the most important ones and what it would take to get them up and running. 

The business impact analysis is concerned with gathering input from team members and identifying strengths and weaknesses. Later stages of business planning then come up with solutions to meet the challenges identified.

How Is a Business Impact Analysis Done?

So, what can you expect when you have a business impact analysis done? Generally, first, your company would create a team tasked with collecting the information needed and setting some guidelines for how it will do so. 

Then, the actual information is gathered. This is often done through surveys and questionnaires. The team would likely also need to conduct interviews with key employees. These surveys and sessions are designed to identify processes. They seek to determine who is involved in each process, the timing, input needed, output resulting, connection with other processes, tools needed, locations, and laws it must adhere to. 

Finally, this data is analyzed to figure out which processes are most important to the function of your business, what these require to operate, and what the timeline might be for bringing them back to operation. Reports on these matters are sent to those tasked with overall business continuity planning. 

Where Can You Learn More?

Clearly, the business impact analysis for your company can be very complicated. This is usually a job that should be done by professionals. Learn more about how to complete one that is tailored to your small business by meeting with a business continuity planning consultant. By doing so, you'll protect yourself and your company.