Work closely with your agent, and use an attorney, if possible, to maximize your payout potential and payout amount for holding the policy. Begin with the highest priority “threats,” or those most likely to occur and most likely to cause significant stress to your business. Simply put, a contingency plan is an action plan designed to help organizations respond to a potential future incident. Think of it as a backup plan, or plan B to guide organizations through a worst-case scenario. The aim of contingency planning is to minimise the impact of a significant foreseeable event and to plan for how the business will resume normal operations after the event.

But thinking this way can actually expose your team to more risks than if you proactively create a Plan B. Understanding the severity and likelihood of each risk will help you determine how exactly you will need to proceed to minimize the impact of the threat to your business. If your business is particularly data-heavy, for example, ensuring the safety and security of your information systems is critical. Whether a power surge damages your servers or a hacker attempts to infiltrate your network, you’ll want to have an emergency response in place. To do that, your management team needs a clear understanding of the project’s status at all times.

steps to create a contingency plan

In some cases, it’s a matter of cutting business expenses and riding out the downfall with a savings account. The small business has the advantage of being nimble and responsive to rapid changes in the market. A small business, however, has the disadvantage of typically owning fewer assets and depending more heavily on those assets for daily revenue. In this case, the contingency plan should rely on protecting those assets and anything that is required for driving income. A contingency plan should be looked at as a living document and updated as needed. Your business needs will change over time and so will its obstacles and risks.

What Is A Business Contingency Plan?

It’s a backup plan that ensures the business can continue to operate despite an adverse event. It is the question that haunts business continuity professionals throughout their careers. Of course, there are a million possibilities that might occur at any time. But creating a business contingency plan at least helps you to prepare for the unknown. Sometimes when you’ve finished, it can be tempting to consider it a job well done and forget about it. But make sure you schedule regular reminders (maybe once or twice a year) to review and update your contingency plan if necessary.

Top 5 Crisis Management Skills for Business Leaders (& How to Apply Them)

Creating a contingency plan can help you ensure that, if a negative event does occur, your company will be ready to face it and bounce back as quickly as possible. For example, you might create a contingency plan outlining what you will do if your primary competitors merge or how you’ll pivot if you lose a key client. You could even create a contingency plan for smaller occurrences that would have a big impact—like your software service going down for more than three hours. The purpose of contingency planning is to ensure your business operates as smoothly as possible, despite mistakes and unexpected events. Business contingency plans help you prepare your organization to handle anything unexpected.

  • Set aside a small percentage of monthly revenue, and watch your fund grow.
  • For example, if your business operates out of a storefront, keeping your storefront up and running is a critical area of your business’s success.
  • If you discover a new risk, and it has a high enough severity or likelihood, create a new contingency plan for that risk.
  • Here, we take a look at the basics of business contingency planning, as well as how to create a plan for your own organization.
  • An auditor is then added to double-check the contingency and look for weak spots.

Contingency planning can be a component of risk management since that process helps organizations survive these potential risks. A business contingency plan is activated soon after the initial event occurs and the IR team has made its initial assessments and determinations. The contingency plan is used to get specific team members involved in mitigation efforts. These people make short-term decisions regarding how the incident can be managed and resolved.

Business Continuity Plan vs. Contingency Plan

However, a contingency plan can help you with crisis management when issues arise. Every business should have a contingency plan so it can resume its operations as soon as possible after a disruptive event occurs. A contingency plan exists to deal with unexpected adverse situations, often disasters that disrupt your ability to run your business. A contingency plan is a course of action designed to help an organization respond effectively to a significant future incident, event or situation that may or may not happen. Make sure you spend your time and resources preparing for events that have a high chance of occurring as you write and develop your contingency plan.

Once all parties agree that the course of action described in the contingency plan works for everyone, you can move forward with confidence. Although their names vary by few letters, business continuity and contingency plans are different concepts. Continuity is the ability of your business to continue functioning after an incident that has disrupted operations occurs. A contingency plan is an action plan that goes into place if an incident were to happen. A business contingency plan is a course of action that your organization would take if an unexpected event or situation occurs.