Companies that don’t plan for disaster recovery are at an increased risk of shuttering their doors. In fact, roughly 40 to 60 percent of small businesses that experience a disaster never reopen, according to the Federal Emergency Management Agency.

Your organization, your team, and your clients cannot afford to be part of that 60 percent of businesses that do not reopen after a disaster. Disaster planning, while linked to business continuity, is unique from it in some key ways.

Below we break down why business continuity and disaster recovery plans are both critical to a business’ overall success, how the two terms differ, and in what situations you can utilize both.

What is a Business Continuity Plan?

A business continuity plan is a business-centric process, which ensures businesses are able to continue operating in the event of a disaster or if a workplace becomes inaccessible.

A recent study by professional services firm BDO, shows examples of disasters top tech companies fear will cause lost continuity at their organization:

  • Natural disasters
  • Wars
  • Conflicts
  • Terrorist attacks

A business continuity plan should lay out the critical aspects of a business’ operation and the steps required to protect them in the event of a disaster. The following assets might be among the most valuable to protect:

  • Servers
  • Phones
  • Network connections
  • Network drives
  • Online systems
  • Business-related applications

Not all disasters are as dire as the examples above. A business continuity plan will also identify how to protect an organization from less obvious disruptive events, like if a business is affected by the departure of a vital employee and it needs to access a network drive to easily execute knowledge transfer.

With a business continuity plan in place, your business will be able to continually maintain smooth operations, no matter what events arise.