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How to write a business continuity plan template

Rachel Hakoune 9 min read
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To avoid the common pitfalls associated with growing a successful business, you’ll need to come up with a long-term plan. A business continuity plan template can help you anticipate and avoid disruptions to your company.

Unanticipated threats can wipe out your assets, while risky courses of action can lead to disastrous results. Take the pandemic as an example, which wrought havoc on companies’ plans for growth. In the first year, 43% of businesses temporarily closed, something few could have anticipated.

In this article, we’ll explore why you need a business continuity plan template to help you stay on steady footing, even if the ground beneath you shakes.

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What is a business continuity plan template?

A business continuity plan (BCP) is a roadmap for long-term success that factors in common pitfalls and risks. A business continuity plan template ensures that you dot your Is and cross your Ts, and craft a reliable plan to handle unexpected events or disasters.

The template will include fields for filling in information on your current resources, recovery procedures when you face critical setbacks, and a list of personnel responsible for addressing such issues.

The primary purpose of business continuity management is to analyze the current status of your company and its state of preparedness for unexpected threats. With it, senior management can find any weak spots in the business and proactively identify solutions to problems that could hinder progress toward your goals. Of course, there are other reasons you’d benefit from this template.

Why use a business continuity plan template?

Reiterating on the above, the main function of the business continuity plans template is to provide a framework for addressing any problems that may arise in various departments and areas of the business.

Without a plan for dealing with roadblocks, your business’s growth can be stunted, or worse, screech to a halt. All it takes is a few missteps or misguided risks to steer your company off course. 90% of small businesses fail within a single year if they can’t resume full operations following an unexpected disaster.

Don’t confuse a BCP with a disaster recovery plan. A BCP doesn’t just outline what to do in case of emergencies, but it presents ideas for recovering full functionality within the business to minimize the impact on growth.

Take your company’s sensitive data as an example. Relying solely on backups to external servers or hard drives could be risky. In your BCP template, you’ll want to detail how you can protect and manage your data in the event of a breach or severe weather conditions. For instance, a hybrid approach, using both a cloud-based solution and a private server, could afford you extra data security and safety.

There were 3,950 confirmed data breaches in 2020 alone, which highlights the dangers of ignoring your data security. The faster you can get back on your feet and recover from cyberthreats or unforeseen events, the easier it’ll be to hold onto your cutting edge and stay a step ahead of the competition.

Those are the benefits in theory, but let’s take a look at specific cases where BCP templates can help.

What are examples of business continuity plan templates?

Depending on your needs, these business continuity templates can provide a little extra inspiration to get started.

Risk assessment template for business continuity

Use a risk assessment table to calculate whether various weather conditions or other events could impact your day-to-day operations. Your business continuity management team could use resources such as this to identify potential threats—however unlikely —to make sure that the company isn’t caught off guard.

screenshot of risk assessment table

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While nobody could have predicted the havoc wreaked by Hurricane Katrina, a rigorous risk assessment system ensures that you have most bases covered, including natural disasters.

Even if your headquarters is sheltered from severe weather conditions, there may be secondary offices or physical data servers in high-risk areas. As such, it’s important to factor in all of your infrastructure to avoid getting blindsided.

Alternate site evaluation template

If you have employees working from home or away from your primary place of work, you can use an alternate site evaluation table to evaluate the possible risks. Have your employees fill out a table like this one so that you have all the relevant contact information on your books in case of an emergency.

screenshot of alternate site evaluation table

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This information can help you better understand your employees’ work arrangements and troubleshoot any issues should they come up.

BCP committee table template

Use a simple BCP committee table to determine member’s roles and responsibilities. For each member, you can fill out contact information, along with a list of the main duties they are required to carry out.

screenshot of BCP committee roles table

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This will make it easy for the committee members to coordinate for meetings and have a clear action plan for what to do next.

Want a template that lets you do all of this in one document? has just what the doctor ordered.’s business continuity plan template

On the business continuity plan template, you’ll be able to enter data such as committee member contact details, disaster recovery action plans, and evacuation information.

The template covers all bases regarding potential threats you could encounter as you grow your business. With it, you’ll be able to keep all the information in a single place and enter it in an easy-to-digest way to share with your employees.

Screenshot of's business continuity plan template

And that’s not all. With Work OS, your employees can easily share and collaborate on tables and forms, so you can ask for input regarding secondary places of work and contact information. Plus, managers can access this information from anywhere, allowing them to see crucial details at a glance for better preparation.

Part of business continuity planning is ensuring your sensitive data is secure, so you’ll appreciate that protects your information with permission-based access. Only those in the BCP committee will be privy to the plans unless you wish to grant access to other employees.

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If you want to expand beyond the BCP and really detail how you’ll deal with potential disasters and risks, we’ve got a few templates for you.

Related templates from

Let’s take a look at a few templates that are related to a business continuity plan template.

Disaster recovery template

A Disaster Recovery Template falls under the scope of the business continuity plan committee. It’s just what it sounds like: a comprehensive plan for necessary actions if disaster strikes. More specifically, the plan should inform your approach for getting systems back online when they go down.

In this disaster recovery template, you can include everything from cyber-attacks and data breaches to worldwide pandemics or natural disasters. You can integrate these reports into your overall BCP to get a comprehensive overview of your recovery plans.

Operating functions template

An operating functions template gives you an idea of how you can cut costs in various processes and workflows. It can also inform how you can implement more sustainable business practices and initiatives.

Check out these different operations templates from that can be used with the BCP template to outline potential risks associated with new initiatives and suggested changes to work processes.

Program risk register

The Program Risk Register Template is for the early-stage process of identifying and evaluating potential risks to your business. It complements the business continuity plan template well — you can focus on valid, severe, likely risks in your BCP, and have a separate table for risks of all likelihoods and potential levels of impact.

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FAQs about business continuity plan templates

How do you write a business continuity plan?

You can write a business continuity plan by first listing the various departments of your company and what risks or threats they might face. From there, you can assess the likelihood of these threats coming to fruition. Once you have an idea of the probability of the various threats to your company, you can prioritize them.

With a prioritized list, you can start with the most pressing threat and proactively brainstorm what actions you could take if it were to arise. The purpose of the BCP is to shield your company against anything that could hinder your progress. Coming up with potential solutions for addressing hypothetical problems can prepare you for real ones in the future.

What is a small business continuity plan?

A small business continuity plan is a document that details potential risks and threats to a small business. It’s well worth creating such a document as a small business owner, as it can save you from disaster as you strive to scale the company.

For small businesses, any hitch can prove disastrous. 38.8% of US-based small businesses were affected by supply chain issues in 2021, which, for some, would have impeded growth significantly. Over-reliance on foreign suppliers could be an example of an unnecessary risk that, without being addressed, could spell disaster for a small business.

With the business continuity plan in place, you can protect your business in its most vulnerable state of growth. The plan forces you to think laterally about the threats that could sink your business. That way, you can make necessary course corrections and increase your chances of long-term survival.

What is an example of a business continuity plan?

An example of a business continuity plan is to plan out how you’ll protect your app’s uptime in the event something happens to one data center: for example, running a clone in AWS you can always fall back on.

What are the 3 elements of business continuity?

The three most vital elements within business continuity are resilience, recovery, and contingency.

  • Resilience: how you’ll make it as hard as possible for critical functions to fail.
  • Recovery: how you’ll get back to normal operations if disaster strikes.
  • Contingency: what you’ll do if plan A for recovery fails.
Rachel Hakoune is a Content Marketing Manager at Originally from Atlanta, she is finding the balance between southern charm and Israeli chutzpah.
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